Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Haggai-Chapter 1

This prophecy is directed to Zerubbabel the governor and Joshua (Yehoshua) the high priest in 520 BC. Haggai means “my festival” and not much is known about him personally. He exposes the false but prevailing view that building the Temple is secondary and must wait until the economy gets better. When the leaders respond, he tells them that Yehovah will help them even in the face of some very disappointing circumstances. This has a positive effect on the leaders and the people and they immediately go about the work they were encouraged to do. He also confirms the choice of Yehovah to have Zerubbabel as governor, and this will have messianic implications relating to Yeshua in the Messianic Kingdom.

The theme of this book is the people are called to repent for not building the Temple. It will also allude eschatologically to the days leading up to the birth pains. It will give an example of the theme of Chanukah 400 years before it played out in the time of the Maccabees. It also alludes to the building of the Third Temple, something being worked on today, and the building of the Messianic Temple.

v 1…In the second year of Darius (possessing good), the king (this is Darius Hystaspes who reigned from 521 to 486 BC), on the first day of the sixth month (Elul 1), the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came by the prophet (navi) Haggai to Zerubbabel (seed of Babylon) the son of Shealtiel (asked of God in prayer), governor of Judah, and to Joshua (Yehoshua meaning “Yehovah saves” and the same name as Yeshua) the son of Yehozadak (Yehovah is righteous), the high priest (Kohen ha Gadol), saying

v 2…”Thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah tzavaot or armies-when this is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power), ‘This people says, “The time has not come, the time for the house of the Lord (Beit Yehovah) to be rebuilt (this sentiment is happening today. Whatever the reason was, they did not feel it was the right time).”

v 3…Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet saying,

v 4…”Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies desolate (with this he cuts off all their excuses).”

v 5…Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways (direct your heart on your attitude)!

v 6…You have sown much (to pursue your own wants), but harvest little (it doesn’t satisfy you); you drink, but not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm; and he who earns, earns wages into a purse with holes (their money disappears quickly).”

v 7…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways (direct your hearts on your attitude)!

v 8…Go up to the mountain (Hebrew “ha har” or where wood generally grows), bring wood and rebuild the Temple, that I may be pleased (take pleasure) in it and be glorified (glorify myself upon the people who obey me, causing my blessing to come to it),” says the Lord.

v 9…”You look for much (in your harvests), but behold (take note), it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away (like chaff). Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “because of my house which lies desolate while each of you runs to his own house!

v 10…Therefore, above you the sky has withheld its dew (Deut 28.23), and the earth (land) has withheld its produce.

v 11…And I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grains, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on man, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands (the cultivation of the soil, the preparation).”

v 12…Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people (those who had returned from the exile), 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 (showed reverence) before the Lord (Yehovah; they saw what they had done, believed the drought was his judgment and resumed building the Temple).

v 13…Then Haggai the messenger (Hebrew “malak” or “angel) of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the Lord (in the message) to the people saying, “I am with you,” declares the Lord (he will remove all obstacles in the way).

v 14…So the Lord stirred up the spirit (“ruach” or intentions, thoughts) of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit (thoughts and intentions) of Joshua the son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit (thoughts and intentions) of the remnant of the people (those who came back from the exile); and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God (Haggai’s revival in Ezra 5.1-2, 6.15)

v 15…on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month (Elul 24) in the second year of Darius the king (they began the work on Elul 24; eschatologically this may be the date Israel will have control of the Temple Mount, seven days before Tishri 1, Yom Ha Din Rosh Ha Shanah, year 6001, when the Natzal (or “rapture”) occurs. This seven-day period will give Israel and the priests enough time to dedicate the mount, the priests, the utensils, and at least the altar with the ashes of the Red Heifer, or Parah Adumah; this is alluded to in Ezra 3.1-6).

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Festivals of the Lord, The Tanak, Tying into the New Testament

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