King Cyrus of Persia decreed that the Jewish exiles in Babylon should return to Jerusalem and rebuild the destroyed temple. Zerubbabel, whom the prophet Haggai refers to as “governor of Judah” (Hag. 1:1), was one of the first exiles to return. Along with the priest Jeshua, he rebuilt the altar of the Lord so that sacrifices could once again be made. The following year, under the guidance and supervision of Zerubbabel and Jeshua, work began on the temple itself. The foundations of the temple were laid, but opposition from local governors prevented its completion for more than 20 years. With the support of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Jeshua resumed and completed the reconstruction of the temple during the reign of King Darius. (Ezra 5:2)