International Children’s Bible
It Is Time to Build the Temple
1 The prophet Haggai spoke the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel and to Joshua. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel was governor of Judah. Joshua son of Jehozadak was high priest. This message came in the second year that Darius was king of Persia. It came on the first day of the sixth month of that year. This was the message:
2 “This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: ‘The people say the right time has not come to rebuild the Temple of the Lord.’”
3 Then Haggai the prophet spoke the word of the Lord: 4 “The Temple is still in ruins. Is it right for you to be living in fancy houses?”
5 This is why the Lord of heaven’s armies says: “Think about what you have done. 6 You have planted much, but you harvest little. You eat, but you do not become full. You drink, but you are still thirsty. You put on clothes, but you are not warm enough. You earn money, but then you lose it all. It is as if you put it into a purse full of holes.”
7 This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: “Think about what you have done. 8 Go up to the mountains. Bring back wood and build the Temple. Then I will be pleased with it and be honored,” says the Lord. 9 The Lord of heaven’s armies says: “You look for much, but you find little. When you bring it home, I destroy it. Why? Because you are busy working on your own houses. But my house is still in ruins! 10 Because of what you have done, the sky holds back its rain. And the ground holds back its crops. 11 I have called for a dry time in the land. There will be no rain in the mountains for the grain, new wine and olive oil. It will be a dry time for the plants which the earth produces. It will be a dry time for men and farm animals. The dry time will make your hard work useless.”
12 Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel. And Joshua, the high priest, was the son of Jehozadak. Zerubbabel and Joshua obeyed the Lord their God. And they obeyed the message from Haggai the prophet. All the rest of the people who were left alive also obeyed. This was because they realized that the Lord their God had sent Haggai. And they feared the Lord.
13 The Lord sent a message to Haggai, the Lord’s messenger. Haggai gave this message to the people. He said: “The Lord says, ‘I am with you.’” 14 The Lord made Zerubbabel and Joshua excited about building the Temple. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel was the governor of Judah. Joshua son of Jehozadak was the high priest. The Lord made all the rest of the people who were left alive excited, too. They came and worked on the Temple of their God, the Lord of heaven’s armies. 15 They began on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. This was in the second year that Darius was king of Persia.