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April 1, 2017

After traveling safely from Babylon to Jerusalem in the spring of the year, the Jews set up their residence in each of their family’s hometown. Aware of the hostility of the Samaritans, in September they gathered together and rebuilt the altar on its old foundation, reestablished the ritual of offering burnt offerings morning and evening, celebrated the feast of the tabernacles and observed the other set feast of the Lord.

Freewill offerings were taken to hire workers and purchase the material for the rebuilding of the temple, and by the second month in their second year in Jerusalem, the workers were able to lay the foundation of the temple while the Levites and priest with their instruments and the singers praised and gave thanks to God.

The chapter ends with varying sentiments expressed by the assembly. The younger generation rejoiced while, the older generation who remembered the glory of the first temple wept.

The gleaning points that I received from this chapter are:

  1. After settling in Jerusalem and the surrounding area, the Israelites remembered the instructions given to them by God through Moses and as a unified body, they came together to offer sacrificial worship. Thus, before they started building the temple, they restored worship. No doubt during their seventy years of captivity they were unable to practice these customs; however, they realized that to endure and be successful in a hostile environment they needed to have a right relationship with God which meant following His laws, statutes, and commandments.
  2. Praising and thanking God for His goodness and mercy never goes out of style.
  3. Seniors tend to look back with heartfelt emotions on times that were prosperous in their lives, while the youth are living in the moment.


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