Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Haggai 2:12

If a man carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?'" And the priests answered, "No."
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Torrey's Topical Textbook - Hyke or Upper Garment;  
Dictionaries:
Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Zechariah, book of;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Consecrate;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Dress;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Haggai;   Unclean and Clean;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Haggai;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Holiness;   Zerubbabel;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Haggai ;   Zerubbabel ;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Josh'ua;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Haggai;   Joshua (3);   Oil;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Costume;   Exodus, Book of;   Holiness;   Nomism;   Pharisees;  

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment,.... Or, "carry" itF17ישא "portaverit", Munster; "portet", Varenius, Reinbeck. ; from one place to another in his pockets or bags, which were in the skirts of his garments. This is to be understood of the flesh of creatures offered in sacrifice, which were sanctified or separated for holy use; part of which belonged to the priests, who might carry it in their pockets to the proper place of eating it:

and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat: which were not holy, and not separated for holy use, but were common meats and drinks: now the question upon this is,

shall it be holy? that is, if either of those common things were touched by the skirt, in the pockets of which the holy flesh were carried, whether they were made holy by such a touch, and no more remained common or profane?

and the priests answered and said, No; they were not sanctified; for though the garment itself was sanctified thereby, and might not be employed in common use till washed, Leviticus 6:27 yet a garment so touched could not convey holiness to whatsoever that touched, or that touched it.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/haggai-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

If one bear g holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.

(g) That is, the flesh of the sacrifices, by which he means that a thing which of itself is good, cannot make another thing so: and therefore they ought not to justify themselves by their sacrifices and ceremonies: but contrary to this, he that is unclean and not pure of heart, does corrupt those things and make them detestable to God, which otherwise are good and godly.
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/haggai-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

“Holy flesh” (that is, the flesh of a sacrifice, Jeremiah 11:15), indeed, makes holy the “skirt” in which it is carried; but that “skirt” cannot impart its sanctity to any thing beyond, as “bread,” etc. (Leviticus 6:27). This is cited to illustrate the principle, that a sacrifice, holy, as enveloping divine things (just as the “skirt” is “holy” which envelops “holy” flesh), cannot by its inherent or opus operatum efficacy make holy a person whose disobedience, as that of the Jew while neglecting God‘s house, made him unholy.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/haggai-2.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.

Holy flesh — Part of the sacrifice, legally sanctified, or made holy by the altar on which the whole was sanctified.

In the skirt — In the lap of his garment, or in any other cloth, and if this cloth touch any common thing as bread, etc., shall that become legally holy?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/haggai-2.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

holy flesh (See Scofield "Jeremiah 11:15") .

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Haggai 2:12". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/haggai-2.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Haggai 2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.

Ver. 12. If one bear holy flesh in the skirt, &c.] Problems and parables are notable helps to the bolting out of the truth, and conviction of the gainsayers. For problems see Matthew 13:10-15; Matthew 21:25; Matthew 22:42. For parables see 9:7-15, that of Jotham, of Nathan, 2 Samuel 12:1-4, of the woman of Tekoah, 2 Samuel 14:5-7, of our Saviour concerning the two brethren sent into the vineyard, the wedding of the king’s son, the sower. {See Trapp on "Haggai 2:10"}

And the priests answered and said, No] Roundly and readily; without hacking and hewing, without doubling and dissembling; as those perverse priests, those self-condemned hierophants, (a) Matthew 21:27, that, against their consciences, "answered Jesus and said, We cannot tell." The wit of graceless persons will better serve them to falter and fumble, deny, or devise a thousand shifts to evade and elude the truth, than their malice will suffer them to yield to it, or profess it. This is to detain the truth in unrighteousness, Romans 1:18, as Plato, who had the knowledge of one God, yet he dared not to communicate it to the common people; and as some of the chief champions of Popery, who held justification by faith alone, but refused to say so, lest their Dagon should down, their Diana be despised. Let every spiritual man (but especially ministers) be ready, as to every good work, so to this of comparing spiritual things with spiritual, that he may judge or discern of all things, 1 Corinthians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 2:15, according to the analogy of faith, Romans 12:6, the tenor of the Scriptures, his sure cynosura; and laying up all in his heart, Luke 2:18, he may have a treasure there of new and old, a word of wisdom and a word of knowledge too, 1 Corinthians 12:8, both as a teacher and as a pastor, to bring forth for common benefit.

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/haggai-2.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

If one, any one, bear, carry away from the altar, or the priest’s hands,

holy flesh, part of the sacrifice, legally and ceremonially sanctified, or made holy by the altar on which the whole was sanctified, of which a part is supposed to be carried away

in the skirt of his garment, in the lap of his garment, or in any other cloth or napkin, and this cloth touch any common thing,

as bread, & c., shall that common thing by such contact become legally or ceremonially holy?

The priests answered: who these priests were is not mentioned, but it is likely that there were some among the people who did by the prophet’s persuasion go and propose the case, and they received the answer as here in the negative, for neither mediate nor yet immediate touch of holy things could make common things or unholy persons holy.

If one, any one, bear, carry away from the altar, or the priest’s hands,

holy flesh, part of the sacrifice, legally and ceremonially sanctified, or made holy by the altar on which the whole was sanctified, of which a part is supposed to be carried away

in the skirt of his garment, in the lap of his garment, or in any other cloth or napkin, and this cloth touch any common thing,

as bread, & c., shall that common thing by such contact become legally or ceremonially holy?

The priests answered: who these priests were is not mentioned, but it is likely that there were some among the people who did by the prophet’s persuasion go and propose the case, and they received the answer as here in the negative, for neither mediate nor yet immediate touch of holy things could make common things or unholy persons holy.

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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/haggai-2.html. 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The question was, if someone carries consecrated food in his garment and touches other food of any kind with the garment, will that food become holy? Holy meat was meat set apart for a particular sacrificial purpose (cf. Leviticus 6:25; Numbers 6:20). The answer was, no it would not become holy. The meat carried in the garment would make the garment holy, but the holiness would not be communicated beyond the garment to anything else (cf. Exodus 29:37; Leviticus 6:27; Ezekiel 44:19; Matthew 23:19). The people were apparently thinking that since they were working on the holy temple all that they contacted and did became holy. Another view is that the Lord sought to discourage His people from taking gifts from pagan rulers and using them to build the temple (cf. Ezra 6:8-10). [Note: See Merrill, pp45-46, 49.]

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Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/haggai-2.html. 2012.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

The law. "He who knows it not, shews himself to be no priest of the Lord," Deuteronomy xvii. (St. Jerome)

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/haggai-2.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

holy. See note on Exodus 3:5.

holy flesh: i.e. the flesh of a sacrifice. Compare Jeremiah 11:15.

skirt = wing. See note on Ruth 3:9.

or. Note the Figure of speech Paradiastole (App-6).

wine. Hebrew. yayin. App-27.

shall = will.

holy. See note on Ex". Haggai 3:5.

No. Reference to Pentateuch (Leviticus 6:27). App-92.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/haggai-2.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) Holy flesh.—The flesh of the sacrifice hallowed the person who touched it (Leviticus 6:27), but this sanctification was not conveyed to anything he might afterwards touch. On the other hand (Haggai 2:13), he who was defiled by such a pollution as contact with a dead body, conveyed defilement even to the tabernacle. (See Numbers 19:13 : “Whosoever toucheth the dead body of any man that is dead, and purifieth not himself, defileth the tabernacle of the Lord.”) Even so, according to Haggai, the guilt of impiety incurred by the Jews in neglecting the Temple had tainted the labour of their hands, and caused famine. And what merit they might claim for restoring the altar-worship and keeping the prescribed feasts (Ezra 3:2-6) was not conveyed further. It was cancelled by their neglect of an equally important duty. This latter point, however, is not brought out, but is left to be supplied by the prophet’s hearers.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/haggai-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
Exodus 29:37; Leviticus 6:27,29; 7:6; Ezekiel 44:19; Matthew 23:19
Reciprocal: Leviticus 6:18 - every one;  Jeremiah 11:15 - the holy

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Haggai 2:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/haggai-2.html.