Haggai 1:9
You looked for much, and, see it came to little; and when you brought it home, I did blow on it. Why? said the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that is waste, and you run every man to his own house.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICalvinCambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(9) Ye looked for much.—Literally, There has been a turning about for much.

I did blow upon itscil., for the purpose of dispersing it. Even the little that was brought into the garner was decimated by God’s continued disfavour.

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.Ye looked - , literally "a looking;" as though he said, it has all been one looking, "for much," for increase, the result of all sowing, in the way of nature: "and behold it came to little," i. e., less than was sown; as Isaiah denounced to them of old by God's word, Isaiah 5:10. "the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah," i. e., one tenth of what was sown. "And ye brought it home, and I blew upon it," so as to disperse it, as, not the wheat, but the chaff is blown before the wind. This, in whatever way it came to pass, was a further chastisement of God. The little seed which they brought in lessened through decay or waste. Why? saith the Lord of hosts. God asks by his prophet, what He asks in the awakened conscience Psalm 39:11. "God with rebukes chastens man for sin." Conscience, when alive, confesses for "what" sin; or it asks itself, if memory does not supply the special sin. Unawakened, it complains about the excess of rain, the drought, the blight, the mildew, and asks, not itself, why, in God's Providence, these inflictions came in these years? They felt doubtless the sterility in contrast with the exceeding prolificalness of Babylonia, as they contrasted the "light bread," Numbers 21:5. the manna, with Numbers 11:5. the plenteousness of Egypt. They ascribed probably their meagre crops (as we mostly do) to mere natural causes, perhaps to the long neglect of the land during the captivity. God forces the question upon their consciences, in that Haggai asks it in His Name, in whose hands all powers stand, "saith the Lord of host." They have not to talk it over among themselves, but to answer Almighty God, "why?" That "why?" strikes into the inmost depths of conscience!

Because of My house which is waste, and ye run - literally, "are running," all the while, "each to his own house" They were absorbed in their material interests, and had no time for those of God. When the question was of God's house, they stir not from the spot; when it is of their own concerns, they run. Our Lord says, Matthew 6:33. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." Man reverses this, seeks his own things first, and God withholds His blessing.

"This comes true of those who prefer their own conveniences to God's honor, who do not thoroughly uproot self-love, whose penitence and devotion are shewn to be unstable, for on a slight temptation they are overcome. Such are they who are bold, self-pleasing, wise and great in their own eyes, who do not ground their conversation on true and solid humility."

(Cyr.) "To those who are slow to fulfill what is for the glory of God, and the things whereby His house, the Church, is firmly stayed, neither the heavenly dew cometh, which enricheth hearts and minds, nor the fruitfulness of the earth; i. e., right action; not food nor wine nor use of oil. But they will be ever strengthless and joyless, unenriched by spiritual oil, and remain without taste or participation of the blessing through Christ."

9. Ye looked for much—literally, "looked" so as to turn your eyes "to much." The Hebrew infinitive here expresses continued looking. Ye hoped to have your store made "much" by neglecting the temple. The greater was your greediness, the more bitter your disappointment in being poorer than ever.

when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it—even the little crop brought into your barns I dissipated. "I did blow upon," that is, I scattered and caused to perish with My mere breath, as scattered and blighted corn.

mine house … his own house—in emphatic antithesis.

ye run—expressing the keenness of everyone of them in pursuing their own selfish interests. Compare "run," Ps 119:32; Pr 1:16, contrasted with their apathy about God's house.

Ye, O Jews, you toiled, and were at great cost, as Haggai 1:6.

Looked for much; expected, hoped, promised yourselves a great increase, a plentiful harvest.

And, lo, it came to little; but you saw, discerned, and were sensible that it answered not expectation; all dwindled into a very little, you were losers by all, went backward still.

I did blow upon it: had your little been as the righteous man’s little, you might have lived on it, and rejoiced in it; but it had not such a blessing upon it; it was blasted, and so was weak, and empty, and heartless, it profited little.

Because of mine house that is waste; all this curse on your estate and labour was for your ungodly neglect of my house, leaving it waste.

Ye run; did with eagerness carry on your own particular buildings, spared not care or cost for them; you stir not a foot about my house, you run with greatest earnestness about your own.

Every man to his own house, domestic affairs and concerns, in which not one or two, or some few, but every one is culpable, scarce any free from this fault. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little,.... They looked for a large harvest, and very promising it was for a while; but in the end it came to little; it was a very small crop, very little was reaped and gathered in: or, "in looking", ye looked "to increase" (x); your substance; had raised expectations of making themselves and families by their agriculture, and by their plantations of vines and olives, and by their trade and merchandise; and it dwindled away, and came to little or nothing; their riches, instead of being increased, were diminished:

and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it; when they brought into their barns or houses the produce of their land, labour, and merchandise, which was but little, the Lord blew a blast upon that little, and brought rottenness and worms into it, as Jarchi; so that it was not a blessing to them, but a curse. So the Targum interprets it,

"behold, I sent a curse upon it:''

or, "I blew it away" (y); as any light thing, straw or stubble, or thistle down, are blown away with a wind; so easily can the Lord, and sometimes he does, strip men of that little substance they have; riches by his orders make themselves wings, and flee away; or he, by one providence or another, blows them away like chaff before the wind:

Why? saith the Lord of hosts; what was the cause and reason of this? which question is put, not on his own account, who full well knew it; but for their sakes, to whom he speaks, that they might be made sensible of it; and in order to that to introduce what follows, which is an answer to the question:

because of mine house that is waste; which they suffered to lie waste, and did not concern themselves about the rebuilding of it: this the Lord resented, and for this reason blasted all their labours:

and ye run every man unto his own house; were very eager, earnest, and diligent, in building, beautifying, and adorning their own houses; taking care of their own domestic affairs; sparing no cost nor pains to promote their own secular interest; running in all haste to do any thing and everything to increase their worldly substance; but sat still, were idle and slothful, careless and negligent, about the house of God and the affairs of it.

(x) "ad rem augendam", Grotius. (y) "exsufflo illud", Vatablus; "efflo illud", Junius & Tremellius; "difflo", Piscator; "difflavi", Drusius, Cocceius.

Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow {i} upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.

(i) And so bring it to nothing.

9. Ye looked for much, &c.] Lit. to look (there was looking) for much, and (it came) to little! Emphatic as ver. 6, where see note. A double blight and curse had come upon them. They had looked for much, had expected a plentiful harvest, and perhaps the appearance of the crops had warranted the expectation. But when they came to gather it in they found the actual yield but little, less even perhaps than they had originally sown. Pusey quotes the seed of a homer shall yield an ephah, i.e. one tenth of what was sown, Isaiah 5:10. And when this little was brought home into the garner, even that melted away by mildew or waste or loss. God did but blow upon it with the breath of His displeasure, and lo it was gone, as though instead of solid grain it had been chaff of the summer threshingfloor.

and ye run, &c.] while ye run, R. V., with eager zeal and interest to build and adorn it. See ver. 4. The word run is used in the same figurative way in Psalm 119:32; Proverbs 1:16.

9–11. Having pointed out in ver. 8 the way of amendment and prosperity, the prophet resumes in these verses the expostulation of vv. 4–6, and again insists upon the depressed condition of the people and its cause.Verse 9. - He shows the real cause of the calamities that had befallen them. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little. Emphatic infinitive, as in ver. 6. "To look for much, and behold! little." They fixed their expectations upon a rich harvest, and they reaped less than they had sown (Isaiah 5:10). And when they had stored this miserable crop in their barns, I did blow upon it; or, did blow it away (ἐξεφύσησα, Septuagint), dissipated it as if it were mere chaff, so that it perished. Doubtless, as Dr Pusey observes, they ascribed the meagreness of their crops to natural causes, and would not see the judicial nature of the infliction. The prophet brings the truth home to their conscience by the stern question, Why? And he answers the question for them, speaking with God's authority. Because of mine house that is waste. The reason already given in ver. 4, etc., is repeated and enforced. And (while) ye run. Ye are indifferent to the miserable condition of the house of God, while ye haste with all diligence to your own houses for business or pleasure, being entirely absorbed in worldly interests, or eager only to adorn and beautify your own habitations. Or, your zeal is all expended on your own private dwellings. With Nahum 2:1 the prophecy turns to Nineveh. Nahum 2:1. "A dasher in pieces comes against thee. Keep thy fortress! Look out upon the way, fortify the loins, exert thy strength greatly! Nahum 2:2. For Jehovah returneth to the eminence of Jacob as to the eminence of Israel; for plunderers have plundered them, and their vines have they thrown to the ground." על־פּניך cannot be addressed to Judah, as in Nahum 1:15 (Chald., Rashi, etc.). It cannot indeed be objected that in Nahum 1:15 the destruction of Asshur has already been announced, since the prophet might nevertheless have returned to the time when Asshur had made war upon Judah, in order to depict its ruin with greater precision. But such an assumption does not agree with the second clause of the verse as compared with Nahum 2:2, and still less with the description of the approaching enemy which follows in Nahum 2:3, since this is unquestionably, according to Nahum 2:5, the power advancing against Nineveh, and destroying that city. We must therefore assume that we have here a sudden change in the person addressed, as in Nahum 1:11 and Nahum 1:12, Nahum 1:13 and Nahum 1:14. The enemy is called מפיץ, "a dasher in pieces;" not a war-hammer (cf. Proverbs 25:18), because עלה, the standing expression for the advance of a hostile army, does not agree with this. על־פּניך, against thy face, i.e., pitching his tent opposite to the city (there is no good reason for altering the suffix into פּניך, as Ewald and Hitzig propose). Against this enemy Nineveh is to bring all possible power of resistance. This is not irony, but simply a poetical turn given to the thought, that Nineveh will not be able to repulse this enemy any more. The inf. abs. nâtsōr stands emphatically for the imperative, as is frequently the case, and is continued in the imperative. Metsūrâh is the enclosure of a city, hence the wall or fortification. צפּה־דרך, looking watchfully upon the way by which the enemy comes, to repulse it or prevent it from entering the city. הזּק מ, make the loins strong, i.e., equip thyself with strength, the loins being the seat of strength. The last clause expresses the same thought, and is merely added to strengthen the meaning. The explanatory kı̄ in Nahum 2:2 (3) does not follow upon Nahum 2:1 in the sense of "summon up all thy strength, for it is God in whose strength the enemy fights" (Strauss), but to Nahum 2:1 or Nahum 1:15. The train of thought is the following: Asshur will be utterly destroyed by the enemy advancing against Nineveh, for Jehovah will re-establish the glory of Israel, which Asshur has destroyed. שׁב (perf. proph.) has not the force of the hiphil, reducere, restituere, either here or in Psalm 85:5 and Isaiah 52:8, and other passages, where the modern lexicons give it, but means to turn round, or return to a person, and is construed with the accusative, as in Numbers 10:36; Exodus 4:20, and Genesis 50:14, although in actual fact the return of Jehovah to the eminence of Jacob involves its restoration. גּאון יעקב, that of which Jacob is proud, i.e., the eminence and greatness or glory accruing to Israel by virtue of its election to be the nation of God, which the enemy into whose power it had been given up on account of its rebellion against God had taken away (see at Amos 6:8). Jacob does not stand for Judah, nor Israel for the ten tribes, for Nahum never refers to the ten tribes in distinction from Judah; and Obadiah 1:18, where Jacob is distinguished from the house of Joseph, is of a totally different character. Both names stand here for the whole of Israel (of the twelve tribes), and, as Cyril has shown, the distinction is this: Jacob is the natural name which the people inherited from their forefather, and Israel the spiritual name which they had received from God. Strauss gives the meaning correctly thus: Jehovah will so return to the eminence of His people, who are named after Jacob, that this eminence shall become the eminence of Israel, i.e., of the people of God; in other words, He will exalt the nation once more to the lofty eminence of its divine calling (כּ used in the same manner as in 1 Samuel 25:36). This will He do, because plunderers have plundered (bâqaq, evacuare) them (the Israelites), and destroyed their vines, cast them to the ground; that He may avenge the reproach cast upon His people. The plunderers are the heathen nations, especially the Assyrians. The vines are the Israelites; Israel as a people or kingdom is the vineyard (Isaiah 5:1; Jeremiah 12:10; Psalm 80:9.); the vines are the families, and the branches (zemōrı̄m from zemōrâh) the members.
Haggai 1:9 Interlinear
Haggai 1:9 Parallel Texts

Haggai 1:9 NIV
Haggai 1:9 NLT
Haggai 1:9 ESV
Haggai 1:9 NASB
Haggai 1:9 KJV

Haggai 1:9 Bible Apps
Haggai 1:9 Parallel
Haggai 1:9 Biblia Paralela
Haggai 1:9 Chinese Bible
Haggai 1:9 French Bible
Haggai 1:9 German Bible

Bible Hub

Haggai 1:8
Top of Page
Top of Page