Ezra 3:12

12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.

Ezra 3:12 in Other Translations

KJV
12 But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:
ESV
12 But many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers' houses, old men who had seen the first house, wept with a loud voice when they saw the foundation of this house being laid, though many shouted aloud for joy,
NLT
12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and other leaders who had seen the first Temple wept aloud when they saw the new Temple’s foundation. The others, however, were shouting for joy.
MSG
12 As many were noisily shouting with joy, many of the older priests, Levites, and family heads who had seen the first Temple, when they saw the foundations of this Temple laid, wept loudly for joy.
CSB
12 But many of the older priests, Levites, and family leaders, who had seen the first temple, wept loudly when they saw the foundation of this house, but many [others] shouted joyfully.

Ezra 3:12 Meaning and Commentary

Ezra 3:12

But many of the priests and Levites, and chief of the fathers,
who were ancient men
Seventy or eighty years of age:

that had seen the first house;
the temple built by Solomon, as they very well might, since then it had been destroyed but fifty two years; for the seventy years captivity are to be reckoned from the fourth of Jehoiakim, when it began, and which was eighteen years before the destruction of the temple; the beginning of the next clause,

when in the foundation,
according to the Hebrew accents, is to be connected with this,

that had seen the first house;
not when first founded, for that was five hundred years ago, but in "its foundation"; they saw it standing upon its foundation, in all its glory, and so the Septuagint version; and we may read on, when

this house was before their eyes, wept with a loud voice;
seeing what it was like to be by the foundation now laid, and was in their sight as nothing in comparison of the former; see ( Haggai 2:3 ) but Aben Ezra connects this clause as we do,

when the foundation of this house was laid;
not but that the dimensions of this house strictly taken were as large as the former: see ( Ezra 6:3 Ezra 6:4 ) , but not the courts and appendages to it: besides, what might affect them, there was no likelihood of its being so richly decorated with gold and silver as the former temple, and many things would be wanting in it, as the Urim and Thummim

and many shouted aloud for joy;
of the younger sort, who had never seen the grandeur of the first temple, and were highly delighted with the beginning of this, and the hope of seeing it finished.

Ezra 3:12 In-Context

10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the LORD, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the LORD, as prescribed by David king of Israel.
11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: “He is good; his love toward Israel endures forever.” And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy.
13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Haggai 2:3,9
  • 2. Jeremiah 31:9; Jeremiah 50:4