clearly ‘fits' in with the temple rebuilding observed in Ezra,
where he is seen to be prophesying, presumably bringing these
words. See Ezra 5:1, 6:14. Together with Zechariah he is clearly
used by the Lord to motivate and encourage the returned exiles
in their task of rebuilding the temple. Enemies has sought to
put them off the rebuilding but God's word came with challenge,
explanations and encouragements, and the work was restarted and
taken on to completion. Here we see a classic illustration of
the impact of prophecy to bring change to a present situation.
Prophesy 1 (in 6th month) [also a supplementary short word in
Prophecy 2 (in 7th month)
Prophecy 3 (in 9th month)
Prophecy 4 (in th month (2nd )
Haggai 1: The First Prophecy
Prophecy through Haggai to Zerubbabel & Joshua
the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the
sixth month , the word of the LORD came through the prophet
Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor
of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the
The Lord's complaint about the returned people
is what the LORD Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has
not yet come to rebuild the LORD's house.'
His challenge to them (1)
the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:
it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses,
while this house remains a ruin?”
His challenge to them (2)
this is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to
have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have
enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes,
but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse
with holes in it.”
is what the LORD Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your
up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house,
so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the LORD.
Why they have not prospered
expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought
home, I blew away. Why?” declares the LORD Almighty. “Because
of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with
your own house.
because of you the heavens have withheld their dew and the earth
called for a drought on the fields and the mountains, on the grain,
the new wine, the olive oil and everything else the ground produces,
on people and livestock, and on all the labor of your hands.”
They accept the word and obey the Lord
Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak, 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.
A supplementary encouragement
Haggai, the LORD's messenger, gave this message of the LORD to
the people: “I am with you,” declares the LORD.
Thus the Lord stirs them to continue the rebuilding work
the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel
son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua
son of Jozadak, 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,
the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month.,
The first prophecy comes through Haggai to the two leaders [v.1].
The people had slipped into a way of thinking – perhaps used it
as an excuse to conform to the pressures of the enemy on them
not to build – whereby they decided it was easier not to bother
with the rebuilding [v.2]. The Lord [v.3] challenges them over
this, that they are happy to have nice houses themselves while
God's ‘house' still remains in ruins [v.4]. Rather than give a
direct instruction to start rebuilding, the Lord asks them to
face up to what had been happening [v.5-7] and realise that they
lacked God's blessing. Then He comes with the ‘get on with the
rebuilding' [v.8]. So, the Lord says, see the link between the
absence of blessing and you not building [v.9-11]. The word gets
through to them [v.12] and the Lord gives a further encouragement
[v.13] and so all the people get stirred up and restart the building
work [v.14,15]. The prophetic word has had its effect!]
Haggai 2: The Second, Third & Fourth Prophecies
The Second Prophecy
A second word through Haggai to these two leaders and the people
the second year of King Darius on the twenty-first day
of the seventh month , the word of the LORD came through
the prophet Haggai:
to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor
of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak, the
high priest, and to the remnant of the people.
The Lord asks them to remember back
of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does
it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?
The Lord commands them all to be strong
now be strong, Zerubbabel ,' declares the LORD.
‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high
priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,'
declares the LORD, ‘and work. For I am with you,' declares the
Remember you are a covenant people
is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And
my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.'
The Lord will shake all things to bring glory to His house
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.
will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will
come, and I will fill this house with glory,' says the LORD Almighty.
Everything belongs to the Lord
silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty.
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.”
Nearly two months have passed since the first prophecy [v1]. This
word comes to leaders and the people [v.2]. The Lord asks them
to compare what they have build so far with what the original
temple had been like – not so good! [v.3] He calls on them all
to be strong and [implied] not be put off by their enemies [v.4].
He is with them, He says, the same God who created them at the
Exodus and has been with them ever since [v.5]. Then comes a big
‘out-of-time' word – He will come and shake the whole earth [v.6]
and the peoples on it, so the end result will be His house filled
with His glory [v.7]. [Is that ‘shaking' physical at the End,
or spiritual when Christ comes?] Look, He adds, I own everything
[v.8], all the resources are mine, so in the end the glory of
this present house will be greater than that of Solomon's temple
[v.9]. Now whether this refers to the mighty temple Herod eventually
built, extending this one, or whether this word has a spiritual
dimension that suggests His ‘house' means His people, so that
the latter people (saved through Christ?) will be more glorious
than the original people, is not specified.]
The Third Prophecy
the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month , in
the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet
is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law
someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment,
and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil
or other food, does it become consecrated?'” The priests answered,
Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body
touches one of these things, does it become defiled?” “Yes,” the
priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”
Haggai said, “‘So it is with this people and this nation in my
sight,' declares the LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they
offer there is defiled.
give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things
were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD's temple.
anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten.
When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were
struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail,
yet you did not return to me,' declares the LORD.
this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give
careful thought to the day when the foundation of the LORD's temple
was laid. Give careful thought:
there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the
fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“‘From this day on I will bless you.'”
Two more months pass [v.10]. The Lord instructs that the priests
consider what it means to be defiled [v.11-13] so they should
realise that they as a people have become defiled [tarnished or
sullied] by their outlook [v.14]. So, He continues, from now on
think about this and realise why my blessing has been absent because
of this [v.15-17] and thus there are shortages [v.18,19a], but
from now on because [implied] of your obedience that will change
[v.19b] A new hope.]
The Fourth Prophecy
word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth
day of the month:
Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens
and the earth.
will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign
kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses
and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
that day,' declares the LORD Almighty, ‘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
Latter on that same day [v.20], Haggai has an additional word
but this time for the governor only [v.21]. The Lord will come
and shake everything – heavens & earth, kingdoms and powers
[v.22] and overthrow them. On that day Zerubbabel will have a
new closeness to the Lord and a new authority [v.23]. A fresh
encouragement for the governor. Whatever happens around him, he
will be secure in God.]