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Haggai 2:9

Haggai 2:9

The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the
former, saith the Lord of hosts
The "former", or first house, was the temple built by Solomon, which was a very glorious one, if we consider the vast treasure of riches laid up by David, and given to Solomon for the building of it; the great number of workmen employed in it; the stateliness of the fabric, the like to which was never seen, the model being drawn by the Lord himself; the decoration of it; the vessels in it; and, above all, the glory of the Lord that filled it, and continued in it; and yet this "latter" or second house exceeded it. It must be a glory very great indeed to exceed this! The Jews F13 themselves own there were several things wanting in the latter which were in the former, as the "ark", the "Urim" and "Thummim", the "fire" from heaven, the "Shechinah" (or, as in some books, the anointing oil, and, in others, the cherubim), and the "Holy Ghost": by one of their writers F14, they are reckoned in this order, the ark, the mercy seat, and cherubim, one; the Shechinah or divine Majesty, the second; the Holy Ghost, which is prophecy, the third; Urim and Thummim the fourth: and the fire from heaven the fifth: what could there be in it to compensate the want of these, and put it upon a level, and even to cause it to excel the temple of Solomon? the excelling glory did not lie in the fabric; when the foundation of it was laid, the old men wept, because it came so short of the other; and, as the building rose, it was in their eyes as nothing; who were better judges than later Jews, who magnify the building of the second temple; depending upon the authority of Josephus ben Gorion, who is not to be trusted: nor did it lie in the duration of it, it continuing ten years longer, they say {o}, than the former; which, if true, could not answer to the deficiencies before mentioned; or be an encouragement to the builders to go on in their work: nor in the riches brought into it by the Gentiles in the times of the Maccabees, which was very inconsiderable; and could never make it equal to Solomon's temple, and much less preferable to it; nor by Alexander the great honouring it with his presence F16; for surely Solomon was greater than he. It remains, that what gave it the greater glory was the personal presence of the Messiah in it, his doctrines, and his miracles: and,
or "for", in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts;
not temporal peace, for there was little of that during the second temple; witness the times of the Maccabees, and the wars with the Romans; but spiritual peace, through the blood and righteousness of Christ; peace with God; reconciliation for sin, through the sacrifice of the Son of God, in whom he is well pleased; yea, Christ himself may be meant, the Prince of peace, the Man the peace, who is our peace, ( Isaiah 9:6 ) ( Micah 5:5 ) ( Ephesians 2:14 ) the author of peace between God and men, between Jew and Gentile; the giver of spiritual and eternal peace: him the Lord gave, "put", and set in this place, the temple, as before observed; and where the Gospel of peace was preached, and from whence it went forth into all the world. The Arabic version adds,

``peace of soul, I say, to be possessed by everyone that labours to raise up this temple.''

FOOTNOTES:

F13 T. Hieros. Taaniot, fol. 65. 1. T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 21. 2. Jarchi & Kimchi in Hagg. i. 8.
F14 Baal Aruch in rad. (dbk) , fol. 75. 3.
F15 T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 3. 1.
F16 Azariah, Meor Enayim, c. 51. fol. 160. 1. Vid. Ganz Tzemach David, par. 1. fol. 23. 2. & 24. 1.
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