Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem, in the second month, began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and the remnant of their brethren the priests and the Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; and appointed the Levites, from twenty years old and upward, to set forward the work of the house of the LORD.
Now in the second year of their coming unto the house of God at Jerusalem,.... The place where it formerly stood; the Jews seem to have set out from Babylon, in the spring of the preceding year, as it was now of this; which to Jerusalem was a journey of about four months, as Ezra performed it, Ezra 7:9, but might take up longer time for such a body of people to do it in, being larger than that with him; wherefore, after they had visited their respective cities, and settled their affairs there, they came to Jerusalem on the seventh month, or September, and kept the feast of tabernacles, and then they returned to their cities again, the winter season being an improper time to begin the building of the temple; having given money to workmen to purchase materials with, and no doubt left a sufficient number to clear away the rubbish, and get things ready by the returning spring to set about the work:
in the second month; the mouth Ijar, as Jarchi observes, answering to part of April and May, having, as may be supposed, kept the passover the month before:
began Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son of Jozadak: the prince, and the high priest:
and the remnant of their brethren, the priests and Levites, and all they that were come out of the captivity unto Jerusalem; whose names and numbers are given in the preceding chapter:
and appointed the Levites from twenty years old and upwards to set forward the work of the house of the Lord; to put men to work upon it, and direct them what to do, and urge them to attend closely to it; ever since David's time the Levites were employed at twenty years of age, when before not till thirty, or twenty five; see 1 Chronicles 23:24.