The altar is set up, 1-3. Offerings renewed, 4-6. Workmen employed in preparing materials, 7. The foundations of the temple are laid in great joy and mourning, 8-13.
1 And when the seventh month had come and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people assembled themselves as one man at Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak stood up, with his brothers the priests, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brothers, and built the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt-offerings on it as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3 And they set the altar upon its bases, for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries, and they offered burnt-offerings on it to the LORD, even burnt-offerings morning and evening. 4 They also kept the feast of tabernacles, as it is written, and offered the daily burnt-offerings by number, according to the custom, as the duty of every day required, 5 And afterward the continual burnt-offering, the offerings of the new moons and of all the set feasts of the LORD that were consecrated, and those of everyone who willingly offered a voluntary-offering to the LORD. 6 From the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt-offerings to the LORD. But the foundation of the temple of the LORD was not yet laid. 7 They gave money also to the masons and to the carpenters, and provisions, drink, and oil to those of Zidon and to those of Tyre, to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea of Joppa, according to the grant that they had of Cyrus king of Persia.
8 Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Jeshua the son of Jozadak, the remnant of their brothers the priests and the Levites, and all those who had come out of the captivity to Jerusalem, began the work and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD. 9 Then Jeshua stood with his sons and his brothers, Kadmiel and his sons, the sons of Judah, together, to set forward the workmen in the house of God, along with the sons of Henadad, with their sons and their brothers the Levites.
10 And when the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, they set the priests in their apparel with trumpets and the Levites the sons of Asaph with cymbals to praise the LORD, after the ordinance of David king of Israel. 11 And they sang together by course in praising and giving thanks to the LORD, because he is good, for his mercy endures forever toward Israel. 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. 12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, 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, 13 So that the people could not discern the noise of the shout of the 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.
Matthew Henry Commentary - Ezra, Chapter 3[➚]