On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet,
"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests to decide this question,
'If one carries holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and touches with his skirt bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does it become holy?'" The priests answered, "No."
Then said Haggai, "If one who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?" The priests answered, "It does become unclean."
Then Haggai said, "So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, says the LORD; and so with every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
Pray now, consider what will come to pass from this day onward. Before a stone was placed upon a stone in the temple of the LORD,
how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten; when one came to the winevat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty.
I smote you and all the products of your toil with blight and mildew and hail; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD.
Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider:
Is the seed yet in the barn? Do the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still yield nothing? From this day on I will bless you."
The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month,
"Speak to Zerub'babel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth,
and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders; and the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his fellow.
On that day, says the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerub'babel my servant, the son of She-al'ti-el, says the LORD, and make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you, says the LORD of hosts."
Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. (Revised Standard Version w/ Apocrypha)