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by Joseph Sutcliffe
THE BOOK OF HAGGAI.
This prophet, it would seem, was born in Babylon. The prophecies sent down to us by him, and by seven other prophets are very brief. They either recorded only what the Word of the Lord delivered to them, or their writings have been abridged by the great synagogue. The latter is suspected to have been the case. The jews however durst not put a hand to the immediate dictates of the Holy Ghost. The holy prophets no doubt declined associating the ordinary good effusions of their hearts with the words and predictions immediately inspired by the Lord. They were bound to deliver his word, as his word, without gloss or comment, without additions or diminutions. The Lord spake to Haggai in the second year of Darius the first, which according to Ptolemy’s table of Persian kings, given on Daniel, chap. 9., falls on the nineteenth year from the commencement of the reign of Cyrus, and the sixty eighth year from the fall of Jerusalem; and as in Usher, five hundred and twenty years before the birth of Christ. Helvicus, whose chronology is now before me, says five hundred and twenty seven years, and places the true period of the birth of Christ two years later than Usher. The foundation of the temple was laid in the second year after Zerubbabel returned from Babylon. But Cyrus being called away, and engaged in northern wars, and the Persian governors making violent opposition, the work was stopped till the Lord inspired this prophet to go among the supine jews as a flame of fire. Haggai indeed, in conjunction with Zechariah, might be said to complete the temple, and see the topstone brought forth with shoutings, grace, grace unto it.
the Sixth Week after Easter