[CF Devotionals] 2004-06-16 - Haggai, Part 3

  1. Date & Place: Of all scripture, this book is the one that is most interesting when it comes to dating it. Using the text itself, we can find very specific dates.The first sermon was written/given on August 29, 520 B.C. The year was the second of Darius Hystaspes.The second date identified is September 21, 520 B.C. The third date is October 17th of the same year. The final date is December 18th. This means he gave the entire message in less than four months.

    "Haggai obviously wrote in Jerusalem. The two chapters of his book contain references to the house of God (the temple in Jerusalem). The command to go to the nearby mountains to fetch wood for the construction of the temple clearly implies this setting (1:8). Since neither Babylonia nor the adjoining part of Assyria has mountains, references to them (again in 1:11) make sense best if understood as the mountains of Judea."

  2. Form: As with some of the other prophecies, there is a mix of style. The forms are prose and poetry. The prophetic aspects are in a poetic form; the balance is straight prose. Unlike some of these combined forms, there are no differences in how the text is laid out in the English translations.

  3. Theme: Instead of presenting a unified theme here, let me present an outline taken from J. Sidlow Baxter.
THE BOOK OF HAGGAI
FROM THIS DAY I WILL BLESS YOU

FIRST MESSAGE—TO AROUSE (i. 1-15).
DATE: Sixth month, first day.
CRUX: "Build the House" (verse 8).
SECOND MESSAGE—TO SUPPORT (ii. 1-9).
DATE: Seventh month, twenty-first day.
CRUX: "I am with you" (verse 4).
THIRD MESSAGE—TO CONFIRM (ii. 10-19).
DATE: Ninth month, twenty-fourth day.
CRUX: "From this day will I bless you."
FOURTH MESSAGE—TO ASSURE (ii. 20-23).
DATE: Ninth month, twenty-fourth day.
CRUX: "In that day I will make thee …."

Comments or Questions?
Geoff

GKragen@aol.com
http://www.cfdevotionals.org