Ezra 3:13
So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) The noise was heard afar off.—The people also mingled in the weeping, which was with shrill cries. The rejoicing and the sorrow were blended, and the common sound was heard from far. All here has the stamp of truth.

Ezra 3:13. So that the people could not discern, &c. — The mixture of sorrow and joy here is a representation of this world. In heaven all are singing and none sighing; in hell all are wailing and none rejoicing: but here on earth we can scarce discern the shouts of joy from the noise of the weeping; let us learn to rejoice with them that rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Meantime, let us ourselves rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we wept not. 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.Wept ... shouted ... for joy - Compare the marginal reference and Zechariah 4:10. It is implied that the dimensions of the second temple were smaller than those of the first. Hence, the feeling of sorrow which came upon some. They, however, who had not seen the former temple, and so could not contrast the two, naturally rejoiced to see the sanctuary of their religion begin to rise from its ruins. 13. the people could not discern the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people—Among Eastern people, expressions of sorrow are always very loud and vehement. It is indicated by wailing, the howl of which is sometimes not easily distinguishable from joyful acclamations. No text from Poole on this verse. So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people,.... That is, not clearly and distinctly, they were so mixed and confounded together, and made such a jarring and discord:

for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off; the shouting being of young people, whose voice was strongest, and they the most numerous, the noise of shouting prevailed over the noise of weeping; and it was heard further, and at a distance appeared more distinctly to be the noise of shouting, that of weeping not reaching so far; though Jarchi is of opinion that the noise of weeping was heard further than the noise of shouting, which is not likely.

So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping of the people: for the people shouted with a loud shout, and the noise was heard afar off.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. So that the people could not discern] literally, ‘And the people &c.’ The people generally, not merely the leaders, were of two minds. The sounds were mingled together; the weeping near at hand was as loud as the shouting. And the confused sound was audible a long way off.Verse 13. - The people could not discern the noise of the shout of joy from the noise of the weeping. One, it would seem, was as loud as the other; neither predominated. This, which would scarcely be possible among ourselves, was not unnatural in the East, where those who lament utter shrill cries, instead of weeping silently. Herodotus describes the lament of the Persians for a lost general as "resounding throughout all Boeotia" (Ezra 9:24).



Preparations were also made for the rebuilding of the temple; money was given to hewers of wood and to masons, and meat and drink (i.e., corn and wine) and oil to the Sidonians and Tyrians (i.e., the Phoenicians; comp. 1 Chronicles 22:4), to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa (i.e., to the coast of Joppa), as was formerly done by Solomon, 1 Kings 5:6., 2 Chronicles 2:7. כּרשׁיון, according to the grant of Cyrus to them, i.e., according to the permission given them by Cyrus, sc. to rebuild the temple. For nothing is said of any special grant from Cyrus with respect to wood for building. רשׁיון is in the O.T. ἁπ. λεγ.; in Chaldee and rabbinical Hebrew, רשׁא and רשׁי mean facultatem habere; and רשׁוּ power, permission.
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