The Book of Haggai is the first of the Twelve Prophets written after the exiled Jews returned to the Land of Israel and were governed by Zerubbabel. The High Priest of the era was Joshua ben Jehozadak.

Haggai’s first message is that the people’s slackness in rebuilding the Temple is the reason for their problems. (Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, said the Lord – 1:8.) The people then commit themselves to rebuild the Temple. While not approaching the majesty of the First Temple (“Who is left among you that saw this House in her first glory? How do ye see it now? It seems in your eyes like nothing?” – 2:3), Haggai assured the people that the Second Temple would have real grandeur. However, the people must not allow the surrounding nations to participate in the rebuilding of the Temple.

Haggai concluded with an assurance that the powerful nations will be destroyed and Zerubbabel will be selected to govern the people.

Copyright © 2012 National Jewish Outreach Program. All rights reserved.

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