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by Thomas Coke
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET HAGGAI.
HAGGAI was born, in all probability, in Babylon, whence he returned with Zerubbabel. After the death of Cambyses, Darius the son of Hystaspes coming to the empire, about 517 years before Christ, Haggai was excited by God (Ezra 5:1. &c.) to exhort Zerubbabel and Joshua to resume the work of the temple, which had now been for a long time interrupted. The prophet reproaches them with their indolence, and tells them, that they were very careful to lodge themselves commodiously, while the house of the Lord remained a desert place, and laid buried in its own ruins. He tells them, that the calamities wherewith God had afflicted them since their return were punishments for their neglecting to carry on the work of repairing his temple. The remonstrances of Haggai had their effect; and in the second year of Darius, of the world 3484, which was the sixteenth after the return of the Jews from Babylon, they began again to proceed in this work. No sooner had they set about it, than the Lord commanded Haggai to tell the people, chap. Zep 2:3 that if any one had seen the temple built by Solomon, and did not think this to be so beautiful and magnificent a structure as that was, he ought not to be discouraged; because God would render this still more august and venerable than the first had been; not in the abundance of gold and silver which might adorn it, but by the presence of the Messiah, who was the desire of all nations, and by the glory which he would add to it. See Calmet.
the Second Week of Advent