By July 13, 2008 Read More →

Ezra 3: The Beginning of Sacrifice, Texts and Traditions, ed. Lawrence H. Schiffman, Ktav Publishing House, Hoboken NJ, 1998.

The Hebrew Bible
By 520 B.C.E., despite the fact that the Temple had still not been rebuilt, sacrifice began, as explained in this excerpt from the book of Ezra.

3-1 When the seventh month arrived—the Israelites being settled in their towns—the
entire people assembled as one man in Jerusalem. 2 Then Jeshua son of Jozadak 52 and his
brother priests, and Zerubabbel son of Shealtiel and his brothers set to and built the altar
of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings upon it as is written in the Teaching of Moses
(Torah), the man of God. 3 They set up the altar on its site because they were in fear of
the peoples of the land, and they offered burnt offerings each morning and evening. 4
Then they celebrated the festival of Tabernacles as is written, with its daily burnt
offerings in the proper quantities, on each day as is prescribed for it, 5 followed by the
regular burnt offering and the offerings of the new moons and for all the sacred fixed
times of the Lord, and whatever freewill offerings were made to the Lord. 6 From the
first day of the seventh month they began to make burnt offerings to the Lord, though the
foundation of the Temple of the Lord had not been laid. 7 They paid the hewers and
craftsmen with money, and the Sidonians and Tyrians with food, drink, and oil to bring
cedarwood from Lebanon by sea to Joppa, in accord with the authorization granted them
by King Cyrus of Persia.

52. The high priest.

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