Haggai 2International Children’s Bible (ICB)
The Beauty of the Temple
2 The Lord spoke his word through Haggai the prophet on the twenty-first day of the seventh month. This is what the Lord said: 2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah. Speak also to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest. And speak to the rest of the people who were left alive. Say: 3 ‘Do any of you who are still alive remember how beautiful the Temple was before it was destroyed? What does it look like now? The truth is it means nothing to you!’ 4 But the Lord says: ‘Zerubbabel, be brave. Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, be brave. And all you people who live in the land, be brave,’ says the Lord. ‘Work, because I am with you,’ says the Lord of heaven’s armies. 5 ‘I made a promise to you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit is still with you. So don’t be afraid.’
6 “This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: ‘In a short time I will shake the heavens and earth once again. And I will shake the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations. All the nations will bring their wealth. Then I will fill this Temple with glory,’ says the Lord of heaven’s armies. 8 ‘The silver is mine, and the gold is mine,’ says the Lord of heaven’s armies. 9 ‘The new Temple will be more beautiful than the one that was destroyed,’ says the Lord of heaven’s armies. ‘And in this place I will give peace to the people,’ says the Lord of heaven’s armies.”
10 The Lord spoke his word to Haggai the prophet. This was on the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. It was in the second year that Darius was king of Persia. This is what the Lord said: 11 “This is what the Lord of heaven’s armies says: ‘Ask the priests what the teachings say. 12 A person might carry meat made holy for the Lord in the fold of his clothes. And that fold might touch bread, cooked food, wine, olive oil or some other food. Will the thing the fold touches be made holy for the Lord, too?’”
The priests answered, “No.”
13 Then Haggai said, “A person who touches a dead body will become unclean. If he touches any of these foods, will it become unclean, too?”
The priests answered, “Yes. It would become unclean.”
14 Then Haggai answered, “The Lord says this: ‘This is also true for the people of this nation. They are unclean, and everything they do with their hands is unclean to me. If these people offer something at the altar to me, it is also unclean.
15 “‘Think about this from now on! Think about how it was before you started piling stones on top of stones. Think about how it was before you started building the Temple of the Lord. 16 A person used to come to a pile of grain expecting to find 20 basketfuls. But there were only 10. And a person used to come to the wine vat to take out 50 jarfuls. But only 20 were there. 17 I destroyed your work with diseases, mildew and hail. But you still did not come to me.’ The Lord says this. 18 ‘It is the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month. On this day the people finished working on the foundation of the Temple of the Lord. From now on, think about these things: 19 Do you have seeds for your crops already in the barn? No! Your vines and trees are not giving fruit yet, either. You don’t have any figs, pomegranates or olives yet. But from now on I will bless you!’”
The Lord Makes a Promise to Zerubbabel
20 Then the Lord spoke his word a second time to Haggai. It was on the twenty-fourth day of the month. This is what the Lord said: 21 “Tell Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah: ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will destroy the foreign kingdoms. I will take away the power of the kingdoms of the nations. I will destroy the chariots and their riders. The horses will fall with their riders. People will kill each other with swords.’ 23 The Lord of heaven’s armies says this: ‘On that day I will take you, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant.’ The Lord says this: ‘I will make you important like my signet ring. This is because I have chosen you!’ says the Lord of heaven’s armies.”
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