THE PROPHECY OF HAGGAI
The prophecy of Haggai is very short yet very important because its primary focus is on the end of the age right before the return of Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords. The message of Haggai is directly tied to Zechariah's prophecy concerning the events that will occur during this same time period.
JERUSALEM AND THE HOLY LAND
This study represents our best understanding of the sequence of events that will unfold surrounding Jerusalem and the Holy Land as prophesied by Haggai. The understanding presented here is based on many clear prophecies about the end of the age and the return of Jesus Christ. However, please understand that, by the time you read this, some of these events may have already occurred.
The events shown in Haggai's prophecy are very compressed, and many of these events will happen in an extremely short period of time. It is clear that the focal point of Haggai's prophecy is the contemporary nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem in particular. His prophecy also foretells events that will impact not only the Holy Land but also all other nations on earth.
THE TIME PERIOD
In order to clearly establish the time period in which the prophetic portions of Haggai's writings will
be fulfilled, it is necessary to review the following four topic areas contained in Haggai's writings:
1. All Nations Will Be Shaken
"For this says the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, says the Lord of hosts" (Hag.2:6-9 KJV).
It is clear from the scriptures that there has never been a time in history when God has shaken the heavens, the earth, and all the nations. But, this is what he says he will do just before Jesus returns as King of kings at the end of this age. See also Heb.12:26.
2. The Heavens and Earth Will Be Shaken
"Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. In that day, says the Lord of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the Lord, and will make you as a signet: for I have chosen you, says the Lord of hosts" (Hag. 2:21-23 KJV).
Clearly, this is an end of the age prophecy. Here, we see that God shakes the heavens and the earth, overthrowing the kingdoms (nations) of the world. "In that day," is a reference to the end of the age (Isa.2:17-21; Zeph.1:7-10, 12-16; Joel 3:9-18; Zech.14:1-8,13,20). And as we will see, it is also very clear that God gives the prophetic end-time Zerubbabel great power and authority to represent him and proclaim his good news message to the world.
3. Past and Present Building of the Temple
"And now, I ask you to consider from this day and forward, from the time before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the Lord" (Hag.2:15 Para.).
"Consider now from this day and forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it" (Hag.2:18 Para.).
Both of these references about laying the foundation and construction of the temple refer to a past and a future fulfillment.
"Is the seed yet in the barn? yes, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, has not brought forth: from this day will I bless you" (Hag.2:19 Para.).
Symbolically, the word seed normally refers to either the Messiah or the elect of God. Because the word barn is used in the context of a harvest, and the elect of God are the first of his harvest of humanity that will be collected prior to Christ's return, it is highly likely that this seed refers to the elect of God who are called to salvation, and the barn represents the Family and Kingdom of God. The various trees that are to bring forth fruit seem to symbolize those servants of God who preach the gospel in the end of the age. See Mic.4:2; Matt.3:10-12; 13:30-42.
4. The Instruction to Build the Temple
Haggai 1:1-2, 7-8 Paraphrased
"In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, This says the Lord of hosts, These people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be built [i.e.,The rebuilding of the temple is being delayed]" (vs.1-2).
"This says the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the Lord" (vs.7-8).
This refers to a past and a future fulfillment. For many years, the Jews of today (the Israelis) have made plans to build a temple. They have procured the necessary items for the practice of the sacrificial system, prepared a priesthood for service in the temple, and even become aware of the ceremonial hand gestures that are necessary in order to give offerings and sacrifices. However, they have not gone forward because of political pressure and a persistent controversy that surrounds the location of the future temple (i.e., the City of David, the Temple Mount, or The Mount of Olives).
They have prepared for the building of the temple because they know that God requires a temple as part of his covenant agreement with his chosen people, yet they have procrastinated just as their ancient ancestors did.
When examining the first two chapters of Haggai, notice the authority that is behind these prophecies. The expressions "Then came the word of the Lord" and "This says the Lord" occur twenty-five times in just two chapters. This alone shows the enormous importance of these prophecies to the fulfillment of God's plan for the salvation of humanity.
Haggai recorded the following five messages about the events that will dramatically affect world events just before the first resurrection and Christ's return to establish his Father's kingdom on earth:
HISTORICAL AND FUTURE DATES
It is not very often that God mentions the specific dates of events in prophecy by the day, month, and year; however, in both chapters of Haggai, specific dates are mentioned. Most likely, these same dates are also prophetic and tied to significant events in the end of the age. See the last page of this study for a summary table which outlines these five messages and the sacred calendar dates that are associated with them.
"In the second year of Darius the king [a date historically established as 520 B.C.] in the sixth month, in the first day of the month [this is a New Moon] came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, This says the Lord of hosts, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house [the temple] should be built" (vs.1-2).
Historically, the temple had actually been started in 538 B.C., instead of 520 B.C., because a decree was issued that stopped its construction for almost eighteen years due to political pressure. Therefore, God sent a prophet to stir the Jews into action. It is very likely that a similar sequence of events will soon occur concerning building a temple in modern Jerusalem.
"Then came the word of the Lord by Haggai the prophet, saying, Is it time for you, O you, to dwell in your finished houses, and this house lie waste?" (vs.3-4).
These were Jews who had come out of captivity and were trying to fulfill their own desires. Today, a similar situation exists. The Israelis have been building their own nation, their own homes, and their own economy without regard for building a temple in which to worship God.
"Now therefore this says the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways [take stock of what you are doing.] You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but you have not enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you clothe yourselves, but there is none warm; and he that earns wages earns wages to put it into a bag with holes" (vs.5-6).
This scripture was true then and it is true today. Look at the way money is wasted in Israel. Modern Israel still has problems with their economy and consistently needs to be supported by the western powers, especially the United States. Yet, Israel is a prosperous nation by world standards.
"This says the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways [think about what you are doing]. Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house [the temple]; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I did blow upon it. Why? says the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that is waste, and you run every man unto his own house. Therefore the heaven over you holds back its dew, and the earth is prevented from bearing fruit. And I called for a drought upon the land, and upon the mountains, and upon the grain, and upon the new wine, and upon the oil, and upon that which the ground brings forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands" (vs.7-11).
After this stern reprimand from God through his emissary Haggai the prophet, the governor, the high priest, and the people were moved to rebuild the temple.
"Then Zerubbabel [the governor of Judah at the time this was written.] the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the Lord their God had sent him, and the people did fear before the Lord" (v12).
The Construction of the Temple Begins
The 24th Day of The 6th Month (Sacred Calendar)
"Then the Lord's messenger Haggai, spoke the Lord's message to the people, saying, I am with you, says the Lord [If you do this, God says he will be with you in doing it]. And the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the Lord of hosts, their God. In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king" (Hag.1:13-15 Para.).
The date given for the beginning of construction is the 24th day of the 6th month of the 2nd year of King Darius' reign (520 B.C.). Could it be that this same day and month are important in the end of the age and are a reference to when key preparations will be made that lead to the construction of a temple in Jerusalem?
The 21st day of the 7th Month (Sacred Calendar)
Haggai 2:1-23 Paraphrased
"In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month [this was also the 7th day of the Feast of Shelters/Ingathering, which is the last day of the Festival prior to the Festival of the Eighth Day], came the word of the Lord by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? And how do you see it now? Is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?" (vs.1-3).
Some of these Jews had seen the magnificent splendor of the temple that Solomon had built for God's presence to dwell in. Here, God reminds them that he requires a proper temple for his presence to dwell in instead of the ruins that the temple had become.
"Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, says the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work: for I am with you, says the Lord of hosts: According to the word that I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt, so my spirit remains among you: fear you not" (vs.4-5).
This same message is also meant for the Jews who live in this age, because God made a covenant with all of Israel, including the Jews, from the time that he brought th