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Hag 2:1-9. SECOND PROPHECY. The people, discouraged at the inferiority of this temple to Solomon's, are encouraged nevertheless to persevere, because God is with them, and this house by its connection with Messiah's kingdom shall have a glory far above that of gold and silver.
1. seventh month--of the Hebrew year; in the second year of Darius' reign (Hag 1:1); not quite a month after they had begun the work (Hag 1:15). This prophecy was very shortly before that of Zechariah.
3. Who is left . . . that saw . . . first
glory--Many elders present at the laying of the foundation of the
second temple who had seen the first temple
(Ezr 3:12, 13)
in all its glory, wept at the contrast presented by the rough and
unpromising appearance of the former in its beginnings. From the
destruction of the first temple to the second year of Darius Hystaspes,
the date of Haggai's prophecy, was a space of seventy years
and to the first year of Cyrus, or the end of the captivity, fifty-two
years; so that the elders might easily remember the first temple. The
Jews note five points of inferiority: The absence from the second
temple of (1) the sacred fire; (2) the Shekinah; (3) the ark and
cherubim; (4) the Urim and Thummim; (5) the spirit of prophecy. The
connection of it with Messiah more than counterbalanced all these; for
He is the antitype to all the five
5. According to the word that--literally, "(I am with
you) the word (or thing) which I covenanted"; that is, I am with
you as I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt
(Ex 19:5, 6; 34:10, 11).
The covenant promise of God to the elect people at Sinai is an
additional motive for their persevering. The Hebrew for to
"covenant" is literally "to cut," alluding to the sacrificial victims
cut in ratification of a covenant.
6. Yet once, it is a little while--or, "(it is) yet a little while." The Hebrew for "once" expresses the indefinite article "a" [MAURER]. Or, "it is yet only a little while"; literally, "one little," that is, a single brief space till a series of movements is to begin; namely, the shakings of nations soon to begin which are to end in the advent of Messiah, "the desire of all nations" [MOORE]. The shaking of nations implies judgments of wrath on the foes of God's people, to precede the reign of the Prince of peace (Isa 13:13). The kingdoms of the world are but the scaffolding for God's spiritual temple, to be thrown down when their purpose is accomplished. The transitoriness of all that is earthly should lead men to seek "peace" in Messiah's everlasting kingdom (Hag 2:9; Heb 12:27, 28) [MOORE]. The Jews in Haggai's times hesitated about going forward with the work, through dread of the world power, Medo-Persia, influenced by the craft of Samaria. The prophet assures them this and all other world powers are to fall before Messiah, who is to be associated with this temple; therefore they need fear naught. So Heb 12:26, which quotes this passage; the apostle compares the heavier punishment which awaits the disobedient under the New Testament with that which met such under the Old Testament. At the establishment of the Sinaitic covenant, only the earth was shaken to introduce it, but now heaven and earth and all things are to be shaken, that is, along with prodigies in the world of nature, all kingdoms that stand in the way of Messiah's kingdom, "which cannot be shaken," are to be upturned (Da 2:35, 44; Mt 21:44). Heb 12:27, "Yet once more," favors English Version. Paul condenses together the two verses of Haggai (Hag 2:6, 7, and Hag 2:21, 22), implying that it was one and the same shaking, of which the former verses of Haggai denote the beginning, the latter the end. The shaking began introductory to the first advent; it will be finished at the second. Concerning the former, compare Mt 3:17; 27:51; 28:2; Ac 2:2; 4:31; concerning the latter, Mt 24:7; Re 16:20; 18:20; 20:11 [BENGEL]. There is scarcely a prophecy of Messiah in the Old Testament which does not, to some extent at least, refer to His second coming [SIR ISAAC NEWTON]. Ps 68:8 mentions the heavens dropping near the mountain (Sinai); but Haggai speaks of the whole created heavens: "Wait only a little while, though the promised event is not apparent yet; for soon will God change things for the better: do not stop short with these preludes and fix your eyes on the present state of the temple [CALVIN]. God shook the heavens by the lightnings at Sinai; the earth, that it should give forth waters; the sea, that it should be divided asunder. In Christ's time God shook the heaven, when He spake from it; the earth, when it quaked; the sea, when He commanded the winds and waves [GROTIUS]. CICERO records at the time of Christ the silencing of the heathen oracles; and DIO, the fall of the idols in the Roman capitol.
7. shake--not convert; but cause that agitation which is to precede
Messiah's coming as the healer of the nations' agitations. The previous
shaking shall cause the yearning "desire" for the Prince of peace.
MOORE and others translate "the beauty," or "the
desirable things (the precious gifts)
of all nations shall come"
(Isa 60:5, 11; 61:6).
He brings these objections to applying "the desire of all nations" to
Messiah: (1) The Hebrew means the quality, not the
thing desired, namely, its desirableness or beauty, But
the abstract is often put for the concrete. So "a man of desires," that
is, one desired or desirable
(Da 9:23; 10:11,
Margin). (2) Messiah was not desired by all nations, but "a root
out of a dry ground," having "no beauty that we should desire
But what is implied is not that the nations definitely desired
Him, but that He was the only one to satisfy the yearning
desires which all felt unconsciously for a Saviour, shown in their
painful rites and bloody sacrifices. Moreover, while the Jews as a
nation desired Him not (to which people
refers), the Gentiles, who are plainly pointed out by "all nations,"
accepted Him; and so to them He was peculiarly desirable. (3) The verb,
"shall come," is plural, which requires the noun to be
understood in the plural, whereas if Messiah be intended, the
noun is singular. But when two nouns stand together, of which
one is governed by the other, the verb agrees sometimes in
number with the latter, though it really has the former as its
nominative, that is, the Hebrew "come" is made in number
to agree with "nations," though really agreeing with "the desire."
Besides, Messiah may be described as realizing in Himself at His coming
"the desires (the noun expressing collectively the
plural) of all nations"; whence the verb is plural. So in
"He is altogether lovely," in the Hebrew the same word as here,
"all desires," that is, altogether desirable, or the object of
"The silver is mine," &c.; accords with the translation, "the choice
things of all nations" shall be brought in. But
harmonizes quite as well with English Version of
as the note on eighth verse will show; see on
(5) the Septuagint and Syriac versions agree with MOORE'S translation. But Vulgate confirms
English Version. So also early Jewish Rabbis before JEROME'S time. PLATO
[Alcibiades, 2] shows the yearning of the Gentiles after a
spiritual deliverer: "It is therefore necessary," says Alcibiades on
the subject of acceptable worship, "to wait until One teach us how we
ought to behave towards the gods and men." Alcibiades replies, "When
shall that time arrive, and who shall that Teacher be? For most glad
would I be to see such a man." The "good tidings of great joy" were "to
The Jews, and those in the adjoining nations instructed by them, looked
for Shiloh to come unto whom the gathering of the people was
to be, from Jacob's prophecy
The early patriarchs, Job
(Job 19:25-27; 33:23-26)
8. The silver is mine-- (Job 41:11; Ps 50:12). Ye are disappointed at the absence of these precious metals in the adorning of this temple, as compared with the first temple: If I pleased I could adorn this temple with them, but I will adorn it with a "glory" (Hag 2:7, 9) far more precious; namely, with the presence of My divine Son in His veiled glory first, and at His second coming with His revealed glory, accompanied with outward adornment of gold and silver, of which the golden covering within and without put on by Herod is the type. Then shall the nations bring offerings of those precious metals which ye now miss so much (Isa 2:3; 60:3, 6, 7; Eze 43:2, 4, 5; 44:4). The heavenly Jerusalem shall be similarly adorned, but shall need "no temple" (Re 21:10-22). Compare 1Co 3:12, where gold and silver represent the most precious things (Zec 2:5). The inward glory of New Testament redemption far exceeds the outward glory of the Old Testament dispensation. So, in the case of the individual poor believer, God, if He pleased, could bestow gold and silver, but He bestows far better treasures, the possession of which might be endangered by that of the former (Jas 2:5).
9. The glory of this latter house . . . greater than of
the former--namely, through the presence of Messiah, in
(whose) face is given the light of the knowledge of the glory of
and who said of Himself, "in this place is one greater than the
and who "sat daily teaching in it"
Though Zerubbabel's temple was taken down to the foundations when Herod
rebuilt the temple, the latter was considered, in a religious point of
view, as not a third temple, but virtually the second temple.