Scriptures

Complete Study Of The Book Of Haggai

Introduction

Around eighteen years after the Jews returned back to their homeland from their Babylonian captivity, God called upon His prophet Haggai to speak to His people.

This was some 60-70 years after Habakkuk. At this point the temple in Jerusalem was in absolute ruins and the leaders were extremely discouraged because of the horrendous opposition that they faced when they initially returned to the land.

The Samaritans had been developing in the land and didn’t want the Jews to re-establish their identity, and so as we can imagine, there was some a weariness among the leaders of the returned Jews, Ezra / Nehemiah.

When Haggai arrived on the scene, Darius Hystaspes was the king of Persia. King Cyrus had previously ordered a decree to stop the rebuilding of the temple, but Darius was interested in the development of local religious beliefs, and so he, reversed the decree. The Jews were special to him because God had had foretold through the prophet Isaiah this would happen, Isaiah 44:28 / Ezra 1:1ff.

Cyrus was shown this prophecy and saw its significance. It was through the preaching of Haggai and Zechariah, that God commanded the Jews to rebuild the temple.

Date

The date of Haggai’s writing in generally accepted as being 520 B.C., Haggai 1:1 / Haggai 2:1 / Haggai 2:10 / Haggai 2:20. In 536 B.C. the Jews came back from captivity and the foundation of the temple was laid. In 539 B.C. the work had stopped because of the Samaritans. Why? Because the Jews referred to themselves as the remnant of God.

In 520 B.C. Haggai is an old man and his job is to encourage the people to complete the temple. In 516 B.C. the temple is finished. In 458 B.C. Ezra comes back to fix the work within the temple and in 445 B.C. Nehemiah comes back to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem.

The Prophet Haggai

As with most of the prophets we don’t really know a lot about Haggai’s personal life, we do know that his name means ‘Festival’ or ‘Festive’. It’s possible that he may have been one of the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He is mentioned in Ezra 5:1 and Ezra 6:14, and his work lasted three months and thirty-one days.

He began his ministry about sixteen years after the return. The foundation of the temple had been laid shortly after the arrival under the leadership of Zerubbabel in 536 B.C., Ezra 3:8-13, but the rebuilding work of the temple was stopped because of opposition from the Samaritans, this opposition lasted sixteen years, Ezra 4:1-24, it was then that God raised up His prophets Haggai and Zechariah, Ezra 5:1-2 / Ezra 6:14. His message is fairly straightforward, God says ‘finish building His temple’.

Outline


Haggai’s first prophecy. Haggai 1:2-11
The effect of his message. Haggai 1:12-15
Haggai’s second prophecy, which was delivered a month after the first. Haggai 2:1-9
Haggai’s third prophecy, which was delivered two months and three days after the second. Haggai 2:10-19
Haggai’s fourth prophecy, which was delivered on the same day as the third. Haggai 2:20-23

These discourses are referred to in Ezra 5:1 / Ezra 6:14.

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Complete Study Of The Book Of Haggai  

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