In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, he issued a
decree to the effect that the Lord, the God of heaven, had charged him to build
a house for Him in Jerusalem. He, therefore, allowed everybody from among the
Jewish exiles, who so wished, to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild the
tenple. He authorised that such returnees should be assisted with silver and
gold and other essential materials, including freewill offerings to God for His
yet-to-be-built house in Jerusalem. In quick response, the heads of families,
the priests, the Levites and others who were touched by this gesture rose up.

Others who were so minded gave them all assistance in cash and
kind, including beasts of burden. Cyrus himself brought out all the vessels
which Nebuchadnezzar had looted from the temple, counted them and handed them
over to Sheshbazzar, the leader of the returnees. A large company then left
Babylon for Judah.
Reasons for positive response on the part of the exiles are: 
  • The people had the feeling that home is home coupled with the spirit of
    nationalism, 
  • In a foreign land, they could not freely practise their
    culture and religion, 
  • Slavery is a curse to any people, 
  • It showed
    the fulfilment of God’s promise.