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Asbury Bible Commentary – II. The Response To The Challenge (1:12–15)
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II. The Response To The Challenge (1:12–15)

This section is a narrative on the response that the people made to the message of Haggai. On the twenty-fourth day of that same month the whole remnant of the people (the entire Judean community) began the actual work of restoring the temple. The only oracle of Haggai recorded is the short pronouncement, “I am with you.”

A community may decide to build a house of worship, but if it is not acceptable to the deity, they labor in vain. The place of worship is a point of contact between the community and its God. Haggai's message assured the people that God accepted their work, removed their iniquities, and dwelt among them to sanctify their efforts. The task became a joint venture as God himself encouraged (stirred up the spirit) the leaders and the people.