THE BOOK OF HAGGAI
Haggai was a prophet of the restored remnant after the end of the seventy years captivity. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah give the detailed circumstances, which called for the prophet’s ministry. Due to opposition the people slacked down from rebuilding the temple. Haggai was stirred by God to encourage them, and the task was resumed and went forward to completion.
The book may be divided into four parts, each presented as “the word of the Lord” by Haggai the prophet.
1. Ch. 1. The occasion of the prophecy.
2. Ch.2:1-9. The three temples, past, present and future.
3. Ch.2:10-19. The chastening of the people and God’s reason for the chastening.
4. Ch.2:20-23. The future overthrow of Gentile power.
THE OCCASION OF THE PROPHECY.
Due to the let down of the work of rebuilding the temple because of local opposition, the temporal blessing of God had been withheld from the people, Ch.1:6. They were told to consider their ways and gather material to finish the house of the Lord, vs. 7-8. Zerubbabel and Joshua, the high priest, along with the remnant of the people responded to the call by obeying the voice of the Lord their God, and the work went forward once more, vs. 12-14.
THE THREE TEMPLES, PAST PRESENT AND FUTURE.
When the temple was finished, Haggai drew the people’s attention to it and by comparison showed how it was by no means as glorious as the one built by king Solomon. Then the promise was made of a temple to be built in the time of the coming of their Messiah, which would far exceed in glory even that first temple, Ch. 2:3-4, 6-7, 9.
THE CHASTENING OF THE PEOPLE AND GOD’S REASON FOR THE CHASTENING.
The prophet Haggai drew the people’s attention to their straitened circumstances and gave their former neglect of God’s house as the reason, Ch. 2:14. Then he said that since the work was resumed they should consider and see how God had turned to them again in temporal blessing, and that from then on He would continue so to do, vs.15-19.
THE FUTURE OVERTHROW OF GENTILE POWER.
A personal promise was made to Zerubbabel because of his faithfulness. In the last days God will remember him and give him a special place of authority in the coming kingdom, Ch. 2:23. The prophet also foretold the future overthrow of Gentile world ruler ship. So sweeping will that be, that beginning with Satan himself as the “throne of kingdoms” or the one who at present rules the kingdoms of this world, the heathen nations will meet their downfall, and those who take part in the great battle of the end, even Armageddon, shall be slain every one by the sword of his brother, v.22.
Thus the Lord who is earth’s rightful King will deal with the rebellious and finally come into His own.