Bible Book Summary
by Jay Smith
The book of Haggai is Narrative History and Prophetic Oracle. The prophet Haggai wrote it approximately 520 B.C. Haggai is among the most carefully and precisely dated books in the entire Bible. It is a post-exilic book, meaning it was written after (post) the captivity (exile) in Babylon. Key personalities are Haggai, Zerubbabel, and Joshua.
The purpose of this book was that Haggai was called by God to encourage the people to finish the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. The construction had ceased because of opposition and because the neighboring countries, and the Jews were frightened.
• In chapter 1, God called on Haggai to deliver His message. The Jews were living in their comfortable houses while the temple, the house of God, sat unfinished, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'This people says, "The time has not come, even the time for the house of the LORD to be rebuilt” (1:2). The Jews began working 24 days after Haggai’s message (vs. 15).
• In chapter 2, Haggai motivated the Jews to continue building the temple, and that God will bless them, “As for the promise which I made you when you came out of Egypt, My Spirit is abiding in your midst; do not fear!” (2:5). The building of the temple in Jerusalem was completed in 515 B.C.