A very brief synopsis from the account in the book of Ezra….
By the edict of Cyrus, who became ruler of the Persian empire, the Lord let all the exiles go free–to return to their own land in Jerusalem, where Solomon’s Temple had once stood grandly for all to see.
“Building a house for God in Jerusalem,” Cyrus said, was his task, which he passed on to them that day. He also gave back to the people the Temple treasures that King Nebuchadnezzar had taken away.
Led by Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, and by Jeshua, the priest, they enthusiastically set out. Upon arrival in Jerusalem, they located the Temple’s original site, where nothing but some rubble was scattered about.
When the Assyrians had captured the Israelites in the north, they had then settled some newcomers in the land. These were Samaritans, who hadn’t wanted the Jews to come back…
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