New Defender's Study Bible Notes
3:1 to Jerusalem. This gathering at Jerusalem and reinstitution of the sacrifices (Ezra 3:2) probably marks the end of the seventy-year exile predicted by Jeremiah (see Jeremiah 25:11-12; Daniel 9:2). Although the exact dates are uncertain, many authorities believe the exile began in about 605 B.C. and the return began in about 535 B.C.
3:6 the seventh month. Even though there was as yet no temple, the people desired to reinstitute the temple worship, especially the great feasts of the seventh month, and particularly the Feast of Tabernacles (Ezra 3:4; see Leviticus 23:34), as well as the regular offerings on a restored altar.
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.