Chapters 4 and 5 refer to both the building of the Temple and the construction of the wall; and discuss the opposition that the Jews ran into – despite Cyrus’s decree. The reign of Cyrus ended upon his death in 530 BC, and the construction of the Temple was halted due to that opposition for more than 15 years. In chapter 6, by the time that Darius became king, the record of the decree of Cyrus was in question as to whether it had actually taken place. So Darius made a decree that it would be searched for. Verses 3-12 detail the additional orders that Darius decreed concerning the construction, once the record of the decree of Cyrus was found.
Verses 13-22 mark the completion of the Temple (as verse 15 notes that it was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius, that would be about 515 BC). Then the text describes its dedication and the celebration of Passover. Verse 14 emphasizes that completion of the Temple was really influenced by the will of God, speaking through His prophets Haggai (Haggai 1:1-11) and Zechariah (Zechariah 1:7-17).
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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