On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month,1 in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Haggai:
"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Ask the priests2 what the law says:
If a person carries consecrated meat3 in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?4' " The priests answered, "No."
Then Haggai said, "If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?" "Yes," the priests replied, "it becomes defiled.5"
Then Haggai said, " 'So it is with this people6 and this nation in my sight,' declares the LORD. 'Whatever they do and whatever they offer7 there is defiled.