Ezra 3:12
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.

New Living Translation
But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple's foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy.

English Standard Version
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy,

New American Standard Bible
Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy,

King James Bible
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But many of the older priests, Levites, and family leaders, who had seen the first temple, wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this house, but many others shouted joyfully.

International Standard Version
Now a number of the priests, the Levities, and the leading officials of the elders—who were very elderly—had seen the former Temple with their own eyes. When they observed the foundation of the Temple being laid, they wept with a loud voice, while the rest of them shouted for joy.

NET Bible
Many of the priests, the Levites, and the leaders--older people who had seen with their own eyes the former temple while it was still established--were weeping loudly, and many others raised their voice in a joyous shout.

New Heart English Bible
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of ancestral houses, the old men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice. Many also shouted aloud for joy,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But many of the priests, Levites, and the heads of the families who were old enough to have seen the first temple with their own eyes began to sob when they saw the foundation of this temple. Many others shouted for joy.

JPS Tanakh 1917
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the old men that had seen the first house standing on its foundation, wept with a loud voice, when this house was before their eyes; and many shouted aloud for joy;

New American Standard 1977
Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy;

Jubilee Bible 2000
But many of the priests and Levites and of the heads of the fathers, who were ancient men that had seen the first house, as the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice while many shouted aloud for joy:

King James 2000 Bible
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses, who were old men, who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

American King James Version
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

American Standard Version
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers houses , the old men that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But many of the priests and the Levites, and the chief of the fathers and the ancients that had seen the former temple; when they had the foundation of this temple before their eyes, wept with a loud voice: and many shouting for joy, lifted up their voice.

Darby Bible Translation
But many of the priests and Levites and chief fathers, the ancient men that had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice, [when] the foundation of this house was laid in their sight; and many shouted aloud for joy.

English Revised Version
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, the old men that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Webster's Bible Translation
But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, old men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

World English Bible
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' [houses], the old men who had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

Young's Literal Translation
And many of the priests, and the Levites, and the heads of the fathers, the aged men who had seen the first house -- in this house being founded before their eyes -- are weeping with a loud voice, and many with a shout, in joy, lifting up the voice;
Study Bible
Temple Restoration Begins
11They sang, praising and giving thanks to the LORD, saying, "For He is good, for His lovingkindness is upon Israel forever." And all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the LORD because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid. 12Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy, 13so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.…
Cross References
Ezra 3:13
so that the people could not distinguish the sound of the shout of joy from the sound of the weeping of the people, for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the sound was heard far away.

Jeremiah 50:4
"In those days and at that time," declares the LORD, "the sons of Israel will come, both they and the sons of Judah as well; they will go along weeping as they go, and it will be the LORD their God they will seek.

Haggai 2:3
'Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?
Treasury of Scripture

But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

many

Haggai 2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and …

when the foundation

Job 8:7 Though your beginning was small, yet your latter end should greatly increase.

Isaiah 41:14 Fear not, you worm Jacob, and you men of Israel; I will help you, …

Isaiah 60:22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: …

Daniel 2:34,35 You saw till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote …

Zechariah 4:10 For who has despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice…

Matthew 13:31,32 Another parable put he forth to them, saying, The kingdom of heaven …

wept

Psalm 126:6 He that goes forth and weeps, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless …

Jeremiah 31:8,9 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them …

(12) But many of the priests and Levites . . . wept with a loud voice.--This most affecting scene requires the comment of Haggai 2 and Zeeh. 4. The first house was destroyed in B.C. 588, fifty years before. The weeping of the ancients was not occasioned by any comparison as to size and grandeur, unless indeed they marked the smallness of their foundation stones. They thought chiefly of the great desolation as measured by the past; the younger peoplc thought of the new future.

Verse 12. - Many... who were ancient men, that had seen the first house. The old temple had not been destroyed so much as fifty years. Consequently, there would be many who could remember its grandeur and glory. These persons, when the foundation of the (new) house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice. It was "the day of small things" (Zechariah 4:10). The new house, in comparison with the old one, was "as nothing" (Haggai 2:3). The difference was perhaps not so much in the dimensions (see note on Ezra 6:3) as in the size and quality of the foundation-stones (1 Kings 5:17), the excellence of the masonry, and the like. Solomon had employed the best workmen of one of the greatest of the Tyrian kings; Zerubbabel had only the arms of his own subjects to depend upon. But many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men,.... Seventy or eighty years of age:

that had seen the first house; the temple built by Solomon, as they very well might, since then it had been destroyed but fifty two years; for the seventy years captivity are to be reckoned from the fourth of Jehoiakim, when it began, and which was eighteen years before the destruction of the temple; the beginning of the next clause:

when in the foundation, according to the Hebrew accents, is to be connected with this:

that had seen the first house; not when first founded, for that was five hundred years ago, but in "its foundation"; they saw it standing upon its foundation, in all its glory, and so the Septuagint version; and we may read on, when

this house was before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; seeing what it was like to be by the foundation now laid, and was in their sight as nothing in comparison of the former; see Haggai 2:3 but Aben Ezra connects this clause as we do:

when the foundation of this house was laid; not but that the dimensions of this house strictly taken were as large as the former: see Ezra 6:3, but not the courts and appendages to it: besides, what might affect them, there was no likelihood of its being so richly decorated with gold and silver as the former temple, and many things would be wanting in it, as the Urim and Thummim, &c.

and many shouted aloud for joy; of the younger sort, who had never seen the grandeur of the first temple, and were highly delighted with the beginning of this, and the hope of seeing it finished. 12. But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers … wept with a loud voice—Those painful emotions were excited by the sad contrast between the prosperous circumstances in which the foundations of the first temple had been laid and the desolate, reduced state of the country and city when the second was begun; between the inferior size and less costliness of the stones used in the foundations of the second (1Ki 7:9, 10), and the much smaller extent of the foundation itself, including all the appurtenances of the building (Hag 2:3); between the comparative smallness of their present means and the immense resources of David and Solomon. Perhaps, however, the chief cause of grief was that the second temple would be destitute of those things which formed the great and distinguishing glory of the first; namely, the ark, the shekinah, the Urim and Thummim, etc. Not that this second temple was not a very grand and beautiful structure. But no matter how great its material splendor was, it was inferior in this respect to that of Solomon. Yet the glory of the second far outshone that of the first temple in another and more important point of view, namely, the receiving within its walls the incarnate Saviour (Hag 2:9).3:8-13 There was a remarkable mixture of affections upon laying the foundation of the temple. Those that only knew the misery of having no temple at all, praised the Lord with shouts of joy. To them, even this foundation seemed great. We ought to be thankful for the beginnings of mercy, though it be not yet perfect. But those who remembered the glory of the first temple, and considered how far inferior this was likely to be, wept with a loud voice. There was reason for it, and if they bewailed the sin that was the cause of this melancholy change, they did well. Yet it was wrong to cast a damp upon the common joys. They despised the day of small things, and were unthankful for the good they enjoyed. Let not the remembrance of former afflictions drown the sense of present mercies.
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