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6 . In what Manner did they lay the Foundation of the Temple ?

A. While the Builders laid the Foundation, the Priests and the Levites sung and praised the Lord with Trumpets, and other Instruments, after the Ordinance of David, Ezra iii. 10, 11.

7 Q. What remarkable Occurrences attended the laying of the Foundation of the Temple ?

A. While the younger Part of the People shouted for Joy, many of the ancient Fathers wept with a loud Voice, when they remembered how much more glorious the first Temple was than the second was like to be, ver. 12, 13. and Hag. ii. 3. Here it may be observed, that though the Foundation

of the second Temple stood on the same Compass of Ground as the first, yet a Company of poor Exiles, returning from a long Captivity, could not promise or hope tor fo glorious a Building as the Temple of Solomon, neither in the Richnels of the Materials, nor in the Magnificence and Curiosity of the Work

manship. See Ďr Prideaux's Connection, Vol.I. p. 143. The Jews also generally suppose five Things to be

wanting in the second Temple, after it was finished, which did belong to the first; namely, (1.) The Ark of the Covenant, and the Mercy-seat, which was upon it, with the Cherubs of Gold, together with the Tables of Stone in which the Law was written, which were in the Ark when it was brought into Solomon's Temple, 1 Kings viii. ç. 2 Chron. v. ic. though one would think they should have made an Ark and a Mercy-seat, before which the High Priest should officiate once a Year. Some learned Men suppose there was such an Ark made, and that Ezra's corre&t Copy of the Bible was laid up in it: and that it is in Imitation of this, that the present Jews in all their Synagogues have such an Ark or Coffer, wherein they keep the Law. (2.) The Shechinah,or Divine Presence,inaCloud of Glory on the Mercy-seat. (3.) The Urim and Thummim,

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whence the Oracle came, or Divine Answers to their Inquiries. (4.) The holy Fire-upon the Al. tar, which came from Heaven. (5.) The Spirit of Prophecy. For though Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi' lived while the second Temple was building, and prophesied after it was built, yet on their Death the prophetic Spirit ceased from

8 Q. What was the first Hindrance they found in the Building of the Temple?

A. The Samaritans desired to join with them in their Building, and because the Jews forbid them, they gave them continual Trouble in the Days of Cyrus, Ezra iv. 1-5.

9 Q. What was the second Hindrance they met with ?

A When Artaxerxes the first came to the Throne of Persia, these People wrote an Accusation against the Jews, that the City of Jerusalem had been rebellious in former Times; whereupon Artaxerxes caused the Work to cease till the second Year of Darius, ver. 7-24. Note, This was not Darius, the first King, and he who

took Babylon, and released Daniel from the Lions
Den; but another, who reigned several Years af-
ter him, and was called Darius Hyltaspes, as the
best Authors assert : And this also was long before
that Darius whom Alexander subdued, and put an

End to the Persian Kingdom.
Here let it be observed in general, that it is not a very

easy Matter for learned Men to agree exactly in ad.
justing the Time of all these Events, and the parti-
cular Accomplishment of every Prophecy, because
there were several Kings of the same Name; as,
three or four Artaxerxes's, and three or more Dari-
us's, &c. And there were four Decrees from the
Kings of Persia in favour of the Jews : The first
from Cyrus to Zerubbabel, or Shelbazzar, a Prince
of Judah, Ezra i, 1-8. The second from Darius the

ond, to the Enemies of the Jews, to forbid their

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Hindrance of the Work, Ezra vi. 1-7. The third from Artaxerxes the Second to Ezra, recorded in Ezra vii. 11. The fourth from the fame Artaxerxes. to Nehemiah, written in Nehem. ii. 1-9.

10 Q. Who persuaded the Jews to go on with their Work under the Reign of this Darius ?

A. The Prophets of God which were with them, encouraged and required them in the Name of the Lord, to go on with the work of the Temple; for several of them were too negligent, and God punished them for it with Scarcity of Corn and Wine, Ezra v. 1, 2. Hag. i. 2-11. Zech. i. 7, &c. and chap. iii, and iv.

IIQ What Encouragement did they meet with from the Perfian Court?

A. The Governors of the Provinces at this Time seeing them renew their Buildings, sent to enquire concerning the Order which Cyrus gave for it: And Darius having found this Order among the Records of Babylon, gave a fresh Command for the Rebuilding of the House of God, Ezra V. 3-17. and chap. vi. 1-14.

12 Q. When was the Temple finished ?

A. Through many Delays, arising partly from the Negligence of the Jews, partly from the Oppofition of their Enemies, it was twenty Years in building : Nor was it finished till the sixth Year of the Reign of Darius, at which Time they dedicated it with many Sacrifices, and kept the Passover with Joy, Ezra vi. 15–22. Here it may be worthy of our Observation, that the

threatened Destruction of Babylon kept Pace with the promised Restoration and Joy of the Jews. It was Cyrus, who, as General of the Army of Darius the First, took Babylon by Siege, with Blood and Slaughter, who also released the captive Jews, when he came to be King of Persia. . Then the River was turned in upon the Country round it: which Isaiah foretold, chap. xiv. 23. And it became a Pofeffion for Bitterns, and Pools of Water and the Sea covered it. Yet Babylon was not then destroyed. But when the Babylonians revolted, in the fifth Year of Darius Hyftaspes, and he belieged them with a vait Army, their Desolation was very great. They themselves flew almost all their Women and young Children, to maketheir Provisions hold out. Then the Prophecy of Isaiah was fulfilled, chap. xlvii. 9. Two Things shall come to them in one Day, the Lofs of Children, and Widowhood. Darius took the City in the End of the fixth Year of his Reign, (at which Time the Jewish Temple was finished;) he gave them

up

to the Plunder of his Persian Army, impaled Three thousand, who were chief Actors in the Revolt, beat their Walls down from three hundred Cubits high, to fifty Cubits. After this, Babylon languished a while, and at last ended in a perpetual Desolation.

13 Q. What farther Encouragement did the Jews receive from another King Artaxerxes ?

1. Artaxerxes, the second King of Perfia, gave Ezra the Priest and Scribe a Letter and Decree, to encourage the Jews yet remaining in Babylon, to go up to Jerusalem and establish the Worthip of the true God there, Ezra vii. 11-26. Note, This second Artaxerxes is supposed by Dr Pri

deaux to be Artaxerxes Longimanus, as the Hea. then Historian calls him; and to be that fame Ahasuerus who made Esther his Queen, and so became very friendly to the Jews.

14 Q. How did the King enable them to fulfil this Decree?

A. The King and his Counsellors freely offered much Silver and Gold for this work, and being sensible of the Greatness and Power of the God of the Jews, whom he calls The God of Heaven, he sought to secure his Favour for himself and his Family, and pronounced a speedy Sentence of Death,

Banishment, Lofs of Goods, or Imprisonment, on those who should dare to hinder this Building, ver: 15-17, 23, 26.

15 Q. What did Ezra do in his Journey to Jerufalem ?

A. He proclaimed a Day of Fasting and Prayer, to feek the Alistance of God, for he was ashamed to ask the King for Soldiers to be their Guard, becaufe he had told the King of the Power and the Mercy of their God, Ezra viii. 21, 22. 16 Ó

What did Ezra do when he came to Jerufalem ?

A. He delivered the Orders of the King to the Governors of the Provinces, and the Gold and Silver to those who had the Care of the Building, and fo promoted the Work, ver. 33–36.

17 What Reformation did Ezra work among the People?

A. When he was informed that many of the Jews had mingled themselves in Marriages with the Heathens, he, together with the more religious Part of the Jews, humbled themselves before God for all their former Iniquities, in an excellent Prayer, and brought them into a Covenant and an Oath to put away their strange Wives, Ezrach. ix, and x. Note, None.of the Jews of either Sex mightmarry with

Gentile of any Nation, unless they were made Profelytes: And even then, they suppose the Canaanites of the seven Nations, (Deut. vii.) and the Males among the Moabites and Ammonites, to be excluded for ever; as they interpret Deut. xxiii. 3. 180. Did the Jews rebuild the City of Jerusalemd

4. Yes, for the Babylonian Army had broke down the Walls, and burnt the Gates ofit, Neb. i. 3.

19Q. Whom did God raise up to carry on the rebuilding the City ?

A. Nehemiah

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