Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?
Haggai 1: 3

Reading: Ezra 1-6; Haggai; Zechariah

Stage #1—538 BC

This first stage of the Return was by the decree of Cyrus for the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the Temple. The political leader of the Jews who returned at this time was an individual named Zerubbabel, while the Levitical/religious leader who returned with him was an individual called Joshua. 

Approximately 50,000 people returned at this time (42,360 Jews + 8,000 servants + 200 singing men). This Return had a specific purpose - to rebuild the Temple. The work of Temple-rebuilding was well begun under Zerubbabel and Joshua; the altar was established on October 5, 537 BC, and the foundations of the second Temple were completed in May/June of 536 BC. 

However the people grew selfish and careless and the work faltered. It lay dormant for several years. God raised up two prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, to rebuke and encourage the people, and the

Temple was finally completed in February/March of 516 BC.

This all took place over a 25-year period. 

How about you? Have you become distracted with many other things and allowed the call of God to become dormant in your life? If so..consider this a prophetic encouragement! 


Oh God, forgive me. Help me to put first things first, Your things. 


Watch this video over the next few days

Exile and Return