The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The First Book of Esdras
And now, for the first time since Israel’s home-coming, it was the seventh month of the year; the people, with one consent, had gathered at Jerusalem.
Josue son of Josedec and his brother priests, Zorobabel son of Salathiel and his brother chiefs, must bestir themselves; the God of Israel must have an altar built for him, if the law given by his servant Moses was to be obeyed, by the offering of burnt-sacrifice.
No more they dared to do, with hostile nations threatening them all around, than erect God’s altar on its ruined base;✻ here, morning and evening, burnt-sacrifice was offered,
and with that daily offering, with the due observance of each day as it came, they held the feast of Tent-dwelling.
After that, burnt-sacrifice went on uninterruptedly, on the feast days set apart for the Lord, and on other days, too, when gifts were brought to the Lord out of devotion.
From the first day of this seventh month onwards the offering of burnt-sacrifice to the Lord began; and still they had not laid the very foundations of God’s temple.
But meanwhile, money was being spent on quarrymen and stone-masons; on food, too, and drink, and oil for the men of Tyre and Sidon, who must convey cedar planks from Lebanon by sea to Joppe, in pursuance of the Persian king’s decree.
And in the second month of the second year after their return to God’s temple at Jerusalem, Zorobabel and Josue with their brethren, priests and Levites and citizens returned from exile, began their task. Levites that were above the age of twenty were appointed to hasten on the execution of the divine command,
and at the head of these Levites, clansmen of Henadad’s clan, were Josue’s clan and Cedmihel’s (and the men of Juda), insisting that they should give the temple workmen no rest.✻
So at last the masons laid the foundation of the Lord’s temple. There stood the priests in full array with their trumpets; there stood the Levites, come down from Asaph, with their cymbals, ready to praise God as David bade them, that long ago was king of all Israel.
And as their hymn of praise went up to the Lord, The Lord is gracious, his mercy to Israel endures for ever, the whole people raised a great shout, thanking the Lord that now the foundation of his temple was laid.
Among the priests and Levites and chiefs of clans there were many older men who had seen the earlier temple when it stood built there. In their eyes, that was the Temple,✻ and they cried aloud in lament, while these others shouted and huzza’d for joy.
Shouts of folk rejoicing, and cries of folk lamenting, none could tell them apart; it was all a confused uproar of men’s voices, that echoed far away.
The Holy Bible