Haggai 2:9
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, said the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, said the LORD of hosts.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) The glory . . .—Better, The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former. The new sanctuary is regarded as identical with that reared by Solomon. It shall have a claim to celebrity unrivalled even in the palmiest days of olden time, when Jehovah shall turn the attention of all nations to His sacred place, as predicted in Haggai 2:6-7.

Between this third utterance and the fourth (Haggai 2:10-19) intervenes Zechariah’s exhortation to repentance (Zechariah 1:2-6) uttered in the eighth month.

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 glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former - or, perhaps, more probably, "the later glory of this house shall be greater than the former;" for he had already spoken of the present temple, as identical with that before the captivity . "Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory, anti how do you see it now?" He had spoken of its "first glory." Now he says, in contrast, its later glory should be greater than that of its most glorious times. In this case the question, whether the temple of tiered was a different material building from that of Zerubbabel, falls away.

In either case, the contrast is between two things, either the temple in that its former estate, and this its latter estate after the captivity, or the two temples of Solomon and Zerubbabel. There is no room for a third temple. God holds out no vain hopes. To comfort those distressed by the poverty of the house of God which they were building, God promises a glory to this house greater than before. A temple, erected, after this had lain waste above 1800 years, even if Antichrist were to come now and to erect a temple at Jerusalem, could be no fulfillment of this prophecy.

In material magnificence the temple of Solomon, built and adorned with all the treasures accumulated by David and enlarged by Solomon, far surpassed all which Herod, amid his attempts to give a material meaning to the prophecy, could do. His attempt shows how the eyes of the Jews were fixed on this prophecy, then when it was about to be fulfilled. While taking pains, through the gradualness of his rebuilding, to preserve the identity of the fabric, he lavished his wealth, to draw off their thoughts from the king, whom the Jews looked for, to himself. The friendship of the Romans who were lords of all, was to replace the "all nations," of whom Haggai spoke; he pointed also to the length of peace, the possession of wealth, the greatness of revenues, the surpassing expenditure beyond those before. A small section of Erastians admitted these claims of the murderer of his sons.

The Jews generally were not diverted from looking on to Him who should come. Those five things, the absence whereof they felt, were connected with their atoning worhip or God's presence among them; "the ark with the mercy-seat and the cherubim, the Urim and Tummin, the fire from heaven, the Shechinah, the Holy Spirit." Material magnificence could not replace spiritual glory. The explanations of the great Jewish authorities, that the second temple was superior to the first in structure (which was untrue) or in duration, were laid aside by Jews who had any other solution wherewith to satisfy themselves. "The Shechinah and the five precious things," says one, "which, according to our wise of blessed memory, were in it, and not in the second house, raised and exalted it beyond compare." Another says, "When Haggai saith, 'greater shall be the glory of this later house than the first,' how is it; that the house which Zerubbabel built through the income which the king of Persia gave them was more glorious than the house which Solomon built? And though it is said that the building which Herod made, was exceeding beautiful and rich, we should not think that it was in its beauty like to the house which Solomon built. For what the wise of blessed memory have said of the beauty of the house of Herod is in relation to the house which Zerubbabel built. How much more, since Scripture saith not, 'Great shall be the beauty or the wealth of this latter house above the first,' but the glory: and the glory is not the wealth or the beauty, or the largeness of the dimensions of the building, as they said in their interpretations, for the 'glory' is in truth spoken of the glory of God, which filled the tabernacle, after it was set up, and of the glory of God which filled the house of God, which Solomon built, when he brought the ark into the holy of holies, which is the Divine cloud and the Light supreme, which came down thither in the eyes of all the people, and it is said, 'And it was when the priests came out of the Italy place, the cloud filled the house of God, and the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of God filled the house of God.' And this glory was not in the second house.

And how shall it be said, if so, 'great shall be the glory of this later house above the first?'" The poor unconverted Jew did not know the answer to his question: "Through the presence of God, in the substance of our flesh; through the son given to us, Whose name should be Mighty God." The glory of this temple was in Him Who John 1:14. was made Flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." "There Christ, the Son of God, was, as a Child, offered to God: there He sat in the midst of the Doctors; there He taught and revealed things, hidden from the foundation of the world. The glory of the temple of Solomon was, that in it the majesty of God appeared, veiling itself in a cloud: in this, that same Majesty showed itself, in very deed united with the Flesh, visible to sight: so that Jesus Himself said, John 14:9. "He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father." This it was which Malachi sang with joy Malachi 3:1, "The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in."

And in this place I will give peace - Temporal peace they had now, nor was there any prospect of its being disturbed. They were quiet subjects of the Persiam empire, which included also all their former enemies, greater or less. Alexander subdued all the bordering countries which did not yield, but spared themselves. Temporal peace then was nothing, to be then given them, for they had it. In later times they had it not. The temple itself was profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes (1 Macc. 1:39, 40). "Her sanctuary was laid waste like a wilderness. As had been her glory, so was her dishonor increased." Again by Pompey (Josephus, Ant. xiv. 4. 4. B. J. i. 7.) by Crassus (Josephus, Ant. xiv. 7. 1. B. J. i. 9. 8), the Parthians (Josephus, Ant. xiv. 13. 3. 4.) before it was destroyed by Titus and the Romans. Jews saw this and, knowing nothing of the peace in Jesus, argued from the absence of outward peace, that the prophecy was not fulfilled under the second temple. "What Scripture says, 'and in this place I will give peace,' is opposed to their interpretation. For all the days of the duration of the second house were "in strait of times and not in peace," as was written in Daniel, "and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again and the fosse, and in strait of time," and, as I said, in the time of Herod there was no peace whatever, for the sword did not depart from his house to the day of his death; and after his death the hatred among the Jews increased, and the Gentiles straitened them, until they were destroyed from the face of the earth."

But spiritual peace is, throughout prophecy, part of the promise of the Gospel. Christ Himself was to be Isaiah 9:6-7 "the Prince of peace: of the increase of His government and of His peace there was to be no end;" in His days Psalm 72:3, Psalm 72:7 "the mountains were to bring peace to the people; there should be abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth; the work of righteousness was to be peace Isaiah 32:17, the chastisement of our peace (that which obtained it) was upon Him" Isaiah 53:5, "great should be the peace of her children" Isaiah 54:13, in the Gospel God would give peace, true peace, to the "far off and the near" Isaiah 57:19. He would extend Isaiah 66:12 "peace to her like a river:" the good things of the Gospel was "the publishing of peace" Isaiah 52:7. The Gospel is described as Ezra 34:25, "a covenant of peace:" the promised king Zechariah 9:10 "shall speak peace to the Pagan;" He himself should be "our peace" Micah 5:5. And when He was born, the angels proclaimed Luke 2:14 "on earth peace, goodwill toward men" Luke 1:79. "The Dayspring from on high visited us, to guide our feet into the way of peace." He Himself says John 14:27, "My peace I leave with you." He spake, that John 16:33 "in Me ye might have peace." Peter sums up "the word which God sent unto the children of Israel, as Acts 10:36 preaching peace by Jesus Christ Romans 14:17. The kingdom of God is joy and peace Ephesians 2:14-15, Ephesians 2:17; Christ is our peace; made peace; preaches peace. God calleth us to peace" 1 Corinthians 7:15 in the Gospel Romans 5:1, "being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace." Spiritual peace being thus prominent in the Gospel and in prophecy, as the gift of God, it were unnatural to explain the peace which God promised here to give, as other than He promised elsewhere; peace in Him who is "our peace, Jesus Christ."

"Peace and tranquility of mind is above all glory of the house; because peace passeth all understanding. This is peace above peace, which shall be given after the third shaking of heaven sea earth, dry land, when He shall destroy all powers anti principalities (in the day of judgment). - And so shall there be peace throughout, that, no bodily passions or hindrances of unbelieving mind resisting, Christ shall be all in all, exhibiting the hearts of all subdued to the Father."

9. The glory of this latter house … greater than of the former—namely, through the presence of Messiah, in (whose) face is given the light of the knowledge of the glory of God (2Co 4:6; compare Heb 1:2), and who said of Himself, "in this place is one greater than the temple" (Mt 12:6), and who "sat daily teaching in it" (Mt 26:55). Though Zerubbabel's temple was taken down to the foundations when Herod rebuilt the temple, the latter was considered, in a religious point of view, as not a third temple, but virtually the second temple.

in this place … peace—namely, at Jerusalem, the metropolis of the kingdom of God, whose seat was the temple: where Messiah "made peace through the blood of His cross" (Col 1:20). Thus the "glory" consists in this "peace." This peace begins by the removal of the difficulty in the way of the just God accepting the guilty (Ps 85:8, 10; Isa 9:6, 7; 53:5; Zec 6:13; 2Co 5:18, 19); then it creates peace in the sinner's own heart (Isa 57:19; Ac 10:36; Ro 5:1; 14:17; Eph 2:13-17; Php 4:7); then peace in the whole earth (Mic 5:5; Lu 2:14). First peace between God and man, then between man and God, then between man and man (Isa 2:4; Ho 2:18; Zec 9:10). As "Shiloh" (Ge 49:10) means peace, this verse confirms the view that Hag 2:7, "the desire of all nations," refers to Shiloh or Messiah, foretold in Ge 49:10.

The glory, which God intends to put upon this temple. Solomon. and a rich people, with incredible spoils taken from conquered nations, gave a glory to the first house, but God himself will give the glory of this house.

This latter house, which poor captives and feudatory governors do build, this second temple: the prophet speaks of it as if it were already a house, whereas it was now to be built. What God accounts a glory, must be somewhat better than silver and gold.

Greater than of the former; more truly glory, and in higher degrees; the least of Christ is greater glory than all the magnificence of Solomon. There were no more but two houses built by God’s appointment, into the latter of which the Messiah was personally to come, as Malachi 3:1: therefore he came before that latter temple was destroyed, that is, 1684 years ago, when at two months old he was presented in the temple, embraced and confessed by Simeon, some seventy years before the temple was burnt by the Romans.

In this place; in my house, type of Christ, and who is the glory of it.

Will I give peace; a spiritual, internal, and heavenly peace, in pardoning guilt and destroying sin, which displeaseth God, and disquieteth man himself. Christ made peace on his cross, preached or published it to the world, and gives it to them by the power of his Spirit.

Saith the Lord of hosts; solemnly avowed by the Lord of hosts, who cannot deceive, or be deceived. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the Lord of hosts,.... The "former", or first house, was the temple built by Solomon, which was a very glorious one, if we consider the vast treasure of riches laid up by David, and given to Solomon for the building of it; the great number of workmen employed in it; the stateliness of the fabric, the like to which was never seen, the model being drawn by the Lord himself; the decoration of it; the vessels in it; and, above all, the glory of the Lord that filled it, and continued in it; and yet this "latter" or second house exceeded it. It must be a glory very great indeed to exceed this! The Jews (m) themselves own there were several things wanting in the latter which were in the former, as the "ark", the "Urim" and "Thummim", the "fire" from heaven, the "Shechinah" (or, as in some books, the anointing oil, and, in others, the cherubim), and the "Holy Ghost": by one of their writers (n), they are reckoned in this order, the ark, the mercy seat, and cherubim, one; the Shechinah or divine Majesty, the second; the Holy Ghost, which is prophecy, the third; Urim and Thummim the fourth: and the fire from heaven the fifth: what could there be in it to compensate the want of these, and put it upon a level, and even to cause it to excel the temple of Solomon? the excelling glory did not lie in the fabric; when the foundation of it was laid, the old men wept, because it came so short of the other; and, as the building rose, it was in their eyes as nothing; who were better judges than later Jews, who magnify the building of the second temple; depending upon the authority of Josephus ben Gorion, who is not to be trusted: nor did it lie in the duration of it, it continuing ten years longer, they say (o), than the former; which, if true, could not answer to the deficiencies before mentioned; or be an encouragement to the builders to go on in their work: nor in the riches brought into it by the Gentiles in the times of the Maccabees, which was very inconsiderable; and could never make it equal to Solomon's temple, and much less preferable to it; nor by Alexander the great honouring it with his presence (p); for surely Solomon was greater than he. It remains, that what gave it the greater glory was the personal presence of the Messiah in it, his doctrines, and his miracles:

and, or "for",

in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts; not temporal peace, for there was little of that during the second temple; witness the times of the Maccabees, and the wars with the Romans; but spiritual peace, through the blood and righteousness of Christ; peace with God; reconciliation for sin, through the sacrifice of the Son of God, in whom he is well pleased; yea, Christ himself may be meant, the Prince of peace, the Man the peace, who is our peace, Isaiah 9:6 the author of peace between God and men, between Jew and Gentile; the giver of spiritual and eternal peace: him the Lord gave, "put", and set in this place, the temple, as before observed; and where the Gospel of peace was preached, and from whence it went forth into all the world. The Arabic version adds,

"peace of soul, I say, to be possessed by everyone that labours to raise up this temple.''

(m) T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 65. 1. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 21. 2. Jarchi & Kimchi in Hagg. i. 8. (n) Baal Aruch in rad. fol. 75. 3.((o) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 3. 1. (p) Azariah, Meor Enayim, c. 51. fol. 160. 1. Vid. Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 23. 2. & 24. 1.

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give {f} peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

(f) Meaning all spiritual blessings and felicity purchased by Christ; Php 4:7.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. The glory of this latter house, &c.] Rather, the latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former (as in R.V.); the Temple, whether as built by Solomon or now rebuilt, being regarded as one and the same house, the one only house of God. See ver. 3.

The glory here promised is first and most obviously material glory, the desirable things, the precious gifts of all nations. But it includes the spiritual glory, without which in the sight of God material splendour is worthless and unacceptable. Christ Himself, present bodily in the temple on Mount Sion during His life on earth, present spiritually in His Church now, present in the holy city, the heavenly Jerusalem, of which He is the Temple (Revelation 21:22), calling forth the spiritual worship and devotion, and as the legitimate and necessary expression of that, the wealth and treasure of all nations, is the glory here predicted. But all this is rather implied, to be discerned by the Church in the growing light of its fulfilment, than expressed, to be understood by those to whom the prophecy was first delivered.Verse 9. - The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former. Revised Version, following the Septuagint, "The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former." "This house" means the temple at Jerusalem, regard not being paid to the special building (ver. 3), whether of Solomon, or Zerubbabel, or Herod. As understood by the hearers, this promise referred to the material fiches, the precious things offered by the Gentiles. To us it speaks of the promise of Christ, God incarnate, in the holy city and in the temple itself, and of his presence in the Church, wherein he abides forever. Here is the complete answer to the complaint of ver. 3. In this place will I give peace. Primarily this means in Jerusalem, the place where the temple stood, God would grant peace from enemies, freedom from danger, and quiet enjoyment of promised blessings (comp. Isaiah 55:18; Joel 3:17; Micah 5:4, 5). But the promise is not fulfilled by this; the peace promised to the spiritual temple is that peace of heart and conscience which is given by him who is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), and which includes all the graces of the Christian covenant (Ezekiel 34:25). The first temple was built by the king whose name is "Peaceful;" the second is glorified by the presence of the "Peace bringer" (Genesis 49:10). At the end of this verse the LXX. has an addition not found in the Hebrew, "even peace of soul for a possesion to every one who buildeth, to raise up this shrine." 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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