Haggai Lesson 1



KEY VERSE: Haggai 1:8 “Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, saith the Lord.”

THEME: Rebuilding of the temple. This work had been discontinued. Fourteen years had passed since the remnant had returned. Not only was the temple unfinished, but its foundation had become overgrown with weeds.

DATE: The Jews had returned to their own land from seventy years of captivity in Babylon (approximately 535 B.C.) They got started at that time, but opposition caused the work to cease. Some fourteen or fifteen years later (520 B.C.), Haggai and Zechariah came on the scene, stirred up the people, and caused the work to begin again. Haggai’s four prophecies date from 520-504 B.C.

WRITER: Haggai. Haggai was born in Babylon during the captivity period. He was the first of three prophets of the restoration. The others were Zechariah and Malachi. He was a prophet of great faith and was used of God to awaken the consciences and stir up the enthusiasm of the Jews to rebuild the temple. His strong leadership, his prayers and faith, and his strong appeals caused the great task to be accomplished. Habakkuk – Zephaniah – Haggai page 7

WRITTEN: The book of Haggai was written as four sermons to the remnant over a period of four months. The book is written in plain style and simple language. It was written during a critical time in the history of the Jews.

THE BOOK: Number in Bible: 37th of 66 books of the Bible. Number of chapters: 2. Number of verses: 38. Number in order of writing: 10th of 12 books of minor prophecy.

PURPOSE: To show that the building of the Lord’s house should come before the building of the fine homes by the people. The people made excuses saying that the time the Lord’s house should be built had not come (1:2). Haggai came on the scene saying, “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your ceiled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; “Consider your ways” (1:4, 5).

DIVISIONS: 1. Haggai’s first message 1:1-15. 2. Haggai’s second message 2:1-9. 3. Haggai’s third message 2:10-19. 4. Haggai’s fourth message 2:20-23.

FACTS: The name Haggai means my feast. Haggai is the second smallest book of the Old Testament. Obadiah is the shortest. Haggai was a contemporary of Zechariah. Both are mentioned in the book of Ezra (5:1; 6:14). Haggai’s prophecies are the most precisely dated ones in all the Bible. His book has been compared to the Epistle of James in the New Testament. A chronology of this period may be seen by the following dates: 536 B.C. The seventh month: They built the altar and offered sacrifice. 535 B.C. The second month: The work on the temple began and was stopped. 520 B.C. The sixth month, the first day: Haggai called to build. The sixth month, the twenty-fourth day: The building began. The seventh month, the twenty-first day: Haggai’s second appeal is made. The eighth month (November): Zechariah’s opening address is given. The ninth month (December), the twenty-fourth day: Haggai’s third and fourth address is given. The eleventh month (February), the twenty-fourth day: Zechariah has visions. 518 B.C. The ninth month, the fourth day: Zechariah has visions. 516 B.C. The twelfth month (March), the third day: The temple is completed. 515 B.C. The joyful Passover takes place. 455 B.C. Ezra comes to Jerusalem and makes certain reforms. 445 B.C. Nehemiah rebuilds the wall during the period of Malachi.

OUTLINE: I. A call to build. “Consider your ways . . .” 1:1-15. II. A call to courage. “Be strong . . .” 2:1-9. III. A call to consider. “I will bless you . . .” 2:10-12. IV. A call to endure. “I have chosen thee . . .” 2:20-23.

MISCELLANEOUS: Three temples mentioned in Haggai. 1. Solomon’s temple. 2. Zerubbabel’s temple. 3. Messiah’s temple. The real climax of the message of Haggai is that “…the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.” Haggai 2:7 This refers to the Lord’s coming and the new temple in the millennium.

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