133 – The Jewish Prophet Haggai

Israeli soldiers sing alongside Idan Raichel | Hebrew songs Israeli army IDF song Ethiopian Jewish. Consider the following account of an Ethiopian Jew: “There was an Ethiopian man, a eunuch and high official of Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to worship in Jerusalem and was sitting in his chariot on his way home, reading the prophet Isaiah aloud.” (See the context: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=acts+8%3A26-38&version=HCSB )

Consider the following video which gives a quick introduction to the book of Haggai.

What Is the Message of the Book of Haggai? James M. Hamilton Jr., Ph. D. (Bio at bottom of page)

Key To Understanding Haggai

The book of Haggai was written by a Jew, to other Jews, about Jewish matters. There is nothing allegorical about this prophecy; it clearly relates to facts, as opposed to symbolism. The characters in the book can only be identified as being Jews. Nothing can be found in the book of Haggai that detracts from the Jewishness of the characters, or from the problems that are also clearly related to the Jewish people of Jerusalem. Haggai pointed out the problems that existed between God and the Jews; the Church does not enter into the dialog.

Haggai Overview

Of all of the books of the Bible, the book of Obadiah is the shortest; the book of Haggai is the second shortest. Haggai was the first prophet which prophesied to Israel during the postexilic period. The time of Judean Jewish exile was the seventy years of their being held captive in Babylon. Their deportation followed the 605 B.C.- 586 B.C. assault on Jerusalem by the Babylonians. The ministry of Haggai was to call the Jews in Jerusalem to finish the construction of the Temple which had been destroyed by Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C.

The following paragraph shows a chronology of events that encompassed Haggai’s ministry. Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah, whose ministry followed his, and Ezra, who recorded the first return of exiled Jews to Jerusalem.

The construction of the Jerusalem Temple began in 535 B.C., and was halted in 530 B.C. The prophecies of Haggai were most likely given toward the end of 520 B.C. Through the encouragement of Haggai, the Temple was completed in 515 B.C. Haggai most likely returned from Babylon to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel, who became the Governor of Judea. Haggai spoke his prophetic words to Zerubbabel, and to Joshua, who was the high priest, as well as to all of the Jews who were living in Jerusalem.

Consider the following outline of the book of Haggai.

1. Message of rebuke (1:1-11). 2. Word of encouragement (1:12-15). 3. Second message of encouragement (2:1-9). 4. Second message of rebuke (2:10-19). 5. Final message of encouragement (2:20-23).

Consider the following key points of the book of Haggai.

1. Haggai 1:1-11

Message of rebuke

The returning Jews were discouraged by the people who were already living in Jerusalem (Ezra 4:1–5, 24). It was the wrong conclusion of these returning Jews that it was not yet time for them to rebuild the temple (vs 2). But, God reminded them that it was not right for them to live in their own finished homes while the temple still was in a state of ruin (vs 4). God “urged” them to consider the error of their way, and the consequences that would follow if they would not finish the Temple (vs 5–11).

2. Haggai 1:12-15

Word of encouragement

God’s call to the Jews to “carefully, consider your ways” (vs 5, 7), caused the people to repent and obey Haggai’s message to complete the construction of the temple (vs 12). Haggai’s new message of God to the Jews, “I am with you,” resulted in the stirring of the Jews to action (vs 13-14).

3. Haggai 2:1-9

Second message of encouragement

With the building of the temple going strong, God gave a strong encouraging Word, in particular to those whom were elderly and had seen Solomon’s temple. Even though Solomon’s temple was much more majestic, God urged the people to be courageous. He assured the Jews that He would be present among them (vs 4). God also reminded the people of His faithfulness to His covenant promises (vs 5), and of His promises of a greater, and much more glorious temple in the future in the millennial kingdom (vs 6–9). A description of the Millennial Temple is shown in the book of Ezekiel, Chapters 40-48.

Verses 6-7, “I will shake,” relates to: (1) the cataclysmic disturbances in the universe that are described in Revelation, Chapters 6–19; (2) the dominance of the nations by the Messiah; and (3) the setting up of the Messianic kingdom which will never be destroyed (Daniel 2:44; 7:27; Zechariah 14:16–21; Matthew 25:32; Luke 21:26; Hebrews 12:26; Revelation 19:19–21). In essence, we see the events of the tribulation leading to the setting up of the millennium, with the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 19:17-21) being the key event during that transition. The preparation of the nations of the Earth, for their assault on Jerusalem in the Battle of Armageddon, begins in Revelation 16:12.

Verse 7: “I will fill this temple with glory.” When we consider “the temple,” we must go back to a time when there was no Jewish temple; such a time is described in Exodus 33:7 (1491 B.C.). From there, we turn around and go forward as far as we possibly can go. So, hop on board! You’ll enjoy the ride!

“Now Moses took a tent and set it up outside the camp, far away from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. Anyone who wanted to consult the Lord would go to the tent of meeting that was outside the camp.”

While the tent of Moses was being used as a tent of meeting, the Israelites were constructing a tabernacle, or a sanctuary, which has been called “the tabernacle in the desert.” At times, the terms, “tent of meeting,” and “tabernacle,” are used interchangeably. Consider the following chronology.

God commissioned the construction of the tabernacle/sanctuary (Exodus 25:8-9, 1491 B.C.).
The tabernacle in the desert was completed (Exodus 40:33, 1490 B.C.).
God commissioned King Solomon to build the first temple in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 28:6, 1015 B.C.).
Solomon finished the construction of the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 5:1, 1004 B.C.)
The forces of Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in Jerusalem (2 Chronicles 36:19, 586 B.C.)
The Temple was rebuilt in Jerusalem, being known as Zerubbabel’s Temple (Haggai 1:1-15, 2:1-23; Ezra 6:15, 515 B.C.)
Herod’s Temple, which was a remodeling of Zerubbabel’s temple, was completed in 4 B.C., but was not totally completed until 63 A.D.
Herod’s Temple was destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D. https://www.preteristarchive.com/Ancient_Revelations/archeology/2001_harvardhouse_scientific-dating.html
The prophecy of the destruction of the temple was made by Christ in Matthew 24:1-2 (30 A.D.) https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=matthew+24%3A1-2&version=HCSB

There will be a temple that will be built in Jerusalem during the time of the Tribulation. The Tribulation Temple will not be one where God dwells. The Anti-Christ will most likely authorize the construction of the temple during the first part of the Tribulation, and place it on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. See the following article on the Tribulation temple. http://www.pre-trib.org/articles/view/the-tribulation-temple

There will be a Temple that will be placed by God in Jerusalem during the Millennium (Ezekiel 37:26), following the Tribulation. The Glory of the Lord had previously been seen by the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel departing the temple in 594 B.C. (Ezekiel 9:3; 10:4; 10:18-19, 11:22-23). The Glory will not return until the future kingdom of Messiah, in the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 43:2–7; 44:4), as was seen by Ezekiel in 574 B.C. At the time that Ezekiel saw the Glory of God leaving the Jerusalem Temple, the city was under siege by the Babylonians. There is no scriptural proof of the Glory of God returning to the rebuilt or remodeled temples of Zerubbabel or Herod. There is presently no temple in Jerusalem. The tribulation temple will not be one of Godly legitimacy. It will only be when Christ sets up His Millennial Kingdom that there will be a Godly Temple in Jerusalem.

4. Haggai 2:10-19

Second message of rebuke

The fourth message of Haggai to the Jews was delivered on December 18, 520 B.C. Just a month earlier, the Jewish Prophet Zechariah began his ministry (Zechariah 1:1). This message of Haggai was meant to show that the Jews’ lack of obedience to God had caused His blessings to them to be withheld. The obedience of these Jews to God would cause His blessings to be showered upon them. This blessing is a reminder of future blessings that God will shower upon the Jews during the Kingdom Age/Millennium. It is a time of God’s restoration of Israel, which was prophesied by the Jewish Prophet Ezekiel in Ezekiel 34:11-31. The particular scripture reference is Ezekiel 34:25-26: “I will make them and the area around My hill a blessing: I will send down showers in their season—showers of blessing.” Often times, Christian congregations sing a song that is titled, “There Shall Be Showers Of Blessing,” without realizing that the verses of reference for that song were given as encouragement to the dispersed Jews in Babylon in 587 B.C., and relate to the blessings that God will shower upon Israel during the millennium. The prophecy relates to the New Covenant of God with Israel, per Jeremiah 31:31–34 and Ezekiel 37:26.

5. Haggai 2:20-23

Final message of encouragement

This fifth message was directed to Zerubbabel, who was the governor of Judah (vs 20). It came on the same day as the fourth message, and returned to the theme of vs 6–9, which related to the millennial reign of the Messiah. The message dealt with the overthrow of the kingdoms of the world and the establishment of the Messianic kingdom (Daniel 2:44 and 7:27). Due to the prophesied events not occurring historically, the promise relates to the royal line through whom the Messiah will come. It looked to the day when the Messiah will reign on earth (Psalm 2; Revelation Chapters 19-20). The following passages tell more about the blessings of the Messianic Kingdom, and God’s promises of Israel’s presence in the Kingdom. (See Isaiah 32:18, below.)

Isaiah 2:4 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

“He will settle disputes among the nations and provide arbitration for many peoples. They will turn their swords into plows and their spears into pruning knives. Nations will not take up the sword against other nations, and they will never again train for war.”

Isaiah 11:6-8 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

6 The wolf will live with the lamb, and the leopard will lie down with the goat. The calf, the young lion, and the fatling will be together, and a child will lead them. 7 The cow and the bear will graze, their young ones will lie down together, and the lion will eat straw like the ox. 8 An infant will play beside the cobra’s pit, and a toddler will put his hand into a snake’s den.

Isaiah 32:16-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

16 Then justice will inhabit the wilderness, and righteousness will dwell in the orchard. 17 The result of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quiet confidence forever. 18 Then my people will dwell in a peaceful place, in safe and secure dwellings.

The promises of God to His chosen people, Israel, are firm. (Deuteronomy 7:6)

About the Holman Christian Standard Bible

About James M. Hamilton Jr., Ph. D.

LAST TRUMPET – LAST SHOFAR Blast: Yeshuah Returning SOON.

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