Hag 2.1-23 contains three prophecies that were delivered to the people. The first discourse is given to encourage them to continue building the Temple, although it will seem to fall short of the glory of the first Temple as far as form. Then a second prophecy is given with some questions about ritual purity, and this application is compared to the Jewish people who were also ritually impure. The last prophecy is directed towards Zerubbabel where it foretells the destruction of the pagan kingdoms and the establishment of the Messianic Kingdom, where Zerubbabel is given as a type of the Messiah.
v 1…On the twenty-first of the seventh month (Tishri 21, the seventh day of Sukkot, or Hoshanah Rabbah, meaning the “great salvation”; not even a month has gone by since they began rebuilding), the word of the Lord (Yehovah) came through Haggai the prophet saying,
v 2…”Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying,
v 3…’Who is left among you who saw this Temple in its former glory (there were some still alive who had seen Solomon’s Temple in all its glory; some stayed in the land and some returned at various times, etc)? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison (they wept in Ezra 3.10-13).
v 4…But now, take courage also, Joshua son of Yehozadak, the high priest, and all you people in the land take courage (be inwardly strong and build the Temple,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work, for I am with you (to help and protect you)!’ says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah tzavaot or armies; when this is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power).
v 5…As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt (that Israel belonged to Yehovah and that remains undiminished), my spirit is abiding in your midst (he is still working his purpose); so do not fear (God’s power will carry out his word and glorify this Temple)!
v 6…For thus says the Lord of hosts (armies), “Once more in a little while (a short time), I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land (when Persia is conquered by the Greeks and soon after Greece is conquered by Rome).
v 7…And I will shake all the nations (as above); and they will come to the desire of all nations (Israel and the Temple, the land-Song 1.8, 5.9; Dan 11.37; Jer 3.19; Rev 12.1); and I will fill this house with glory,” says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah will eventually come to this Temple with Yeshua).
v 8…”The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,” declares the Lord of hosts (by shaking the nations he will cause the nations to present their treasures to him).
v 9…The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former (because Messiah himself will come into it and he brought the redemption; don’t compare the past with the present; the ultimate end will surpass anything they could imagine),” declares the Lord of hosts, “and in this place I shall give peace (with Yehovah),” declares the Lord of hosts.
v 10…On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month (Kislev), in the second year of Darius (three months after the people began to build the Temple in 1.15), the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet saying,
v 11…”Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Ask now the priest for a ruling (using the Torah as their guide),
v 12…If a man carries holy (had a kedusha, called Kodshai Kelim meat, and can be eaten within Jerusalem) in the fold of his garment, and touches bread (lechem) with his fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any food, will it become holy?’ And the priests answered and said, “No” (because they knew the concept of kedusha-only God can make something have a kedusha; so neither will their ritual devotions and “holy” actions sanctify their impure hearts-Lev 6.27).”
v 13…Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean (ritually and cannot enter the sanctuary) from a corpse touches any of these (holy things) will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered and said, ‘It will become unclean (Lev 19.24).’
v 14…Then Haggai answered and said, “So is this people. And so is this nation before me,” declares the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean (religious actions cannot sanctify impure hearts as seen in v 12, and being impure in heart, like a corpse, defiles all our actions, even religious ones-v 13).
v 15…But now, do consider (direct your hearts on) from this day onward (Kislev 24) before one stone was placed on another in the Temple of the Lord (the foundation was already laid-Ezra 3.10),
v 16…from that time (about 16 years has passed since the foundation was laid) when one came to a heap of twenty (measures) there would be only ten, and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there would be twenty (the yields looked promising but it did not turn out that way).
v 17…I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind (burning), mildew (moisture), and hail (battering the crops); yet you did not come back to me (they didn’t consider that their sin was causing all this, nor turn from them),’ declares the Lord.
v 18…Do consider (direct your hearts on) from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (Kislev 24), from the day when the Temple of the Lord was founded, consider (direct your heart);
v 19…Is there seed still in the barn (they were still in a shortage)? even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you (Kislev 24 will be associated with Chanukah and the rededication of this Temple at the time of the Maccabees in the future; also, the conception of Yeshua happened about this time also, so let’s go back and look quickly at the possible scenario concerning Yeshua’s time of birth; in Luke 1.5 it says that Zechariah is a priest belonging to the course of Abijah mentioned in 1 Chr 24.10. Zechariah is chosen by lot to go into the Holy Place and burn incense, something that one could only do one time in their life. As he is praying the Amidah, the angel Gabriel appears to him and says he is going to have a son by his wife Elizabeth, and he was to call him Yochanon. This course would serve in the Temple during the tenth week of the religious calendar which began on Nisan 1, and allowing for two weeks for Hag ha Matzah and Shavuot, this appearance was around mid-June on our calendars. That would make the birth of Yochanon around nine months later around Passover. Six months after Elizabeth’s conception in June, Gabriel appears to Miriam around Kislev 25 and announces she will conceive and bear a son, making Yeshua’s birth around Sukkot nine months later in Tishri. This date in Haggai is very significant and is related to the building of the Temple in three ways. First, the Maccabees took back the Temple on Kislev 25 and rededicated it, leading to the Chanukah festival. Second, our passages in Haggai relate to Kislev 25 and the building of the Temple. Third, Yeshua is conceived around Kislev 25 and his body was seen as a Temple in John 2.19).”
v 20…Then the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth of the month saying,
v 21…”Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah (a type of the Messiah) saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth (Persia will give way to the Greeks),
v 22…and I will overturn the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow their chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down everyone by the sound of another (Persia would fall by the Greeks, the Grecian empire of Alexander would give way to the Romans, etc).
v 23…On that day (when all these kingdoms and their armies fall),’ declares the Lord of hosts, “I will take you Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you a signet ring, for I have chosen you ” declares the Lord of hosts (the sense of this verse is this, in Jer 22.24 the “signet ring” relates to the kingship, and it was prophesied that Coniah would not have a descendant sit on the throne. But now, when Yehovah overthrows the kingdoms of the world, Zerubbabel would be like a signet ring, giving him a position that was inseparable from Yehovah’s hand. He would not be cast off, but be taken care of as a valuable possession. What is being promised here is related to the official post he had. The overthrow of these nations did not take place till well after his lifetime. The kingship of David is in ruins at this time, but the promise will preserve the seed of David and his kingdom, which is now associated with Zerubbabel. The Messianic promise is transferred to Zerubbabel and his family, and this promise will have its ultimate fulfillment in Yeshua in the Messianic Kingdom).