Front Matter The Story of a Beautiful Garden The First Baby in the World and His Brother The Great Ship That Saved Eight People The Tower That Was Never Finished The Story of a Long Journey How Abram's Choice Brought Blessing The Angel by the Well The Rain of Fire That Fell on a City The Boy Who Became an Archer How an Angel's Voice Saved a Boy's Life The Story of a Journey after a Wife How Jacob Stole His Brother's Blessing Jacob's Wonderful Dream A Midnight Wrestling Match The Rich Man's Son Who Was Sold as a Slave From the Prison to the Palace How Joseph's Dream Came True A Lost Brother Found From the Land of Famine to the Land of Plenty The Beautiful Baby Who Was Found in a River The Voice from the Burning Bush The River That Ran Blood The Night When a Nation Was Born How the Sea Became Dry Land and the Sky Rained Bre The Mountain That Smoked and Words That Were Spoke How Aaron Made a Golden Calf and What Became of It The Tent Where God Lived Among His People How They Worshipped God in the Tabernacle What Strong Drink Brought to Aaron's Sons The Scapegoat in the Wilderness The Cluster of Grapes from the Land of Canaan How the Long Journey of the Israelites Came to an What a Wise Man Learned from an Ass How Moses Looked upon the Promised Land The Story of Job The Story of a Scarlet Cord How the River Jordan Became Dry The Story of a Wedge of Gold How Joshua Conquered the Land of Canaan The Old Man Who Fought Against the Giants The Avenger of Blook and the Cities of Refuge The Story of an Altar Beside the River The Presnt That Ehud Brought to King Eglon How a Woman Won a Great Victory Gideon and His Brave Three Hundred Jephthah's Rash Promise and What Came from It The Strong Man: How He Lived and How He Died The Idol Temple at Dan and Its Priest How Ruth Gleaned in the Field of Boaz The Little Boy with a Linen Coat How the Idol Fell Down Before the Ark The Last of the Judges The Tall Man Who Was Chosen King How Saul Saved the Eyes of the Men of Jabesh The Brave Young Prince Saul's Great Sin and His Great Loss The Shepherd Boy of Bethlehem The Shepherd Boy's Fight with the Giant The Little Boy Looking for the Arrows Where David Found the Giant's Sword How David Spared Saul's Life The Last Days of King Saul The Shepherd Boy Becomes a King The Sound in the Treetops The Cripple at the King's Table The Prophet's Story of the Little Lamb David's Handsome Son and How He Stole the Kingdom Absalom in the Wood; David on the Throne The Angel with the Drawn Sword on Mount Moriah Solomon on This Father's Throne The Wise Young King The House of God on Mount Moriah The Last Days of Solomon's Reign The Breaking Up of a Great Kingdom The King Who Led Israel to Sin The Prophet Who Raised a Boy to Life The Prayer That Was Answered in Fire The Voice That Spoke to Elijah in the Mount The Wounded Prophet and His Story What Ahab Paid for His Vineyard The Arrow That Killed a King Elijah's Chariot of Fire A Spring Sweetened by Salt The Pot of Oil and the Pot of Poison The Little Boy at Shunem How a Little Girl Helped to Cure a Leper The Chariots of Fire around Elisha What the Lepers Found in the Camp Jehu, the Furious Driver of His Chariot Elisha and the Bow; Jonah and Nineveh How the Ten Tribes Were Lost The First Four Kings of Judah The Little Boy Who Was Crowned King Three Kings and a Great Prophet The Good King Hezekiah The Lost Book Found in the Temple The Last Four Kings of Judah and the Weeping Proph What Ezekiel Saw in the Valley The Jewish Captives in the Court of the King The Golden Image and the Fiery Furnace The Tree That Was Cut Down and Grew Again The Writing upon the Wall Daniel in the Den of Lions The Story of a Joyous Journey The New Temple on Mount Moriah The Beautiful Queen of Persia The Scribe Who Wrote the Old Testament The Nobleman Who Built the Wall of Jerusalem Ezra's Great Bible Class in Jerusalem The Angel by the Altar The Manger of Bethlehem The Star and the Wise Men The Boy in his Father's House The Prophet in the Wilderness Jesus in the Desert, and beside the River The Water Jars at the Wedding Feast The Stranger at the Well The Story of a Boy in Capernaum and a Riot A Net Full of Fishes The Leper and the Man Let Down through the Roof The Cripple at the Pool and the Withered Hand The Twelve Disciples and the Sermon on the Mount The Captain's Servant, the Widow's Son, and a Sinn Some Stories Jesus Told by the Sea "Peace, Be Still" The Little Girl Who Was Raised to Life A Dancing Girl and What Was Given Her The Feast beside the Sea and What Followed It The Answer to a Mother's Prayer The Glory of Jesus on the Mountain The Little Child in the Arms of Jesus At the Feast of Tabernacles The Man with Clay on His Face The Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan Lazarus Raised to Life Some Parables in Perea The Poor Rich Man and the Rich Poor Man Jesus at Jericho Palm Sunday The Last Vistis of Jesus to the Temple The Parables on the Mount of Olives The Last Supper The Olive Orchard and the High Priests Hall The Crown of Thorns The Darkest Day of All the World The Brightest Day of All the World The Stranger on the Shore The Church of the First Days The Man at the Beautiful Gate The Right Way to Give, and the Wrong Way Stephen with the Shining Face The Man Reading in the Chariot The Voice That Spoke to Saul What Peter Saw by the Sea How the Iron Gate Was Opened The Earliest Missionaries The Song in the Prison Paul's Speech on the Hill Paul at Corinth Paul at Ephesus Paul's Last Journey to Jerusalem The Speech on the Stairs Two Years in Prison The Story That Paul Told to the King Paul in the Storm How Paul Came to Rome and How He Lived There The Throne of God The City of God

Story of the Bible Told for Young and Old - Jesse Hurlbut

The New Temple on Mount Moriah

After the Jews came back to their own land they first built the altar upon Mount Moriah, as we read in the last Story. Then they built some houses for themselves, for the winter was coming on. And early in the next year they began to build again the Temple of the Lord. Zerubbabel, the prince, and Joshua, the priest, led in the work, and the priests and Levites helped in it. They gave money to masons, and carpenters, and they paid men of Tyre and Sidon, on the shore of the Great Sea, to float down cedar-trees from Mount Lebanon to Joppa; and from Joppa they carried them up the mountains to Jerusalem for the building of the house.

When they laid the first stones in the new building the priests in their robes stood ready with trumpets, and the Levites with cymbals, to praise the Lord for his goodness in bringing them once again to their own land. The singers sang:

"Praise the Lord, for he is good;

His mercy endureth forever toward Israel his people."

And all the people shouted with a great shout as the first stones were laid. But some of the priests, and Levites, and Jews, were old men who had seen the first Temple, while it was still standing, more than fifty years before. These old men wept as they thought of the house that had been burned, and of their friends who had been slain in the destruction of the city. Some wept, and some shouted, but the sound was heard together, and those who heard at a distance could not tell the weeping from the shouting.

But these builders soon found enemies, and were hindered in their work. In the middle of the land, near the cities of Shechem and Samaria, were living the Samaritan people, some of whom from the old Ten Tribes, and others from the people that had been brought into the land by the Assyrians many years before. (See Story Eighteen in Part Fourth.) These worshipped the Lord, but with the Lord they worshipped other gods. These people came to Prince Zerubbabel, and said, "Let us join with you in building this house, for we seek the Lord as you do, and we offer sacrifices to him."

But Zerubbabel and the rulers said to them, "You are not with us, and you do not worship as we worship. You have nothing to do with us in the building the Lord's house. We will build up ourselves to our God, the God of Israel, as Cyrus, the king of Persia, has told us to build."

This made the people of Samaria very angry. They tried to stop the Jews from building, and frightened them, and wrote letters to the king, urging him to stop the work. Cyrus, the king, was a friend to the Jews, but he was in a land far away in the east, carrying on war, so that he could not help them; and soon after this he died. His son, who took his great kingdom, did not care for the Jews, and he, too, died in a few years. Then a nobleman of another family seized the throne, and held it nearly a year before he was slain. His name was Smerdis, but he is called in the Bible by another name, Artaxerxes. While this king was reigning, the Samaritan rulers wrote to him a letter, saying:

"Let it be known to the king that the Jews have come back to Jerusalem. They are building again the city which was always bad, and would not obey the kings when it was standing before. If that city be built, and its walls finished, then the Jews will not serve the king, nor pay to him their taxes. We are true to the king, and we do not wish to see harm come to his rule. Of old time this city was rebellious, and for that cause it was laid waste. If it is built again, soon the king will have no power anywhere on this side of the river Euphrates."

The King Smerdis, or Artaxerxes, wrote an answer to the chief men of Samaria, this:

"The letter which you sent has been read to me. I have caused search to be made in the records; and I find that the city of Jerusalem has been in old time a strong city, with great kings ruling in it, and ruling also the lands around it. I find, too, that this city did rise up and make war against the kings of empires in the past. Command the men who are building the city of Jerusalem to stop the work; and let it not go on until an order is given from the king."

The Samaritans and other enemies of the Jews were glad to have this letter come from the great king of Persia. They went to Jerusalem and made the work of building the Temple and the city stop. So the foundations of the Temple lay unfinished through several years.

But after a time two prophets arose in the land of Judea. They were Haggai and Zechariah; and they spoke the word of the Lord to the people, telling them to go forward with the building. Haggai said, "Is it a time for you to dwell in richly furnished houses of your own while the Lord's house lies waste? Go up to the mountains, and bring wood, and build; and I will be pleased with you, and will bless you, saith the Lord. The glory of this house shall be greater than the glory of the other house, and in this place I will give peace, saith the Lord of hosts."

Jerusalem of to-day


And Zechariah, the other prophet, said, "It shall not be by might nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord. The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands shall finish it. He shall lay the head-stone with shoutings of 'Grace, grace upon it!'"

Then Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the rest of the Jews, began again, and went on with the work. Soon after this a new king began to reign in Persia. He was a wise man and a great ruler, whose name was Darius.

King Darius looked in the records of Persia, and found it written that Cyrus, the king, had commanded the Temple to be built. He wrote a letter to the rulers in all the lands around Judea no longer to hinder the work, but to help it, and to give what was needed for it. Then the Jews went on with the building in great joy; and it was finished at last, twenty-one years after it had been begun, while Zerubbabel, the prince, and Joshua, the priest, were still ruling over the people.

The Temple, which was thus built for the second time, was like the one built by Solomon nearly five hundred years before (see Story Nineteen in Part Third); but though larger, it was not so beautiful nor costly. In front of it was an open court, with a wall around it, where the people could go to worship. Next to the people's court, on higher ground, was the priests' court, where stood the altar, and the laver for washing. Within this court rose the house of God, with the Holy Place, and the Holy of Holies, separated by a great vail. In the Holy Place, as before, stood the table for bread, the golden lampstand, and the golden altar for incense. But in the Holy of Holies there was no ark of the covenant, for this had been lost, and was never brought back to Jerusalem. In place of the ark stood a marble block, upon which the high-priest sprinkled the blood, when he went into the Holy of Holies, on the great day of atonement, once in each year. (See the account of the Tabernacle and its worship in Story Twenty-eight in Part First.)