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The Beauty of the Temple

On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Lord spoke his word through Haggai the prophet, saying, “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to the rest of the people who are left alive. Say, ‘Do any of you remember how great the Temple was before it was destroyed? What does it look like now? Doesn’t it seem like nothing to you?’ But the Lord says, ‘Zerubbabel, be brave. Also, Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, be brave. And all you people who live in the land, be brave,’ says the Lord. ‘Work, because I am with you,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. ‘I made a promise to you when you came out of Egypt, and my Spirit is still with you. So don’t be afraid.’

“This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: ‘In a short time I will once again shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and they will bring their wealth. Then I will fill this Temple with glory,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. ‘The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. ‘The new Temple will be greater than the one before,’ says the Lord All-Powerful. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord All-Powerful.”

10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in the second year Darius was king, the Lord spoke his word to Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “This is what the Lord All-Powerful says: ‘Ask the priests for a teaching. 12 Suppose a person carries in the fold of his clothes some meat made holy for the Lord. If that fold touches bread, cooked food, wine, olive oil, or some other food, will that be made holy?’”

The priests answered, “No.”

13 Then Haggai said, “A person who touches a dead body will become unclean. If he touches any of these foods, will it become unclean, too?”

The priests answered, “Yes, it would become unclean.”

14 Then Haggai answered, “The Lord says, ‘This is also true for the people of this nation. They are unclean, and everything they do with their hands is unclean to me. Whatever they offer at the altar is also unclean.

15 “‘Think about this from now on! Think about how it was before you started laying stones on top of stones to build the Temple of the Lord. 16 A person used to come to a pile of grain expecting to find twenty basketfuls, but there were only ten. And a person used to come to the wine vat to take out fifty jarfuls, but only twenty were there. 17 I destroyed your work with diseases, mildew, and hail, but you still did not come back to me,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘It is the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, the day in which the people finished working on the foundation of the Temple of the Lord. From now on, think about these things: 19 Do you have seeds for crops still in the barn? Your vines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not given fruit yet. But from now on I will bless you!’”

The Lord Makes a Promise to Zerubbabel

20 Then the Lord spoke his word a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month. He said, 21 “Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will destroy the foreign kingdoms and take away the power of the kingdoms of the nations. I will destroy the chariots and their riders. The horses will fall with their riders, as people kill each other with swords.’ 23 The Lord All-Powerful says, ‘On that day I will take you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will make you important like my signet ring, because I have chosen you!’ says the Lord All-Powerful.”

on the twenty-first day of the seventh month,(A) the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai:(B) “Speak to Zerubbabel(C) son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,[a](D) the high priest, and to the remnant(E) of the people. Ask them, ‘Who of you is left who saw this house(F) in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?(G) But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares the Lord. ‘Be strong,(H) Joshua son of Jozadak,(I) the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘and work. For I am with(J) you,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘This is what I covenanted(K) with you when you came out of Egypt.(L) And my Spirit(M) remains among you. Do not fear.’(N)

“This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In a little while(O) I will once more shake the heavens and the earth,(P) the sea and the dry land. I will shake all nations, and what is desired(Q) by all nations will come, and I will fill this house(R) with glory,(S)’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘The silver is mine and the gold(T) is mine,’ declares the Lord Almighty. ‘The glory(U) of this present house(V) will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says the Lord Almighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,(W)’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Blessings for a Defiled People

10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month,(X) in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Haggai: 11 “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Ask the priests(Y) what the law says: 12 If someone carries consecrated meat(Z) in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?(AA)’”

The priests answered, “No.”

13 Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”

“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.(AB)

14 Then Haggai said, “‘So it is with this people(AC) and this nation in my sight,’ declares the Lord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer(AD) there is defiled.

15 “‘Now give careful thought(AE) to this from this day on[b]—consider how things were before one stone was laid(AF) on another in the Lord’s temple.(AG) 16 When anyone came to a heap(AH) of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat(AI) to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty.(AJ) 17 I struck all the work of your hands(AK) with blight,(AL) mildew and hail,(AM) yet you did not return(AN) to me,’ declares the Lord.(AO) 18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought(AP) to the day when the foundation(AQ) of the Lord’s temple was laid. Give careful thought: 19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate(AR) and the olive tree have not borne fruit.(AS)

“‘From this day on I will bless(AT) you.’”

Zerubbabel the Lord’s Signet Ring

20 The word of the Lord came to Haggai(AU) a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month:(AV) 21 “Tell Zerubbabel(AW) governor of Judah that I am going to shake(AX) the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overturn(AY) royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms.(AZ) I will overthrow chariots(BA) and their drivers; horses and their riders(BB) will fall, each by the sword of his brother.(BC)

23 “‘On that day,(BD)’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant(BE) Zerubbabel(BF) son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring,(BG) for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.”

Footnotes

  1. Haggai 2:2 Hebrew Jehozadak, a variant of Jozadak; also in verse 4
  2. Haggai 2:15 Or to the days past

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