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 Zerubabbel- Potential Messiah?

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CHAPTER 4 Nov.9 
Opposition to Rebuilding the Temple
Now when the adversaries of Judah and Benjamin heard that the children of the captivity were building a temple to Yahweh, the God of Israel; 2then they drew near to Zerubbabel, and to the heads of fathers’ households and said to them, Let us build with you; for we seek your God, as you do; and we sacrifice to Him since the days of Esar Haddon king of Assyria, who brought us up here. 3But Zerubbabel, and Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers’ households of Israel, said to them, You have nothing in common with us in building a house to our God; but we ourselves together will build to Yahweh, the God of Israel, as king Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us. 4Then the people of the land weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building, 5and hired counsellors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
A Letter Sent to the King of Persia
6In the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem. 7In the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel and the rest of his companions, to Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in Syrian, and set forth in the Syrian language. 8Rehum the chancellor and Shimshai the scribe wrote a letter against Jerusalem to Artaxerxes the king in this way: 9then Rehum the chancellor, and Shimshai the scribe, and the rest of their companions, the Dinaites, and the Apharsathchites, the Tarpelites, the Apharsites, the Archevites, the Babylonians, the Shushanchites, the Dehaites, the Elamites, 10and the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Osnappar brought over, and set in the city of Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River, and so forth, wrote. 11This is the copy of the letter that they sent to Artaxerxes the king:
Opposition to Rebuilding Jerusalem
Your servants the men beyond the River, and so forth. 12Be it known to the king, that the Jews who came up from you have come to us to Jerusalem; they are building the rebellious and the bad city, and have finished the walls, and repaired the foundations. 13Be it known now to the king that if this city is built, and the walls finished, they will not pay tribute, custom, or toll, and in the end it will be hurtful to the kings. 14Now because we eat the salt of the palace, and it is not right for us to see the king’s dishonour, therefore have we sent and informed the king; 15that search may be made in the book of the records of your fathers: so you shall find in the book of the records, and know that this city is a rebellious city, and hurtful to kings and provinces, and that they have made rebellion within the same city from old time; for which cause this city was laid waste. 16We inform the king that if this city be built and the walls finished, because of this you shall have no portion beyond the River.
The King Orders the Rebuilding to Stop
17Then the king sent an answer to Rehum the chancellor, and to Shimshai the scribe, and to the rest of their companions who dwell in Samaria, and in the rest of the country beyond the River: Peace, and so forth. 18The letter which you sent to us has been plainly read before me. 19I decreed, and search has been made, and it is found that this city of old time has made insurrection against kings, and that rebellion and sedition have been made in it. 20There have been mighty kings also over Jerusalem, who have ruled over all the country beyond the River; and tribute, custom, and toll, was paid to them. 21Make a decree now to cause these men to cease, and that this city not be built, until a decree shall be made by me. 22Take heed that you not be slack herein: why should damage grow to the hurt of the kings? 23Then when the copy of king Artaxerxes’ letter was read before Rehum and Shimshai the scribe and their companions, they went in haste to Jerusalem to the Jews, and made them to cease by force and power. 24Then ceased the work of God’s house which is at Jerusalem; and it ceased until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.


4:2 We seek your God, as you do- They didn’t actually seek the God of Israel. The fact people have some belief in a ‘god’ and perform religious worship doesn’t mean that the people of the true God have anything in common with them. The mantra of ‘unity’ has often been used in attempts to undermine the work of the true God. We live in a world of reductionism whereby the lowest common denominator is often used as a tool for manipulation. Yet the true God stands revealed in His word as He is and the core of the Gospel is in that sense non-negotiable.
4:24 This means that the work of rebuilding the temple was suspended for 21 years. This corresponds to the 21 days (a day representing a year) during which the Angel Gabriel worked on the prince of Persia to make him genuinely support the work of rebuilding, even though during that period the prince of Persia resisted him (Dan. 10:13). This was in response to Daniel’s 21 days of prayer (Dan. 10:1,12). So although it may seem that God is distant and everything is in the hands of human rulers, in fact the Angels are actively at work, not forcing people to do what they don’t want, but seeking to arrange circumstances so that they make the choices which favour God’s work going forward. But because of this desire not to ‘force’ men, there are such delays. This is one way to explain the apparent silence of God at times in our lives, and the way that humanly, things can appear to ‘go wrong’.