|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:13-22 The gospel church, that spiritual temple, is long in the building, but it will be finished at last, when the mystical body is completed. Every believer is a living temple, building up himself in his most holy faith: much opposition is given to this work by Satan and our own corruptions. We trifle, and proceed in it with many stops and pauses; but He that has begun the good work, will see it performed. Then spirits of just men will be made perfect. By getting their sins taken away, the Jews would free themselves from the sting of their late troubles. Their service was with joy. Let us welcome holy ordinances with joy, and serve the Lord with gladness.
Verse 15. - The house was finished on the third day of the month Adar. Haggai (Haggai 1:15) gives the exact day of the recommencement of the work as the twenty-fourth of Elul in Darius's second year. Ezra here gives the exact day of the completion. From Zerubbabel's laying of the foundation (Ezra 3:10), the time that had elapsed was twenty-one years. From the recommencement under the inspiriting influence of the two prophets, the time was only four years, five months, and ten days. DEDICATION OF THE SECOND TEMPLE (Ezra 6:16-18). Following the example of Solomon, who had solemnly "dedicated" the first temple (1 Kings 8:63), and had offered on the occasion a sacrifice unexampled for its magnitude in the whole of Jewish history (ibid.), Zerubbabel now, under the advice of two prophets, inaugurated the new building with a similar ceremony. In "the day of small things" it was not possible for him to emulate Solomon's magnificence in respect of the number of victims. Solomon had sacrificed 22,000 oxen and 120,000 sheep. Zerubbabel's means only enabled him to make an offering of 712 animals, more than half of them lambs. He did, however, according to his ability; and God, who accepts all our endeavours according to that we have, and not according to that we have not, was content to receive graciously the humble offering made to him, and to bless the building thus inaugurated with a glory unknown to the first temple. The Lord himself, the Messenger of the covenant, so long sought by his people, suddenly came to this temple (Malachi 3:1) - came to it, and frequented it, and taught in it, and gave it a dignity and a majesty far beyond the first temple, which possessed indeed the Shechinah, but was once, and once only, vouchsafed a brief manifestation of the actual Divine presence (2 Chronicles 7:1).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar,.... The twelfth month of the year with the Jews, and answers to part of our February and part of March:
which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king; four years after the decree came forth.
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