Haggai 1:8
Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) The mountain.—No one mountain is thought of. The term implies the high lands generally, as growing the most suitable timber for building purposes.

Haggai 1:8-11. Go up to the mountain — Go to any of the forests upon the mountains: see Nehemiah 2:8 : and cut down timber to carry on the building; or go to the mountain of Moriah, which I have chosen to build my temple upon it; and I will take pleasure in it — I will accept your offerings, and hear your prayers. And I will be glorified — Will show my majesty, and account myself glorified by you also. Ye looked for much and lo, it came to little — It did not answer the expectation you had formed. When ye brought it home, I did blow upon it — I blasted it; or, blowed it away: when you brought your gains home, I caused them to be soon scattered again, or expended. The dearth with which God punished them for their neglect of rebuilding the temple, made all the necessaries of life so dear, that whatever gains they got were quickly expended. Why? saith the Lord, &c. — For what reason have ye been visited with this calamity? Because of my house that is waste — All this evil is come upon you for your ungodly neglect of my house, leaving it waste. And ye run every man to his own house — You with eagerness carry on your own particular buildings, and mind only your own private affairs, and you take no manner of care about those things which concern my worship. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew — I have punished you with great drought, wherein the dew itself has ceased to fall: see 1 Kings 17:1. And the earth is stayed from her fruit — From bringing forth those fruits which otherwise it would have produced. And I called for a drought — I caused a dearth of every thing in the land, or a general barrenness to take place. And upon the mountains — Upon the hills, where your cattle and flocks used to feed, and to find sufficient nourishment; upon the new wine, and upon the oil —

Upon your vineyards and olive-yards; and upon men, and upon cattle — I made both men and cattle unfruitful. Or the meaning is, their very constitutions were changed, and many diseases afflicted them.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.Go up into the mountain - Not Mount Lebanon, from where the cedars had been brought for the first temple; from where also Zerubbabel and Joshua had procured some out of Cyrus' grant Ezra 3:7, at the first return from the captivity. They were not required to buy, expend, but simply to give their own labor. They were themselves to "go up to the mountain," i. e., the mountainous country where the trees grew, "and bring" them. So, in order to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, Ezra made a proclamation Nehemiah 8:15 "in all their cities and in Jerusalem, go ye up to the mountain and bring leafy branches of vines, olives, myrtles, palms." The palms, anyhow, were timber. God required not goodly stones, such as had been already used, and such as hereafter, in the temple which was built, were the admiration even of disciples of Jesus Matthew 24:1, but which were, for the wickedness of those who rejected their Saviour, "not to be left, one stone upon another." He required not costly gifts, but the heart. The neglect to build the temple was neglect of Himself, who ought to be worshiped there. His worship sanctified the offering; offerings were acceptable, only if made with a free heart.

And I will have pleasure in it - God, who has declared that He has no Micah 6:7 "pleasure in thousands of rams, ten thousands of rivers of oil," had delight in Psalm 147:11 "them that feared Him," that are "upright in their way," Proverbs 11:20 that "deal truly" Proverbs 12:22 in the "prayer" of the "upright" Proverbs 15:8, and so in the temple too, when it should be built to His glory.

And will be glorified - o God is glorified in man, when man serves Him; in Himself, when He manifests aught of His greatness; in His great doings to His people Isaiah 26:15; Isaiah 44:23; Isaiah 60:21; Isaiah 61:3, as also in the chastisement of those who disobey Him Exodus 14:4; Ezekiel 28:22. God allows that glory, which shines ineffably throughout His creation, to be obscured here through man's disobedience, to shine forth anew on his renewed obedience. The glory of God, as it is the end of the creation, so is it His creature's supreme bliss. When God is really glorified, then can He show forth His glory, by His grace and acceptance. (Augustine, Serm. 380, n. 6.) "The glory of God is our glory. The more sweetly God is glorified, the more it profits us:" yet not our profit, but the glory of God is itself our end; so the prophet closes in that which is our end, "God will be glorified."

"Good then and well-pleasing to God is zeal in fulfilling whatever may appear necessary for the good condition of the Church and its building-up, collecting the most useful materials, the spiritual principles in inspired Scripture, whereby he may secure and ground the conception of God, and may shew that the way of the Incarnation was well-ordered, and may collect what pertains to accurate knowledge of spiritual erudition and moral goodness. Nay, each of us may be thought of, as the temple and house of God. For Christ "dwelleth in us" by the Spirit, and we are "temples of the living God," according to the Scripture 2 Corinthians 6:16. Let each then build up his own heart by right faith, having the Saviour as the "precious foundation." And let him add thereto other materials, obedience, readiness for anything, courage, endurance, continence. "So being framed together by that which every joint supplieth, shall we become a holy temple, a habitation of God through the Spirit" Ephesians 4:16; Ephesians 2:21-22. But those who are slow to faith, or who believe but are sluggish in shaking off passions and sins and worldly pleasure, thereby cry out in a manner, The time is not come to build the house of the Lord."

8. Go up to the mountain—Moriah [Rosenmuller]; Lebanon [Henderson]. Rather, generally, the mountains around, now covered with wood, the growth of the long period of the captivity. So Ne 8:15, "Go forth unto the mount," that is, the neighboring hills [Maurer].

wood—Haggai specifies this as being the first necessary; not to the exclusion of other materials. Stones also were doubtless needed. That the old walls were not standing, as the Hebrew interpreters quoted by Jerome state, or the new walls partly built, appears from Hag 2:18, where express mention is made of laying the foundations.

I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified—I will be propitious to suppliants in it (1Ki 8:30), and shall receive the honor due to Me which has been withheld. In neglecting the temple, which is the mirror of My presence, ye dishonor Me [Calvin]; in its being built, ye shall glorify Me.

Go up, delay no longer, speed ye up to the mountain; Moriah, or Zion, better Lebanon, where best and greatest store of cedars were to be had, whence came the goodly cedars which built Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 5:14,15, and where they had (before the building was forbidden) furnished themselves, Ezra 3:7.

Bring wood; provide all sorts of lumber for this future edifice.

Build; go on with the work, the foundation whereof hath been laid some years, but the superstructure omitted.

The house of God, the holy temple.

I will take pleasure in it: this a very gracious promise revived, an assurance that God will dwell in it, and afford his presence there; I will meet you there, and there I will bless you, there I will accept your offerings, hear your prayers, forgive your sins, and satisfy you with the fatness of my house: much the same promise with that, 1 Kings 8:29 9:3.

I will be glorified; show my majesty, and account myself glorified by you also.

Go up, delay no longer, speed ye up to the mountain; Moriah, or Zion, better Lebanon, where best and greatest store of cedars were to be had, whence came the goodly cedars which built Solomon’s temple, 1 Kings 5:14,15, and where they had (before the building was forbidden) furnished themselves, Ezra 3:7.

Bring wood; provide all sorts of lumber for this future edifice.

Build; go on with the work, the foundation whereof hath been laid some years, but the superstructure omitted.

The house of God, the holy temple.

I will take pleasure in it: this a very gracious promise revived, an assurance that God will dwell in it, and afford his presence there; I will meet you there, and there I will bless you, there I will accept your offerings, hear your prayers, forgive your sins, and satisfy you with the fatness of my house: much the same promise with that, 1 Kings 8:29 9:3.

I will be glorified; show my majesty, and account myself glorified by you also. Go up to the mountain,.... Or, "that mountain" (u); pointing either to Lebanon, to cut down cedars, and bring them from thence for the building of the temple; or Mount Moriah, on which the temple was to be built; and thither carry the wood they fetched from Lebanon, or were brought from thence by the Tyrians:

and bring wood; or, "that ye may bring wood"; from Lebanon, or any other mountain on which wood grew, to Mount Moriah:

and build the house; the temple, whose foundation was already laid, but the superstructure was neglected: now the Lord would have them go on with it immediately, out of hand, with the utmost diligence, alacrity, and vigour; and not desist till the whole building was completed:

and I will take pleasure in it; as a type of Christ, for whose sake he was so desirous of having it built; into which he was to come, and there appear as the promised Saviour. It signifies, moreover, that the Lord would not only take pleasure in the temple built, but in their work in building it; which would be acceptable to him, being according to his mind and will; and that he would take pleasure in, and accept of them, being worshippers therein, when they worshipped him in spirit and in truth in it; and in their services, sacrifices, prayers, and praises, being rightly offered; and that he would forgive their sins, and be propitious to them for his Son's sake, the antitype of the temple:

and I will be glorified, saith the Lord; by his people here, and by the worship and service they should perform: or, "I will show myself glorious" (w); that is, show his glory, causing his Shechinah to dwell here in glory, as the Targum is. The Jews observe, that the letter is wanting in the word here used, which numerically signifies "five"; hence they gather that five things were wanting in the second temple, the ark, the Urim and Thummim, the fire from heaven, the Shechinah, or the divine Majesty, and the Holy Ghost.

(u) "in istum montem", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (w) "gloriosum me ostendam", Vatablus.

Go {f} up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and {g} I will take pleasure in it, and I will {h} be glorified, saith the LORD.

(f) Meaning, that they should leave their own benefits, and go forward in the building of God's temple, and in the setting forth of his religion.

(g) That is, I will hear your prayers according to my promise; 1Ki 8:22,29.

(h) That is, my glory will be set forth by you.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. Go up to the mountain] The consideration to which they have twice been called is to lead to action and amendment. They are not only to repent, but to bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

the mountain] This is clearly not, as some have thought, the mountain on which the Temple stood, “the mountain of the Lord’s house,” but the mountain from which the timber for building was to be fetched. It might possibly mean Lebanon, from which they were to cause wood to be brought, qui facit per alium facit per se, but the words sound more like a call to immediate personal effort, and then the mountain would be the mountainous neighbourhood generally (hill country, R. V. margin), to which they were themselves to go and bring wood. See Nehemiah 2:8, where “the king’s forest” would seem to have been in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem; and Nehemiah 8:15, where possibly “the mount” means the Mount of Olives.

I will be glorified] “The meaning may be either, ‘I will accept it as done for My glory’; or, ‘I will display My glory in it’ (see ch. Haggai 2:9).” Annotated Paragraph Bible, Rel. Tract. Soc.Verse 8. - Go up to the mountain. The hill country in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem, whence by their own personal exertions they might procure material for the building. The temple mount is certainly not meant, as if they were to bring wood from it. Nor can Lebanon be intended, as in Ezra 3:7; for the injunction looks to an immediate actual result, and in their depressed circumstances they were scarcely likely to interest the Sidonians and Tyrians to provide cedar for them. There was abundance of wood close at hand, and the "kings forest" (Nehemiah 2:8) was in the immediate neighbourhood of Jerusalem. There is no mention of stone, probably because the foundations had long been laid, and the ruins of the old temple supplied material for the new one; and, indeed, stone was to be had in abundance everywhere; or it may be that the prophet names merely one opening for their renewed activity, as a specimen of the work required from them. Not costly offerings were desired, but a willing mind. I will be glorified; I will glorify myself by showering blessings on the house and the people, so that the Hebrews themselves and their neighbours may own that I am among them (comp. Exodus 14:4; Leviticus 10:3; Isaiah 66:5). Judah hears the glad tidings, that its oppressor is utterly destroyed. A warlike army marches against Nineveh, which that city cannot resist, because the Lord will put an end to the oppression of His people. Nahum 1:15. "Behold, upon the mountains the feet of the messengers of joy, proclaiming salvation! Keep thy feasts, O Judah; pay thy vows: for the worthless one will no more go through thee; he is utterly cut off." The destruction of the Assyrian, announced in Nahum 1:14, is so certain, that Nahum commences the description of its realization with an appeal to Judah, to keep joyful feasts, as the miscreant is utterly cut off. The form in which he utters this appeal is to point to messengers upon the mountains, who are bringing the tidings of peace to the kingdom of Judah. The first clause is applied in Isaiah 52:7 to the description of the Messianic salvation. The messengers of joy appear upon the mountains, because their voice can be heard far and wide from thence. The mountains are those of the kingdom of Judah, and the allusion to the feet of the messengers paints as it were for the eye the manner in which they hasten on the mountains with the joyful news. מבשּׂר is collective, every one who brings the glad tidings. Shâlōm, peace and salvation: here both in one. The summons, to keep feasts, etc., proceeds from the prophet himself, and is, as Ursinus says, "partim gratulatoria, partim exhortatoria." The former, because the feasts could not be properly kept during the oppression by the enemy, or at any rate could not be visited by those who lived at a distance from the temple; the latter, because the chaggı̄m, i.e., the great yearly feasts, were feasts of thanksgiving for the blessings of salvation, which Israel owed to the Lord, so that the summons to celebrate these feasts involved the admonition to thank the Lord for His mercy in destroying the hostile power of the world. This is expressed still more clearly in the summons to pay their vows. בּליּעל, abstract for concrete equals אישׁ בל, as in 2 Samuel 23:6 and Job 34:18. נכרת is not a participle, but a perfect in pause.
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