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God caused this prophecy of reconstruction in Judah to be declared to the Jewish exiles in Babylon:
Ezekiel 36:22-24, 35-36 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
22 “Therefore say to the house of Israel, ‘Thus says the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, “It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went. 23 And I will sanctify my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am Jehovah, declares the Sovereign Lord Jehovah, when I shall be sanctified among you before their eyes. 24 For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you out of all the lands, and will bring you into your own land. 35 And they shall say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’ 36 Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am Jehovah; I have built the ruined places and planted that which was desolate. I am Jehovah; I have spoken, and I will do it.
The passage describes a prophecy that God will rebuild and restore the land of Judah, which had been destroyed and left desolate. According to the prophecy, God will do this not for the sake of the people of Israel but rather for the sake of his own holy name, which has been profaned by the Israelites. The prophecy also states that God will gather the Israelites from all the countries where they have been scattered and bring them back to their own land.
Ezra 4:1-5:1 suggests that God’s actions are motivated by his desire to restore his reputation and to demonstrate his power and sovereignty to the surrounding nations. It also highlights the idea that God is concerned with the holiness of his name and that he will take action to protect and defend it.
According to the passage, God’s purpose in allowing the Jews to return to their homeland and rebuild the temple was to restore the true worship of God in the land and to vindicate his name in the sight of the surrounding nations. This process began when the Persian kings Darius and Cyrus overthrew the Babylonians and allowed the Jews to return to Jerusalem.
However, the rebuilding of the temple faced opposition from the Samaritans, who were religious hybrids living in the region. They were able to halt the work by getting the Persians to issue an official ban on the project. The work on the temple came to a standstill for nearly 16 years. During this time, God raised up the prophet Haggai to encourage the Jews to continue with the rebuilding of the temple.
Ezra 4:1-5:1 describes how, after the Jews had returned to Jerusalem and begun rebuilding the temple, they faced opposition from their neighbors. Specifically, the people of the surrounding nations wrote a letter to the Persian king, Artaxerxes, to complain about the rebuilding of the temple and to ask him to stop the work.
In the letter, the opponents of the Jews claim that the rebuilding of the temple will lead to rebellion against the Persians and that the Jews are attempting to reestablish their former kingdom. They also claim that the Jews have not been paying taxes and that they are acting in defiance of the king’s orders.
In response to this letter, the Persian king issues an order to stop the rebuilding of the temple. However, the Jews appeal to the king, explaining that they are rebuilding the temple not for political reasons but rather to honor their God. They also provide a history of the temple and the events that led to its destruction.
Eventually, the Persian king allowed the rebuilding of the temple to continue, and the work was completed. The passage ends with a description of the dedication of the temple and the celebration that took place.
Haggai was a prophet in the Hebrew Bible who lived during the time of the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. Very little is known about him personally, but his name means “festive,” and it is believed that he returned to Jerusalem from Babylon with Zerubbabel in 537 BC. Haggai’s prophesies are recorded in the book of Haggai in the Hebrew Bible, and they cover a period of just three months and 24 days.
During this time, Haggai delivered four brief discourses on three different days. His message was focused on encouraging the Jews to continue with the rebuilding of the temple, which had been halted for nearly 16 years due to opposition from the Samaritans. Some of the Jews had become discouraged and had stopped working on the temple, saying that it was not yet the time for it to be built. Haggai’s message was meant to refute this attitude and to encourage the people to put their faith in God and to continue with the work. Haggai declared:
Haggai 1:1-11 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Reprimand for Not Rebuilding the Temple
1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: 2 “Thus says Jehovah of armies: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of Jehovah.” 3 Then the word of Jehovah came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 4 “Is it the time for you to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now therefore, thus says Jehovah of armies, ‘Set your heart on your ways. 6 You have sown much and harvested little. You have sown much seed, but you harvest little. You eat, but it is not to satisfaction. You drink, but you do not drink your fill. You put on clothing, but no one gets warm. The one who hires himself out puts his wages in a bag full of holes.’”
7 “This is what Jehovah of armies says: Set your heart on your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says Jehovah. 9 You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares Jehovah of armies. Because of my house that remains desolate, while each man is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all the labor of the hands.”
Haggai 1:1-11 describes the beginning of Haggai’s prophetic ministry and the message that he delivered to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from exile in Babylon.
In this passage, Haggai begins by telling the people that they have been neglecting the rebuilding of the temple, even though they have been living in comfortable homes while the temple remains in ruins. He encourages them to consider the difference between their own prosperity and the state of the temple and to put their priorities in order.
Haggai then speaks to the leaders of the people, telling them that their failure to rebuild the temple has caused their own prosperity to be hindered. He points out that the people have been experiencing drought and other difficulties because they have not been faithfully serving God.
Finally, Haggai delivers a message from God, saying that God will be with the people and will bless them if they will turn their hearts back to him and rebuild the temple. He encourages the people to have faith and to put their trust in God, and he promises that God will restore their fortunes and bring prosperity to the land.
According to Haggai 2:1-9, some of the Jews had become discouraged with the rebuilding of the temple, and they were comparing it unfavorably to the previous temple that had been built by Solomon. They were saying that the new temple was not as impressive as the old one and that it did not compare to the temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
In response to this attitude, Haggai delivered a message to the people, reassuring them that the new temple would be even more glorious than the old one. He told them that God would shake all nations and that the temple would become the object of desire for all nations. Haggai encouraged the people to have faith in God and to trust in his promise to restore their fortunes and bring prosperity to the land.
Haggai 2:1-9 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
The Second Temple Shall Be Filled with Glory
2 In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of Jehovah came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, saying, 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? 4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares Jehovah. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares Jehovah. Work, for I am with you, declares Jehovah of armies, 5 according to the promise which I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. 6 For thus says Jehovah of armies: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. 7 And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says Jehovah of armies. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares Jehovah of armies. 9 The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says Jehovah of armies. And in this place, I will give peace, declares Jehovah of armies.’”
Haggai 2:1-9 describes a message that Haggai delivers to the Jews who are rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
In this passage, Haggai speaks to the people about the importance of the temple and its role in God’s plan. He tells them that the temple will be a sign of God’s presence among them and that it will be a source of strength and protection.
Haggai also encourages the people to have faith in God and to trust in his promises. He tells them that the temple is a symbol of God’s faithfulness and that God will fulfill his promise to restore their fortunes and bring prosperity to the land.
Finally, Haggai delivers a message from God, saying that the temple will be a source of blessings for the people and that God will be with them as they rebuild it. He encourages the people to continue with the work and to have confidence in God’s plan for their future.
In Haggai 2:10-19, Haggai asks the priests to consider the reasons for the nation’s past uncleanness and the plague of crop failures that had affected the land. He suggests that these difficulties may have been a result of the people’s neglect of the temple and their failure to serve God faithfully.
Haggai then encourages the people to continue with the work of rebuilding the temple, promising that God will bless them in return. He tells the people that God will restore their fortunes and bring prosperity to the land, and he encourages them to trust in God’s promise and to have faith in his plan for their future.
Haggai 2:10-19 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
Blessings for a Defiled People for Rebuilding the Temple
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Jehovah came by Haggai the prophet, 11 “Thus says Jehovah of armies: Ask the priests about the law: 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’ ” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean by contact with a dead soul touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai said, “‘So is this people. And so is this nation before me,’ declares Jehovah, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. 15 But now, please, set your heart on this from this day forward: Before a stone was placed on a stone in the temple of Jehovah, 16 how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you and all the works of your hands with scorching blight, mildew, and hail; yet you did not come back to me,’ declares Jehovah. 18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of Jehovah’s temple was laid, consider: 19 Is the seed yet in the storehouse? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have brought forth nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”
Haggai 2:10-19 describes a message that Haggai delivered to the Jews who were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
In this passage, Haggai speaks about the importance of purity and holiness in the temple. He tells the people that they must be careful to keep the temple clean and free from defilement, and he warns them against bringing any unclean or polluted items into the temple.
Haggai also speaks about the future glory of the temple and the blessings that it will bring to the people. He tells the people that the temple will be a source of peace and prosperity for the nation and that it will be a place of refuge for the people in times of trouble.
Haggai 2:20-23 describes a message that Haggai delivered to the Jews who were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.
In this passage, Haggai speaks about the future glory of the temple and the blessings that it will bring to the people. He tells the people that the temple will be a source of peace and prosperity for the nation and that it will be a place of refuge for the people in times of trouble.
Haggai also speaks about the coming of the Messiah and the role that the temple will play in his coming. He tells the people that the Messiah will come to the temple and that he will bring peace and prosperity to the world.
Finally, Haggai delivers a message from God, saying that God will bless the people and make them a source of blessing to the nations. He encourages the people to continue with the work of rebuilding the temple and to trust in God’s promise to restore their fortunes and bring prosperity to the land.
Haggai 2:20-23 Updated American Standard Version (UASV)
A Message to Zerubbabel
20 The word of Jehovah came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations and overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 On that day, declares Jehovah of armies, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares Jehovah, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares Jehovah of armies.”
According to Haggai 2:20-23, Haggai spoke about the future glory of the temple and the blessings that it would bring to the people. He also spoke about the coming of the Messiah and the role that the temple would play in his coming. Some interpreters believe that Haggai’s message in this passage was a prophecy about the future coming of Christ and the establishment of his kingdom.
In particular, Haggai spoke about the time when God, through Christ, would shake the evil world of Satan and overthrow its kingdoms and governments. He foretold that Christ would establish his kingdom in power and bring peace and prosperity to the world.