The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, said the LORD of hosts.…
Fifteen years after the commencement of the second temple Haggai uttered this prediction. Progress had been hindered by the indifference or the despair of those who were building it. Their hands became slack, and their hearts waxed faint in the work of the Lord. To furnish a stimulus and encouragement to them, Haggai was commissioned to utter this prediction. By the "former house" is to be understood the temple erected by Solomon. The great and overpowering honour of the building which the king of Israel raised was this, that it was the only building on earth erected to the true God. And God there vouchsafed to make visible to the very eyes of flesh a display of His uncreated majesty and glory. The prophet says that the "glory of the latter house" of the second temple was to be greater than the glory of the former. By what peculiar glory, then, was the second temple distinguished? In architecture or material there could be no comparison between the two. And the visible symbol of the Divine presence was never to be seen in the "latter house."
1. The glory was greater inasmuch as there the Son of God was made manifest in the likeness of human flesh. He was brought to this latter house as an infant for presentation. He visited it as a youth of twelve. He taught in its courts. He made public entry into Jerusalem, and exerted authority in purifying the temple. The simple fact of the Son of God assuming human nature is calculated to awaken a feeling of more profound admiration and awe than any such visible display of the Divine Majesty as that which dwelt of old above the mercy-seat.
2. As the manifestation of God in the flesh has brought down the character of God to the level of the understanding and the sympathies of men.
3. As there the Son of God was manifested as the messenger of mercy and reconciliation to sinners.
(J. Bannerman, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.