1 on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of theLordcame through the prophet Haggai:
2 “Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jozadak,the high priest, and to the remnant of the people. Ask them,
3 ‘Who of you is left who saw this house in its former glory? How does it look to you now? Does it not seem to you like nothing?
4 But now be strong, Zerubbabel,’ declares theLord. ‘Be strong, Joshua son of Jozadak, the high priest. Be strong, all you people of the land,’ declares theLord, ‘and work. For I am with you,’ declares theLordAlmighty.
5 ‘This is what I covenanted with you when you came out of Egypt. And my Spirit remains among you. Do not fear.’
6 “This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘In a little while I will once more shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.
7 I will shake all nations, and what is desired by all nations will come, and I will fill this house with glory,’ says theLordAlmighty.
8 ‘The silver is mine and the gold is mine,’ declares theLordAlmighty.
9 ‘The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,’ says theLordAlmighty. ‘And in this place I will grant peace,’ declares theLordAlmighty.”
Blessings for a Defiled People
10 On the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of theLordcame to the prophet Haggai:
11 “This is what theLordAlmighty says: ‘Ask the priests what the law says:
12 If someone carries consecrated meat in the fold of their garment, and that fold touches some bread or stew, some wine, olive oil or other food, does it become consecrated?’ ”
The priests answered, “No.”
13 Then Haggai said, “If a person defiled by contact with a dead body touches one of these things, does it become defiled?”
“Yes,” the priests replied, “it becomes defiled.”
14 Then Haggai said, “ ‘So it is with this people and this nation in my sight,’ declares theLord. ‘Whatever they do and whatever they offer there is defiled.
15 “ ‘Now give careful thought to this from this day on—consider how things were before one stone was laid on another in theLord’s temple.
16 When anyone came to a heap of twenty measures, there were only ten. When anyone went to a wine vat to draw fifty measures, there were only twenty.
17 I struck all the work of your hands with blight, mildew and hail, yet you did not return to me,’ declares theLord.
18 ‘From this day on, from this twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, give careful thought to the day when the foundation of theLord’s temple was laid. Give careful thought:
19 Is there yet any seed left in the barn? Until now, the vine and the fig tree, the pomegranate and the olive tree have not borne fruit.
“ ‘From this day on I will bless you.’ ”
Zerubbabel the Lord’s Signet Ring
20 The word of theLordcame to Haggai a second time on the twenty-fourth day of the month:
21 “Tell Zerubbabel governor of Judah that I am going to shake the heavens and the earth.
22 I will overturn royal thrones and shatter the power of the foreign kingdoms. I will overthrow chariots and their drivers; horses and their riders will fall, each by the sword of his brother.
23 “ ‘On that day,’ declares theLordAlmighty, ‘I will take you, my servant Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel,’ declares theLord, ‘and I will make you like my signet ring, for I have chosen you,’ declares theLordAlmighty.”