Haggai 2

The Promised Glory of the New House

1 on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai:
2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,[a] the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them,
3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?
4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the LORD. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the LORD, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares the LORD Almighty.
5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
6 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.
7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says the LORD Almighty.
8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares the LORD Almighty.
9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the LORD Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”

Blessings for a Defiled People

10 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:
11 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says:
12 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.”
13 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.”
14 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.
15 “ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on[b] —consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the LORD’s temple.
16 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.
17 I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares the LORD.
18 ‘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:
19 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.’ ”

Zerubbabel the LORD’s Signet Ring

20 The word of the LORD came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month:
21 “Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
22 I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
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.”

Images for Haggai 2

Haggai 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

Greater glory promised to the second temple than to the first. (1-9) Their sins hindered the work. (10-19) The kingdom of Christ foretold. (20-23)

Verses 1-9 Those who are hearty in the Lord's service shall receive encouragement to proceed. But they could not build such a temple then, as Solomon built. Though our gracious God is pleased if we do as well as we can in his service, yet our proud hearts will scarcely let us be pleased, unless we do as well as others, whose abilities are far beyond ours. Encouragement is given the Jews to go on in the work notwithstanding. They have God with them, his Spirit and his special presence. Though he chastens their transgressions, his faithfulness does not fail. The Spirit still remained among them. And they shall have the Messiah among them shortly; "He that should come." Convulsions and changes would take place in the Jewish church and state, but first should come great revolutions and commotions among the nations. He shall come, as the Desire of all nations; desirable to all nations, for in him shall all the earth be blessed with the best of blessings; long expected and desired by all believers. The house they were building should be filled with glory, very far beyond Solomon's temple. This house shall be filled with glory of another nature. If we have silver and gold, we must serve and honour God with it, for the property is his. If we have not silver and gold, we must honour him with such as we have, and he will accept us. Let them be comforted that the glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, in what would be beyond all the glories of the first house, the presence of the Messiah, the Son of God, the Lord of glory, personally, and in human nature. Nothing but the presence of the Son of God, in human form and nature, could fulfil this. Jesus is the Christ, is He that should come, and we are to look for no other. This prophecy alone is enough to silence the Jews, and condemn their obstinate rejection of Him, concerning whom all their prophets spake. If God be with us, peace is with us. But the Jews under the latter temple had much trouble; but this promise is fulfilled in that spiritual peace which Jesus Christ has by his blood purchased for all believers. All changes shall make way for Christ to be desired and valued by all nations. And the Jews shall have their eyes opened to behold how precious He is, whom they have hitherto rejected.

Verses 10-19 Many spoiled this good work, by going about it with unholy hearts and hands, and were likely to gain no advantage by it. The sum of these two rules of the law is, that sin is more easily learned from others than holiness. The impurity of their hearts and lives shall make the work of their hands, and all their offerings, unclean before God. The case is the same with us. When employed in any good work, we should watch over ourselves, lest we render it unclean by our corruptions. When we begin to make conscience of duty to God, we may expect his blessing; and whoso is wise will understand the loving-kindness of the Lord. God will curse the blessings of the wicked, and make bitter the prosperity of the careless; but he will sweeten the cup of affliction to those who diligently serve him.

Verses 20-23 The Lord will preserve Zerubbabel and the people of Judah, amidst their enemies. Here is also foretold the establishment and continuance of the kingdom of Christ; by union with whom his people are sealed with the Holy Ghost, sealed with his image, thus distinguished from all others. Here also is foretold the changes, even to that time when the kingdom of Christ shall overthrow and occupy the place of all the empires which opposed his cause. The promise has special reference to Christ, who descended from Zerubbabel in a direct line, and is the sole Builder of the gospel temple. Our Lord Jesus is the Signet on God's right hand, for all power is given to him, and derived from him. By him, and in him, all the promises of God are yea and amen. Whatever changes take place on earth, all will promote the comfort, honour, and happiness of his servants.

Cross References 59

  • 1. ver 10,20; S Leviticus 23:34; John 7:37
  • 2. S Ezra 5:1
  • 3. Haggai 1:1
  • 4. S 1 Chronicles 6:15
  • 5. S Haggai 1:12
  • 6. S Ezra 3:12; S Isaiah 60:7
  • 7. Zechariah 4:10
  • 8. S 1 Chronicles 28:20; Zechariah 8:9; S Ephesians 6:10
  • 9. S 1 Chronicles 6:15
  • 10. S Exodus 33:14; S Numbers 14:9; S 2 Samuel 5:10; Acts 7:9
  • 11. S Genesis 6:18
  • 12. S Exodus 29:46
  • 13. S Nehemiah 9:20; Isaiah 63:11
  • 14. S Genesis 15:1; 1 Chronicles 28:20; S Ezra 5:2; Zechariah 8:13
  • 15. S Isaiah 10:25
  • 16. S Exodus 19:18; S Job 9:6; S Isaiah 14:16; S Ezekiel 38:19; Hebrews 12:26*
  • 17. S 1 Samuel 9:20
  • 18. S Isaiah 60:7
  • 19. S Exodus 16:7; S Exodus 29:43; Luke 2:32
  • 20. S 1 Chronicles 29:2
  • 21. S Psalms 85:9; S Isaiah 11:10
  • 22. S Ezra 3:12; S Isaiah 60:7
  • 23. S Leviticus 26:6; S Isaiah 60:17
  • 24. S ver 1; S Haggai 1:15
  • 25. S Leviticus 10:10-11; Deuteronomy 17:8-11; Deuteronomy 33:8; S Jeremiah 18:18; Malachi 2:7
  • 26. Jeremiah 11:15
  • 27. S Genesis 7:2; S Leviticus 6:27; Matthew 23:19
  • 28. Leviticus 22:4-6; Numbers 19:13
  • 29. S Isaiah 29:13
  • 30. S Psalms 51:17; S Isaiah 1:13
  • 31. S Haggai 1:5
  • 32. S Ezra 3:10
  • 33. Ezra 4:24
  • 34. S Ruth 3:7
  • 35. S Job 24:11; S Isaiah 5:2
  • 36. S Deuteronomy 28:38; S Isaiah 5:10; S Haggai 1:6
  • 37. Haggai 1:11
  • 38. S Deuteronomy 28:22; 1 Kings 8:37; Amos 4:9
  • 39. S Exodus 9:18; Psalms 78:48
  • 40. S Isaiah 9:13; S Jeremiah 3:10
  • 41. S Amos 4:6
  • 42. S Haggai 1:5
  • 43. S Ezra 3:11; Zechariah 8:9
  • 44. S Exodus 28:33
  • 45. S Joel 1:12
  • 46. S Genesis 12:2; S Leviticus 25:21; Psalms 128:1-6; S Joel 2:14
  • 47. S Ezra 5:1
  • 48. S ver 1; S Haggai 1:15
  • 49. S Ezra 5:2
  • 50. S Isaiah 14:16; Ezekiel 38:19-20
  • 51. S Genesis 19:25; S Job 2:13
  • 52. S Daniel 2:44
  • 53. S Micah 5:10
  • 54. S Exodus 15:21
  • 55. S Judges 7:22; S Ezekiel 38:21
  • 56. Isaiah 2:11; Isaiah 10:20; Zechariah 4:10
  • 57. S Isaiah 20:3; S Daniel 9:24-26; Isaiah 43:10
  • 58. Matthew 1:12
  • 59. S Genesis 38:18; S Exodus 28:9; 2 Corinthians 1:22

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew "Jehozadak" , a variant of "Jozadak" ; also in verse 4
  • [b]. Or "to the days past"

Chapter Summary


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.

Haggai 2 Commentaries

Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.