1:1 On the first day of the sixth month of King Darius’ second year, the LORD spoke this message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak:
The Indifference of the People, 2-6
1:2 The LORD who rules over all says this: “These people have said, ‘The time for rebuilding the LORD’s temple has not yet come.’ ” 1:3 So the LORD spoke through the prophet Haggai as follows: 1:4 “Is it right for you to live in richly paneled houses while my temple is in ruins? 1:5 Here then is what the LORD who rules over all says: ‘Think carefully about what you are doing. 1:6 You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but are never filled. You drink, but are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but are not warm. Those who earn wages end up with holes in their money bags.’ ”
‘Although the returnees had been back home in Israel for only eighteen years, the disobedience of the people had brought on them a series of problems characteristic of a nation about to go into exile. God had sent drought and meager harvests, making economic conditions deplorable. Moses had warned that a failure to keep the covenant would bring about calamities like this and eventually captivity (Deut. 28:38–40). The blight and mildew mentioned in Haggai 2:17 are specifically cited as covenant curses in Deuteronomy 28:22. Rather than working to finish the temple, the Israelites were beautifying their own homes and letting the Lord’s work lag far behind (Hag. 1:4).’ (H.M. Wolf, EDBT, art. ‘Haggai’)
The Instruction of the People, 7-11
1:7 “Moreover, the LORD who rules over all says: ‘Pay close attention to these things also. 1:8 Go up to the hill country and bring back timber to build the temple. Then I will be pleased and honored,’ says the LORD. 1:9 ‘You expected a large harvest, but instead there was little, and when you brought it home it disappeared right away. Why?’ asks the LORD who rules over all. ‘Because my temple remains in ruins, thanks to each of you favoring his own house! 1:10 This is why the sky has held back its dew and the earth its produce. 1:11 Moreover, I have called for a drought that will affect the fields, the hill country, the grain, new wine, fresh olive oil, and everything that grows from the ground; it also will harm people, animals, and everything they produce.’ ”
The Response of the People, 12-15
1:12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, along with the whole remnant of the people, obeyed the LORD their God. They responded favorably to the message of the prophet Haggai, who spoke just as the LORD their God had instructed him, and the people began to respect the LORD. 1:13 Then Haggai, the LORD’s messenger, spoke the LORD’s word to the people: “I am with you!” says the LORD. 1:14 So the LORD energized and encouraged Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, the high priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, and the whole remnant of the people. They came and worked on the temple of their God, the LORD who rules over all. 1:15 This took place on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month of King Darius’ second year.