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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Haggai

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Prophets to the returned remnant were Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

WRITER: Haggai is mentioned in Ezra 5:1, 2 and Ezra 6:14 as one of the two prophets who encouraged the remnant (that returned after the Babylonian captivity) to rebuild the temple in spite of the difficulties that beset them on every hand. From this and the brief references that he made to himself in his prophecy, four things become apparent: (1) he was self-effacing — he exalted the Lord; (2) he was God’s messenger — “Thus saith the LORD”; (3) he not only rebuked, he cheered and encouraged; (4) he not only preached, he practiced.

TIME: 520 B.C. “The second year of Darius” enables the historian to pinpoint the time of this prophet in profane history. Hystaspis (Darius mentioned here) began to reign in 521 B.C. At this same time in China, Confucius was living.

THEME: The temple. The reconstruction and refurbishing of the temple were the supreme passion of this prophet. He not only rebuked the people for their delay in rebuilding the temple, but he encouraged them and helped them in this enterprise.

MESSAGE: Haggai constantly referred to the “word of the LORD” as the supreme authority. He willingly humbled himself that the Lord might be exalted. His message was practical. It was as simple and factual as 2 + 2 = 4. The prophecy of Haggai and the epistle of James have much in common. Both put the emphasis upon the daily grind. Action is spiritual; a “do nothing” attitude is wicked. Both placed this yardstick down upon life. Work is the measure of life.
Haggai’s contemporary, Zechariah, was visionary and had his head in the clouds, but pragmatic Haggai had both feet on the ground. The man of action and the dreamer need to walk together. First Corinthians 15:58 can appropriately be written over this book.
For the background of his message, read Ezra 3:8-13, also chapters 4 through 6.

KEY VERSES: Haggai 1:8, 14

THE CALENDAR: The compass of this book is three months and twenty-four days, according to the calendar. There are five messages in the book, and each was given on a specific date. The calendar furnishes the clue for the contents.

Outline for Zephaniah ← Prior Section
Outline for Haggai Next Section →
Notes for Zephaniah ← Prior Book
Notes for Zechariah Next Book →
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