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This is the New King James text of the passages.
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Haggai 1-2    Listen Podcast

Let's get some perspective on Haggai

Haggai prophesied to the remnant who returned to Jerusalem after the Persians overcame the Babylonians. Haggai dated his prophecies, so we know they were given in 520 B.C. His prophecies are all about rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem. But wait! Had they not been back in Jerusalem for 16 years or so? What's the hold up? Well, we know from the books of Ezra, Nehemiah and Esther that not everyone around Jerusalem was tickled to have the temple rebuilt. Remember the two-calf people of the Northern Kingdom (Israel) who had forsaken the worship of the one true God after Solomon's reign and moved their godless worship to Samaria (I Kings 12, see notes)? After the Assyrians conquered them in 721 B.C., foreigners were moved into Samaria to replace the Northern-kingdom Jews who were deported to Babylon. They intermarried with those Jews and eventually adopted their two-calf religion, a hybrid of Judaism and paganism. These inhabitants of the region became known as Samaritans, and are called such throughout New Testament times as well. Call it religious jealousy, but they gave the Jews fits about rebuilding the temple. So...the project got tabled, and the returning Jews concentrated on rebuilding their houses and restoring their farms. Somebody's got to do something to shake these people up! Enter: Haggai. He's got a word from the Lord, "LET'S REBUILD THE TEMPLE!" By the way, Haggai was a contemporary of the prophet Zechariah.

So, who's who in this rebuilding venture?
Note the following from Easton's Bible Dictionary regarding Zerubbabel:

Zerubbabel: the seed of Babylon, the son of Salathiel or Shealtiel (Hag. 1:1; Zorobabel, Matt. 1:12); called also the son of Pedaiah (1 Chr. 3:17-19), i.e., according to a frequent usage of the word “son;” the grandson or the nephew of Salathiel. He is also known by the Persian name of Sheshbazzar (Ezra 1:8, 11). In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, he led the first band of Jews, numbering 42,360 (Ezra 2:64), exclusive of a large number of servants, who returned from captivity at the close of the seventy years. In the second year after the Return, he erected an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins of that which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (3:8-13; ch. 4-6). All through the work he occupied a prominent place, inasmuch as he was a descendant of the royal line of David.

There's a new Joshua in town. Here's what you may want to know about the new high priest in Jerusalem:

Hey! Let's get this temple rebuilt! (Haggai 1)

1 In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
2 “Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying: “This people says, ‘The time has not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built.” ’ ”
3 ¶ Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?”
5 Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
6 “You have sown much, and bring in little;
You eat, but do not have enough;
You drink, but you are not filled with drink;
You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm;
And he who earns wages,
Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”
7 ¶ Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!
8 Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified,” says the LORD.
9 “You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?” says the LORD of hosts. “Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.
10 Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
11 For I called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
12 ¶ Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the LORD.
13 Then Haggai, the LORD’S messenger, spoke the LORD’S message to the people, saying, “I am with you, says the LORD.”
14 So the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of King Darius.

This first prophecy (August, 520 B.C.) does a little rebuking for the procrastination of the people in rebuilding the temple. They had gotten preoccupied with their own houses, etc. Hey folks! Your current drought is because of your disobedience to God! Yeah! That message from Haggai got the people back on track. We see in verses 12-14 that they again started working on the rebuilding of the temple. As a matter of fact, only 23 days passed after Haggai's prophetic message of rebuke until they came together to do the work of rebuilding the temple.

Isn't it interesting that the people who longed for the day when they could return to Jerusalem from Babylon could lose track of their mission in rebuilding the temple. Israel's neglect of their worship had resulted in their fall 66 years earlier, and now they were back in that same rut. However, Haggai's very direct prophecy here jolts them back into reality: You will not prosper unless you put your priority on serving God.

It's gonna be a great temple! (Haggai 2:1-9)

1 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying:
2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying:
3 “Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing?
4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD; “and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts.
5 “According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’
6 ¶ “For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land;
7 and I will shake all nations, and they shall come to the Desire of All Nations, and I will fill this temple with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts.
8 “The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the LORD of hosts.
9 “The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

This second prophecy (October, 520 B.C.) is one of encouragement to the people regarding this rebuilt temple. Apparently there were some who had seen Solomon's temple prior to it's destruction 66 years earlier. It just won't be the same. These exiles didn't have the resources to build it back with the same extravagance of the original structure. Haggai concludes his word of encouragement on this issue in Haggai 2:9, "'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD of hosts." God's glory filling the temple is all that matters.

Incidentally, notice verse 6, "For thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land." Paul refers to this verse in Hebrews 12:26 (see notes), "whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, 'Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.'" Paul saw this "shaking" as a yet-future event, and it comes at the end of this present world in Revelation 21:1 (see notes), "Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea."

Times will be better now (Haggai 2:10-19)

10 ¶ On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying,
11 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying,
12 “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?” ’ ” ¶ Then the priests answered and said, “No.”
13 ¶ And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?” ¶ So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.”
14 ¶ Then Haggai answered and said, “ “So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
15 ¶ “And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the LORD—
16 since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty.
17 I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the LORD.
18 “Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the LORD’S temple was laid—consider it:
19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’ ”

This third prophecy (December, 520 B.C.) is short and to the point. You suffered chastisement for your disobedience before, but now that your rebuilding the temple, blessings from God will come. If you're looking for direct evidence that God rewards faithfulness and chastises his people when they aren't faithful, Haggai's prophecy is for you.

How does Zerubbabel fit into this Messianic prophecy? (Haggai 2:20-23)

20 ¶ And again the word of the LORD came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying,
21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:
‘I will shake heaven and earth.
22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother.
23 ¶ “In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, “I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

This fourth prophecy (December, 520 B.C.) is directed toward Zerubbabel himself. Let's get right to the point. Is Zerubbabel the Messiah? No! However, the lineage of the kings of Judah have once again been established with Zerubbabel, though he was not technically a king. Zerubbabel was only a governor under the Persians, but was from Davidic descent. The "signet" mentioned here puts it into perspective. A king's signet was the official king stamp. The Messiah would come from David's lineage through Zerubbabel. In fact, there he is in the lineage of Jesus himself (Matthew 1:12-13, see notes). This is a Messianic prophecy looking to the millennium when Zerubbabel's seed will reign as Messiah.