2 On the 21st day of the 7th month, the prophet Haggai gave another message from the Eternal.
Eternal One: 2 Ask Zerubbabel (Shealtiel’s son and Judah’s governor), Joshua (Jehozadak’s son and the high priest), and all those who returned from exile, 3 “Are any of you still living who saw how glorious My first house was before it was destroyed more than 60 years ago? How does this current one look to you now? In comparison to the first, does this one look like nothing? Of course it does.
4 “But don’t be discouraged. Be strong, Zerubbabel. Be strong, Joshua (Jehozadak’s son and the high priest). Be strong, all you who once again live in the land. Keep working on it. For I, the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, am with you! 5 Regarding the covenant[a] I made with you when your ancestors came out of Egypt,[b] My Spirit remains with you, living among you. Do not be afraid.
6 “Yet once more[c] I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens,[d] the sea, and the land. 7 I will rattle all the nations, and all that is valuable in the eyes of the world will be willingly brought to My house. I will see to it that it is filled to the brim with My glory.
8 “You see, all the silver and all the gold in this world already belong to Me. 9 You will stand by and watch as the magnificence of this new house will eclipse the magnificence of My first house. And in this new house, I will give you peace.”
God proclaims peace will come upon the Jews, a peace not only for Israel but for all believers in the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6–7).
So says the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.
10 On the 24th day of the 9th month during the 2nd year of King Darius’ reign, the prophet Haggai received a third message from the Eternal One. 11 The Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies, told Haggai to ask the priests to explain what the law says about this scenario:
Haggai: 12 If a person is carrying sacred meat, the meat of the sacrifices, in the fold of his garment and that garment comes into contact with some ordinary bread, stew, wine, oil, or any other food; then does it transfer its sacredness to the new food?
Haggai: 13 What about this situation then? If a person who is ritually impure from touching a dead body[e] touches one of these foods, does he transfer the impurity to it?
Priests: Yes, it is now impure.
Haggai: 14 The Eternal One says this is what He sees when He looks over this people and this nation:
“Everything they have done and everything they have brought there as a spiritual offering is impure. 15 Now think carefully about your choices from this point forward. Consider how things were before you even laid the first stone back upon the other to rebuild the house of the Eternal One. 16 How did it turn out for you? Were you able to do it without Me? You came to scoop grain and expected 20 measures, but there were only 10. You came to draw wine from a vat and expected 50 measures, but there were only 20. 17 I crushed you and everything you tried to do under your own power with scorching heat, mildew, and hail; and still you didn’t turn to Me.[f]
18 “From this day forward—from the 24th day of the 9th month, from the foundation of the Eternal One’s house—think carefully and ask yourself, 19 ‘Is there seed left unplanted in the storage barns?’ No. But you must be patient. The grape vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate trees and the olive trees have not borne fruit yet. From this day on, I will bless you.”
20 That same day the prophet Haggai received a second message from the Eternal One.
Eternal One: 21 Tell Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, that I will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens.[g] 22 I will upend royal thrones and shatter the power of foreign kingdoms. I will crash chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will be killed in confusion and chaos, each by the sword of his countryman. 23 On that day, I will choose you, my servant Zerubbabel (Shealtiel’s son); this I declare. I will make you My choice as a signet ring represents the wishes of its owner because I have chosen you.
So said the Eternal, Commander of heavenly armies.