Haggai 1:14
And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.And the Lord stirred up the spirit - The words are used of any strong impulse from God to fulfill His will, whether in those who execute His will unknowingly as Pul 1 Chronicles 5:26, to carry off the trans-Jordanic tribes, or the Philistines and Arabians against Jehoram, 2 Chronicles 21:16. or the Medes against Babylon Jeremiah 51:11, or knowingly, as of Cyrus to restore God's people and rebuild the temple Ezra 1:1, or of the people themselves to return Ezra 1:5 , "The spirit of Zerubbabel and the spirit of Joshua were stirred, that the government and priesthood may build the temple of God: the spirit of the people too, which before was asleep in them; not the body, not the soul, but the spirit. which knoweth best how to build the temple of God." "The Holy Spirit is stirred up in us, that we should enter the house of the Lord, and do the works of the Lord."

"Again, observe that they did not set themselves to choose to do what should please God, before He was with them and stirred up their spirit. We shall know hence also, that although one choose zealously to do good and be in earnest therein, yet he will accomplish nothing, unless God be with him, raising him up to dare, and sharpening him to endure, and removing all torpor. For so the wondrous Paul says of those entrusted with the divine preaching 1 Corinthians 15:11, I labored more abundantly than they all, yet added very wisely, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me, and the Saviour Himself saith to the holy Apostles, John 15:5. Without Me ye can do nothing. For He is our desire, He, our courage to any good work; He our strength, and, if He is with us, we shall do well Ephesians 2:21-22, building ourselves to a holy temple, a habitation of God in the Spirit; if He depart and withdraws, how should any doubt, that we should fail, overcome by sluggishness and want of courage?"

14. Lord stirred up the spirit of, &c.—God gave them alacrity and perseverance in the good work, though slothful in themselves. Every good impulse and revival of religion is the direct work of God by His Spirit.

came and did work—collected the wood and stones and other materials (compare Hag 1:8) for the work. Not actually built or "laid the (secondary) foundations" of the temple, for this was not done till three months after, namely, the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month (Hag 2:18) [Grotius].

The Lord stirred up: this is the first notable effect of God’s presence with them, a sensible performance of his promise. God inclined their minds, fixed their resolutions, and inspired them with courage for this work; whereas the stoutest of them before had no mind to set on this work, now the weakest are forward to it, and bold in it.

The spirit; the heart, mind, or inclination.

Shealtiel: see Haggai 1:12.

Governor: see Haggai 1:1,

Josedech: see Haggai 1:1,12.

The remnant: see Haggai 1:12.

They came, immediately, without delay, and unanimously, without any visible dissent.

Did work; every one set their hands to it in such manner as was fit for them; governors did oversee, direct, and encourage the workmen; artificers framed and prepared, and the people all laboured. In the house; which was now to be built upon the old foundations, laid some seventeen years before, when Cyrus gave the Jews leave to return and build their city and temple.

The Lord of hosts; by which name he delights to be known among the returned captives; and it was a name best suited to their present state, compassed on all hands with enemies, and in perpetual danger by them.

Their God: see Habakkuk 1:12.

The Lord stirred up: this is the first notable effect of God’s presence with them, a sensible performance of his promise. God inclined their minds, fixed their resolutions, and inspired them with courage for this work; whereas the stoutest of them before had no mind to set on this work, now the weakest are forward to it, and bold in it.

The spirit; the heart, mind, or inclination.

Shealtiel: see Haggai 1:12.

Governor: see Haggai 1:1,

Josedech: see Haggai 1:1,12.

The remnant: see Haggai 1:12.

They came, immediately, without delay, and unanimously, without any visible dissent.

Did work; every one set their hands to it in such manner as was fit for them; governors did oversee, direct, and encourage the workmen; artificers framed and prepared, and the people all laboured. In the house; which was now to be built upon the old foundations, laid some seventeen years before, when Cyrus gave the Jews leave to return and build their city and temple.

The Lord of hosts; by which name he delights to be known among the returned captives; and it was a name best suited to their present state, compassed on all hands with enemies, and in perpetual danger by them.

Their God: see Habakkuk 1:12.

And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people,.... He roused them up from that sleep and sloth in which they were before, both the governors and common people; he wrought in them both to will and do; or a willing mind to do his work in building his house; he gave them a spirit both of industry and courage; he enabled them to shake off that sluggish disposition they were attended with, and that fear of men which possessed them; he inspired them with zeal and resolution to enter upon the work at once, and pursue it with close application; the Lord only could do this:

and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God; the governor and high priest came to direct and oversee, encourage and animate the people by their presence and example; and the people to do the several parts of service that belonged to them, according to their genius and employment.

And the LORD stirred up {l} the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,

(l) Which declares that men are unable and dull to serve the Lord, neither can they obey his word or his messengers, before God reforms their hearts, and gives them new spirits; Joh 6:44.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. the Lord stirred up, &c.] It would seem that the prevailing indifference and neglect by which they were surrounded had, in some measure at least, damped the ardour and quenched the spirit even of Zerubbabel and Joshua. It needed the same breath of heaven which had first kindled the fire of divine zeal in their hearts, to rouse the now smouldering embers into living flame again (ἀναζωπυρεῖν τὸ χάρισμα, 2 Timothy 1:6).

came and did work] The word “came,” may here be little more than pleonastic, but perhaps it refers to the coming of the people from the neighbouring towns and country to Jerusalem, as we know they did when the altar was first set up (Ezra 3:1). They “did,” or executed work (the word work is here a noun, not a verb) in the rebuilding of the Temple. Comp. Ezra 5:1-2.

Verse 14. - The Lord stirred up, etc. The Lord excited the courage, animated the zeal, of the chiefs of the nation, who had themselves succumbed to the prevailing indifference, and had suffered their ardour to be quenched (comp. 1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Chronicles 21.. 16; Ezra 1:1, 5). They came and did work. They went up to the temple and began to do the work which they had so long neglected. Haggai 1:14This penitential state of mind on the part of the people and their rulers was met by the Lord with the promise of His assistance, in order to elevate this disposition into determination and deed. Haggai 1:13. "Then spake Haggai, the messenger of Jehovah, in the message of Jehovah to the people, thus: I am with you, is the saying of Jehovah. Haggai 1:14. And Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, and the spirit of Joshua, and the spirit of all the remnant of the nation; and they came and did work at the house of Jehovah of hosts, their God." The prophet is called מלאך in Haggai 1:13, i.e., messenger (not "angel," as many in the time of the fathers misunderstood the word as meaning), as being sent by Jehovah to the people, to make known to them His will (compare Malachi 2:7, where the same epithet is applied to the priest). As the messenger of Jehovah, he speaks by command of Jehovah, and not in his own name or by his own impulse. אני אתּכם, I am with you, will help you, and will remove all the obstacles that stand in the way of your building (cf. Haggai 2:4). This promise Jehovah fulfilled, first of all by giving to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people, a willingness to carry out the work. העיר רוּח, to awaken the spirit of any man, i.e., to make him willing and glad to carry out His resolutions (compare 1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Chronicles 21:16; Ezra 1:1, Ezra 1:5). Thus filled with joyfulness, courage, and strength, they began the work on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of king Darius (Haggai 1:15), that is to say, twenty-three days after Haggai had first addressed his challenge to them. The interval had been spent in deliberation and counsel, and in preparations for carrying out the work. In several editions and some few mss in Kennicott, in Tischendorf's edition of the lxx, in the Itala and in the Vulgate, Haggai 1:15 is joined to the next chapter. But this is proved to be incorrect by the fact that the chronological statements in Haggai 1:15 and Haggai 2:1 are irreconcilable with one another. Haggai 1:15 is really so closely connected with Haggai 1:14, that it is rather to be regarded as the last clause of that verse.
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