Ezra 3:11 MEANING

Ezra 3:11
(11) They sang together.--They answered each other in chorus, or antiphonally.

Shouted.--As afterwards in religious acclamation.

Verse 11. - They sang together by course. Literally, "They replied (to each other)," or sang antiphonically; the burthen of their song being, that God was good, and his mercy towards Israel everlasting (comp. 2 Chronicles 5:13; 2 Chronicles 7:3, where the Levites of Solomon's time are reported to have praised God similarly). All the people shouted with a great shout. Shouting on occasions of secular joy and triumph has been practised by most nations, both in ancient and modern times. But religious shouting is less common. Still we hear of such shouting when the ark of the covenant was taken into the Israelite camp near Aphek (1 Samuel 4:5), and again when David solemnly brought it up from Kirjathjearim to Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6:15). Shouting appears also in the Psalms (Psalm 47:5) and in Zechariah (Zechariah 4:7) in connection with religion. It is always indicative of religious joy.

3:8-13 There was a remarkable mixture of affections upon laying the foundation of the temple. Those that only knew the misery of having no temple at all, praised the Lord with shouts of joy. To them, even this foundation seemed great. We ought to be thankful for the beginnings of mercy, though it be not yet perfect. But those who remembered the glory of the first temple, and considered how far inferior this was likely to be, wept with a loud voice. There was reason for it, and if they bewailed the sin that was the cause of this melancholy change, they did well. Yet it was wrong to cast a damp upon the common joys. They despised the day of small things, and were unthankful for the good they enjoyed. Let not the remembrance of former afflictions drown the sense of present mercies.And they sang together by course,.... They sang by turns in responses, and answered one another, as the word signifies; when one company had performed their part, another took theirs:

in praising and giving thanks to the Lord; for returning them to their own land, and giving them opportunity, ability, and will, to set about the rebuilding of the temple of the Lord, and restoring the pure worship of God:

because he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever towards Israel; which words are often repeated in Psalm 136:1 and which might be the psalm the Levites now sung by responses:

and all the people shouted with a great shout when they praised the Lord; to express their joy, in the best manner they could, on this solemn occasion:

because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid; which gave them hope the temple in due time would be rebuilt, and the service of it restored; see Job 38:6.

Courtesy of Open Bible