Summary of the Book of Haggai
Haggai is among the most carefully and precisely dated books in the entire Bible. It is a post-exilic book, meaning it was written after (post) the captivity (exile) in Babylon.
Key personalities are Haggai, Zerubbabel, and Joshua.
The purpose of this book was that Haggai was called by God to encourage the people to finish the construction of the temple in Jerusalem. The construction had ceased because of opposition and because the neighboring countries, and the Jews were frightened.
Chapter 1 – God called on Haggai to deliver His message. The Jews were living in their comfortable houses while the temple, the house of God, sat unfinished.
Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, This people say, The time is not come, the time that the LORD’s house should be built (1:2).
The Jews began working 24 days after Haggai’s message.
Chapter 2 – Haggai motivated the Jews to continue building the temple, and that God will bless them.
According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not (2:5).
The building of the temple in Jerusalem was completed in 515 B.C.
Haggai was sent by God to preach to the restored community of Jews in Jerusalem after the Babylonian captivity had ended. He encouraged his fellow Jews to finish rebuilding the Temple, which had been destroyed by the Babylonians in about 586 B.C.
Haggai’s messages were addressed to Zerubbabel the governor, and to Joshua the high priest.
He began to preach in 520 B.C. after the work to rebuild the Temple had ceased. The work began anew and the Temple was completed during the next four years (520 BC – 516 B.C.).
Haggai, along with the prophet Zechariah, Zerubbabel and Joshua, played an important role in getting the Temple rebuilt. The rebuilt Temple (also known as the second Temple) lasted five centuries until it was rebuilt by Herod the Great in 20 B.C.
Before the Temple had been rebuilt, Haggai drew a link between Judah’s poverty and depressed state of affairs and the sinful indifference in regards to rebuilding the Temple.
Haggai means “a festival” and Book of Haggai is the tenth of the books of the twelve Minor Prophets.