On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, 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 priests what the law says:
If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ” 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.”
Then Haggai said, “ ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares the LORD. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
“ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple.
When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty.
I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares the LORD.
‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation 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 pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit. “ ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”