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Heidegger's Bible Handbook: Haggai: Occasion and Argument

2.  The occasion of the Prophecy was the intermitted building of the Jerusalem Temple, permitted again by Darius.  The Argument of the Prophecy.



The occasion of this, and the following Prophecy of Zechariah, was this:  Cyrus, with God moving him, had granted to the Jews a return to their native land, and the right to restore the city and the Temple.  Many from the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi, and some also from other tribes, whose hearts God had touched, had returned, and had laid the foundations of the Temple.  But, with Cyrus preoccupied with wars, and with Artaxerxes circumvented, the neighboring Satraps, envious of the Jews, impeded the building of the Temple for quite a long time.  With Darius obtaining the Persian kingdom, God by His Prophets, who were at that time in Judah, namely, Haggai and Zechariah, revealed that it was His will that the work begun be resumed, for He had decreed to inspire in the spirit of King Darius a zeal for advancing the work.  Haggai, preaching this message, was believed by Zerubbabel, Ethnarch of the stock of David, and Joshua the son of Josedech, High Priest, and others:  many of the common people, shunning the labor and expense, were willing to believe anything other than that, which was troublesome to them.  Therefore, thus Haggai in this Prophecy reproves the ingratitude of the restored people, strikes at the idleness of those so sluggishly restoring the Temple, strenuously urges its restoration, and sets forth manifest prophecies concerning Christ, the glory of the Temple, and His kingdom.  This is the sum of the book.

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