If we take no care of the interests of God’s work,
we cannot expect that He should take care of all our interests.
If we are employed in His work, we should be jealous over ourselves,
lest we spoil it by going about it with unsanctified hearts and hands.
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,
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,
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?
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:
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.
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;
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.
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
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.
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,
11 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
20 ¶ And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
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.
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.
Haggai 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Haggai 2:1-9 – The True Glory of God’s House
Three prophecies occupy the following chapter. In the first, Haggai 2:1-9, the Jews are encouraged to persevere. Although there was no comparison between the glory of Solomon’s Temple and the splendor of this, they must not be discouraged. Though they might deplore the absence of the sacred fire of the Shekinah, of the Ark with its cherubim, of the Urim and Thummim, and of the spirit of prophecy, yet the Messiah’s presence, which would be associated with the second Temple would more than compensate for their deficiency, since He was the antitype of them all. If we lack many of the advantages and attractions in which others excel, let us be more than satisfied to possess Christ. And be it always remembered that Christian worship seeks to realize the presence of Him who said: “I am in the midst.” Without that a cathedral is an empty void; with that, a barn will be heaven. For Haggai 2:6-7 see Hebrews 12:26-28. This little while in God’s arithmetic lasted for 517 years. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Haggai 2:8-9—The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former.
The new Temple was deficient in the splendid adornment which Solomon had lavished on the first. Neither gold, nor silver, nor precious stones garnished its bare walls. But Haggai says that this lack was not due to any failure in the resources of Israel’s God. The silver and the gold were his; and if He had chosen He could have poured them without stint into the lap of his people. But He purposely withheld them, that their attention might not be distracted from the spiritual glory which was to make the second Temple more famous than the lavished gold of Parvaim. The latter glory of this house, or the glory of this latter house, shall be greater, saith the Lord of Hosts; and then, as though to indicate that the glory was to be moral and spiritual, the Divine voice adds, “And in this place will I give peace.”
Dear child of God, it has pleased thy Heavenly Father to withhold from thee both gold and silver. Thou hast just enough to live on, but that is all. With the apostle thou sayest, “Silver and gold have I none” (Acts 3:6) God could have done otherwise for thee; for the silver and gold are his. But He purposely abstained lest thy head should be lifted up; lest thy attention should be so absorbed by these things as to neglect the sure riches; lest the radiance of thy faith, which is more precious than gold tried in the fire, or the beauty of thy meek and quiet spirit, should be obscured by the tawdry sheen of earth’s metals.
But peace, and righteousness, and meek humility, are of everlasting work. Cultivate these; let thy life be a Temple whose glory is the indwelling of God; expect that the Desire of all nations should make thee his home, and shine through thee to others. —Our Daily Homily
Haggai 2:10-23 – God’s Judgment upon the Nations
Two months after the foregoing prophecy, the prophet again remonstrated with the people for still neglecting the Temple, though they appear to have maintained religious rites. As the holy flesh did not sanctify what it touched, so religious observance did not compensate for neglecting the Temple; such neglect would make their service unclean, Haggai 2:14. The earnest toils of the people had met with persistent unsuccess because God was against them, but from the moment of their repentance He would bless them, Haggai 2:18-19. Amid all the upheavals described in Haggai 2:7 the Jews would be preserved, and their safety guaranteed. Disturbances preceded the Savior’s first advent, as they will the second; but amid the shaking and overthrowing that are ushering in the new era, let us not fear. All that cannot be shaken will remain; and as God remembered Noah amid the tossings of the deluge, He will care for us, not because of our deserts, but because of His grace. We did not choose Him, but He us. —Through the Bible Day by Day