Sunday School Bible Survey:      HAGGAI

Theme: Consider your ways.

Key verses: "Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled houses, and this house lie waste? Now therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways. Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes. Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Consider your ways" (1:4-7).

From the Scofield Study Bible:
Haggai was a prophet of the restored remnant after the 70 years' captivity. The circumstances are detailed in Ezra and Nehemiah. To hearten, rebuke, and instruct that feeble and divided remnant was the task of Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. The theme of Haggai is the unfinished temple, and his mission to admonish and encourage the builders.

The divisions of the book are marked by the formula, "came the word of the Lord by Haggai":

  1. The event which drew out the prophecy (1:1, 2).
  2. The divine displeasure because of the interrupted work (1:3-15).
  3. The temples — Solomon's, the restoration temple, and the kingdom-age temple (2:1-9).
  4. Uncleanness and chastening (2:10-19).
  5. The final victory (2:20-23; see Rev. 19:17-20; 14:19,20; Zech. 14:1-3).


  1. Haggai is the only person in the Bible with that name.
  2. His name means "festal one" and some have speculated that he was given that name because he was born on some feast day.
  3. Haggai is one of the prophets whose personal history is unknown to us. He is mentioned in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14.
  4. Haggai is the first of the post-captivity prophets, those who ministered after the return of the remnant from Babylon.
  5. The other post-captivity prophets were Zechariah and Malachi.
  6. Haggai's ministry preceded Zechariah's by about two months. Malachi prophesied over 100 years later.
  7. The books of Ezra and Nehemiah give us the historical background. The time was about 520 BC (Scofield Study Bible).
  8. The king of Persia at this time was Darius.
  9. The prophecy of Haggai covers the short space of only four months (the period covered in Ezra 5 & 6).


  1. The remnant had returned from Babylon.
  2. The feasts were reinstituted.
  3. The temple that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. The foundation for the new temple had been laid, but then the work had to stop because of opposition from hostile neighbors (cf. Ezra 4:1-6).
  4. Darius, the king of Persia, approved of the temple being rebuilt.
  5. In their prophetic messages, the prophets Haggai and Zechariah exhorted and encouraged the people to rebuild.
  6. "Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts" (2:4).
  7. The returned remnant had become greatly discouraged. Fourteen years had passed since they had returned, and the temple renovation was still not finished.
  8. The commission from the LORD to Haggai was to rouse the people to rebuild the temple. However, Haggai's messages also look beyond that to the first and second coming of Christ (2:6, 7, 21, 22).
  9. Scofield said Haggai 2:7-9 "can only refer to the future kingdom temple described by Ezekiel. It is certain that the restoration temple and all subsequent structures, including Herod's, were far inferior in costliness and splendour to Solomon's. The present period is described in Hosea 3:4, 5. Verse 6 is quoted in Hebrews 12:26, 27. Verse 7: 'I will shake all nations,' refers to the great tribulation and is followed by the coming of Christ in glory, as in Matthew 24:29, 30. 'The desire of all nations' is Christ. See Malachi 3:1, note."
  10. Haggai dated his prophecies (1:1; 2:1, 10, 20). All the other prophets dated their messages according to the kings of Judah and Israel (cf. Isaiah 1:1; Jer. 1:1-3; Ezekiel 1:1, 2; Daniel 1:1; Hosea 1:1; etc.).
  11. The dating of Haggai's and Zechariah's prophecies according to the reign of a Gentile king reveals to us that "the times of the Gentiles" were now in progress (cf. Luke 21:24).
  12. Haggai 1:1 harmonizes with Ezra 4:24. Uninformed and ignorant scoffers say there are errors in the Bible, but they are mistaken. The Bible is the inerrant and infallible Word of God.


  1. Haggai's first message was a call to rebuild the temple (Chap. 1). The people felt the time was not right that the LORD's house should be built (1:2). But Haggai told them to consider their ways. They lived in comfortable houses and the temple "lie waste" (1:4, 5).
  2. In Haggai's second message (2:1-9), he "calls upon the old men who remembered Solomon's temple to witness to the new generation how greatly that structure exceeded the present in magnificence" (Scofield, p. 963).
  3. Haggai's third message was addressed to the priests, and was a call for renewed consecration (2:10-19).
  4. Haggai's fourth and final message was "apocalyptic in character. Looking down the long ages, he finished his book by pointing to the coming Golden Age" (John Phillips, Exploring the Scriptures).
  5. Haggai's last prophecy remains unfulfilled. "In that day" (2:23) refers to the coming Day of the LORD.
  6. The promise in Haggai 2:23 applies to the office of Zerubbabel, and refers to Zerubbabel as "my servant." Christ is the son of Zerubbabel, as well as the son of David (cf. Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27).

These are simple Sunday School survey notes. They are not for sale. The author used many outlines from popular Bible teachers such as C.I. Scofield and J. Vernon McGee, and he has tried to give credit when using their material.

—  Pastor James J. Barker  —