Ezra 3:2
Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brothers, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(2) Builded the altar.—Only as the beginning of their work. The Temple was, as it were, built around the altar, as the centre of all.

Moses the man of God.—Like David, Nehemiah 12:24; Nehemiah 12:36.

Ezra 3:2. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak — He was the high- priest, called Joshua, Haggai 1:1. And Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel — That is, his grandson; for, properly speaking, he was the son of Pedaiah. And builded the altar of the God of Israel — Which was of more present necessity than the temple, both to make atonement to God for all their sins, and to obtain God’s assistance for the building of the temple, and to strengthen their own hearts and hands in that great work.3:1-7 From the proceedings of the Jews on their arrival, let us learn to begin with God, and to do what we can in the worship of God, when we cannot do what we would. They could not at once have a temple, but they would not be without an altar. Fear of danger should stir us to our duty. Have we many enemies? Then it is good to have God our Friend, and to keep up communion with him. Our fears should drive us to our knees. The sacrifices for all these solemnities were a heavy expense for so poor a company; yet besides those expressly appointed, many brought free-will offerings to the Lord. And they made preparation for the building of the temple without delay: whatever God calls us to do, we may depend upon his providence to furnish us with the needful means.Jeshua, the high priest, was the son of Jozadak, who was carried into captivity by Nebuchadnezzar 1 Chronicles 6:15.

Zerubbabel was really the son of Pedaiah, Shealtiel's (or Salathiel's) younger brother. But Shealtiel having no sons, and the royal line being continued in the person of his nephew, Zerubbabel, the latter was accounted Shealtiel's son.

2. Jeshua—the grandson of Seraiah, the high priest, put to death by Nebuchadnezzar at Riblah (2Ki 25:18-21). His father, Josedech, had been carried captive to Babylon, and died there, some time before this.

Zerubbabel—was, according to the order of nature, son of Pedaiah (1Ch 3:17-19); but having been brought up by Salathiel, he was called his son.

builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon—This was of urgent and immediate necessity, in order, first, to make atonement for their sins; secondly, to obtain the divine blessing on their preparations for the temple, as well as animate their feelings of piety and patriotism for the prosecution of that national work.

Jeshua the son of Jozadak, the high priest.

The son of Shealtiel, i.e. the grandson; for he was the son of Pedaiah, 1 Chronicles 3:17-19.

Built the altar; which was of more present and urgent necessity than the temple, both to make atonement to God for all their sins, and to obtain God’s assistance for the building of the temple, and to strengthen their own hearts and hands in that great work, wherein they saw they should have many enemies. Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak,.... Who was the high priest, and the proper person to give the lead in the following work:

and his brethren the priests; the common priests, very fit to join him, and assist him in it:

and Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel; the prince and governor of Judah, whose presence was necessary to give countenance to the work, and animate to it:

and his brethren; the princes and heads of the people, particularly those mentioned Ezra 2:2

and builded the altar of the God of Israel; the altar of burnt offering, gave orders for the building of it, and directions about it:

to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God; or prophet of God, as the Syriac version; see Leviticus 1:1.

Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the {b} son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God.

(b) Meaning nephew, for he was the son of Pedaiah, 1Ch 3:19.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2. Then stood up … to offer]

Jeshua the High-priest (cf. Ezra 2:2) mentioned here in connexion with sacrifice, before Zerubbabel; in Ezra 3:8 after Zerubbabel in connexion with the work of rebuilding the Temple.

Jeshua’s brethren are the priests: Zerubbabel’s brethren ‘the heads of fathers’ houses’ (cf. Ezra 2:2; Ezra 2:68).

Zerubbabel called here for the first time ‘son of Shealtiel’. See note on Ezra 2:2.

and builded] a ceremonious act performed by the heads of the people.

the altar of the God of Israel] cf. Ezra 1:3. We are reminded by this term of the unity of the divided and scattered people. The altar, the place of sacrifice, symbolized the approach of the whole people.

as it is written in the law of Moses] cf. Ezra 6:18; 2 Chronicles 23:18; 2 Chronicles 35:12; 2 Chronicles 35:26. The offerings for the 1st day of Tisri, the Feast of Trumpets, are described in Numbers 29:1-6.

the man of God] For the phrase used of Moses, cf. 1 Chronicles 23:14; 2 Chronicles 30:16.Verse 2. - Jeshua the son of Jozadak. The position of Jeshua, both here and in vers. 8, 9, sufficiently marks him as the high priest, though Ezra does not give him the title. Haggai, however (Ezra 1:1, 14; 2:2), and Zechariah (Ezra 3:1, 8; Ezra 6:11) distinctly assign him the office. His father, Jozadak, or Josedech, was the son of Seraiah, high priest at the destruction of Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 6:14). The name Jeshua is a mere variant of Joshua, and so corresponds to Jesus, of whom Jeshua may be regarded as a type. His brethren the priests. As being all of them equally descended from Aaron, the priests were "brethren." Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel. See note on Ezra 2:2, where Zerubbabel's actual descent is given. And his brethren. Such other members of the royal house as had returned with him. As it is written in the law. See Leviticus 17:2-6; Deuteronomy 12:5-11. It was an express command of God to the Israelites that sacrifice should be offered only at Jerusalem in the place which he should appoint. Moses the man of God. That is, "the Prophet;" but the phrase is emphatic, and characteristic of Ezra (comp. 1 Chronicles 23:14 and 2 Chronicles 30:16). The numbers of the beasts, whether for riding or baggage: horses, 736; mules, 245; camels, 435; and asses, 6720. The numbers are identical in Nehemiah 7:68. In 1 Esdr. 5:42 the camels are the first named, and the numbers are partially different, viz., horses, 7036, and asses, 5525.
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