Haggai 2

1 In the seventh month, in the twenty-first day of the month, the LORD’s word came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people, saying, 3 ‘Who is left amongst you who saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Isn’t it in your eyes as nothing? 4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the LORD. ‘Be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the LORD, ‘and work, for I am with you,’ says the LORD of Armies. 5 This is the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit lived amongst you. ‘Don’t be afraid.’ 6 For this is what the LORD of Armies says: ‘Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land; 7 and I will shake all nations. The precious things of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of Armies. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,’ says the LORD of Armies. 9 ‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of Armies; ‘and in this place will I give peace,’ says the LORD of Armies.” 10 In the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the LORD’s word came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “the LORD of Armies says: Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying, 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with his fold touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any food, will it become holy?’” The priests answered, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean by reason of a dead body touch any of these, will it be unclean?” The priests answered, “It will be unclean.” 14 Then Haggai answered, “‘So is this people, and so is this nation before me,’ says the LORD; ‘and so is every work of their hands. That which they offer there is unclean. 15 Now, please consider from this day and backward, before a stone was laid on a stone in the LORD’s temple. 16 Through all that time, when one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty, there were only twenty. 17 I struck you with blight, mildew, and hail in all the work of your hands; yet you didn’t turn to me,’ says the LORD. 18 ‘Consider, please, from this day and backward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, since the day that the foundation of the LORD’s temple was laid, consider it. 19 Is the seed yet in the barn? Yes, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree haven’t produced. From today I will bless you.’” 20 the LORD’s word came the second time to Haggai in the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, ‘I will shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations. I will overthrow the chariots, and those who ride in them. The horses and their riders will come down, everyone by the sword of his brother. 23 In that day, says the LORD of Armies, will I take you, Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you as a signet, for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of Armies.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–9

Those who are hearty in the Lord’s service shall receive encouragement to proceed. But they could not build such a temple then, as Solomon built. Though our gracious God is pleased if we do as well as we can in his service, yet our proud hearts will scarcely let us be pleased, unless we do as well as others, whose abilities are far beyond ours. Encouragement is given the Jews to go on in the work notwithstanding. They have God with them, his Spirit and his special presence. Though he chastens their transgressions, his faithfulness does not fail. The Spirit still remained among them. And they shall have the Messiah among them shortly; “He that should come.” Convulsions and changes would take place in the Jewish church and state, but first should come great revolutions and commotions among the nations. He shall come, as the Desire of all nations; desirable to all nations, for in him shall all the earth be blessed with the best of blessings; long expected and desired by all believers. The house they were building should be filled with glory, very far beyond Solomon’s temple. This house shall be filled with glory of another nature. If we have silver and gold, we must serve and honour God with it, for the property is his. If we have not silver and gold, we must honour him with such as we have, and he will accept us. Let them be comforted that the glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, in what would be beyond all the glories of the first house, the presence of the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of glory, personally, and in human nature. Nothing but the presence of the Son of God, in human form and nature, could fulfil this. Jesus is the Christ, is He that should come, and we are to look for no other. This prophecy alone is enough to silence the Jews, and condemn their obstinate rejection of Him, concerning whom all their prophets spake. If God be with us, peace is with us. But the Jews under the latter temple had much trouble; but this promise is fulfilled in that spiritual peace which Jesus Christ has by his blood purchased for all believers. All changes shall make way for Christ to be desired and valued by all nations. And the Jews shall have their eyes opened to behold how precious He is, whom they have hitherto rejected.

Verses 10–19

Many spoiled this good work, by going about it with unholy hearts and hands, and were likely to gain no advantage by it. The sum of these two rules of the law is, that sin is more easily learned from others than holiness. The impurity of their hearts and lives shall make the work of their hands, and all their offerings, unclean before God. The case is the same with us. When employed in any good work, we should watch over ourselves, lest we render it unclean by our corruptions. When we begin to make conscience of duty to God, we may expect his blessing; and whoso is wise will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. God will curse the blessings of the wicked, and make bitter the prosperity of the careless; but he will sweeten the cup of affliction to those who diligently serve him.

Verses 20–23

The Lord will preserve Zerubbabel and the people of Judah, amidst their enemies. Here is also foretold the establishment and continuance of the kingdom of Christ; by union with whom his people are sealed with the Holy Ghost, sealed with his image, thus distinguished from all others. Here also is foretold the changes, even to that time when the kingdom of Christ shall overthrow and occupy the place of all the empires which opposed his cause. The promise has special reference to Christ, who descended from Zerubbabel in a direct line, and is the sole Builder of the gospel temple. Our Lord Jesus is the Signet on God’s right hand, for all power is given to him, and derived from him. By him, and in him, all the promises of God are yea and amen. Whatever changes take place on earth, all will promote the comfort, honour, and happiness of his servants.

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