Haggai 1 “Consider Your Ways”
Haggai was a prophet in Jerusalem about 520 BC, after a number of those of Judah, along with their descendants who were born abroad, had returned from captivity in Babylon. Haggai’s name means “feast” or “celebration.” He was contemporary in Jerusalem with Ezra and Zechariah (see Ezra 5:1).
What are your highest priorities in life right now? Read Haggai 1:1-10:
- What things did Haggai say against the people, in verses 2, 4, 6, 9, and 10? (see also Haggai 2:14, 17).
- What quote of the Lord did Haggai cite twice, in verses 5, 7?
- What specific instructions did the Lord give the people, in verse 8?
- What can you draw from verses 3-10 about our material prosperity? What do they teach about priorities?
- Read the response to the command to build the temple, in verses 12-14 (this is the same Zerubbabel featured in the book of Ezra as the chief builder of the temple).
Haggai 2 Peace in the Temple
According to verses 1-3, the people of Judah who were old enough to remember the former temple (that had been destroyed some seventy years earlier by the Babylonians) were dismayed as the new temple began to be built, considering it to be inferior:
- How did the Lord counsel Zerubbabel and the others, in verse 4? What promise did He make?
- What did the Lord remind the people of, in verse 5?
- Do you hold on to memories of the Lord’s blessings in your life, especially when the present doesn’t seem ideal? Have you recorded these memories?
- Clearly, the Lord was more concerned about their obedience to His command to re-build the temple, than He was about their perception of its beauty and grandeur.
- What do you gain from your participation in temple and family history work?
As we have seen many times, the Lord now turns to the last days. Note the promises He made in verses 6-9:
- He will shake the heavens and earth
- He will shake all nations.
- The “desire of all nations” (Jesus Christ) shall come.
- He will fill the latter-day temple (presumably in Jerusalem) with glory.
- He will give peace in His temple.
Lasting, world-wide peace can only come as the Lord “shakes” the heavens, the earth, and all nations; attendant to His coming and the beginning of the Millennium (verses 6-7).
Zechariah 1-3 Turn unto Me and I Will Turn unto You
The name Zechariah means “The Lord remembers.” Zechariah also ministered in Jerusalem in about 520 BC, along with Ezra and Haggai, and he too was directed by the Lord to call upon the people of Judah to re-build the temple.
After their conquer and captivity, the return to Jerusalem offered the people a new beginning, and the Lord makes it clear that they must reform themselves, and not be as their “fathers” had been (Zechariah 1:2, 4).
- Make a list of the promises the Lord made to the people of Judah in Zechariah 1:3, 16-17; 2:4-5.
- What did He command them to do in 2:6-7, in order to receive these blessings? (See also D&C 133:4-7.)
- Next, Zechariah sees in vision the high priest of the temple standing before an angel of the Lord, with Satan “standing at his right hand to resist him” (Zechariah 3:1; the footnote indicates that “resist” can be translated “accuse”). This is what Satan does. He resists and he accuses. We are to recognize and reject his efforts.
- What are the glorious prophecies the Lord then proclaimed, pertaining to the last days, in Zechariah 2:10-12; 3:8-10? (“the BRANCH” is Jesus Christ; see also Zechariah 6:12).
- Note two remarkable things the Lord says will happen in the day of His coming: “Many nations shall be joined to the Lord” (2:11; indicating multitudes of “last-minute converts,” as it were); and the Lord will “remove the iniquity of that land [Israel and Judah] in one day” (3:9).
- Note also the prophecy that in addition to those of Judah, “they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord” in Jerusalem (Zechariah 6:15).
Zechariah 7 The Fast
In chapter 7 the question is asked, “Should we continue fasting as we have done through all the years of our captivity?” (see verses 1-3). What was the Lord’s answer, given through Zechariah in verses 4-10? (see also Zechariah 8:19). What had been wrong with their fasting? How can this be applied to our fasting and other behavior today?
Zechariah 8-10; 12-14 The Last Days and the Second Coming
These chapters are noted for prophecies of Jesus’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem during the last week of His mortal life (Zechariah 9:9), and of His being betrayed by Judas for thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12-13).
Additionally—along with Malachi 3-4—Zechariah 8-10; 12-14 offer the last of the hundreds of Old Testament prophecies regarding the last days and the Second Coming of Christ. Find these amazing prophecies about:
- The prosperity of Jerusalem Zechariah 8:3, 5, 7-8, 13, 20-23; 9:16; 10:1 (in 8:7, the Joseph Smith Translation changes “save” to “gather”).
- Those in the world of spirits Zechariah 9:11-12.
- Those of the tribe of Ephraim Zechariah 10:6-9.
- The final war before the coming of Christ Zechariah 12:2-9; 14:1-5, 12-15.
- Jesus Christ’s appearance to the Jews Zechariah 12:10-14; 13:1-2, 6-9 (13:2 is referring to false prophets; also, in relation to Zechariah 13:6, see D&C 45:47-53).
- The Millennium Zechariah 14:9-11, 16, 20.
Try to imagine life during the Millennium, when Jesus Christ will reign as King over all the earth (Zechariah 14:9), and when all will live in safety (verse 11), will worship the true God (verse 16); and “Holiness to the Lord” will be emblazoned upon everything as a dominating theme (verse 20); with all places, activities, media, commerce, and so forth being in tune with the Lord’s standards.
What else do you know about life and its pursuits during the coming Millennium? The following comes from “Gospel Topics,” found in the Gospel Library app and at churchofjesuschrist.org:
“When we speak of the Millennium, we refer to the 1,000 years following the Savior’s Second Coming. During the Millennium, Christ will reign personally upon the earth. The Millennium will be a time of righteousness and peace on the earth. The Lord has revealed that ‘in that day the enmity of man, and the enmity of beasts, yea, the enmity of all flesh, shall cease’ (D&C 101:26). Satan will be ‘bound, that he shall have no place in the hearts of the children of men’ (D&C 45:55). During the Millennium, all people on the earth will be good and just, but many will not have received the fulness of the gospel. Consequently, members of the Church will participate in missionary work.
Members of the Church will also participate in temple work during the Millennium. The Saints will continue to build temples and receive ordinances in behalf of their kindred dead. Guided by revelation, they will prepare records of their ancestors all the way back to Adam and Eve. Complete righteousness and peace will continue until the end of the 1,000 years, when Satan ‘shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies’ (D&C 88:111). The armies of Satan will fight against the hosts of heaven, who will be led by Michael, or Adam. Satan and his followers will be defeated and cast out forever.”