The challenge to rebuild
1 The Lord’s word came through Haggai the prophet in the second year of King Darius, in the sixth month on the first day of the month, to Judah’s governor Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, and to the high priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son:
2 This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
These people say, “The time hasn’t come,
the time to rebuild the Lord’s house.”
3 Then the Lord’s word came through Haggai the prophet:
4 Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses
while this house lies in ruins?
5 So now, this is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
Take your ways to heart.
6 You have sown much, but it has brought little.
You eat, but there’s not enough to satisfy.
You drink, but not enough to get drunk.
There is clothing, but not enough to keep warm.
Anyone earning wages puts those wages into a bag with holes.
7 This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
Take your ways to heart.
8 Go up to the highlands and bring back wood.
Rebuild the temple so that I may enjoy it
and that I may be honored, says the Lord.
9 You expect a surplus, but look how it shrinks.
You bring it home, and I blow it away, says the Lord of heavenly forces,
because my house lies in ruins.
But all of you hurry to your own houses.
10 Therefore, the skies above you have withheld the dew,
and the earth has withheld its produce because of you.
11 I have called for drought on the earth,
on the mountains, on the grain,
on the wine, on the olive oil,
on that which comes forth from the fertile ground,
on humanity, on beasts,
and upon everything that handles produce.
12 Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, and the high priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son, along with all who remained among the people, listened to the voice of the Lord God and to the words of Haggai the prophet because the Lord their God sent him. Then the people feared the Lord.
13 Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave the Lord’s message to the people:
I am with you, says the Lord.
14 The Lord moved the spirit of Judah’s governor Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, and the spirit of the high priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son, and the spirit of all the rest of the people. Then they came and did work on the house of the Lord of heavenly forces, their God, 15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year of Darius the king.
Encouraging the people
2 On the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Lord’s word came through Haggai the prophet: 2 Say to Judah’s governor Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, and to the chief priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son, and to the rest of the people:
3 Who among you is left who saw this house in its former glory?
How does it look to you now?
Doesn’t it appear as nothing to you?
4 So now, be strong, Zerubbabel, says the Lord.
Be strong, High Priest Joshua, Jehozadak’s son,
and be strong, all you people of the land, says the Lord.
Work, for I am with you, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
5 As with our agreement when you came out of Egypt,
my spirit stands in your midst.
6 This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
In just a little while, I will make the heavens, the earth, the sea, and the dry land quake.
7 I will make all the nations quake.
The wealth of all the nations will come.
I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
8 The silver and the gold belong to me, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
9 This house will be more glorious than its predecessor, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
I will provide prosperity in this place, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
Cleansing the work
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in the second year of Darius, the Lord’s word came to Haggai the prophet:
11 This is what the Lord of heavenly forces says:
Go ahead and ask the priests for a ruling:
12 “If someone lifts holy meat into the hem of one’s garment and that hem touches bread, stew, wine, oil, or any kind of food, will it be made holy?”
And the priests responded, “No.”
13 Haggai said,
“If an unclean person touches any of these things, will it become unclean?”
And the priests responded, “It will be unclean.”
14 Then Haggai responded:
Thus has this people and this nation become to me, says the Lord,
and everything that they do with their hands.
Whatever they offer is unclean.
15 So now, take it to heart from this day forward.
Before stone was placed on stone in the Lord’s temple,
16 when one came to the granary for twenty measures,
there were only ten;
and when one came to the wine vat for fifty measures,
there were only twenty.
17 I struck you—everything you do with your hands—
with blight and mildew and hail;
but you didn’t return to me.[a]
18 So take it to heart from this day forward,
from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month.
Take it to heart from the day when the foundation for the Lord’s temple was laid.
19 Is the seed yet in the granary—
or the vine, the fig tree, or the pomegranate—
or has the olive tree not borne fruit?
From this day forward, I will bless you.
20 And the Lord’s word came to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth of the month, saying:
21 Speak to Judah’s governor Zerubbabel:
I am about to make the heavens and the earth quake.
22 I will overthrow the thrones of the kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the nations.[b]
I will overthrow chariot and rider;
horses and riders will fall.
Each one will fall by the sword of his companion.
23 On that day, says the Lord of heavenly forces:
I will take you, Zerubbabel, Shealtiel’s son, my servant, says the Lord;
I will make you like a signet ring
because I have chosen you, says the Lord of heavenly forces.
11 Then I was given a measuring rod, which was like a pole. And I was told, “Get up and measure God’s temple, the altar, and those who worship there. 2 But don’t measure the court outside the temple. Leave that out, because it has been given to the nations, and they will trample the holy city underfoot for forty-two months.
3 “And I will allow my two witnesses to prophesy for one thousand two hundred sixty days, wearing mourning clothes. 4 These are the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5 If anyone wants to hurt them, fire comes out of their mouth and burns up their enemies. So if anyone wants to hurt them, they have to be killed in this way. 6 They have the power to close up the sky so that no rain will fall for as long as they prophesy. They also have power over the waters, to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with any plague, as often as they wish.
7 “When they have finished their witnessing, the beast that comes up from the abyss will make war on them, gain victory over them, and kill them. 8 Their dead bodies will lie on the street of the great city that is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt, where also their Lord was crucified. 9 And for three and a half days, members of the peoples, tribes, languages, and nations will look at their dead bodies, but they won’t let their dead bodies be put in a tomb. 10 Those who live on earth will rejoice over them. They will celebrate and give each other gifts, because these two prophets had brought such pain to those who live on earth.
11 “But after three and a half days, the breath of life from God entered them, and they stood on their feet. Great fear came over those who saw them. 12 Then they heard a loud voice from heaven say to them, ‘Come up here.’ And they went up to heaven in a cloud, while their enemies watched them. 13 At that hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. Seven thousand people were killed by the earthquake, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
14 The second horror is over. The third horror is coming soon.
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven saying,
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and his Christ,
and he will rule forever and always.”
16 Then the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God. 17 They said,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and was,
for you have taken your great power and enforced your rule.
18 The nations were enraged, but your wrath came.
The time came for the dead to be judged.
The time came to reward your servants, the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name, both small and great,
and to destroy those who destroy the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the chest containing his covenant appeared in his temple. There were lightning, voices, thunder, an earthquake, and large hail.
For the music leader. Of David. A song.
139 Lord, you have examined me.
You know me.
2 You know when I sit down and when I stand up.
Even from far away, you comprehend my plans.
3 You study my traveling and resting.
You are thoroughly familiar with all my ways.
4 There isn’t a word on my tongue, Lord,
that you don’t already know completely.
5 You surround me—front and back.
You put your hand on me.
6 That kind of knowledge is too much for me;
it’s so high above me that I can’t reach it.
7 Where could I go to get away from your spirit?
Where could I go to escape your presence?
8 If I went up to heaven, you would be there.
If I went down to the grave,[a] you would be there too!
9 If I could fly on the wings of dawn,
stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean—
10 even there your hand would guide me;
even there your strong hand would hold me tight!
11 If I said, “The darkness will definitely hide me;
the light will become night around me,”
12 even then the darkness isn’t too dark for you!
Nighttime would shine bright as day,
because darkness is the same as light to you!
13 You are the one who created my innermost parts;
you knit me together while I was still in my mother’s womb.
14 I give thanks to you that I was marvelously set apart.
Your works are wonderful—I know that very well.
15 My bones weren’t hidden from you
when I was being put together in a secret place,
when I was being woven together in the deep parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my embryo,
and on your scroll every day was written that was being formed for me,[b]
before any one of them had yet happened.[c]
17 God, your plans are incomprehensible to me!
Their total number is countless!
18 If I tried to count them—they outnumber grains of sand!
If I came to the very end—I’d still be with you.[d]
19 If only, God, you would kill the wicked!
If only murderers would get away from me—
20 the people who talk about you, but only for wicked schemes;
the people who are your enemies,
who use your name as if it were of no significance.[e]
21 Don’t I hate everyone who hates you?
Don’t I despise those who attack you?
22 Yes, I hate them—through and through!
They’ve become my enemies too.
23 Examine me, God! Look at my heart!
Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts!
24 Look to see if there is any idolatrous way[f] in me,
then lead me on the eternal path!