Haggai by AnonymousThe end of the Babylonian Captivity was hardly the end of hardships for the Jewish people, and when they were restored to Palestine what they found themselves now was a ruined country with no temple.
The wealthy built themselves paneled houses while the people in general occupied themselves with economic concerns to the neglect of religion, a religion that would guide one in using wealth wisely and equitably and a religion that would provide comfort and meaning in times of poverty. It was clear that the people had their priorities backwards then. “My house lies in ruins, while each of you hurries to his own house”
Haggai exults the people to rebuild and provides assurance of the future temples glory, greater than that of the previous one. “One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea, and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, and I will fill this house with glory...Mine is the silver and mine the gold, says the Lord... Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former”
The temples religious function is made clear through the rejection of offerings by the unclean, and the promise of blessings.
Gods power over the whole earth is also emphasized: “I will shake the heaven and the earth; I will overthrow the thrones of the kingdoms, destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations”
Little did the Jewish people realize that this could also include Israel. The glory of the temple was only ever meant to serve as a reminder and symbol of the value of virtue, and without obedience to the law, what was left but piles of stone? As the Jews forgot more about the painful obligations of the law and comforted themselves with the pleasing gold and silver, the true value of the temple faded away, and eventually it would be destroyed by the Romans, to be replaced once again by an even greater temple, that of Christ.
Haggai - The Command to Rebuild the Temple and its Future Glory
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HAGGAI
God gives his followers wisdom and energy to do the work he assigns them. However, Cyrus , king of Persia, overthrew the Babylonians, and in BC, he allowed 50, Jews to go home and rebuild the temple. Work got off to a good start, but after a few years, the Samaritans and other neighbors opposed the rebuilding. The Jews lost interest in the task and instead turned to their own houses and careers. Darius encouraged the Jews to restore the temple. God called two prophets to support them: Zechariah and Haggai.
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HAGGAI
The prophets Haggai and Zechariah played an important role in encouraging the Jewish people and their leaders Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and the high priest Joshua to return to their homeland and rebuild the Jerusalem Temple following the Babylonian Exile. The Books of Ezra and Nehemiah are also key literary sources on the Restoration of the Jewish religious community. The Book of the Twelve Prophets was originally on one parchment roll because of the brevity of the text, and together formed one Book of the 24 Books of Hebrew Scripture. These twelve prophets were sometimes named the minor prophets, not because they are of lesser importance, but because their writings are brief. All together the 16 prophets are called the Latter Prophets, as they began writing after the Division of the United Kingdom of Israel.
Bible History Online. Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying, [Is it] time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house [lie] waste? Haggai - [According to] the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it [is] a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry [land]; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. The silver [is] mine, and the gold [is] mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
It is a short book, consisting of only two chapters. The Book of Haggai is named after its presumed author, the prophet Haggai. There is no biographical information given about the prophet in the Book of Haggai. Haggai's name is derived from the Hebrew verbal root hgg , which means "to make a pilgrimage. Sibley Towner suggests that Haggai's name might come "from his single-minded effort to bring about the reconstruction of that destination of ancient Judean pilgrims, the Temple in Jerusalem. Cyrus saw the restoration of the temple as necessary for the restoration of the religious practices, and a sense of peoplehood, after a long exile.