God’s Renewing Word of Thankfulness and Praise
Ezra 6:1-12: The scroll containing Emperor Cyrus’s decree about the rebuilding of Temple is discovered. Emperor Darius sends a reply to those who had questioned by what authority the Temple was being rebuilt.
Emperor Cyrus’ Order Is Rediscovered
6 So Emperor Darius issued orders for a search to be made in the royal records that were kept in Babylon. 2 But it was in the city of Ecbatana in the province of Media that a scroll was found, containing the following record:
3 “In the first year of his reign Emperor Cyrus commanded that the Temple in Jerusalem be rebuilt as a place where sacrifices are made and offerings are burned. The Temple is to be ninety feet high and ninety feet wide. 4 The walls are to be built with one layer of wood on top of each three layers of stone. All expenses are to be paid by the royal treasury. 5 Also the gold and silver utensils which King Nebuchadnezzar brought to Babylon from the Temple in Jerusalem are to be returned to their proper place in the Jerusalem Temple.”
Emperor Darius Orders the Work to Continue
6 Then Emperor Darius sent the following reply:
“To Tattenai, governor of West-of-Euphrates, Shethar Bozenai, and your fellow officials in West-of-Euphrates.
“Stay away from the Temple 7 and do not interfere with its construction. Let the governor of Judah and the Jewish leaders rebuild the Temple of God where it stood before. 8 I hereby command you to help them rebuild it. Their expenses are to be paid promptly out of the royal funds received from taxes in West-of-Euphrates, so that the work is not interrupted. 9 Day by day, without fail, you are to give the priests in Jerusalem whatever they tell you they need: young bulls, sheep, or lambs to be burned as offerings to the God of Heaven, or wheat, salt, wine, or olive oil. 10 This is to be done so that they can offer sacrifices that are acceptable to the God of Heaven and pray for his blessing on me and my sons. 11 I further command that if any disobey this order, a wooden beam is to be torn out of their houses, sharpened on one end, and then driven through their bodies. And their houses are to be made a rubbish heap.
12 May the God who chose Jerusalem as the place where he is to be worshiped overthrow any king or nation that defies this command and tries to destroy the Temple there. I, Darius, have commanded. My command is to be fully obeyed.”
Today’s Key Verse: Ezra 6:7b
[Emperor Darius replied:] “Let the governor of Judah and the Jewish leaders rebuild the Temple of God where it stood before.”
What was stated in the scroll that was discovered in Ecbatana (verses 3-5)? What was Emperor Darius’s response (verses 6-12)? How would you describe the tone of his response?
Holy God, you are Lord of heaven and earth. Each day as I worship you, may I remember to thank and praise you for your everlasting love and care and to reflect that love in all I do and say. Amen.
Ezra 6:13-22: The Temple is dedicated.