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Book of Haggai


Author and Date
() was a prophet who, along with Zechariah, encouraged the returned exiles to rebuild the temple (see ; ). Haggai means "festal," which may indicate that the prophet was born during one of the three pilgrimage feasts (Unleavened Bread, Pentecost or Weeks, and Tabernacles; cf. ). Based on Haggai may have witnessed the destruction of Solomon's temple. If so, he must have been in his 70s during his ministry.


Haggai's messages are among the most carefully and precisely dated in the entire OT. They were given during a four-month period in 520 b.c., the second year of King Darius. The first message was delivered on the first day of the sixth month (Aug. 29), the last on the 24th day of the ninth month (Dec. 18). See ; ; see Zechariah: Dates.

Theological Theme and Message
Apart from Obadiah, Haggai is the shortest book in the OT, but its teachings are none the less significant. Haggai clearly shows the consequences of disobedience (; ) and obedience (). When the people give priority to God and his house, they are blessed rather than cursed (cf. ). Obedience brings the encouragement and strength of the Spirit of God ().

In ch. God gives great encouragement to those laboring under difficult conditions to rebuild his temple by assuring them that the future glory of the modest temple they are able to build will be greater than that of the temple Solomon had built in the time of Israel's greatest wealth and power. The Jews in Judah may now be a much reduced community and under the hegemony of a powerful world empire, but the Lord will shake up the present world order and assert his claim to all the world's wealth so that the glory of his future temple will be without rival. "The desired of all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory" (see ).