Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 247

Bible text(s)

The LORD's Command to Rebuild the Temple

1During the second year that Darius was emperor of Persia, on the first day of the sixth month, the LORD spoke through the prophet Haggai. The message was for the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and for the High Priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak.

2The LORD Almighty said to Haggai, “These people say that this is not the right time to rebuild the Temple.” 3The LORD then gave this message to the people through the prophet Haggai: 4“My people, why should you be living in well-built houses while my Temple lies in ruins? 5Don't you see what is happening to you? 6You have sown much corn, but have harvested very little. You have food to eat, but not enough to make you full. You have wine to drink, but not enough to get drunk on! You have clothing, but not enough to keep you warm. And a worker cannot earn enough to live on. 7Can't you see why this has happened? 8Now go up into the hills, get timber, and rebuild the Temple; then I will be pleased and will be worshipped as I should be.

9“You hoped for large harvests, but they turned out to be small. And when you brought the harvest home, I blew it away. Why did I do that? Because my Temple lies in ruins while every one of you is busy working on his own house. 10That is why there is no rain and nothing can grow. 11I have brought drought on the land — on its hills, cornfields, vineyards, and olive orchards — on every crop the ground produces, on people and animals, on everything you try to grow.”

The People Obey the LORD's Command

12Then Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people who had returned from the exile in Babylonia, did what the LORD their God told them to do. They were afraid and obeyed the prophet Haggai, the LORD's messenger. 13Then Haggai gave the LORD's message to the people: “I will be with you — that is my promise.” 14The LORD inspired everyone to work on the Temple: Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah; Joshua, the High Priest, and all the people who had returned from the exile. They began working on the Temple of the LORD Almighty, their God, 15on the 24th day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was emperor.

The Splendour of the New Temple

1On the 21st day of the seventh month of that same year, the LORD spoke again through the prophet Haggai. 2He told Haggai to speak to Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, to Joshua, the High Priest, and to the people, and to say to them, 3“Is there anyone among you who can still remember how splendid the Temple used to be? How does it look to you now? It must seem like nothing at all. 4But now don't be discouraged, any of you. Do the work, for I am with you. 5When you came out of Egypt, I promised that I would always be with you. I am still with you, so do not be afraid.

6“Before long I will shake heaven and earth, land and sea. 7I will overthrow all the nations, and their treasures will be brought here, and the Temple will be filled with wealth. 8All the silver and gold of the world is mine. 9The new Temple will be more splendid than the old one, and there I will give my people prosperity and peace.” The LORD Almighty has spoken.

The Prophet Consults the Priests

10On the 24th day of the ninth month of the second year that Darius was emperor, the LORD Almighty spoke again to the prophet Haggai. 11He said, “Ask the priests for a ruling on this question: 12Suppose someone takes a piece of consecrated meat from a sacrifice and carries it in a fold of his robe. If he then lets his robe touch any bread, cooked food, wine, olive oil, or any kind of food at all, will it make that food consecrated also?”

When the question was asked, the priests answered, “No.”

13Then Haggai asked, “Suppose someone is defiled because he has touched a dead body. If he then touches any of these foods, will that make them defiled too?”

The priests answered, “Yes.”

14Then Haggai said, “The LORD says that the same thing applies to the people of this nation and to everything they produce; and so everything they offer on the altar is defiled.”

The LORD Promises his Blessing

15The LORD says, “Can't you see what has happened to you? Before you started to rebuild the Temple, 16you would go to a heap of corn expecting to find 200 kilogrammes, but there would be only a hundred. You would go to draw a hundred litres of wine from a vat, but find only forty. 17I sent scorching winds and hail to ruin everything you tried to grow, but still you did not repent. 18Today is the 24th day of the ninth month, the day that the foundation of the Temple has been completed. See what is going to happen from now on. 19Although there is no corn left, and the grapevines, fig trees, pomegranates, and olive trees have not yet produced, yet from now on I will bless you.”

The LORD's Promise to Zerubbabel

20On that same day, the 24th of the month, the LORD gave Haggai a second message 21for Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah: “I am about to shake heaven and earth 22and overthrow kingdoms and end their power. I will overturn chariots and their drivers; the horses will die, and their riders will kill one another. 23On that day I will take you, Zerubbabel my servant, and I will appoint you to rule in my name. You are the one I have chosen.” The LORD Almighty has spoken.

Haggai 1:1-2:23GNBOpen in Bible reader

The LORD Calls his People to Return to him

1In the eighth month of the second year that Darius was emperor of Persia, the LORD gave this message to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah and grandson of Iddo. 2The LORD Almighty told Zechariah to say to the people, “I, the LORD, was very angry with your ancestors, 3but now I say to you, ‘Return to me, and I will return to you. 4Do not be like your ancestors. Long ago the prophets gave them my message, telling them not to live evil, sinful lives any longer. But they would not listen to me or obey me. 5Your ancestors and those prophets are no longer alive. 6Through my servants the prophets I gave your ancestors commands and warnings, but they disregarded them and suffered the consequences. Then they repented and acknowledged that I, the LORD Almighty, had punished them as they deserved and as I had determined to do.’ ”

The Prophet's Vision of the Horses

7In the second year that Darius was emperor, on the 24th day of the eleventh month (the month of Shebat), the LORD gave me a message in a vision at night. 8I saw someone riding a red horse. He had stopped among some myrtle trees in a valley, and behind him were other horses — red, dappled, and white. 9I asked him, “Sir, what do these horses mean?”

He answered, “I will show you what they mean. 10The LORD sent them to go and inspect the earth.”

11They reported to the angel: “We have been all over the world and have found that the whole world lies helpless and subdued.”

12Then the angel said, “Almighty LORD, you have been angry with Jerusalem and the cities of Judah for seventy years now. How much longer will it be before you show them mercy?”

13The LORD answered the angel with comforting words, 14and the angel told me to proclaim what the LORD Almighty had said: “I have a deep love and concern for Jerusalem, my holy city, 15and I am very angry with the nations that enjoy quiet and peace. For while I was holding back my anger against my people, those nations made the sufferings of my people worse. 16So I have come back to Jerusalem to show mercy to the city. My Temple will be restored, and the city will be rebuilt.”

17The angel also told me to proclaim: “The LORD Almighty says that his cities will be prosperous again and that he will once again help Jerusalem and claim the city as his own.”

The Vision of the Horns

18In another vision I saw four ox horns. 19I asked the angel that had been speaking to me, “What do these horns mean?”

He answered, “They stand for the world powers that have scattered the people of Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.”

20Then the LORD showed me four workers with hammers. 21I asked, “What have they come to do?”

He answered, “They have come to terrify and overthrow the nations that completely crushed the land of Judah and scattered its people.”

The Vision of the Measuring Line

1In another vision I saw a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2“Where are you going?” I asked.

“To measure Jerusalem,” he answered, “to see how long and how wide it is.”

3Then I saw the angel who had been speaking to me step forward, and another angel came to meet him. 4The first one said to the other, “Run and tell that young man with the measuring line that there are going to be so many people and so much livestock in Jerusalem that it will be too big to have walls. 5The LORD has promised that he himself will be a wall of fire round the city to protect it and that he will live there in all his glory.”

The Exiles are Called to Come Home

6-7The LORD said to his people, “I scattered you in all directions. But now, you exiles, escape from Babylonia and return to Jerusalem. 8Anyone who strikes you strikes what is most precious to me.”

So the LORD Almighty sent me with this message for the nations that had plundered his people: 9“The LORD himself will fight against you, and you will be plundered by the people who were once your servants.”

When this happens, everyone will know that the LORD Almighty sent me.

10The LORD said, “Sing for joy, people of Jerusalem! I am coming to live among you!”

11At that time many nations will come to the LORD and become his people. He will live among you, and you will know that he has sent me to you. 12Once again Judah will be the special possession of the LORD in his sacred land, and Jerusalem will be the city he loves most of all.

13Be silent, everyone, in the presence of the LORD, for he is coming from his holy dwelling place.

The Prophet's Vision of the High Priest

1In another vision the LORD showed me the High Priest Joshua standing before the angel of the LORD. And there beside Joshua stood Satan, ready to bring an accusation against him. 2The angel of the LORD said to Satan, “May the LORD condemn you, Satan! May the LORD, who loves Jerusalem, condemn you. This man is like a stick snatched from the fire.”

3Joshua was standing there, wearing filthy clothes. 4The angel said to his heavenly attendants, “Take away the filthy clothes this man is wearing.” Then he said to Joshua, “I have taken away your sin and will give you new clothes to wear.”

5He commanded the attendants to put a clean turban on Joshua's head. They did so, and then they put the new clothes on him while the angel of the LORD stood there.

6Then the angel told Joshua that 7the LORD Almighty had said: “If you obey my laws and perform the duties I have assigned to you, then you will continue to be in charge of my Temple and its courts, and I will hear your prayers, just as I hear the prayers of the angels who are in my presence. 8Listen then, Joshua, you who are the High Priest; and listen, you fellow-priests of his, you that are the sign of a good future: I will reveal my servant, who is called The Branch! 9I am placing in front of Joshua a single stone with seven facets. I will engrave an inscription on it, and in a single day I will take away the sin of this land. 10When that day comes, each of you will invite his neighbour to come and enjoy peace and security, surrounded by your vineyards and fig trees.”

Zechariah 1:1-3:10GNBOpen in Bible reader
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