Christian Churches of God
Commentary on Haggai
(Edition 2.5 20060910-20140905)
Haggai was ordered by God to prophesy concerning the restoration and the construction of the Temple. The text complements Zechariah and is dual in nature. It looks to the millennial system and the conversion of the Gentiles.
Commentary on Haggai
The name Haggai is derived from the word Hag or feast, or festival. The text is delivered on the New Moon, but Bullinger incorrectly states in his note that it refers to the full moon which is an error (cf. Companion Bible, fn. 1). It is the Sixth month or the month of Elul. It is in the Second year of Darius the Persian when the instruction to complete the Temple is given by Yahovah through Haggai.
This text is thus an instruction from Yahovah to Judah in tandem with the prophecy given through Zechariah.
The command is given in the First year of the 71st Jubilee. The complete structure of 70 Jubilees from the closure of Eden is complete with the Jubilee in 424/3 BCE, and the Temple is now to be reconstructed. This is the second command given by God but the work was stopped over a period from the decree of Cyrus down to Artaxerxes I who stopped construction, and it was ceased until the Second year of Darius the Persian (see the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013)).
God has spoken to Judah over their neglect. The message is constructed in four parts.
1. The Word of Yahovah. The text commences with a censure for neglect (Hag. 1:1-4).
2. The people’s sayings are then cited by Yahovah.
3. The Word of Yahovah is again given.
4. The people’s sayings are given and replied to by Yahovah.
The Hebrew idiom for God speaking through the prophets is, “by the hand of”. It thus shows the intention for the prophecy to be recorded for all time. The instances are contained in footnote 1 to The Companion Bible.
The word is addressed to Zerubbabel, meaning sown in Babylon (i.e. Babel). He was of the royal seed conceived or sown in Babylon, and to Joshua the son of Josedech the High Priest.
The name Joshua is the same as that given to Messiah. The full name is Yahoshua or Salvation of Yaho, which is the function of Messiah as High Priest and also as King of Israel. The term son in the text is used also of grandson (cf. 1Chr. 3:19 and Ezra 2:2 and 3:2). Look also at the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119).
Josedech (Yahosedech) means Yahovah is righteous. The full name Yahoshua, or Joshua ben Josedech, means Salvation is through the righteous Yahovah.
Joshua is the first High Priest of the Temple for the New Construction. They are both very old when this censure is given. The Messiah will be the High Priest for the final return to Jerusalem, which is the subject of the message in Zechariah. These texts are thus both connected to the millennial reign of the Messiah.
The word governor here is derived from the Persian word pechah (from which we derive Pasha) as a prefect or satrap.
Shealtiel means asked for from God. He was the son of Jeconiah (Jehoiachin) who was taken captive to Babylon (2Kgs. 24:15; 1Chr. 3:17; cf. Ezra 3:2,8; 5:2; Neh. 12:1; Mat. 1:12; Lk. 3:27).
The First Message
1In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet to Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehoz'adak, the high priest, 2"Thus says the LORD of hosts: This people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD." 3Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, 4"Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins?
The question is asked of Judah, as they have left the House of God in ruins for well over a hundred years when they could have built it a century earlier. However, there was a Temple at Elephantine operating for the whole time the Temple at Jerusalem was in ruins and that should not be forgotten.
Yahovah then reminds them of the signs of their condition.
5Now therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider how you have fared. 6You 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 earns wages to put them into a bag with holes. 7"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider how you have fared.
So Yahovah starts and ends with the statement, “consider how you have fared”. They have nothing because they have not honoured God. The word, consider is used five times in the book (1:5,7; 2:15,18,23; cf. Job 1:8; 2:3 and Isa. 41:22) and means set your heart on or give your attention to. The intention is to examine where Judah has been led and the fruits of what they have done.
Yahovah then issued the command:
8Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may appear in my glory, says the LORD.
The term appear in my glory is, I will get me honour. The Hebrew word is ‘ekkabda. This is one of twenty-nine words that are without the letter He at the end (Ginsberg’s Massorah, Vol. 1, p. 281). The letter He is equal to five. Bullinger (Comp. Bible fn. to v. 8) notes this and says that the Talmudists consider that this was because there were five items missing from the Second Temple, which are:
Items 2 and 3 are in fact representations of the Holy Spirit and are representative of its presence in the elect. Item 5, the Spirit of Prophecy, is present in the Church and the culmination was in Jesus Christ.
The list is alleged to safeguard the instances of the word which have the letter He at the end. (Examples are Ex. 14:4,17.)
In the millennial Temple the Holy Spirit in the elect as the Temple of God replaces all these aspects. It has been the case with the church since the inception of the church in the wilderness.
Yahovah states that they looked for much and received little. What they stored was blown away. He then supplied the answer: Because of the House that lay in ruins. Thus they had done nothing over the entire century from the decree of Cyrus and that of Darius Hystaspes when they could have acted, and God punished them for that fact. It was only during the reign of Artaxerxes I that construction was stopped, but they made no attempt to revive the construction after Artaxerxes had suppressed the civil war (see paper No. 13 ibid.).
9You have looked for much, and, lo, it came to little; and when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Says the LORD of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while you busy yourselves each with his own house. 10Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11And I have called for a drought upon the land and the hills, upon the grain, the new wine, the oil, upon what the ground brings forth, upon men and cattle, and upon all their labors."
God placed the land under a curse and the produce was withheld from them for their disobedience.
When God rebuked them they repented.
12Then Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el, and Joshua the son of Jehoz'adak, 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 feared before the LORD.
The people were thus mobilised to action. Then the Lord spoke again through Haggai.
13Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD's message, "I am with you, says the LORD."14And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Jehoz'adak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15on the twenty-fourth day of the month, in the sixth month. In the second year of Darius the king, (RSV)
The message and the repentance took 24 days from the New Moon to the Twenty-fourth day of the Sixth month. Look also at the paper The Ascents of Moses (No. 070) for the sequence over the period from Sivan to Elul, the Third to the Sixth month.
The prophecy of Haggai was reviewed in the paper The Oracles of God (No. 184) in order to deal with a number of issues regarding the calendar, and the misapplication of both Haggai and Daniel to end-time events. The comments important to Haggai are quoted here.
“The text in chapter 1 is a plea to the nation of Judah to commence work on the Temple. The nation is not being blessed because they have placed their own self-interest above that of God. There are serious parallels in history with the behaviour of Judah and the neglect of the work of God. If this prophecy is referring to the Last Days, it must refer to the spiritual Temple, which is the Church. The entities in this prophecy are Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel governor of Judah, and Joshua, son of Josedach the High Priest. The time is the second year of Darius II. This matter has been explained in detail in the paper The Sign of Jonah and the History of the Reconstruction of the Temple (No. 013). The names are of individuals at the time of the reconstruction of the second Temple (see also the paper Genealogy of the Messiah (No. 119)).
If this prophecy is of the latter days, we can only be speaking of the spiritual Temple, and the types of Zerubbabel and Joshua as High Priest. The High Priest, Joshua, is Yehoshua or the Messiah. The typology with Jesus Christ is found in Zechariah in the judgment. Christ is both king and priest, fulfilling both typologies. The injunction in chapter 1 of Haggai is that the nation of Israel will not prosper until it undertakes the work of the Messiah in the restoration, as part of the Temple of God. The curses on the land will increase until that happens (Hag. 1:10-11). The first instance is in the 24th of the Sixth month. This happened with the second Temple. It is either in the past or it will relate to the future as an anti-type.
Thus, Haggai is concerned with the construction of the Temple, and the blessing of Israel is consequent to that activity. It is thus impossible to relate the events in chapter 2 to an event that is not subsequent to the events in chapter 1. Thus, the 24th day of the Sixth month saw the work on the house of God. Chapter 2 then commences from the 21st day of the Seventh month or the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles. The Last Great Day is the eighth day of the Feast” (The Oracles of God (No. 184)).
The Second Message
The Second Message was given on the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, and before the commencement of the Twenty-second day of the Seventh month, which is the Last Great Day, and is a feast in its own right. The symbolism was that God had given the instructions from the last New Moon at the end of the period of chaos and waste and dispersion, and after the ordered restoration of Judah, in spite of their own indolence and unrepentant attitude. God then prepared the people for the construction during their restoration in the Holy Land.
He then spoke to them during the Seventh month and in what is taken as representative of the millennial system, and before what is taken as the period of the Second Resurrection of the Dead.
They were to keep the Feast, and then after the Feast of the Millennium they were to commence construction.
This message and prophecy was of a dual nature. It was also to look forward to the restoration of Judah in the Holy Land, and then towards their rebuke and their repentance at the last period before the coming of the Messiah.
Look at the message of God. It is one of courage concerning His actions in shaking the heavens and earth and the nations in them. This period concerns the wars of the end and the Last Days. It is not concerned with the conversion as yet, but rather the bringing to subjugation and then later to repentance and conversion (see the paper The Day of the Lord and the Last Days (No. 192) and The Last Thirty Years: The Final Struggle (No. 219)).
1in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, 2"Speak now to Zerub'babel the son of She-al'ti-el, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehoz'adak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say, 3Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not in your sight as nothing? 4Yet now take courage, O Zerub'babel, says the LORD; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehoz'adak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD; work, for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts, 5according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit abides among you; fear not. 6For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; 7and I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the LORD of hosts. 8The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts. 9The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.'"
The treasure of all nations is rendered in the Septuagint (LXX) as the elect of all nations. It must thus refer to the Church and the conversion of the Gentiles.
The Spiritual Temple is built over forty Jubilees or two thousand years from 30 CE to the Second Advent.
The complete House of God will be built again but in the millennial system after the return of the Messiah, and after the subjugation of the nations. This is the millennial Sanctuary referred to by Ezekiel (cf. Comp. Bible fn. to 2:7). The glory of the latter shall be greater than the first (cf. Ezek. 43:2-5). The physical house will not be built prior to the Millennium but in the Millennium itself. The First Jubilee of the Millennium is the Fiftieth or Golden Jubilee since this command was issued, and Zechariah was also given the sequence of the activity (see Commentary on Zechariah (No. F038) and also The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300)).
The spiritual Temple of God was commenced from Pentecost 30 CE, which was the Third year of the cycle after the Jubilee of 27 CE. We might thus assume that the physical Temple and structures will be commenced in Jerusalem from the Third year of the 121st Jubilee cycle i.e. in 2030. We will deal with the sequence in the papers on that subject.
The message came again through Haggai on the Twenty-fourth day of the Ninth month. The message concerned the sacred and the profane. It concerns the salvation of the nations and their sanctification. The words holy flesh in the text is the flesh of the sacrifice, which refers forward to the elect of God. The word rendered dead body is nephesh or soul and is one of 13 passages where nephesh is used to denote a dead body. Here it is making a distinction between the unconverted that are dead, and the living of the elect called of God. Judah and Israel are restored for the Millennium but all the nations are also restored and brought to sanctification and holiness on a progressive basis. (See also Commentary on Zechariah (No. F038) and Sanctification of the Nations (No. 077).)
10On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, 11"Thus says the LORD of hosts: Ask the priests to decide this question, 12`If one carries holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and touches with his skirt bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any kind of food, does it become holy?'" The priests answered, "No." 13Then said Haggai, "If one who is unclean by contact with a dead body touches any of these, does it become unclean?" The priests answered, "It does become unclean." 14Then Haggai said, "So is it with this people, and with this nation before me, says the LORD; and so with every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean.
The altar was set up before the Temple and the offerings are being classed as unclean. However, it refers forward in time to the attempts at sacrifice by Judah without repentance, conversion and baptism.
15Pray now, consider what will come to pass from this day onward. Before a stone was placed upon a stone in the temple of the LORD, 16how did you fare? When one came to a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten; when one came to the winevat to draw fifty measures, there were but twenty. 17I smote you and all the products of your toil with blight and mildew and hail; yet you did not return to me, says the LORD.
The reference to God smiting them is an allusion to Deuteronomy 28:22. However, that will change with repentance.
18Consider from this day onward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. Since the day that the foundation of the LORD's temple was laid, consider: 19Is the seed yet in the barn? Do the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still yield nothing? From this day on I will bless you." 20The word of the LORD came a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, 21"Speak to Zerub'babel, governor of Judah, saying, I am about to shake the heavens and the earth, 22and to overthrow the throne of kingdoms; I am about to destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations, and overthrow the chariots and their riders; and the horses and their riders shall go down, every one by the sword of his fellow. 23On that day, says the LORD of hosts, I will take you, O Zerub'babel my servant, the son of She-al'ti-el, says the LORD, and make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you, says the LORD of hosts." (RSV)
The seeds will be sown and God will bless the sowing before it is drawn in and multiply it.
The blessing of Judah will occur when it begins to bless the nations and the Temple is commenced in Jerusalem under the Messiah. On that day, the wealth of the Holy Land will increase tenfold. The destruction will be healed and the land restored.
This prophecy thus places the 24th day of the Ninth month as a pivotal point in God’s grace to Israel, and His blessings upon the nation. It has usually been seen as the point in time that the restoration is fulfilled. That was why the attempt was made to claim that the Commonwealth, under General Allenby, captured Jerusalem on 24 Chislev 1917. However, whilst the date of Allenby’s entry was in Chislev, it was not on the 24th day. The attack was launched on 24 Chislev according to the New Moon Conjunction, and not the Hillel calendar. The detail is examined in the paper The Oracles of God (No. 184). The primary purpose of that paper was to deal with the issue of the oracles of God and where the authority for the calendar resided. We will need to take all this detail into account in the calculations regarding the Restoration of Israel in the Last Days.
Quoting The Oracles of God (No. 184) we see that:
“The propositions made from this prophecy are:
From these points it is then argued that the Hillel calendar is thus inspired and an oracle of God.
Firstly, regarding the fall of Jerusalem, Harper’s Bible Dictionary records that the Babylonians plundered the city in 598 BCE, and the city was levelled in 587 BCE. Neither of these dates gives 1917 as equalling seven time cycles, or 2,520 years. The first date would produce 1923 and the latter date would produce 1933.
Now, this process is classic circular reasoning, as we will see. It is evident from an examination of the history of the liberation of Jerusalem that the events were listed as they were, to convey the impression that God had acted to fulfil Haggai because the people of the time saw that as a fulfilment of prophecy. Having contrived the 9 December 1917 date, the contrivance is then used to justify the Hillel calendar, which formed the basis of the contrivance in the first place.
In 1917 the Holy Land was being liberated by Australian, New Zealand and British, and other allied troops fighting Turks with German auxiliaries. According to the Official War Diary (H.S. Gullett, The Australian Imperial Force in Sinai and Palestine, Vol. II of the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914-18, Angus and Robertson Ltd, Sydney, 1937), Gaza and Beersheba had been taken by 31 October to 1 November 1917. The seizure of Palestine was inevitable. On 2 November 1917 the Balfour Declaration for the establishment of the Jewish Homeland was issued by the British Prime Minister Balfour as his first declaration (the second declaration was regarding the Commonwealth of Australia under British law). The capture of Jerusalem was not undertaken until December. The progress of the forces was:
Battle of Beersheba
31 October to 1 November
Tel el Khuweilfe
The breakthrough occurred (Sinai and Palestine 4-8 November)
The Great Drive was made
The Maritime Plain was cleared
The Jerusalem advance
Nahr Auja and El Buij
24 November to 1 December
Final assault for the capture of Jerusalem
The final assault was launched by Commonwealth troops on 7 December 1917. According to the true New Moon this was the actual date of the 24 Chislev (the Hillel calendar commenced the month two days later). The Turks and Germans began an immediate evacuation, and by 8 December 1917 Jerusalem was freed. The infantry had dug in and established, and by 10 December the Light Horse pushed along the Nablus road about eight miles. They drew heavy Turkish artillery fire. They were holding out towards the southern end of the Jordan Valley, and were attempting to limit Allied access across the river to the Hejaz railway, and so limit Allenby’s operations on the right flank.
Nothing occurred on 9 December 1917 as Jerusalem had already been liberated from the attack on the seventh. Many American histories of Protestant origin seemingly try to claim that 9 December was the day Allenby entered Jerusalem and liberated it. The fact of the matter is that Allenby officially entered Jerusalem on 11 December 1917. Allenby was mindful of the bombastic pageantry with which the German Emperor Wilhelm (William) had entered Jerusalem in 1908. He deliberately made his entry a low-key affair, entering on foot by the side entrance of the narrow old Jaffa gate. 100 troops from the contingents lined the Jaffa road, including English, Scots, Irish, Welsh, Ghurkas, Australians and Italians. The New Zealanders had ridden hard from Jaffa so that the Dominion might be represented. The only touch of colour was from a detachment of French infantry in pale blue uniforms. This was the twenty-fourth time that Jerusalem had been entered by a conquering force (Gullett, ibid., p. 523) but it was not on 24 Chislev 1917. By the Hillel calendar it was 26 Chislev, but from the true New Moon it was 28 Chislev. Our troops had indeed entered on 24 Chislev, but by assault. That is based on the true conjunction with no postponements.
Jerusalem, at the time of its capture, presented no striking evidence of poverty but it was in an indescribable state of filth. It was so polluted by sellers of religious relics and false religion who were habitually unclean (aided by the primitive habits of the Turkish soldiers over three years) that Christians recalled their visit with horror (ibid., p. 522). After the occupation of Jerusalem the city faced food shortages and the British had to truck supplies in from the Mediterranean. Our advance from the south had been so rapid that the Turks had no time to lay the southerly colonies waste. They were to prove useful. The Zionist Commission under the President of the English Zionist Federation, Doctor Weizmann, was tasked, by authorisation of the British Government, with the reconstruction of Palestine. This task involved restoring the ruin of eighteen and a half centuries (The Times History of the War, Vol. XV, London, 1918, p. 179).
The propositions can thus be seen in the light of historical fact free of the fiction of an uninvolved Protestant British-Israelite propaganda emanating from the US.
However, we must remember in all this that Judah had not been blessed at this stage. It is perverse to imagine that God would have chosen this time to fulfil Haggai and still leave another prophecy yet to be implemented in which Judah would go through the worst horrors of its entire existence as a nation. Exactly seven time cycles from the levelling of Jerusalem by the Babylonians, the Nazi Party came to power in Germany and began the systematic persecution of the Jews. From 1942 to 1945 Germany undertook the most systematic genocide of the Jewish people or, for that matter, any nation in recorded history. To assert that this was God’s idea of blessing Judah, in the fulfilment of Haggai, is the most perverted form of reasoning imaginable. If Haggai is fulfilled in these activities we can conclude:
It is not convincing, however, that Haggai is fulfilled.”
However, we can conclude that this date, 24 Chislev 1917, was the start of the establishment of Jerusalem as the centre of the Jewish homeland proclaimed under the Balfour Declaration of 2 November 1917. The other Balfour Declaration concerned Australia and its Constitution.
If we look at this exercise as an antitype for the decrees to construct the previous Temple, i.e. from the decree of Cyrus to the commencement of construction of the Temple under Darius the Persian, we come up with a time sequence that covers a period of one hundred and sixteen years. The Balfour Declaration thus sets off the chain from 1917. The Declaration was in the Eighteenth day of the Eighth month of the Fortieth year of the 118th Jubilee, or 2 November 1917. The end of the period of 116 years to the Millennium is in 2033, or the Sixth year of the millennial system. We can expect the Third to the Sixth years of the Millennium to be concerned with the Temple and the housing of the millennial administration in accordance with prophecy (see the papers The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium (No. 300) and The Golden Jubilee and the Millennium Part II: Israel and the Surrounding Nations (No. 300B)).
The reference to the signet ring is a parallel to Zechariah 4:7-10 and 6:13 (cf. Gen. 41:42 and Est. 3:10). The symbolism is also seen in the Song of Songs 8:6 and Jeremiah 22:24.
The chosen one is the true prince and governor of Isaiah 9:6,7. All of the elect are chosen as David and his line were chosen (1Kgs. 8:16, 11:34; cf. also Zech. 12:8).
“The dedication of the Temple [mentioned here] was as though the Temple was greater than Solomon’s Temple. That was just plain nonsense. In fact, the prophecy in Daniel 9:25-27 shows it is to be built over seventy weeks of years. There is no doubt that the second Temple, and also Herod’s reconstruction of it, were nothing compared to Solomon’s Temple. The Temple here spoken of is a prophecy comparing the spiritual Temple under Messiah with that of the physical Temple, and the former Covenant.
The Spirit of the Lord was to remain with the people, and this only happened from the Church on a permanent basis. Haggai 2:6 is quoted in Hebrews 12:26-27.
Hebrews 12:26-27 His voice then shook the earth; but now he has promised, "Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven." 27This phrase, "Yet once more," indicates the removal of what is shaken, as of what has been made, in order that what cannot be shaken may remain. (RSV)
This is a direct warning from Messiah that this prophecy refers to the final shaking of the heavens and the earth so that what cannot be shaken will remain. This shaking commences with the Temple of God, which is the Church, being the naos or Holy of Holies (1Cor. 3:17). Therefore, let us be grateful to God for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken (Heb. 12:28).
The time-frame is the wars of the end and the return of the Messiah. The First World War was called the Great War for Civilisation because it was thought that it was in fact at the time of the end, and 1914-1916 was rightly seen in prophecy as the completion of seven times from the Reign of Nebuchadnezzar, commencing from the Battle of Carchemish in 605 BCE. The wars of the end did indeed commence from this date, but it was to be over a much more extended time-frame and the prophecy necessarily involved the restoration under Messiah. The 24th of Chislev (the Ninth month) involves the question of the Holy and the Unclean (Hag. 2:10-14). The nation is seen as unclean, and the nation from this time is cleansed of its uncleanness. This point is then related directly to the placement of stone upon stone in the Temple. From that day forward is the laying of the foundation of the Temple, and the Lord will then lay stone upon stone in the construction of the Temple. This sequence does not relate to physical things, but to the conversion of the nation. From the construction of the Temple as living stones, the blessing of the nation will proceed. That is why the Holocaust occurred as it did – because the nation had not converted and the blessings of the Lord have not yet been given. There will be more wars and more disasters yet for both Judah and Israel until they are both repentant and cleansed of sin” (The Oracles of God (No. 184)).
The Temple is still being built of living stones and God will not allow a physical structure to operate on an ongoing basis until Messiah returns and Judah is converted. The only attempts to do so to date have failed, and resulted in harsher penalties for Judah. No unconverted Jew or Gentile is allowed to partake of the Temple. Only those who repent and are baptised are able to be part of the process so that it is not rendered unclean. The kingdoms of this world are overthrown and that which was sown in Babylon will be made a signet ring to the Lord of Hosts. The unclean will be cleansed and will be called Holy to the Lord and will rule as elohim, as kings and priests in and from Jerusalem.
Bullinger’s Notes on Haggai (for KJV)
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.
came = became: i.e. came to, or was communicated. Compare Luke 3:2. See App-82.
Hizkiah = Hezekiah.
utterly consume. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6), for emphasis. Hebrew. "asoph "aseph = to end, I end.
consume = take away, or make an end of.
the land. Figure of speech Pleonasm. (App-6) = the face of the land.
land = soil, or ground.
saith the Lord = [is] Jehovah"s oracle.
I will consume. Note the Figure of speech Anaphora. Three times repeated.
man. Hebrew. "adam with "eth = humanity App-14.
and. Note the Figure of speech Polysyndeton (App-6), for emphasis.
stumblingblocks = ruin. Occurs only here, and Isaiah 3:6. Figure of speech Metalepsis. "Stumblingblocks" put first for the idols and idolatry, and then idolatry put for the ruin brought about by them.
with = together with. Hebrew. "eth.
the wicked = the lawless ones. Hebrew. rasha". App-44.
Mine hand. Figure of speech Anthropopatheia, App-6.
remnant. Septuagint reads "names", reading shem instead of she"ar, as in the next clause.
and. Some codices, with three early printed editions, Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read this "and" in the text.
Chemarims = Kemarim = black-robed, or cassocked. From Hebrew. Kamar, to be black. Used of idolatrous priests because so clothed; not Kohen, as appointed by Jehovah. Occurs only here; 2 Kings 23:5, and Hosea 10:5.
Malcham = king-god, or king-idol. Syriac and Vulgate read "Milcom".
from = from after.
sought . . . enquired. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:29, where the two Hebrew verbs are in the same order, and are rendered "seek . . . seek"). App-92.
LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah.(with "eth) = Jehovah Himself.
the Lord. Hebrew Adonai. App-4.
God. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.
a sacrifice. Septuagint reads "His sacrifice".
bid = separated. Hebrew sanctified. See note on Exodus 3:5.
day. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for the judgments executed in it.
strange = foreign.
those that leap, &c. No reference to idolatrous practice, as in 1 Kings 18:26; but to the servants of rulers sent to enter the houses of others and steal Figure of speech Periphrasis (App-6), for robbers.
on = over.
violence and deceit. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6, for the booty procured.
the noise of a cry. Figure of speech Pleonasm. App-6.
the second = the new city. See note on 2 Kings 22:14,
Maktesh = the mortar. Probably the local name of the merchants" quarter in the Tyropoeon valley, west of Zion. App-68. So called from its basin-like shape.
cut down = laid low.
wine. Heb yayin. App-27.
is near, &c. Hebrew [is] near, near. Figure of speech Epizeuxis, for emphasis: i.e. very near.
mighty man. Hebrew. gibbor. App-14.
wrath. trouble, &c. Note the Figure of speech Synonymia (App-6).
the trumpet and alarm = an alarming trumpet. Figure of speech Hendiadys = a trumpet, yea, a trumpet [call] "to arms"! Compare Zephaniah 2:2.
towers. Hebrew corners. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for the towers usually fixed there.
they shall walk, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 28:29).
land. Not the same word as in verses: Zephaniah 2:3. for, Ginsburg thinks this should be "yea".
Gathers = Collect. Hebrew. kashash. Occurs only in Exodus 5:7, Exodus 5:12. Numbers 15:32, Numbers 15:33; 1 Kings 17:10, 1 Kings 17:12. It is not the same word as in Zephaniah 3:8, Zephaniah 3:18; or in Zephaniah 3:19, Zephaniah 3:20. See the notes there.
not desired = not desirable. Figure of speech Antimereia (of Verb), App-6.
day = judgment. See note on Zephaniah 1:8.
ye shall be hid. Referring to Isaiah 26:20, and the meaning of the name Zephaniah.
Gaza . . . forsaken. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia (App-6), for emphasis. Heb "azzah . . . "azubah.
Ashkelon. Now "Askalan, on the coast of Philistia.
desolation = ruin. Long since fulfilled.
Aahdod Now Esdud. The same as Azotus in Acts 8:40.
at the noon day: i.e. during the noon day siesta.
Ekron . . . rooted up. Note the Figure of speech Paronomasia, for emphasis. Hebrew. "ekron . . . te"aker.
dwellings = pastures.
cottages = pens.
be for. Supply the Ellipsis = "be for [a possession] to".
God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.
them: i.e. the remnant of Judah.
I have heard. Supply the logical Ellipsis (App-6): "[My judgment shall come upon Moab], for I have heard", &c, as in Zephaniah 2:8, &c.
Moab. Compare Isa 15and Isa 16. Jer 48. Amos 2:1-3.
children = sons.
reproached. See Judges 11:12-28.
saith the LORD of hosts = [is] the oracle of Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel. See note on 1 Samuel 1:3.
the God of Israel. See note on Isaiah 29:23.
the breeding of nettles, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 29:23, &c.)
of My People. Some codices, with two early printed editions (one Rabbinic), read "of the nations".
People = nation.
possess = inherit.
famish = cause to waste away.
the isles of the heathen = the coast-lands of the nations. Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 10:5). App-92. The phrase occurs nowhere else.
isles = coast-lands.
heathen = nations.
And He. See note on "For", Zephaniah 2:4.
stretch out His hand. Idiom for executing judgment.
the north: i.e. against Assyria, because although west of Canaan, the road and entrance was by the north.
all = all kinds of. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Genus), App-6.
upper lintels = chapiters, or carved capitals.
cedar work: i.e. the wainscotting.
wag his hand. Idiom expressive of derision.
Woe = Alas for! See note on "For", Zephaniah 2:4.
her: i.e. Jerusalem. See the Structure, p. 1272.
filthy = rebellious.
polluted. Hebrew. ga"al, (1) to redeem: (2) to make or deem common or unclean. A Homonym, with two meanings. Not the same word as in Zephaniah 3:4.
she received not. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Aramaean, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "neither hath she accepted".
correction = discipline.
trusted = confided. Hebrew. batah. App-69. Not the same word as in Zephaniah 3:12.
the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4.
she drew not near, &c. Some codices, with one early printed edition, Aramaean, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "neither unto her God hath she drawn near".
God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4.
gnaw not: or, reserve not.
light = reckless.
treacherous persons = men (Hebrew. "enosh, App-14.) of treacheries; placing the emphasis on the treachery.
iniquity. Hebrew. "avah. App-44.
every morning = morning by morning. See Psalms 101:8.
unjust = perverse. Hebrew. "aval. See App-44.
towers. See note on Zephaniah 1:16.
corrupted, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Genesis 6:12, same word). App-92.
Therefore, &c. The Massorah (App-30and App-93) calls attention to the fact that this verse (Zephaniah 3:8) contains all the letters of the Hebrew alphabet, including the five final letters. This implies that the verse takes in the whole purpose of Jehovah concerning Israel.
upon: or, for.
saith the Lord = [is] Jehovah"s oracle.
to the prey. Septuagint and Syriac read "as a witness", reading "ed instead of "ad. Compare Micah 2:2.
gather = gather in. Not the same word as in Zephaniah 2:1.
for all the earth. See Zephaniah 1:18; and compare the Structure, p. 1272.
the fire of My jealousy. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 4:24).
then: i.e. after all that is implied in Zephaniah 3:8. Note the order of the blessings in "9, 10": Gentiles first, and Israel after; But in "18-20-", Israel first, and Gentiles after.
people = peoples.
a pure language = a lip purified: i.e. a clean lip in contrast with "unclean" lips (Isaiah 6:5).
pure = separated from that which is impure or unclean. Hebrew. barar, as in Ezekiel 20:38. Isaiah 52:11. Daniel 11:35; Daniel 12:10. The reference is, to being made fit for the worship of Jehovah, as the next clause shows. Compare Zephaniah 1:4, Zephaniah 1:5.
that they may. Some codices, with Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and may".
consent. Hebrew shoulder. Put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct), App-6, for the service rendered by it. It is not the Figure of speech Metaphor as alleged.
suppliants = worshippers. Hebrew. "athar. Occurs in this sense nowhere else. From "athar = to burn incense (Ezekiel 8:11); hence to pray or worship.
the daughter of My dispersed: i.e. My dispersed People [Israel].
transgressed. Hebrew. pasha". App-44.
because of = in.
trust = flee for refuge to. Hebrew. hasah. App-69. Not the same word as in Zephaniah 3:2.
the name. See note on Psalms 20:1.
Sing, &c. Figure of speech Poeonismus. App-6.
enemy. Some codices, with Aramaean, Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "foes" (plural)
in the midst, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 7:21).
see. The Codex Hillel, quoted in the Massorah, (App-30and App-93) with some codices, three early printed editions (one Rabbinic, marg), Aramaean, and Vulgate, read, "fear"; but other codices, with nine early printed editions, Septuagint (?), and Vulgate, read "see", as in Authorized Version.
evil = calamity. Hebrew. ra"a". App-44.
Fear thou not. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 7:21).
be slack = hang down.
is mighty; He will save. The Hebrew accents place the chief pause or emphasis on "save", implying not that He will save at some future time, but that He is an ever-present Saviour. Read "Jehovah thy Elohim is in the midst of thee, mighty to save [at all times]". Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 10:17).
He will rejoice, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 30:9). App-92.
will rest. Hebrew will be silent. Septuagint reads "will renew thee"
over thee. The Hebrew accent places the emphasis on these two words.
sorrowful for. Supply the Ellipsis = "sorrowful for [the cessation of]".
solemn assembly = appointed season.
a burden. Some codices, with one early printed edition (Rabbinic, margin), Aramaean, and Syriac, read "aburden on thee".
Behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6.
undo = deal with.
gather = gather out, bring together what has been dispersed. Hebrew. kabaz, as in Zephaniah 3:20. Not the same word as in verses: Zephaniah 8:18, or as in Zephaniah 2:1. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 30:3, Deuteronomy 30:4). App-92.
I will get them, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 26:19).
for I will make you, &c. Reference to Pentateuch (Deuteronomy 26:19). App-92.
turn back your captivity. Hebrew, plural. Idiom for restoring blessings as aforetime. See note on Deuteronomy 30:3,
saith = hath said.