[Haggai - General]

Haggai's prophecy dates from a period fifteen years after the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity. The date of Haggai's prophecy is given as the second year of the reign of Darius, but this Darius was not the one who succeeded Belshazzar, but Hystaspes, who succeeded Cambyses. R2520:1-3 Haggai's prophecies were delivered to Israel about the time of their return from the captivity, and therefore at the time of the founding of the Temple. R3650:3
A message of reproof from the Lord to them, chiding them for neglecting the important work of rebuilding the Temple and giving themselves up to their own pursuits. When the Lord thus stirred them up to a sense of duty and privilege in the matter, the people and their leaders obeyed his voice and again began to build. In all this what a vivid type we have of the great reformation work which began in the sixteenth century with the preaching of Luther and his contemporaries. We call to mind that the one great work accomplished at that time was the laying again of the foundation doctrine of "justification by faith" in the one "continual" sacrifice of Christ. Thus again Christ Jesus became the recognized foundation of his Temple, which is the Church. R1484:3

[Hag. 1:1]

Darius —This Darius was not the one who succeeded Belshazzar, but Hystaspes, who succeed Cambyses. R2520:3

[Hag. 1:2]

The time is not come —Having been hindered by opposition, Israel became indifferent and indisposed to encounter the difficulties necessary to its further prosecution, and thus became more and more engrossed in their own affairs, leaving the Lord's house in ruins. R1484:2
Should be built —Only the foundations were laid on the return from Babylon. Building operations were not properly begun until the second year of the reign of Darius Hystaspes, king of Persia, and it was finished in the sixth year of his reign. (Ezra 4:24; Ezra 6:15,) R3577:4*

[Hag. 1:4]

This house —Its foundation, laid again in the Reformation, was the foundation doctrine of "justification by faith" in the one "continual" sacrifice O Christ. R1484:3

Lie waste —Protestantism ceased to be a protest against the iniquitous system that gave it birth, and for a time made no further progress. R1484:3

[Hag. 1:5]

Consider your ways —The law of God is a detector of false ways; therefore, we should test all our ways by it. R705:6* Apparently, a considerable portion of the difficulty lay in a lukewarmness toward religion. R2520:1 Many people justify an improper word or action by saying,, "It is my way." The Lord says, "Amend your ways." (Jer. 7:3) R705:3*Experience would lead us to question whether or not prosperous ones were living as near to God as when they were less prosperous. R2520:2

[Hag. 1:6]

Bring in little —Because they had neglected to honor the Lord with their substance. R2520:1

[Hag. 1:9]

Mine house —The people had provided themselves with comfortable houses, gardens, etc., while the Temple lay desolate. R2520:1

[Hag. 1:11]

I called for a drought —This was the Lords covenant with Israel—temporal prosperities for faithfulness, temporal adversities as punishment for religious neglect. (Deut. 28:1-42) R2520:2With Christians, the reverse is frequently true—experience leads us to question if the prosperous are living as near to God as when they were less prosperous. R2520:2

[Hag. 1:12]

The people, obeyed —Realizing that, in neglecting the Lord's cause and merely caring for their own temporalities, they had not only dishonored God but had also justly hindered their own temporal prosperity. R2520:2

[Hag. 1:13]

I am with you —Haggai came, not only a reprover of the people's neglect, but also as an encourager to a reformation in this matter. R2520:1

[Hag. 1:14]

The LORD stirred up —A vivid type of the great Reformation of the 16th century with the preaching of Luther and his contemporaries. R1484:3
Did work —Clearing away the rubbish of false doctrines and establishing the faith of the Church in the truth. Since the re-awakening, this work has been going forward. R1484:5

[Hag. 1:15]

The sixth month —September, 521 B.C., 1845 years (the length of the Jewish double) prior to 1324 A.D., the time of the publication of Marsiglio's Defensor Pacis, the morning star of the Reformation. R3577:4,5* Prior to 536 BC and 1309 AD, fleshly and spiritual Israel were completely in the power of Babylon; but these years marked the turning point, and then, step by step, the great reform went on. R3579:1* Both Haggai and Ezra would reckon by the ecclesiastical year, beginning in the spring. R3577:5*

[Hag. 2:1]

Seventh month —Haggai's prophecy dates from a period of 15 years after the return of Israel from Babylonian captivity. R2520:1

[Hag. 2:2]

Residue of the people —Fifteen years earlier this expression referred to foreigners residing in Palestine, but now to returned exiles the people of the land—God's people in the land of Promise. R2520:3

[Hag. 2:4]

Be strong —When the Lord's people are weak in confidence in themselves is the most hopeful time to cultivate in themselves a spirit of reliance upon the Lord. R2520:4
And work —To those who have no interest in the work, the message respecting the Lord's presence will be undesirable. R2520:4 Especially applicable to those who, having returned from mystic Babylon, are seeking to build again the spiritual Temple, the Church. R2520:4
For I am with you —God's people do not always need a berating. They need the wine and oil of consolation and encouragement. R2520:4 The basis for Haggai's encouragement and exhortation to be strong in the Lord and in the power of hi might. R2520:4

[Hag. 2:5]

According to the word —Assuring them that his spirit, promised in the covenant given coming out of Egypt, was still in their midst to guide, overrule and bless. R2520:5
Fear ye not —If God so loved us while we were yet sinners, much more now that we are special objects of divine care and grace. R2520:5

[Hag. 2:6]

Yet once —Yet once more—presupposing a former shaking, that typified in the giving of the Law at Sinai, including subsequent shakings and siftings through captivities and otherwise, that only the loyal and true might remain. R3052:6,3 Signifying a finality—that there will never more be requirement for shaking, for revolution, because with this shaking will be ushered in the Kingdom of God. R2521:1
Shake the heavens —Powers of spiritual control. A318; R1484:6, R3052:6, R5516:6 Christians of all denominations will be shaken in faith and shaken from their self-conceit, superstitions and bigotries. R5516:6 Interpreted by St. Paul in Heb. 12:26-28. SM505:2 Many of God's professed people have been shaken loose from faith in the Bible and in a personal God. R5516:6 Not the heavens of God's residence, but the ecclesiastical heavens, the church institutions. R5161:4 Proceeding from the clergy and college-bred, through professors and text books, to the high schools and, to some extent, the grammar schools. R5517:1 It will be a short, sharp, decisive shaking—quickly accomplished. SM505:3
And the earth —Organized and law-abiding society. A318; R1484:6, R3052:6, R5516:6
And the sea —The lawless and anarchistic elements. R3052:6, R1484:6; A318
And the dry land —Aristocracy of wealth and social independence. R3052:6, R1484:6 The more settled, law-abiding of mankind. R1484:6

[Hag. 2:7]

And I will shake —In the time of trouble. D528, CR114:1; SM505:1 Typified in the quaking of the earth at the giving of the Law at Sinai. R3052:6 Transferring authority from Satan's kingdom to the Kingdom of God. R34:1* While Socialism has been shaking the political earth for the past 30 years, other forces have been shaking, with great severity, the ecclesiastical heavens. R5516:6 The present war (1914) will drain the world so that the nations, sick, weak and faint, will fall a prey to Socialism which will become anarchy. R5526:4 This war (1914) and the anarchy of Armageddon, which will follow it, will prove conclusively the great need of divine interposition in human affairs. SM409:T As in the days of Eli's sons (1 Sam. 4:1-18), men couple the cause of God with their national projects. The two are entirely separate. God's cause will prosper best by a great defeat to all the systems of men. R5626:4
All nations —Not merely one nation. R3052:6 "There shall be a time of trouble such as was not since there was a nation." (Dan. 12:1) R3053:1Misinterpreted by fleshly Israel as intimating the fall of the Persian kingdom and the subserviency of all other nations to Israel. R3052:3
The desire of all nations —The Kingdom of God, the Fifth Universal Empire of earth, in power and great glory. A266; D617;SM419:T, SM455:3, SM502:1; R5305:5 It is the Kingdom for which we pray, "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as in heaven." (Matt. 6:10) R5305:5Blessings of life and health, peace and prosperity, happiness and good government. R3053:4; R5516:5; Q205:T,OV247:1; OV431:T Jew, Mohammedan, Catholic, Free Mason, Protestant, all desire one thing. CR113:3; SM501:3, SM499:3; R4715:3; Q422:3, Q425.3 Messiah's Kingdom—a hope of joy and blessing for Israel and all mankind. OV110:1; OV430:6; Dv; Cv; R5824:1, R5950:4 So majestically grand, it leaves nothing to be desired further. R5636:5, R4831:5 "The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." (Isa. 40:5) SM487:T A good, strong government, with wise and just laws. R4763:4, R2521:1; SM502:1; HG563:5 Although they do not realize how their desires are to be accomplished by divine interposition. R5058:6 The Ancient Worthies desired a heavenly city or government; and "He hath prepared for them a city." (Heb. 11:16) R4387:6 True of whatever phase of the Kingdom in which our interest centers, whether spiritual or earthly. A306 Messiah's reign of righteousness, truth, justice, mercy, love. HG639:5 Christ's glorious reign, when fully inaugurated and manifested.R1484:6 What the whole world is hoping and waiting for, though they associate with the gracious hope and promises many misconceptions and gross error. R3684:3Only grander and more enduring than anything they ever conceived of. D632; R1244:6 Sweeping moral reforms, great educational and philanthropic enterprises, wonderful faith-cures, the awakening from death, and a grand re-organization of society. R1095:4 Based on the only basis for human equality, the perfection of the human soul. HG636:5 Picture before your mental vision the glory of the perfect earth ..A92 When mankind has once tasted of the benefits of this Kingdom, the great majority will never consent to another. C63 The oppression of the present power will become so great that the universal desire will be for a King to rule in righteousness. R518:6* Rejected by his own (Isa. 53:3), but yet to be revealed as the "desire of all nations." R1063:2* The consolation of all nations. R60:5*
Shall come —Intervene in the midst of the trouble. R5161:4 After Armageddon shall have humbled the world. R5626:4, R5950:4, R5829:5, R5826:1, R5673:5, R5049:5, R3355:5; OV110:1, OV221:5, OV430:6; SM735:T After the stone strikes the image of Gentile supremacy, leaving nothing of them. R5527:4 When humanity learns the futility of its own endeavors and will cry unto the Lord for the desired peace. SM506:1; R1693:4; B102; HG472:5, HG612:2 When the great King shall appear in his glory and establish his Kingdom with Israel. R5031:2; Q422:3, Q426:1 As soon as the nations see its vast superiority to the old order. R5574:5 When the Law shall go forth from Mt. Zion, the Celestial Kingdom, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem, the capital of the earthly Princes. (Mic. 4:2) OV320:4 After the Church is complete. OV157:3; R3053:5 When Christ is recognized in authority and power, and the blessings of his Kingdom begin to be experienced. R1484:6 "Set up" in the midst of the confusion of anarchy and distress upon all classes. A266 Being ushered in with a Jubilee trumpet. (Lev. 25:9) D617 And be recognized in the making of the storm a calm (Psa. 107:29) by the Kingdom of Messiah. R5239:6 And immediately the storm of human passion and anarchy will cease. R5824:1
And I will fill —The shaking is associated with the glory of the Temple, because the time of the shaking will be the very time when God's Kingdom, God's Church, shall be "set up." R2521:1
This house —The spiritual house, the Gospel Church. R3052:6
With glory —The glory of his presence, power, righteousness and authority. R1484:6 With the glory of the divine nature. R3053:5
Saith the LORD —This verse contains one of the richest promises in the Word of God, the gospel in a nutshell, signed by the Sovereign of the Universe. R3052:3

[Hag. 2:8]

The silver —The truth. R2521:4
And the gold —The divine character. R2521:4
Is mine —There will be sufficient for the filling of the true Temple, even though it may seem at times insufficient. R2521:4 The Almighty is not poor, that he should need our gifts. R5781:3 Yet, while being so rich, God deposits a little here and there with us, giving us control over it; leaving his own work, in which he is interested most, dependent on us that we might have the privilege of being co-workers with God. R547:3,5 The Father is pleased to use human generosity and thus grant a blessing to those who seek to render a service to his cause. R3844:2Surely we are not authorized to beg in the name of our rich Heavenly Father. R4892:1, R547:3; Q129:2 Let us use carefully, frugally, wisely, liberally, what he has so kindly sent; but let us not ask for more, even from him. R4892:1

[Hag. 2:9]

The glory —"The glory that shall be revealed in us." (Rom. 8:18) R2520:6 "Glory, honor and immortality." (Rom. 2:7) R2520:6
This latter house —"The Church, which is the Temple of the living God." (2 Cor. 6:16) R2520:6 This could not have been the Temple of Zerubbabel, for that Temple did not equal the former one.R1484:6
The former —The former house was natural Israel, represented in natural Jerusalem and its Temple. R2520:6
And in this place —By means of this Temple. R1484:6
Will I give peace —The peace, joy and blessing which the world needs and craves cannot come until the elect Church shall be given the Kingdom, when the Prince of Peace shall reign. R2520:6

[Hag. 2:13]

Dead body —Any living creature (soul) after death. R2053:4

[Hag. 2:22]

And I —The Lord, by means of the "Great Army" of trained soldiers of Christendom in rebellion against the powers that be. D544, D545
Will overthrow —When the new Prince takes control, the dominion is to be given into new hands. R26:1, R268:5, R409:3, R592:3 Not immediately, but as the climax of a series of spasms of trouble, like great waves following each other, as "travail upon a woman." (1 Thes. 5:3; Psa. 48:6) R621:2 God does not interfere with the nations except as to shape events toward the final end, and that shaping will require the overthrow of all the thrones of earth and a great time of unprecedented trouble. R1561:6 Sweeping away the delusions of earth's rich men, captains, kings and mighty men of the nominal churches, and establishing true rights and the liberty to do right. R683:6
The throne —The kingdoms of this world are loyal to their prince, the prince of darkness, working his will. R26:1, R268:5, R409:3, R592:3
Will destroy —The troubles of the Day of the Lord will come like spasms, like great waves following each other, each bringing nearer the grand climax. R621:2
Shall come down —The delusions with which earth's rich men, the kings, and the mighty men of the nominal churches have deceived themselves in their own favor, will all be swept away. R683:6

[Hag. 2:23]

As a signet —To present anyone with the signet ring was to invest him with all the power and authority of him who owned it, a precious promise of joint-heirship with Christ. R360:4* The symbol of that which was most highly esteemed. (Cant. 8:5, 6) R360:4*