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Morrish Bible Dictionary

Haggai

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Scripture is silent as to the ancestors of this prophet. He stands as to date at the return from captivity, and his prophecy is mostly occupied with the house of the Lord, the temple at Jerusalem. About the year B.C. 535, by order of Cyrus, under God, the rebuilding of the temple had been begun; but in consequence of the opposition from without, and the Jews' lack of faith as to the purpose of God in restoring them to their land, the building was stayed. It had been lying for some fifteen years in that state when God caused Haggai to prophesy, and charge the Jews themselves with neglect of the house. God had been dealing with them in providence, withholding the fruits of the earth; but they understood it not, until the prophet bade them consider their ways. They had made excuses that the time had not yet come to build God's house; but they were building their own houses. The prophet bade them fetch wood and build the house, and God would take pleasure in it, though it might appear as nothing in their eyes.

Zerubbabel and Joshua at once responded, and the work was commenced with energy and without permission from the heathen authorities. When asked by whose permission they were building the house, they nobly said, "We are the servants of the God of heaven and earth." Letters were sent to Babylon by the governors of the land, and then God so ordered it that formal permission was given to continue the building. By comparing verses 1 and 15 of Haggai 1 it will be seen that in twenty-four days the work was resumed.

Haggai 2 . There was encouragement for them, and exhortations to be strong:Jehovah was with them. They were reminded of their deliverance from Egypt, and the prophecy then goes on to the future, when God's purpose will be fully accomplished. God is going to shake the heavens and the earth: "the desire of all nations shall come" — doubtless referring to Christ in an objective sense. God will fill His house with glory. And then it is added (as it should read) "the latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former." There have now been three buildings, if the one restored by Herod be counted as one, and there will be another built by the Jews in unbelief; and another, as described by Ezekiel: yet all are designated 'this house,' as the first and second are called 'this house' in 3: cf. Ezra 5:11 . The latter glory will be when Christ, "the desire of all nations," shall come to it, and in that place He will give peace.

Haggai 2:10-19 are a separate message from God, reminding the people how unclean they were, and every work of their hands; and how He had been dealing with them in discipline; yet they had not turned unto Him. But from the day of laying the foundation of Jehovah's temple He would bless them.

Haggai 2:20-23 are still another message from God, and refer again to the future, when all nations will be shaken, and when God will take the true seed of David (here still called 'Zerubbabel my servant', a type of Christ as 'the prince of the house of David'), and make Him as a signet. In contrast to the faithless Coniah, or Jeconiah, king of Judah (as a signet plucked from God's right hand: cf. Jeremiah 22:24 ), Christ is the signet on God's right hand, to seal all His purposes touching the nations, and concerning His chosen people Israel.


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Bibliography Information
Morrish, George. Entry for 'Haggai'. Morrish Bible Dictionary. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/mbd/h/haggai.html. 1897.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020
the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
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