Nine of the twelve minor prophets preached before the captivity; but the three last, some time after it. Haggai and Zachariah appeared about the same time, eighteen years after the return, and encouraged the people to build the temple, when the work had stopped for some time, notwithstanding all the opposition they met with. Haggai began two months before Zachariah, who was raised up to second him. But Zachariah continued longer at the work: for all Haggai's prophecies which are recorded, were delivered within four months in the second year of Darius; but we have Zachariah's prophecies dated above two years after. They both prophesied of Christ. Haggai speaks of him as the glory of the latter house, Zachariah as the man, the branch. In them the light of that morning - star shone more bright, than in the foregoing prophecies, as they lived nearer the time of the rising of the Sun of Righteousness.
A reproof of the Jews for their delay in building, which had provoked God to punish them, ver. 1 - 11. The peoples return to the work, whom the prophet, in God's name, encourages therein, ver. 12 - 15.
Son - Adoptive son to Shealtiel, being of the royal line, but by nature, son of Pedaiah. Governor - Appointed to this by the Persian king, over the remnant returned out of Babylon. Joshua - A type of the great deliverer; one Joshua leads them into Canaan, another restores the temple.
Ceiled - Arched and richly adorned.
Have not enough - But what you eat doth not nourish or satisfy you. Are not filled - Your water quenches not your thirst, your wine does not revive your spirit. None warm - You have no comfort therein. With holes - Loses all his labour.
Take pleasure - I will accept your offerings, and hear your prayers. Glorified - Shew my majesty and account myself glorified by you also.
Came to little - But it answered not the expectation. I did blow - I blasted it. Ye run - You with eagerness carry on your own particular buildings.
Is stayed - God hath forbidden them, to drop down dew.
Upon men - The very blood, and constitutions of men were changed, and many diseases afflicted them.
In the Lord's message - ln the words of his master. The people - The whole assembly.
The Lord of hosts - By which name he delights to be known among the returned captives; and it was a name best suited to their present state, compassed on all hands with enemies.
Haggai assures the builders, that the glory of this house should exceed the glory of the former, ver. 1 - 9. That God would bless them and give them success, ver. 10 - 19. That he would peculiarly bless Zerubbabel, ver. 20 - 23.
That saw - Near fourscore years ago. This house - The temple built by Solomon.
My spirit - Of strength and courage, of wisdom and understanding.
Yet once - After many confirmations of the new covenant, one more, remains to be made. A little while - Tho' above five hundred years, yet this was but a little time compared with that between the promise to Adam and Christ's coming. I will shake - Whether it be metaphorical or literal, it was verified at the time of Christ's coming into the world. After the return of the captivity, by the commotions among the Grecians, Persians, and Romans, which began soon after this time; this was metaphorically fulfilled. And it was literally fulfilled by prodigies and earthquakes, at the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ.
All nations - Which was literally fulfilled in the overthrow of the Persian monarchy by the Grecians, in the civil wars, and succeeding troubles among Alexander's successors, the growth of the Roman power by subduing their neighbours, and their dissentions and home - bred wars. The desire - Christ the most desirable, to all nations, and who was desired by all that knew their own misery, and his sufficiency to save them who was to be the light of the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel. With glory - The first temple had a glory in its magnificent structure, rich ornaments, and costly sacrifices; but this was a worldly glory; that which is here promised, is a heavenly glory from the presence of Christ in it. He that was the brightness of his father's glory, who is the glory of the church, appeared in this second temple.
The silver - The treasures of both: doubt not therefore but I will give enough to build this house.
In this place - In my house, a type of Christ. Peace - A spiritual, internal, and heavenly peace.
Concerning the law - What the law saith in this case.
Holy flesh - Part of the sacrifice, legally sanctified, or made holy by the altar on which the whole was sanctified. In the skirt - In the lap of his garment, or in any other cloth, and if this cloth touch any common thing as bread, &c., shall that become legally holy
Said - Now the second case is proposed. These - Bread or pottage, wine or oil, or meat. Unclean - Shall that which the unclean doth touch, become unclean Though a mediate touch of what is holy will not make holy, yet will not a mediate touch of what is polluted defile
So - Polluted persons, touching what is clean, pollute it, so polluted Jews, polluted God's ordinances, while the outward performing of legal duties, left them as unholy in themselves, as they were before: somewhat more then is to be done. The soul is first to be purified, that they and we may offer up a pure offering. The people - The body of the Jews. Every work - Whatever they do, they pollute all by polluted hands. Offer - What they bring to the altar with impure hearts, is polluted by them.
Upward - Through past years. Before - Before you would set upon the re - building of the temple after you had intermitted it.
Since - All the while the temple lay neglected. When one came - Men are disappointed half in half. But ten - Which he expected would prove twenty measures, ephahs or bushels. It proved but half your hope, thus your corn failed, and your oil much more.
Blessing - Burning, and scorching winds. All the labours - In your plowing and sowing, in planting of olives and vines.
From the day - When you began to build on the old foundation.
Is the seed - Your seed for the next harvest is yet in your barns. Hath not brought forth - No sign yet appears what vintage you shall have, what store of wine, oil, figs, and pomegranates. Yet in the word of God I tell you, you shall be blest in them all, and have a large produce.
My servant - A type of him who was God's most beloved servant. As a signet - Which is very highly valued, and carefully kept. So shall the antitypical Zerubbabel, the Messiah, be advanced, loved, and inviolably preserved king, and supreme over his church. He is indeed the signet on God's right - hand. For all power is given to him, and derived from him. In him the great charter of the gospel is signed, and sanctified, and it is in him, that all the promises of God are yea and amen.