Book summary

Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi are the three books of prophecy in the Old Testament that come after the return of God’s people from exile.

In 538 BC, King Cyrus of Persia issued a decree that permitted Jewish exiles to return to rebuild Jerusalem. The first stage of Judah’s restoration to Jerusalem thus began, and they laid the foundation for a new temple. Soon after, they were discouraged by enemy nations and work on the temple stopped. In 520 BC, Haggai — accompanied by Zechariah — began urging everyone to resume building God’s house. Four years later the temple was completed.

Chapter 1 — First message

A call to build the house of the Lord
  • So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of the whole remnant of the people. They came and began to work on the house of the Lord Almighty… (Hag. 1:14)

Chapter 2:1-9 — Second message

The promised glory of the new house
  • “The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,” says the Lord Almighty. (Hag. 2:9)

Chapter 2:10-19 — Third message

Ch 2:10-14 — The corrupting effect of sin
  • Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?” (Hag. 2:13)

Ch 2:15-19 — Previously punished for disobedience, but now blessed for obedience
  • “I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,” declares the Lord. (Hag. 2:17)

  • “From this day on I will bless you.” (Hag. 2:19)

Chapter 2:20-23 — Fourth message

Zerubbabel and God’s signet ring
  • “Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms.” (Hag. 2:21-22)

  • “‘On that day,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares the Lord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares the Lord Almighty.” (Hag. 2:23)