New International Reader's Version

Haggai 1

Haggai Tells His People to Rebuild the Lord’s Temple

1A message from the Lord came to Haggai the prophet. Haggai gave it to Zerubbabel and Joshua. Zerubbabel was governor of Judah and the son of Shealtiel. Joshua was high priest and the son of Jozadak. The message came on the first day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was king of Persia. Here is what Haggai said.

Here is what the Lord who rules over all says. “The people of Judah say, ‘It’s not yet time to rebuild the Lord’s temple.’ ”

So the message from the Lord came to me. The Lord said, “My temple is still destroyed. But you are living in your houses that have beautiful wooden walls.”

The Lord who rules over all says, “Think carefully about how you are living. You have planted many seeds. But the crops you have gathered are small. So you eat. But you never have enough. You drink. But you are never full. You put on your clothes. But you are not warm. You earn your pay. But it will not buy everything you need.”

He continues, “Think carefully about how you are living. Go up into the mountains. Bring logs down. Use them to rebuild the temple, my house. Then I will enjoy it. And you will honor me,” says the Lord. “You expected a lot. But you can see what a small amount it turned out to be. I blew away what you brought home. I’ll tell you why,” announces the Lord who rules over all. “Because my temple is still destroyed. In spite of that, each one of you is busy with your own house. 10 So because of what you have done, the heavens have held back the dew. And the earth has not produced its crops. 11 I ordered the rain not to fall on the fields and mountains. Then the ground did not produce any grain. There were not enough grapes to make fresh wine. The trees did not bear enough olives to make oil. People and cattle suffered. All your hard work failed.”

12 Zerubbabel was the son of Shealtiel. Joshua the high priest was the son of Jozadak. They obeyed the Lord their God. So did all the Lord’s people who were still left alive. The Lord had given his message to them through me. He had sent me to speak to them. And the people had respect for him.

13 Haggai was the Lord’s messenger. So Haggai gave the Lord’s message to the people. He told them, “The Lord announces, ‘I am with you.’ ” 14 So the Lord stirred up the spirits of Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and Joshua the high priest. The Lord also stirred up the rest of the people to help them. Then everyone began to work on the temple of the Lord who rules over all. He is their God. 15 It was the 24th day of the sixth month.

The New Temple Will Be Beautiful

In the second year of King Darius,

The Message

Haggai 1

Caught Up with Taking Care of Your Own Houses

1On the first day of the sixth month of the second year in the reign of King Darius of Persia, God’s Message was delivered by the prophet Haggai to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak:

A Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies: “The people procrastinate. They say this isn’t the right time to rebuild my Temple, the Temple of God.”

3-4 Shortly after that, God said more and Haggai spoke it: “How is it that it’s the ‘right time’ for you to live in your fine new homes while the Home, God’s Temple, is in ruins?”

5-6 And then a little later, God-of-the-Angel-Armies spoke out again:

“Take a good, hard look at your life.
    Think it over.
You have spent a lot of money,
    but you haven’t much to show for it.
You keep filling your plates,
    but you never get filled up.
You keep drinking and drinking and drinking,
    but you’re always thirsty.
You put on layer after layer of clothes,
    but you can’t get warm.
And the people who work for you,
    what are they getting out of it?
Not much—
    a leaky, rusted-out bucket, that’s what.

That’s why God-of-the-Angel-Armies said:

“Take a good, hard look at your life.
    Think it over.”

8-9 Then God said:

“Here’s what I want you to do:
    Climb into the hills and cut some timber.
Bring it down and rebuild the Temple.
    Do it just for me. Honor me.
You’ve had great ambitions for yourselves,
    but nothing has come of it.
The little you have brought to my Temple
    I’ve blown away—there was nothing to it.

9-11 “And why?” (This is a Message from God-of-the-Angel-Armies, remember.) “Because while you’ve run around, caught up with taking care of your own houses, my Home is in ruins. That’s why. Because of your stinginess. And so I’ve given you a dry summer and a skimpy crop. I’ve matched your tight-fisted stinginess by decreeing a season of drought, drying up fields and hills, withering gardens and orchards, stunting vegetables and fruit. Nothing—not man or woman, not animal or crop—is going to thrive.”

12 Then the governor, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak, and all the people with them listened, really listened, to the voice of their God. When God sent the prophet Haggai to them, they paid attention to him. In listening to Haggai, they honored God.

13 Then Haggai, God’s messenger, preached God’s Message to the people: “I am with you!” God’s Word.

14-15 This is how God got Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people moving—got them working on the Temple of God-of-the-Angel-Armies. This happened on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of King Darius.