1. Exposition

Did Sheshbazzar lay the foundations?

Ezra 5:16 (ESV)

16 Then this Sheshbazzar came and laid the foundations of the house of God that is in Jerusalem, and from that time until now it has been in building, and it is not yet finished.’

According to Ezra 3:1–13, it was not Sheshbazzar but Zerubbabel and Joshua who led the people in laying the foundations of the temple. Tattenai wants to make a link between the original authorization and the present building activity, and so portrays Sheshbazzar as having laid the foundations of the temple, since it was done under his authority, though that achievement is attributed to the work initiated by Zerubbabel and Jeshua in Ezra 3:8–10.1