Week 23   Day 6


The 3 R's for the exiles were






The exile was a seventy-year period 

Near the end of that time

            some of the Israelites were allowed

            to go back to Jerusalem

            and rebuild their city 

Some of the older people

            remembered Jerusalem

            and the original temple

            built by Solomon 

But most of the people

            would have been born

            during the exile

            and knew about Jerusalem

            only from the experience

            and stories of others.



God provided

            for the needs of the people 

but the people had to provide

            the willingness to uproot

                        and return to their homeland 

            the hard labor 

            the courage to live again

                        in the midst of strangers

                        where their safety

                        was not ensured 

They needed to believe

            that they could succeed

            and live once more 

            in the land of their sacred history.




                           REBUILDING THE TEMPLE
The returning exiles did not come home empty-handed.
                                         Ezra 1, 2 & 3


     1The Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so

that he made a proclamation, saying,

        2All the kingdoms of the earth the Lord God of heaven

        has given me, and He has commanded me to build Him

        a house at Jerusalem which is in Judah.  3Who is among

        you of all His people?   Let him go up to Jerusalem, and

        build the house of the Lord God of Israel.  4Whoever is

        left in any place, let him help with silver and gold, with

        goods and livestock, besides the freewill offerings for

        the house of God in Jerusalem.

     5The heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin,

and the priests and the Levites, with all whose spirits God had

moved, arose to go up and build the house of the Lord in

Jerusalem.  6All those who were around them encouraged

them with articles of silver and gold, with goods and livestock,

and with precious things, besides all that was willingly offered.

     7King Cyrus also brought out the articles of the house of

the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from Jerusalem

and put in the temple of his gods; 8and Cyrus brought them

out, and counted them out to Sheshbazzar the prince of Judah.            

     1Now these are the people who came back from the

captivity, whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away to Babylon. 
64The whole assembly together was forty-two
thousand three
hundred and sixty, 65besides their male and
female servants,
of whom there were seven thousand.

     68Some of the heads of the fathers' houses, when they

came to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, offered freely

to erect it in its place.  69According to their ability, they

gave to the treasury.

     1When the seventh month had come, and the children of

Israel were in the cities of Judah, the people gathered to

Jerusalem.  2Then Jeshua and his brethren, the priests, and

Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brethren, arose and

built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings

on it, as it is written in the Law of Moses.  3Though fear had
come upon them because of the people of those countries,

they set the altar on its bases, and offered burnt offerings

to the Lord, both the morning and evening burnt offerings.
              This Bible passage was condensed from the NKJV

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