The prophecy of Haggai is dated to the Reign of Darius while Zerubbabel was governor of the region around the temple and the returning Judeans (not yet Jews). The purpose was to enhance the prestige of Zarubbabel as the legitimate heir to the Davidic kingship of Judea.
A message came to the prophet Haggai from Yahva on the first day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was king of Persia. Haggai repeated it to Zerubbabel and Jeshua. Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, was governor of Judah and Yeshua, son of Jehozadak, was high priest. This is Haggai's message.
Yahva who rules over everything says; "The people of Judah are saying that the time to rebuild Yahva's temple has not yet come." So this message came to me from Yavha.
"My temple is still in ruins. In spite of that, your houses that have beautiful wooden walls. Think carefully about how you fare. You have planted many seeds. But the crops are small. You eat but you never have enough. You drink but you are never full. You wear clothes but you are not warm. You earn your pay but you waste it.
Consider how you are living. Go to the mountains and bring logs down. Use them to rebuild my house. Then I will enjoy it while you honor me. You expected much, but you can see now small it is. I blew away what you brought home. Why? Because my temple is still in ruins. In spite of that, all of you are busy with your own houses.
For what you have done, the skies have withheld the dew the earth does not produced crops. I ordered the rain not to fall on the fields and mountains. Then the ground did not produce any grain. There were not enough grapes to make fresh wine. The trees did not bear enough olives to make oil. People and cattle suffered. All your hard work failed."
Then Zerubbabel and Yeshua obeyed Yahva, as did all of Yahva's people who were still alive. Yahva sent his message to them through me, thus I speak to them. The people respected them. I was Yahva's messenger so I gave his message to the people. I told them; "Yahva proclaims, 'I am with you!'" So Yahva roused the spirits of Zerubbabel and Yeshua. He also inflamed the rest of the people to help them. Everyone began to work on the Yahva's temple. He is their God. This was the 24th day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was king.
A second message came to me from Yahva on the 21st day of the seventh month.
Speak to Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Yeshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest. Speak to all of my people who are still alive. Ask them, 'Did any of you who are here see how beautiful this temple used to be? How does it look to you now? Is it not a pitiful ruin?
"But be strong Zerubbabel! Be strong Yeshua! Be strong, all you people in the land," announces Yahva. "Start rebuilding. I am with you. That is what I promised you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit continues to be with you. Do not be afraid."
In a little while I will shake the heavens and the earth again. I will also shake the ocean and the dry land. I will shake all of the nations. Then what they consider to be priceless will come to my temple. I will fill the temple with glory.
The silver belongs to me, as does the gold. The new temple will be more beautiful than the first one. In this place I will give peace to my people."
A third message came to me from Yahva on the 24th day of the ninth month of the second year that Darius was king. Yahva, who rules everything speaks.
"Ask the priests what the law says. Suppose someone carries holy meat in the clothes he is wearing and the clothes touch some bread, stew, wine, olive oil, or other food. Then do those things also become holy?" The priests answer; "No."
So I said; "Suppose someone is made 'unclean' by touching a dead body. And then he touches one of those things. Does it become 'unclean' too?" "Yes," the priests reply; "It does."
Then I said; "Yahva declares;
'That is how I look at these people and this nation. Anything they do and anything they sacrifice on the altar is unclean. Now think carefully about the time before one stone was laid on top of another in my temple. People went to get 20 measures of grain, but they could find only 10. They went to where the wine was stored to get 50 measures, but only 20 were there. You worked very hard to produce all of those things, but I struck them with rot, mold and hail. You still did not turn to me.
This is the 24th day of the ninth month. From this day on, consider carefully the day when the foundation of my temple was laid. Think about it carefully. Are any seeds still left in your barns? Until now, your vines and fig trees have not produced any fruit, nor have your pomegranate and olive trees. From this day I will bless you.'"
A final message came to me from Yahva on the 24th day of the ninth month;
"Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, that I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will throw down royal thrones. I will smash the power of other kingdoms. I will destroy chariots and their drivers. Horses and their riders will fall. They will be killed with the swords of their relatives. Zerubbabel! I select you. You are my servant. You will be like my royal seal ring. I have chosen you, says Yahva who rules everything."
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