This month our Bible reading plan takes us to the Minor Prophets. To help us assemble these books and understand their message, here are a number of resources to Haggai, the first book of The Twelve. You can find more information about the Minor Prophets here.
Haggai is one of the most clearly outlined books in the Twelve. Each of the four messages have a clear date, which makes the dating of Haggai very certain. As The ESV Study Bible states,
The word of the Lord comes to Haggai between late August and mid-December of 520 B.C. There is widespread scholarly consensus on these dates, though this does not preclude the possibility of editorial activity. If such editing did take place, it likely occurred before 515 B.C., when the temple was completed. The dates given are significant for their places in both the liturgical and agricultural calendars of Judah.
And again, considering the larger context of the Ancient Near East
Haggai prophesied to the people of Jerusalem after they had returned from Babylon in 538 B.C. and before they had rebuilt the temple in 515. The city of Jerusalem lay in ruins, the walls and the temple having been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. Within a year after returning from Babylon, the people had laid the foundation for the new temple, but by Haggai’s time they had still not completed it. Haggai, together with Zechariah, called upon the people to stop focusing on their own economic well-being and complete the temple.
An Outline of Haggai
Tim Mackie follows the historical dates of Haggai to outline the book. Each dated message contributes to the books’s message, which calls the returning exiles to rebuild the temple and look forward to a great salvation in the future.
- Message 1: Accusation and Response (1:1–15)
- Message 2: Addressing Shattered Expectations (2:1–9)
- Message 3: Call to Covenant Faithfulness (2:10–19)
- Message 4: Future Hope of God’s Kingdom (2:20–23)
The ESV Study Bible gives a very thorough outline of Haggai. What follows is an abbreviation of that outline.
- Introduction: Reluctant Rebuilders (1:1–2)
- Consider Your Ways: Fruitless Prosperity (1:3–12)
- Promise and Progress (1:13–15a)
- The Former and Latter Glory of This House (1:15b–2:9)
- Consider Your Ways: Holiness and Defilement; Repentance and Blessing (2:10–19)
- Zerubbabel: The Signet Ring (2:20–23)
The outline of the Haggai is best seen in four messages, received on four dates in the fall of 520 BC. Fuhr and Yates outline Haggai according to these dates (p. 257).
(August 29, 520 BC)
Call to Rebuild the Temple and the People’s Positive Response
(October 17, 520 BC)
The Promise of Future Glory for the Temple
(December 18, 520 BC)
The Promise of Future Blessing to Replace Defilement
(December 18, 520 BC)
The Promise to Zerubabbel and the Restoration of Davidic Rule
Pressing into the literary shape of these four messages, Fuhr and Yates note further patterns in Haggai.
J. Kessler [“Haggai” in DOTP, 302] notes the shared elements in these individual messages: (1) a date formula (1:1; 2:1, 10, 20); (2) a conflict or problem (1:2; 2:2—3, 14, 21—22); (3) a call to obedience and faith (1:4—7, 9-11; 2:4—5, 14-17), amd (4) a divine promise (1:18; 2:6—9, 18-19, 21—23). These oracles also reflect an A-B-A-B’ pattern, in which the A sections (1:1—11; 2:10—19) contain reproaches and rebuke with the offer of hope, while the B sections (2:1-9, 20-23) contain messages of encouragement and promise.’ The A sections also parallel one another in the way that they address the issue of agricultural failure and blessing, and the B sections in that they promise that the Lord “will shake the heavens and earth” in bringing about Israel’s restoration and renewal.
Overview Sermons on Haggai
- Major Points from Haggai by John Blanchard
- Are Your Investments Sound? The Message of Haggai by Mark Dever
Sermon Series on Haggai
Unshakeable Faith: Seeing Christ through Haggai’s Temple
A sermon series at Occoquan Bible Church.
- Unshakeable Faith: Seeing Christ through Haggai’s Temple (pt. 1)
- Unshakeable Faith: Seeking Christ Through Haggai’s Temple (pt.2)
- Frustration (Haggai 1)
- Frustration and Fruitfulness (Haggai 1)
- Pathetic (Haggai 2)
- How Pathetic to be a Christian (Haggai 2:1–9)
- Infectious Evil (Haggai 2)
- Lord of the Ring (Haggai 2)
- How Easy to be Friends with God (Haggai 2:10–19)
- Who Do You Choose to Obey (Haggai 2:20–23)
Via Emmaus Articles on Haggai
- “I Will Shake the Earth”: Reading Haggai in Canonical Context
- A Hole in Our Holy Temple? Toward a Whole Bible Vision of God’s Dwelling Place
- Going to the Movies with Habakkuk and Haggai: What the Prophets Have to Say to Modern Moviegoers
Via Emmaus Articles on The Twelve
- Reading the Minor Prophets Together: Ten Observations from Paul House’s ‘The Unity of the Twelve’
- Finding Theological Unity in The Twelve: Reading the Minor Prophets with Richard Fuhr and Gary Yates
- The Theological Message of the Twelve
- Putting the Prophets in Their Place: An Introduction to the Historical Background of the Minor Prophets
Books on Haggai
Books on the Minor Prophets
- Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Gary E. Yates, The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets (Nashville: B & H Academic, 2016).
- Paul House, The Unity of the Twelve (New York: T & T Clark).
Books on the Prophets in General
- Peter J. Gentry, How to Read and Understand the Prophets (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2017).
- O. Palmer Robertson, The Christ of the Prophets (Phillipsburg, NJ: P & R, 2004).
- Aaron Chalmers, Interpreting the Prophets: Reading, Understanding and Preaching from the Worlds of the Prophets (Downers Grove, IL: IVP, 2015)
Soli Deo Gloria, ds