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Old Testament Survey

Haggai




Key Verses

1:7, 8
1:14
2:7-9


Key Chapters

Chapter 2


Key Concepts

House, Temple


Thoughts for Reading

Should we yearn for the “good old days?”


Haggai 1:7, 8, 14
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. 8Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord. .....14And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God,

Title -- Author

This book was probably written by Haggai, “the prophet” (1:1). No other identification is given in the book. Haggai the prophet is mentioned by Ezra (Ezra 5:1; 6:14). This probably makes Haggai a returnee from Babylon. There is also some room to conclude he may have been a priest. The book is unique in that the book is written in the third person, probably for emphasis.

Haggai’s name means “festival” or “festive.” This leads to speculation that the prophet was born during one of the feasts, but there is nothing in Scripture to support this conclusion.

Haggai preached his messages during the second year of the reign of Darius I (521-486 B.C.) Mede-Persia. These are the best dated prophetic messages of Scripture since each is dated to the king’s reign. The messages are delivered within a fifteen week period from August 29 to December 18, 520 B.C. 1.

The second return of exiles comes under Ezra’s leadership in 457 B.C. (Ezra 7-10). There is a third return under Nehemiah in 445/444 B.C. (Neh 1-13).

Haggai is a contemporary of Zechariah, the prophet, and Zerubbabel, the governor. The first return from Babylon was lead by Zerubbabel n 538 B.C. pursuant to the decrees of Cyrus (Ezra 1-6). Haggai and Zechariah preach encouragement about he rebuilding of the Temple, a work completed under Darius I (Ezra 5:1). The Levitical sacrifices were re-instituted on an alter built for burnt offerings according to Ezra 3:1-6. The foundation for the Temple was laid in the second year of the return (536 B.C.; Ezra 3:8-13; 5:16). Resistance from the neighboring peoples led to a halt of the rebuilding program for a 16-year period (Ezra 4:4, 5). Haggai and Zechariah deliver their messages of encouragement from 520-518 B.C.. The Temple is completed in 515 B.C. (Ezra 5-6).

PURPOSES

Haggai is a book of encouragement. There is encouragement to the remnant to make an effort to rebuild the Temple. There is encouragement to commence Temple worship as the main goal of the returned nation. There is encouragement that obedience to these things will bring God’s blessings. And there is encouragement as to the future blessings of God despite the just concluded exile.

Haggai fights two problems. First, many people were pessimistic about their ability to rebuild the Temple. Haggai points out the problem is their neglect of the issue. Secondly, the people were discouraged because the Temple was not being rebuilt to the splendor of Solomon’s. Haggai’s response is to look forward to the ultimate Temple of Christ (Haggai 2:7-9, below)

A simple outline of the prophet’s messages are:

Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament

Jesus in Haggai

Jesus is the Restorer of the Temple (2:7-9) and the Conqueror of the nations (2:22).

Haggai 2:7-9
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. 8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. 9The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.

Come, Desire of nations come! Fix in us Thy humble home:
Rise, the woman’s conqu’ring seed, Bruise in us the serpent’s head;
Adam’s likeness now efface, Stamp Thine image in its place:
Second Adam, from above, Reinstate us in Thy love.
Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the new-born King.

Verse 4, Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
Music by Mendelssohn
Words by Charles Wesley

How often do your problems arise through neglect?

Remember Jesus is coming soon!

Footnote:
1. Norman L. Geisler, A Popular Survey of the Old Testament, Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1997, 47.

 

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