1 In the second year [of the reign] of King Darius, in the sixth month and on the first day of the month, The Word of Jehovah came by the hand of HagGai the Prophet and said, ‘Speak to ZerubBabel the son of ShealtiEl from the tribe of Judah and to JoShua (son of JoZadek) the High Priest, and tell them 2 that Jehovah the Almighty says this:
'These people say that the time isn’t right
To rebuild the House of Jehovah.’
3 Then the Word of Jehovah went on to say this through the hands of HagGai the Prophet:
4 ‘Is it indeed the right time
For you men to live in nice houses
While this [Temple] is lying in ruins?
5 'And now, says Jehovah the Almighty,
Arrange your hearts for the ways you must go!
6 For you plant a lot, but you don't harvest much;
You eat, but not ‘til you’re full;
You drink, but not 'til you're drunk;
You wear clothes that don’t keep you warm;
And those to whom you've paid wages,
Keep them in bags full of holes.
7 'So thus says Jehovah the Almighty:
Now, get your hearts ready for travel,
8 And go to the mountains to cut the wood
With which you must rebuild [My Temple].
For if you choose to do this,
I will think well of you,
Because that would glorify Me, says Jehovah.
9 ‘Now you look for much [but find] little,
And after you carry it home,
I just blow it away.
This happens, says Jehovah the Almighty,
Because you've abandoned My House
While you each [repair] your own homes.
10 So the sky is withholding its dew,
And the ground is withholding its blessings.
11 ‘Now, to your land and your mountains,
And to your oil and your grain,
And to the ground that brings wine to men,
I will be sending the sword.
I'll also send the sword to your cattle,
And [upon the things that you make with] your hands.’
12 Well, ZerubBabel (the son of ShealtiEl) from the tribe of Judah, and JoShua (the son of JoZadek) the High Priest (as well as all the rest of the people) listened to the voice of Jehovah their God and to the words of HagGai the Prophet – to all [the words] that Jehovah their God had sent to them – and the people became fearful before Jehovah.
13 Then HagGai, one of the messengers of Jehovah,
told the people this:
'Jehovah says, I am with you!’
14 So thereafter, Jehovah awakened the spirit of ZerubBabel (the son of ShealtiEl) from the tribe of Judah, the spirit of JoShua (the son of JoZadek) the High Priest, and the spirits of the rest of the people, and they went to work on the [Temple] of their God Jehovah the Almighty. 15 They started [the project] on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year [of the reign] of King Darius.
1 Then on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the Word of Jehovah came again by the hand of HagGai the Prophet. He said, 2 ‘Speak to ZerubBabel (the son of ShealtiEl) of the tribe of Judah, and to JoShua the High Priest (the son of JoZadek), and to all rest who are left there, and ask them this:
3 'Who among you had seen this [Temple]
In [the days of] its glory?
Do you see what it has become…
It no longer exists here before you!
4 ‘So O ZerubBabel, you must be strong, says Jehovah;
And High Priest Joshua, you must be strong…
And the people of the land must also be strong;
For now, you must go into action, says Jehovah!
And then, I will be there with you,
Says Jehovah the Almighty.
5 ‘This is the same thing that I told [your fathers]
When they were fleeing from Egypt…
Then among them, I sent My Breath.
So now, you must also show courage!
6 'For, thus says Jehovah the Almighty:
Once again, I will shake the lands and the skies,
As well as the seas and dry ground.
7 I will also shake all the nations,
And My chosen ones will return…
Then I’ll fill this [Temple] with glory,
Says Jehovah the Almighty.
8 ‘For, all the silver is Mine,
And all the gold is Mine also,
Says Jehovah the Almighty.
9 So the glory of this [Temple] will be greater…
This last will be greater than the first,
Says Jehovah the Almighty!
'And to this place, I’ll bring peace,
Says Jehovah the Almighty…
Peace that will save all the lives
Of those who will rebuild this Temple.’
10 Then it was on the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month in the second year of Darius that these words came from the Lord to HagGai the Prophet. He told them that 11 the Almighty Jehovah said this:
‘Ask the Priests this, concerning the Law:
12 If a man should touch holy meat
With just the edge of his clothes,
And the edge of his clothes should thereafter touch
Bread, stew, wine, or olive oil
(Or any other such food);
Would they thereafter be holy?’
And all the Priests replied, ‘No!’
13 Then HagGai asked,
‘But, if they should touch a dead person,
Would any of these things still be clean?’
And the Priests replied, ‘[No, they’d] be defiled!’
14 Then HagGai told them,
'This is what Jehovah has said:
So it will be of these people
(Of this nation that stands here before Me,
And of the works of their hands)…
Those who come here will all be defiled
If they show more concern for their [homes].
'Rather, they should grieve over their wicked ways,
Because they hated [the Prophets]
Who scolded them at their gates.
15 ‘So, take [these words] to your hearts from this day
Before laying stone upon stone
To [rebuild] the House of Jehovah.
16 'Think of when you went to your stores
To get twenty measures of barley
And found there were only ten measures;
Or, when you went to the wine vat
To draw fifty measures [of wine]
And found there were just twenty measures.
17 'Well, I am the One who had struck you
With this lack of production…
[I'm the One who struck] the works of your hands
And sent you hail and strong wind,
Because you refused to turn back to Me, says Jehovah.
18 ‘So, keep this in your hearts from this day…
From the twenty-fourth day and ninth month…
From the day the Temple’s foundation was laid…
Yes, store it inside of your hearts!
19 'Will the threshing-floor still [be empty]? No!
And will the grapevines and fig trees
Or the pomegranates and olives
Fail to put out their fruit? No!
Because, from this day, I will bless them!’
20 Then the word of the Jehovah came to HagGai the Prophet a second time (on the twenty-fourth day of the month), and said: 21 ‘Speak to ZerubBabel (the son of ShealtiEl) of the Tribe of Judah and this is what you must tell him:
'I will shake the earth and the sky,
As well as the sea and dry land.
22 Then I’ll wipe away all the king's thrones
And I'll destroy all the power
Of the nations [that are living around you]!
'Their chariots and horsemen will be wiped away…
Their horses and horsemen will fall,
As each turns his sword on his brother.
23 ‘O ZerubBabel;
On this day, I've chosen you as My servant,
Says the Almighty Jehovah.
I've established you as a seal,
For you're the one that I've chosen,
Says the Almighty Jehovah.'