Haggai 2:8
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, said the LORD of hosts.
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(8) Silver . . . gold.—It is unnatural to suppose that this is said in the sense of Ps. 1:10, as implying “I have no need of silver or gold.” Clearly what is meant is that the treasures of earth are at God’s disposal, and that He will incite the Gentiles to offer their silver and gold in His Temple. A rigid application of this prediction is impossible. (See Introduction, § 2.)

Haggai 2:8-9. The silver is mine — Solomon’s temple was more richly adorned with silver and gold than this, and I, that am the Lord of all the world, could easily command the riches of it, and bring them together for beautifying this my house, if I took delight in, or wanted any thing of this sort. A like expression as this is used, Psalm 50:10, with regard to sacrifices. The glory of this latter house, &c. — The glory of this second temple shall exceed that of the former, not in riches or costly ornaments, but in this, that there the prince of peace shall make his appearance, and there the gospel of peace shall be preached and published. See Isaiah 9:6; Micah 5:5; Ephesians 2:14. “Notwithstanding the former temple had the Urim and Thummim, the ark containing the two tables of the law, (written with the finger of God,) the pot of manna, Aaron’s rod that budded, and the cloud that overshadowed the mercy-seat, and was the symbol of the divine presence; yet the glory of this latter house shall be greater by the appearance, doctrines, and miracles of Christ. Some interpret this passage of the richer decorations in the latter temple; but it may well be doubted whether the second temple could exceed that of Solomon in the splendour and costliness of its ornaments. The presumption is, that the former temple was more magnificent and sumptuous in its furniture than the latter, though inferior to it in point of magnitude. Prideaux values the gold, with which the holy of holies alone was overlaid, at four million three hundred and twenty thousand pounds sterling. P.I.B. 3. Ann. 534.” — Newcome. What were the magnificence and beauty which adorned the former temple? What was even the Shechinah, the resplendent cloud of glory, which rested upon the mercy-seat, compared with the emanations of the divine perfections from Immanuel: the almighty power and boundless goodness exerted in acts of beneficence which shone forth in Christ, when the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them; and the infinite wisdom displayed in his divine discourses, when he taught daily in the temple, Luke 19:47, and his doctrine dropped as the rain, and his speech distilled as the dew? And never, surely, was such peace given to men by any other as was imparted by and through him; peace between God and man, between Jews and Gentiles, and between man and man, wherever his religion is received in the truth and power of it: peace, spiritual, internal, and heavenly; peace of conscience, tranquillity of mind, serenity of heart; a peace which, as the apostle observes, passeth all understanding, all purely rational conception, or, which no one can comprehend, save he that receives it.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.The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine - These words, which have occasioned some to think, that God, in speaking of the glory with which He should fill the house, meant our material riches, suggest the contrary. For silver was no ornament of the temple of Solomon. Everything was overlaid with gold. In the tabernacle there were bowls of silver, in Soloman's temple they and all were of gold 1 Kings 7:50; 2 Chronicles 4:8. Silver, we are expressly told, "was nothing accounted of 1 Kings 10:21 in the days of Solomon: he 1 Kings 10:27. made silver to be in Jerusalem as stones - for abundance." Rather, as God says by the Psalmist Psalm 50:10-12, "Every beast of the forest is Mine, so are the cattle upon a thousand hills: I know all the fowls of the mountains, and the wild beasts of the field are Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is Mine and the fullness thereof:" so here He tells them, that for the glory of His house He needed not gold or silver: for all the wealth of the world is His. They had no ground "to grieve then, that they could not equal the magnificence of Solomon who had abundance of gold and silver." All was God's. He would fill it with divine glory. The Desire of all nations, Christ, should come, and be a glory, to which all created glory is nothing.

"God says really and truly, that the silver and gold is His, which in utmost bounty He created, and in His most just government administers, so that, without His will and dominion, neither can the bad have gold and silver for the punishment of avarice, nor the good for the use of mercy. Its abundance does not inflate the good, nor its want crush them: but the bad, when bestowed, it blinds: when taken away, it tortures."

"It is as if He would say, Think not the temple inglorious, because, may be, it will have no portion of gold or silver, and their splendor. I need not such things. How should I? "For Mine is the silver and Mine the gold, saith the Lord Almighty." I seek rather true worshipers: with their brightness will I guild this temple. Let him come who hath right faith, is adorned by graces, gleams with love for Me, is pure in heart, poor in spirit, compassionate and good." "These make the temple, i. e., the Church, glorious and renowned, being glorified by Christ. For they have learned to pray, Psalm 90:17. "The glory of the Lord our God be upon us."

8. The silver is mine—(Job 41:11; Ps 50:12). Ye are disappointed at the absence of these precious metals in the adorning of this temple, as compared with the first temple: If I pleased I could adorn this temple with them, but I will adorn it with a "glory" (Hag 2:7, 9) far more precious; namely, with the presence of My divine Son in His veiled glory first, and at His second coming with His revealed glory, accompanied with outward adornment of gold and silver, of which the golden covering within and without put on by Herod is the type. Then shall the nations bring offerings of those precious metals which ye now miss so much (Isa 2:3; 60:3, 6, 7; Eze 43:2, 4, 5; 44:4). The heavenly Jerusalem shall be similarly adorned, but shall need "no temple" (Re 21:10-22). Compare 1Co 3:12, where gold and silver represent the most precious things (Zec 2:5). The inward glory of New Testament redemption far exceeds the outward glory of the Old Testament dispensation. So, in the case of the individual poor believer, God, if He pleased, could bestow gold and silver, but He bestows far better treasures, the possession of which might be endangered by that of the former (Jas 2:5). The right as indisputable, the treasures of both as full and large, doubt not therefore but I will give enough to build this house; and I could beautify it with these as much as the first temple, but I intend a greater glory. I am the Proprietor, others but trustees; I have the full disposal of all. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. This seems designed to anticipate an objection taken from the gold and silver, with which the first temple was either decorated, or were in gifts dedicated to it; and which, it might easily be foreseen, would be wanting in the second temple; and in answer to which the Lord observes, that all the gold and silver in the world were his, were made by him, and were at his dispose; and therefore whatever were bestowed upon the former temple was only giving him his own; what he had a prior right to, and was no accession of riches or honour to him; and so it would be the same, let what would be expended on this; and therefore it was an article very inconsiderable, and of little significance; nor did he regard, or was he delighted with anything of this kind; and, was he so disposed, he could easily command all the gold and silver in the world together, and bring it into this house, to enrich and adorn it, without doing any injury to any person; but these were things he delighted not in; and, besides, he had a far greater glory in view to put upon this house, as follows: The {e} silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.

(e) Therefore when his time comes he can make all the treasures of the world to serve his purpose: but the glory of this second Temple does not consist of material things, neither can it be built.

Verse 8. - The silver is mine. All the riches of the world are the Lord's, and he disposes of them as he wills; if he has promised that the Gentiles shall offer their treasures for his service, be sure he will perform his word. There may also be intended a word of comfort for the desponding; they need not grieve because they had but poor offerings to bring to the house; he wanted not gold or silver, for all was his. This threat is explained in Nahum 3:2., by a description of the manner in which a hostile army enters Nineveh and fills the city with corpses. Nahum 3:2. "The cracking of whips, and noise of the rattling of wheels, and the horse in galloping, and chariots flying high. Nahum 3:3. Riders dashing along, and flame of the sword, and flashing of the lance, and multitude of slain men and mass of dead men, and no end of corpses; they stumble over their corpses. Nahum 3:4. For the multitude of the whoredoms of the harlot, the graceful one, the mistress of witchcrafts, who sells nations with her whoredoms, and families with her witchcrafts." Nahum sees in spirit the hostile army bursting upon Nineveh. He hears the noise, i.e., the cracking of the whips of the charioteers, and the rattling (ra‛ash) of the chariot-wheels, sees horses and chariots driving along (dâhar, to hunt, cf. Judges 5:22; riqqēd, to jump, applied to the springing up of the chariots as they drive quickly along over a rugged road), dashing riders (ma‛ăleh, lit., to cause to ascend, sc. the horse, i.e., to make it prance, by driving the spur into its side to accelerate its speed), flaming swords, and flashing lances. As these words are well adapted to depict the attack, so are those which follow to describe the consequence or effect of the attack. Slain men, fallen men in abundance, and so many corpses, that one cannot help stumbling or falling over them. כּבד, the heavy multitude. The chethib יכשׁלו is to be read יכּשׁלוּ (niphal), in the sense of stumbling, as in Nahum 2:6. The keri וכשׁלוּ is unsuitable, as the sentence does not express any progress, but simply exhibits the infinite number of the corpses (Hitzig). גויּתם, their (the slain men's) corpses. This happens to the city of sins because of the multitude of its whoredoms. Nineveh is called Zōnâh, and its conduct zenūnı̄m, not because it had fallen away from the living God and pursued idolatry, for there is nothing about idolatry either here or in what follows; nor because of its commercial intercourse, in which case the commerce of Nineveh would appear here under the perfectly new figure of love-making with other nations (Ewald), for commercial intercourse as such is not love-making; but the love-making, with its parallel "witchcrafts" (keshâphı̄m), denotes "the treacherous friendship and crafty politics with which the coquette in her search for conquests ensnared the smaller states" (Hitzig, after Abarbanel, Calvin, J. H. Michaelis, and others). This policy is called whoring or love-making, "inasmuch as it was that selfishness which wraps itself up in the dress of love, and under the appearance of love seeks simply the gratification of its own lust" (Hengstenberg on the Rev.). The zōnâh is described still more minutely as טובת חן, beautiful with grace. This refers to the splendour and brilliancy of Nineveh, by which this city dazzled and ensnared the nations, like a graceful coquette. Ba‛ălath keshâphı̄m, devoted to witchcrafts, mistress of them. Keshâphı̄m (witchcrafts) connected with zenūnı̄m, as in 2 Kings 9:22, are "the secret wiles, which, like magical arts, do not come to the light in themselves, but only in their effects" (Hitzig). מכר, to sell nations, i.e., to rob them of liberty and bring them into slavery, to make them tributary, as in Deuteronomy 32:30; Judges 2:14; Judges 3:8, etc. (not equals כמר from כבר, to entangle: Hitzig). בּזנוּניה, with (not for) their whoredoms. Mishpâchōth, families, synonymous with עמּים, are smaller peoples or tribes (cf. Jeremiah 25:9; Ezekiel 20:32).
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