The Builders Encouraged
1On the twenty-first of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet saying, 2“Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the remnant of the people saying, 3‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison? 4‘But now take courage, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD, ‘take courage also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and all you people of the land take courage,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the LORD of hosts. 5‘As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!’ 6“For thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Once more in a little while, I am going to shake the heavens and the earth, the sea also and the dry land. 7‘And I will shake all the nations; and they will come with the wealth of all nations; and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD of hosts. 8‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ declares the LORD of hosts. 9‘The latter glory of this house will be greater than the former,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and in this place I shall give peace,’ declares the LORD of hosts.”
10On the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to Haggai the prophet saying, 11“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Ask now the priests for a ruling: 12‘If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?’” And the priests answered and said, “No.” 13Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?” And the priests answered and said, “It will become unclean.” 14Then Haggai answered and said, “ ‘So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,’ declares the LORD, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. 15‘But now, do consider from this day onward: before one stone was placed on another in the temple of the LORD, 16from that time when one came to a grain heap of twenty measures, there would be only ten; and when one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there would be only twenty. 17‘I smote you and every work of your hands with blasting wind, mildew, and hail; yet you did not come back to Me,’ declares the LORD. 18‘Do consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month; from the day when the temple of the LORD was founded, consider: 19‘Is the seed still in the barn? Even including the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree, it has not borne fruit. Yet from this day on I will bless you.’”
20Then the word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month saying, 21“Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22‘And I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders will go down, everyone by the sword of another.’ 23‘On that day,’ declares the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, My servant,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you,’” declares the LORD of hosts.