1tn Heb “In the seventh [month], on the twenty-first day of the month.”

sn The seventh month was the month Tishri, according to the modern (Julian) calendar October 17, 520 b.c. The twenty-first day of Tishri marked the seventh day of the Feast of Tabernacles (Num 29:32-34). It also coincided with the date 440 years earlier (960 b.c.) when Solomon finished building his temple (1 Kgs 6:38; 8:2).

2tc Heb “the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, saying.” The MT has בְּיַד (b˙yad, “by the hand of” = “through” [so NAB, NIV, NLT] as in 1:1, 3); the Murabba’at Dead Sea text reads אֶל (’el, “to”), perhaps because the following command is given to the prophet.

3tn Heb “say to”; NAB “Tell this to.”

4tn Many English versions have “Joshua (the) son of Jehozadak the high priest,” but this is subject to misunderstanding. See the note on the name “Jehozadak” at the end of v. 1.

5tn Heb “this house in its earlier splendor”; NAB, NIV, NRSV “in its former glory.”

sn Solomon’s temple was demolished in 586 b.c., 66 years prior to Haggai’s time. There surely would have been some older people who remembered the former splendor of that magnificent structure and who lamented the contrast to the small, unimpressive temple they were building (see Ezra 3:8-13).

6tn Heb “and take heart.” Although emphatic, the repetition of the verb is redundant in contemporary English style and has been left untranslated.

7tn Heb “the people of the land” (עַם הָאָרֶץ, ’am haarets); this is a technical term referring to free citizens as opposed to slaves.

8sn My spirit. It is theologically anachronistic to understand “spirit” here in the NT sense as a reference to the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity; nevertheless during this postexilic period the conceptual groundwork was being laid for the doctrine of the Holy Spirit later revealed in the NT.

9tc The MT of v. 5 reads “with the word which I cut with you when you went out from Egypt and my spirit [which] stands in your midst, do not fear.” BHS proposes emending “with the word” to זֹאת הַבְּרִית (zot habb˙rit, “this is the covenant”) at the beginning of the verse. The proposed emendation makes excellent sense and is expected with the verb כָּרַת (karat, “cut” or “make” a covenant), but it has no textual support. Most English versions (including the present translation) therefore follow the MT here.

10tc The difficult MT reading עוֹד אַחַת מְעַט הִיא (’od akhat m˙at hi’, “yet once, it is little”; cf. NAB “One moment yet, a little while”) appears as “yet once” in the LXX, omitting the last two Hebrew words. However, the point being made is that the anticipated action is imminent; thus the repetition provides emphasis.

11tn Or “the heavens.” The same Hebrew word, שָׁמַיִם (shamayim), may be translated “sky” or “heavens” depending on the context. Although many English versions translate the term as “heavens” here, the other three elements present in this context (earth, sea, dry ground) suggest “sky” is in view.

12tn Heb “all the nations.”

13tn Though the subject here is singular (חֶמְדַּה, khemdah; “desire”), the preceding plural predicate mandates a collective subject, “desired (things)” or, better, an emendation to a plural form, חֲמֻדֹת (khamudot, “desirable [things],” hence “treasures”). Cf. ASV “the precious things”; NASB “the wealth”; NRSV “the treasure.” In the OT context this has no direct reference to the coming of the Messiah.

14tn Heb “greater will be the latter splendor of this house than the former”; NAB “greater will be the future glory.”

15tn In the Hebrew text there is an implicit play on words in the clause “in this place [i.e., Jerusalem] I will give peace”: in יְרוּשָׁלַיִם (y˙rushalayim) there will be שָׁלוֹם (shalom).

16sn The twenty-fourth day of the ninth month of Darius’ second year was Kislev 24 or December 18, 520 b.c.

17tn Heb “the word of the Lord came to Haggai the prophet, saying.” This Hebrew expression is slightly different from the one in 1:1, 3; 2:1.

18tn Heb “Ask the priests a torah, saying”; KJV “concerning the law”; NAB “for a decision”; NCV “for a teaching”; NRSV “for a ruling.”

19sn This is probably not an appeal to the Torah (i.e., the Pentateuch) as such but to a priestly ruling (known in postbiblical Judaism as a p˙saq din). There is, however, a Mosaic law that provides the basis for the priestly ruling (Lev 6:27).

20tn Heb “unclean of a person,” a euphemism for “unclean because of a dead person”; see Lev 21:11; Num 6:6. Cf. NAB “unclean from contact with a corpse.”

21tn Heb “so this people, and so this nation before me.” In this context “people” and “nation” refer to the same set of individuals; the repetition is emphatic. Cf. CEV “this entire nation.”

22sn The point here is that the Jews cannot be made holy by unholy fellowship with their pagan neighbors; instead, they and their worship will become corrupted by such associations.

23tn Heb “and now set your heart from this day and upward.” The juxtaposition of מָעְלָה (malah, “upward”) with the following מִטֶּרֶם (mitterem, “before”) demands a look to the past. Cf. ASV “consider from this day and backward.”

24sn Before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple is best taken as referring to the laying of the present temple’s foundation, sixteen years earlier (536 b.c.; see Ezra 3:8). Cf. NCV “before you started laying stones”; TEV “before you started to rebuild”; NLT “before you began to lay (started laying CEV) the foundation.”

25tn Heb “from their being,” idiomatic for “from the time they were then,” or “since the time.” Cf. KJV “Since those days were.”

26tn Heb “you, all the work of your hands”; NRSV “you and all the products of your toil”; NIV “all the work of your hands.”

27tn Heb “and there was not with you.” The context favors the idea that the harvests were so poor that the people took care of only themselves, leaving no offering for the Lord. Cf. KJV and many English versions “yet ye turned not to me,” understanding the phrase to refer to the people’s repentance rather than their failure to bring offerings.

28tn Heb “set your heart.” A similar expression occurs in v. 15.

29sn The twenty-fourth day of the ninth month was Kislev 24 or December 18, 520. See v. 10. Here the reference is to “today,” the day the oracle is being delivered.

30sn The day work…was resumed. This does not refer to the initial founding of the Jerusalem temple in 536 b.c. but to the renewal of construction three months earlier (see 1:15). This is clear from the situation described in v. 19 which accords with the food scarcities of that time already detailed in Hag 1:10-11.

31tn Heb “set your heart.” A similar expression occurs in v. 15 and at the beginning of this verse.

32tn Heb “and the word of the Lord came a second time to Haggai.” This Hebrew expression is like the one in 2:10 and is slightly different from the one in 1:1, 3; 2:1.

33sn Again, the twenty-fourth day of the month was Kislev 24 or December 18, 520 b.c. See v. 10.

34tn The participle here suggests an imminent undertaking of action (cf. NRSV, TEV, NLT “I am about to”). The overall language of the passage is eschatological, but eschatology finds its roots in the present.

35tn See the note on the word “sky” in 2:6. Most English translations render the Hebrew term as “heavens” here.

36tn Heb “the kingdoms of the nations.” Cf. KJV “the kingdoms of the heathen”; NIV, NLT “foreign kingdoms.”

37tn Heb “and horses and their riders will go down, a man with a sword his brother”; KJV “every one by the sword of his brother.”

38sn The expression on that day appears as a technical eschatological term in a number of other OT passages (cf., e.g., Isa 2:11, 17, 20; 3:7, 18; Amos 8:3, 9; Hos 2:18, 21).

39sn My servant. The collocation of “servant” and “chosen” bears strong messianic overtones. See the so-called “Servant Songs” and other messianic texts in Isaiah (Isa 41:8; 42:1; 44:4; 49:7).

40sn The noun signet ring, used also to describe Jehoiachin (Jer 22:24-30), refers to a ring seal worn by a king or other important person and used as his signature. Zerubbabel was a grandson of King Jehoiachin (1 Chr 3:17-19; Matt 1:12); God once pronounced that none of Jehoiachin’s immediate descendants would rule (Jer 22:24-30), but here he reverses that judgment. Zerubbabel never ascended to such a lofty position of rulership; he is rather a prototype of the Messiah who would sit on David’s throne.

41tn The repetition of the formula “says the Lord who rules over all” in v. 23 emphasizes the solemn and divine nature of the promise.