From the Greek Septuagint text as used by First Century Christians.
A prophecy that was sent to the people of JeruSalem sometime after 559-BCE concerning the need to rebuild God’s Temple and to restore true worship there.
Is it poetry or isn’t it poetry?
Something that only a Bible translator would notice is that whenever God or His spokesperson are quoted, the words were in the form of Hebrew poetry,
since there is a definite cadence that can be noted in the original language. Therefore, because this is the chosen style of God, we have rendered it as it should be, in poetic verse.
Why did God and His spokesperson communicate through poetry?
Because poetic words provide memory aids that can be easily recalled to mind, so that the messages could be spread throughout the population via the most common medium of communication at the time, song.

The curious case of the changing personal pronouns:
Another thing that all translators notice when translating the words of the Prophets is the constant changing of the personal pronouns from the first to the third person in many of the pronouncements.
And what we have come to realize is that God didn’t personally speak to the Prophets. Rather, He sent His messages through a mediator, who appears to have been referred to as ‘The Word’ throughout the text.

Who Was Actually Talking?
You will notice herein that the text often changes to a quotation and then even to italics. WHY?
Understand that there are actually THREE voices being represented here… that of the Prophet, that of the angel who is bring the message from God, and the words of God Himself (which is usually overlooked in other Bibles).
How can we tell the difference? From the TENSES in which each verse is written.
If it is the Prophet speaking, he is talking about what was happing or what will be happening to his people.
If it is the angel (the Word) speaking, he is speaking of God in the third person.
And if it is God speaking, He is talking in the first person about what He will do.
Did we get it all right? Probably not, but it has been an honest attempt at doing so.

Chapter 1

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:
Get your hearts ready to travel,
8 And go to the mountains to cut the wood
With which you’ll 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 ‘Therefore, to your land and its mountains;
Also, 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 [to 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.

Chapter 2

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 the rest who are left there, and ask them this:

3Who 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 ZerubBabel, you must be strong, says Jehovah;
And High Priest Joshua, you must be strong…
And you people of the land must also be strong;
For, if you choose to [obey Me]
I will be there with you,
Says Jehovah the Almighty.

5This is the same thing that I said to [your fathers]
When they were fleeing from Egypt…
And then, I sent them 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…
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 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 Jehovah the Almighty said this:

‘Ask the Priests, 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 it make those things holy?’

And all the Priests replied,

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 that this is what Jehovah 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’re more concerned about their own [homes].

‘Such ones, should rather be grieving
About the wicked things that they’ve done;
For they have hated [the Prophets]
That 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 ‘Remember 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 wind 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, store it deep in your hearts!

19 ‘Will the threshing-floor still [be empty]? No!
And will the grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, or 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 he 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 ground and the sky,
As well as the sea and dry land.
22 Then I’ll wipe away the thrones of the 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,
And they’ll each turn their swords on their brothers.

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.’

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