The Book of Haggai

This paper analyzes the “Book of Haggai”, also sometimes called “The Prophecy of Aggeus”, and its impact on traditional and contemporary liturgical thought.

This paper explains that the “Book of Haggai” (“The Prophecy of Aggeus”) is the tenth of the twelve Old Testament books that bear the names of the minor prophets. Haggai ( 6th century BC) served to mobilize the Jewish community in the enormous effort required to rebuild the Temple of Jerusalem (516 BC) after the Babylonian Exile and prophesied the glorious future of the Messianic age. The author points out that the book is comprised of a series of prophecies, which were delivered over the course of a four-month period in the second year of the reign of the Persian king, Darius I the Great (521 BC). The paper concludes that, whenever people struggle to overcome the complacency and lack of piety that characterizes modern life, they can look to the example of Haggai, as he sought to accomplish what he believed was necessary to usher in a new Messianic order.

Table of Contents
Background and Overview
Review and Discussion
Prophecies in the Book of Haggai
Genealogical Significance of Title
Obedience and Responsiveness of the Jewish People in the Book of Haggai
Impact of Haggai on Traditional and Contemporary Liturgical Thought
“The international situation during and several decades before the time of Haggai and Zechariah clearly had a profound impact on what these prophets represented and what they intended to do. According to Hallo and Simpson, the entire face of the ancient Near East — Mesopotamia, Syria-Palestine, Egypt had shifted with the defeat of the Babylonian empire, an event that may be conveniently dated to the defeat of the city of Babylon in 538 BC. According to Kent, the political and national life of the Jewish people, which had been all-important in the days before the exile suddenly ceased. Over the course of the next 400 years the Jewish people were enslaved, and were powerless under the hands of their foreign masters.”