A Narrative From Our Book Study: Haggai
While there is not much recorded history regarding Haggai the man, we do know that he wrote the Book of Haggai in 520BC, that he was in Judah at the time of writing it, and the purpose of his writing was to encourage the people to finish rebuilding the Temple. He was one of two prophets assigned this task by God, the other being Zechariah. King Darius was on the throne at the time Haggai wrote his prophecy.
Mentioned only two other times in the Old Testament (Ezra 5:1 and 6:14), Haggai was a minor prophet. It does not mean that he was a lesser prophet, only that his prophecies were not many and that his book in the Bible was among the shorter ones. It is only two chapters long and contains thirty-eight verses but Haggai’s writing is still not the shortest book in the Old Testament.
Haggai’s ministry lasted only a short time, only 4 months in total. He started in August of 520BC and finished in December that same year. Haggai was the first prophet to minister to the people after their return from Babylon. He was not a young man when, after the age of 70, God commissioned Haggai along with Zechariah to encourage the people to return to their task of rebuilding the Temple. His age is assumed to be over that of 70 because he could remember Solomon’s temple before it was destroyed in 586 BC. Haggai was sent to stir the hearts of the people and remind them that the Lord is their spiritual priority, not the riches of the world. The Temple had been lying in ruin for 16 years. Haggai addressed the people with messages from the Lord and they started construction on September 21, laid the foundation on December 18 when Haggai promised “God’s blessings from this day onward” (Haggai 2:19) To Haggai, the rebuilding of the Temple was synonymous with an invitation to God’s presence to return to them and dwell with them. Temple was finished in four years.
We do not know when Haggai was born or when he left the Earth to be with our Lord. It is not known if he lived long enough to see the Temple finished.