“We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth, and we are rebuilding the house that was built many years ago …” (v11). The Jews who were rebuilding Jerusalem’s Temple faced strong opposition from Tattenai, the governor of the region (who reported to the Assyrians). While the first Temple was built in a united, independent Israel, this second Temple was built under great pressure and uncertainty. Still, the Jews knew they had permission from Cyrus, and they were encouraged by the prophets (v2,13).
Whether in Babylon or Jerusalem, faithful Jews served “the God of Israel who was over them” (v1). Our allegiance and obedience is to Jesus our King, no matter the cost.