UPDATED AMERICAN STANDARD VERSION

Translating Truth

The Book of Haggai

  • Author: Haggai
  • Place Written: Jerusalem
  • When Written: c. 520 B.C.E.

Reprimand for Not Rebuilding the Temple

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of Jehovah came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says Jehovah of armies:[1] These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of Jehovah.” Then the word of Jehovah came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it the time for you to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore, thus says Jehovah of armies,[2] ‘Set your heart on your ways. You have sown much and harvested little. You have sown much seed, but you harvest little. You eat, but it is not to satisfaction. You drink, but you do not drink your fill. You put on clothing, but no one gets warm. The one who hires himself out puts his wages in a bag full of holes.’”

“This is what Jehovah of armies[3] says: Set your heart on your ways. Go up to the mountain and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says Jehovah. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? declares Jehovah of armies.[4] Because of my house that remains desolate, while each man is busy with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the mountains, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all the labor of the hands.”

The People Listen to the Voice of Jehovah

12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of Jehovah their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as Jehovah their God had sent him. And the people feared Jehovah. 13 Then Haggai, the messenger of Jehovah, spoke to the people with Jehovah’s message, “I am with you, declares Jehovah.” 14 And Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people. And they came and worked on the house of Jehovah of armies,[5] their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.

The Second Temple Shall Be Filled with Glory

In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of Jehovah came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, saying, ‘Who is left among you who saw this house[6] in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Is it not as nothing in your eyes? Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, declares Jehovah. Be strong, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land, declares Jehovah. Work, for I am with you, declares Jehovah of armies,[7] according to the promise which I made with you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains in your midst. Fear not. For thus says Jehovah of armies:[8]: Yet once more, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land. And I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with glory, says Jehovah of armies.[9] The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares Jehovah of armies.[10] The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says Jehovah of armies.[11] And in this place, I will give peace, declares Jehovah of armies.’”[12]

Blessings for a Defiled People for Rebuilding the Temple

10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Jehovah came by Haggai the prophet, 11 “Thus says Jehovah of armies:[13] Ask the priests about the law: 12 ‘If someone carries holy meat in the fold of his garment and touches with his fold bread or stew or wine or oil or any kind of food, does it become holy?’ ” The priests answered and said, “No.” 13 Then Haggai said, “If one who is unclean by contact with a dead soul[14] touches any of these, does it become unclean?” The priests answered and said, “It does become unclean.” 14 Then Haggai said, “ ‘So is this people. And so is this nation before me,’ declares Jehovah, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. 15 But now, please, set your heart on[15] this from this day forward: Before a stone was placed on a stone in the temple of Jehovah, 16 how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten. When one came to the wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you and all the works of your hands with scorching blight, mildew, and hail; yet you did not come back to me,’ declares Jehovah. 18 Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of Jehovah’s temple was laid, consider: 19 Is the seed yet in the storehouse? Indeed, the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have brought forth nothing. But from this day on I will bless you.”

A Message to Zerubbabel

20 The word of Jehovah came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel governor of Judah, saying, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations and overthrow the chariots and their riders, and the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 On that day, declares Jehovah of armies,[16] I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares Jehovah, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares Jehovah of armies.”[17]

[1] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[2] See 1:2 fn.

[3] See 1:2 fn.

[4] See 1:2 fn.

[5] See 1:2 fn.

[6] Or temple

[7] See 1:2 fn.

[8] See 1:2 fn.

[9] See 1:2 fn.

[10] See 1:2 fn.

[11] See 1:2 fn.

[12] See 1:2 fn.

[13] See 1:2 fn.

[14] Heb. (נֶפֶשׁ nephesh)

[15] That is, consider, think carefully

[16] See 1:2 fn.

[17] See 1:2 fn.