Survey of Haggai
Book Type: The tenth book of the Minor Prophets; the thirty-seventh book of the Old Testament; the thirty-seventh book of the Bible.
Author: Haggai, as noted in Haggai 1:1.
Audience: Haggai wrote for Jews who were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, following the exile. His message was largely positive, encouraging his hearers to not be concerned that the temple was not as decorative as the original temple under Solomon. Haggai 2:3 indicates the author may have seen the temple prior to its destruction, meaning Haggai may have been over seventy years old. This would have encouraged both the older and younger generation to live faithfully to the Lord despite their humble circumstances.
Date: Unlike many Old Testament books, each of Haggai's four prophecies is noted by specific dates (Haggai 1:1; 2:1, 10, 20) over a four-month period in approximately 520 BC.
Overview: Haggai's two chapters include four dated prophecies, serving as the main sections of this brief book. Chapter 1 takes place "In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month" (Haggai 1:1). Haggai challenges the people: the reason they were not being blessed was because they had not rebuilt the Lord's temple. Instead, they had focused on rebuilding their own homes and fields (Haggai 1:2–11).
Haggai's hearers obey the Lord in verses 12 through 15, with Haggai encouraging them: "I am with you, declares the Lord" (Haggai 1:13). The remnant began rebuilding "on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king" (Haggai 1:15).
Haggai's second prophecy (Haggai 2:1–9) comes "In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month." He encourages the people not to worry that the temple was not as extravagant as the previous temple. The Lord would one day come to fill the house with glory and, "The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former" (Haggai 2:9).
Haggai's third prophecy (Haggai 2:10–19) brings blessings for the people and is given "on the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius" (Haggai 2:10). From that day forward, the Lord determined to bless His people living in Jerusalem.
Haggai's final prophecy (Haggai 2:20–23) came on the same day as the third prophecy, predicting the Lord's future reign..
Key Verses (ESV):
Haggai 1:4: "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?"
Haggai 1:5–6: "Now, therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes."
Haggai 2:9: "The latter glory of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts. And in this place I will give peace, declares the LORD of hosts."