Key Theme: Rebuilding The Temple of the LORD
Key Verse: 1:8 Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and he honored
The destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar followed the departure of God’s glory (Ezek 8-11). To Haggai, the rebuilding of the temple invited the return of God’s presence to their midst.
- Second shortest book in Old Testament, only Obadiah is shorter.
- Haggai is quoted once in Hebrew 12:26
- Haggai was fully aware he was God’s message (1:13). The book started with “the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai” and ended with “declares the LORD Al-mighty”. He used over 24 times “the LORD Almighty says” or similar expression in this short book.
- Haggai was the first prophet God used in the post exilic Jews. Zechariah was second and Malachi was third.
- There are four messages in this book, all of them were dated in the second year of Darius I (520BC).
- Together with Zechariah, Haggai encouraged the Jews to finish rebuilding the temple (Ezra 5:1-2; 6:14). The temple was completed four years after Haggai prophesied, on the 6th year of the reign of King Darius (Ezra 6:15)
- Meaning of Haggai means “festival”. That is why some bible teachers believe he was born on a feast day.
- We nothing nothing about the genealogy of Haggai. This is a sharp contrast with Zephaniah, whose genealogy was traced back four generation (Zep 1:1)
- Haggai may have saw the original temple (2:3), if that is true he is an elderly prophet.
- The 1st temple was destroyed in 586BC, the Jews were exiled to Babylon on the same year for the 3rd and final time.
- Under the reign of King Cyrus, 50,000 Jews returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest (Ezra 1:2-4) to rebuild the temple. Haggai and Zechariah were among the Jews who returned to Jerusalem.
- The foundation of the 2nd temple was laid on the 2nd year of return (Ezra 3:8-13;5:16)
- However under Samaritan harassment, King Artaxerxes gave an order to stop the rebuilding work (Ezra 4:21, 4:24). The rebuilding stopped for 16 years, until the 2nd year of the reign of King Darius.
- God raise up Haggai to encourage the Jews in the rebuilding of the temple. His task was to arous the leaders and the people of Judah from the spiritual lethargy and to encourage them to continue working on the temple. Haggai was supplemented by the continued efforts of Zechariah until the temple reconstruction was finished in 515 BC.
- Jerusalem was still a city without a wall, the wall of Jerusalem was not built until 70 years later, under Nehemiah
- 1st Message: Chapter 1
- Call to rebuild the temple
- 2nd Message: Chapter 2:1-9
- A prophetic promise of the future glory of the temple
- 3rd Message: 2:10-19
- A priestly decision to illustrate the present blessings of Obedience
- 4th Message: 2:20-23
- A messianic Prophecy concerning Zerubbabel
Message 1 (Chapter 1)
- v2: These people say, ‘The time was not yet come for the LORD’s house to be built’
- v4: “Is it a time for your yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?
- Many God’s people spending all their time and energy to build their own houses, but ignore the house of God. This God is asking us to “Give careful thought to your ways” (v5, v7)
- We have two ways to live our life
- We worked very hard to build wealth for ourselves, but we will be poor spiritually.
- We worked very hard to build the house of God, and all the things we need will be given to us (Matt 6:33)
Message 2 (2:1-9)
- v7 “I will share all nations, and the desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory”, says the LORD Almighty.
- v8 “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
- God was revealing His eternal plan, a temple for the nations. The is the Church of Jesus Christ.
- This temple was build with living stones (1 Cor 3:16-17, 2 Cor 6:16, Ephe 2:21, 1 Peter 2:5)
- v6 “In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land”. This is quoted in Hebrew 12:26 as referring to the judgment of the nations at the second coming of Christ.
- sin is contagious, righteousness is not.
- We can transmit defilement from one thing or person to another, but we can;t transmit sanctity.
- an analogy is our health. We can transmit our sickness to healthy people, but we can’t share our health with other people.
Message 4 (2:20-23)
- The signet ring was a symbol of honor, authority, and power. It corresponded to a king’s scepter which was used to seal letters and decrees. Zerubbabel, as God’s signet ring, stands as the official representative of the Davidic dynasty and represents the resumption of the messianic line interrupted by the Exile. Just as Pharaoh gave Joseph his signet ring and made him second in the kingdom, so God will do for the Davidic line of kings. The pre-exilic signet of Jehoiacin was removed by God (Jer 22:24) and renewed here in his grandson, Zerubbabel, who reestablished the Davidic line of kings, which would culminate in the millennial reign of Christ.