Walking Thru The Bible – HAGGAI, ZECHARIAH and MALACHI – These last three Prophets [and probably the Prophet Joel] in the Old Testament are from the period following the Babylonian captivity which we often call the “Restoration Period” or post-exilic period – The common message of these Prophets was: return to the right ways of the Lord – Haggai and Zechariah were particularly concerned with the rebuilding of the Temple which had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians nearly 70 years before [the Temple was destroyed in 586 B.C. during the third captivity of Jerusalem by Babylon then it was completed and dedicated in 516 B.C. seventy years after its initial destruction – (Daniel and the first captives left Jerusalem in 606 B.C. (1st captivity of Babylon) twenty years before the Temple was destroyed then after 70 years in Babylon at 536 B.C. the Jews began to return to Jerusalem and 20 years later in 516 B.C. dedicated the 2nd Temple)] – The people had been tending to their personal affairs and neglecting the temple and other spiritual responsibilities

HAGGAI: Haggai has been described as a man with a single ambition. He preached to a poor, discouraged, and frightened people. He attributed their lack of success in all areas of their national life to the single fact of their neglect of the temple. In a bold and authoritative manner, he pleaded for the people to rebuild the temple. Haggai and Zechariah are credited with getting the temple completed c. 516 BC (Ezra 6:14-15). The dates of Haggai's ministry which is covered in the book is only about four months in the year 520 BC (1:1; 2:1; 2:10; 2:20). The temple foundation had been laid almost immediately after the exiles returned from Babylon. But then about sixteen years intervened before the work resumed. It took the powerful exhortation of Haggai and Zechariah to motivate Zerubbabel and Jeshua to arise and begin to rebuilt the house of God. -- ZECHARIAH: Zechariah was born and reared in Babylon and was among the group that returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel (Neh. 12:1,4,16). He was evidently younger than Haggai and his recorded ministry continued a year or so beyond the record of Haggai. Under Haggai and Zechariah's preaching the people were stirred to again take up the rebuilding of the temple. While Haggai rebuked and admonished, Zechariah encouraged and looked to brighter days. Their work was fully complementary and compatible. The book of Zechariah contains many visions and a great deal of apocalyptic symbolism. It is the longest and the most difficult of all the Minor Prophets. Message of Zechariah: This book is also divided into four sections. 1. There is a call for repentance (1:1-6). 2. There is a series of [nine] night visions about the future of the people of God and His Kingdom. 3. There is a question about fasting raised (7:1-3), and the point is that fasting is useless without obedience (7:4-7). The Lord's expectations of the people are stated (7:8-8:23). 4. The people of God are reassured about the future. The heathen nations will fall (9:1-7), and the Messiah will appear (9:8-11:17). Salvation will be established in spiritual Israel, the church (12:1-14:21). -- MALACHI: Malachi was the last writing prophet to serve God under the Law of Moses. The material within the book parallels the situation described in Nehemiah 13. Nehemiah had served as governor during the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem and a few years following. He had returned to Persia to serve the king and in chapter 13 he has returned to serve as governor a second time. The sins dealt with in Malachi are those found in Nehemiah 13 and thus Malachi may be dated about 433 BC. Background: The priests were lax and wicked, offerings were being neglected, divorce was common, and justice was being perverted. Malachi's intense love for God and the people of God moved him to speak with great urgency in the streets and market places. Malachi uses a "question-answer" method of preaching. Malachi challenged the apathy and disloyalty of the people. Poverty and hard times had come. The people were questioning the love of God because of their difficulties and the prophet placed the blame where it really belonged. It was the sin of the people--not the lack of divine love--which was at the root of the problems (cf. Isa. 59:1-2). Outline of Malachi: The book opens with an affirmation of the love of God for his people (1:1-5) and shows how that love has been spurned (1:6-2:9). A specific rebuke of the people of Malachi's day for their widespread profanation of marriage is given (2:10-16). Finally, the prophet looks forward to the coming of the Messiah. [link]

The Book of Haggai – The book has the same title in Hebrew as it has in English and Greek translation – The name Haggai seems to be an adjective derived from the Hebrew word for “feast”; therefore his name means “festive” – He proclaimed the Word of God over a five month period in 520 B.C. – In his book and in Ezra he is referred to as “Prophet” he is also called the “Angel of the LORD” that is, the messenger of Yahweh (Haggai 1:13) – It is possible to date Haggai’s prophesies very exactly: The first day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius I (Haggai 1:1), which would be August 29, 520 B.C.

There are two references to Haggai in the Bible outside of his own book: Ezra 5:1 and 6:14. Haggai's name is often linked with Zechariah (there may even be an allusion to him in Zechariah 8:9), since Zechariah was prophesying about the same time in Judah and Jerusalem. He proclaimed the word of God over a five month period in 520 BC. How he came to be in Jerusalem, whether he was an exile or if he had already been there, is unknown. In his book and in Ezra he is referred to as "prophet. He is also called the "Angel of the LORD" -- that is, the messenger of Yahweh, in Haggai 1:13. It is possible to date Haggai's prophesies very exactly: 1. The first day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius I (1:1), which would be August 29, 520 BC. 2. The twenty-fourth day of the sixth month of the second year of Darius I, when they resumed work on the second temple (1:15a), which would be September 21, 520 BC. 3. The twenty-first day of the seventh month of the second year of Darius I, which would be October 21, 520 BC. 4. The twenty-fourth day of the ninth month of the second year of Darius I (2:19-20), which would be December 18, 520 BC. -- By 520 BC some of the Jews had been back in Jerusalem for several years. Cyrus had conquered Babylon in 538 BC. He then issued a decree that all of Babylon's captives could return to their homes. Ezra 1-6 describes the first group of Jews to make that trip home. They came at great sacrifice, but also with high hopes; however, when they reached Jerusalem around 536 BC, there was nothing but ruins, poverty, and opposition from the Samaritans and the local population. Consequently, nothing was done about rebuilding the temple between 536 and 520 BC, when Haggai came on the scene. For more information, look at Ezra 5:13-16, where the people had been ordered to rebuild the temple, had even started, but then failed to finish. Read Ezra 1-6 for background. -- III. An Outline of Haggai: I. Yahweh's call to rebuild the temple 1:1-15. II. Yahweh's promise to restore the glory 2:1-9. III. Yahweh's blessings on a defiled people 2:10-19. IV. Yahweh makes Zerubbabel his signet ring 2:20-23.  [link]

Haggai: Building the Temple of God – The Book of Haggai consists of two small chapters near the end of the Old Testament of the Bible – *Despite being small [minor] in size, **it contains material that is of significant relevance to all ages – One of the primary messages from this book is that God must be put first in the life of a believer – As well as that, it is shown that God is quite specific in His requirements and does not allow re-interpretation of them – Instead the encouraging warning is given to “consider your ways”

At the time of the first return from exile, the people immediately started the work of rebuilding the temple. Unfortunately, by the time the foundation was laid, the neighboring nations were frustrating the construction efforts, and then during the reign of Artaxerxes they were able to convince the Persian king to call a complete stop to the efforts. The opposition of their neighbors at the time halted the progress, and since then no more work had been done. Apart from the physical impediment to construction, this would also have had an effect on attitudes of the constructors. It would have been very difficult for them, being enthusiastic with the best of intentions, but being frustrated by the heathen about them. Presumably, after this setback, the people saw that the seventy years of desolations was not fulfilled and they were content to wait. The real problem was that they waited longer than necessary before attempting to rebuild again. They had originally become disillusioned because they had been unable to do the work of God in rebuilding the temple. This disillusionment prevented them from beginning construction when the time was right. There appears to be a common theme through scripture that enthusiasm needs to be sustained. On many occasions people have had to wait before their commitment is tested. It is often necessary to have a lasting enthusiasm that is strong enough to overcome delays and difficulties. One example of this is Abraham. He was offered the promises reasonably early in his life, but it wasn't until much later that he was given the son through which the promises would be carried out. Another example is in King David. After the initial anointing and then the defeat of Goliath, it was a long, hard struggle before he finally gained control of the throne of Israel. During the time he was being pursued by Saul, it would have been very tempting for him to give up the ways of God. Consider also the life of Joshua. In his youth he was given the dreams showing his future importance, but it was a long time after that before he saw success. In the meantime he had to endure slavery, imprisonment and the threat of death. In the garden of Gethsemane, Peter was ready to cut off the ear of the servant of the high priest, but shortly later he denied even any association with Jesus. The excitement of the original situation had provoked him to fight for Jesus regardless of the cost, but over the subsequent hours his temperament changed. By the morning he was no longer a fighter, but instead chose denial. Regardless of whether Peter was right in his actions or not, It shows that there is a tendency for enthusiasm to degrade with time. ... Consider Your Ways: The Hebrew phrase that is translated "consider" in Haggai is quite rare in the scripture. It is "suwm (soom) lebab (lay-bawb')", which means "to set/make" your "heart / determination / thinking" but with emphasis is if a command under fear. Apart from Haggai, the closest usage of this phrase is in Deuteronomy where Moses, at the end of his life, urges the people of Israel to consider the words of the law. ... The length of time between the two writings indicates that the quotation of the same phrase is more than just a linguistic coincidence. It is as though Haggai is referring back to this passage to remind the people where they came from and the hope they could have. Those words in Deuteronomy were meant for the Israelites when they first came into the land [from captivity in Egypt]. ... The warning under Joshua the son of Nun was just as applicable under Joshua the son of Josedech. (the high priest during the return). Similarly, the life of Joshua the son of God was a message to "consider your ways." Note: Joshua the Son of God is the man we know as Jesus. Jesus is the English translation of the Greek translation of his original Hebrew name. The Hebrew name is usually directly translated as Joshua, as in the Son of Nun. Just as people have ignored the warnings from the Joshua of old, so it is possible to ignore the message of Jesus. ... While the peoples' hearts had not been perfect, within three weeks of the original prophecy they had obeyed the voice of God and considered their ways. In response to this, God added to their strength to assure them of success. [link]

Haggai 1 – Haggai a Prophet in Israel after the return from Babylon begins to Prophecy regarding the completion of the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem – – Haggai 1:1-5 In the second year of Darius the King, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month (August 29, 520 B.C.), came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Governor of Judah [appointed by Persia], and to *Joshua (lit. Jesus) the son of Josedech, the High Priest, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of Hosts, saying, *This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’S house should be built. Then came the Word of the LORD by Haggai the Prophet, saying, *Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled [roofed – completed] houses, and this House [Temple] lie [a false representation of God] waste? ***Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways.

Haggai 1:6-15 Ye have sown [planted] much, and bring [harvest] in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. **Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the House [Temple]; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD. Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when ye brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of Mine House [Temple] that is waste, and ye run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew, and the earth is stayed from her fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labour of the hands. *Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, 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, *and the people did fear before the LORD. Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, **I am with you, saith the LORD. And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, Governor of Judah, and the **Spirit of Joshua (Jesus) the son of Josedech, the High Priest, *and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month (September 21, 520 B.C.), in the second year of Darius the king. - Note: "Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the House [Temple]; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD." Is another of the many references to New Testament Christianity by the Prophet Haggai and the other Prophets both the major Prophets and the minor Prophets but especially the minor Prophets. The Mountain is a New Testament allusion to government (self-will)and wood is a reference to people. God is saying to the New Testament Christian to go evangelize those that are 'self-willed' to bring them to Church and to build His New testament Temple with wood (people) and in that in His Temple an eternal Temple built without human hands (Daniel 2:4) God will be glorified.

Haggai 2 – Haggai instructs the people to be strong and to have confidence in the faithfulness of God and that through God’s strength the People of God will achieve and fulfill the plans of God — ‘Haggai 1:2-5 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month (October 21, 520 B.C.), came the Word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the High Priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this House [Temple] in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? *Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the High Priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: **for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: ***According to the Word [promises] that I Covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so My Spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.’

The Bible's book of Haggai concludes: Haggai 2:6-23 For thus saith the LORD of Hosts; **Yet once, it is a little while [Book of Revelation], and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all Nations, and the desire of all Nations [to serve God and support Israel or not to serve God and go against Israel] shall come [manifest]: and I will fill this [eternal] House [Temple] with Glory, saith the LORD of Hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of Hosts. **The glory of this latter [eternal] House shall be greater than of the former [Solomon's], saith the LORD of Hosts: and *in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of Hosts. In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month (December 18, 520 B,C.), in the second year of Darius, came the Word of the LORD by Haggai the Prophet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of Hosts; Ask now the Priests concerning the law, saying, If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, *No. Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be *unclean. Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this Nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer [without the life blood covering] there is unclean. And now, I pray you, **consider from this day and upward, from ***before [work started] a stone was laid upon a stone in the Temple of the LORD: Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat [olive press] for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD. **Consider now from this day (December 18, 520 B.C.) and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S Temple was laid [536 B.C. 16 years earlier by the decree of King Cyrus], consider it. Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day (December 18, 520 B.C.) will I bless you. And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying, Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms [earthly and heavenly], and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, everyone by the sword of his brother. In that {resurrection} day, saith the LORD of Hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel (lit. one conceived and born in Babylon), my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet (ring) [Son, authority, approval]: for I have chosen thee [out of Babylon], saith the LORD of Hosts.