Haggai 1:1. Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, the governor, or Pacha, of Judah. King Jeconiah was father of Salathiel, as the word is written in 1 Chronicles 3:17; and Pedaiah was father of Zerubbabel. The governor therefore was great grandson of Jeconiah. Josephus says that he was one of the life guards of Darius; and if so, it must have been in his early years.
Joshua the son of Josedech, the highpriest. He was grandson of Seraiah, who was slain at Riblah, with others, for rebellion.
Haggai 1:8. Go up to the mountain to cut cedar, as the Chaldaic adds. Solomon’s cedars were floated to Tyre, and thence drawn to Jerusalem. The jews by the mountain understood Lebanon, and not Zion, as many turn the word.
Haggai 1:9; Haggai 1:11. I did blow upon it—I called for a drought. For the east wind to parch the corn, the wine, and the oil; yea, upon men and cattle, smiting them with sore eyes, and often with the ophthalmia, producing blindness and terror in all the east. Psalms 48:7.
How valuable was the prophetic ministry in reproving irreligion and vice, and in promoting piety. Haggai gave a new tone to the Hebrew devotion. True ministers are the best friends of the throne and the altar.
Reflection is the first step to conviction and reformation. “Consider your ways.” Is it right; is it fair and just to build houses of cedar for yourselves, and let the Lord’s house lie in a half built and disgraceful state? What will palaces do for the nation, compared with the glory of the temple? The temple will unite the nation as one family in their Father’s house. The temple, because of the great name of Jehovah, will bring strangers from all the earth with gifts and offerings to the Lord. The temple will yet be the crown and the glory of Hebrew devotion.
Your errors are immoral, and tend to national ruin. You aim at aggrandisement, as in former days; and what is aggrandisement without a God. You rob him of his right, and he in justice withholds the latter rain; nay, he sends the east wind to dry up the verdure of grass and corn, and to wither the fruits of the vine. You might as well attempt to alter the whole course of nature, as expect covenant mercies from the Lord while you desecrate and trample his worship beneath your feet. Be warned by former errors. Hezekiah rendered not again to the Lord, according to the great mercies he had received, and in the issue all his boasted glory was carried to Babylon.—Think of this, thou nobleman, thou merchant, thou yeoman, acquiring wealth and lands, and starving thy minister with a bare allowance of bread. He is sworn to serve his God, to labour for thy soul, and bless thy family; he sacrifices all the sources of wealth for you who gather treasures, and forget your God.
Being instructed by those religious characters, the prince and the priests, the people were roused by the prophet; they were encouraged to work, till they had completed the temple to the joy of the nation, and the glory of the Lord. It was a house prepared for the Messiah, as in the words which follow.
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Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Haggai 1". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/
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