On the first day of the sixth month in Darius' second year as king, the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah) and to the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak). He said,
"This is what the LORD of Armies says: These people say it's not the right time to rebuild the house of the LORD."
Then the LORD spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said,
"Is it time for you to live in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins?
Now, this is what the LORD of Armies says: Carefully consider your ways!
You planted a lot, but you harvested little. You eat, but you're never full. You drink, but you're still thirsty. You wear clothing, but you never have enough to keep you warm. You spend money as fast as you earn it.
This is what the LORD of Armies says: Carefully consider your ways!
"Go to the mountains, get lumber, and build the house. I will be pleased with it, and I will be honored," declares the LORD.
"You expected a lot, but you received a little. When you bring something home, I blow it away. Why?" declares the LORD of Armies. "It's because my house lies in ruins while each of you is busy working on your own house.
It is because of you that the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce.
I called for a drought on the land, the hills, and on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and whatever the ground produces, on humans and animals, and on all your hard work."
Then Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon obeyed the LORD their God. They also obeyed the words of the prophet Haggai because the LORD their God had sent him and because the people feared the LORD.
Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD who had received the LORD's message, said to the people, "I am with you, declares the LORD."
The LORD inspired them [to rebuild his house]. So Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon began working on the house of the LORD of Armies, their God.
They began on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in Darius' second year as king.