1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, 2 "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, 'This people says, "The time has not come, the time that the LORD'S house should be built."'" 3 Then the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 "Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your ceiled houses and this house lie waste?" 5 Now therefore, thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways. 6 You have sown much and bring in little. You eat, but you do not have enough. You drink, but you are not filled with drink. You clothe yourselves, but there is no one warm. And he who earns wages, earns wages to put it into a bag with holes."
7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: "Consider your ways. 8 Go up to the mountain, bring wood, and build the house. Then I will take pleasure in it and I will be glorified," says the LORD. 9 "You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew upon it. Why?" says the LORD of hosts. "Because of my house that lies waste, and each of you run to his own house. 10 Therefore, for your sake the heavens withhold the dew and the earth withholds her fruit. 11 And I called for a drought upon the land, upon the mountains, upon the corn, upon the new wine, upon the oil, upon that which the ground brings forth, upon men, upon cattle, and upon all the labor of the hands."
12 Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, with all the remnant of the people, obeyed the voice of the LORD their God and the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD their God had sent him, and the people feared before the LORD. 13 Then Haggai the LORD'S messenger spoke the LORD'S message to the people, saying, "'I am with you,' says the LORD." 14 And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people, and they came and performed work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God, 15 On the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
This chapter contains the first sermon of the Prophet Haggai to the people of the Jews, directed to Zerubbabel the governor, and Joshua the high priest; the date of which is fixed (verse 1). It begins with a charge against that people; saying the time to build the house of the Lord has not come (verse 2), which is refuted by the prophet; arguing, that, if the time to panel their dwelling houses has come, then much more the time to build the Lord's house (verses 3-4). They are urged to consider how unsuccessful they had been in their civil employments and labors, which was owing to their neglect of building the temple; therefore, if they consulted their own good, and the glory of God, the best way was to set about it in all haste, and with diligence (verses 5-9), and even the famine, which they had been afflicted with for some time, and which affected both man and beast, sprung from the same cause (verses 10-11). This discourse had such an effect upon the governor, high priest, and people, that they immediately rose up, and went about the work they were exhorted to; upon which the prophet, by a special message from the Lord, promises his presence with them (verses 12-15).
[v.1] - "Haggai" - In Hebrew, חגי, Chaggay (khag-gah'-ee). "His name comes from a word which signifies to keep a feast; and, according to Jerome, signifies festival or merry; according to Hillerus, the feasts of the Lord; and, according to Cocceius, my feasts" (John Gill).
[v.4] - From John Calvin's Commentary: "But we may here also see how kindly God has provided for his Church; for his purpose was that this reproof should continue in existence, that he might at this day stimulate us, and excite our fear as well as our shame. For we also thus grow frigid in promoting the worship of God, whenever we are led to seek only our own advantages. We may also add, that as God's temple is spiritual, our fault is the more atrocious when we become thus slothful; since God does not bid us to collect either wood, or stones, or cement, but to build a celestial temple, in which he may be truly worshiped. When therefore we become thus indifferent, as that people were thus severely reproved, doubtless our sloth is much more detestable. We now see that the Prophet not only spoke to men of his age, but was also destined, through God's wonderful purpose, to be a preacher to us, so that his doctrine sounds at this day in our ears, and reproves our torpor and ungrateful indifference: for the building of the spiritual temple is deferred, whenever we become devoted to ourselves, and regard only what is advantageous to us individually."
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 1-4:
Grant, Almighty God, that as we must carry on a warfare in this world, and as it is your will to try us with many contests,— O grant, that we may never faint, however extreme may be the trials which we shall have to endure: and as you have favored us with so great an honor as to make us the framers and builders of your spiritual temple, may every one of us present and consecrate himself wholly to you: and, inasmuch as each of us has received some peculiar gift, may we strive to employ it in building this temple, so that you may be worshiped among us perpetually; and especially, may each of us offer himself wholly as a spiritual sacrifice to you, until we shall at length be renewed in your image, and be received into a full participation of that glory, which has been attained for us by the blood of your only-begotten Son. Amen.
[v.8] - "Then I will take pleasure in it" - This can also be read as, "Then I will be propitious in it."
[v.11] - "drought" - Or, "desolation."
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 5-11:
Grant, Almighty God, that since you kindly and graciously invite us to yourself, we may not wait until you stimulate us with goads, but cast aside our sloth and run quickly to you. And when our torpor so possesses us as to render punishment necessary, permit us not to harden ourselves; but being at length effectually warned, may we return to the right way, and strive so to render all we do approved by you, that we may find a door opened to your grace and favor: and being made partakers of those blessings, by which you afford a taste of that goodness which we shall enjoy in heaven, may we ever aspire to that place, and be satisfied with the abundant blessings which we daily and even continually receive from your hand, in such a manner as not to be detained by this world; but may we, with minds raised up to heaven, ever tend upwards, and labor for that perfect happiness which is there laid up for us by Christ our Lord. Amen.
[v.15] - "the sixth month" - That is, the same month as noted in verse 1 when, "the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet."
[v.12-15] - John Calvin's Prayer for these verses is included with the first five verses of the next chapter. Therefore, the prayer is in the next chapter.