"This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Ask the priests1 what the law says:
If a person carries consecrated meat2 in the fold of his garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, oil or other food, does it become consecrated?3' " 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.4"
Then Haggai said, " 'So it is with this people5 and this nation in my sight,' declares the LORD. 'Whatever they do and whatever they offer6 there is defiled.
" 'Now give careful thought7 to this from this day ona--consider how things were before one stone was laid8 on another in the LORD's temple.916
When anyone came to a heap10 of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat11 to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty.1217
I struck all the work of your hands13 with blight,14 mildew and hail,15 yet you did not turn16 to me,' declares the LORD.1718
'From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought18 to the day when the foundation19 of the LORD's temple was laid. Give careful thought:
Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate20 and the olive tree have not borne fruit.21 " 'From this day on I will bless22 you.' "