About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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This Chapter - Chapter 2

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ch. 2:1-9    ch. 2:10-20

ch. 2:1+9   ch. 2:10-20   ch. 2:20-23

The Promised Glory Of The New House (ch. 2:1 - 9)


Verse 1 begins with “on the twenty first day of the seventh month”.  This would be our September 21. In the rest of verse 1 and in verse 2 the Lord gave Haggai another word to speak to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the rest of the remnant.


In verse 3 God through Haggai asks a few questions. Basically he’s addressing the older people who were still alive who would have seen the original temple that Nebuchadnezzar destroyed.  He destroyed the temple in 586 BC and now it was around 520 B. C.  Sixty six years would have transpired.  The temple was finished in 515 B. C..


In verse 4 God tells everyone to be strong and to work, that is, do the work of the Lord to build the temple.  The reason why God told the Jews to be strong and go to work was because there was no comparison to what they were building with the former temple.  That fact alone would have been depressing for those who were old enough to see the glory of the original temple.


In verse 5 God reminds them of the covenant he made with Israel centuries earlier when they fled from Egypt.  God says that His Spirit is still with Israel , so don’t fear.  Of course these words by God are predicated on the fact that the Jews came before Him in repentance.


Verse 6 is interesting for those interested in prophecy.  God says that “in a little while” he’ll shake the heavens and earth, the seas and the dry lands.”   The words “a little while is interesting”.  The obvious question is, “how long is a little while?”  I think we can safely say that it’s been more than twenty five hundred years and there’s been no such shaking.   Therefore, “a little while” in God’s eyes is a long time in our thinking.


The words “little while” reminds me what our Lord tells John in Rev. 1:1.  He said that He would show John those things that “would soon take place.”  Like the “little while” in the last verse, one might ask, “how long of a time is ‘soon. "Because of the word “soon” in Rev. 1:1, some people believe that some, part, or even much of the prophecy of Revelation has already taken place.  But if we interpret “soon” as we interpret “a little while” here in Haggai, all of the book of Revelation might still be in the future. 


In verse 7 God continues by telling the Jews that He “will shake all nations”.  This is clearly seen in the book of Revelation.  Then God says the “desired of all nations” will come.  That’s the Messiah.  That’s Jesus.  Then God says that “I (God) will fill this house with glory.”  The question should now be asked, “what house is God talking about?”


If you take this verse as literal as possible, “this house” clearly refers to the temple that these people are building.  Now we have a problem.  The house that was now being built was totally destroyed in 70 A. D.  and is no longer.  So how can God’s glory be in this house, if it’s no longer in existence.  Most prophetic futurists believe that there will be a rebuilt temple in Jerusalem and that temple will be filled with God’s glory.  Other’s might spiritualize this and say that the temple is God’s people, because that’s what the temple now is in New Testament times.


In verse 8 God says that the silver and the gold belongs to Him.  That’s the silver and the gold that is in, or will be in the temple.


In verse 9 God says that the glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house.  The present house is the house the Jews were presently building.  The former house is the house, the temple that Solomon built.  Yet once again, has this ever happened with this rebuilt temple.  In later years the temple fell into disrepair again, and was actually fixed up by a Gentile ruler, that is, Herod.  Herod’s temple was in existence when Jesus was on earth.  Some might say that the glory of Herod’s temple was greater than the glory of Solomon’s temple, but if it was, it certainly was not the glory of the Lord, and that’s what the glory spoken of hear means.


Verse 10 ends by God saying that “in this place, I will grant peace.”   Peace will not come to this earth until Jesus returns and rules from the temple in Jerusalem.


Blessings For Defiled People (ch. 2:10 - 20)


Haggai says in verse 10 “on the twenty fourth day of the ninth month…”   This would be Nov. 24 in our calendar.


In verses 11 to 13 Haggai asks two questions concerning the matters of the Law that would make the point he wants to make concerning the Jews and their waywardness.  The first point concerns consecrated meat. If the meat is consecrated and touch some other food after it was consecrated, does the other food become consecrated because it gets touched by a consecrated piece of meat.  The priests answer by saying “no”.  The other food does not get consecrated just because it comes in contact with consecrated meat.


The second question asked on a matter of the Law concerns a person touching a dead animal.  The question is asked that when a person touches a dead animal, does that person get defiled by coming in contact with the dead animal?  The priests answer “yes”. The person does get defiled when they touch a dead animal.


In verse 14 God then says that this is the way His people are.  They are defiled and because of that the offerings they bring to God are defiled.  Of course, they are defiled because they have defiled themselves with their contact with ungodly people. The same can be true today in a New Testament sense.  We defile ourselves when we become worldly in our thinking and in our practices.


We need to distinguish between uniting ourselves with the world, following its way, and participating in what it does with mere association with those of the world.  Jesus spent much time with the individual sinner, as we should.  On the other hand, He did not give Himself to worldly thinking.  When speaking of the world, we should think in terms of secular systems and philosophy, not individuals. 


Once again, in verse 15 God asks Israel to give careful thought to what He is saying and to what their response should be.  Our mind, our brains, our thoughts play a very important part in our relationship to our God.  We certainly don’t rule out the spiritual realm of things, but on the other hand we don’t rule out our intellect as well.  When following Jesus in these New Testament times, we must give serious thought to all these things.


The words “this very day” appear in verse 15.  Israel was to take note of “this very day.”  It would be a watershed in their history.  God wanted them to note the day, remember the day, and change their thinking from that day onward.  Specifics are important with God.  This can be seen in the fact that He wanted Israel to note this day.  We also see that specifics are important because all through Haggai, Ezra, and the other writings specific days are mentioned. 


Also in verse 15 we see the specific thing that God wants the Jews to consider.  They were to think about the time before one stone was laid in the foundation of the temple that they were presently building.  They had the foundation laid, but shortly after that, they stopped work. 


Verses 16 and 17 seem to suggest just how far back in Jewish history they were to consider.  God speaks about at time when they went to gather crops and only got half of what they expected to get because He had struck the work of their hands with blight, mildew, hail and other such tragedies.  This would have to have been before the days the Jews were exiled to Babylon. 


The last phrase in verse 17 says, “yet you did not turn from me”.  This tells us why God struck such tragedies on Israel.  These bad things were meant to get their attention in order for them to repent and turn to Him, but they didn’t.  They did not view the bad times as corrective measures from their God.


In verse 18 we see the words “give careful thought” twice.  We also see a specific date – the 24th day of the ninth month.   On this day the foundation of the temple would be completely laid.


Verse 19 shows the present state of the Jews.  They were lacking, but as a result of them beginning to do the will of their God, from that very day He would begin to bless them once again.  It’s clear, that God is not obligated to bless us when we fail to live according to Him, but He will bless us when we walk in His ways.


Zerubbabel, The Lord’s Signet Ring (ch. 2:20 - 23)


In verses 20 and 21 God tells Haggai to prophesy to Zerubbabel, the civic leader of the Jews.  Haggai is to prophesy that God will shake the heavens and the earth. It is clear to me that this is a future event.  The heavens and the earth have not be shaken as we see in the book of Revelation.  


In verse 22 God says in the day in which He shakes the heavens and the earth, He’ll overthrow all the foreign nations.  The word “foreign” tell us that God will shake all nations of the world, except Israel.  The word “foreign” is in relation to Israel.  It’s been used this way all along throughout the minor prophets.  He’ll destroy and crush  their armies and weaponry of war. 


Haggai closes his prophecy in verse 23.  He says that at that day, that is the day described above, He’d make Zerubbabel like His signet ring. It is obvious that Zerubbabel won’t be around at the end of this age, so the reference to Him is prophetic of someone else, and that someone else is Jesus. Thus the prophecy of Haggai ends with an end time prophecy concerning Jesus.



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