Prophet of Judah, approximately 520 BC
When we read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah there were two major undertakings by the leaders of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi, who returned to the Promised Land by permission of the Persian Emperor. They were:
The rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem and the restoration of it's services.
The rebuilding of the city walls.
The prophet Haggai was one who encouraged the people to resume the Temple building when it had been suspended owing to the machinations of adversaries.
The people who returned were to make up the Seventy Week Nation (490 years) spoken of in Daniel. The anointing of Christ was to signal the beginning of the end for that Nation. Though most of the common people accepted and followed Christ, the Idumean (Edomite Jews) and mongrelized priesthood (Sadducees and Pharisees, also Jews) did not. They crucified Him.
There have been three Temples built in Jerusalem:
The magnificent building erected by Solomon. This Temple superseded 'the tabernacle' (or Tent of Meeting) which had been carried in the midst of the tribes before their consolidation into a national entity in the Promised Land. Solomon's Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar.
The Temple was rebuilt under the leadership of Ezra and Zerubbabel. This suffered vicissitudes in the wars that rent Palestine in subsequent centuries – Grecian, Syrian, Maccabean and Roman.
The Temple rebuilt by Herod the Idumean (the governor of Judaea by edict of the Roman Senate). This was the Temple that Christ drove out the money changers from. It was destroyed in the campaign of the Roman general Titus in 70 AD.
Haggai was the first prophet to prophecy after the Babylonian captivity.
Haggai in the Hebrew is Chaggay, meaning 'festive'.
Curious that the elements are opposite in these references above.
Cyrus, in 536 BC, allowed the Judahites
In 522 B.C., Darius I, a fairminded ruler, goes about setting things straight again in the Persian empire. With his support and Haggai's encouragement, temple construction is resumed. From 520-515 B.C. the work went forward, and the temple was built.
The Septuagint has 'called upon' in place of dwell.
All nations, the context of the Bible being the race of Adam, would mean the Genesis 10 nations as well as the the nations of the tribes of Israel.
HAGGAI – CHURCH DOCTRINE VS. SCRIPTURE
Below are 3 sources of what the modern churches preach today about the book of Haggai.
The purpose is to expose the apostasy and perversion of the scriptures, and to educate our people about the truth of our heritage. That we, the anglo-saxon race who are the descendants of ancient Israel, are the people of Abraham's seed and therefore the heirs of the promises of Yahweh. Not the Jews who distort and pervert the scriptures and teach the 'traditions of men'.
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 (Judaeans) were frightened. The Jews are not Israel. The word 'Jew' in the Bible is a deliberate mistranslation of the word Judahite, or Judaean. Meaning Israelites of the House of Judah who lived in Judaea. There were also Canaanites and Edomites living in Judaea.
• In chapter 1, God called on Haggai to deliver His message. The Jews (Judaeans) 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 (Judahites living in Judaea) began working 24 days after Haggai’s message (vs. 15).
• In chapter 2, Haggai motivated the Jews (Judaeans) 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.
Once again, the Jews are descendants of Cain and Esau. The children of darkness. A remnant of the House of Judah returned to Jerusalem after Babylonian captivity. The Jews were placed there while the children of Israel were away in captivity. This is where the impersonation of the Jews as Israel began taking a foot hold. Now the world worships this Satanic seed in place of the true knowledge that WE, the anglo-saxon race, are true Israel.
Summary of the Book of Haggai
Haggai (1:1) was a prophet who, along with Zechariah, encouraged the returned exiles to rebuild the temple (see Ezr 5:1-2; 6:14). Haggai means "festal," which may indicate that the prophet was born during one of the three pilgrimage feasts (Unleavened Bread, Pentecost or Weeks, and Tabernacles; cf. Dt 16:16). Based on 2:3
In 538 b.c. the conqueror of Babylon, Cyrus king of Persia, issued a decree allowing the Jews (see how they feed us lies. The Jews are not Israel, they claim they have never been in bondage, so how can they return from bondage? The Israelites were in bondage, our ancestors) (this should read, ...allowing a remnant of the House of Judah) to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple (see Ezr 1:2-4; 6:3-5). Led by Zerubbabel, about 50,000 Jews (Israelite Judaeans of the House of Judah) journeyed home and began work on the temple. About two years later (536) they completed the foundation amid great rejoicing (Ezr 3:8-11). Their success aroused the Samaritans and other neighbors who feared the political and religious implications of a rebuilt temple in a thriving Jewish (Judaean) state. They therefore opposed the project vigorously and managed to halt work until 520, after Darius the Great became king of Persia in 522 (Ezr 4:1-5,24).
Darius was interested in the religions of his empire, and Haggai and Zechariah began to preach in his second year, 520 b.c. (see 1:1; Zec 1:1). The Jews (Judaeans) were more to blame for their inactivity than their opponents, and Haggai tried to arouse them from their lethargy. When the governor of Trans-Euphrates and other officials tried to interfere with the rebuilding efforts, Darius fully supported the Jews (Judaeans) (Ezr 5:3-6; 6:6-12). In 516 the temple was finished and dedicated (Ezr 6:15-18).
Haggai's messages are among the most carefully and precisely dated in the entire OT. They were given during a four-month period in 520 b.c., the second year of King Darius. The first message was delivered on the first day of the sixth month (Aug. 29), the last on the 24th day of the ninth month (Dec. 18).
Themes and Theological Teaching
Apart from Obadiah, Haggai is the shortest book in the OT, but its teachings are none the less significant. Haggai clearly shows the consequences of disobedience (1:6,11; 2:16-17) and obedience (2:7-9,19). When the people give priority to God and his house, they are blessed rather than cursed (cf. Lk 12:31 and note). Obedience brings the encouragement and strength of the Spirit of God (2:4-5).
In ch. 2 God gives great encouragement to those laboring under difficult conditions to rebuild his temple by assuring them that the future glory of the modest temple they are able to build will be greater than that of the temple Solomon had built in the time of Israel's greatest wealth and power. The Jews (no, the Israelites) in Judah may now be a much reduced community and under the hegemony of a powerful world empire (Rome), but the Lord will shake up the present world order and assert his claim to all the world's wealth so that the glory of his future temple will be without rival. "The desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory" (see 2:6-7 and notes).
Like Malachi, Haggai uses a number of questions to highlight key issues (see 1:4,9; 2:3,19). He also makes effective use of repetition: "Give careful thought" occurs in 1:5,7; 2:15,18, and "I am with you" in 1:13; 2:4. "I will shake the heavens and the earth" is found in 2:6,21. The major sections of the book are marked off by the date on which the word of the Lord came "through" (or "to") Haggai (1:1; 2:1,10,20).
Who wrote the book?
The prophet Haggai recorded his four messages to the Jewish (not the Jews, but the True Israelite anglo-saxon) people of Jerusalem in 520 BC, eighteen years after their return from exile in Babylon (538 BC). As stated in previous commentary, John 8:33
Where are we?
Haggai’s prophecy came at a time when the people of Judah were extremely vulnerable. They had been humbled by their exile to Babylon, hopeful in their return to their Promised Land, and then so discouraged by opposition in their rebuilding of the temple that they had quit (Ezra 4:24). Now, sixteen years later, with Haggai blaming their lack of food, clothing, and shelter on their failure to rebuild the temple, the Jews (the Jews, who are the children of Esau, hate the children of Jacob. But the true Israelites were receptive to his message of rebuilding the Lord’s house.
Unlike most of the other prophets, Haggai explicitly dated his prophecies, down to the day. He gave four separate messages, the first on August 29, 520 BC (Haggai 1:1); the second on October 17, 520 BC (2:1); and the final two on December 18, 520 BC (2:10, 20). These messages encouraged the people of Judah to finish building the temple and to have hope in God for the promise of blessings in the future.
Why is Haggai so important?
After thousands of years, the book of Haggai remains largely unique among the books of Old Testament prophets for one key reason: the people of Judah listened! Haggai’s message to rebuild the temple was passionate, simple, and straightforward (Haggai 1:8). No one could mistake whether or not his direction had been followed—the results would be evident for all the people to see. Through the physical act of rebuilding the temple, the people began to indicate a shift in their spiritual lives: from devotion to self toward devotion to God.
What's the big idea?
Haggai had an important message for the Jews who had recently returned from exile. The Jews were not in exile, but Israel was. They had forgotten their God, choosing instead to focus on their own interests, so it was time for them to “consider [their] ways” (Haggai 1:5, 7). Nothing was more important for the Jews (Judaeans) than to show that the Lord was at the center of their thoughts and actions, so Haggai directed them to finish rebuilding God’s temple. Then the Jews murdered Christ. And now run the world with their lies, deceit, usury and practices of darkness.
However, rather than leaving them (true Israelites of Judaea) alone with the task of rebuilding, Haggai continued to preach to the Jews (Israelite Judaeans), encouraging them with the hope of future glory in the temple and a victory to come over the enemies of God’s people (2:7–9, 21–22). According to Haggai’s message, if the people would place God at the center of their lives, they would realize the future blessings that God had in store for His people.
How do I apply this?
The Jews (Judaeans, Israelites of the House of Judah) who emigrated from Babylon to their original homeland of Judah faced intense opposition, both external and internal. Ezra 4:1–5 records the external resistance to the project of rebuilding the temple. The enemies of Judah first attempted to infiltrate the ranks of the builders, and when that didn’t work, they resorted to scare tactics. Haggai, on the other hand, focused on the internal opposition they faced, namely from their own sin. The Jews (Judaeans, Israelites of the House of Judah) had thoughtlessly placed their own interests before the Lord’s interests, looking after their own safety and security without giving consideration to the status of the Lord’s house.
Haggai’s encouragement to rebuild the temple in the face of the Jews’ (Judaean's) neglect brings to mind the apostle Paul’s exhortation to Christians to build our lives on the foundation of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 3:10–17). Are you building a life that reflects your status as a temple of the Holy Spirit, leaving a legacy that will stand the test of time? Find encouragement for that construction project in the four passionate sermons from this Old Testament prophet.