“In the seventh month, on the twenty-first of the month, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying: 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah (ministry toward man), and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest (ministry toward God), and to the remnant of the people (the elect), saying: 3 ‘Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory (the brief period when the church truly walked in the Spirit)? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? (The current state of God’s people corporately is pitiful by comparison). 4 Yet now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ says the Lord; ‘and be strong, Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; and be strong, all you people of the land,’ says the Lord, ‘and work; for I am with you,’ says the Lord of hosts. (The least to the greatest must work as God instructed, building up the body of Christ using the materials (wisdom, power, truth) gathered from the mountains (the spiritual realm in Christ), refusing to be discouraged in any way). 5 ‘According to the word that I covenanted with you (the covenant of election, inheritance and circumcision which God made with Abraham and his seed in Genesis 17. Circumcision = being separated from flesh, that is, everything which does not originate with God Himself. The New Testament scriptures actually discuss the true meaning of circumcision quite a bit – see Romans 2:28-29, among others) when you came out of Egypt (bondage of religion and law), so My Spirit remains among you; do not fear!’ (Do not fear, but remember that the new covenant which Christ established has brought us from estrangement to adoption, Adam to Christ, the kingdom of darkness to light, from from the flesh to the spirit).
6 “For thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Once more (it is a little while) (a future event) I will shake heaven and earth, the sea and dry land; 7(ASV) and I will shake all nations; and the precious things of all nations shall come (the treasures of all the earth will come to the kingdom of God: see Psalm 50:12, Isaiah 60:5, 61:6, Rev. 21:26); and I will fill this house with glory, saith Jehovah of hosts. (Hebrews 12:26 quotes this verse as a prophecy of the coming eternal, spiritual kingdom of God, with Christ as the cornerstone of its temple, which is composed of the corporate body of Christ on earth and based on spiritual offerings, sacrifices, and worship). 8 ‘The silver is Mine, and the gold is Mine,’ says the Lord of hosts (all the riches of the world belong to God). 9 ‘The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,’ says the Lord of hosts. ‘And in this place I will give peace,’ says the Lord of hosts” (Rom. 14:17: “the kingdom of God is…righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.”)
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 11 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: ‘Now, ask the priests concerning the law, saying, 12 “If one carries holy meat in the fold of his garment, and with the edge he touches bread or stew, wine or oil, or any food, will it become holy?”’” Then the priests answered and said, “No.” (External contact can’t impart holiness). 13 And Haggai said, “If one who is unclean because of a dead body touches any of these, will it be unclean?” So the priests answered and said, “It shall be unclean.” (Contact with death brings uncleanness. In the new covenant, “death” = absence of God’s life/spirit, and “unclean” = spiritual blindness). 14 Then Haggai answered and said, “‘So is this people, and so is this nation before Me,’ says the Lord, ‘and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. (Though unaware of it, God’s people as a whole have become blind and carnal, and God has no pleasure in or desire for the things they offer Him. While the new covenant and promises in Christ are secured, they can still be missed by individuals and even entire generations).
15 ‘And now, carefully consider from this day forward: from before stone was laid upon stone in the temple of the Lord— 16 since those days, when one came to a heap of twenty ephahs, there were but ten; when one came to the wine vat to draw out fifty baths from the press, there were but twenty. 17 I struck you with blight and mildew and hail in all the labors of your hands; yet you did not turn to Me,’ says the Lord. 18 ‘Consider now from this day forward, from the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, from the day that the foundation of the Lord’s temple was laid—consider it: 19 Is the seed still in the barn? As yet the vine, the fig tree, the pomegranate, and the olive tree have not yielded fruit. But from this day I will bless you.’” (Prior to Christ, there was no spiritual abundance, and little truth and wisdom. But from the day Christ, the foundation, was “laid” by making atonement on the cross, God has been blessing to His people with all spiritual blessings, though wine (grace), fruit (maturity), and oil (anointing of the spirit) will not immediately abound).
20 And again the word of the Lord came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 21 “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:
‘I will shake heaven and earth (The coming Kingdom of God will be primarily a heavenly kingdom, not a physical one).
22 I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother. (In the proper season, God is going to establish His kingdom on earth in fullness, and all evil, wickedness, and death will be destroyed).
23 ‘In that day,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the Lord, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the Lord of hosts.” (Zerubbabel was a direct descendent of Jesus Christ, as noted in Matthew and Luke’s genealogies. He may have been directly related to both Joseph and Mary. Jesus, like Zerubbabel, was used of God to rebuild God’s spiritual temple, a process which we are privileged to be used in).