Haggai 1:1
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest:

New Living Translation
On August 29 of the second year of King Darius's reign, the LORD gave a message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest.

English Standard Version
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD 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:

New American Standard Bible
In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

King James Bible
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

Holman Christian Standard Bible
In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came through Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest:"

International Standard Version
On the first day of the sixth month of the second year of the reign of King Darius, this message from the LORD came by Haggai the prophet to Shealtiel's son Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, and to Jehozadak's son Joshua, the high priest:

NET Bible
On the first day of the sixth month of King Darius' second year, the LORD spoke this message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak:

New Heart English Bible
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, the Word of the LORD came by Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

GOD'S WORD® Translation
On the first day of the sixth month in Darius' second year as king, the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah) and to the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak). He said,

JPS Tanakh 1917
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying:

New American Standard 1977
In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest saying,

Jubilee Bible 2000
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the hand of Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

King James 2000 Bible
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

American King James Version
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

American Standard Version
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of Jehovah by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

Douay-Rheims Bible
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Aggeus the prophet, to Zorobabel the son of Salathiel, governor of Juda, and to Jesus the son of Josedec the high priest, saying:

Darby Bible Translation
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, came the word of Jehovah by the prophet Haggai unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

English Revised Version
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

Webster's Bible Translation
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

World English Bible
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, the Word of Yahweh came by Haggai, the prophet, to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,

Young's Literal Translation
In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, hath a word of Jehovah been by the hand of Haggai the prophet, unto Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and unto Joshua son of Josedech, the high priest, saying:
Study Bible
A Call to Rebuild the Temple
1In the second year of Darius the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the LORD came by the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying, 2"Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'This people says, "The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt."'"…
Cross References
Matthew 1:12
After the exile to Babylon: Jechoniah was the father of Shealtiel, Shealtiel the father of Zerubbabel,

Matthew 1:13
Zerubbabel the father of Abiud, Abiud the father of Eliakim, and Eliakim the father of Azor.

1 Kings 10:15
besides that from the traders and the wares of the merchants and all the kings of the Arabs and the governors of the country.

Ezra 2:2
These came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, Mordecai, Bilshan, Mispar, Bigvai, Rehum and Baanah. The number of the men of the people of Israel:

Ezra 3:2
Then Jeshua the son of Jozadak and his brothers the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and his brothers arose and built the altar of the God of Israel to offer burnt offerings on it, as it is written in the law of Moses, the man of God.

Ezra 4:24
Then work on the house of God in Jerusalem ceased, and it was stopped until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia.

Ezra 5:1
When the prophets, Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them,

Ezra 5:3
At that time Tattenai, the governor of the province beyond the River, and Shethar-bozenai and their colleagues came to them and spoke to them thus, "Who issued you a decree to rebuild this temple and to finish this structure?"

Ezra 6:14
And the elders of the Jews were successful in building through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they finished building according to the command of the God of Israel and the decree of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerxes king of Persia.

Ezra 10:18
Among the sons of the priests who had married foreign wives were found of the sons of Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers: Maaseiah, Eliezer, Jarib and Gedaliah.
Treasury of Scripture

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

second.

Haggai 2:1,10,20 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, …

Ezra 4:24 Then ceased the work of the house of God which is at Jerusalem. So …

Ezra 5:1,2 Then the prophets, Haggai the prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo…

Zechariah 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word …

the sixth. {Elul,} the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year, answering to a part of September.

by Haggai. Heb. by the hand of Haggai.

Exodus 4:13 And he said, O my LORD, send, I pray you, by the hand of him whom you will send.

1 Kings 14:18 And they buried him; and all Israel mourned for him, according to …

2 Kings 14:25 He restored the coast of Israel from the entering of Hamath to the …

Ezra 6:14 And the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the …

unto.

Haggai 1:12,14 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, …

Haggai 2:2,4,21-23 Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, …

1 Chronicles 3:17,19 And the sons of Jeconiah; Assir, Salathiel his son…

Salathiel.

Ezra 2:2 Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, …

Ezra 3:2,8 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brothers the priests, …

Ezra 4:2 Then they came to Zerubbabel, and to the chief of the fathers, and …

Ezra 5:2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son …

Nehemiah 7:7 Who came with Zerubbabel, Jeshua, Nehemiah, Azariah, Raamiah, Nahamani, …

Zechariah 4:6-10 Then he answered and spoke to me, saying, This is the word of the …

Matthew 1:12,13 And after they were brought to Babylon, Jechonias begat Salathiel; …

Zorobabel, Salathiel.

Luke 3:27 Which was the son of Joanna, which was the son of Rhesa, which was …

governor. or, captain.

Ezra 1:8 Even those did Cyrus king of Persia bring forth by the hand of Mithredath …

Ezra 2:63 And the Tirshatha said to them, that they should not eat of the most …

Nehemiah 5:14 Moreover from the time that I was appointed to be their governor …

Nehemiah 8:9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, …

Joshua.

Ezra 2:2 Which came with Zerubbabel: Jeshua, Nehemiah, Seraiah, Reelaiah, …

Ezra 3:8 Now in the second year of their coming to the house of God at Jerusalem, …

Ezra 5:2 Then rose up Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua the son …

Nehemiah 12:1,10 Now these are the priests and the Levites that went up with Zerubbabel …

Josedech.

1 Chronicles 6:14,15 And Azariah begat Seraiah, and Seraiah begat Jehozadak…

Jehozadak.

(1-11) The First Utterance.--The neglect of God's House denounced, and declared to be the cause of the prevalent dearth.

(1) Darius the king.--Scil., Darius I., son of Hystaspes, who became king of Persia in B.C. 521. The fact that there were still men living who had seen the First Temple (Haggai 2:3), which fell in B.C. 586, sufficiently disproves the absurd theory that Darius Nothus is meant, who did not accede to the throne until B.C. 423-4. Prophecy is now dated by the years of a foreign ruler, for Zerubbabel, though a lineal descendant of David, was only a pechh, or viceroy of Persian appointment, not a king in his own right.

The sixth month.--That named Elul, corresponding nearly with our September.

In the first day--i.e., on the festival of the new moon, a holy day which had always been marked not only by suspension of labour, but by special services in the Temple (Ezekiel 46:3; Isaiah 66:23). It was thus an appropriate occasion for Haggai to commence a series of exhortations so intimately connected with the Temple. Besides, it appears to have been an ancient custom that the people should resort to the prophets for religious instruction on new moons and Sabbaths. (See 2Kings 4:23.)

Came the word . . .--Literally, there was a word of the Lord by the hand of Haggai, &c. This expression, which occurs repeatedly in this book, indicates that Jehovah was the direct source of these announcements, and Haggai only their vehicle.

The prophet.--See Habakkuk 1:1, Note.

Son of Shealtiel.--Strictly speaking, Zerubbabel was the son of Pedaiah, who contracted a Levirate marriage with the widow of his brother Shealtiel. (See Notes on 1Chronicles 3:17; Jeremiah 22:30; Luke 3:27.)

Governor.--Satrap, or viceroy, a term applied in the Old Testament to the provincial prefects of the Assyrian and Babylonian and Persian empires. (See Note on 1Kings 10:15.) Joshua, the high priest, is a prominent character in the prophecy of Zechariah. Haggai addresses Zerubbabel as the civil, Joshua as the ecclesiastical head of the restored exiles.

Verse 1. - In the second year of Darius the king. This is Darius Hystaspes, who reigned over Persia from B.C. 521 to B.C. 486. He is called in the inscriptions Daryavush, which name means "Holder," or "Supporter." Herodotus (6:98) explains it as "Coercer" (ἑρξείης). Hitherto the prophets have dated the time of the exercise of their office from the reigns of the legitimate Hebrew monarchs; it shows a new slate of things when they place at the head of their oracles the name of a foreign and a heathen patenlate. The Jews had, indeed, now no king of their own, "the tabernacle of David had fallen" (Amos 9:11), and they were living on sufferance under an alien power. They had returned from exile by permission of Cyrus in the first year of his occupancy of the throne of Babylon sixteen years before this time, and had commenced to build the temple soon after; but the opposition of neighbours, contradictory orders from the Persian court, and their own lukewarmness had contributed to hinder the work, and it soon wholly ceased, and remained suspended to the moment when Haggai, as the seventy years of desolation drew to an end, was commissioned to arouse them from their apathy, and to urge them to use the opportunity which was afforded by the accession of the new monarch and the withdrawal of the vexatious interdict that had checked their operations in the previous reign (see Introduction, § 1; and comp. Ezra 4:24). The sixth month, according to the sacred Hebrew calendar, which reckoned from Nisan to Nisan. This would be Elul, answering to parts of our August and September. In the first day. This was the regular festival of the new moon (Numbers 10:10; Isaiah 1:13), and a fitting time to urge the building of the temple, without which it could not be duly celebrated. By; literally, by the hand (as in ver. 3), the instrument whom God used (Exodus 9:35; Jeremiah 37:2; Hosea 12:11; Acts 7:35) Haggai the prophet (see the Introduction). Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel; Septuagint, Αἰπὸν πρὸς Ζοροβάβελ τὸν τοῦ Σαλαθιὴλ, "Speak to Zorobabel the son of Salathiel." The temporal head of the nation, the representative of the royal house of David, and therefore with the high priest jointly responsible, for the present state of affairs, and having power and authority to amend it. The name, as explained, and rightly, by St. Jerome, means, "Born in Babylon," and intimates the truth concerning his origin. He is called Sheshbazzar in Ezra 1:8; Ezra 5:14, which is either his name at the Persian court, or is an erroneous transliteration for a synonymous word (see Kuabenbauer, in loc.). The name is found in the cuneiform inscription, as Zir-Babilu. Shealtiel (or Salathiel) means, "Asked of God." There is a difficulty about Zerubbabel's parentage. Here and frequently in this book, and in Ezra and Nehemiah, as well as in Matthew 1:12 and Luke 3:27, he is called "son of Shealtiel;" in 1 Chronicles 3:19 he is said to be the son of Pedaiah the brother of Salathiel. The truth probably is that he was by birth the son of Pedaiah, but by adoption or the law of the levirate, the son of Salathiel. He was regarded as the grandson of Jehoiachin, or Jeconiah. Governor (pechah). A foreign word, used in 1 Kings 10:15, in Isaiah (Isaiah 36:9) and frequently in Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther, to denote an inferior satrap or subordinate governor. Strassmaier (ap. Knabenbauer) notes that in Assyrian the word is found in the form pachu, that pichatu means "a province," pachat, "a district." It seems natural, though probably erroneous, to connect it with the Turkish pashah. But see the discussion on the word in Pusey, 'Daniel the Prophet,' p. 566, etc. Instead of "Governor of Judah," the LXX. here and ver. 12 and Haggai 2:2 reads, "of the tribe of Judah." One of the house of David has the government, but the foreign title applied to him shows that he holds authority only as the deputy of an alien power. Judah was henceforward applied to the whole country. The prophecy in Genesis 49:10 still held good. Joshua. The highest spiritual officer (Ezra 3:2, 8; Ezra 4:3). This Joshua, Jehoshua, Jeshua, as he is variously called, was a son of Josedech who, in the time of Nebuchadnezzar, had been carried captive to Babylon (1 Chronicles 6:15), and grandson of that Seraiah who, with other princes of Judah, was slain at Riblah by the Babyloniaes (2 Kings 25:18, etc.). The parentage of Zerubbabel and Joshua is specially mentioned to show that the former was of the house of David and the latter of the family of Aaron, and that even in its depressed condition Israel retained its rightful constitution (see note on Zechariah 3:1). In the second year of Darius the King,.... That is, of Persia; he is spoken of as if he was the only king in the world; and indeed he was the then greatest king in it; and therefore is emphatically called "the king". This was not Darius the Mede, as Genebrard; who was contemporary with Cyrus, and partner in the kingdom; nor Darius Nothus, as Scaliger, and those that follow him; since the second year of this Darius was, according to Cocceius, who follows this opinion, one hundred and thirty eight years after the first edict of Cyrus; and so Zerubbabel and Joshua must exercise their office, the one of governor, the other of high priest, such a term of years, and more, which is not credible; and some of the Jews in captivity must have lived upwards of two hundred years; even those who saw the temple in its first glory, before the captivity, and now behold it in Haggai's time, in a very different condition, Haggai 2:3. It seems therefore more probable, according to Josephus (i), and others, that this was Darius Hystaspis, who was chosen king by the nobles of Persia, upon his horse's neighing first as Herodotus (k) relates: the second year of his reign was about seventeen or eighteen years after the proclamation of Cyrus; during whose reign, he being much engaged in affairs abroad, and the reign of his successor Cambyses, the enemies of the Jews, encouraged by the latter, greatly obstructed the building of the temple, and discouraged them from going on with it; but when this king came to the throne, things took another turn, being favoured by him; for Josephus (l) relates, that, when a private person, he vowed, if ever he became king, whatever of the holy vessels were in Babylon, he would send to the temple at Jerusalem; and upon solicitations made to him, the Jews were encouraged to go on with the building of it:

in the sixth month; the month Elul, answering, to part of August, and part of September; which was the sixth, reckoning from the month Nisan:

in the first day of the month; which was the feast of the new moon:

came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet; or, "by the hand of Haggai" (m); by his means; he was the instrument by whom the Lord delivered his word; the word was not the prophet's, but the Lord's; and this is observed, to give weight and authority to it:

unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel: the same who is called Salathiel, Matthew 1:12 according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, he was the grandson of Salathiel; though rather Salathiel seems to be his uncle, he being the son of Pedaiah his brother, 1 Chronicles 3:17 however, he was his heir and successor in the government, and so called his son; See Gill on Matthew 1:12,

governor of Judah; not king; for the country was under the dominion of the king of Persia, and Zerubbabel was a deputy governor under him; so the apocryphal Ezra calls him governor of Judea,

"And also he commanded that Sisinnes the governor of Syria and Phenice, and Sathrabuzanes, and their companions, and those which were appointed rulers in Syria and Phenice, should be careful not to meddle with the place, but suffer Zorobabel, the servant of the Lord, and governor of Judea, and the elders of the Jews, to build the house of the Lord in that place.'' (1 Esdras 6:27)

and, according to Josephus (n), he was made governor of the captive Jews, when in Babylon, being in great favour with the king of Babylon; and, with two more, were his body guards; and he was continued governor by the Persians, when the Jews returned to their land:

and to Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest; who is called Jeshua, and his father Jozadak, Ezra 3:2 his father was carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar, 1 Chronicles 6:15 now, to these two principal persons in the commonwealth of Judea was the word of the Lord sent by the prophet; the one having the chief power in civil things, and the other in things ecclesiastical; and both had an influence upon the people; but very probably were dilatory in the work of building the temple; and therefore have a message sent to them, to stir them up to this service:

saying: as follows:

(i) Antiqu. l. 11. c. 3. sect. 1. and c. 4. sect. 5, 7. (k) Thalia, sive l. 3. c. 84, 85, 86. (l) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 11. c. 3. sect. 1. and c. 4. sect. 5, 7.) (m) "in manu Aggaei", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Cocceius. (n) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 11. c. 3. sect. 1. and c. 4. sect. 5, 7.) THE BOOK OF HAGGAI Commentary by A. R. Faussett

INTRODUCTION

The name Haggai means "my feast"; given, according to Cocceius, in anticipation of the joyous return from exile. He probably was one of the Jewish exiles (of the tribes Judah, Benjamin, and Levi) who returned under Zerubbabel, the civil head of the people, and Joshua, the high priest, 536 B.C., when Cyrus (actuated by the striking prophecies as to himself, Isa 44:28; 45:1) granted them their liberty, and furnished them with the necessaries for restoring the temple (2Ch 36:23; Ezr 1:1; 2:2). The work of rebuilding went on under Cyrus and his successor Cambyses (called Ahasuerus in Ezr 4:6) in spite of opposition from the Samaritans, who, when their offers of help were declined, began to try to hinder it. These at last obtained an interdict from the usurper Smerdis the Magian (called Artaxerxes in Ezr 4:7-23), whose suspicions were easy to rouse. The Jews thereupon became so indifferent to the work that when Darius came to the throne (521 B.C.), virtually setting aside the prohibitions of the usurper, instead of recommencing their labors, they pretended that as the prophecy of the seventy years applied to the temple as well as to the captivity in Babylon (Hag 1:2), they were only in the sixty-eighth year of it [Henderson]; so that, the proper time not having yet arrived, they might devote themselves to building splendid mansions for themselves. Haggai and Zechariah were commissioned by Jehovah (Hag 1:1) in the second year of Darius (Hystaspes), 520 B.C., sixteen years after the return under Zerubbabel, to rouse them from their selfishness to resume the work which for fourteen years had been suspended. Haggai preceded Zechariah in the work by two months.

The dates of his four distinct prophecies are accurately given: (1) The first (Hag 1:1-15), on the first day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius, 520 B.C., reproved the people for their apathy in allowing the temple to lie in ruins and reminded them of their ill success in everything because of their not honoring God as to His house. The result was that twenty-four days afterwards they commenced building under Zerubbabel (Hag 1:12-15). (2) The second, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month (Hag 2:1-9), predicts that the glory of the new temple would be greater than that of Solomon's, so that the people need not be discouraged by the inferiority in outward splendor of the new, as compared with the old temple, which had so moved to tears the elders who had remembered the old (Ezr 3:12, 13). Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel had implied the same prediction, whence some had doubted whether they ought to proceed with a building so inferior to the former one; but Haggai shows wherein the superior glory was to consist, namely, in the presence of Him who is the "desire of all nations" (Hag 2:7). (3) The third, on the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (Hag 2:10-19), refers to a period when building materials had been collected, and the workmen had begun to put them together, from which time forth God promises His blessing; it begins with removing their past error as to the efficacy of mere outward observances to cleanse from the taint of disobedience as to the temple building. (4) The fourth (Hag 2:20-23), on the same day as the preceding, was addressed to Zerubbabel, as the representative of the theocratic people, and as having asked as to the national revolutions spoken of in the second prophecy (Hag 2:7).

The prophecies are all so brief as to suggest the supposition that they are only a summary of the original discourses. The space occupied is but three months from the first to the last.

The Jews' adversaries, on the resumption of the work under Zerubbabel, Haggai, and Zechariah, tried to set Darius against it; but that monarch confirmed Cyrus' decree and ordered all help to be given to the building of the temple (Ezr 5:3, etc.; Ezr 6:1, etc.). So the temple was completed in the sixth year of Darius' reign 516-515 B.C. (Ezr 6:14).

The style of Haggai is consonant with his messages: pathetic in exhortation, vehement in reproofs, elevated in contemplating the glorious future. The repetition of the same phrases (for example, "saith the Lord," or "the Lord of hosts," Hag 1:2, 5, 7; and thrice in one verse, Hag 2:4; so "the spirit," thrice in one verse, Hag 1:14) gives a simple earnestness to his style, calculated to awaken the solemn attention of the people, and to awaken them from their apathy, to which also the interrogatory form, often adopted, especially tends. Chaldaisms occur (Hag 2:3; 2:6; 2:16), as might have been expected in a writer who was so long in Chaldea. Parts are purely prose history; the rest is somewhat rhythmical, and observant of poetic parallelism.

Haggai is referred to in Ezr 5:1; 6:14; and in the New Testament (Heb 12:26; compare Hag 2:6, 7, 22).

CHAPTER 1

Hag 1:1-15. Haggai Calls the People to Consider Their Ways in Neglecting to Build God's House: The Evil of This Neglect to Themselves: The Honor to God of Attending to It: The People's Penitent Obedience under Zerubbabel Followed by God's Gracious Assurance.

1. second year of Darius—Hystaspes, the king of Medo-Persia, the second of the world empires, Babylon having been overthrown by the Persian Cyrus. The Jews having no king of their own, dated by the reign of the world kings to whom they were subject. Darius was a common name of the Persian kings, as Pharaoh of those of Egypt, and Cæsar of those of Rome. The name in the cuneiform inscriptions at Persepolis is written Daryawus, from the root Darh, "to preserve," the Conservator [Lassen]. Herodotus [6.98] explains it Coercer. Often opposite attributes are assigned to the same god; in which light the Persians viewed their king. Ezr 4:24 harmonizes with Haggai in making this year the date of the resumption of the building.

sixth month—of the Hebrew year, not of Darius' reign (compare Zec 1:7; 7:1, 3; 8:19). Two months later ("the eighth month," Zec 1:1) Zechariah began to prophesy, seconding Haggai.

the Lord—Hebrew, Jehovah: God's covenant title, implying His unchangeableness, the guarantee of His faithfulness in keeping His promises to His people.

by Haggai—Hebrew, "in the hand of Haggai"; God being the real speaker, His prophet but the instrument (compare Ac 7:35; Ga 3:19).

Zerubbabel—called also Shesh-bazzar in Ezr 1:8; 5:14, 16, where the same work is attributed to Shesh-bazzar that in Ezr 3:8 is attributed to Zerubbabel. Shesh-bazzar is probably his Chaldean name; as Belteshazzar was that of Daniel. Zerubbabel, his Hebrew name, means "one born in Babylon."

son of Shealtiel—or Salathiel. But 1Ch 3:17, 19 makes Pedaiah his father. Probably he was adopted by his uncle Salathiel, or Shealtiel, at the death of his father (compare Mt 1:12; Lu 3:27).

governor of Judah—to which office Cyrus had appointed him. The Hebrew Pechah is akin to the original of the modern Turkish Pasha; one ruling a region of the Persian empire of less extent than that under a satrap.

Joshua—called Jeshua (Ezr 2:2); so the son of Nun in Ne 8:17.

Josedech—or Jehozadak (1Ch 6:15), one of those carried captive by Nebuchadnezzar. Haggai addresses the civil and the religious representatives of the people, so as to have them as his associates in giving God's commands; thus priest, prophet, and ruler jointly testify in God's name.1:1-11 Observe the sin of the Jews, after their return from captivity in Babylon. Those employed for God may be driven from their work by a storm, yet they must go back to it. They did not say that they would not build a temple, but, Not yet. Thus men do not say they will never repent and reform, and be religious, but, Not yet. And so the great business we were sent into the world to do, is not done. There is a proneness in us to think wrongly of discouragements in our duty, as if they were a discharge from our duty, when they are only for the trial of our courage and faith. They neglected the building of God's house, that they might have more time and money for worldly affairs. That the punishment might answer to the sin, the poverty they thought to prevent by not building the temple, God brought upon them for not building it. Many good works have been intended, but not done, because men supposed the proper time was not come. Thus believers let slip opportunities of usefulness, and sinners delay the concerns of their souls, till too late. If we labour only for the meat that perishes, as the Jews here, we are in danger of losing our labour; but we are sure it shall not be in vain in the Lord, if we labour for the meat which lasts to eternal life. If we would have the comfort and continuance of temporal enjoyments, we must have God as our Friend. See also Lu 12:33. When God crosses our temporal affairs, and we meet with trouble and disappointment, we shall find the cause is, that the work we have to do for God and our own souls is left undone, and we seek our own things more than the things of Christ. How many, who plead that they cannot afford to give to pious or charitable designs, often lavish ten times as much in needless expenses on their houses and themselves! But those are strangers to their own interests, who are full of care to adorn and enrich their own houses, while God's temple in their hearts lies waste. It is the great concern of every one, to apply to the necessary duty of self-examination and communion with our own hearts concerning our spiritual state. Sin is what we must answer for; duty is what we must do. But many are quick-sighted to pry into other people's ways, who are careless of their own. If any duty has been neglected, that is no reason why it should still be so. Whatever God will take pleasure in when done, we ought to take pleasure in doing. Let those who have put off their return to God, return with all their heart, while there is time.
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OT Prophets: Haggai 1:1 In the second year of Darius (Hagg. Hag. Hg) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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