Haggai 1:13
Then spake Haggai the LORD'S messenger in the LORD'S message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.
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(13) In the Lord’s message.—Or, on the Lords mission.

1:12-15 The people returned to God in the way of duty. In attending to God's ministers, we must have respect to him that sent them. The word of the Lord has success, when by his grace he stirs up our spirits to comply with it. It is in the day of Divine power we are made willing. When God has work to be done, he will either find or make men fit to do it. Every one helped, as his ability was; and this they did with a regard to the Lord as their God. Those who have lost time, need to redeem time; and the longer we have loitered in folly, the more haste we should make. God met them in a way of mercy. Those who work for him, have him with them; and if he be for us, who can be against us? This should stir us up to be diligent.And Haggai, the Lord's messenger - Malachi, whose own name was framed to express that he was "the Lord's messenger," and Haggai alone use the title, as the title of a prophet; perhaps as forerunners of the great prophet whom Malachi announced. Malachi also speaks of the priest, as Malachi 2:7 "the messenger of the Lord of hosts," and prophesies of John Baptist as Malachi 3:1 "the messenger" of the Lord, who should go before His face. Haggai, as he throughout repeats that his words were God's words, frames a new word to express, in the language of the New Testament; 2 Corinthians 5:20 that he had an embassy from God; "in the Lord's message."

I am with you - All the needs and longings of the creature are summed up in those two words, "I with you." "Who art Thou and who am I? Thou, He Who Is; I, he who am not;" nothing, yea worse than nothing. Yet "if Romans 8:31, God be for us," Paul asks, "who can be against us?" Our blessed Lord's parting promise to the Apostles, and in them to the Church, was, Matthew 28:20. "Lo I am with you alway, even to the end of the world." The all-containing assurance goes beyond any particular promise of aid, as , "I will help you, and will protect you, so that your building shall have its completion." This is one fruit of it , "since I am in the midst of you, no one shall be able to hinder your building." But, more widely, the words bespeak "His" presence in love, who knows all our needs, and is Almighty to support and save us in all. So David says Psalm 23:4, "when I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for Thou art with me:" and God says by another Psalm 91:15, I will be "with him in trouble," and by Isaiah Isa 43:2, "When thou passest through the waters," I will be "with thee."

13. the Lord's messenger—so the priests (Mal 2:7) are called (compare Ga 4:14; 2Pe 1:21).

in the Lord's message—by the Lord's authority and commission: on the Lord's embassage.

I am with you—(Mt 28:20). On the people showing the mere disposition to obey, even before they actually set to work, God passes at once from the reproving tone to that of tenderness. He hastens as it were to forget their former unfaithfulness, and to assure them, when obedient, that He both is and will be with them: Hebrew, "I with you!" God's presence is the best of blessings, for it includes all others. This is the sure guarantee of their success no matter how many their foes might be (Ro 8:31). Nothing more inspirits men and rouses them from torpor, than, when relying on the promises of divine aid, they have a sure hope of a successful issue [Calvin].

Then; when the people showed their obedience, and the willingness of their minds, then God encourageth them by his prophet.

Messenger; legate or envoy, the Hebrew word signifieth also an angel; but this is not surf, clout to prove their opinion, who dream that Haggai was not a man, but an angel in the form of a man; the word here used (arising from a word that signifieth to send, and paraphrased by a word that primarily signifieth to send as messengers are sent) doth speak an angel from his office and work, as he ministereth before the Lord, and runneth swiftly on his errand; it speaketh not the nature or essence of angels, as they are spirits. The French version (which I use, printed at Rochelle, 1616) reads it, like ours, ambassador. So Haggai was God’s messenger or ambassador to his people; no angel.

In the Lord’s message; as becometh an ambassador. in the words of his master, so Haggai delivered the Lord’s message.

Unto the people; not excluding the governors; but the people are only mentioned, for that the prophet spake to the whole assembly, or because the Lord would encourage them most, who most needed encouragement.

I am with you; a great promise, and which contains all they can need or desire; it insureth God’s presence always with them, and his assistance always to them, and his blessing always upon them. He will be always for, as well as always with them, and then Tatnai, Shethar-bozhal, Sanballat, and all other conspirators with them, shall not prevail to hinder the work. Such a promise as this, see Exodus 3:12 4:11-13 Matthew 28:20 Romans 8:31 2 Corinthians 12:9.

Saith the Lord: this solemn attestation addeth weight to the promise.

Then spoke Haggai the Lord's messenger,.... Which some render "angel"; hence sprung that notion, imbibed by some, that he was not a man, but an angel; whereas this only respects his office, being sent of God as an ambassador in his name with a message to his people: he now observing what effect his prophecy had upon the people; they being convinced of their sin, and terrified with the judgments of God upon them, and fearing that worse still would attend them; in order to revive their spirits and comfort them, spake the words unto them which follow: and this he did

in the Lord's message unto the people; not of his own head, nor out of the pity of his own heart merely; but as a prophet of the Lord, having a fresh message from him to carry a promise to them for their comfort and encouragement:

saying, I am with you, saith the Lord; to pardon their sins; to accept their persons; to remove his rod from them; to assist them in the work of building the temple, they were now willing to engage in; to protect them from their enemies, and to strengthen them to go on with the work till they had finished it; a short promise, but a very full one: it was saying much in a little, and enough to remove all their fears, to scatter all their doubts, and to bear them up, and through all discouragements.

Then spake Haggai the LORD's messenger in the LORD's message unto the people, saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.
13. messenger] The word is that commonly used for an angel in the O.T., but its first and proper meaning is messenger. In the same way in the N.T., the same word (ἄγγελος) is used generally in its restricted sense for an angel, and occasionally in its wider sense for a messenger (Luke 7:27; Luke 9:52; James 2:25). Haggai is the only prophet who uses this title of himself. It is, to say the least, doubtful whether Moses as a prophet is intended by it in Numbers 20:16. Malachi (“my angel or messenger”) has it for the only name by which we know him, and he uses it of the Jewish priest (Malachi 2:7), and of John Baptist the forerunner of our Lord, and of our Lord Himself, “the messenger of the Covenant” (Malachi 3:1).

I am with you] Lit. I with you. This short but all-sufficient promise, varied sometimes by the corresponding expression of faith, “God with us,” or by the record of its fulfilment, “Jehovah was with him,” shines out like a bright star in times of darkness and need to individual saints, and to the Church at large in the O.T. It is given to Jacob at Bethel at the outset of his journey (Genesis 28:15); to Moses at the Bush, when called to be the deliverer of his people (Exodus 3:12); to Joshua, when he took up for completion the unfinished work of Moses (Joshua 1:5); to Jeremiah at his entrance on the difficult work of prophesying (Jeremiah 1:8). It was fulfilled to Joseph when sold a slave into Egypt (Genesis 39:2), and when made a prisoner there on a false accusation (ver. 21). It was the battle-cry of the Church when threatened with the invasion of the proud Assyrian (Isaiah 8:10), and the refrain of her song of victory when the Assyrian was overthrown (Psalm 46:7; Psalm 46:11). In the N. T. it finds its full accomplishment in Him who is “Emmanuel, God with us” (Matthew 1:23). Here Haggai sums up the promise of all needful resources for the work, and protection from the jealous foes who had so long hindered it, and conveys the assurance of a prosperous issue in the few short words, “I with you, saith Jehovah.”

Verse 13. - Then spake Haggai. God hastens to accept their repentance and to assure them of his protection. The Lord's messenger. Haggai alone of the prophets uses this title of himself, implying that he came with authority and bearing a message from the Lord (comp. Numbers 20:16, where the word "angel" is by some applied to Moses). Malachi's very name expresses that he was the Lord's messenger, and he uses the term of the priest (Malachi 2:7), and of John the Baptist, and of Messiah himself (Malachi 3:1). In the Lord's message (1 Kings 13:18). In the special message of consolation which he was commissioned to deliver. The Septuagint rendering, ἐν ἀγγέλοις Κυρίου, "anong the angels of the Lord," led some to fancy that Haggai was an angel in human farm, which opinion is refuted by Jerome, in loc. I am with you (Haggai 2:4). A brief message comprised in two words, "I with you," yet full of comfort, promising God's presence, protection, aid, and blessing (comp. Genesis 28:15; Genesis 39:2; Joshua 1:5; Jeremiah 1:8; Matthew 28:20). Haggai 1:13This penitential state of mind on the part of the people and their rulers was met by the Lord with the promise of His assistance, in order to elevate this disposition into determination and deed. Haggai 1:13. "Then spake Haggai, the messenger of Jehovah, in the message of Jehovah to the people, thus: I am with you, is the saying of Jehovah. Haggai 1:14. And Jehovah stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, and the spirit of Joshua, and the spirit of all the remnant of the nation; and they came and did work at the house of Jehovah of hosts, their God." The prophet is called מלאך in Haggai 1:13, i.e., messenger (not "angel," as many in the time of the fathers misunderstood the word as meaning), as being sent by Jehovah to the people, to make known to them His will (compare Malachi 2:7, where the same epithet is applied to the priest). As the messenger of Jehovah, he speaks by command of Jehovah, and not in his own name or by his own impulse. אני אתּכם, I am with you, will help you, and will remove all the obstacles that stand in the way of your building (cf. Haggai 2:4). This promise Jehovah fulfilled, first of all by giving to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the people, a willingness to carry out the work. העיר רוּח, to awaken the spirit of any man, i.e., to make him willing and glad to carry out His resolutions (compare 1 Chronicles 5:26; 2 Chronicles 21:16; Ezra 1:1, Ezra 1:5). Thus filled with joyfulness, courage, and strength, they began the work on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of king Darius (Haggai 1:15), that is to say, twenty-three days after Haggai had first addressed his challenge to them. The interval had been spent in deliberation and counsel, and in preparations for carrying out the work. In several editions and some few mss in Kennicott, in Tischendorf's edition of the lxx, in the Itala and in the Vulgate, Haggai 1:15 is joined to the next chapter. But this is proved to be incorrect by the fact that the chronological statements in Haggai 1:15 and Haggai 2:1 are irreconcilable with one another. Haggai 1:15 is really so closely connected with Haggai 1:14, that it is rather to be regarded as the last clause of that verse.
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