Lesson for January 18
LESSON 3 – Opposition to Building, Completion of the Temple (Ezra 4-6).
Review: After the decree of Cyrus the Jews had returned home, restored worship, and laid the foundation of the Temple in Jerusalem.
For this lesson read Ezra 4-6 and answer the following questions:
What request was made by the group called “the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin”?
Why do you think Zerubbabel’s response was so sharp to those who expressed a desire to help?
Having been rejected, what does the group then decide to do?
What charges do they make against the Home Again Heroes in the letter they wrote to the Persian king?
What decision did King Artaxerxes make about the Jews and the building of the temple?
What role did Haggai and Zechariah play in the rebuilding of the temple?
In light of Haggai 1 what else might have contributed to the Temple not receiving attention from the people?
A second appeal is made to the Persian king, this time Darius. In the letter to Darius, a defense on the part of the builders is recorded. What do you notice about the attitude of the builders as described in 5:11? (Their entire statement is found in 5:11-17.)
How does Darius judge the matter of the building of the temple?
Describe the completion of the temple and the celebration at its dedication.