& encouragements to the returned exiles to keep on building the
temple and complete it.
Haggai, a prophet or someone
close to him
written : Somewhere between
627 and 609BC
The first returning exiles are in the
process of rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem but are hindered and falter
and the work comes to a stop.
The Lord uses Haggai to bring His word
to these people to encourage them and get the work under way again until
As we will see, these four ‘words' all
come within the space of six months,
First Message : The Call to Rebuild the Temple
Excuse & Challenge
A clear absence of blessing in poverty
The Response of Zerubbabel and the People
The Lord Strengthens the Workers
Second Message : The Temple to Be Filled with Glory
Encouragement from the Lord
The Promise of Glory and Peace
Third Message : A Defiled People Purified and Blessed
The Rapid Spread of Sin
Poor Harvests because of Disobedience
Blessing to Come as the Temple Is Rebuilt
Fourth Message : The Promise to Zerubbabel
The Judgment of the Nations
The Significance of Zerubbabel
timing of the words through Haggai
the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month,
(probably Aug. 520BC) the
word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of
Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high
the twenty-first day of the seventh month,
(probably Oct. 520BC) the word of the LORD
came through the prophet Haggai:
the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius,
(probably Dec. 520BC) the
word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai:
word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day
of the month:
ministry of ‘encouragement'
Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo,
prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God
of Israel, who was over them. Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Jeshua
son of Jozadak set to work to rebuild the house of God in Jerusalem
. And the prophets of God were with them, helping them.
the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching
of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo.
the fact that the work had ground to a halt
is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, `The time has
not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.' " Then the word
of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for
you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house
remains a ruin?"
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest,
and the whole remnant of the people obeyed the voice of the LORD their
God and the message of the prophet Haggai, because the LORD their God
had sent him. And the people feared the LORD.
& Response (the word is expanded a month later – 2:1-5)
Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to the people:
"I am with you," declares the LORD. So the LORD stirred up
the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah , and the
spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of
the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the
house of the LORD Almighty, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the
sixth month in the second year of King Darius.
glimpse of the future (see below)
is what the LORD Almighty says: `In a little while I will once more
shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake
all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill
this house with glory,' says the LORD Almighty. `The silver is mine
and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty. `The glory of this
present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says
the LORD Almighty. `And in this place I will grant peace,' declares
the LORD Almighty."
height of encouragement – you are special in my future prophetic purposes
this day on I will bless you.….. , I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel
son of Shealtiel,' declares the LORD, `and I will make you like my signet
ring, for I have chosen you,' declares the LORD Almighty."
There is a difficulty in 2:9 with the
reference to ‘ The
glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the
former house' which was replaced
when Herod built his temple several centuries later. Also there is
no reference to the glory of the Lord filling this temple when it
was completed. However Herod's temple was in fact an enlarging of
this temple, and so although Herod's temple was much larger than this
present one, it did in fact constitute the same temple as far as this
prophetic word applies. When the Son of God walked in its precincts
the glory of God was indeed present in a way not previously known.
Previously it had been just the shining glory; now it was God Himself.
At the end Zerubbabel is encouraged:
you are my signet ring that is used for creating a seal or guarantee.
You are a type of one who will come at the end who will seal my purposes.
Your activity here and now is a guarantee for establishing my purposes
so that this people will still be here and this house will still be
here when my Son comes.
Lessons within the ministry and work
of Haggai are:
The prophetic work can be a great
encouragement to move the work of
The prophetic can call for obedience
and can bring the challenge that
stirs faith for men and women to move on in
the purposes of God.
Without the prophetic it is doubtful if
the rebuilding of the Temple would have been completed.
Haggai is thus a key player in re-establishing
the temple after the Exile, paving the way for the activities in some
four hundred years time, the Temple being an anchor for the people of
Judah and Jerusalem .