Haggai 2:7
And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, said the LORD of hosts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(7) And the desire of all nations shall come.—Better, and the precious things of all the nations shall comescil., shall be brought as offerings. (Comp. Zephaniah 3:10; Zechariah 14:16.) So apparently the LXX., ἥξει τὰ ἐκλεκτὰ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν. The rendering of the Authorised Version, which is based on Jerome’s et venit desideratus cunctis gentibus, is grammatically impossible with the present text, for the verb “come” is plural, not singular. Its retention in some of the modern commentaries is mainly attributable to a natural unwillingness to give up a direct Messianic prophecy. Apart, however, from the grammatical difficulty, it must be remarked that the Messiah was not longed for by all nations, and that if He had been there would be no point in mentioning the fact in the present connection. On the other hand, the prediction of Gentile offerings to the Temple is most appropriate. It is the answer to those who sorrowed when they contrasted the mean appearance of this present house with the glories of that built by Solomon (Haggai 2:3). It also explains the otherwise meaningless utterance in Haggai 2:8. Another possible rendering is that adopted by Fürst, and (at one time) by Ewald, “And the pick of the nations shall come,” scil., with offerings to the Temple. The significance of the utterance is the same with either translation—scil., that by agencies not specified the Gentile world is to be converted and induced to offer worship and homage to Jehovah.

2:1-9 Those who are hearty in the Lord's service shall receive encouragement to proceed. But they could not build such a temple then, as Solomon built. Though our gracious God is pleased if we do as well as we can in his service, yet our proud hearts will scarcely let us be pleased, unless we do as well as others, whose abilities are far beyond ours. Encouragement is given the Jews to go on in the work notwithstanding. They have God with them, his Spirit and his special presence. Though he chastens their transgressions, his faithfulness does not fail. The Spirit still remained among them. And they shall have the Messiah among them shortly; He that should come. Convulsions and changes would take place in the Jewish church and state, but first should come great revolutions and commotions among the nations. He shall come, as the Desire of all nations; desirable to all nations, for in him shall all the earth be blessed with the best of blessings; long expected and desired by all believers. The house they were building should be filled with glory, very far beyond Solomon's temple. This house shall be filled with glory of another nature. If we have silver and gold, we must serve and honour God with it, for the property is his. If we have not silver and gold, we must honour him with such as we have, and he will accept us. Let them be comforted that the glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, in what would be beyond all the glories of the first house, the presence of the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of glory, personally, and in human nature. Nothing but the presence of the Son of God, in human form and nature, could fulfil this. Jesus is the Christ, is He that should come, and we are to look for no other. This prophecy alone is enough to silence the Jews, and condemn their obstinate rejection of Him, concerning whom all their prophets spake. If God be with us, peace is with us. But the Jews under the latter temple had much trouble; but this promise is fulfilled in that spiritual peace which Jesus Christ has by his blood purchased for all believers. All changes shall make way for Christ to be desired and valued by all nations. And the Jews shall have their eyes opened to behold how precious He is, whom they have hitherto rejected.And the desire of all nations shall come - The words can only mean this, the central longing of all nations

He whom they longed for, either through the knowledge of Him spread by the Jews in their dispersion, or mutely by the aching craving of the human heart, longing for the restoration from its decay. "The earnest expectation of the creature" did not begin with the Coming of Christ, nor was it limited to those, who actually came to Him Romans 8:19-22. "The whole creation," Paul saith, "groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." It was enslaved, and the better self longed to be free; every motion of grace in the multitudinous heart of man was a longing for its Deliverer; every weariness of what it was, every fleeting vision of what was better, every sigh from out of its manifold ills, were notes of the one varied cry, "Come and help us." Man's heart, formed in the image of God, could not but ache to be reformed by and for Him, though "an unknown God," who should reform it.

This longing increased as the time drew near, when Christ should come. The Roman biographer attests the existence of this expectation, not among the Jews only, but in the East ; this was quickened doubtless among the pagan by the Jewish Sibylline book, in that, amid the expectations of one sent from heaven, who should found a kingdom of righteousness, which the writer drew from the Hebrew prophets, he inserted denunciations of temporal vengeance upon the Romans, which Easterns would share. Still, although written 170 years before our Lord came , it had not apparently much effect until the time, when, from the prophecies of Daniel it was clear, that He must shortly come . Yet the attempt of the Jewish and pagan historian to wrest it to Vespasian, shows how great must have been the influence of the expectation, which they attempted to turn aside.

The Jews, who rejected our Lord whom Haggai predicted, still were convinced that the prediction must be fulfilled before the destruction of the second temple. The impulse did not cease even after its destruction. R. Akiba, whom they accounted "the first oracle of his time, the first and greatest guardian of the tradition and old law," of whom they said, that "God revealed to him things unknown to Moses," was induced by this prophecy to acknowledge the impostor Bar-cochab, to the destruction of himself and of the most eminent of his time; fulfilling our Lord's words John 5:43, "I am come in My fathers name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive."

Akiba, following the traditional meaning of the great prophecy which rivetted his own eyes, paraphrased the words, "Yet a little, a little of the kingdom, will I give to Israel upon the destruction of the first house, and after the kingdom, lo! I will shake heaven, and after that will come the Messiah."

Since the words can only mean "the Desire of all nations," he or that which all nations long for, the construction of the words does not affect the meaning. Herod doubtless thought to advance his own claims on the Jewish people by his material adorning of the temple; yet, although mankind do covet gold and silver, few could seriously think that, while a pagan immoral but observant poet could speak of "gold undiscovered and so better placed," or our own of the "pale and common drudge 'Tween man and man," a Hebrew prophet could recognize gold and silver as "the desire of all nations." Rabbi Akiba and Jerome's Jewish teachers, after our Lord came, felt no difficulty in understanding it of a person. We cannot in English express the delicacy of the phrase, whereby manifoldness is combined in unity, the Object of desire containing in itself many objects of desire.

To render "the desire of all nations" or "the desires of all nations" alike fail to do this. A great pagan master of language said to his wife, "fare you well, my longings," i. e., I suppose, if he had analyzed his feelings, he meant that she manifoldly met the longings of his heart; she had in herself manifold gifts to content them. So Paul sums up all the truths and gifts of the Gospel, all which God shadowed out in the law and had given us in Christ, under the name of "the good things to come." A pious modern writer speaks of "the unseen desirables of the spiritual world." A psalmist expresses at once the collective, "God's Word" and the "words" contained in it, by an idiom like Haggai's, joining the feminine singular as a collective with the plural verb; "How sweet are Thy word unto my taste," literally "palate."

It is God's word, at once collectively and individually, which was to the Psalmist so sweet. What was true of the whole, was true, one by one, of each part; what was true of each part, was true of the whole. So here, the object of this longing was manifold, but met in one, was concentrated in One, 1 Corinthians 1:30. "in Christ Jesus, Who of God is made unto us wisdom and righteousness and sanctification and redemption." That which the whole world sighed and mourned for, knowingly or unknowingly, light to disperse its darkness, liberty from its spiritual slavery, restoration from its degradation, could not come to us without some one, who should impart it to us.

But if Jesus was "the longed-for of the nations" before He came, by that mute longing of need for that which it wants (as the parched ground thirsteth for the rain how much more afterward! So Micah and Isaiah describe many peoples inviting one another Micah 4:2; Isaiah 2:3. "Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths." And in truth He became the "desire of the nations," much more than of the Jews; as, Paul says, (Romans 10:19-20; quoting Deuteronomy 32:21. Isaiah 65:2.) God foretold of old; "Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are not a people: by a foolish nation I will anger you. But Esaias is very bold and saith, I was found of them that sought Me not."

So until now and in eternity, "Christ is the longing of all holy souls, who long for nothing else, than to please Him, daily to love Him more, to worship Him better. So John longed for Him; "Come, Lord Jesus Revelation 22:20. So Isaiah Isa 26:8-9, "The desire of our soul is to Thy Name and to the remembrance of Thee: with my soul have I desired Thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me, will I seek Thee early." So Ignatius, "Let fire, cross, troops of wild beasts, dissections, rendings, scattering of bones, mincing of limbs, grindings of the whole body, ill tortures of the devil come upon me, only may I gain Jesus Christ. - I seek Him Who for us died; I long for Him Who for us rose."

"Hungerest thou and desirest food? Long for Jesus! He is the bread and refreshment of Angels. He is manna, "containing in Him all sweetness and pleasurable delight." Thirstest thou? Long for Jesus! He is the well of "living water," refreshing, so that thou shouldest thirst no more. Art thou sick? Go to Jesus. He is the Saviour, the physician, nay, salvation itself. Art thou dying? Sigh for Jesus! He is "the resurrection and the life." Art thou perplexed? Come to Jesus! He is "the Angel of great counsel." Art thou ignorant and erring? Ask Jesus; He is "the way, the truth and the life." Art thou a sinner? Call on Jesus! For "He shall save His people from their sins." To this end He came into the world: "This is all His fruit, to take away sin." Art thou tempted by pride, gluttony, lust, sloth? Call on Jesus! He is humility, soberness, chastity, love, fervor: "He bare our infirmities, and carried," yea still beareth and carrieth, "our griefs."

Seekest thou beauty? He is "fairer than the children of men." Seekest thou wealth? In Him are "all treasures," yea in Him "the fullness of the Godhead dwelleth." Art thou ambitious of honors? "Glory and riches are in His house." "He is the King of glory." Seekest thou a friend? He hath the greatest love for thee, who for love of thee came down from heaven, toiled, endured the Sweat of Blood, the Cross and Death; He prayed for thee by name in the garden, and poured forth tears of Blood! Seekest thou wisdom? He is the Eternal and Uncreated Wisdom of the Father! Wishest thou for consolation and joy? He is the sweetness of souls, the joy and jubilee of Angels. Wishest thou for righteousness and holiness? He is "the Holy of holies;" He "is everlasting Righteousness," justifying and sanctifying all who believe and hope in Him. Wishest thou for a blissful life? He is "life eternal," the bliss of the saints. Long then for Him, love Him, sigh for Him! In Him thou wilt find all good; out of Him, all evil, all misery. Say then with Francis, 'My Jesus, my love and my all!' O Good Jesus, burst the cataract of Thy love, that its streams, yea seas, may flow down upon us, yea, inebriate and overwhelm us."

And I will fill this house with glory - The glory then was not to be anything, which came from man, but directly from God. It was the received expression of God's manifestation of Himself in the tabernacle Exodus 40:34-35. in Soloman's temple, 1 Kings 8:11; 2 Chronicles 5:14; 2 Chronicles 7:1-12, and of the ideal temple Ezekiel 43:5; Ezekiel 44:4. which Ezekiel saw, after the likeness of that of Solomon, that "the glory of the Lord filled the house." When then of this second temple God uses the self-same words, that He will "fill it with glory," with what other glory should He fill it than His own? In the history it is said, "the glory of the Lord filled the temple;" for there man relates what God did. Here it is God Himself who speaks; so He says not, "the glory of the Lord," but, "I will fill the house with glory," glory which was His to give, which came from Himself. To interpret that glory of anything material, is to do violence to language, to force on words of Scripture an unworthy sense, which they refuse to bear.

The gold upon the walls, even had the second temple been adorned like the first did not fill the temple of Solomon. However richly any building might be overlaid with gold, no one could say that it is filled with it. A building is filled with what it contains; a mint or treasure-house may be filled with gold: the temple of God was "filled," we are told, with "the glory of the Lord." His creatures bring Him such things as they can offer; they bring Isaiah 60:6 "gold and incense;" they Psalm 72:10 "bring presents" and "offer gifts;" they do it, moved by His Spirit, as acceptable to Him. God was never said to give these offerings to Himself.

7. shake—not convert; but cause that agitation which is to precede Messiah's coming as the healer of the nations' agitations. The previous shaking shall cause the yearning "desire" for the Prince of peace. Moore and others translate "the beauty," or "the desirable things (the precious gifts) of all nations shall come" (Isa 60:5, 11; 61:6). He brings these objections to applying "the desire of all nations" to Messiah: (1) The Hebrew means the quality, not the thing desired, namely, its desirableness or beauty, But the abstract is often put for the concrete. So "a man of desires," that is, one desired or desirable (Da 9:23; 10:11, Margin; Da 10:3, Margin). (2) Messiah was not desired by all nations, but "a root out of a dry ground," having "no beauty that we should desire Him" (Isa 53:2). But what is implied is not that the nations definitely desired Him, but that He was the only one to satisfy the yearning desires which all felt unconsciously for a Saviour, shown in their painful rites and bloody sacrifices. Moreover, while the Jews as a nation desired Him not (to which people Isa 53:2 refers), the Gentiles, who are plainly pointed out by "all nations," accepted Him; and so to them He was peculiarly desirable. (3) The verb, "shall come," is plural, which requires the noun to be understood in the plural, whereas if Messiah be intended, the noun is singular. But when two nouns stand together, of which one is governed by the other, the verb agrees sometimes in number with the latter, though it really has the former as its nominative, that is, the Hebrew "come" is made in number to agree with "nations," though really agreeing with "the desire." Besides, Messiah may be described as realizing in Himself at His coming "the desires (the noun expressing collectively the plural) of all nations"; whence the verb is plural. So in So 5:16, "He is altogether lovely," in the Hebrew the same word as here, "all desires," that is, altogether desirable, or the object of desires. (4) Hag 2:8, "The silver is mine," &c.; accords with the translation, "the choice things of all nations" shall be brought in. But Hag 2:8 harmonizes quite as well with English Version of Hag 2:7, as the note on eighth verse will show; see on [1171]Hag 2:8. (5) the Septuagint and Syriac versions agree with Moore's translation. But Vulgate confirms English Version. So also early Jewish Rabbis before Jerome's time. Plato [Alcibiades, 2] shows the yearning of the Gentiles after a spiritual deliverer: "It is therefore necessary," says Alcibiades on the subject of acceptable worship, "to wait until One teach us how we ought to behave towards the gods and men." Alcibiades replies, "When shall that time arrive, and who shall that Teacher be? For most glad would I be to see such a man." The "good tidings of great joy" were "to all people" (Lu 2:10). The Jews, and those in the adjoining nations instructed by them, looked for Shiloh to come unto whom the gathering of the people was to be, from Jacob's prophecy (Ge 49:10). The early patriarchs, Job (Job 19:25-27; 33:23-26) and Abraham (Joh 8:56), desired Him.

fill this house with glory—(Hag 2:9). As the first temple was filled with the cloud of glory, the symbol of God (1Ki 8:11; 2Ch 5:14), so this second temple was filled with the "glory" of God (Joh 1:14) veiled in the flesh (as it were in the cloud) at Christ's first coming, when He entered it and performed miracles there (Mt 21:12-14); but that "glory" is to be revealed at His second coming, as this prophecy in its ulterior reference foretells (Mal 3:1). The Jews before the destruction of Jerusalem all expected Messiah would appear in the second temple. Since that time they invent various forced and false interpretations of such plain Messianic prophecies.

I will shake all nations; which was literally fulfilled in the overthrow of the Persian monarchy by the Grecians, in the civil wars and succeeding troubles among Alexander’s successors, the growth of the Roman power by the subduing their neighbours, and their dissensions and homebred wars, all hushed by Augustus a little before Christ’s birth. These convulsions began a little after this prophecy, and continued long, in which the Jews, under the Maccabees, had their share.

The Desire of all nations shall come; Christ, the most desirable, because the most helpful to all nations, which some proselytes in all ages did come to the knowledge of, and did earnestly desire; and who was desired by all that knew their own misery. and his sufficiency to save them, who was to be the light of the Gentiles as well as the glory of his people Israel. The Messiah’s coming (the Jews do own) is foretold in this text, yet will they not see how this

yet a little while is long since past, and the true Messiah long since come.

I will fill this house, which you now build, this second temple. The first had a fulness of glory in its magnificent structure, rich ornaments, and costly sacrifices, but this was a worldly glory; that which is here promised is a heavenly glory from the presence of Christ in it. He that was the brightness of his Father’s glory, who is the glory of the church, appeareth in this second temple.

With glory, of my presence, preaching, healing, and comforting, saith the Messiah, the King of glory, who entered these everlasting doors, Psalm 24:7,8. This was before the desolation of this temple by the Romans, a demonstration that the Messiah should come whilst this second temple stood. But now the hardened Jew seeks to evade this text.

Saith the Lord of hosts: this is a solemn sealing the certainty of the thing in this prophet, and Zechariah, and Malachi, who style him Lord of hosts near a hundred times.

I will shake all nations; which was literally fulfilled in the overthrow of the Persian monarchy by the Grecians, in the civil wars and succeeding troubles among Alexander’s successors, the growth of the Roman power by the subduing their neighbours, and their dissensions and homebred wars, all hushed by Augustus a little before Christ’s birth. These convulsions began a little after this prophecy, and continued long, in which the Jews, under the Maccabees, had their share.

The Desire of all nations shall come; Christ, the most desirable, because the most helpful to all nations, which some proselytes in all ages did come to the knowledge of, and did earnestly desire; and who was desired by all that knew their own misery. and his sufficiency to save them, who was to be the light of the Gentiles as well as the glory of his people Israel. The Messiah’s coming (the Jews do own) is foretold in this text, yet will they not see how this

yet a little while is long since past, and the true Messiah long since come.

I will fill this house, which you now build, this second temple. The first had a fulness of glory in its magnificent structure, rich ornaments, and costly sacrifices, but this was a worldly glory; that which is here promised is a heavenly glory from the presence of Christ in it. He that was the brightness of his Father’s glory, who is the glory of the church, appeareth in this second temple.

With glory, of my presence, preaching, healing, and comforting, saith the Messiah, the King of glory, who entered these everlasting doors, Psalm 24:7,8. This was before the desolation of this temple by the Romans, a demonstration that the Messiah should come whilst this second temple stood. But now the hardened Jew seeks to evade this text.

Saith the Lord of hosts: this is a solemn sealing the certainty of the thing in this prophet, and Zechariah, and Malachi, who style him Lord of hosts near a hundred times. And I will shake all nations,.... By changing their governors, and forms of government; which was done by the Romans, when subdued by them; and by bringing in wars among them, which produced those changes; and by civil wars among the Romans themselves, in the several nations that belonged to them, which were notorious a little before the coming of Christ: or else this was to be done, and was done, by the preaching of the Gospel, both in Judea, and in the Gentile world, when all the inhabitants thereof were shaken by it, in one sense or another; some had their hearts and consciences shaken by the Spirit and grace of God through it, and were brought to embrace it, and profess it; yea, were brought to Christ, to yield obedience to him, his truths and ordinances; and others were moved with envy, wrath, and indignation at it, and rose up to oppose it, and stop the progress of it:

and the desire of all nations shall come; not the desirable things of all nations, or them with them, as their gold and silver; and which is the sense of Jarchi, Kimchi, and Aben Ezra; but this is contrary to the syntax of the words, to the context, Haggai 2:8, and to facts; and, if true, would not have given this temple a greater glory than Solomon's: nor the elect of God, as others, brought in through the preaching of the Gospel; who are indeed the desire of God, he takes pleasure in them; and of Christ, whose delights have been always in them; and of the blessed Spirit, whose love to them, and esteem of them, are very manifest; and with the saints they are the excellent in the earth, in whom is all their delight: yet not they, but one far more glorious and excellent, is intended, even the Messiah, in whom all nations of the earth were to be blessed; and who, so far as he was known by good men or proselytes among the Gentiles, was desired by them, as by Job, and others; and who, when he came, brought all good things with him; and has all blessings in him, that may make him desirable to men, being what they want; and though he is not in fact desired by all, yet of right he should be, and to all sensible sinners he is; even above all persons and things in the whole world; on account of his excellencies and glories; his mediatorial qualifications; his names, offices, and relations; the blessings of grace in him; the works done by him; his truths and ordinances, people, ways, and worship: and when it is said, he "shall come", the meaning is, not only into the world by assumption of nature, to obtain redemption for his people; but into this temple now building, in that nature assumed; where he appeared at the presentation of him by his parents; and at the passover, when twelve years of age; and when he drove out the buyers and sellers from it; and when he often taught in it. The word "come" is in the plural number; and may denote his frequent coming thither, as well as in different respects; his personal coming; his spiritual coming; his coming to take vengeance on the Jews; and his last coming, of which some understand the words particularly:

and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts; alluding to the glory which filled the tabernacle of Moses, and the temple of Solomon, Exodus 40:35 but that was but a shadowy glory, this a real one; here Christ appeared in person, who is the brightness of his Father's glory; here his glorious doctrines were taught, and glorious miracles wrought; and the Spirit of glory rested on the disciples, in his gifts and grace bestowed upon them in an extraordinary manner, on the day of Pentecost.

And I will shake all nations, and {d} the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

(d) Meaning Christ, whom all ought to look for and desire: or by desire he may signify all precious things, such as riches, and things like them.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. I will shake all nations] “There was a general shaking upon earth before our Lord came. Empires rose and fell. The Persian fell before Alexander’s; Alexander’s world-empire was ended by his sudden death in youth; of his four successors two only continued, and they, too, fell before the Romans; then were the Roman civil wars, until under Augustus, the temple of Janus was shut.” Pusey. The second and third of Daniel’s four great kingdoms, the Medo-Persian and the Græco-Macedonian, and (if with some we identify it with the successors of Alexander in Syria and Egypt) the fourth kingdom also, were to pass away before our Lord appeared. Daniel 2:36-45.

the desire of all nations shall come] Setting aside various other renderings of these words which have little to recommend them—e.g. “I will shake all nations, and they (all nations) shall come with the desire (the desirable things) of all nations (in their hands as offerings);” or, “they shall come to the desire of all nations;” or yet again, “the choicest of nations, nobilissimi omnium populorum, shall come,”—and adhering to the rendering of the A. V., we have two principal interpretations to choose between. There is the view that Christ Himself is here spoken of as “the Desire of all nations” (et veniet desideratus gentibus, Vulgate), i.e. He for Whom all nations consciously or unconsciously yearn, in Whom alone all the longings of the human heart find satisfaction. Very beautiful, as well as very Christian, is the idea thus conveyed: Christ, “the longed-for of the nations before He came, by that mute longing of need for that which it wants as the parched ground thirsteth for the rain.” Archbishop Trench has worked it out in some particulars in a course of Hulsean lectures under the title, “Christ, the Desire of all nations, or the unconscious prophesyings of heathendom.” But interesting as is this view, and strong the temptation to maintain it at any cost, there are objections to it which cannot satisfactorily be overcome. The word “desire” is in the singular number, the verb “shall come” is in the plural. It is literally “the desire of all nations they shall come.” To the difficulty of understanding this of a person it does not seem a sufficient answer, to describe it as “the delicacy of the phrase, whereby manifoldness is combined in unity, the object of desire containing in itself many objects of desire;” as “a great heathen master of language said to his wife, ‘fare you well, my longings,’ i.e. she who manifoldly met the longings of his heart, and had in herself manifold gifts to content them[33]” (Pusey). Still more difficult is it to make this view harmonise with the context. The following verse is, The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts. It is forced and unnatural to make these words mean, “I have no need of gold or silver. The whole wealth of the world is mine. I could adorn this house with silver and gold if I would; but such things are worthless in my sight. I will fill it with divine and spiritual glory instead.” Comp. Psalm 50:10-12.

[33] It has recently been pointed out by a writer in the Guardian newspaper, that the words here quoted by Dr Pusey, “Valete, mea desideria, valete,” do not refer to his wife Terentia alone, but to his wife, son and daughter, to all three of whom the Epistle is addressed. A glance at the Epistle (xiv. 2) will suffice to shew that this is the case, and that consequently they have no bearing upon the passage under consideration.

We are led, therefore, to adopt another view, which has been accepted by some ancient and most modern commentators. According to it the passage may be paraphrased as follows: “I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations (the object of desire, that which each nation holds most desirable, its best and chiefest treasure, ‘the desirable things,’ R. V.) shall come (the plural verb denoting the manifoldness and variety of the gifts); 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. However distributed, and by whomsoever possessed, the treasures of the whole world are still in my hand, and I can dispose and bestow them at my will. Doubt not, therefore, my promise that they shall be poured forth as willing offerings to beautify and adorn my house.” Thus understood, the prophecy agrees substantially with many other prophecies of the Old Testament. Thus Isaiah writes, “The abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces (i.e. ‘resources’ or ‘wealth:’ it is as here a singular noun with a plural verb) of the Gentiles shall come unto thee:” and he adds in almost verbal accordance with this prophecy of Haggai, “they shall bring gold and incense,” and “I will glorify the house of my glory.” Isaiah 60:5-7; Isaiah 60:11; Isaiah 60:13; Isaiah 60:17. See also Isaiah 61:6. Nor is the Messianic reference of the prophecy excluded or obscured by this interpretation. He who satisfies the desire of all nations will call forth and receive the willing offering to Himself of all they hold most desirable, in grateful acknowledgment of the satisfaction they find in Him. It was because the babe of Bethlehem was the desire of the Eastern sages that they first fell down and worshipped Him, and then opened their treasures and presented unto Him gold and frankincense and myrrh. Reaching on as we have seen to the consummation of all things, the prophecy includes all Christian gifts and offerings to the temple of God, material or spiritual, and will find its full accomplishment in that city of which it is written, “the kings and the nations of the earth shall bring their glory and honour into it.” Revelation 21:24; Revelation 21:26. (See a letter on the interpretation of this passage by the late Bp. Thirlwall, Essays, Appendix, p. 467.)Verse 7. - All nations (Luke 21:25, where our Lord refers to the end of this world). But before Christ's first advent there was a general shaking of empires. Persia fell; Alexander's dominion was divided and gradually shattered before the might of Rome; Rome herself was torn with civil wars. The faith in the power of national gods was everywhere weakened, and men were prepared to receive the new revelation of one Supreme Deity, who came on earth to teach and save. Now is mentioned the object or consequence of this shaking of nations. The desire of all nations shall come. This is the rendering of the ancient Jewish expositors, the Chaldee Targum, and the Vulgate, which gives, Veniet desideratus cunctis gentibus. Tile words in this case point to a person, and this person can be no one else than the Messiaih for whom "all nations consciously or unconsciously yearn, in whom alone all the longings of the human heart find satisfaction" (Perowne). But there is difficulty in accepting this view. The word rendered "the desire" (chemdath) is singular, the verb "shall come" (bau) is plural, as if it was said in Latin, Venient desiderium omnium gentium. The LXX. translates, Ηξει τὰ ἐκλεκτὰ πάντων τῶν ἐθνῶν, "The choice things [or, 'portions'] of all the nations shall come." The plural verb seems fatal to the idea of a person being spoken of; nor is this objection answered by Dr. Pusey's allegation that the object of desire contains in itself many objects of desire, or Bishop Wordsworth's refinement, that Messiah is regarded as a collective Being, containing in his own Person the natures of God and man, and combining the three offices of Prophet, Priest, and King. Every one must see that both these explanations are forced and unnatural, and are conformed rather to theological considerations than to grammatical accuracy. Chemdah is used for "the object of desire," as 2 Chronicles 32:27, where it refers to Hezekiah's treasures, and 2 Chronicles 36:10, "the goodly vessels" of the temple (comp. Jeremiah 25:34; Nahum 2:9). Nowhere is any intimation given that it is a name applied to the Messiah; nowhere is any such explanation offered of the term so applied. The word is a common one; its meaning is well ascertained; and it could hardly have been understood in any but its usual acceptation without some preparation or further definition. This acceptation is confirmed by the mention of "the gold and silver" in ver. 8. The Revised Version cuts the knot by rendering, "the desirable things;" Perowne affirms that the plural verb denotes the manifoldness and variety of the gifts. This seems scarcely satisfactory. May it not be, as Knabenbauer suggests, that "the desire of all nations" forms one notion, in which the words, "all nations," have a predominating influence, and so the plural ensues by constructio ad sensum? The meaning, then, is that all nations with their wealth come, that the Gentiles shall devote their treasures, their powers, whatever they most highly prize, to the service of God. This is what is predicted elsewhere (e.g. Isaiah 55:5-7, 11, 13, 17), and it is called, metaphorically, coming with treasures to the temple. To hear of such a glorious future might well be a topic of consolation to the depressed Israelites. (For a further development of the same idea, see Revelation 21:24, 26.) I will fill this house with glory. There is a verbal allusion to the glory which filled Solomon's temple at the dedication (2 Chronicles 7:1), but the especial mode in which it is to be manifested in this case is not here mentioned. The previous clause would make the reference rather to the material offerings of the Gentiles, but a further and a deeper signification is connected with the advent of Messiah (as Malachi 3:1), with which the complete fulfilment commenced. The city of blood will have the shame, which it has inflicted upon the nations, repaid to it by a terrible massacre. The prophet announces this with the woe which opens the last section of this threatening prophecy. Nahum 3:1. "Woe to the city of blood! She all full of deceit and murder; the prey departs not." ‛Ir dâmı̄m, city of drops of blood, i.e., of blood shed, or of murders. This predicate is explained in the following clauses: she all full of lying and murder. Cachash and pereq are asyndeton, and accusatives dependent upon מלאה. Cachash, lying and deceit: this is correctly explained by Abarbanel and Strauss as referring to the fact that "she deceived the nations with vain promises of help and protection." Pereq, tearing in pieces for murder, - a figure taken from the lion, which tears its prey in pieces (Psalm 7:3). לא ימישׁ, the prey does not depart, never fails. Mūsh: in the hiphil here, used intransitively, "to depart," as in Exodus 13:22; Psalm 55:12, and not in a transitive sense, "to cause to depart," to let go; for if ‛ı̄r (the city) were the subject, we should have tâmı̄sh.
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