on the prompt rebuilding of the temple, was designed to shame the people into beginning the work despite obstacles. The date
was late August, 520 B.C.E.
Darius began his reign as Persian emperor in 522. The Persians allowed Zerubbabel and Joshua to share in the local rule, dividing the civil and priestly offices between them (see Ezra 5.1–2; Zech. chs. 3–4
According to Ezra chs. 3–4
, though the returned exiles began to rebuild the temple on first coming to Jerusalem, they were compelled to stop.
The nation's poor economic condition is attributed to the fact that the people have houses, but the LORD has not.
The date is mid-September.
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