Wesley's Notes on the Bible
In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word of the LORD by the prophet Haggai, saying,
Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
2:3 That saw - Near fourscore years ago. This house - The temple built by Solomon.
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts:
According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
2:5 My spirit - Of strength and courage, of wisdom and understanding.
For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;
2:6 Yet once - After many confirmations of the new covenant, one more, remains to be made. A little while - Tho' above five hundred years, yet this was but a little time compared with that between the promise to Adam and Christ's coming. I will shake - Whether it be metaphorical or literal, it was verified at the time of Christ's coming into the world. After the return of the captivity, by the commotions among the Grecians, Persians, and Romans, which began soon after this time; this was metaphorically fulfilled. And it was literally fulfilled by prodigies and earthquakes, at the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ.
And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:7 All nations - Which was literally fulfilled in the overthrow of the Persian monarchy by the Grecians, in the civil wars, and succeeding troubles among Alexander's successors, the growth of the Roman power by subduing their neighbours, and their dissentions and home - bred wars. The desire - Christ the most desirable, to all nations, and who was desired by all that knew their own misery, and his sufficiency to save them who was to be the light of the Gentiles, as well as the glory of his people Israel. With glory - The first temple had a glory in its magnificent structure, rich ornaments, and costly sacrifices; but this was a worldly glory; that which is here promised, is a heavenly glory from the presence of Christ in it. He that was the brightness of his father's glory, who is the glory of the church, appeared in this second temple.
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:8 The silver - The treasures of both: doubt not therefore but I will give enough to build this house.
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:9 In this place - In my house, a type of Christ. Peace - A spiritual, internal, and heavenly peace.
In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Ask now the priests concerning the law, saying,
2:11 Concerning the law - What the law saith in this case.
If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy? And the priests answered and said, No.
2:12 Holy flesh - Part of the sacrifice, legally sanctified, or made holy by the altar on which the whole was sanctified. In the skirt - In the lap of his garment, or in any other cloth, and if this cloth touch any common thing as bread, and c., shall that become legally holy?
Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean by a dead body touch any of these, shall it be unclean? And the priests answered and said, It shall be unclean.
2:13 Said - Now the second case is proposed. These - Bread or pottage, wine or oil, or meat. Unclean - Shall that which the unclean doth touch, become unclean? Though a mediate touch of what is holy will not make holy, yet will not a mediate touch of what is polluted defile?
Then answered Haggai, and said, So is this people, and so is this nation before me, saith the LORD; and so is every work of their hands; and that which they offer there is unclean.
2:14 So - Polluted persons, touching what is clean, pollute it, so polluted Jews, polluted God's ordinances, while the outward performing of legal duties, left them as unholy in themselves, as they were before: somewhat more then is to be done. The soul is first to be purified, that they and we may offer up a pure offering. The people - The body of the Jews. Every work - Whatever they do, they pollute all by polluted hands. Offer - What they bring to the altar with impure hearts, is polluted by them.
And now, I pray you, consider from this day and upward, from before a stone was laid upon a stone in the temple of the LORD:
2:15 Upward - Through past years. Before - Before you would set upon the re - building of the temple after you had intermitted it.
Since those days were, when one came to an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten: when one came to the pressfat for to draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty.
2:16 Since - All the while the temple lay neglected. When one came - Men are disappointed half in half. But ten - Which he expected would prove twenty measures, ephahs or bushels. It proved but half your hope, thus your corn failed, and your oil much more.
I smote you with blasting and with mildew and with hail in all the labours of your hands; yet ye turned not to me, saith the LORD.
2:17 Blessing - Burning, and scorching winds. All the labours - In your plowing and sowing, in planting of olives and vines.
Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it.
2:18 From the day - When you began to build on the old foundation.
Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.
2:19 Is the seed - Your seed for the next harvest is yet in your barns. Hath not brought forth - No sign yet appears what vintage you shall have, what store of wine, oil, figs, and pomegranates. Yet in the word of God I tell you, you shall be blest in them all, and have a large produce.
And again the word of the LORD came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying,
Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the earth;
And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother.
In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
2:23 My servant - A type of him who was God's most beloved servant. As a signet - Which is very highly valued, and carefully kept. So shall the antitypical Zerubbabel, the Messiah, be advanced, loved, and inviolably preserved king, and supreme over his church. He is indeed the signet on God's right - hand. For all power is given to him, and derived from him. In him the great charter of the gospel is signed, and sanctified, and it is in him, that all the promises of God are yea and amen.