1:1 In the second year of a Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto b Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,
The Argument - When the time of the seventy years captivity prophesied by Jeremiah was expired, God raised up Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, to comfort the Jews, and to exhort them to the building of the temple, which was a figure of the spiritual Temple and Church of God, whose perfection and excellency depended on Christ. And because all were given to their own pleasures and benefits, he declares that that plague of famine, which God then sent among them, was a just reward for their ingratitude, in that they condemned Gods honour, who had delivered them. Yet he comforts them, if they will return to the Lord, with the promise of great felicity, since the Lord will finish the work that he has begun, and send Christ whom he had promised, and by whom they would attain to perfect joy and glory. 1:2 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time c that the LORDS house should be built.
(a) Who was the son of Histaspis and the third king of the Persians, as some think.
(b) Because the building of the temple began to cease, by reason that the people were discouraged by their enemies: and if these two notable men had need to be stirred up and admonished of their duties, what will we think of other governors, whose doings are either against God, or very cold in his cause?
(c) Not that they condemned the building of it, but they preferred policy and personal profit to religion, being content with small beginnings. 1:4 [Is it] time for you, O ye, to dwell in your d cieled houses, and this house [lie] waste?
(d) Showing that they sought not only their necessities, but their very pleasures before Gods honour. 1:6 e Ye have sown much, and bring 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.
(e) Consider the plagues of God upon you for preferring your policies to his religion, and because you do not seek him above all else. 1:8 Go f up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and g I will take pleasure in it, and I will h be glorified, saith the LORD.
(f) Meaning, that they should leave their own benefits, and go forward in the building of Gods temple, and in the setting forth of his religion. 1:9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, [it came] to little; and when ye brought [it] home, I did blow i upon it. Why? saith the LORD of hosts. Because of mine house that [is] waste, and ye run every man unto his own house.
(g) That is, I will hear your prayers according to my promise; ( 1 Kings 8:22 1 Kings 8:29 ).
(h) That is, my glory will be set forth by you.
(i) And so bring it to nothing. 1:12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the k 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.
1:14 And the LORD stirred up l the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua 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,
(k) This declares that God was the author of the doctrine, and that Haggai was but the minister, as in ( Exodus 14:31 ), ( Judges 7:20 ; Acts 15:28 ).
(l) Which declares that men are unable and dull to serve the Lord, neither can they obey his word or his messengers, before God reforms their hearts, and gives them new spirits; ( John 6:44 ).