The Book of Haggai

Background of Haggai
Time: 520BCE (Persian Period)
Place: Yehud
Kings: None. Ruled by High Priest + Governor

 Front view of a barrel-shaped clay cylinder resting on a stand. The cylinder is covered with lines of cuneiform text

Political Backdrop:

·       We’re back from exile!
Step 1: Assyrians are the Big Bad: Northern Kingdom falls (722BCE)
Step 2: Babylonians take over as the Big Bad: Southern Kingdom goes into exile (586BCE)
            Exile period…
539BCE: Neo-Babylonian Empire falls to Cyrus the Great (Perisan Empire)
Step 3: The Persian Empire sends us home! (538BCE)

Primary Themes of Haggai:

·       The necessity to rebuild the Temple!

·       ‘On that day’ no longer refers to returning from exile 

·       Haggai speaks to the leadership – more like the historical prophets than the literary prophets!

Structure of Haggai

Section 1: Accusation!

Chapter 1
Superscript – so many details!
Why haven’t you built the House?
The people respond – building begins

Section 2: One Month Later:
Problem of Expectations
Chapter 2:1-9
Don’t be disappointed – be strong
A day is coming…

Section 3: Two Months Later:
Chapter 2:10-19
Purity and impurity

Section 4: Future Hope
Chapter 2:20-23
Zerubbabel is chosen?


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  2. A very deep teaching, building on current values and inspiration. Thank you.


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