It Is Time to Build the Temple
1 On the first day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was king of Persia, Haggai received a message from the Lord. This message was for Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and Joshua son of Jehozadak. Zerubbabel was the governor of Judah and Joshua was the high priest. This is the message: 2 This is what the Lord All-Powerful said, “The people say it is not yet the right time to build the Lord’s Temple.”
3 Again Haggai received a message from the Lord. Haggai spoke this message: 4 “You people think the right time has come for you to live in nice houses. You live in houses with beautiful wooden paneling on the walls, but the Lord’s house is still in ruins. 5 Now the Lord All-Powerful says, ‘Think about what is happening. 6 You have planted many seeds, but you have gathered only a few crops. You have food to eat, but not enough to get full. You have something to drink, but not enough to get drunk. You have some clothes to wear, but not enough to keep warm. You earn a little money, but you don’t know where it all goes. It’s as though there is a hole in your pocket!’[a]”
7 The Lord All-Powerful said, “Think about what you are doing. 8 Go up to the mountains, get the wood, and build the Temple. Then I will be pleased with the Temple, and I will be honored.” This is what the Lord said.
9 The Lord All-Powerful said, “You people look for a big harvest, but when you go to gather the crop, there is only a little grain. So you bring that grain home, and then I send a wind that blows it all away. Why is this happening? Because my house is still in ruins while each of you runs home to take care of your own house. 10 That is why the sky holds back its dew and why the earth holds back its crops.
11 “I gave the command for the land and the mountains to be dry. The grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and everything the earth produces will be ruined.[b] All the people and all the animals will become weak.”
Work Begins on the New Temple
12 The Lord God had sent Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and to the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak. So these men and all the people listened to the voice of the Lord their God and to the words of Haggai the prophet. And the people showed their fear and respect for the Lord their God.
13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, delivered this message to the people: “The Lord says, ‘I am with you!’”
14 Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel was the governor of Judah. Joshua son of Jehozadak was the high priest. The Lord made them and the rest of the people excited about working on the Temple of their God, the Lord All-Powerful. 15 So they began this work on the 24th day of the sixth month in the second year Darius was the king.