1On the 21st day of the seventh month, this message from the Lord came to Haggai: 2Speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Judah, and to Joshua son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the people. Say these things: 3“How many of you people look at this temple and try to compare it to the beautiful temple that was destroyed? What do you think? Does this temple seem like nothing when you compare it with the first temple? 4But now, Zerubbabel, the Lord says, 'Don’t be discouraged!’ High priest Joshua son of Jehozadak, the Lord says, 'Don’t be discouraged!’ All you people of this country, the Lord says, 'Don’t be discouraged! Continue this work, because I am with you!’ The Lord All-Powerful said these things!” 5˻The Lord says,˼ “I made an agreement with you when you left Egypt. ˻And I have kept my promise!˼ My Spirit is among you. So don’t be afraid!! 6Why? Because the Lord All-Powerful is saying these things! In just a little while, I will once again shake things up! I will shake heaven and earth. And I will shake the sea and the dry land! 7I will shake up the nations, and they will come to you with wealth from every nation. And then I will fill this temple with glory. The Lord All-Powerful is saying these things! 8All of their silver really belongs to me! And all of the gold is mine! The Lord All-Powerful is saying these things. 9And the Lord All-Powerful says that this last temple will be more beautiful than the first temple! And I will bring peace to this place! Remember, the Lord All-Powerful is saying these things!” The Blessings Will Come 10On the 24th day of the ninth month of Darius’ second year as king ˻of Persia˼, this message from the Lord came to Haggai the prophet: 11The Lord All-Powerful commands you to ask the priests what the law says about these things: 12“Suppose a man carries some meat in the fold of his clothes. This meat ˻is part of a sacrifice, so it˼ is holy. What if those clothes touch some bread, or cooked food, wine, oil or some other food. Will the thing the clothes touch become holy?” The priests answered, “No.” 13Then Haggai said, “If a person touches a dead body, then he will become unclean. Now, if he touches anything else, will that thing also become unclean?” The priests answered, “Yes, that thing will become unclean.” 14Then Haggai said, “The Lord God says these things, 'That is also true about the people of this nation! They were not pure and holy before me. So anything they touched with their hands and anything they brought ˻to the altar˼ became unclean! 15Think about the things that happened before today. Think about the time before you began working on the Lord’s temple. 16People wanted 20 measures of grain, but there were only 10 measures of grain in the pile. People wanted to get 50 jars of wine from the wine vat, but there were only 20! 17Why? Because I punished you. I sent the diseases that killed your plants. I sent the hail that destroyed the things you made with your hands. I did these things, but still you did not come to me.’ The Lord said these things.” 18˻The Lord said,˼ “Today is the 24th day of the ninth month. You have finished laying the foundation of the Lord’s temple. So notice what happens from this day forward! 19Is there any grain still in the barn? ˻No!˼ Look at the vines, the fig trees, the pomegranates, and the olive trees. Are they producing fruit? ˻No!˼ But, starting today, I will bless you!” 20Another message from the Lord came to Haggai on the 24th day of the month. This is the message: 21“Go to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah. Tell him that I will shake heaven and earth. 22And I will overthrow many kings and kingdoms. I will destroy the power of the kingdoms of those other people. I will destroy their chariots and their riders. I will defeat their war horses and riders. Those armies are friends now, but they will turn against each other and kill each other with swords. 23The Lord All-Powerful is saying these things. Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, you are my servant. I have chosen you. And at that time, I will make you like a signet ring. ˻You will be the proof that I have done these things!˼” The Lord All-Powerful said these things.