Haggai 1

Verse 15. This is the rejoicing city] The city in which mirth,

jocularity, and pleasure, reigned without interruption.

And wag his hand] Will point her out as a mark and monument of

Divine displeasure.

THE BOOK

OF THE

PROPHET HAGGAI

Chronological Notes relative to this book

-Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3484.

-Year of the Julian Period, 4194.

-Year since the flood, 1828.

-Year from the vocation of Abram, 1301.

-Year since the first celebration of the Olympic games in Elis

by the Idaei Dactyli, 934.

-Year since the foundation of the monarchy of the Israelites by

the Divine appointment of Saul to the regal dignity, 576.

-Year from the foundation of the temple, 492.

-Year from the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms

of Israel and Judah, 456.

-Year since the re-establishment of the Olympic games at Elis

by Lycurgus, Iphitus, and Cleosthenes, 365.

-Year since the conquest of Coroebus at Olympia, usually called

the first Olympiad, 257.

-First year of the sixty-fifth Olympiad.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to the Varronian or

generally received computation, 234.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Cato and the Fasti

Consulares, 233.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Polybius the

historian, 232.

-Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, 228.

-Year of the era of Nabonassar, 228.

-Year since the destruction of the kingdom of Israel by

Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, 202.

-Year since the destruction of the kingdom of Judah by

Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 68.

-Year since the destruction of the Chaldean empire by the

Persians, 18.

-Year before the birth of Christ, 516.

-Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 520.

-Cycle of the Sun, 22.

-Cycle of the Moon, 14.

-Second year of Darius I., king of Persia.

-Twenty-eighth year of Amyntas, king of Macedon.

-Seventh year of Demaratus, king of Lacedaemon, of the family of

the Proclidae.

-Eleventh year of Cleomenes, king of Lacedaemon, of the family of

the Eurysthenidae.

-Fifteenth year of Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of the

Romans.

-This was about twelve years before the abolition of the regal

government of the Romans by the expulsion of the Tarquins.

-Confucius, the celebrated Chinese philosopher, is supposed to

have flourished about this time.

CHAPTER I

The prophet reproves the people, and particularly their ruler

and high priest, for negligence and delay in rebuilding the

temple; and tells them that their neglect was the cause of

their having been visited with unfruitful seasons, and other

marks of the Divine displeasure, 1-11.

He encourages them to set about the work, and on their doing

so, promises that God will be with them, 12-15.

We know nothing of the parentage of Haggai. He was probably born

in Babylon during the captivity, and appears to have been the

first prophet sent to the Jews after their return to their own

land. He was sent particularly to encourage the Jews to proceed

with the building of the temple, which had been interrupted for

about fourteen years. Cyrus, who had published an edict empowering

the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their city and temple,

revoked this edict in the second year of his reign, through the

evil advice of his courtiers and other enemies of the Jews. After

his death Cambyses renewed the prohibition, but after the death of

Cambyses, Darius, the son of Hystaspes, renewed the permission;

and Haggai was sent to encourage his countrymen to proceed with

the work. Darius came to the throne about the year B.C. 521, and

published his edict of permission for the Jews to rebuild the city

and temple in the second year of his reign, which was the

sixteenth of their return from Babylon.

NOTES ON CHAP. I

Verse 1. In the sixth month] Called Elul by the Hebrews. It was

the sixth month of the ecclesiastical year, and the last of the

civil year, and answered to a part of our September.

Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel] Who was son of Jeconiah, king

of Judah, and of the family of David, and exercised the post of a

governor among the people, but not over them, for both he and they

were under the Persian government; but they were permitted to have

Zerubbabel for their own governor, and Joshua for their high

priest; and these regulated all matters relative to their peculiar

political and ecclesiastical government. But it appears from Ezra,

Ezr 5:3, that

Tatnai, the governor on this side the river, had them under his

cognizance. None of their own governors was absolute. The Persians

permitted them to live under their own laws and civil regulations;

but they always considered them as a colony, over which they had a

continual superintendence.

Joshua the son of Josedech] And son of Seraiah, who was high

priest in the time of Zedekiah, and was carried into captivity by

Nebuchadnezzar, 1Ch 6:15. But Seraiah was slain at Riblah, by

order of Nebuchadnezzar, 2Ki 25:18-21.

Verse 2. The time is not come] They thought that the seventy

years spoken of by Jeremiah were not yet completed, and it would

be useless to attempt to rebuild until that period had arrived.

But Abp. Usher has shown that from the commencement of the last

siege of Jerusalem unto this time, precisely sixty-nine years had

been completed.

Verse 4. Is it time for you] If the time be not come to rebuild

the temple, it cannot be come for you to build yourselves

comfortable houses: but ye are rebuilding your houses; why then do

ye not rebuild the house of the Lord? The foundation of the temple

had been laid fourteen years before, and some considerable

progress made in the building; and it had been lying waste in that

unfinished state to the present time.

Verse 5. Consider your ways] Is it fit that you should be

building yourselves elegant houses, and neglect a place for the

worship of that God who has restored you from captivity?

Verse 6. Ye have sown much] God will not bless you in any labour

of your hands, unless you rebuild his temple and restore his

worship. This verse contains a series of proverbs; no less than

five in the compass of a few lines.

Verse 8. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood] Go to Lebanon,

and get timber. In the second year of the return from the

captivity, they had procured cedar trees from Lebanon, and brought

them to Joppa, and had hired masons and carpenters from the

Tyrians and Sidonians; but that labour had been nearly lost by the

long suspension of the building. Ezr 3:7.

Verse 9. Ye looked for much] Ye made great pretensions at first;

but they are come to nothing. Ye did a little in the beginning;

but so scantily and unwillingly that I could not but reject it.

Ye run every man unto his own house.] To rebuild and adorn it;

and God's house is neglected!

Verse 10. Therefore the heaven over you is stayed from dew] It

appears from the following verse that God had sent a drought upon

the land, which threatened them with scarcity and famine.

Verse 12. Then Zerubbabel] The threatening of Haggai had its

proper effect.-The civil governor, the high priest, and the whole

of the people, united together to do the work. When the authority

of God is acknowledged, his words will be carefully obeyed.

Verse 13. Then spake Haggai] He was the Lord's messenger, and he

came with the Lord's message, and consequently he came with

authority. He is called malach Yehovah, the angel of

Jehovah, just as the pastors of the seven Asiatic churches are

called ANGELS of the Churches, Re 1:20.

I am with you, saith the Lord.] Here was high encouragement.

What may not a man do when God is his helper?

Verse 14. And the Lord stirred up the spirit] It is not only

necessary that the judgment should be enlightened, but the soul

must be invigorated by the Spirit of God, before any good work can

be effectually done.

Verse 15. In the four and twentieth day] Haggai received his

commission on the first day of this month and by the twenty-fourth

day he had so completely succeeded that he had the satisfaction to

see the whole people engaged heartily in the Lord's work; they

left their own houses to build that of the Lord. Here was a

faithful reprover, and he found obedient ears; and the Lord's

work was done, for the people had a mind to work.

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