A Call to Rebuild the Lord’s House
1 On the first day of the sixth month in Darius’ second year as king, Yahweh spoke his word through the prophet Haggai to Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah) and to the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak). He said, 2 “This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: These people say it’s not the right time to rebuild the house of Yahweh.”
3 Then Yahweh spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, 4 “Is it time for you to live in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins? 5 Now, this is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Carefully consider your ways! 6 You planted a lot, but you harvested little. You eat, but you’re never full. You drink, but you’re still thirsty.[a] You wear clothing, but you never have enough to keep you warm. You spend money as fast as you earn it. 7 This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Carefully consider your ways!
8 “Go to the mountains, get lumber, and build the house. I will be pleased with it, and I will be honored,” declares Yahweh.
9 “You expected a lot, but you received a little. When you bring something home, I blow it away. Why?” declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. “It’s because my house lies in ruins while each of you is busy working on your own house. 10 It is because of you that the sky has withheld its dew and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 I called for a drought on the land, the hills, and on the grain, the new wine, the olive oil, and whatever the ground produces, on humans and animals, and on all your hard work.”
The Work on the House Resumes
12 Then Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon obeyed Yahweh their Elohim. They also obeyed the words of the prophet Haggai because Yahweh their Elohim had sent him and because the people feared Yahweh.
13 Then Haggai, the messenger of Yahweh who had received Yahweh’s message, said to the people, “I am with you, declares Yahweh.”
14 Yahweh inspired them to rebuild his house. So Zerubbabel (who was the son of Shealtiel and was governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who was the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon began working on the house of Yahweh Tsebaoth, their Elohim. 15 They began on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in Darius’ second year as king.
The New House Will Be Greater Than the Old One
2 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, Yahweh spoke his word through the prophet Haggai. He said, 2 “Now, speak to Zerubbabel (who is the son of Shealtiel and is governor of Judah), the chief priest Joshua (who is the son of Jehozadak), and the faithful few who returned from Babylon. 3 Ask them, ‘Is there anyone among the faithful few who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Doesn’t it seem like nothing to you?’
4 “But now, Zerubbabel, be strong,” declares Yahweh. “Chief Priest Joshua (son of Jehozadak), be strong. Everyone in the land, be strong,” declares Yahweh. “Work, because I am with you,” declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. 5 “This is the promise I made to you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit remains with you. Don’t be afraid.
6 “This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Once again, in a little while,[b] I am going to shake the sky and the earth, the sea and the dry land. 7 I will shake all the nations, and the one whom all the nations desire will come. Then I will fill this house with glory, says Yahweh Tsebaoth. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. 9 This new house will be more glorious than the former, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth. And in this place I will give them peace, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth.”
Though the People Are Sinful, the Lord Will Bless Them
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in Darius’ second year as king, Yahweh spoke his word to the prophet Haggai. He said, 11 “This is what Yahweh Tsebaoth says: Ask the priests for a decision. 12 Suppose a person carries meat set aside for a holy purpose and he folds it up in his clothes. If his clothes touch bread, boiled food, wine, oil, or any kind of food, does that make the food holy?”
The priests answered, “No.”
13 Haggai asked, “Suppose a person becomes unclean[c] by touching a corpse. If he touches any of these things, does that make them unclean?”
The priests answered, “That makes them unclean.”
14 Then Haggai answered, “In the same way, I have decided that these people are unclean, and so is this nation, declares Yahweh. So is everything they do. Whatever offering they bring is unclean.
15 “And from now on, carefully consider this. Consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in the temple of Yahweh. 16 When anyone came to a pile of grain to get 20 measures, there would be only 10. And when anyone came to a wine vat to draw out 50 measures, there would be only 20 in it. 17 I infested all your work with blight and mildew and struck it with hail. But you didn’t come back to me, declares Yahweh. 18 Carefully consider from now on, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day when the foundation of the house of Yahweh was laid. Carefully consider: 19 Is there any seed left in the barn? The vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree still haven’t produced. But from now on I will bless you.”
A Promise to Zerubbabel
20 Yahweh spoke his word to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month. He said, 21 “Say to Zerubbabel (governor of Judah), ‘I am going to shake the heavens and the earth. 22 I will overthrow the thrones of kingdoms and destroy the power of nations. I will overthrow chariots and their riders, and the horses will fall along with their riders. They will kill one another with swords. 23 On that day, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth, I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel (son of Shealtiel), declares Yahweh. I will make you like a signet ring, because I have chosen you, declares Yahweh Tsebaoth.’”
God’s Two Witnesses
11 Then I was given a stick like a measuring stick. I was told, “Stand up and measure the temple of God and the altar. Count those who worship there. 2 But do not measure the temple courtyard. Leave that out, because it is given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for 42 months. 3 I will allow my two witnesses who wear sackcloth to speak what God has revealed. They will speak for 1,260 days.”
4 These witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamp stands standing in the presence of the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone wants to hurt them, fire comes out of the witnesses’ mouths and burns up their enemies. If anyone wants to hurt them, he must be killed the same way. 6 These witnesses have authority to shut the sky in order to keep rain from falling during the time they speak what God has revealed. They have authority to turn water into blood and to strike the earth with any plague as often as they want.
7 When the witnesses finish their testimony, the beast which comes from the bottomless pit will fight them, conquer them, and kill them. 8 Their dead bodies will lie on the street of the important city where their Lord was crucified. The spiritual names of that city are Sodom and Egypt. 9 For 3½ days some members of the people, tribes, languages, and nations will look at the witnesses’ dead bodies and will not allow anyone to bury them. 10 Those living on earth will gloat over the witnesses’ death. They will celebrate and send gifts to each other because these two prophets had tormented those living on earth.
11 After 3½ days the breath of life from God entered the two witnesses, and they stood on their feet. Great fear fell on those who watched them. 12 The witnesses heard a loud voice from heaven calling to them, “Come up here.” They went up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies watched them. 13 At that moment a powerful earthquake struck. One-tenth of the city collapsed, 7,000 people were killed by the earthquake, and the rest were terrified. They gave glory to the God of heaven.
14 The second catastrophe is over. The third catastrophe will soon be here.
15 When the seventh angel blew his trumpet, there were loud voices in heaven, saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah,
and he will rule as king forever and ever.”
16 Then the 24 leaders, who were sitting on their thrones in God’s presence, immediately bowed, worshiped God, 17 and said,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
because you have taken your great power
and have begun ruling as king.
18 “The nations were angry, but your anger has come.
The time has come for the dead to be judged:
to reward your servants, the prophets,
your holy people,
and those who fear your name,
no matter if they are important or unimportant,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his promise was seen inside his temple. There was lightning, noise, thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
For the choir director; a psalm by David.
1 O Yahweh, you have examined me, and you know me.
2 You alone know when I sit down and when I get up.
You read my thoughts from far away.
3 You watch me when I travel and when I rest.
You are familiar with all my ways.
4 Even before there is a single word on my tongue,
you know all about it, Yahweh.
5 You are all around me—in front of me and in back of me.
You lay your hand on me.
6 Such knowledge is beyond my grasp.
It is so high I cannot reach it.
7 Where can I go to get away from your Ruach?
Where can I run to get away from you?
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there.
If I make my bed in hell, you are there.
9 If I climb upward on the rays of the morning sun
or land on the most distant shore of the sea where the sun sets,
10 even there your hand would guide me
and your right hand would hold on to me.
11 If I say, “Let the darkness hide me
and let the light around me turn into night,”
12 even the darkness is not too dark for you.
Night is as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
13 You alone created my inner being.
You knitted me together inside my mother.
14 I will give thanks to you
because I have been so amazingly and miraculously made.
Your works are miraculous, and my soul is fully aware of this.
15 My bones were not hidden from you
when I was being made in secret,
when I was being skillfully woven in an underground workshop.
16 Your eyes saw me when I was only a fetus.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book
before one of them had taken place.
17 How precious are your thoughts concerning me, O El!
How vast in number they are!
18 If I try to count them,
there would be more of them than there are grains of sand.
When I wake up, I am still with you.
19 I wish that you would kill wicked people, O Eloah,
and that bloodthirsty people would leave me alone.
20 They say wicked things about you.
Your enemies misuse your name.
21 Shouldn’t I hate those who hate you, O Yahweh?
Shouldn’t I be disgusted with those who attack you?
22 I hate them with all my heart.
They have become my enemies.
23 Examine me, O El, and know my mind.
Test me, and know my thoughts.
24 See whether I am on an evil path.
Then lead me on the everlasting path.
15 The bloodsucking leech has two daughters—“Give!” and “Give!”
Four Things That Are Never Satisfied
Three things are never satisfied.
Four never say, “Enough!”:
16 the grave,
a barren womb,
a land that never gets enough water,
a fire that does not say, “Enough!”