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 the Lord came by the hand of HagGai the Prophet, saying, ‘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 this word came by the hand of HagGai the Prophet:
4 ‘Is it indeed the right time,
For you men to live in nice houses,
While [My Temple] is lying in ruins?
5 And now, says the Almighty Jehovah,
Set your hearts on your ways!
6 '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 should choose to do this,
I will think well of you;
Because, that would glorify Me, said Jehovah.
9 ‘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,
As well as 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, and 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 spirit of the rest of the people, and they went to work on the [Temple] of their God, the Almighty Jehovah, 15 which started on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month in the second year [of the reign] of Darius the king.
1 Then on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the Lord 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 I said [to your fathers],
When they were fleeing from Egypt…
Then among them, I sent My Breath.
And 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…
The 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 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 then become holy?’
And all the Priests replied, ‘No!’
13 Then HagGai asked,
‘But, if they should touch a dead person,
Would any of these things be unclean?’
And the Priests replied, ‘[Yes they’d] be defiled!’
14 Then HagGai replied to them saying,
‘Thus says Jehovah:
So it will be of this 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].
'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 hail and strong winds upon you,
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, keep it within 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 Lord came to HagGai the Prophet a second time (on the twenty-fourth day of the month), saying, 21 ‘Speak to ZerubBabel (the son of ShealtiEl) of the Tribe of Judah and tell him this:
'I will shake the earth and the sky,
As well as the sea and dry land.
22 I’ll wipe away the thrones of those kings,
And I will 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 ‘For, this is the day that I've chosen you,
To be My servant, ZerubBabel,
Says the Almighty Jehovah.
I've established you as a seal,
For, you're the one that I've chosen,
Says the Almighty Jehovah.'