Haggai
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The Prophet. Haggai was born in Babylon and was one of those who returned from captivity, under Zerrubbabel, according to the decree of Cyrus. He prophesied during the period of the rebuilding of the temple, as recorded in Ezra and he was the first prophet called to prophesy after the Jews returned from the captivity in Babylon. He began his teaching sixteen years after the return of the first band to Jerusalem.

The Conditions Out of Which Grew the Prophecy. Under the decree of Cyrus. King of Persia, Zerrubbabel, a descendant of King David, had led a company of captives back to Jerusalem. They had set up the altar and work on the temple had been begun, but the work had been interrupted by the hostile Samaritans and others and for about fourteen years almost nothing had been done. These years of inactivity had dulled their zeal and they were rapidly becoming reconciled to the situation and by reason of their weakness, compared with the great task before them, they were beginning to despair of seeing their people and beloved city and Temple restored to that glory pictured by former prophets.

The Prophecy. Its purpose was to restore the hope of the people and togive them zeal for the cause of God. This was accomplished by means of four distinct visions, each of which shows their folly in not completing the work, mid promises divine blessing. They hear God say, "I am with you, and will bless you." The result is seen in that they are enabled, in spite of opposition, to finish and dedicate it in about four years.

Analysis.

I. The Appeal to Rebuild the Temple, Ch. 1.

1. The appeal, 1:11.

2. The preparations to build, 12-15.

II. The New Temple, 2:1-19.

1. The superior glories of it, 2:1-9.

2. The blessing of its holy service, 2:10-19.

III. The Messianic Kingdom, 2:10-23.

For Study and Discussion, (1) The rebukes uttered by the prophet. (2) The encouragements he offers. (3) The historical confirmation of the facts of this book found in Ezra. (4) False content and discontent. (5) Basing conclusions upon the comparative strength of the friends and enemies of a proposition, while leaving God out of the count.

THE BIBLE BOOK BY BOOK: A MANUAL:
For the Outline Study of the Bible by Books by J.B. TIDELL, A.M., D.D. Professor of Biblical Literature in Baylor University, Waco, Texas
1916 BAYLOR UNIVERSITY PRESS Waco, Texas
Zephaniah
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