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Haggai Two

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Haggai 2:1 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying,

Haggai 2:2 Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,

Haggai 2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

left among you. There is an implication here that Haggai himself must have seen the glories of the first temple, and was distressed at the state of the new one. If so, he must have been quite old when he wrote his prophecies, because the temple had been destroyed seventy years or more before this. His great age may account for the fact that he wrote only the four brief messages which are contained in his two chapters.

in comparison of it. There were, indeed, in Jerusalem a few who had seen the first temple, and who had “wept with a loud voice; and many shouted aloud with for joy” when the new foundation was laid (Ezra 3:12).

Haggai 2:4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:

Haggai 2:5 According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.

Haggai 2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;

shake the heavens. This verse is quoted in Hebrews 12:26, 27, as an event still in the future. Thus, it could not have been fulfilled at the time of Christ's first coming (except precursively, perhaps, as a type of the terrible upheavals coming in the tribulation period), and so must be still in the future.

Haggai 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.

shake all nations. There will be global earthquakes during the tribulation period of the last days (Revelation 6:12-17; 16:18-21), whereby the earth's topography will be readjusted to something like its original character. Also note Isaiah 40:4.

desire of all nations. The “desire of all nations” can be no one less than the Lord Jesus Christ, the world's Redeemer. He did, in a precursive sense, fill Herod's temple with His glory (see John 1:14; 2:13-16), but never the restoration temple. This specific prophecy evidently harks back to the Edenic promise of Genesis 3:15. He was not merely the desire of Israel, but the “desire of all nations!” Some versions incorrectly say this refers to the wealth of all nations coming to the temple.

this house with glory. Following the tribulation period, with its terrible earthquakes and other cataclysmic phenomena, the Lord Jesus Christ will return in glory (Matthew 24:30; Isaiah 40:5; etc.). There is no indication that the shekinah glory of God ever returned to the post-exilic temple or to the later temple built for the Jews by Herod. These were of much inferior construction compared to Solomon's temple. But the temple described by Ezekiel as existing during the millennium (Ezekiel 40-48) will, indeed, once again be filled with the glory of God (Ezekiel 43:5; 44:4; compare 1 Kings 8:10-11).

Haggai 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.

the gold is mine. This may be an incidental reference to the incredible wealth of ornamental beauty that characterized Solomon's original temple. But it also was a pertinent reminder to the Jews with their “cieled houses” (Haggai 1:4) that all the world's wealth was created by God and still belongs to Him. He can both give it and take it away! We need the same reminder today.

Haggai 2:9 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 peace, saith the LORD of hosts.

this latter house. This, again, can only be a reference to the future millennial temple, for it was never accomplished in the restoration temple or in any other since. Furthermore, in this future temple—and not before—Christ will finally “give peace” to the world.

Haggai 2:10 In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,

Haggai 2:11 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,

Haggai 2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.

shall it be holy. The questions in Haggai 2:12-13 are dealing with the ceremonial laws of Moses (Haggai 2:11). One such group of laws stipulated that ritualistic cleanness is not transferable.

Haggai 2:13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.

shall it be unclean. On the other hand, ceremonial uncleanness is easily transferred (see note on Haggai 2:12). The spiritual principle, obviously, is that sin in one's life comes easily, by nature, but holiness comes only from the Lord and His work through faith.

Haggai 2:14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.

Haggai 2:15 And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD:

Haggai 2:16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty.

pressfat. This is a vat for pressing grapes for wine.

Haggai 2:17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.

blasting. A “blasting” is any plant disease which attacks suddenly.

Haggai 2:18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it.

Haggai 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

Haggai 2:20 And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,

came unto Haggai. Four times the word of the Lord came to Haggai (Haggai 1:1; 2:1, 10, 20), all in the short span of time from the first day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius' reign to the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. These short, pungent messages did, however, stir up the people to complete the temple.

Haggai 2:21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;

Haggai 2:22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.

Haggai 2:23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

a signet. The signet ring was a symbol of honor and authority (compare Jeremiah 22:24). Zerubbabel, the human governor, thus also was given divine responsibility over the people in their revived economy, authority which had been removed from King Jeconiah just before the captivity. Note also the emphasis on this authority (perhaps even as a type of Christ) in the prophecy of Zechariah, especially Zechariah 4:6-10.