INTRODUCTION TO HAGGAI 2
This chapter contains three sermons or prophecies, delivered by the prophet to the people of the Jews. The design of the first is to encourage them to go on with the building of the temple, though it might seem to come greatly short of the former temple, as to its outward form and splendour. The time of the prophecy, Hag 2:1 an order to deliver it to the governor, high priest, and all the people, Hag 2:2. A question is put concerning the difference between this temple and the former; between which it is suggested there was no comparison; which is assented to by silence, Hag 2:3 nevertheless, the prince, priest, and people, are exhorted to go on strenuously in the work of building; encouraged with a promise of the presence of the Lord of hosts, and of his Word, in whom he covenanted with them at their coming out of Egypt, and of the blessed Spirit, and his continuance with them, Hag 2:4,5 and, the more to remove their fears and faintings, it is declared that in a very short time a most wonderful thing should be done in the world, which would affect all the nations of the earth; for that illustrious Person would come, whom all nations do or should desire; and, not only come into the world, but into that temple they were building, and give it a greater glory than the former; yea, a greater glory than if all the gold and silver in the world were laid out upon it, or brought into it; which being all the Lord's, could have been easily done by him; but he would give in it something infinitely greater than that, even the Prince of peace, with all the blessings of it, Hag 2:6-9 then follows the second sermon or prophecy, the time of which is observed, Hag 2:10 and it is introduced with some questions concerning ceremonial uncleanness, by an unclean person's touching holy flesh with the skirt of his garment; and other things, which is confirmed by the answer of the priests, Hag 2:11-13 the application of which is made to the people of the Jews, who were alike unclean; they, their works, and their sacrifices, Hag 2:14 and these are directed to consider, that, during the time they had neglected to build the temple, they were attended with scarcity of provisions; their fields and vineyards being blasted with mildew or destroyed by hail, and their labours proved unsuccessful, Hag 2:15-17 but now, since they had begun the work of building, it is promised they should be blessed with everything, though they had nothing in store, and everything was unpromising to them; which is designed to encourage them to go on cheerfully in their begun work, Hag 2:18,19 and the chapter is concluded with the last discourse or prophecy, the date of which is given, Hag 2:20 an instruction to deliver it to Zerubbabel, Hag 2:21 foretelling the destruction of the kingdoms of the heathen; and the setting up of the kingdom of the Messiah, of whom Zerubbabel was a type, precious and honourable in the sight of God, Hag 2:22,23.