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The Old Testament | The Books of the Minor Prophets


Things to know

Where does the book begin?

The book begins after many of the Jews came back from living in Babylon.

Places to go

Consider your ways
Haggai 1:2-11

Be strong and build
Haggai 2:4-9

Speak to Zerubbabel
Haggai 2:20-23

Where does the book end?

The book ends just before the temple* was completed.

People to know

Joshua – the priest

The Story of Haggai

Haggai was a prophet* to the people who were living in Jerusalem. Most of them had come back from the exile*. He gave the people a number of messages from God. He told them how they should live now that they were home.

His first message was very simple. God’s people had returned to Jerusalem. But the temple* was still broken down. [1] Until that work was done, God would not be pleased with them. [2] Haggai then told us what happened. The people obeyed God. [3] That is what all people should do when they hear God’s word. And God blessed* them because they obeyed.

In the second message, [4] Haggai talked about hope*. He said that, in the future, there would be a new temple*. It would be even greater than the one Solomon built. God would build it using the possessions of the other nations. [5] This people could be encouraged. God would build a greater temple* in the future. Haggai gave this message to encourage them. God had plans for them in the days ahead. If they knew this, it would help them trust* God now.

This second message was to the leader of the city. His name was Zerubbabel. He was from the house of David. When the people heard this, they must have thought about the promise God made to David. [6] God did not forget his promise.

Haggai told Zerubbabel that his words were from the Lord* Almighty*. God would shake the heavens once more. He would shake the sea and the dry lands. When he did this, the desire of all nations would come. God would fill the new temple* with his glory*. The event the prophet* had in view was clearly the future kingdom* of the Messiah*. He would be the one who would rule Israel* and all people. But who or what was the ‘desire of all nations?’ Most people think that the desire of all nations was the Messiah* himself. He was the one who all nations desired. When God built this new temple*, that would be a sign that he was coming.

Was the temple that Haggai was talking about the temple* that the people were supposed to fix? Haggai gave a third message that helps to answer the question. [7] He said that the people were not clean. Because they were not clean, the temple* they built would not be clean either. [8] So God wanted them to build the temple* again. But the temple* they built is only a sign. When they looked at the temple* they built, it would help them remember. Some day, God would build them a better temple*. [9]

Haggai ended his book with one last message. The people were building a temple*. What they were doing was important. But it should help them look forward to a future temple*. They had a leader now. But this leader should help them look forward to their future leader. That leader was the Messiah*. [10]

The hope* of the prophets* was more than the return of a small group of people to their land. One day, the Messiah* would rule. All of the nations would come to Jerusalem to serve him. That is what the prophets* were talking about. When Zerubbabel and the people obeyed God, it was a small example of what would happen in the future. One day all people would follow the Messiah*. When that happened, God would keep all the promises that he made through the prophets*.


[1] Haggai 1:9

[2] Haggai 1:10-11

[3] e.g., Zerubbabel and Joshua: 1:12-15

[4] Haggai 2:1-9

[5] Haggai 2:6-9

[6] 2 Samuel 7:14-16

[7] Haggai 2:10-19

[8] Haggai 2;14

[9] Haggai 2:19;Haggai 2:1518

[10] Haggai 2:20-23

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