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With the encouragement of Haggai and Zechariah, the work of the temple goes forward to completion in the year 516 BC. Even though this new sanctuary lacks the splendor Solomon’s temple, the people nevertheless greet the day of completion with joyous celebration.
1. What project was years in the making for you? How did you celebrate? With whom?
2. Who oversees the work on the temple (verses 13 – 18)? Who else is involved? How so? Whose authority seems to prevail? Who gets credit without being on the scene?
3. How does this temple dedication service compare with the previous one (verses 16 – 18; 2 Chronicles 7:1 – 10)? How do you account for this rather poor showing? Second time around is no big deal? A small temple deserves a token sacrifice? Israel is impoverished by a prolonged building project?
4. Priests, Levites, the exiles, and converts all celebrate the Passover (verses 19 – 22). What must each do to participate (see Exodus 12:43 – 50; Numbers 9:1 – 14)?
5. What half-done project does God want you to carry out with diligence? Why not get on with it?
6. How does an outsider get to celebrate the sacraments in your church tradition?