Haggai 1:15
In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(15) It must be supposed that the intervening three weeks had been spent in collecting timber in the upland region, as was ordered in Haggai 1:8, and resuming the “work of the house of God.”

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.In the four and twentieth day of the month - The interval of twenty-three days must have been spent in preparation, since the message came on the first of the month, and the obedience was immediate. 15. four and twentieth day—twenty-three days after the first message of Haggai (Hag 1:1). It appeareth then that Zerubbabel and Joshua, with the people, did resolve on the matter quickly; for in three weeks and three days they are at the work, as is evident; on the first day Haggai preached, Haggai 1:1, on the twenty-fourth day of the month the people are at work, Haggai 1:15.

Darius: see Haggai 1:1. Now this Darius was not Darius Nothus, but Darius Hystaspes, as will appear by considering well the following scheme of years, from the captivity to the particular years of each of these two Dariuses. Suppose we therefore the computation of these years, according to either of these schemes, it will appear that there is no likelihood this Darius in the text should be Darius Nothus.

Helvicus. Usher.

Captivity 3350 3398.

Temple burnt 3360 3416.

Cyrus’s decree 3420 3468.

The decree of Darius, Nothus 3529 Hystaspes 3485.

This latter account begins the captivity at the fourth year of

Jehoiakim. the former begins it at the first of Jeconiah’s reign, as

Ezekiel also doth, Ezekiel 1:2 40:1. Hence that difference which is in

the account of the years between the beginning of the captivity and the

burning of the temple; the former account makes it eleven years, the

latter makes it eighteen, for it begins seven years sooner. In what

follows, we shall find both agreeing well enough to clear the

unlikelihood of Darius Nothus being the king intended here.

Both accounts make the captivity to end in the seventieth year,

according to the Scripture. But now the former account makes it one

hundred and nine years between Cyrus’s decree and Darius’s decree; all

which time the temple by this account lay desolate, without a prophet

to stir them up to their duty of building the temple. Now is this

probable? can it be reasonably supposed that the temple should so long

lie waste after they were sent out of Babylon purposely to build it? or

that they should be so long in that condition without a prophet? But

now the latter account reckons seventeen years between Cyrus’s and

Darius’s decree for building the temple, a space of time easily

conceived likely to pass while the Jews did not build; nay, were

forbidden by Cambyses, (in Scripture called Artaxerxes,) viceroy to his

father Cyrus, (engaged in foreign wars,) all the time Cyrus lived after

he gave out the decree, which some make more, some less, but those who

make the likeliest guess, for aught I know, make it five years. Whether

Cyrus, taken up with these wars, did know of this prohibition, or

thought not good to take it off till he returned conqueror, I know not;

but he died and left this bar on the work, which continued all

Cambyses’s reign, and unto the second year of his successor Darius

Hystaspes. Now if this were seventeen the most, some say but fifteen,

others but twelve years, it is very probable, whereas one hundred and

nine years is utterly improbable. Besides this, let us view what age

those many or few were of, by these different accounts, who lived to

see the temple re-edified. If in Darius Nothus’s time, they could be no

less than one hundred and eighty-five, allowing them to be sixteen at

the burning of the temple, thus; sixteen when the temple was burnt,

thence sixty to Cyrus’s decree, and thence one hundred and nine to

Darius Nothus’s decree. But by the latter account their age amounts but

to ninety-five years, which appears thus; sixteen at the time the

temple was burnt, thence sixty to Cyrus’s decree, thence seventeen to

Darius Hystaspes’s decree; in all ninety-five, which though a great

age, yet not improbable at that time, though the other (one hundred and

eighty-five) be improbable. Besides, how few through one hundred and

sixty-nine years can distinctly remember what they saw and took notice

of at sixteen, or could make that judgment of the disproportion between

the two temples! Haggai 2:3. Or can it be supposed that Zecaraiah Zec

1:12
) would have accounted but seventy years’ desolation, when he

might have more than doubled the years, and have reckoned one hundred

and sixty-nine years? would not the argument thus have been more moving?

In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month,.... Or, "in the four and twentieth of the month, in the sixth"; in that sixth month before mentioned, Haggai 1:1. On this day they came and worked; not the sixth from Tisri, for the Jews had two ways of beginning their years, which would have answered to part of February; and, therefore, chose by some interpreters as being a proper time to begin building; but no regard is had to the fitness of the season, but to the order of the Lord; but the sixth month from Nisan, and answers to part of August; for so the months are reckoned in the prophecy of Zechariah, who began to prophecy the same year as Haggai did; see Zechariah 1:1 Zechariah 7:1 this was three and twenty days after the prophecy was delivered out; during which time they might be employed in cutting of stones, and sawing and hewing of wood, as Jarchi suggests, and preparing for work in the temple:

in the second year of Darius the king; See Gill on Haggai 1:1. Here some begin a new chapter, but wrongly; since, if these words do not belong to the preceding, there would be a contradiction in joining them with the beginning of the next.

In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. The note of time in this verse (which obviously belongs to this chapter, and not as in some editions both of Heb. and LXX. and in some MSS. to the next) seems designed to shew how prompt the response was to the prophet’s call. Only twenty-three days, little more that is than three weeks, had sufficed to make all necessary preparations, and summon workmen from all the neighbourhood to resume the work (ch. Haggai 1:1).

Verse 15. - In the four and twentieth day of the sixth month. The first admonition had been made on the first day of this month; the three intervening weeks had doubtless been spent in planning and preparing materials, and obtaining workmen from the neighbouring villages. The note of time is introduced to show how prompt was their obedience, and the exact time when "they came and did work in the house of the Lord" (ver. 14). Some, on insufficient grounds, consider this clause to be an interpolation from Haggai 2:10, 18, with a change of "ninth" to "sixth month." In the Latin Vulgate, in Tischendorf's Septuagint, and in many editions of the Hebrew Bible, the whole of this verse is wrongly annexed to the following chapter. St. Jerome arranges it as in the Authorized Version. It is possible that, as St. Cyril takes it, the words, in the second year of Darius the king, ought to begin ch. 2. The king's reign has been already notified in ver. 1, and it seems natural to affix the date at the commencement of the second address.



Haggai 1:15This 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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