HAGGAI

Introduction and Chapters

Introduction

Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah, and according to his own record, his prophetic activity began in the second year of Darius (ca. 520 BC), which was less than two decades after Jews had returned to the Land of Israel from Babylonian captivity. Along with Zechariah, he was instrumental in catalyzing the rebuilding of the temple.

Chapter 1

    1. In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of Yahweh came through Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying;
    2. Thus says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, saying; This people has said, The time has not come – the time for the house of Yahweh to be built.
    3. And the word of Yahweh came through Haggai the prophet, saying;
    4. Is it time for you to sit in your paneled houses while this house is in ruins?
    5. And now, thus says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, Pay attention to your ways!
    6. You have sown much, but you bring in little. You eat, but there is not enough to satisfy you. You drink, but there is not enough to make you drunk. You dress, but there is not enough to keep one warm. And he who earns wages, earns wages for a bag with holes in it.
    7. Thus says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts. Pay attention to your ways!
    8. Go up the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will be pleased with it, and I will be glorified, says Yahweh.
    9. You turned to much, but behold, it was little; and you bring it home, but I blow it away. For what? says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, Because of my house, which is in ruins, while each one of you takes pleasure in his own house.
    10. Therefore, the heavens have withheld the dew because of you, and the earth has kept back its produce.
    11. And I have called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the grain, and upon the new wine, and upon the fine oil, and upon whatever the ground brings forth, and upon the ground, and upon the animals, and upon all hand-made products.
    12. And Zerubbabel the son of Shaltiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak the high priest, and all the remaining people heeded the voice of Yahweh their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, when Yahweh their God sent him, and the people feared Yahweh.
    13. And Haggai, the messenger of Yahweh said to the people, as an emissary of Yahweh, saying; I am with you, says Yahweh.
    14. And Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest, and the spirit of all the rest of the people, and they came and performed work in the house of Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, their God;
    15. On the twenty fourth day of the sixth (month) in the second year of Darius the king.
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Chapter 2

Yahweh will shake the heavens and the earth

    1. In the seventh (month), on the twenty first (day) of the month, the word of Yahweh came through Haggai the prophet, saying;
    2. Speak to Zerubbabel the son of Shaltiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak the high priest, and to the rest of the people, saying;
    3. Who remains among you who saw this house in its first glory? And what do you see of it now? Is it not as though it were nothing before your eyes?
    4. And now, be strong Zerubbabel, says Yahweh, and be strong Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest, and be strong all the people of the land, says Yahweh; and since I am with you, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts,
    5. Do 1 the thing which I covenanted with you when you came forth from Egypt, and my spirit will stand in your midst. Do not fear!
    6. For thus says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, Once again, 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 the nations, and they will come (with) the precious things of all the nations, and I will fill this house with glory, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts.
    8. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts.
    9. The glory of this last house will be greater than that of the first one, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, and I will put peace 2 in this place, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts.
    10. On the twenty fourth (day) of the ninth (month), in the second year of Darius, the word of Yahweh came through Haggai the prophet, saying;
    11. Thus says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, Ask the priests for instruction, saying;
    12. If a man carries sacred meat in the skirt of his clothing, and (while) in his skirt it touches the bread, or the soup, or the wine, or the oil, or any food, will it (still) be sacred? And the priests answered and said, No.
    13. And Haggai said, If one contaminated by a corpse touches any of these things, will it be contaminated? And the priests answered and said, It will be contaminated.
    14. And Haggai replied and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, says Yahweh, and so is all the work of their hands, and that which they sacrifice there – it is contaminated.
    15. And now, consider this from this day onward; before putting a stone upon a stone in the temple of Yahweh;
    16. When they come to a pile of twenty measures and there will be (only) ten; (or) when they come to a wine-vat to draw off fifty from the wine-press, and there are only twenty.
    17. I have smitten you with smut 3 and with mildew, and with hail – all the work of your hands, but you are not (returning) to me, says Yahweh.
    18. Consider carefully, from this day onward, from the twenty fourth day of the ninth (month) – from the day on which the foundation of the temple of Yahweh was laid, consider carefully.
    19. Is the seed still in the granary? Yes, the vine, and the fig trees, and the pomegranate trees, and the olive trees have not yet borne (fruit). From this day I will bless you.
    20. And the word of Yahweh came again to Haggai, on the twenty fourth (day) of the month, saying;
    21. Speak to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, saying: I will shake the heavens and the earth;
    22. And I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will come down, each man upon the sword of his brother.
    23. On that day, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts, I will take you, Oh Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant, says Yahweh, and I will make you as a seal, 4 for I have chosen you, says Yahweh of the Heavenly Hosts.
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1. The verb “do” (Heb. ועשו) actually appears in verse 4 in the Hebrew text, but I believe it refers to the action described in verse 6 as represented above.
2. The word is shalom, and it may have reference to temple ordinances, for the word does not really mean “peace” as we understand it, but rather “completion” or even “perfection” in the sense of approaching the divine.
3. In the agricultural sense, as used here, smut refers to a fungal disease, which infects plants, especially grains, and destroys the crop.
4. Or “signet (ring).” In any case, it indicates authority delegated from Yahweh.
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