New Living Translation

Haggai 1

A Call to Rebuild the Temple

1On August 29[a] of the second year of King Darius’s reign, the Lord gave a message through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Jeshua[b] son of Jehozadak, the high priest.

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The people are saying, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.’”

Then the Lord sent this message through the prophet Haggai: “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! You have planted much but harvest little. You eat but are not satisfied. You drink but are still thirsty. You put on clothes but cannot keep warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!

“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Look at what’s happening to you! Now go up into the hills, bring down timber, and rebuild my house. Then I will take pleasure in it and be honored, says the Lord. You hoped for rich harvests, but they were poor. And when you brought your harvest home, I blew it away. Why? Because my house lies in ruins, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, while all of you are busy building your own fine houses. 10 It’s because of you that the heavens withhold the dew and the earth produces no crops. 11 I have called for a drought on your fields and hills—a drought to wither the grain and grapes and olive trees and all your other crops, a drought to starve you and your livestock and to ruin everything you have worked so hard to get.”

Obedience to God’s Call

12 Then Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the whole remnant of God’s people began to obey the message from the Lord their God. When they heard the words of the prophet Haggai, whom the Lord their God had sent, the people feared the Lord. 13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the people this message from the Lord: “I am with you, says the Lord!”

14 So the Lord sparked the enthusiasm of Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the enthusiasm of Jeshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the enthusiasm of the whole remnant of God’s people. They began to work on the house of their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, 15 on September 21[c] of the second year of King Darius’s reign.

Footnotes

  1. 1:1a Hebrew On the first day of the sixth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. A number of dates in Haggai can be cross-checked with dates in surviving Persian records and related accurately to our modern calendar. This event occurred on August 29, 520 B.c.
  2. 1:1b Hebrew Joshua, a variant spelling of Jeshua; also in 1:12, 14.
  3. 1:15 Hebrew on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This event occurred on September 21, 520 B.c.; also see note on 1:1a.

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,