'House' in the Bible
Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The Lord, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has charged me to build Him a house at Jerusalem in Judah.
Whoever is among you of all His people, may his God be with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem in Judah and rebuild the house of the Lord, the God of Israel, in Jerusalem; He is God.
And in any place where a survivor [of the Babylonian captivity of the Jews] sojourns, let the men of that place assist him with silver and gold, with goods and beasts, besides freewill offerings for the house of God in Jerusalem.
Then rose up the heads of the fathers' houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and Levites, with all those whose spirits God had stirred up, to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord in Jerusalem.
Also Cyrus the king brought out the vessels of the house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought from Jerusalem [when he took that city] and had put in the house of his gods.
The priests: the sons of Jedaiah, of the house of Jeshua, 973.
The Levites: the sons of Jeshua and Kadmiel, of the house of Hodaviah, 74.
Some of the heads of families, when they came to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, made freewill offerings for the house of God to [re]build it on its site.
In the second year of their coming to God's house at Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak made a beginning, with the rest of their brethren -- "the priests and Levites and all who had come to Jerusalem out of the captivity. They appointed the Levites from twenty years old and upward to oversee the work of the Lord's house.
Then Jeshua with his sons and his kinsmen, Kadmiel and his sons, sons of Judah, together took the oversight of the workmen in the house of God -- "the sons of Henadad, with their sons and Levite kinsmen.
They sang responsively, praising and giving thanks to the Lord, saying, For He is good, for His mercy and loving-kindness endure 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!
But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house [Solomon's temple], when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice, though many shouted aloud for joy.
But Zerubbabel and Jeshua and the rest of the heads of fathers' houses of Israel said to them, You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves will together build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus, the king of Persia, has commanded us.
Then the work on the house of God in Jerusalem stopped. It stopped until the second year of Darius king of Persia.
Then rose up Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel [heir to the throne of Judah] and Jeshua son of Jozadak and began to build the house of God in Jerusalem; and with them were the prophets of God [Haggai and Zechariah], helping them.
Then Tattenai, governor on the west side of the [Euphrates] River, and Shethar-bozenai and their companions came to them and said, Who authorized you to build this house and to restore this wall?
Be it known to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to the house of the great God. It is being built with huge stones, with timber laid in the walls; this work goes on with diligence and care and prospers in their hands.
Then we asked those elders, Who authorized you to build this house and restore these walls?
They replied, We are servants of the God of heaven and earth, rebuilding the house which was erected and finished many years ago by a great king of Israel.
But after our fathers had provoked the God of heaven to wrath, He gave them into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who destroyed this house and carried the people away into Babylon.
But in the first year of Cyrus king of Babylon, the same King Cyrus made a decree to rebuild this house of God.
And the vessels also of gold and silver of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought into the temple of Babylon, King Cyrus took from the temple of Babylon and delivered to a man named Sheshbazzar, whom he had made governor.
And King Cyrus said to him, Go, take these vessels to Jerusalem and carry them into the temple, and let the house of God be built upon its site.
Then came this Sheshbazzar and laid the foundation of the house of God in Jerusalem; and since that time until now it has been in the process of being rebuilt and is not completed yet.
So now, if it seems good to the king, let a search be made in the royal archives there in Babylon to see if it is true that King Cyrus issued a decree to build this house of God at Jerusalem; and let the king send us his pleasure in this matter.
Then King Darius decreed, and a search was made in Babylonia in the house where the treasured records were stored.
In the first year of King Cyrus, [he] made a decree: Concerning the house of God in Jerusalem, let the house, the place where they offer sacrifices, be built, and let its foundations be strongly laid, its height and its breadth each 60 cubits,
Also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple in Jerusalem, each put in its place in the house of God.
Leave the work on this house of God alone; let the governor and the elders of the Jews build this house of God on its site.
Moreover, I make a decree as to what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God: the cost is to be paid in full to these men at once from the king's revenue, the tribute of the province [west of] the River, that they may not be hindered.
Also I make a decree that whoever shall change or infringe on this order, let a beam be pulled from his house and erected; then let him be fastened to it, and let his house be made a dunghill for this.
May the God Who has caused His Name to dwell there overthrow all kings and peoples who put forth their hands to alter this or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be executed speedily and exactly.
And this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
And the Israelites -- "the priests, the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles -- "celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy.
They offered at the dedication of this house of God 100 young bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and, for a sin offering for all Israel, 12 he-goats, according to the number of Israel's tribes.
They kept the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days with joy, for the Lord had made them joyful and had turned the heart of the king of Assyria [referring to Darius king of Persia] to them, so that he strengthened their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel.
And all the silver and gold that you may find in all the province of Babylonia, with the freewill offerings of the people and of the priests, offered willingly for the house of their God in Jerusalem.
Therefore you shall with all speed and exactness buy with this money young bulls, rams, lambs, with their cereal offerings and drink offerings, and offer them on the altar of the house of your God in Jerusalem.
The vessels also that are given to you for the service of the house of your God, those deliver before the God of Jerusalem.
And whatever more shall be needful for the house of your God which you shall have occasion to provide, provide it out of the king's treasury.
Whatever is commanded by the God of heaven, let it be done diligently and honorably for the house of the God of heaven, lest His wrath be against the realm of the king and his sons.
Also we notify you that as to any of the priests and Levites, singers, gatekeepers, temple servants, or other servants of this house of God, it shall not be lawful to impose tribute, custom, or toll on them.
Blessed be the Lord, the God of our fathers [said Ezra], Who put such a thing as this into the king's heart, to beautify the house of the Lord in Jerusalem,
And I sent them to Iddo, the leading man at the place Casiphia, telling them to say to Iddo and his brethren the Nethinim [temple servants] at the place Casiphia, Bring to us servants for the house of our God.
And weighed out to them the silver, the gold, and the vessels, the offering for the house of our God which the king, his counselors, his lords, and all Israel there present had offered.
Guard and keep them until you weigh them before the chief priests and Levites and heads of the fathers' houses of Israel in Jerusalem in the chambers of the house of the Lord.
So the priests and the Levites received the weight of the silver, the gold, and the vessels to bring them to Jerusalem into the house of our God.
On the fourth day, the silver, the gold, and the vessels were weighed in the house of our God into the hands of Meremoth the priest, son of Uriah, and with him was Eleazar son of Phinehas, and with them were Jozabad son of Jeshua and Noadiah son of Binnui -- "the Levites.
And they delivered the king's commissions to the king's lieutenants and to the governors west of the River, and they aided the people and God's house.
For we are bondmen; yet our God has not forsaken us in our bondage, but has extended mercy and steadfast love to us before the kings of Persia, to give us some reviving to set up the house of our God, to repair its ruins, and to give us a wall [of protection] in Judah and Jerusalem.
Now while Ezra prayed and made confession, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there gathered to him out of Israel a very great assembly of men, women, and children; for the people wept bitterly.
Then Ezra came from before the house of God and went into the lodging place of Jehohanan son of Eliashib [for the night]. There he ate no bread and drank no water, for he mourned over the returned exiles' faithlessness [and violation of God's law].
Then all the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered at Jerusalem within three days. It was the twentieth day of the ninth month, and all the people sat in the open space before the house of God, trembling because of this matter and because of the heavy rain.
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