Haggai 1:12
Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.
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(12-15) The Second Utterance.—The people turn a willing ear to Haggai’s exhortation, and the prophet is now charged to inform them of the return of God’s favour, in the gracious utterance, “I am with you, saith the Lord.”

(12) With all the remnant of.—The word may mean either “the remnant” restored from Babylon, or merely “the remainder” of the people. Similarly in Haggai 1:14; Haggai 2:2.

Haggai 1:12-13. Then Zerubbabel, &c., obeyed the voice of the Lord — Compare Ezra 5:1-2; where see the notes. Then spake Haggai the Lord’s messenger — Or prophet; in the Lord’s message — That is, who spake what follows, not in his own name, but in the name of God, saying, I am with you, saith the Lord — To afford you all the help you need, and to give success to your undertaking.

1:12-15 The people returned to God in the way of duty. In attending to God's ministers, we must have respect to him that sent them. The word of the Lord has success, when by his grace he stirs up our spirits to comply with it. It is in the day of Divine power we are made willing. When God has work to be done, he will either find or make men fit to do it. Every one helped, as his ability was; and this they did with a regard to the Lord as their God. Those who have lost time, need to redeem time; and the longer we have loitered in folly, the more haste we should make. God met them in a way of mercy. Those who work for him, have him with them; and if he be for us, who can be against us? This should stir us up to be diligent.Then Zerubbabel, and all the remnant of the people - , not, "the rest of people" but "the remnant," those who remained over from the captivity, the fragment of the two tribes, which returned to their own land, "hearkened unto the voice of the Lord." This was the beginning of a conversion. In this one thing they began to do, what, all along, in their history, and most in their decay before the captivity they refused to do - obey God's word. So God sums up their history, by Jeremiah, Jeremiah 22:21. "I spake unto thee in thy prosperity, thou saidst, I will not hear. This is thy way from thy youth, that thou hearkenedst not unto My voice." Zephaniah 3:2 still more briefly , "she hearkened not unto (any) voice." Now in reference, it seems, to that account of their disobedience, Haggai says, using the self-same formula , "they hearkened unto the voice of the Lord, "according to the words of Haggai." They obeyed, not vaguely, or partly, but exactly, "according to the words" which the messenger of God spake.

And they feared the Lord - o "Certainly the presence of the Divine Majesty is to be teared with great reverence." "The fear of punishment at times transports the mind to what is better, and the infliction of sorrows harmonizes the mind to the fear of God; and that of the Proverbs comes true, Proverbs 13:13. "He that feareth the Lord shall be recompensed," and Proverbs 19:23 "the fear of the Lord tendeth to life;" and Wisdom (Ecclesiasticus 1:11). "The fear of the Lord is honor and glory, and Proverbs 19:12 the fear of the Lord shall rejoice the heart, and giveth joy and gladness and a long life." See how gently and beseemingly God smites us."

"See how the lovingkindness of God immediately goes along with all changes for the better. For Almighty God changes along with those who will to repent, and promises that He will be with them; which what can equal? For when God is with us, all harm will depart from us, all good come in to us."

12. remnant of the people—all those who have returned from the exile (Zec 8:6).

as … God sent him—according to all that Jehovah had enjoined him to speak. But as it is not till Hag 1:14 after Haggai's second message (Hag 1:13) that the people actually obeyed, Maurer translates here, "hearkened to the voice of the Lord," and instead of "as," "because the Lord had sent him." However, English Version rightly represents their purpose of obedience as obedience in God's eyes already, though not carried into effect till Hag 1:14.

Then; so soon as they heard this convincing and awakening sermon.

Shealtiel; who is called Salathiel, 1 Chronicles 3:17 Matthew 1:12.

Joshua the son of Josedech: see Haggai 1:1.

The high priest; the twenty-fourth from Aaron, as some reckon, (Alsted. Chron.,) but the first after the captivity.

With all; either none were deaf to the Lord’s reproof and counsel, or else none durst appear so, when the chief rulers in state and church were so forward in obeying the prophet.

The people; the common people, the meaner sort.

Obeyed the voice of the Lord; acknowledged that it was the sovereign Lord who spake, who ought to be obeyed, because he is the Lord.

Their God; and therefore they ought to do his will, that they might receive the blessings which he, as their God, had promised to them. As God made this an argument to obedience, so do these now; We are thy people, thou art our God.

The words of Haggai: this interprets the former, the voice of the Lord was the words of Haggai, he added nothing of his own to them.

As the Lord their God had sent him; according to all for which the Lord had sent and commissioned him, or particularly in all that concerned the speedy building of the temple.

The people did fear before the Lord: this speaks the right religious frame of heart in this people at this time.

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest,.... Here follows an account of the success of Haggai's prophecy; with what power and efficacy the word of the Lord by him was attended; how it at once reached and affected the hearts of princes and people, and brought them to obedience to the will of God. The governor and high priest are mentioned first, as being the principal persons, and who very probably first declared their sense of their former neglect, and their readiness to do as they were directed; which was setting a good example to the people, and doubtless had some influence upon them:

with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God; not the two leading men in church and state only; but all the people that came out of the Babylonish captivity, who were but a remnant; a few that were left through various calamities they had been exposed unto; these, one and all, signified how willing and ready they were to do the work of the Lord enjoined them: or, "they heard the voice of the Lord" (c); by the prophet, very attentively and seriously; and received and regarded it, not as the word of men, but as the word of God; and determined to act according to it:

and the words of Haggai the prophet; or, "and for the words of Haggai the prophet" (d); because of them, considering them as coming from the Lord himself:

as the Lord their God had sent him; regarding him as having a mission and commission from the Lord to deliver them to them:

and the people did fear before the Lord; perceiving that he was displeased with them for the neglect of his house; and that this drought upon them was a chastisement and correction for this sin; and fearing lest his wrath should continue, and they should be more severely dealt with, on account of their transgressions.

(c) "et audivit", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Burkius. (d) "idque propter verba Chaggai", Varenius, Reinbeck.

Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the {k} voice of the LORD their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the LORD.

(k) This declares that God was the author of the doctrine, and that Haggai was but the minister, as in Ex 14:31, Jud 7:20, Ac 15:28.

Ch. Haggai 1:12-15. The Effects of the Prophecy

12. the remnant of the people] i.e. not the rest or remainder of the people beside Zerubbabel and Joshua, who had been mentioned by name, but “the remnant” in what came to be a technical use of the word, that part of the nation, a remnant only in comparison of the whole, which returned from the captivity in Babylon.

and the words] some would render according to the words, but the A. V. gives a satisfactory sense, and the construction is borne out by Jeremiah 26:5; Jeremiah 35:15.

did fear] The word is used in its usual O. T. sense to denote the spirit of true religion. There was genuine conversion on the part of the people, they yielded, not the unwilling obedience of terror, but the hearty service of godly fear.

Verses 12-15, - § 3. The appeal meets with respect and attention, and for a time the people apply themselves diligently to the work. Verse 12. - All the remnant of the people (Haggai 2:2); i.e. the people who had returned from the Captivity, who are technically named "the remnant" is being only a small portion of all Israel (Isaiah 10:21, 22; Zechariah 8:6; Micah 2:12). Others, not so suitably, understand by the expression, all the people beside the chiefs (ver. 14). Obeyed; rather, listened unto. The active obedience is narrated in ver. 14. And the words. The prophet's words are the voice of the Lord; and the people heeded the message which the Lord had commissioned him to give. Did fear. They should that true religion which the Bible calls "the fear of the Lord." They saw their faults, perhaps dreaded some new chastisement, and hastened to obey the prophet's injunction (Ezra 5:1, 2). Haggai 1:12The result of this reproof. - Haggai 1:12. "Zerubbabel, and Joshua, and the whole of the remnant of the people, hearkened to the voice of Jehovah their God, and according to the words of Haggai the prophet, as Jehovah their God had sent him; and the people feared before Jehovah." "All the remnant of the people" does not mean the rest of the nation besides Zerubbabel and Joshua, in support of which Koehler refers to Jeremiah 39:3 and 1 Chronicles 12:38, either here or in Haggai 1:14 and Haggai 2:2, inasmuch as Zerubbabel as the governor and prince of Judah, and Joshua as the high priest, are not embraced under the idea of the "people" (‛âm), as in the case in the passages quoted, where those who are described as the she'ērı̄th, or remnant, are members or portions of the whole in question. The "remnant of the people," as in Zechariah 8:6, is that portion of the nation which had returned from exile as a small gleaning of the nation, which had once been much larger. שׁמע בּקול, to hearken to the voice, i.e., to lay to heart, so as to obey what was heard. בּקול יי is still more minutely defined by ועל־דּברי וגו: "and (indeed) according to the words of Haggai, in accordance with the fact that Jehovah had sent him." This last clause refers to דּברי, which he had to speak according to the command of God (Hitzig); cf. Micah 3:4. The first fruit of the hearing was, that the people feared before Jehovah; the second is mentioned in Haggai 1:14, namely, that they resumed the neglected building of the temple. Their fearing before Jehovah presupposes that they saw their sin against God, and discerned in the drought a judgment from God.
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