Date Written: 520-515 BC
The book of Haggai is a very short collection of the prophet's oracles given in the fall of 520 BC, interspersed with a few historical accounts. Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah. They both encouraged the people to rebuild the
In 538 BC, Cyrus the Persian conquered
The book is divided into five precisely dated occasions. In the first, the Lord calls the people to build his house with a promise of prosperity (Hag 1:1-11). The people respond to Haggai's word and begin the building process under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Joshua (1:12-15). As Haggai encourages the people to work heartily he prophesies that the future glory of the temple will be greater than the former (2:1-9). Next, through a dialogue with the Jewish priests, Haggai pronounces that uncleanness is more contagious than holiness in order to show that the lack of Temple-building activity is the cause of the people's lack of material goods (2:10-19). Finally, Haggai prophesies that Zerubbabel will be the Lord's "signet ring" (2:20-23). The hope for a new political kingdom under the rule of Zerubbabel, the Davidic heir to the throne was never realized. Yet this prophecy is often understood to be fulfilled by the ultimate Son of David of whom Zerubbabel is only a type: Jesus.
Haggai is relatively unique among the prophets, in that the people immediately responded to his message in obedience. Haggai roused a people who had forgotten their purpose. Initial obstacles, legal entanglements, resource shortages and the march of time had caused them to forget why they returned to
By Mark Giszczak