A Call to Rebuild the Temple
1On August 29# Hebrew On the first day of the sixth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of dates in Haggai can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This event occurred on August 29, 520 B.C. of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the lord gave a message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua# Hebrew Joshua, a variant spelling of Jeshua; also in 1:12, 14. son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
2“This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the lord.’”
3Then the lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: 4“Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? 5This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 6You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!
7“This is what the lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! 8Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the lord. 9You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the lord of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses. 10It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. 11I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”
Obedience to God’s Call
12Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people began to obey the message from the lord their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom the lord their God had sent, the people feared the lord. 13Then Haggai, the lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the lord: “I am with you, says the lord!”
14So the lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the lord of Heaven’s Armies, 15on September 21# Hebrew on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on September 21, 520 B.C.; also see note on 1:1a. of the second year of King Darius’s reign.