Friday, October 9, 2009

A powerful drunk insults his wife - but its all her fault!

We have been reading about the rebuilding of the temple of God in Jerusalem.

But over in the capital, big things are happening. Xerxes has defeated Egypt and Babylon, and had not yet set out to conquer Greece. The kingdom now went from India to Ethiopia. There was a pause in warfare, and to celebrate the new reaches of his kingdom, a 6 month party and display of power was instituted.

Esther
1 -3This is the story of something that happened in the time of Xerxes, the Xerxes who ruled from India to Ethiopia—127 provinces in all. King Xerxes ruled from his royal throne in the palace complex of Susa. In the third year of his reign he gave a banquet for all his officials and ministers. The military brass of Persia and Media were also there, along with the princes and governors of the provinces.
4 -7 For six months he put on exhibit the huge wealth of his empire and its stunningly beautiful royal splendors. At the conclusion of the exhibit, the king threw a weeklong party for everyone living in Susa, the capital—important and unimportant alike. The party was in the garden courtyard of the king's summer house. The courtyard was elaborately decorated with white and blue cotton curtains tied with linen and purple cords to silver rings on marble columns. Silver and gold couches were arranged on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl, and colored stones. Drinks were served in gold chalices, each chalice one-of-a-kind. The royal wine flowed freely—a generous king!
8 -9 The guests could drink as much as they liked—king's orders!—with waiters at their elbows to refill the drinks. Meanwhile, Queen Vashti was throwing a separate party for women inside King Xerxes' royal palace.

So the revelry is at its apex. King is lavishly entertaining. Queen is lavishly entertaining. King keeps wanting to up the ante. Do something more lavish, more outrageous, more entertaining, than anything he's done before.

Now old Xerxes likes beautiful, proud women with self respect. We see that throughout this story. But today he wants to display his "trophy wife", the most beautiful girl in the entire kingdom.

10 -11 On the seventh day of the party, the king, high on the wine, ordered the seven eunuchs who were his personal servants (Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas) to bring him Queen Vashti resplendent in her royal crown. He wanted to show off her beauty to the guests and officials. She was extremely good-looking.
12 -15 But Queen Vashti refused to come, refused the summons delivered by the eunuchs. "
Oops! This queen had self respect!

And the dead drunk king didn't like it!

"The king lost his temper. Seething with anger over her insolence, the king called in his counselors, all experts in legal matters. It was the king's practice to consult his expert advisors. Those closest to him were Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven highest-ranking princes of Persia and Media, the inner circle with access to the king's ear. He asked them what legal recourse they had against Queen Vashti for not obeying King Xerxes' summons delivered by the eunuchs.
16 -18 Memucan spoke up in the council of the king and princes: "It's not only the king Queen Vashti has insulted, it's all of us, leaders and people alike in every last one of King Xerxes' provinces. The word's going to get out: 'Did you hear the latest about Queen Vashti? King Xerxes ordered her to be brought before him and she wouldn't do it!' When the women hear it, they'll start treating their husbands with contempt. The day the wives of the Persian and Mede officials get wind of the queen's insolence, they'll be out of control. Is that what we want, a country of angry women who don't know their place?
19 -20 "So, if the king agrees, let him pronounce a royal ruling and have it recorded in the laws of the Persians and Medes so that it cannot be revoked, that Vashti is permanently banned from King Xerxes' presence. And then let the king give her royal position to a woman who knows her place. When the king's ruling becomes public knowledge throughout the kingdom, extensive as it is, every woman, regardless of her social position, will show proper respect to her husband."
21 -22 The king and the princes liked this. The king did what Memucan proposed. He sent bulletins to every part of the kingdom, to each province in its own script, to each people in their own language: "Every man is master of his own house; whatever he says, goes."

Women had started to rise up! This had to be quelled. The queen would never be able to see the king again, as long as she lived. (Oh no! Not THAT!)

She was to be deposed, and a more docile, beautiful woman, was to be substituted for her. There were lots of beautiful girls, but only one, "thinks-he-is-god" - king!

So the biggest beauty contest in the land begins...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Keep your lives simple and honest


Same prophet.
Same God.
Same theme.

I felt this word was for me this morning...

7 -8A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
"I'll collect my people from countries to the east and countries to the west. I'll bring them back and move them into Jerusalem. They'll be my people and I'll be their God. I'll stick with them and do right by them."
9 -10A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
"Get a grip on things. Hold tight, you who are listening to what I say through the preaching of the prophets. The Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies has been reestablished. The Temple is being rebuilt. We've come through a hard time: You worked for a pittance and were lucky to get that; the streets were dangerous; you could never let down your guard; I had turned the world into an armed camp.
11 -12"But things have changed. I'm taking the side of my core of surviving people: Sowing and harvesting will resume, Vines will grow grapes, Gardens will flourish, Dew and rain will make everything green.
12 -13"My core survivors will get everything they need—and more. You've gotten a reputation as a bad-news people, you people of Judah and Israel, but I'm coming to save you. From now on, you're the good-news people. Don't be afraid. Keep a firm grip on what I'm doing."
Keep Your Lives Simple and Honest

14 -17A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies:
"In the same way that I decided to punish you when your ancestors made me angry, and didn't pull my punches, at this time I've decided to bless Jerusalem and the country of Judah. Don't be afraid. And now here's what I want you to do: Tell the truth, the whole truth, when you speak. Do the right thing by one another, both personally and in your courts. Don't cook up plans to take unfair advantage of others. Don't do or say what isn't so. I hate all that stuff. Keep your lives simple and honest." Decree of God.
God's message:
I've decided to bless Jerusalem and the country of Judah.
o
Don't be afraid.
o
And now here's what I want you to do:
o
Tell the truth, the whole truth, when you speak.
Do the right thing by one another, both personally and in your courts.
Don't cook up plans to take unfair advantage of others.
Don't do or say what isn't so. I hate all that stuff.
Keep your lives simple and honest."
Decree of God.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Is Religion Good?


Is Religion Good?
Is Religion Bad?
Does it matter what you believe, as long as you believe in SOMETHING?

Todays story is interesting...

Zechariah 7
"You're Interested in Religion, I'm Interested in People"
1 On the fourth day of the ninth month, in the fourth year of the reign of King Darius, God's Message again came to Zechariah.

2 -3The town of Bethel had sent a delegation headed by Sarezer and Regem-Melech to pray for God's blessing and to confer with the priests of the Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies, and also with the prophets.

OK. So this is the goal of all religion, everywhere, all the time. What do we have to do to win divine favor? We want good luck, and prosperity, good health, protection, and favor in our decisions. We want health, wealth and happiness. What do we have to do to ourselves and the gods, to achieve this??? What rituals do we have to do? Incantations? Burning incense? Shave our heads and wear orange robes? Grow beards and bow on a mat 5 times a day? What do we have to do to make sure everything goes well with us?

"They posed this question: "Should we plan for a day of mourning and abstinence next August, the seventieth anniversary of Jerusalem's fall, as we have been doing all these years?"

Listen carefully. This is God speaking...

4 -6God-of-the-Angel-Armies gave me this Message for them, for all the people and for the priests: "When you held days of fasting every fifth and seventh month all these seventy years, were you doing it for me? And when you held feasts, was that for me? Hardly. You're interested in religion, I'm interested in people."

We are hearing God's opinion on the matter...

7 -10"There's nothing new to say on the subject. Don't you still have the message of the earlier prophets from the time when Jerusalem was still a thriving, bustling city and the outlying countryside, the Negev and Shephelah, was populated? [This is the message that God gave Zechariah.] Well, the message hasn't changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: "
'Treat one another justly.
Love your neighbors.
Be compassionate with each other.
Don't take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor.
Don't plot and scheme against one another—that's evil.'

This is God's Word. His plan. His thoughts on the matter.

11 -13"But did your ancestors listen? No, they set their jaws in defiance. They shut their ears. They steeled themselves against God's revelation and the Spirit-filled sermons preached by the earlier prophets by order of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. And God became angry, really angry, because he told them everything plainly and they wouldn't listen to a word he said."

God spoke. The people would not listen or obey. God punished them...

13 -14"So [this is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said] if they won't listen to me, I won't listen to them. I scattered them to the four winds. They ended up strangers wherever they were. Their 'promised land' became a vacant lot—weeds and tin cans and thistles. Not a sign of life. They turned a dreamland into a wasteland."

So is religion good?

Fourth Vision: Joshua's New Clothes


Talk about wild dreams!

The prophet Zechariah had dream after dream, and he remembered them, and recorded them, and they are the Holy Word of God, recorded and recounted over the centuries...

From wild horses, to a woman in a basket to a flying book...

The one that stood out to me today is the fourth vision - called simply, Joshua's new clothes.

Zechariah 3

Fourth Vision: Joshua's New Clothes

1 -2 Next the Messenger-Angel showed me the high priest Joshua.
o
So the subject of the dream is the man, selected by God, to be the high priest.
o
"He was standing before God's Angel..."
o
The man, Joshua is in the presence of the holy angel. Who comes along?
o
"...where the Accuser showed up to accuse him."
o
Satan.
Satan appears right alongside the man of God. The man is a sinner, and guess what Satan wants to do? Accuse him before God. (Just a reminder, Satan does that with you and I every single day)
o
"Then God said to the Accuser, "I, God, rebuke you, Accuser! I rebuke you and choose Jerusalem. Surprise! Everything is going up in flames, but I reach in and pull out Jerusalem!"
o
God, the righteous judge, the only holy One, is, ironically, DEFENDING his sinful creation - the man, Joshua.
Satan, who is evil and full of sin, is, ironically, ACCUSING Joshua, the sinful man who is in the place of leading people before the Almighty and Holy God!
o
Look what happens to Joshua next...

3 -4Joshua, standing before the angel, was dressed in dirty clothes. The angel spoke to his attendants, "Get him out of those filthy clothes," and then said to Joshua, "Look, I've stripped you of your sin and dressed you up in clean clothes."
5I spoke up and said, "How about a clean new turban for his head also?" And they did it—put a clean new turban on his head. Then they finished dressing him, with God's Angel looking on."
o
This, to me, is the entire message of the Bible. God made us. We have sinned. God has provided for us to be forgiven of our sin, and placed in right relation to God. We have been enabled to walk in communion and joy with God Almighty, our creator and Lord.

6 -7God's Angel then charged Joshua, "Orders from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: 'If you live the way I tell you and remain obedient in my service, then you'll make the decisions around here and oversee my affairs. And all my attendants standing here will be at your service.
8 -9"'Careful, High Priest Joshua—both you and your friends sitting here with you, for your friends are in on this, too! Here's what I'm doing next: I'm introducing my servant Branch. And note this: This stone that I'm placing before Joshua, a single stone with seven eyes'—Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies—'I'll engrave with these words: "I'll strip this land of its filthy sin, all at once, in a single day."
o
The result of God's work in our lives?

10"'At that time, everyone will get along with one another, with friendly visits across the fence, friendly visits on one another's porches.'"

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Glorious! A place of Wholeness and Holiness!




God just finished REALLY challenging His people to put Him first, and His temple first, over their desperate attempts to scratch out a living from the barren hard dry ground.

Today - a promise...

Haggai 2
This Temple Will End Up Better Than It Started Out
1 -3 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Word of God came through the prophet Haggai: "Tell Governor Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and High Priest Joshua son of Jehozadak and all the people: 'Is there anyone here who saw the Temple the way it used to be, all glorious? And what do you see now? Not much, right?
4 -5"'So get to work, Zerubbabel!'—God is speaking.
"'Get to work, Joshua son of Jehozadak—high priest!'
"'Get to work, all you people!'—God is speaking.
"'Yes, get to work! For I am with you.' The God-of-the-Angel-Armies is speaking! 'Put into action the word I covenanted with you when you left Egypt. I'm living and breathing among you right now. Don't be timid. Don't hold back.'

Again - put God first. The results will be astonishing...

6 -7"This is what God-of-the-Angel-Armies said: 'Before you know it, I will shake up sky and earth, ocean and fields. And I'll shake down all the godless nations. They'll bring bushels of wealth and I will fill this Temple with splendor.' God-of-the-Angel-Armies says so.
8'I own the silver, I own the gold.' Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies.

They are struggling so hard just to get food - much less silver and gold. Yet God says He is going to bless them and their work and their lives beyond their dreams...

9"'This Temple is going to end up far better than it started out, a glorious beginning but an even more glorious finish: a place in which I will hand out wholeness and holiness.' Decree of God-of-the-Angel-Armies."

In God's presence there will be found wholeness and holiness. Not just prosperity and abundance. No all that and much more. Wholeness. Internally. Externally. In relationships. Amongst the family. At work.

And Holiness. Walking in harmony with the God of the Universe.

Gives me shivers!

Put God First. I mean it. Put God First.


Haggai 1
Caught Up with Taking Care of Your Own Houses
1 On the first day of the sixth month of the second year in the reign of King Darius of Persia, God's Message was delivered by the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak:
2A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: "The people procrastinate. They say this isn't the right time to rebuild my Temple, the Temple of God."
3 -4Shortly after that, God said more and Haggai spoke it: "How is it that it's the 'right time' for you to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God's Temple, is in ruins?"
5 -6And then a little later, God-of-the-Angel-Armies spoke out again:
"Take a good, hard look at your life. Think it over. You have spent a lot of money, but you haven't much to show for it. You keep filling your plates, but you never get filled up. You keep drinking and drinking and drinking, but you're always thirsty. You put on layer after layer of clothes, but you can't get warm. And the people who work for you, what are they getting out of it? Not much— a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that's what.
7That's why God-of-the-Angel-Armies said:
"Take a good, hard look at your life. Think it over."
8 -9Then God said:
"Here's what I want you to do: Climb into the hills and cut some timber. Bring it down and rebuild the Temple. Do it just for me. Honor me. You've had great ambitions for yourselves, but nothing has come of it. The little you have brought to my Temple I've blown away—there was nothing to it.
9 -11"And why?" (This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) "Because while you've run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. That's why. Because of your stinginess. And so I've given you a dry summer and a skimpy crop. I've matched your tight-fisted stinginess by decreeing a season of drought, drying up fields and hills, withering gardens and orchards, stunting vegetables and fruit. Nothing—not man or woman, not animal or crop—is going to thrive."
12Then the governor, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak, and all the people with them listened, really listened, to the voice of their God. When God sent the prophet Haggai to them, they paid attention to him. In listening to Haggai, they honored God.
13Then Haggai, God's messenger, preached God's Message to the people: "I am with you!" God's Word.
14 -15This is how God got Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people moving— got them working on the Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. This happened on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.

Defeat and Discouragement - Then God Steps In


The people of God were working hard. Tending to their own livelihood and trying to rebuild the Temple of God.

The folks around them harrassed and haraunged for 15 years. Finally they involked the government and got an official order to shut the work down.

How discouraging!

But God...

Ezra 5
1 -2Meanwhile the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo were preaching to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the authority of the God of Israel who ruled them.

The faithful MEN of God were preaching THE WORD of God to the people in THE AUTHORITY of God.

As the people soak up the Word of God, it has an effect on them. It always does...

And so Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua son of Jozadak started again, rebuilding The Temple of God in Jerusalem. The prophets of God were right there helping them.

Of course, the opposition did not stop...

3 -4 Tattenai was governor of the land beyond the Euphrates at this time. Tattenai, Shethar-Bozenai, and their associates came to the Israelites and asked, "Who issued you a permit to rebuild this Temple and restore it to use?" Then we told them the names of the men responsible for this construction work.

They wanted the leaders put into jail (our present situation) or killed (their situation). It is like filing a lawsuit against them in today's experience.

5 But God had his eye on the leaders of the Jews, and the work wasn't stopped until a report could reach Darius and an official reply be returned.
6 -7 Tattenai, governor of the land beyond the Euphrates, and Shethar-Bozenai and his associates—the officials of that land—sent a letter to Darius the king. This is what they wrote to him:
To Darius the king. Peace and blessing!
8 We want to report to the king that we went to the province of Judah, to The Temple of the great God that is being rebuilt with large stones. Timbers are being fitted into the walls; the work is going on with great energy and in good time.
9 -10 We asked the leaders, "Who issued you the permit to rebuild this Temple and restore it to use?" We also asked for their names so we could pass them on to you and have a record of the men at the head of the construction work.
11 -12 This is what they told us: "We are servants of the God of the heavens and the earth. We are rebuilding The Temple that was built a long time ago. A great king of Israel built it, the entire structure. But our ancestors made the God of the heavens really angry and he turned them over to Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, the Chaldean, who knocked this Temple down and took the people to Babylon in exile.
13 -16 "But when Cyrus became king of Babylon, in his first year he issued a building permit to rebuild this Temple of God. He also gave back the gold and silver vessels of The Temple of God that Nebuchadnezzar had carted off and put in the Babylon temple. Cyrus the king removed them from the temple of Babylon and turned them over to Sheshbazzar, the man he had appointed governor. He told him, 'Take these vessels and place them in The Temple of Jerusalem and rebuild The Temple of God on its original site.' And Sheshbazzar did it. He laid the foundation of The Temple of God in Jerusalem. It has been under construction ever since but it is not yet finished." 17 So now, if it please the king, look up the records in the royal archives in Babylon and see if it is indeed a fact that Cyrus the king issued an official building permit authorizing the rebuilding of The Temple of God in Jerusalem. And then send the king's ruling on this matter to us.

The officials look into it. The results are dramatic!

Ezra 61 -3 So King Darius ordered a search through the records in the archives in Babylon. Eventually a scroll was turned up in the fortress of Ecbatana over in the province of Media, with this writing on it: Memorandum
In his first year as king, Cyrus issued an official decree regarding The Temple of God in Jerusalem, as follows:
3 -5 The Temple where sacrifices are offered is to be rebuilt on new foundations. It is to be ninety feet high and ninety feet wide with three courses of large stones topped with one course of timber. The cost is to be paid from the royal bank. The gold and silver vessels from The Temple of God that Nebuchadnezzar carried to Babylon are to be returned to The Temple at Jerusalem, each to its proper place; place them in The Temple of God.
6 -7 Now listen, Tattenai governor of the land beyond the Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, associates, and all officials of that land: Stay out of their way. Leave the governor and leaders of the Jews alone so they can work on that Temple of God as they rebuild it.
8 -10 I hereby give official orders on how you are to help the leaders of the Jews in the rebuilding of that Temple of God:
1.All construction costs are to be paid to these men from the royal bank out of the taxes coming in from the land beyond the Euphrates. And pay them on time, without delays.
2.Whatever is required for their worship—young bulls, rams, and lambs for Whole-Burnt-Offerings to the God-of-Heaven; and whatever wheat, salt, wine, and anointing oil the priests of Jerusalem request—is to be given to them daily without delay so that they may make sacrifices to the God-of-Heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons.

Not only are they allowed to continue, the work is to be paid for from Government coffers. And there's more!

11 -12 I've issued an official decree that anyone who violates this order is to be impaled on a timber torn out of his own house, and the house itself made a manure pit. And may the God who put his Name on that place wipe out any king or people who dares to defy this decree and destroy The Temple of God at Jerusalem.
I, Darius, have issued an official decree. Carry it out precisely and promptly.
13 Tattenai governor of the land across the Euphrates, Shethar-Bozenai, and their associates did it: They carried out the decree of Darius precisely and promptly.
The Building Completed:
"Exuberantly Celebrated the Dedication" 14 -15 So the leaders of the Jews continued to build; the work went well under the preaching of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah son of Iddo. They completed the rebuilding under orders of the God of Israel and authorization by Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia. The Temple was completed on the third day of the month Adar in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
16 -18 And then the Israelites celebrated—priests, Levites, every last exile, exuberantly celebrated the dedication of The Temple of God. At the dedication of this Temple of God they sacrificed a hundred bulls, two hundred rams, and four hundred lambs—and, as an Absolution-Offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, one for each of the twelve tribes of Israel. They placed the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their places for the service of God at Jerusalem—all as written out in the Book of Moses.

God stepped in and turned their discouragement to joy!

God had plunged them into a sea of joy; he had changed the mind of the king of Assyria to back them in rebuilding The Temple of God, the God of Israel.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Longest Protest in History!


The Building Stopped: Cease Rebuilding in That City
1 -2 Old enemies of Judah and Benjamin heard that the exiles were building The Temple of the God of Israel. They came to Zerubbabel and the family heads and said, "We'll help you build. We worship your God the same as you. We've been offering sacrifices to him since Esarhaddon king of Assyria brought us here."
3 Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the family heads of Israel said to them, "Nothing doing. Building The Temple of our God is not the same thing to you as to us. We alone will build for the God of Israel. We're the ones King Cyrus of Persia commanded to do it."
4 -5 So these people started beating down the morale of the people of Judah, harassing them as they built. They even hired propagandists to sap their resolve. They kept this up for about fifteen years, throughout the lifetime of Cyrus king of Persia and on into the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6 In fact, in the reign of Xerxes, at the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against those living in Judah and Jerusalem.
7 Again later, in the time of Artaxerxes, Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and their associates wrote regarding the Jerusalem business to Artaxerxes king of Persia. The letter was written in Aramaic and translated. (What follows is written in Aramaic.)
8 -16 Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king as follows:
From: Rehum the commanding officer and Shimshai the secretary, backed by the rest of their associates, the judges and officials over the people from Tripolis, Persia, Erech, and Babylon, Elamites of Susa, and all the others whom the great and honorable Ashurbanipal deported and settled in the city of Samaria and other places in the land across the Euphrates. (This is the copy of the letter they sent to him.)
To: King Artaxerxes from your servants from the land across the Euphrates.
We are here to inform the king that the Jews who came from you to us have arrived in Jerusalem and have set about rebuilding that rebellious and evil city. They are busy at work finishing the walls and rebuilding the foundations. The king needs to know that once that city is rebuilt and the wall completed they will no longer pay a penny of tribute, tax, or duty. The royal treasury will feel the loss. We're loyal to the king and cannot sit idly by while our king is being insulted—that's why we are passing this information on. We suggest that you look into the court records of your ancestors; you'll learn from those books that that city is a rebellious city, a thorn in the side to kings and provinces, a historic center of unrest and revolt. That's why the city was wiped out. We are letting the king know that if that city gets rebuilt and its walls restored, you'll end up with nothing in your province beyond the Euphrates.
17 -22 The king sent his reply to Rehum the commanding officer, Shimshai the secretary, and the rest of their associates who lived in Samaria and other places beyond the Euphrates.
Peace be with you. The letter that you sent has been translated and read to me. I gave orders to search the records, and sure enough it turns out that this city has revolted against kings time and again—rebellion is an old story there. I find that they've had their share of strong kings who have taken over beyond the Euphrates and exacted taxes, tribute, and duty. So do this: Order these men to stop work immediately—not a lick of rebuilding in that city unless I order it. Act quickly and firmly; they've done enough damage to kings!
23 The letter of King Artaxerxes was read to Rehum and Shimshai the secretary and their associates. They lost no time. They went to the Jews in Jerusalem and made them quit work.
24 That put a stop to the work on The Temple of God in Jerusalem. Nothing more was done until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.