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Rebuilding the Temple: Part 2

Opposition to the Temple being rebuilt.
Contributed by Sweet Publishing
Story also available on our translated websites: Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Romanian, Hindi, Simplified Chinese
The rebuilding of the temple was underway, supervised by Zerubbabel and Jeshua. However the people who had occupied Judea before the Jews returned and who worshipped many false gods, did not want the temple rebuilt. – Slide 1
At first they offered to help but Zerubbabel and Jeshua, knowing they did not worship God, declared, ‘You have no part with us in building a temple for our God, the God of Israel,’ The enemies of the Jews then tried to stop the building work by paying people to bully the builders and threaten them. – Slide 2
As a result, the work on the temple stopped for about 16 years. Instead the Jews put their energies into building expensive houses for themselves. King Cyrus of Persia died and King Darius succeeded him. During the second year of King Darius’ reign two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, spoke messages from God urging the Jews to continue with the rebuilding work on the temple. Zerubbabel and Jeshua got the builders back to work once more. – Slide 3
Immediately Tattenai, the chief official of the region and other opponents of the Jews, demanded to know who had given them permission to rebuild the temple. – Slide 4
They wrote a letter to Darius reporting what was going on and listed the names of the Jews involved in the work. – Slide 5
While they were waiting for the reply the Jews kept working. They wrote to Darius explaining that King Cyrus had given them permission to rebuild and had returned the gold and silver objects the Babylonians had taken from the Temple. – Slide 6
King Darius ordered that a search be made of the records to see what King Cyrus had decreed. – Slide 7
They found a book in the palace in Ecbatana in the district of Media that contained a record of the command King Cyrus had given. It decreed that the Jews had been given permission and detailed the size of the base of the temple that could be built. It ordered that the gold and silver items from the original temple were to be returned. – Slide 8
King Darius immediately gave orders to Tattenai, the chief official of the region, not to stop the temple being built and to keep the enemies of the Jews away from the building site. Furthermore, the work on the temple was to be paid from the taxes raised in the region. The priests were to be given animals for sacrifice and wheat, salt, wine and oil. Anyone who disobeyed this order, or tried to change this law, would be hanged. – Slide 9
When the ruling was announced, the enemies of the Jews had no choice but to obey. The prophets Haggai and Zechariah spoke words of encouragement and the work continued without opposition. – Slide 10
In the sixth year of the reign of King Darius the temple was finished. The people gathered for a special opening ceremony. – Slide 11
It was a happy occasion with sacrifices made for the sins of the people. Priests were appointed to look after the Temple and its work. The Passover was celebrated with great joy. – Slide 12
Slide 13