Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Haggai 2:3

‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem to you like nothing in comparison?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Temple;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Temple, the Second;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Temple;   Zerubbabel or Zorobabel;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Joshua the son of jehozadak;   Temple;   Zechariah, book of;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Church, the;   Prophet, Christ as;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Temple, the Second;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ezra, the Book of;   Haggai;   Jeshua;   Temple;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Haggai;   Temple of Jerusalem;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Haggai;   Priests and Levites;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Zerubbabel ;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Ark of the Covenant;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Former;   Haggai;   Joshua (3);   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Haggai;   Haggai, Book of;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? - Who of you has seen the temple built by Solomon? The foundation of the present house had been laid about fifty-three years after the destruction of the temple built by Solomon and though this prophecy was uttered fifteen years after the foundation of this second temple, yet there might still survive some of those who had seen the temple of Solomon.

Is it not in your eyes - Most certainly the Jews at this time had neither men nor means to make any such splendid building as that erected by Solomon. The present was as nothing when compared with the former.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/haggai-2.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

Who is left among you? - The question implies that there were those among them, who had seen the first house in its glory, yet but few. When the foundations of the first temple were laid, there were many Ezra 3:12. “Many of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, ancient men, that had seen the first house, when the foundations of this house were laid before their eyes, wept with a loud voice.” Fifty-nine years had elapsed from the destruction of the temple in the eleventh year of Zedekiah to the first of Cyrus; so that old men of seventy years had seen the first temple, when themselves eleven years old. In this second of Darius seventy years had passed, so that those of 78 or 80 years might still well remember it. Ezra‘s father, Seraiah, was slain in the eleventh year of Zedekiah; so he must have been born at latest a few months later; yet he lived to the second of Artaxerxes.

Is not such as it is as nothing? - oBeside the richness of the sculptures in the former temple, everything, which admitted of it, was overlaid with gold 1 Kings 6:22, 1 Kings 6:28, 1 Kings 6:30, 1 Kings 6:32, 1 Kings 6:35, “Solomon overlaid the whole house with gold, until he had finished all the house, the whole altar by the oracle, the two cherubim, the floor of the house, the doors of the holy of holies” and the ornaments of it, “the cherubims thereon” and “the palm trees he covered with gold fitted upon the carved work 1 Kings 7:48-50, the altar of gold and the table of gold, whereupon the showbread was, the ten candlesticks of pure gold, with the flowers and the lamps and the tongs of gold, the bowls, the snuffers and the basons and the spoons and the censers of pure gold, and hinges of pure gold for all the doors of the temple 2 Chronicles 3:4-9. The porch that was in the front of the house, twenty cubits broad and 120 cubits high, was overlaid within with pure gold;” the house glistened with precious stones; and the gold (it is added) was “gold of Parvaim,” a land distant of course and unknown to us. “Six hundred talents of gold” (about 4,320,000 British pounds were employed in overlaying the holy of holies. “The upper chambers were also of gold; the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/haggai-2.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Haggai 2:3

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory?

The contrast between the two houses

A despondency, such as the Israelites must needs have felt, is very apt to come over those who have begun to engage in a good work, after the first flash of their zeal has faded away. When we are labouring for ourselves, indeed, our carnal heart urges us forward; but when we are doing anything for the good of our brethren, or in the service of God, our carnal heart lies like a heavy drag upon the will. This is especially the case at first. It is long before we grow humble enough to labour diligently, although the fruits of our labour are not to be seen even by our own eyes. For example, when our hearts have been moved to undertake any work for the strengthening or spreading of Christ’s Church on earth, and when we have been thus led to look round and consider what she is, must not our hearts faint within us as we think how she is nothing in comparison with her first glory, in the time of the Holy Apostles? How do we see the Church of Christ now? Is she not almost as nothing in comparison of her primitive glory? The same question may be asked with regard to man in his natural state. At first made in the image of God, and unsullied by sin, how do we see him now? When we compare these two pictures together in thought, fallen man, in his best and most flourishing estate, may seem to us as nothing by the side of his first glory. Let us cast our eyes on our own selves. They who watch the growth of the young must often have seen a time in their history which was like the teeming and blossoming of spring. And they will also have seen how the blossoms have fallen off, without leaving any fruit, even if they have not been wholly blighted. The prophet says, “And now be strong.” How were they to find strength? Not in the thought which had just been so forcibly put before them, that their work was as nothing in comparison with the first temple. Such a thought will never strengthen a man, will never make him work. Nor will it strengthen us, and make us work, to call to mind how far the Church of Christ has fallen back from the zeal and holiness of the primitive ages, or how far human nature has fallen from what it was in the Garden of Eden. Where are we to look for strength? Not to ourselves. Not to friends. The prophet gives this assurance from God, “For I am with you.” This same assurance is granted to all who earnestly desire to build up the house of the Lord, either in the world around them or in their own hearts If they will work, they shall be strong; for the Lord of hosts is with them. We have God’s covenanted word that He will be with us. God does not give His Spirit like a gleam of sunshine bursting for a moment through the clouds. His Spirit remaineth with those to whom it is given. He has remained with the Church from the day when the Father and the Son sent Him down from heaven; and He will remain with it unto the end of the world. The first lessen we are to draw from this assurance is, that we are to be strong and work. Many foolishly think that if the Spirit is with them, irresistible impulse will stir them to work without and against their will. It is through the power of the Spirit they who work continually in His strength do truly become strong. The second lesson is drawn from the words, “Fear ye not.” They who work and are strong in the strength of God’s Spirit abiding with them may boldly say, “The Lord is my Helper: I will not fear what man can do unto me.” They may even say, “I will not fear myself, what I can do to myself, having this Helper against myself.” Even the fear of God, if we felt that His Spirit remains with us, would by degrees lose all that is painful and oppressive and repelling in fear, and would be transfigured, by a constant living communion with Him, into reverent, dutiful love. (Julius C. Hare, M. A.)

Glory of the new temple

Just as in the second year of the return from Babylon, when the foundation for the temple, which was about to be rebuilt, was laid in the reign of Cyrus, many old men, who had seen the temple of Solomon, burst out into loud weeping when they saw the new foundation; a similar feeling of mourning and despair appears to have taken possession of the people and their rulers immediately after the work had been resumed under Darius, and doubts arose whether the new building was really well-pleasing to the Lord, and ought to be carried on. The occasion for this despondency is not to be sought in the fact that objections were made to the continuance of the building, and that the opinion prevailed in consequence that the works ought to be stopped till the arrival of the king’s authority. This view not only has no support whatever in our prophecy, but is also at variance with the account in the Book of Ezra, according to which the governor and his companions, who had made inquiries concerning the command to build, did not stop the building while they sent word of the affair to the king (Ezra 5:5). Moreover, the conjecture that the people had been seized with a feeling of sadness, when the work had so far advanced that they were able to institute a comparison between the new temple and the earlier one, does not suffice to explain the rapid alteration which took place in the feelings of the people. The building could not have been so far advanced in three weeks and a half as that the contrast between the new temple and the former one could be clearly seen, if it had not been noticed from the very first; a fact, however, to which Ezra 3:12 distinctly refers. But although it had been seen from the very beginning that the new building would not come up to the glory of the former temple, the people could not from the very outset give up the hope of erecting a building which, if not quite equal to the former one in glory, would at all events come somewhat near to it. Under these circumstances their confidence in the work might begin to vanish as soon as the first enthusiasm flagged, and a time arrived which was more favourable for the quiet contemplation of the general condition of affairs. This explanation is suggested by the time at which the second word of God was delivered to the congregation through the prophet. It was the feast of tabernacles, the great festival of rejoicing. The return of this festal celebration, especially after a harvest which had turned out very miserably and showed no sign of the blessing of God, could not fail to call up vividly before the mind the difference between the former times, when Israel was able to assemble in the courts of the Lord’s house, and so to rejoice in the blessings of His grace in the midst of abundant sacrificial meals, and the present time, when the altar of burnt sacrifice might indeed be restored again and the building of the temple resumed, but in which there was no prospect of erecting a building that would in any degree answer to the glory of the former temple; and when the prophecies of an Isaiah or an Ezekiel were remembered, according to which the new temple was to surpass the former one in glory, it would be almost sure to produce gloomy thoughts, and supply food for doubt whether the time had really come for rebuilding the temple, when after all it would be only a miserable hut. In this gloomy state of mind consolation was very necessary, if the hardly awakened zeal for the building of the house of God was not to cool down and vanish entirely away. To bring this consolation to those who were in despair was the object of the second word of God, which Haggai was to publish to the congregation. (C. F. Keil, D. D.)

The Sorrow of the old men

How was it that the people became negligent after they had begun their work? Even because it grieved the old men to see the glory of the second so far inferior to the first temple. For though the people animated themselves by the sound of trumpets, yet the old among them drowned the sound by their lamentations. As this temple was in no way equal to the ancient one, they thought that God was not as yet reconciled to them. Had they said, that so great an expense was not necessary, that God did not require much money to be laid out, their impiety should have been openly manifested; but when they especially wished that the splendour of the temple would be such as might surely prove that the restoration of the Church was come, such as had been promised by all the prophets, we doubtless perceive their pious feeling. We are thus reminded that we ought always to beware of the intrigues of Satan, when they appear under the cover of truth. When our minds are disposed to piety, Satan is ever to be feared, lest he should stealthily suggest to us what may turn us aside from our duty; for we see that some leave the Church because they require in it the highest perfection. They are indignant at vices which they deem in tolerable when they cannot be corrected; and thus, under the pretext of zeal, they separate themselves, and seek to form for themselves a new world, in which there is to be a perfect Church; and they lay hold on those passages in which the Holy Spirit recommends purity to the Church, as when Paul says, that it was purchased by Christ, that it might be without spot or wrinkle. In all this there is some appearance of piety. How so? Because they would have God to be reverenced so that they would have the whole world to be filled with the fear of His majesty; or they would have much wealth to be gathered, so that sumptuous offerings might be made. But Satan cunningly insinuates himself; and hence we ought to fear his intrigues, lest, under plausible pretences, he should dazzle our eyes. The best way of caution is to regard what God commands, and so to rely on His promises as to proceed steadily in our course, though the accomplishment of the promises does not immediately correspond with our desires; for God designedly keeps us in suspense in order to try our faith. Though then He may not as yet fulfil what He has promised, let it yet be our course to attempt nothing rashly, while we are obeying His command. It will then be our chief wisdom, by which we may escape all the crafts of Satan, simply to obey God’s word, and to exercise our hope so as patiently to wait the seasonable times when He will fulfil what He now promises. (John Calvin.)

Thoughts of the past

The glorious past is never disdained. There ought not to be any past in the sense of exhaustion or annihilation. The past should be the most vivid and graphic influence in the present. Because we have seen greatness we shall see glory, should be the tone of every man who undertakes to teach the mysteries of the Divine Kingdom, and lead the charprises of the elect and consecrated Church. The house, indeed, had gone down; in that sense it was nothing in comparison with the house in its first glory. There is a past that humbles the present, that makes the present insignificant and worthless; but the Lord never regards that past as the end of His own opportunity; it is rather the occasion of the beginning of new revelations of His omnipotence. The Lord never stops His kingdom in its darkest hour and says, thin is all. The Lord never interrupts a prayer at the point of confession; He listens until the prayer glows with thankfulness, until it becomes violent in sacred ambition, until it would seize the treasures of the kingdom, and appropriate them all with a grateful heart. It is thus that God leads us and educates us. He takes us at our best point, not at our worst. The Lord promised that the house should assume a glory to which the first glory was as nothing. Here is a principle in the Divine economy; it is a principle of development, of progress, of gradual and assured consummation. (Joseph Parker, D. D.)

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Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Haggai 2:3". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/haggai-2.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory?.... Not taken away by death, yet alive, and dwelling among them; and who lived before the destruction of the first temple, built by Solomon; and has seen it in all its magnificence; its grand and noble structure; its stately pillars; its carved work, and decorations of gold. This shows that it was not in the times of Darius Nothus, but of Darius Hystaspis, that Haggai prophesied: those who go the former way make these men to have lived near two hundred years at least, which was greatly beyond the common time of man's life in that age; or consider these words as a mere supposition, that, if there were or had been such persons then living, this building, in comparison of the former, must have appeared mean and contemptible unto them: but the words manifestly imply that there were persons among them then living, who had seen Solomon's temple in all its glory; and who are particularly and personally addressed in the following clauses; and of whom there might be several at this time, going the latter way; for the seventy years' captivity are to be reckoned from the fourth year of Jehoiakim, in which the captivity began, and which was the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah 25:1 but it was not until the nineteenth year of his reign that the temple, was burnt by him, Jeremiah 52:12 and the time of Haggai's prophesying being about seventeen or eighteen years after the proclamation of Cyrus, when the seventy years' captivity ended; this shows that it was scarcely seventy years from the time the temple was destroyed; and therefore it may be reasonably supposed there were several ancient persons living that could remember to have seen it; and it is certain that there were a great number of such living that returned from Babylon, who wept when they saw the foundation of the second temple laid, which was but fifteen years before this, Ezra 3:12 some of whom, in all probability, were now alive, yea, it is certain there were, to whom the following questions were put:

and how do ye see it now? is not this that is building very different from that? does it promise anything like it? what ideas have you of it? can you conceive in your minds that it will ever rise up to such grandeur and stateliness as the former? what is your judgment, and what your sentiments concerning it? can you think of it with equal delight and pleasure as of the former?

is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? do not you think that it is not to be mentioned, or once named, in comparison of the former temple? or that a man had as good say nothing at all, as to attempt a comparison of them? or that this building and nothing are alike? and that the one is a nonentity, as well as the other, comparatively speaking, when set in competition with the first temple? and are not you of opinion that the people had as good do nothing, and that in effect they are doing nothing, and all their labour lost, who are working in this house? no answer is returned, nor any waited for: but it is as if the Lord had said, I, who am the omniscient God, the discerner of the thoughts of men, know that these are your sentiments, and these the reasonings of your minds; and but now lest discovering these thoughts of theirs, and speaking out their minds freely as they might, which would tend to discourage the governors and the people in carrying on the work they had engaged in; the Lord by the prophet says to them, as follows:

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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.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/haggai-2.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

Who [is] left among you that saw this a house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? [is it] not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

(a) For the people according as had been prophesied in (Isaiah 2:2) and (Eze. 41:1-26), thought this temple should have been more excellent than Solomon's temple, which was destroyed by the Babylonians, but the Prophets meant the spiritual Temple, the Church of Christ.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/haggai-2.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

that saw  …  first glory — Many elders present at the laying of the foundation of the second temple who had seen the first temple (Ezra 3:12, Ezra 3:13) in all its glory, wept at the contrast presented by the rough and unpromising appearance of the former in its beginnings. From the destruction of the first temple to the second year of Darius Hystaspes, the date of Haggai‘s prophecy, was a space of seventy years (Zechariah 1:12); and to the first year of Cyrus, or the end of the captivity, fifty-two years; so that the elders might easily remember the first temple. The Jews note five points of inferiority: The absence from the second temple of (1) the sacred fire; (2) the Shekinah; (3) the ark and cherubim; (4) the Urim and Thummim; (5) the spirit of prophecy. The connection of it with Messiah more than counterbalanced all these; for He is the antitype to all the five (Haggai 2:9).

how do ye see it now? — God‘s estimate of things is very different from man‘s (Zechariah 8:6; compare 1 Samuel 16:7). However low their estimate of the present temple (“it”) from its outward inferiority, God holds it superior (Zechariah 4:10; 1 Corinthians 1:27, 1 Corinthians 1:28).

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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 2:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/haggai-2.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

That saw — Near fourscore years ago.

This house — The temple built by Solomon.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/haggai-2.html. 1765.

Scofield's Reference Notes

house in her first glory

The prophet calls upon the old men who remembered Solomon's temple to witness to the new generation how greatly that structure exceeded the present in magnificence; and then utters a prophecy (Haggai 1:7-9) which can only refer to the future kingdom temple described by Ezekiel. It is certain that the restoration temple and all subsequent structures, including Herod's, were far inferior in costliness and splendour to Solomon's. The present period is described in Hosea 3:4; Hosea 3:5. Habakkuk 2:6 is quoted in Hebrews 12:26; Hebrews 12:27. Habakkuk 2:7 : "I will shake all nations," refers to the great tribulation and is followed by the coming of Christ in glory, as in Matthew 24:29; Matthew 24:30. "The desire of all nations" is Christ. (See Scofield "Malachi 3:1").

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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Haggai 2:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/haggai-2.html. 1917.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

"Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?"

It is worthy remark that the period from the Church being gathered out of Egypt, to the time of building the first Temple by Solomon, was about four hundred and eighty years. And from the children of Israel being delivered from Babylon, to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, was about five hundred years. We are told, that on building the second temple, the ancient men wept, and the younger shouted for joy. Ezra 3:11-13.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/haggai-2.html. 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Haggai 2:3 Who [is] left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? [is it] not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

Ver. 3. Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory?] Some such there were among them (as is here implied), and these must needs be very old, one hundred and twenty, at least, some say more. Zerubbabel might well be one of these; for he was a chieftain in the first year of Cyrus, Ezra 2:2. And Jehoshua, the high priest, might be another; for he came out of Babylon with Zerubbabel at the same time, Ezra 3:2. We see by experience that men’s lives are daily shortened. Natural reasons whereof may be these. 1. Untimely marriages. 2. Filling our bodies with variety of foods, and so digging our own graves with our own teeth. 3. Much ease and delicacy. The supernatural reason may be that so the world may sooner come to an end. God maketh haste to have the number of his elect fulfilled, and therefore dispatcheth away the generations, shorteneth life for his elect’s sake, fetcheth home his pilgrims, makes their days few, though evil, [Genesis 47:9] takes them away from the evil to come, &c., death being to them aerumnarum requies rest from all toils, (as Chaucer’s motto was), yea, ianua vitae, porta coeli, the door of life, the gate to heaven, the daybreak of eternal brightness.

And how do ye see it now?] It is a part of old men’s prudence rightly to compare things long since past with things present, and so to conjecture at things to come. Thus the prudent person, by discourse of reason, foreseeth an evil and hideth himself, when the young fool passeth on and is punished.

Is it not in your eyes] That is, in your thoughts; for God taketh notice of the inward workings of the heart, 1 Samuel 16:7, Psalms 139:2, 1 Kings 8:39. For he made the heart, and must therefore know all that is in it; as a watchmaker knows all the wheels and motions of the watch. He also will bring every secret thing into judgment, Ecclesiastes 12:14. Therefore thought is not free (as foolish folk dote), either from the notice of his eye (he had soon found out these Jews, when they did but despise the day of small things in their hearts, Zechariah 4:10), or from the censure of his mouth, Hebrews 4:12-13, Romans 7:14 (the law is spiritual and meets with involuntary motions to sin, Haggai 2:7), or, lastly, from the stroke of his hand, which is a mighty hand, 1 Peter 5:6, and falls very heavy, Deuteronomy 29:19, even for a root of bitterness, as it is there, for vain thoughts, Jeremiah 4:14; how much more for mischievous, murderous, covetous, vain-glorious, and adulterous thoughts, &c. It were good, therefore, to write upon walls and windows (yea, would it were written upon the tables of our hearts) that short motto, which as short as it is, yet our memories are shorter, Cave, Deus videt, Take heed, God looks on; for he is omnipresent and omniscient.

Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?] A mere non-entity or nullity? not fit to be named in the same day with the former temple? For, first, Cyrus appointed the full proportion of this second house, the height thereof threescore cubits, and the breadth thereof threescore cubits, Ezra 6:3, which was but one-half so large as Solomon’s temple. Herod indeed, to curry favour with the Jews (which yet would never be), built upon Solomen’s foundation, and bestowed a great deal of cost, if we may believe Josephus. But so could not these Jews do, that returned from Babylon; for they were (secondly) but few, and those also poor, and, though helped both by Cyrus and Darius, yet they were glad to build the temple of common stone, and unpolished, nothing like those precious carved stones wherewith Solomon built, 1 Kings 6:36. Thirdly, God hereby would draw their minds from the legal ceremonies and services; the Sun of Righteousness being now ready to arise upon them, the Dayspring from on high to visit them. Howbeit, because they could not have so glorious a temple as the former, they slighted it in their thoughts, and would have neglected it. Learn hence, That men naturally account as nothing of God’s service, if not accompanied with outward pomp and splendour. The Israelites in the wilderness would needs have a calf (as the Egyptians had) made of their jewels and ear-rings. Jeroboam would have two, and those of gold. Nebuchadnezzar dedicated a golden image with all manner of music, Daniel 3:1-7 The people wept when the foundation of this temple was laid, Ezra 3:12, because nothing so magnificent as the former. And the Papists explode our religion in comparison of theirs, because nothing so pompous and plausible to the rude people, whom they deceive with apish toys and trinkets, shows and pageants. In their petition to King James they pleaded for their religion, that it was more pleasing than ours, and more agreeable to nature. John Hunt, a Roman Catholic, in his humble appeal to King James, thus blasphemeth: The God of the Protestants is worse than Pan, god of the clowns, which can endure no ceremonies nor good manners at all. Many, like children, like that book best that hath most babies in it; neither will they eat their milk but in a golden dish. This proceeds from a blind understanding and carnal affection. The Church in its infancy was enticed with shows and shadows; but now God requires a reasonable service, he calls for spirit and truth.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/haggai-2.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Haggai 2:3. Who is left among you, &c.— See the note on Ezra 3:12. The foundation of this house was laid in the second year of Cyrus; the second year of Cyrus was fifty-three years after the destruction of the first temple; so that the oldest men among those who returned might very well remember it; and though this prophesy was uttered fifteen years after the foundation of the second temple, yet there might still survive some of those who had seen the structure built by Solomon. See Lowth. The latter clause of this verse should be rendered, Doth not this appear as nothing in comparison of it; that is to say, of the first temple?

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/haggai-2.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Who is left among you? there are surely some that are of that age as to have seen the temple which our father’s sins, God’s just displeasure, and the Chaldean malice burnt; who are they? and where may they be found? This question implieth there were such, and by Ezra 3:12,13 it appears there were many, for the cries and sobs of them equalled the shouts of the younger, who rejoiced to see the foundations of the second house laid.

That saw; took notice of it then, and remember it now, that were of such age and knowledge as to remember what was standing in its glory one hundred and fifty years ago, if some conjecture aright, but, what is nearer to truth, who remember some fourscore years past, who are about one hundred years of age.

This house; the house of God, the temple built by Solomon.

In her first glory; in the stately structure of it, in the rich adornings of it, in the unparalleled skill and curiosity of its workmanship, when it was the glory of the world.

How do ye see it now? do you see the same glorious structure going forward? have you expectation of one equal to the former temple? You cannot but recall the former to mind, and make your judgment of this by that.

Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? do you not judge this second nothing comparable with the first? you are ready to say, (in proverbial speech,) It is nothing to it.

Who is left among you? there are surely some that are of that age as to have seen the temple which our father’s sins, God’s just displeasure, and the Chaldean malice burnt; who are they? and where may they be found? This question implieth there were such, and by Ezra 3:12,13 it appears there were many, for the cries and sobs of them equalled the shouts of the younger, who rejoiced to see the foundations of the second house laid.

That saw; took notice of it then, and remember it now, that were of such age and knowledge as to remember what was standing in its glory one hundred and fifty years ago, if some conjecture aright, but, what is nearer to truth, who remember some fourscore years past, who are about one hundred years of age.

This house; the house of God, the temple built by Solomon.

In her first glory; in the stately structure of it, in the rich adornings of it, in the unparalleled skill and curiosity of its workmanship, when it was the glory of the world.

How do ye see it now? do you see the same glorious structure going forward? have you expectation of one equal to the former temple? You cannot but recall the former to mind, and make your judgment of this by that.

Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? do you not judge this second nothing comparable with the first? you are ready to say, (in proverbial speech,) It is nothing to it.

Who is left among you? there are surely some that are of that age as to have seen the temple which our father’s sins, God’s just displeasure, and the Chaldean malice burnt; who are they? and where may they be found? This question implieth there were such, and by Ezra 3:12,13 it appears there were many, for the cries and sobs of them equalled the shouts of the younger, who rejoiced to see the foundations of the second house laid.

That saw; took notice of it then, and remember it now, that were of such age and knowledge as to remember what was standing in its glory one hundred and fifty years ago, if some conjecture aright, but, what is nearer to truth, who remember some fourscore years past, who are about one hundred years of age.

This house; the house of God, the temple built by Solomon.

In her first glory; in the stately structure of it, in the rich adornings of it, in the unparalleled skill and curiosity of its workmanship, when it was the glory of the world.

How do ye see it now? do you see the same glorious structure going forward? have you expectation of one equal to the former temple? You cannot but recall the former to mind, and make your judgment of this by that.

Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? do you not judge this second nothing comparable with the first? you are ready to say, (in proverbial speech,) It is nothing to it.

Who is left among you? there are surely some that are of that age as to have seen the temple which our father’s sins, God’s just displeasure, and the Chaldean malice burnt; who are they? and where may they be found? This question implieth there were such, and by Ezra 3:12,13 it appears there were many, for the cries and sobs of them equalled the shouts of the younger, who rejoiced to see the foundations of the second house laid.

That saw; took notice of it then, and remember it now, that were of such age and knowledge as to remember what was standing in its glory one hundred and fifty years ago, if some conjecture aright, but, what is nearer to truth, who remember some fourscore years past, who are about one hundred years of age.

This house; the house of God, the temple built by Solomon.

In her first glory; in the stately structure of it, in the rich adornings of it, in the unparalleled skill and curiosity of its workmanship, when it was the glory of the world.

How do ye see it now? do you see the same glorious structure going forward? have you expectation of one equal to the former temple? You cannot but recall the former to mind, and make your judgment of this by that.

Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? do you not judge this second nothing comparable with the first? you are ready to say, (in proverbial speech,) It is nothing to it.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/haggai-2.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.The prophet does not deny that there is a marked contrast between the former temple and the one on which they are now laboring.

This house — The temple of Jehovah. The Jews did not think of the first, second, and third temples as separate buildings; they were all one and the same temple of Jehovah, only in different forms. Here the prophet has in mind Solomon’s temple.

Who is left’ that saw — Probably only very few, for about sixty-six years had elapsed since the destruction of Solomon’s temple in 586.

First glory — R.V., “former glory” (compare 1 Kings 5:7).

How do ye see it now? — In what condition? Certainly it was not yet completed, but they knew the resources at their command, and were fully aware that in style of building and magnificence of equipment they could not possibly equal the former splendor (compare Zechariah 4:10).

Is it not’ as nothing? — For the grammatical construction of the Hebrew see G.-K., 161c. R.V. reproduces it in smoother English: “is it not in your eyes as nothing?”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/haggai-2.html. 1874-1909.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

The Lord asked if the older members of the restoration community who had seen Solomon"s temple, which perished66 years earlier, did not think the present temple was nothing in comparison (cf. Zechariah 4:10). The Lord"s three questions forced the people to admit that the present temple was not as grand as the former one had been. The older returnees had made a similar negative comparison when the foundation of the temple was laid16 years earlier in536 B.C (cf. Ezra 3:8-13). The dedication of Solomon"s temple took place440 years earlier at the feast of Tabernacles ( 1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 7:8-10), so that was perhaps the reason the Lord gave this message to Haggai on this day.

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/haggai-2.html. 2012.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Who is left . . . ? = Who is there among you, the remnant? Evidently there were some present who had seen it. Compare Ezra 3:12.

this house. The Temple is regarded as one throughout.

first = primitive.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/haggai-2.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? Many elders ("of the priests and Levites and chief of the fathers, who were ancient men"), present at the laying of the foundation of the second temple, who had seen the first temple (Ezra 3:12-13) in all its glory, "wept with a loud voice" at the contrast presented by the rough and unpromising appearance of the second temple in its beginnings. From the destruction of the first temple to the second year of Darius Hystaspes, the date of Haggai's prophecy, was a space of 70 years (Zechariah 1:12); and to the first year of Cyrus, or the end of the captivity, fifty-two years: so that the elders might easily remember the first temple. The Jews note five points of inferiority: The absence from the second temple of

(1) the sacred fire; (2) the Shekinah, or cloud of glory representing the presence of God in the sanctuary;

(3) the ark and cherubim;

(4) the Urim and Thummim;

(5) the spirit of prophecy.

The connection of it with Messiah more than counterbalanced all these, because He is the antitype to all five (Haggai 2:9).

And how do ye see it now? God's estimate of things is very different from man's, who chiefly, or only, "looks on the outward appearance" (Zechariah 8:6.: cf. 1 Samuel 16:7). However low their estimate of the present temple ("it"), from its outward inferiority, God holds it superior, though then it was but "the day of small things" (Zechariah 4:10; 1 Corinthians 1:27-28.)

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/haggai-2.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) Is it not . . .—Better, is not such a (Temple) as this like nothing in your eyes?

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/haggai-2.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
is left
Ezra 3:12; Zechariah 4:9,10
glory
Ezekiel 7:20; Luke 21:5,6
Reciprocal: Exodus 17:14 - memorial;  1 Chronicles 22:5 - exceeding;  2 Chronicles 24:13 - in his state;  2 Corinthians 3:10 - had

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Haggai 2:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/haggai-2.html.