1. Exposition

What is interesting about the payment of food, drink, and oil?

Ezra 3:7 (ESV)

7 So they gave money to the masons and the carpenters, and food, drink, and oil to the Sidonians and the Tyrians to bring cedar trees from Lebanon to the sea, to Joppa, according to the grant that they had from Cyrus king of Persia.

It is interesting to note that the exiles paid the people of Sidon and Tyre with the same goods that Solomon used to pay for the wood with the construction of the first temple (1 Kings 5:11). This might be the first of many allusions in this chapter, where the construction of the second temple by the exiles is compared to the construction of the first temple by Solomon.