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Sefer Ezra: Part 11 - Same Obstructionists, Different Results

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Sefer Ezra: Part 11 - Same Obstructionists, Different Results
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“And the neviim, Chaggai the navi, and Zecharia, the son of Ido prophesized to the Jews who were in Yehudah and Yerushalayim in the name of the G-d of Yisrael to them.”

Rashi says that Chaggai and Zecharia prophesized that Bnei Yisrael should finish rebuilding the Beis Hamikdash despite the lack of official sanction from Daryavesh. It was the second year of the reign of Daryavesh and seventy years had passed since the destruction of Yerushalayim.

“Zerubavel ben Shaltiel and Yeshua ben Yotzadok then arose and began building the House of Hashem in Yerushalayim, together with and aided by the neviim of Hashem.”

“At that time, Tatnai, satrap of the Trans-River, Shtethar Bozenai, and their cohorts approached them and said, “Who decreed that you should build this House and complete these walls?”

The Malbim says that hashgachas Hashem protected them from their enemies who had interfered with the building the first time. Tatnai was not their enemy, but was merely inquiring who had given them permission to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash. The reshus of Coresh had been forgotten by that time.

However, Rashi maintains that Tatnai, Shethar Bozenai and their cohorts were the same enemies who had disrupted the building the first time. They now reappeared when they heard that Bnei Yisrael had started building again, and they intended to interfere once again.

Bnei Yisrael then told Tatnai that they were building under the instruction of Zerubavel and Yeshua. Zerubavel, who was an appointed official of the king, was able to explain their justification for beginning to build again. Tatnai and his cohorts then wrote a letter to Daryavesh accounting what they had witnessed, and their discussion with Zerubavel. Hashgachas Hashem protected Bnei Yisrael, and Tatnai, who had the power to detain the building until an answer to their letter arrived from Daryavesh, did not prevent them from continuing to build the Beis Hamikdash.

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