The Samaritans offer to help the Jews rebuild the temple. The Jews reject the offer, and the Samaritans respond by hindering work on the temple and complaining about the Jews to the Persian kings. Because of opposition from the Samaritans, work on the temple ceases for a time.

(See Ezra 4:1–24.)

Elder James E. Talmage wrote:

“Adversaries [Samaritans] arose who put obstacles in the way of the builders [the Jews]. [These] people [Samaritans] of Canaan—Israelites who had forgotten their allegiance to God, and had mingled with idolaters, took offense at the activity of the returned Jews. At first they offered to assist in the work, but being refused recognition because of their idolatrous associations, they became obstructionists, and ‘weakened the hands of the people of Judah, and troubled them in building; and 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’ (Ezra 4:1–6; see also verses 7–24, and chapter 5). The claim was made that of old the people of Judah had been a trouble to other nations, and that with the restoration of their Temple they would again become seditious.”

(The House of the Lord [1912], 49.)

Comments