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Topical Scripture [L6b]

Scripture / Parables Section | Topical Scripture: Alphabetical | Categorized

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Topical Scripture

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[L6b]

L | L1 | L2a | L2b | L3 | L4a | L4b | L5 | L6a | L6b | L6c | L7a | L7b | L7c | L8

Lord's house / dwelling / God's house / dwelling / temple, continued

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After the twenty years during which Solomon built the house of the LORD and his own house, he built up the cities which Huram had given him, and settled Israelites there. [2CHRON 8:1-2]

All of Solomon's work was carried out successfully from the day the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid until the house of the LORD had been completed in every detail. [2CHRON 8:16]

When Athaliah, mother of Ahaziah, learned that her son was dead, she proceeded to kill off all the royal offspring of the house of Judah. But Jehosheba, a royal princess, secretly took Ahaziah's son Joash from among the king's sons who were about to be slain, and put him and his nurse in a bedroom. In this way Jehosheba, who was the daughter of King Jehoram, a sister of Ahaziah, and wife of Jehoiada the priest, hid the child from Athaliah's sight, so that she did not put him to death. For six years he remained hidden with them in the house of God, while Athaliah ruled over the land. [2CHRON 22:10-12]

In the seventh year, Jehoiada took courage and entered a conspiracy with certain captains: Azariah, son of Jehoram; Ishmael, son of Jehohanan; Azariah, son of Obed; Masseiah, son of Adaiah; and Elishaphat, son of Zichri. They journeyed about Judah, gathering the Levites from all the cities of Judah and also the heads of the Israelite families. When they had come to Jerusalem, the whole assembly made a covenant with the king in the house of God. Jehoiada said to them: "Here is the king's son who must reign, as the LORD promised concerning the sons of David. This is what you must do: a third of your number, both priests and Levites, who come in on the sabbath must guard the thresholds, another third must be at the king's palace, and the final third at the Foundation Gate, when all the people will be in the courts of the LORD'S temple. Let no one enter the LORD'S house except the priests and those Levites who are ministering. They may enter because they are holy; but all the other people must observe the prescriptions of the LORD. The Levites shall surround the king on all sides, each with his weapon drawn. Whoever tries to enter the house must be slain. Stay with the king wherever he goes." The Levites and all Judah did just as Jehoiada the priest commanded. Each brought his men, those who were to come in on the sabbath as well as those who were to depart on the sabbath, since Jehoiada the priest had not dismissed any of the divisions. Jehoiada the priest gave the captains the spears, shields and bucklers of King David which were in the house of God. He stationed all the people, each with his spear in hand, from the southern to the northern extremity of the enclosure, around the altar and the temple on the king's behalf. Then they brought out the king's son, set the crown and the insignia upon him, and made him king. Jehoiada and his sons anointed him, and they cried, "Long live the king!" When Athaliah heard the din of the people running and acclaiming the king, she went to the people in the temple of the LORD. She looked, and there was the king standing beside his pillar at the entrance, the officers and the trumpeters around him, and all the people of the land rejoicing and blowing trumpets, while the singers with their musical instruments were leading the acclaim. Athaliah tore her garments and cried out, "Treason! treason!" Then Jehoiada the priest sent out the captains who were in command of the army; he said to them: "Take her outside through the ranks, and if anyone tries to follow her, let him die by the sword. For," the priest continued, "you must not put her to death in the LORD'S temple." So they seized her, and when she arrived at the entrance to the Horse Gate of the palace, they put her to death there. Then Jehoiada made a covenant between himself and all the people and the king, that they should be the LORD'S people. And all the people went to the temple of Baal and tore it down. They smashed its altars and images, and they slew Mattan, the priest of Baal, before the altars. Then Jehoiada gave the charge of the LORD'S temple into the hands of the levitical priests... Moreover, he stationed guards at the gates of the LORD'S temple so that no one unclean in any respect might enter. Then he took the captains, the nobles, the rulers among the people, and all the people of the land, and led the king out of the LORD'S house. When they had come within the upper gate of the king's house, they seated the king upon the royal throne. All the people of the land rejoiced and the city was quiet, now that Athaliah had been put to death by the sword. [Taken from 2CHRON 23:1-21]

After some time, Joash decided to restore the LORD'S temple. He called together the priests and Levites and said to them: "Go out to all the cities of Judah and collect money from all Israel that you may repair the house of your God over the years. You must hasten this affair." But the Levites did not hasten. Then the king summoned Jehoiada, who was in charge, and said to him: "Why have you not required the Levites to bring in from Judah and Jerusalem the tax levied by Moses, the servant of the LORD, and by the assembly of Israel, for the tent of the testimony?" For the wicked Athaliah and her sons had damaged the house of God and had even turned over to the Baals the dedicated resources of the LORD'S temple. At the king's command, therefore, they made a chest, which they put outside the gate of the LORD'S temple. They had it proclaimed throughout Judah and Jerusalem that the tax which Moses, the servant of God, had imposed on Israel in the desert should be brought to the LORD. All the princes and the people rejoiced; they brought what was asked and cast it into the chest until it was filled. Whenever the chest was brought to the royal officials by the Levites and they saw that it contained much money, the royal scribe and an overseer for the high priest came, emptied the chest, then took it back and returned it to its place. This they did day after day until they had collected a large sum of money. Then the king and Jehoiada gave it to the workmen in charge of the labor on the LORD'S temple, who hired masons and carpenters to restore the temple, and also iron-and bronze-smiths to repair it. The workmen labored, and the task of restoration progressed under their hands. They restored the house of God according to its original form, and reinforced it. [2CHRON 24:4-13]

Jehoiada lived to a ripe old age; he was a hundred and thirty years old when he died. He was buried in the City of David with the kings, because he had done good in Israel, in particular with respect to God and his temple. [2CHRON 24:16]

After the death of Jehoiada, the princes of Judah came and paid homage to the king, and the king then listened to them. They forsook the temple of the LORD, the God of their fathers, and began to serve the sacred poles and the idols; and because of this crime of theirs, wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem. [2CHRON 24:17-18]

But after he had become strong, he became proud to his own destruction and broke faith with the LORD, his God. He entered the temple of the LORD to make an offering on the altar of incense. But Azariah the priest, and with him eighty other priests of the LORD, courageous men, followed him. They opposed King Uzziah, saying to him: "It is not for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD, but for the priests, the sons of Aaron, who have been consecrated for this purpose. Leave the sanctuary, for you have broken faith and no longer have a part in the glory that comes from the LORD God." Uzziah, who was holding a censer for burning the incense, became angry, but at the moment he showed his anger to the priests, while they were looking at him in the house of the LORD beside the altar of incense, leprosy broke out on his forehead. Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests examined him, and when they saw that his forehead was leprous, they expelled him from the temple. He himself fled willingly, for the LORD had afflicted him. King Uzziah remained a leper to the day of his death. As a leper he dwelt in a segregated house, for he was excluded from the house of the LORD. Therefore his son Jotham was regent of the palace and ruled the people of the land. [2CHRON 26:16-21]

Jotham was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned sixteen years in Jerusalem. His mother was named Jerusa, daughter of Zadok. He pleased the LORD just as his father Uzziah had done, though he did not enter the temple of the LORD; the people, however, continued to act sinfully. He built the upper gate of the LORD'S house and had much construction done on the wall of Ophel. [2CHRON 27:1-3]

Though Ahaz plundered the LORD'S house and the houses of the king and the princes to make payment to the king of Assyria, it availed him nothing. [2CHRON 28:21]

Ahaz gathered up the utensils of God's house and broke them in pieces. He closed the doors of the LORD'S house and had altars made for himself in every corner of Jerusalem. [2CHRON 28:24]

Hezekiah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned twenty-nine years in Jerusalem. His mother was named Abia, daughter of Zechariah. He pleased the LORD just as his forefather David had done. It was he who, in the first month of the first year of his reign, opened the doors of the LORD'S house and repaired them. He summoned the priests and Levites, gathered them in the open space to the east, and said to them: "Listen to me, you Levites! Sanctify yourselves now and sanctify the house of the LORD, the God of your fathers, and clean out the filth from the sanctuary. Our fathers acted faithlessly and did evil in the eyes of the LORD, our God. They abandoned him, turned away their faces from the LORD'S dwelling, and turned their backs on him... Therefore the anger of the LORD has come upon Judah and Jerusalem; he has made them an object of terror, astonishment and mockery, as you see with your own eyes." [2CHRON 29:1-6,8]

They gathered their brethren together and sanctified themselves; then they came as the king had ordered, to cleanse the LORD'S house in keeping with his words. The priests entered the interior of the LORD'S house to cleanse it; and whatever they found in the LORD'S temple that was unclean they brought out to the court of the LORD'S house, where the Levites took it from them and carried it out to the Kidron Valley. They began the work of consecration on the first day of the first month, and on the eighth day of the month they arrived at the vestibule of the LORD; they consecrated the LORD'S house during eight days, and on the sixteenth day of the first month, they had finished. Then they went inside to King Hezekiah and said: "We have cleansed the entire house of the LORD... All the articles which King Ahaz during his reign had thrown away because of his apostasy, we have restored and consecrated, and they are now before the LORD'S altar." [Taken from 2CHRON 29:15-19]

He stationed the Levites in the LORD'S house with cymbals, harps and lyres according to the prescriptions of David, of Gad the king's seer, and of Nathan the prophet; for the prescriptions were from the LORD through his prophets. [2CHRON 29:25]

Hezekiah sent a message to all Israel and Judah, and even wrote letters to Ephraim and Manasseh saying that they should come to the house of the LORD in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover in honor of the LORD, the God of Israel. [2CHRON 30:1]

There was great rejoicing in Jerusalem, for since the days of Solomon, son of David, king of Israel, there had not been the like in the city. Then the levitical priests rose and blessed the people; their voice was heard and their prayer reached heaven, God's holy dwelling. [2CHRON 30:26-27]

There was also a register by ancestral houses of males thirty years of age and over, for all priests who were eligible to enter the house of the LORD according to the daily rule to fulfill their service in the order of their classes. The priests were inscribed in their family records according to their ancestral houses, and the Levites of twenty years and over according to their various offices and classes. [2CHRON 31:16-17]

This Hezekiah did in all Judah. He did what was good, upright and faithful before the LORD, his God. Everything that he undertook, for the service of the house of God or for the law and the commandments, was to do the will of his God. He did this wholeheartedly, and he prospered. [2CHRON 31:20-21]

Manasseh was twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the LORD, following the abominable practices of the nations whom the LORD had cleared out of the way of the Israelites. He rebuilt the high places which his father Hezekiah had torn down, erected altars for the Baals, made sacred poles, and prostrated himself before the whole host of heaven and worshiped them. He even built altars in the temple of the LORD, of which the LORD had said, "In Jerusalem shall my name be forever": he built altars to the whole host of heaven in the two courts of the LORD'S house. [2CHRON 33:1-5]

In the eighteenth year of his reign, in order to cleanse the temple as well as the land, he sent Shaphan, son of Azaliah, Maaseiah, the ruler of the city, and Joah, son of Joahaz, the chamberlain, to restore the house of the LORD, his God. [2CHRON 34:8]

He reappointed the priests to their duties and encouraged them in the service of the LORD'S house. He said to the Levites who were to instruct all Israel, and who were consecrated to the LORD: "Put the holy ark in the house built by Solomon, son of David, king of Israel. It shall no longer be a burden on your shoulders. Serve now the LORD, your God, and his people Israel. Prepare yourselves in your ancestral houses and your classes according to the prescriptions of King David of Israel and his son Solomon. Stand in the sanctuary according to the divisions of the ancestral houses of your brethren, the common people, so that the distribution of the Levites and the families may be the same." [2CHRON 35:2-5]

After Josiah had done all this to restore the temple, Neco, king of Egypt, came up to fight at Carchemish on the Euphrates, and Josiah went out to intercept him. [2CHRON 35:20]

Likewise all the princes of Judah, the priests and the people added infidelity to infidelity, practicing all the abominations of the nations and polluting the LORD'S temple which he had consecrated in Jerusalem. Early and often did the LORD, the God of their fathers, send his messengers to them, for he had compassion on his people and his dwelling place. But they mocked the messengers of God, despised his warnings, and scoffed at his prophets, until the anger of the LORD against his people was so inflamed that there was no remedy. Then he brought up against them the king of the Chaldeans, who slew their young men in their own sanctuary building, sparing neither young man nor maiden, neither the aged nor the decrepit; he delivered all of them over into his grip. All the utensils of the house of God, the large and the small, and the treasures of the LORD'S house and of the king and his princes, all these he brought to Babylon. They burnt the house of God, tore down the walls of Jerusalem, set all its palaces afire, and destroyed all its precious objects. Those who escaped the sword he carried captive to Babylon, where they became his and his sons' servants until the kingdom of the Persians came to power. All this was to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah: "Until the land has retrieved its lost sabbaths, during all the time it lies waste it shall have rest while seventy years are fulfilled." [2CHRON 36:14-21]

Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites - everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so - prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem. [EZRA 1:5]

When they arrived at the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, some of the family heads made free-will offerings for the house of God, to rebuild it in its place. According to their means they contributed to the treasury for the temple service: sixty-one thousand drachmas of gold, five thousand minas of silver, and one hundred garments for the priests. [EZRA 2:68-69]

In the year after their coming to the house of God in Jerusalem, in the second month, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, son of Jozadak, together with the rest of their brethren, the priests and Levites and all who had come from the captivity to Jerusalem, began by appointing the Levites twenty years of age and over to supervise the work on the house of the LORD. Jeshua and his sons and brethren, with Kadmiel and Binnui, son of Henadad, and their sons and their brethren, the Levites, stood as one man to supervise those who were engaged in the work on the house of God. When the builders had laid the foundation of the LORD'S temple, the vested priests with the trumpets and the Levites, sons of Asaph, were stationed there with the cymbals to praise the LORD in the manner laid down by David, king of Israel. They alternated in songs of praise and thanksgiving to the LORD, "for he is good, for his kindness to Israel endures forever"; and all the people raised a great shout of joy, praising the LORD because the foundation of the LORD'S house had been laid. Many of the priests, Levites, and family heads, the old men who had seen the former house, cried out in sorrow as they watched the foundation of the present house being laid. Many others, however, lifted up their voices in shouts of joy, and no one could distinguish the sound of the joyful shouting from the sound of those who were weeping; for the people raised a mighty clamor which was heard afar off. [EZRA 3:8-13]

When the enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building a temple for the LORD, the God of Israel, they approached Zerubbabel and the family heads and said to them, "Let us build with you, for we seek your God just as you do..." But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the family heads of Israel answered them, "It is not your responsibility to build with us a house for our God, but we alone must build it for the LORD, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus of Persia has commanded us." Thereupon the people of the land set out to intimidate and dishearten the people of Judah so as to keep them from building. They also suborned counselors to work against them and thwart their plans during the remaining years of Cyrus, king of Persia, and until the reign of Darius, king of Persia. [Taken from EZRA 4:1-5]

Thus it was that the work on the house of God in Jerusalem was halted. This inaction lasted until the second year of the reign of Darius, king of Persia. [EZRA 4:24]

Then the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo, began to prophesy to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel. Thereupon Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua, son of Jozadak, began again to build the house of God in Jerusalem, with the prophets of God giving them support. At that time there came to them Tattenai, governor of West-of-Euphrates, and Shethar-bozenai, and their fellow officials, who asked of them: "Who issued the decree for you to build this house and raise this edifice? What are the names of the men who are building this structure?" But their God watched over the elders of the Jews so that they were not hindered, until a report could go to Darius and then a written order be sent back concerning this matter. A copy of the letter sent to King Darius by Tattenai, governor of West-of-Euphrates, and Shethar-bozenai, and their fellow officials from West-of-Euphrates; they sent him a report in which was written the following: "To King Darius, all good wishes! Let it be known to the king that we have visited the province of Judah and the house of the great God: it is being rebuilt of cut stone and the walls are being reinforced with timber; the work is being carried on diligently and is making good progress under their hands. We then questioned the elders, addressing to them the following words: 'Who issued the decree for you to build this house and raise this edifice?' We also asked them their names, to report them to you in a list of the men who are their leaders. This was their answer to us: 'We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house built here long years ago, which a great king of Israel built and finished. But because our fathers provoked the wrath of the God of heaven, he delivered them into the power of the Chaldean, Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, who destroyed this house and led the people captive to Babylon. However, in the first year of Cyrus, king of Babylon, King Cyrus issued a decree for the rebuilding of this house of God. Moreover, the gold and silver utensils of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar had taken from the temple in Jerusalem and carried off to the temple in Babylon, King Cyrus ordered to be removed from the temple in Babylon and consigned to a certain Sheshbazzar, whom he named governor. And he commanded him: Take these utensils and deposit them in the temple of Jerusalem, and let the house of God be rebuilt on its former site. Then this same Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God in Jerusalem. Since that time the building has been going on, and it is not yet completed.' Now, if it please the king, let a search be made in the royal archives of Babylon to discover whether a decree really was issued by King Cyrus for the rebuilding of this house of God in Jerusalem. And may the king's pleasure in this matter be communicated to us." [EZRA 5:1-17]

In the first year of King Cyrus, King Cyrus issued a decree: The house of God in Jerusalem. The house is to be rebuilt... Its height is to be sixty cubits and its width sixty cubits. It shall have three courses of cut stone for each one of timber. The costs are to be borne by the royal palace. Also, the gold and silver utensils of the house of God which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple of Jerusalem and brought to Babylon are to be sent back: to be returned to their place in the temple of Jerusalem and deposited in the house of God. "Now, therefore, Tattenai, governor of West-of-Euphrates, and Shethar-bozenai, and you, their fellow officials in West-of-Euphrates, do not interfere in that place. Let the governor and the elders of the Jews continue the work on that house of God; they are to rebuild it on its former site. I also issue this decree concerning your dealing with these elders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that house of God: From the royal revenue, the taxes of West-of-Euphrates, let these men be repaid for their expenses, in full and without delay. And may the God who causes his name to dwell there overthrow every king or people who may undertake to alter this or to destroy this house of God in Jerusalem. I, Darius, have issued this decree; let it be carefully executed." Then Tattenai, the governor of West-of-Euphrates, and Shethar-bozenai, and their fellow officials carried out fully the instructions King Darius had sent them. The elders of the Jews continued to make progress in the building, supported by the message of the prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, son of Iddo. They finished the building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus and Darius (and of Artaxerxes, king of Persia). They completed this house on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius. The Israelites - priests, Levites, and the other returned exiles - celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. [EZRA 6:3-8,12-16]

They joyfully kept the feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days, for the LORD had filled them with joy by making the king of Assyria favorable to them, so that he gave them help in their work on the house of God, the God of Israel. [EZRA 6:22]

This is a copy of the rescript which King Artaxerxes gave to Ezra the priest-scribe, the scribe of the text of the LORD'S commandments and statutes for Israel: "Artaxerxes, king of kings, to Ezra the priest, scribe of the law of the God of heaven (then, after greetings): I have issued this decree, that anyone in my kingdom belonging to the people of Israel, its priests or Levites, who is minded to go up to Jerusalem with you, may do so. You are the envoy from the king and his seven counselors to supervise Judah and Jerusalem in respect of the law of your God which is in your possession, and to bring with you the silver and gold which the king and his counselors have freely contributed to the God of Israel, whose dwelling is in Jerusalem, as well as all the silver and gold which you may receive throughout the province of Babylon, together with the free-will offerings which the people and priests freely contribute for the house of their God in Jerusalem... Whatever else you may be required to supply for the needs of the house of your God, you may draw from the royal treasury. I, Artaxerxes the king, issue this decree to all the treasurers of West-of-Euphrates: Whatever Ezra the priest, scribe of the law of the God of heaven, requests of you, dispense to him accurately, within these limits: silver, one hundred talents; wheat, one hundred kors; wine, one hundred baths; oil, one hundred baths; salt, without limit. Let everything that is ordered by the God of heaven be carried out exactly for the house of the God of heaven, that wrath may not come upon the realm of the king and his sons. We also inform you that it is not permitted to impose taxes, tributes, or tolls on any priest, Levite, singer, gatekeeper, temple slave, or any other servant of that house of God." [EZRA 7:11-24]

Blessed be the LORD, the God of our fathers, who thus disposed the mind of the king to glorify the house of the LORD in Jerusalem, and who let me find favor with the king, with his counselors, and with all the most influential royal officials. I therefore took courage and, with the hand of the LORD, my God, upon me, I gathered together Israelite family heads to make the return journey with me. [EZRA 7:27-28]

For slaves we are, but in our servitude our God has not abandoned us; rather, he has turned the good will of the kings of Persia toward us. Thus he has given us new life to raise again the house of our God and restore its ruins, and has granted us a fence in Judah and Jerusalem. [EZRA 9:9]

While Ezra prayed and acknowledged their guilt, weeping and prostrate before the house of God, a very large assembly of Israelites gathered about him, men, women, and children; and the people wept profusely. [EZRA 10:1]

All the men of Judah and Benjamin gathered together in Jerusalem within the three-day period: it was in the ninth month, on the twentieth day of the month. All the people, standing in the open place before the house of God, were trembling both over the matter at hand and because it was raining. [EZRA 10:9]

I sent him this answer: "Nothing of what you report has taken place; rather, it is the invention of your own mind." They were all trying to frighten us, thinking, "Their hands will slacken in the work, and it will never be completed." But instead, I now redoubled my efforts. I went to the house of Shemaiah, son of Delaiah, son of Mehetabel, who was unable to go about, and he said: "Let us meet in the house of God, inside the temple building; let us lock the doors of the temple. For men are coming to kill you; by night they are coming to kill you." My answer was: "A man like me take flight? Can a man like me enter the temple to save his life? I will not go!" For on consideration it was plain to me that God had not sent him; rather, because Tobiah and Sanballat had bribed him, he voiced this prophecy concerning me that I might act on it out of fear and commit this sin. Then they would have had a shameful story with which to discredit me. [NEH 6:8-13]

The total of the temple slaves and the descendants of the slaves of Solomon was three hundred and ninety-two. [NEH 7:60] 

The rest of the people, priests, Levites, gatekeepers, singers, temple slaves, and all others who have separated themselves from the peoples of the lands in favor of the law of God, with their wives, their sons, their daughters, all who are of the age of discretion, join with their brethren who are their princes, and with the sanction of a curse take this oath to follow the law of God which was given through Moses, the servant of God, and to observe carefully all the commandments of the LORD, our LORD, his ordinances and his statutes. When the peoples of the land bring in merchandise or any kind of grain for sale on the sabbath day, we will not buy from them on the sabbath or on any other holyday. We will forgo the seventh year, as well as every kind of debt. We impose these commandments on ourselves: to give a third of a shekel each year for the service of the house of our God... We, priests, Levites, and people, have determined by lot concerning the procurement of wood: it is to be brought to the house of our God by each of our family houses at stated times each year, to be burnt on the altar of the LORD, our God, as the law prescribes. We have agreed to bring each year to the house of the LORD the first fruits of our fields and of our fruit trees, of whatever kind; also, as is prescribed in the law, to bring to the house of our God, to the priests who serve in the house of our God, the first-born of our children and our animals, including the first-born of our flocks and herds. The first batch of our dough, and our offerings of the fruit of every tree, of wine and of oil, we will bring to the priests, to the chambers of the house of our God. The tithe of our fields we will bring to the Levites; they, the Levites, shall take the tithe in all the cities of our service. An Aaronite priest shall be with the Levites when they take the tithe, and the Levites shall bring the tithe of the tithes to the house of our God, to the chambers of the treasury. For to these chambers the Israelites and Levites bring the offerings of grain, wine, and oil; there also are housed the utensils of the sanctuary, and the ministering priests, the gatekeepers, and the singers. We will not neglect the house of our God. [Taken from NEH 10:29-30,32-33,35-40]

I took the magistrates to task, demanding, "Why is the house of God abandoned?" Then I brought the Levites together and had them resume their stations. All Judah once more brought in the tithes of grain, wine, and oil to the storerooms; and in charge of the storerooms I appointed the priest Shelemiah, Zadok the scribe, and Pedaiah, one of the Levites, together with Hanan, son of Zaccur, son of Mattaniah, as their assistant; for these men were held to be trustworthy. It was their duty to make the distribution to their brethren. Remember this to my credit, O my God! Let not the devotion which I showed for the house of my God and its services be forgotten! [NEH 13:11-14]

Not one of all the oracles shall remain unfulfilled, but everything shall take place in the time appointed for it. So it will be safer in Media than in Assyria or Babylon. For I know and believe that whatever God has spoken will be accomplished. It shall happen, and not a single word of the prophecies shall prove false. "As for our kinsmen who dwell in Israel, they shall all be scattered and led away into exile from the Good Land. The entire country of Israel shall become desolate; even Samaria and Jerusalem shall become desolate! God's temple there shall be burnt to the ground and shall be desolate for a while. But God will again have mercy on them and bring them back to the land of Israel. They shall rebuild the temple, but it will not be like the first one, until the era when the appointed times shall be completed. Afterward all of them shall return from their exile, and they shall rebuild Jerusalem with splendor. In her the temple of God shall also be rebuilt; yes, it will be rebuilt for all generations to come, just as the prophets of Israel said of her." [Taken from TOBIT 14:4-5]

When the Israelites who dwelt in Judea heard of all that Holofernes, commander-in-chief of Nebuchadnezzar, king of the Assyrians, had done to the nations, and how he had despoiled all their temples and destroyed them, they were in extreme dread of him, and greatly alarmed for Jerusalem and the temple of the Lord, their God. Now, they had lately returned from exile, and only recently had all the people of Judea been gathered together, and the vessels, the altar, and the temple been purified from profanation. So they sent word to the whole region of Samaria, to Kona, Beth-horon, Belmain, and Jericho, to Choba and Aesora, and to the valley of Salem. The people there posted guards on all the summits of the high mountains, fortified their villages, and since their fields had recently been harvested, stored up provisions in preparation for war. All the men of Israel cried to God with great fervor and did penance - they, along with their wives, and children, and domestic animals. All their resident aliens, hired laborers, and slaves also girded themselves with sackcloth. And all the Israelite men, women and children who lived in Jerusalem prostrated themselves in front of the temple building, with ashes strewn on their heads, displaying their sackcloth covering before the Lord. The altar, too, they draped in sackcloth; and with one accord they cried out fervently to the God of Israel not to allow their children to be seized, their wives to be taken captive, the cities of their inheritance to be ruined, or the sanctuary to be profaned and mocked for the nations to gloat over. The Lord heard their cry and had regard for their distress. For the people observed a fast of many days' duration throughout Judea, and before the sanctuary of the Lord Almighty in Jerusalem. [JDTH 4:1-5,9-13]

"As long as the Israelites did not sin in the sight of their God, they prospered, for their God, who hates wickedness, was with them. But when they deviated from the way he prescribed for them, they were ground down steadily, more and more, by frequent wars, and finally taken as captives into foreign lands. The temple of their God was razed to the ground, and their cities were occupied by their enemies." [JDTH 5:17-18]

Our enslavement will not be turned to our benefit, but the Lord our God, will maintain it to our disgrace. "Therefore, my brothers, let us set an example for our kinsmen. Their lives depend on us, and the defense of the sanctuary, the temple, and the altar rests with us. Besides all this, we should be grateful to the Lord our God, for putting us to the test, as he did our forefathers. Recall how he dealt with Abraham, and how he tried Isaac, and all that happened to Jacob in Syrian Mesopotamia while he was tending the flocks of Laban, his mother's brother. Not for vengeance did the Lord put them in the crucible to try their hearts, nor has he done so with us. It is by way of admonition that he chastises those who are close to him." [JDTH 8:23-27]

Judith threw herself down prostrate, with ashes strewn upon her head, and wearing nothing over her sackcloth. While the incense was being offered in the temple of God in Jerusalem that evening, Judith prayed to the Lord with a loud voice [Taken from JDTH 9:1]

"Please, please, God of my forefather, God of the heritage of Israel, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator of the waters, King of all you have created, hear my prayer! Let my guileful speech bring wound and wale on those who have planned dire things against your covenant, your holy temple, Mount Zion, and the homes your children have inherited. Let your whole nation and all the tribes know clearly that you are the god of all power and might, and that there is no other who protects the people of Israel but you alone." [JDTH 9:12-14]

But now we have sinned in your sight, and you have delivered us into the hands of our enemies, because we worshiped their gods. You are just, O Lord. But now they are not satisfied with our bitter servitude, but have undertaken to do away with the decree you have pronounced, and to destroy your heritage; to close the mouths of those who praise you, and to extinguish the glory of your temple and your altar; to open the mouths of the heathen to acclaim their false gods, and to extol an earthly king forever. "O Lord, do not relinquish your scepter to those that are nought. Let them not gloat over our ruin, but turn their own counsel against them and make an example of our chief enemy." [ESTH C:17-22]

Then they took uncut stones, according to the law, and built a new altar like the former one. They also repaired the sanctuary and the interior of the temple and purified the courts. They made new sacred vessels and brought the lampstand, the altar of incense, and the table into the temple. Then they burned incense on the altar and lighted the lamps on the lampstand, and these illuminated the temple. They also put loaves on the table and hung up curtains. Thus they finished all the work they had undertaken. [1MACC 4:47-51]

They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests' chambers and furnished them with doors. There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed. [1MACC 4:57-58]

In a rage he swore: "If Judas and his army are not delivered to me at once, when I return victorious I will burn this temple down." He went away in great anger. The priests, however, went in and stood before the altar and the sanctuary. They wept and said: "You have chosen this house to bear your name, to be a house of prayer and petition for your people. Take revenge on this man and his army, and let them fall by the sword. Remember their blasphemies, and do not let them continue." [1MACC 7:35-38]

The land was at rest all the days of Simon, who sought the good of his nation. His people were delighted with his power and his magnificence throughout his reign. He brought peace to the land, and Israel was filled with happiness. He strengthened all the lowly among his people and was zealous for the law; he suppressed all the lawless and the wicked. He made the temple splendid and enriched its equipment. [1MACC 14:4,11,14-15]

After Jonathan had rallied his nation and become their high priest, he was gathered to his kinsmen. When the enemies of the Jews sought to invade and devastate their country and to lay hands on their temple, Simon rose up and fought for his nation, spending large sums of his own money to equip the men of his nation's armed forces and giving them their pay. [1MACC 14:30-32]

Consequently, King Demetrius confirmed him in the high priesthood, made him one of his Friends, and conferred the highest honors on him. He had indeed heard that the Romans had addressed the Jews as friends, allies, and brothers and that they had received Simon's envoys with honor. "The Jewish people and their priest have, therefore, made the following decisions. Simon shall be their permanent leader and high priest until a true prophet arises. He shall act as governor general over them, and shall have charge of the temple, to make regulations concerning its functions and concerning the country, its weapons and strongholds, he shall be obeyed by all. All contracts made in the country shall be dated by his name. He shall have the right to wear royal purple and gold ornaments." [1MACC 14:38-43]

As we are about to celebrate the feast of the purification of the temple, we are writing to you requesting you also to please celebrate the feast. It is God who has saved all his people and has restored to all of them their heritage, the kingdom, the priesthood, and the sacred rites, as he promised through the law. We trust in God, that he will soon have mercy on us and gather us together from everywhere under the heavens to his holy Place, for he has rescued us from great perils and has purified his Place. [2MACC 2:16-18]

This is the story of Judas Maccabeus and his brothers, of the purification of the great temple, the dedication of the altar, the campaigns against Antiochus Epiphanes and his son Eupator, and of the heavenly manifestations accorded to the heroes who fought bravely for Judaism, so that, few as they were, they seized the whole land, put to flight the barbarian hordes, regained possession of the world-famous temple, liberated the city, and reestablished the laws that were in danger of being abolished, while the Lord favored them with all his generous assistance. [2MACC 2:19-22]

While the holy city lived in perfect peace and the laws were strictly observed because of the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of evil, the kings themselves honored the Place and glorified the temple with the most magnificent gifts. Thus Seleucus, king of Asia, defrayed from his own revenues all the expenses necessary for the sacrificial services. But a certain Simon, of the priestly course of Bilgah, who had been appointed superintendent of the temple, had a quarrel with the high priest about the supervision of the city market. Since he could not prevail against Onias, he went to Apollonius of Tarsus, who at that time was governor of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, and reported to him that the treasury in Jerusalem was so full of untold riches that the total sum of money was incalculable and out of all proportion to the cost of the sacrifices, and that it would be possible to bring it all under the control of the king. When Apollonius had an audience with the king, he informed him about the riches that had been reported to him. The king chose his minister Heliodorus and sent him with instructions to expropriate the aforesaid wealth. So Heliodorus immediately set out on his journey, ostensibly to visit the cities of Coelesyria and Phoenicia, but in reality to carry out the king's purpose. When he arrived in Jerusalem and had been graciously received by the high priest of the city, he told him about the information that had been given, and explained the reason for his presence, and he asked if these things were really true. The high priest explained that part of the money was a care fund for widows and orphans, and a part was the property of Hyrcanus, son of Tobias, a man who occupied a very high position. Contrary to the calumnies of the impious Simon, the total amounted to four hundred talents of silver and two hundred of gold. He added that it was utterly unthinkable to defraud those who had placed their trust in the sanctity of the Place and in the sacred inviolability of a temple venerated all over the world. But because of the orders he had from the king, Heliodorus said that in any case the money must be confiscated for the royal treasury. So on the day he had set he went in to take an inventory of the funds. There was great distress throughout the city. Priests prostrated themselves in their priestly robes before the altar, and loudly begged him in heaven who had given the law about deposits to keep the deposits safe for those who had made them. Whoever saw the appearance of the high priest was pierced to the heart, for the changed color of his face manifested the anguish of his soul. The terror and bodily trembling that had come over the man clearly showed those who saw him the pain that lodged in his heart. People rushed out of their houses in crowds to make public supplication, because the Place was in danger of being profaned. [2MACC 3:1-18]

The man who a moment before had entered that treasury with a great retinue and his whole bodyguard was carried away helpless, having clearly experienced the sovereign power of God. While he lay speechless and deprived of all hope of aid, due to an act of God's power, the Jews praised the Lord who had marvelously glorified his holy Place; and the temple, charged so shortly before with fear and commotion, was filled with joy and gladness, now that the almighty Lord had manifested himself. [2MACC 3:28-30]

Not satisfied with this, the king dared to enter the holiest temple in the world; Menelaus, that traitor both to the laws and to his country, served as guide. He laid his impure hands on the sacred vessels and gathered up with profane hands the votive offerings made by other kings for the advancement, the glory, and the honor of the Place. Puffed up in spirit, Antiochus did not realize that it was because of the sins of the city's inhabitants that the Lord was angry for a little while and hence disregarded the holy Place. If they had not become entangled in so many sins, this man, like Heliodorus, who was sent by King Seleucus to inspect the treasury, would have been flogged and turned back from his presumptuous action as soon as he approached. The Lord, however, had not chosen the people for the sake of the Place, but the Place for the sake of the people. Therefore, the Place itself, having shared in the people's misfortunes, afterward participated in their good fortune; and what the Almighty had forsaken in his anger was restored in all its glory, once the great Sovereign became reconciled. [2MACC 5:15-20]

Not long after this the king sent an Athenian senator to force the Jews to abandon the customs of their ancestors and live no longer by the laws of God; also to profane the temple in Jerusalem and dedicate it to Olympian Zeus, and that on Mount Gerizim to Zeus the Hospitable, as the inhabitants of the place requested. This intensified the evil in an intolerable and utterly disgusting way. The Gentiles filled the temple with debauchery and revelry [Taken from 2MACC 6:1-4]

Judas Maccabeus and his companions entered the villages, secretly, summoned their kinsmen, and by also enlisting others who remained faithful to Judaism, assembled about six thousand men. They implored the Lord to look kindly upon his people, who were being oppressed on all sides; to have pity on the temple, which was profaned by godless men; to have mercy on the city, which was being destroyed and about to be leveled to the ground; to hearken to the blood that cried out to him; to remember the criminal slaughter of innocent children and the blasphemies uttered against his name; and to manifest his hatred of evil. Once Maccabeus got his men organized, the Gentiles could not withstand him, for the Lord's wrath had now changed to mercy. [2MACC 8:1-5]

He had entered the city called Persepolis and attempted to rob the temple and gain control of the city. Thereupon the people had swift recourse to arms, and Antiochus' men were routed, so that in the end Antiochus was put to flight by the natives and forced to beat a shameful retreat. [2MACC 9:2]

At last, broken in spirit, he began to give up his excessive arrogance, and to gain some understanding, under the scourge of God, for he was racked with pain unceasingly. When he could no longer bear his own stench, he said, "It is right to be subject to God, and not to think one's mortal self divine." Then this vile man vowed to the Lord, who would no longer have mercy on him, that he would set free the holy city, toward which he had been hurrying with the intention of leveling it to the ground and making it a common graveyard; he would put on perfect equality with the Athenians all the Jew... he would adorn with the finest offerings the holy temple which he had previously despoiled; he would restore all the sacred vessels many times over; and would provide from his own revenues... Besides all this, he would become a Jew himself and visit every inhabited place to proclaim there the power of God. [Taken from 2MACC 9:11-17]

When Maccabeus and his companions, under the Lord's leadership, had recovered the temple and the city, they destroyed the altars erected by the Gentiles in the marketplace and the sacred enclosures. After purifying the temple, they made a new altar. [Taken from 2MACC 10:1-3]

On the anniversary of the day on which the temple had been profaned by the Gentiles, that is, the twenty-fifth of the same month Chislev, the purification of the temple took place. The Jews celebrated joyfully for eight days as on the feast of Booths, remembering how, a little while before, they had spent the feast of Booths living like wild animals in caves on the mountains. Carrying rods entwined with leaves, green branches and palms, they sang hymns of grateful praise to him who had brought about the purification of his own Place. By public edict and decree they prescribed that the whole Jewish nation should celebrate these days every year. [2MACC 10:5-8]

Very soon afterward, Lysias, guardian and kinsman of the king and head of the government, being greatly displeased at what had happened, mustered about eighty thousand infantry and all his cavalry and marched against the Jews. His plan was to make Jerusalem a Greek settlement; to levy tribute on the temple, as he did on the sanctuaries of the other nations; and to put the high priesthood up for sale every year. He did not take God's power into account at all, but felt exultant confidence in his myriads of foot soldiers, his thousands of horsemen, and his eighty elephants. [2MACC 11:1-4]

We understand that the Jews do not agree with our father's policy concerning Greek customs but prefer their own way of life. They are petitioning us to let them retain their own customs. Since we desire that this people too should be undisturbed, our decision is that their temple be restored to them and that they live in keeping with the customs of their ancestors. [2MACC 11:24-25]

The king was advancing, his mind full of savage plans for inflicting on the Jews worse things than those they suffered in his father's time. When Judas learned of this, he urged the people to call upon the LORD night and day, to help them now, if ever, when they were about to be deprived of their law, their country, and their holy temple; and not to allow this nation, which had just begun to revive, to be subjected again to blasphemous Gentiles. When they had all joined in doing this, and had implored the merciful LORD continuously with weeping and fasting and prostrations for three days, Judas encouraged them and told them to stand ready. After a private meeting with the elders, he decided that, before the king's army could invade Judea and take possession of the city, the Jews should march out and settle the matter with God's help. Leaving the outcome to the Creator of the world, and exhorting his followers to fight nobly to death for the laws, the temple, the city, the country, and the government, he pitched his camp near Modein. Giving his men the battle cry "God's Victory," he made a night attack on the king's pavilion with a picked force of the bravest young men and killed about two thousand in the camp. [Taken from 2MACC 13:9-15]

Judas then sent supplies to the men inside, but Rhodocus, of the Jewish army, betrayed military secrets to the enemy. He was found out, arrested, and imprisoned. The king made a second attempt by negotiating with the men of Beth-zur. After giving them his pledge and receiving theirs, he withdrew and attacked Judas and his men. But he was defeated. Next he heard that Philip, who was left in charge of the government in Antioch had rebelled. Dismayed, he parleyed with the Jews, submitted to their terms, and swore to observe their rights. Having come to this agreement, he...honored the temple with a generous donation. [Taken from 2MACC 13:20-23]

When Nicanor realized that he had been disgracefully outwitted by the man, he went to the great and holy temple... ordered them to surrender Judas. As they declared under oath that they did not know where the wanted man was, he raised his right hand toward the temple and swore this oath: "If you do not hand Judas over to me as prisoner, I will level this shrine of God to the ground; I will tear down the altar, and erect here a splendid temple to Dionysus." With these words he went away. The priests stretched out their hands toward heaven, calling upon the unfailing defender of our nation in these words: "Lord of all, though you are in need of nothing, you have approved of a temple for your dwelling place among us. Therefore, O holy One, Lord of all holiness, preserve forever undefiled this house, which has been so recently purified." [Taken from 2MACC 14:31-36]

Encouraged by Judas' noble words, which had power to instill valor and stir young hearts to courage, the Jews determined not to delay, but to charge gallantly and decide the issue by hand-to-hand combat with the utmost courage, since their city and its temple with the sacred vessels were in danger. [2MACC 15:17]

At this, everyone looked toward heaven and praised the Lord who manifests his divine power, saying, "Blessed be he who has kept his own Place undefiled!" [2MACC 15:34]

But I can enter your house because of your great love. I can worship in your holy temple because of my reverence for you, LORD. [PS 5:8]

The LORD is in his holy temple; the LORD'S throne is in heaven. God's eyes keep careful watch; they test all peoples. The LORD tests the good and the bad, hates those who love violence [Taken from PS 11:4-5]

In my distress I called out: LORD! I cried out to my God. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry to him reached his ears. [PS 18:7]

May God send you help from the temple, from Zion be your support. [PS 20:3]

You set a table before me as my enemies watch; You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and love will pursue me all the days of my life; I will dwell in the house of the LORD for years to come. [PS 23:5-6]

LORD, I love the house where you dwell, the tenting-place of your glory. [PS 26:8]

One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD'S house all the days of my life, To gaze on the LORD'S beauty, to visit his temple. [PS 27:4]

My tears have been my food day and night, as they ask daily, "Where is your God?" Those times I recall as I pour out my soul, When I went in procession with the crowd, I went with them to the house of God, Amid loud cries of thanksgiving, with the multitude keeping festival. Why are you downcast, my soul; why do you groan within me? Wait for God, whom I shall praise again, my savior and my God. [PS 42:4-6]

Streams of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the Most High. God is in its midst; it shall not be shaken; God will help it at break of day. Though nations rage and kingdoms totter, God's voice thunders and the earth trembles. The LORD of hosts is with us; our stronghold is the God of Jacob. [Taken from PS 46:5-8]

O God, within your temple we ponder your steadfast love. [PS 48:10]

But I, like an olive tree in the house of God, trust in God's faithful love forever. I will praise you always for what you have done. I will proclaim before the faithful that your name is good. [PS 52:10-11]

If an enemy had reviled me, that I could bear; If my foe had viewed me with contempt, from that I could hide. But it was you, my other self, my comrade and friend, You, whose company I enjoyed, at whose side I walked in procession in the house of God. [PS 55:13-15]

Happy the chosen ones you bring to dwell in your courts. May we be filled with the good things of your house, the blessings of your holy temple! [PS 65:5]

Summon again, O God, your power, the divine power you once showed for us. Show it from your temple on behalf of Jerusalem, that kings may bring you tribute. [PS 68:29-30]

How lovely your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! [PS 84:2]

Better one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. Better the threshold of the house of my God than a home in the tents of the wicked. [PS 84:11]

The just shall flourish like the palm tree, shall grow like a cedar of Lebanon. Planted in the house of the LORD, they shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall bear fruit even in old age, always vigorous and sturdy, As they proclaim: "The LORD is just; our rock, in whom there is no wrong." [PS 92:13-16]

Your decrees are firmly established; holiness belongs to your house, LORD, for all the length of days. [PS 93:5]

Know that the LORD is God, our maker to whom we belong, whose people we are, God's well-tended flock. Enter the temple gates with praise, its courts with thanksgiving. Give thanks to God, bless his name; good indeed is the LORD, Whose love endures forever, whose faithfulness lasts through every age. [PS 100:3-5]

I rejoiced when they said to me, "Let us go to the house of the LORD." [PS 122:1]

For the house of the LORD, our God, I pray, "May blessings be yours." [PS 122:9]

LORD, remember David and all his anxious care; How he swore an oath to the LORD, vowed to the Mighty One of Jacob: "I will not enter the house where I live, nor lie on the couch where I sleep; I will give my eyes no sleep, my eyelids no rest, Till I find a home for the LORD, a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob." [PS 132:1-5]

"Let us enter God's dwelling; let us worship at God's footstool." "Arise, LORD, come to your resting place, you and your majestic ark. Your priests will be clothed with justice; your faithful will shout for joy." For the sake of David your servant, do not reject your anointed. [PS 132:7-10]

Yes, the LORD has chosen Zion, desired it for a dwelling: "This is my resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I desire it." [PS 132:13-14]

Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD Who stand in the house of the LORD through the long hours of night. Lift up your hands toward the sanctuary, and bless the LORD. May the LORD who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion. [PS 134:1-3]

Hallelujah! Praise the name of the LORD! Praise, you servants of the LORD, Who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God! [PS 135:1-2]

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