In our study of Ezra chapter six, we look at the completion of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. In chapter five, we saw the opposition send a letter to the king in hopes of stopping the work. Here, we look at the kings answer and the completion of the work.
"King Darius then issued an order, and they searched in the archives stored in the treasury at Babylon. A scroll was found in the citadel of Ecbatana in the province of Media, and this was written on it: Memorandum:" NIV translation
Upon receiving the letter from Jerusalem, the king ordered a search of the records to look for a decree that had been issued before. When the opposition sent the letter to the king, they were surely not expecting any such order to be found but it was. Ecbatana is the Greek name for the ancient city of Hangmatana in Persian which means "the place of assembly". The city had been the capitol of the Median Empire but, when Cyrus the Great overthrew them, the citadel became a kind of summer home for the kings of Persia. The citadel consisted of seven walls in circles with the wall inside of each circle higher than the one on its outside. Inside of the seventh circle was the palace and the treasure houses of the kingdom. Each wall had a different color with the sixth being silver and the seventh being gold (being associated with royalty). Most of the ancient ruins of the city are covered by the modern town of Hamadan which is located southwest of Teheran in the country of Iran.
"In the first year of King Cyrus, the king issued a decree concerning the temple of God in Jerusalem: Let the temple be rebuilt as a place to present sacrifices, and let its foundations be laid." NIV translation
The scroll not only authorized the temple to be rebuilt but the king had ordered that it be done. This is a reminder to us that God is in control of the affairs of man as He puts leaders in place to fulfill His purposes. This is an example of what Paul was talking about in Romans 13.
"It is to be ninety feet high and ninety feet wide, with three courses of large stones and one of timbers. The costs are to be paid by the royal treasury." NIV translation
The order also stated that the construction was to be paid for by the king. This is a reminder to us that God provides the money and materials to accomplish His will.