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Wednesday, February 10 2016

Haggai 2: Haggai's Message To Zerubbabel And Joshua

"In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying, Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest"

Zerubbabel was well-qualified to be a leader of the return of the people of Judah from their seventy-years exile in Babylon (see also Why Didn't The Exiles Want To Go Home?). He had already served as a governor of the people of Judah in Persia (Haggai 1:1). He was also a grandson of Jehoiachin, one of the last kings of Judah before the exile (see Why Did Judah Fall To Babylon? and How The Messianic Line Survived In Babylon).

Zerubbabel was therefore chosen to lead the first group of the people of Judah (see Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings and The Origin Of Israelites And Jews) who returned from the Babylonian captivity to Jerusalem. The chronology (approximate dates):

  • 536-516 B.C.: Zerubbabel oversaw the beginning of the rebuilding of the Temple (Ezra chapters 3 to 6).

  • 458-432 B.C.: Nehemiah the governor and Ezra the priest oversaw the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem and its restoration as a fortified city (Nehemiah chapters 2 to 7).

Zerubbabel's group began their work in the seventh month of the LORD's calendar (corresponding to early autumn on the Roman calendar that was created by the Romans centuries later).

Rebulding The Walls Of Jerusalem

"3:1 And when the seventh month was come, and the children of Israel were in the cities, the people gathered themselves together as one man to Jerusalem.

3:2 Then stood up Jeshua the son of Jozadak, and his brethren the priests, and Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and his brethren, and builded the altar of the God of Israel, to offer burnt offerings thereon, as it is written in the law of Moses the man of God. 3:3 And they set the altar upon his bases; for fear was upon them because of the people of those countries: and they offered burnt offerings thereon unto the LORD, even burnt offerings morning and evening." (Ezra 3:1-3 KJV)

Haggai was one of the prophets of the LORD (Zechariah and Malachi were the other two) at the time of the return. The LORD gave Haggai a specific message to Zerubbabel, the governor, and Joshua (not to be confused with the Joshua of the time of Moses) who was positioned to become the High Priest. Both Zerubbabel and Joshua were not only given to serve in those offices, but at the same time restore the venue of their office - the city of Jerusalem and the Temple of the LORD, both of which were in ruins when Zerubbabel and Joshua arrived.

"2:1 In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying,

2:2 Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying, 2:3 Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing? 2:4 Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts: 2:5 According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.

2:6 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; 2:7 And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 2:8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts. 2:9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts." (Haggai 2:1-9 KJV)

Haggai was further given to deliver the Word of the LORD to the priests - instructions that turned out to be prophetic in how they were later ignored by the religious sects that developed in the centuries after the return i.e. the Pharisees and Sadduccees, and others (see The Origin Of The Essenes, Sadducees And Pharisees), who blasphemously called the Messiah a sinner because He followed and obeyed what He, as the LORD God (see The Identity Of The LORD God and The LORD God Our Saviour), originally commanded the leadership of Judah to observe and obey, rather than the traditions that they created for themselves (see Why Call Me, Lord, Lord, and Do Not The Things Which I Say?).

"2:10 In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,

2:11 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,

2:12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy?

And the priests answered and said, No.

2:13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean?

And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.

2:14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.

2:15 And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD: 2:16 Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty. 2:17 I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD. 2:18 Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it. 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you." (Haggai 2:10-19 KJV)

Zerubbabel was also given to know that, because of his steadfast righteousness, his work at the time of salvation would continue in the Kingdom of God (see What Gospel Did Jesus Preach?).

"2:20 And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,

2:21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth; 2:22 And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.

2:23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts." (Haggai 2:20-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Who was Ezra? Who was Nehemiah?
See Ezra 1: The Prophecies Of Cyrus of Persia and Ezra 8: Ezra's Journey From Babylon; also Nehemiah 1: Nehemiah's Prayer From Shushan and Nehemiah 2: The Arrival Of Nehemiah's Cavalry


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This Day In History, February 10

48 BC: Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus died. He was a leader of the Optimates (an ultra-conservative senatorial aristocracy) in the last years of the Roman Republic (see The Politics Of Rome) which was followed by Imperial Rome under the "Caesars" - the first of which is recorded in the Bible (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire). After the powerful generals Julius Caesar (see The Cleopatra Connection and A History Of Jerusalem: Greeks, Ptolemies, Seleucids), Gnaeus Pompey and Marcus Licinius Crassus formed an unofficial ruling triumvirate in 60 BC, Ahenobarbus resisted them.

Athenian Empire 1162: Baldwin III died at age 31. He was the king of the "crusader state" of Jerusalem from 1143 to 1162 (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy; listen also to out Sermon Constantine's Papacy).

1258: Huegu, a Mongol leader, seized Baghdad, bringing an end to the Abbasid caliphate.

1364: A treaty was signed which guaranteed that Tyrol would be kept in the families of the Luxemburgs and Hapsburgs.

1567: Lord Darnley, the husband of Roman Catholic Queen Mary Stuart, ("Mary, Queen of Scots") was murdered by her lover (and next husband) James Hepburn.

1720: Edmund Halley was appointed the second Astronomer Royal of England.

1763: Britain gained control of Canada from France with the signing of the Treaty of Paris. The treaty, signed between Britain, France and Spain, ended the Seven Years War, stripped France of all its possessions north of what became the United States, except for the tiny islands of St. Pierre-Miquelon off the east coast of Canada, which remain territories of France to this day. Spain won Louisiana and Havana.

1799: Napoleon Bonaparte departed Cairo, Egypt, for Syria, with a force of 13,000 men.

1814: Napoleon personally directed lightning strikes against enemy columns advancing toward Paris, beginning with a victory over the Russians at Champaubert.

1837: Alexander Pushkin, Russian poet and novelist, was killed in a duel. Regarded as Russia's greatest poet, his works included Boris Godunov.

1840: Queen Victoria of England and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg (Germany), both age 21, were married. The marriage was arranged by their uncle (Victoria and Albert were cousins) King Leopold of Belgium.

1846: British general Sir Hugh Gough decisively routed Tej Singh's Sikhs in the Battle of Sobraon.

1904: Russia and Japan declared war on each other.

1906: Britain's first modern battleship, HMS Dreadnought, was launched.

1918: Abdulhhamid II died at age 76. He was the Ottoman sultan 1876-1909 (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1936: Adolf Hitler's Gestapo ("ge-stat-po" is the German abbreviation of "the-state-police") were authorized to arrest and imprison without trial (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1954: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower warned against the U.S. becoming involved in the Vietnam civil war between North and South Vietnam. The armaments industries (that Eisenhower called "the military-industrial complex) nevertheless succeeded in keeping the U.S. in a state of perpetual war against and around the world.

1962: In a ceremony on a bridge between West Berlin and East Germany, Soviet spy Rudolf Abel, who had been arrested in New York, was exchanged for shot-down U.S. U-2 spy-plane pilot Francis Gary Powers and a U.S. "student" who had been held in East Germany on spying charges.

1974: British coal miners began a national strike. The dispute caused energy shortages, a 3 day work week, and the collapse of Edward Heath's Conservative government.

1986: The largest Mafia trial in history, with 474 defendants, opened in Palermo, Italy.

1991: Lithuanians voted overwhelmingly for independence from the Soviet Union. Parliament had already declared independence in March 1990.

1996: An IBM computer called Deep Blue defeated world champion Garry Kasparov, the first victory of a machine under classic tournament rules.

2005: North Korea announced that it had nuclear weapons.

2009: The communication satellites Iridium 33 and Kosmos-2251 collided in Earth orbit; both were destroyed.





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Copyright © Wayne Blank