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Bible Encyclopedias

The 1901 Jewish Encyclopedia

Haggai

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Judean prophet of the early post-exilic period contemporary with Zechariah (Ezra 5:1 III Ezra [I Esd.] 6:1, 7:3).

(Hilprecht, in "Pal. Explor. Fund Quarterly," Jan., 1898, p. 55). = "Aggeus" in I Esd. "Aggæ us, "Ἀ γ γ α ι ο ς = "festal" (born on feast-day) or "feast of Yah" (Olshausen, "Grammatik," § 277b) Wellhausen, in Bleek, "Einleitung," 4th ed., p. 434, takes "Haggai" to be equivalent to "Ḥ agariah" (= "God girdeth"). The name is found on Semitic inscriptions— Phenician, Palmyrene, Aramaic, Hebrew comp. "C. I. S." 68:1 and Lidzbarski, "Handbuch der Nordsemitischen Epigraphik," p. 270, Weimar, 1898 it occurs as "Ḥ agga" on a tablet from NippurVery little is known of Haggai's life. Ewald ("Propheten des Alten Bundes," p. 178, Gö ttingen, 1868) concludes from Haggai 2:3 that he had seen the first Temple, in which case he would have been a very old man at the time of Darius Hystaspes, in the second year of whose reign (520 B.C. ) Haggai appears as a prophetic preacher to stir the people to the work of rebuilding the Temple (Haggai 1:1 et seq. ).

It is not certain that Haggai was ever in Babylonia. He may have lived continuously at Jerusalem (comp. Lamentations 2:9 ). At all events, to judge by the extent of his book, his public ministry was brief. That Zechariah was the leading prophet of those times (Zechariah 7:1-4 ) lends plausibility to the assumption that Haggai was nearing death when he made his appeal to the people. According to tradition he was born in Chaldea during the Captivity, and was among those that returned under Zerubbabel. It has even been claimed that he was an angel of Yhwh , sent temporarily to earth to move the indifferent congregation (see Haggai 1:13 ). He was remembered as a singer of psalms, and as the first to use the term "Hallelujah." In fact, his name is mentioned in the Septuagint superscriptions to Psalms cxii., cxlv.-cxlix., though not in all manuscripts alike (Kö hler, "Die Weissagungen Haggais," p. 32 Wright, "Zechariah and His Prophecies," xix. et seq. B. Jacob, in Stade's "Zeitschrift," 16:290 Cheyne and Black, "Encyc. Bibl." 2:1935, note 2, in reference to Epiphanius, "Vitæ Prophetarum"). By Jewish historiography Haggai is numbered among the "men of the Great Synagogue" (B. B. 15a), or among those that "transmitted revelation" (see Cabala ) from their prophetic predecessors to the "men of the Great Synagogue" (Ab. R. N. i. [recension A, p. 2, ed. Schechter] comp. Yoma 9b). In his days prophetic inspiration was growing less frequent (ib. ).

Haggai is credited with having instituted certain practical decisions("taḳ ḳ anot"). Among these were a provision for the intercalation of the month of Adar (R. H. 19b) a decision in favor of enlarging the altar a decision permitting the bringing of sacrifices independently of the existence or presence of the Temple (Mid. 3:1 Zeb. 62 Yer. Naz. 2:7). The organization of the priestly service into twenty-four relays (Tosef., Ta' an. ii. ' Ar. 12b), and the regulation of the wood-contributions (Tosef., Ta' an. iii. Ta' an. 28 comp. Nehemiah 10:35 ), are traced to him. Other references to Haggai's legislative influence are given in R. H. 9 Yeb. 16a Ḳ id. 43a Ḥ ul. 137b Bek. 57 Naz. 53a. The "seat" () on which he sat as legislator is mentioned (Yeb. 16a).E. G. H.


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Bibliography Information
Singer, Isidore, Ph.D, Projector and Managing Editor. Entry for 'Haggai'. 1901 The Jewish Encyclopedia. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/tje/h/haggai.html. 1901.

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