The Lord promises to bless his people
The glorious new temple
1-2On the twenty-first day of the next month,#2.1,2 the next month: Tishri (also called Ethanim), the seventh month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-September to mid-October (see the note at 1.1). the Lord told Haggai the prophet to speak this message to Governor Zerubbabel, High Priest Joshua, and everyone else:
3 # Ezra 3.12 Does anyone remember how glorious this temple used to be? Now it looks like nothing. 4But cheer up! Because I, the Lord All-Powerful, will be here to help you with the work, 5#Exod 29.4546just as I promised your ancestors when I brought them out of Egypt. Don't worry. My Spirit is#2.5 My Spirit is: Or “I am”. here with you.
6 # Heb 12.26 Soon I will again shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7I will shake the nations, and their treasures#2.7 their treasures: Hebrew “what they most desire”. will be brought here. Then the brightness of my glory will fill this temple. 8All silver and gold belong to me, 9and I promise that this new temple will be more glorious than the first one. I will also bless this city#2.9 city: Or “temple”. with peace.
The past and the future
10On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month,#2.10 ninth month: Chislev, the ninth month of the Hebrew calendar, from about mid-November to mid-December. the Lord God All-Powerful told the prophet Haggai 11to ask the priests for their opinion on the following matter:
12Suppose meat ready to be sacrificed to God is being carried in the folds of someone's clothing, and the clothing rubs against some bread or stew or wine or olive oil or any other food. Would those foods that were touched then become acceptable for sacrifice?
“Of course not,” the priests answered.
13 # Num 19.11–22 Then Haggai said, “Suppose someone has touched a dead body and is considered unacceptable to worship God. If that person touches these foods, would they become unclean?”
“Of course they would,” the priests answered.
14So the Lord told Haggai to say:
That's how it is with this entire nation. Everything you do and every sacrifice you offer is unacceptable to me. 15But from now on, things will get better. Before you started laying the foundation for the temple, 16you recalled what life was like in the past.#2.16 you recalled … past: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. When you wanted two hundred kilogrammes of wheat, there were only a hundred, and when you wanted fifty jars of wine, there were only twenty. 17I made all your hard work useless by sending mildew, mould, and hail—but you still did not return to me, your Lord.
18Today you have completed the foundation for my temple, so listen to what your future will be like. 19Although you have not yet harvested any grain, grapes, figs, pomegranates,#2.19 pomegranates: A bright red fruit that looks like an apple. or olives, I will richly bless you in the days ahead.
The Lord promises to be with Zerubbabel
20That same day the Lord spoke to Haggai again and said:
21Tell Governor Zerubbabel of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth 22and wipe out kings and their kingdoms. I will overturn war chariots, and then cavalry troops will start slaughtering each other. 23But tell my servant Zerubbabel that I, the Lord All-Powerful, have chosen him, and he will rule in my name.#2.23 rule in my name: The Hebrew text has “be my signet ring”, which signified authority.