Once the people resumed the work of rebuilding the Temple, potential opposition surfaced. This time the opposition came from meddling politicians. When these Persian politicians arrived at the construction site, they asked to see the building permit and wanted the names of every member of the building committee. Fortunately for the Jews, God was watching over them and they were allowed to continue the work, pending an official investigation into the legality of their work.
Tattenai, a Persian governor, wrote a letter to King Darius explaining the situation and asked that a search of the archives be conducted to see if Cyrus had indeed issued a building permit to the Jews for the reconstruction of their Temple. A search of the archives was conducted and yielded the proclamation that Cyrus had issued, allowing the Jews the right to rebuild their Temple. King Darius then responded to Tattenai’s letter by telling him to stop meddling with the Jews and allow them to finish their work.
King Darius must have stunned Tattenai when he went so far as to issue his own marvelous proclamation regarding the rebuilding project.
First, Darius instructed Tattenai that the work was to be financially supported from the royal treasury “without delay” (Ezra 6:8).
Second, Darius decreed that the Jews were to be supplied with whatever they needed to offer acceptable sacrifices to God (Ezra 6:9-10). Part of the motivation behind this order was that the Jews might pray “for the life of the king and his sons.”
Third, Darius decreed that any man who violated his decree would be impaled on a timber from his own house and experience the wrath of God.
According to Ezra 6:13-15, Tattenai and his colleagues “carried out the decree with all diligence.” As a result, the Jews were successful in completing the work of rebuilding the Temple by the “sixth year of the reign of King Darius,” twenty-one years after the foundation had been laid or four and one-half years after Haggai and Zechariah motivated the people to resume the work.
After the Temple was completed, the Jews “celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.” Five weeks after the Temple was dedicated the Jews observed the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Ezra was careful to point out that all of this was done with joy (Ezra 6:16 and 22). This was indeed a memorable and joyous time for the Jews who once again had a Temple in which to worship and offer sacrifices.
The accomplishment of God’s will brings great joy to His people.
After the successful completion of the Temple, the people celebrated with joy. In fact, “the Lord caused them to rejoice” (Ezra 6:22). There is joy in faithfully serving the Lord and performing His will.