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Haggai 2:23

23 “ ‘On that day,’ declares the LORD Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Read Haggai 2:23 Using Other Translations

In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
On that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel, declares the LORD, and make you like a signet ring, for I have chosen you, declares the LORD of hosts."
“But when this happens, says the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, I will honor you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant. I will make you like a signet ring on my finger, says the LORD, for I have chosen you. I, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, have spoken!”

What does Haggai 2:23 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Haggai 2:23

In that day, saith the Lord of hosts
When all these kingdoms, and their thrones and strength, are destroyed; which shows that what follows cannot be understood literally of Zerubbabel, who lived not to see these things done: will I take thee, O Zerubbabel my servant, the son of Shealtiel,
saith the Lord;
that is, the Messiah, as is owned by Abarbinel; who says F24,

``the King Messiah shall come, who is of the seed of Zerubbabel; and he shall be the seal of the structure, and the end of the kingdoms; as it is said, "I will make thee as a signet, for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts"; for this no doubt is said concerning the days of the Messiah:''
and another Jewish writer F25, quoting the above author for the sense of this passage, and ( Ezekiel 37:25 ) , adds,
``for the King Messiah he will be David, and he will be Zerubbabel, that he may be a rod going out of their stem;''
and another F26 on these words observes,
``without doubt this is said concerning the expected Messiah, who will be of the seed of Zerubbabel; and therefore this promise was not at all fulfilled in him; for in the time of this prophecy he was but governor of Judah, and he never rose to greater dignity than what he then had:''
indeed these writers wrongly suppose the Messiah yet to come, and whom they in vain expect; and apply this, as they do many other prophecies, to the coming of Christ in the flesh, which belong to his spiritual appearance in his churches, or to his personal coming at the last day: however, this shows the conviction on their minds of the application of this and such like prophecies to the Messiah, who may be called Zerubbabel, as he is sometimes David, because he sprung from him, was of his lineage, and because he was a type of him, in bringing the people of the Jews out of the Babylonish captivity, in rebuilding the temple, in the government of the people, and in being chosen of God, and precious; as well as a servant of the Lord, as here expressed, and which is often mentioned as a character of the Messiah, ( Isaiah 49:3 ) ( 53:11 ) : and will make thee as a signet;
preserve, protect and defend, love, value, and esteem, and advance to great honour and dignity, power and authority: the signet or seal on a man's right hand, being what he always wears, is ever in sight, and he is careful of; as well as is what he greatly esteems, and is dear unto him, and he highly values; and by which a prince signs his decrees and edicts; see ( Isaiah 49:2 ) ( Song of Solomon 8:6 ) ( Matthew 28:18 ) : for I have chosen thee, saith the Lord of hosts;
to be the Redeemer and Saviour of his people; to be their King and Governor, and the Judge of the world. Christ is peculiarly God's elect, and in whom all his people are chosen; be is the chosen of God, and precious, ( Psalms 89:19 ) ( Isaiah 42:1 ) ( 1 Peter 1:20 ) ( 2:4 ) . The Targum is,
``for in thee I am well pleased;''
which is said by God the Father concerning Christ more than once, ( Matthew 3:17 ) ( 17:5 ) . It is a prophecy of the exaltation of Christ after he had done his work, as the Lord's servant, and especially in the latter day, when he shall be King over all the earth; all which cannot be so well applied to Zerubbabel; unless with Reinbeck we understand it of the time of his resurrection from the dead at the last day; when great honour shall be put upon him as a faithful servant, and great love and affection expressed to him; but that will be no other than what will be common to all the saints and chosen of God; Christ, in whom all prophecies terminate, and so this, is doubtless intended.
FOOTNOTES:

F24 Mayene Jeshuah, fol. 13. 4. Vid. & Mashmiah Jeshuah, fol. 67. 2.
F25 Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc.
F26 R. Isaac, Chizzuk Emunah, par. 1. c. 34. p. 289, 290.
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