The last three minor prophets are commonly known as the “post-exilic” prophets. Their ministries come after the people of Judah return to Jerusalem after more than seventy years in captivity in Babylon. Haggai is a brief book which emphasizes the importance of correctly aligned priorities.
Author and Date
The book begins with the governor, Zerubbabel, and the priest, Joshua. About Haggai’s lineage, the book is silent. The prophecy is dated according to the Persian dating system because Judah is technically under the governance of the Persians, about 525 B.C.
- Judgmental Call (1)
- Prophetic Promise (2:1-9)
- Priestly Decision (2:10-19)
- Messianic Prophecy (2:20-23)
The theme of Haggai, on one level, is clearly that Judah needs to rebuild the temple, and that rebuilding the temple is of primary importance. The people of Judah still do not grasp that the Lord is to receive first priority in all things. Only then will he bless them beyond measure and supply all of their needs. Instead, they try to take care of that which appears urgent, while the temple remains in shambles.
The book ends with a short prophecy directed toward Zerubbabel, the governor. In an unclear reference, the Lord says he has chosen Zerubbabel (2:23). Because he is mentioned in Matthew’s geneology of Jesus, some believe this promise is that the line to the Davidic throne passes through Zerubbabel even though he is not an actual king (Matt. 1:12).