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Haggai and Zechariah Overview

The Temples of Israel

The Tabernacle

1446 BC –

960 BC


(Exodus - Leviticus)

Items moved into Temple

First Temple

960 BC –

586 BC


(1 Kings;                   2 Chronicles)

Destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon

Second Temple

516 BC –

20 BC

Zerubbabel began 536 BC

(Ezra; Nehemiah; Haggai, Zechariah)

Desecrated by Antiochus IV 167 BC

Rededicated 164 BC (Maccabees – Hanukkah)

Third Temple

20 BC –

AD 70

Herod built between 20 BC and AD 64

Destroyed by Roman General Titus AD 70 (Mark 13:1-2)

Coming Temple


Ezekiel 40-48





Haggai is the 37th book of the Old Testament and Bible.

Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries. They preached to encourage the people who were rebuilding the Temple under the leadership of Zerubbabal in 536 B.C. That makes them both “post-exilic” prophets.

Jeremiah 29 had said the captivity would last 70 years. This encouraged Daniel as he was in captivity. The first captivity was 606 B.C., making 536 B.C. 70 years!

The historical context for both Zechariah and Haggai is recorded in Ezra and Nehemiah. Understand they both refer to what happened before they got to Jerusalem, as well what happened when they got there.

At this time Jerusalem was part of the Persian Empire. Assyria is not the power it was; Babylon is not the power it was. Jewish tradition says Haggai had prophesied in Babylon during the time of the exile.

Haggai’s name probably means “festival.”

The people’s response to Haggai’s message suggests that they respected him. Perhaps like his name he was known for joy, and it was joyous for all of them that Persia’s king had let them return to Jerusalem.

Haggai is certainly written in 520 B.C. after the first return to Jerusalem, because Haggai tells us it was the second year of King Darius I of Persia (521 – 486 BC).

Of the Old Testament prophetic books, only Malachi is written later than Haggai and Zechariah.

Haggai is a book about priorities: putting God first in our lives!

The main thing Haggai speaks to the people about is rebuilding the Temple!

The Jews who had returned were so busy building their own houses, they had neglected to get busy rebuilding what was to be the center of their lives: the Temple.

Haggai tells the people that their neglect of God’s house has caused the drought they were experiencing. But if they get their priorities straight and rebuild the Temple, God will bless them!

You can outline this little book around the dates given in 1:1, 2:1, 10, 20.

A Closer Look at Haggai:


A word from the Lord through Haggai to the governor and the high priest.


You are saying, “let’s finish our houses first, and then we’ll rebuild God’s house later.”

“I’m here to tell you that the Lord wants you to prioritize His house over your own.”


Think carefully about this.

“You’re working real hard, but it’s never enough; you’re never satisfied!”

Implication: “you are making much of yourselves and what you want, but can’t get no satisfaction; if you’d make much of Me and what I want, you’d be blessed!”

So go get the lumber and build God’s house RIGHT NOW!

Fortunately, the people responded well!


They repented because they feared the Lord! God responded by giving them the greatest promise in the Bible: I am with you!


Haggai preached to them in the 2nd year, 6th month, 1st day.

They started the work on the 2nd year, 6th month 24th day.


The word of the Lord comes again on the 2nd year, 7th month, 21st day.

That’s less than a month later!


Some of the older ones who had seen the former temple before it was destroyed in 586 B.C. (66 years earlier) were no doubt discouraged because it was not what it had been then!

Nevertheless, God was pleased with their efforts. They had done what they could, and God would do the rest.


Work! For I am with you!

America has many problems now in comparison with our godly founding. And we could easily be discouraged when we look at what we have done for the Lord and ask, “What is this compared to what happened in the days of the first and second great awakening?

But Haggai has them look away from the amount of work left to do!

Where are they to look? To two things:

First, to God Himself, who is with them and is their strength: so they should work without fear!

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment. -2 Timothy 1:7  

Secondly, to God’s promises:

He will judge the earth (shake the nations)

He will redistribute earth’s treasure to Jerusalem

Other translations: the desire of all nations will come = Jesus Christ?

He will fill the Temple with His glory greater than Solomon’s Temple

He will provide peace in Jerusalem.

2:10, 19

A third message comes in the 2nd year, 9th month, 24th day.

On this day the drought ends: Be holy!


Another message that same day: a prophecy for Zerubbabel about the end times.

Just as God had promised Zerubbabel’s forefather David in 2 Samuel 7, Zerubbabel is promised that the Davidic Covenant will be fulfilled. The Messiah would rule the world (Isaiah 9:6-7)


Zechariah is the 38th book of the Old Testament and the Bible.

It is the next to last book of the English Old Testament, with only Malachi after it.

Zechariah is the longest of the Minor Prophets with 14 chapters. He preached to encourage the people who were rebuilding the Temple under the leadership of Zerubbabal in 536 B.C.

Zechariah was a priest, the son of the priest Berechiah, grandson of Iddo. (Ezra 5:1, 6:14 Nehemiah 12:16). 

 Zechariah’s name means “God remembers.”

The book is probably written around 520 B.C. after the first return to Jerusalem.

At this time Jerusalem was part of the Persian Empire. Assyria is not the power it was; Babylon is not the power it was. Zechariah probably saw Persia go from Darius I (521 – 486 BC) being its ruler to Xerxes (486-464 B.C.) being its ruler.

Darius was one of the King’s Daniel had served, and Xerxes was King who made Esther Queen of Persia. God had taken care of his people in captivity and many were returning to Israel! Others were yet to come. 

Zerubbabel is the governor of Judea, Joshua is the high priest!

Zechariah wants the people to experience spiritual revival as they complete the Temple, and know that the future is in the Messiah’s hands!

Prophecies about the Messiah:         Passage:      New Testament:

He’ll be a King-Priest                        6:13             Hebrews 6:20-7:1

He’ll be a humble King                     9:9-10         Matt. 21:4-5; John 12:13-16

He’ll be betrayed                               11:12-13     Matthew 27:9

His hands will be pierced                   12:10           John 19:37

He’ll come a 2nd time & be crowned 14:5, 9         Revelation 11:15; 21:27

Zechariah refers to the final battle in the end times when the Messiah will touch down on the Mount of Olives and be crowned King of the earth.

Outline of Zechariah:

The way of salvation                                    1:1-6

Eight visions of Israel in history                 1:7-6:8

“The Branch” is bringing salvation            6:9-15

Four messages to the world                         7:1-8:23

Prophecies of the Messiah                           9:1-14:21

A Closer Look at Zechariah:

Opening Message: The way of salvation    1:1-6

Repent, Return!

Eight visions of Israel in history                 1:7-6:8

1.       Man and horses among myrtle trees (1:8)

The world is now at rest under Persia’s firm grip. The leader Darius is friendly to us and letting us re-build our temple. The Lord will again be merciful to Jerusalem; it will prosper!

2.       Four horns, four craftsman (1:18-20)

Those who scattered Judah are cast out (1:21); God had judged the nations who had messed with his people.

3.       Man with measuring line (2:1)

God will be a protective wall of fire around Jerusalem (2:3-5)

Note the call to return for other exiles to return now to Jerusalem! Not enough did!

4.       Cleansing of Joshua (3:4)

The Servant, the Branch, comes to save (3:8-9)

I love this chapter! The sins of the people on Joshua the High Priest, who exchanges them! 2 Corinthians 5:21

Joshua means “God saves.” Joshua is Hebrew for Jesus.

5.       Golden Lampstands and olive trees (4:2-3)

The Lord empowers Israel by His Spirit (4:6)

Keep building, Zerubbabel! Build this Temple even though it isn’t as great as Solomon’s! A far greater temple is coming, involving the Branch of chapter 6!

6.       Flying Scroll (5:1)

Dishonesty is cursed (5:3)

It appears this is figurative of God knowing their sins, like the books opened in Revelation at the Great White Throne Judgment.

7.       Woman in the basket (5:6-7)

Wickedness will be removed (5:9)

8.       Four chariots (6:1)

The spirits of heaven execute judgment on the whole earth (6:5, 7)

 “These visions mix the work of the Messiah in both advents, and like the other prophets, Zechariah sees only the peaks of God’s program without the intervening valleys.” Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps, 1993

“The Branch” is bringing salvation            6:9-15

Four messages to the world                         7:1-8:23

The question of fasting    7:1-3

Rebuke of Hypocrisy       7:4-7

Repent of Disobedience   7:8-14

Restoration of Israel        8:1-7

Rejoice in Israel’s future 8:18-23

Prophecies of the Messiah                           9:1-14:21

Rejection of the Messiah            9:1-11:17

Reign of the Messiah                 12:1-14:21