Expositor's Dictionary of Texts
In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying,Christ, the Desire of Nations
The time when our Lord was to come is here predicted.
I. This prophecy was uttered about five hundred years before the coming of our Saviour. How, then, can it be said to be a little while?
a. It was a little while when compared with the time the people of God had already been kept waiting for the Messiah.
b. It was short in the Almighty's own sight. It is not man's word, for things are measured in it by a standard which man never uses.
II. What is this mighty shaking? This language has been interpreted as pointing out those political convulsions and changes which agitated the world between the uttering of this prophecy and the time of our Lord's birth, one great empire giving way to another, and that in its turn yielding to a third. There may be a further reference in it to those moral and spiritual effects which have ever attended and followed the Gospel in its progress through the world.
III. Our Lord Jesus Christ is described as 'The Desire of all Nations'. This name is justly applied to Him.
a. It may signify that He is desirable for all nations—all need a Saviour.
b. All would desire Him if they knew the excellence, love, and mighty power which He possesses of blessing and saving.
c. This title may imply that some of all nations have desired Him.
IV. How was this promise fulfilled? At God's own appointed time, an Infant comes to that Temple, brought there from a stable and a manger. As a youth He listens and replies there to the learned teaching of scribes and doctors. As a man He often frequents the Holy Place. But here, in this second Temple, was that God Himself manifest in our mortal flesh, and we may perceive wherein consists the chief glory of any assemblage or congregation of worshippers.
—E. J. Brewster, The Shield of Faith, p. 163.
References.—II. 7.—A. K. H. Boyd, From a Quiet Place, p. 131. F. E. Paget, Helps and Hindrances to the Christian Life, vol. i. p. 1. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 403. II. 9.—Bishop Wilberforce, Sermons, p. 195. Archbishop Thomson, Lincoln's Inn Sermons, p. 390. J. Bannerman, Sermons, p. 260.
Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
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.
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
The 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.
In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.
And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD:
Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty.
I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.
Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it.
Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.