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.
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 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.