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But many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud for joy:

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

3:12 wept with a loud voice. The laying of the foundation of the house of God, after seventy years of desolation, produced tremendous emotion in the hearts of the exiles who had returned from Babylon. The weeping on the part of the aged men was probably a mixture of joy with sorrow—the latter because it was obvious that the new temple would be much inferior in grandeur to the original.

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