And kept the feast of unleavened bread seven days with joy,
&c.] Which immediately followed upon the passover, ( Exodus 12:18 Exodus 12:19 ) ,
for the Lord had made them joyful;
the building of the temple being finished, and the service of it restored to its original purity;
and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen
their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel;
by giving them leave to go on in building the temple, and by encouraging and assisting them in it till they had finished it; this was Darius Artaxerxes, who, though called king of Persia, was also king of Assyria, being possessed of the Assyrian monarchy, as his predecessors were upon the taking of Babylon, and the same is therefore called also the king of Babylon, ( Nehemiah 13:6 ) . God, the God of Israel, who has the hearts of all men in his hands, and so the hearts of kings, and can turn them at his pleasure, inclined his heart to do them good, which was matter of joy unto them, see ( Ezra 7:27 ) .