● First Message (1:1-11) | Haggai urges that work be started on rebuilding the temple.
1:1 In the second year of Darius [Darius I Hystaspes; seized throne of Persia after death of Cambyses in 522-521 BC] the king, on the first day of the sixth month, the word of the Lord [the book of Haggai has five separate prophecies, all of which came during a four-month period in 520 BC] came by the prophet Haggai [a prophet to the Jews who returned to Jerusalem from Babylonia; Haggai was concerned that the returning Jews make the rebuilding of the Temple and the reestablishment of the priestly offerings their first priority] to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
1:2 [more than a decade had passed since the return from exile] “Thus says the Lord of hosts [God is the God of power], ‘This [use of “this” instead of “My” possibly indicates the Lord’s displeasure with His people] people says [note how the people had an excuse for putting off God’s work; putting off God’s word is wrong; the people had not made God’s work a priority], “The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.”’” 1:3 Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying,1:4 “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled [an indication that their homes were luxurious and finished to perfection; the people invested resources in paneling their houses] houses [the people made the building of their homes top priority] while this house lies desolate [whatever excuses they had for not finishing God’s house did not keep them from finishing their own houses]?”1:5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider [Haggai called on the people evaluate their attitudes] your ways!1:6 [note that the people were not experiencing much in terms of blessings] You have sown much, but harvest little; you eat, but there is not enough to be satisfied; you drink, but there is not enough to become drunk; you put on clothing, but no one is warm enough; and he who earns, earns wages to put into a purse with holes.”1:7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Consider your ways!1:8 Go up to the mountains, bring wood and rebuild the Temple, that I may be pleased with it and be glorified,” says the Lord.1:9 “You look for much, but behold, it comes to little; when you bring it home, I blow it away. Why?” declares the Lord of hosts, “Because of My house which lies desolate, while each of you runs to his own house.1:10 [note the effect of the people’s sin on nature] Therefore, because of you the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
1:11 I called for a drought on the land, on the mountains, on the grain, on the new wine, on the oil, on what the ground produces, on men, on cattle, and on all the labor of your hands.”
● Second Message (1:12-15) | A message of encouragement.
1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him [the people were motivated to obey because they believed the Lord had sent Haggai to them]. And the people showed reverence for the Lord.
1:13 Then Haggai, the messenger of the Lord, spoke by the commission of the Lord to the people saying, “‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord.”
1:14 So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts, their God,
1:15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king [the people began to rebuild the Temple 23-days after Haggai began his ministry for the Lord and stirred the people to action].