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Sefer Ezra: Part 2 - Coresh Grants Permission to Rebuild the Bais HaMikdash

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Sefer Ezra: Part 2 - Coresh Grants Permission to Rebuild the Bais HaMikdash
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Revach L'Neshama

"And in the first year of Coresh, the king of Paras, to complete the word of Hashem from the mouth of Yirmiyah, Hashem awakened the spirit of Coresh, the king of Paras, and he sent out a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also in writing, saying:" The first year does not refer to his first year as king of Paras, but the first year of his reign over the malchus of Bavel, which he took over upon the death of Daryavesh of Madai, his father-in-law. (Ibn Ezra). During that year, Coresh was inspired to allow the Jews to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash. The Malbim quotes Yosephus, who explains that Coresh had heard about the story of Daniel's interpretation of the writing on the wall for Belshatzar, and its almost immediate fulfillment that same night. Coresh vowed to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash when he heard this miraculous story. The Malbim also says that Coresh was aware of the nevuah of Yeshaya who prophesized on him that he would rebuild the Beis Hamikdash, and these words of Hashem awakened his spirit.

He issued the proclamation orally and in writing, because an oral proclamation can be changed, but a proclamation written in the name of the king cannot be canceled, according to the law of Madai and Paras (as explained in Esther and Daniel).

At a later date, Coresh revoked his permission to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash due to the libel of enemies of Bnei Yisrael. However, the fact that the proclamation was in writing later proved to be a saving grace eighteen years later, when Daryavesh, the successor to Acheshverosh, allowed the construction to continue based on the written proclamation.

"So says Coresh, the king of Paras, ‘Hashem, the G-d of Heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has commanded me to build Him a House in Yerushalayim which is in Yehudah."

Coresh attested to the fact that he believes that there is a G-d in Heaven who rules over everything with his acknowledgment that Hashem was the One who has given him power. However, he called Him only the G-d of Heaven and not of the earth, because he believed that Hashem has given over the affairs of the earth to man, and does not interfere.

"Whoever is among you, from all of His people, may his G-d be with him to ascend to Yerushalayim which is in Yehudah, and build the House of Hashem, the G-d of Yisrael, He is the G-d Who is in Yerushalayim."

Coresh addressed his proclamation to all of the nations. Coresh required the non-Jews to aid in the building of the Beis Hamikdash and to assist the Jews to return to Yerushalayim. He deemed it the House of Hashem, the G-d of Yisrael, because this Beis Hamikdash will be for Bnei Yisrael only. In the future, the Beis Hamikdash will be a house of tefillah for all the nations, and it will not be called the House of Hashem, the G-d of Israel, specifically, because all the nations will serve Him there. However, the time for this had not yet arrived.

Coresh called Hashem the G-d who is in Yerushalayim because he believed that Hashem oversaw whatever occurred in Yerushalayim, but the operation of the rest of the world is given over in the hands of the system.

"And all who remain in whichever place he lives, the people of his place should raise him with silver, and gold, and valuables, and animals, with the contribution for the House of Hashem in Yerushalayim."

Any Jews who don't set out to Yerushalayim, either because of poverty or lack of initiative, should be raised up, financially and morally, by the non-Jews. The non-Jews should also contribute towards the construction of the Beis Hamikdash, and help any Jews who do not have the financial means to make a donation.

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