“Introduction to the Book of Haggai,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual (2014)
“Haggai,” Old Testament Seminary Teacher Manual
The book of Haggai affirms that a temple will again be built in Jerusalem and that peace will finally come to Jerusalem. Studying the book of Haggai can help students gain a deeper understanding of the urgency and importance of building temples and worshipping in the temple (see Haggai 1; see also D&C 95).
Haggai was a prophet who lived in Jerusalem not long after the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile (see Bible Dictionary, “Haggai”). It is presumed that he is the author of the book bearing his name.
Haggai spoke the prophecies contained in his book around 520 B.C. in Jerusalem (see Bible Dictionary, “Haggai”). If Haggai wrote this book, he most likely wrote it in Jerusalem as well.
The book of Haggai provides helpful insights concerning the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem. After the Jews returned to Jerusalem from Babylon, they began to rebuild the city and the temple but stopped when they encountered opposition (see Ezra 1–4). The book of Haggai records the Lord’s commandment to the Jews to renew their efforts in rebuilding the temple. The Jews obeyed the word of the Lord through Haggai and succeeded in completing the temple (see Haggai 1–2; Ezra 5–6).
Haggai 1 Through Haggai, the Lord chastises the people for caring more about the condition of their own homes than that of the Lord’s temple. He explains that their poor crop conditions are a result of their failure to rebuild the temple. He exhorts them to renew their efforts in building the temple.
Haggai 2 The Lord commands Haggai to speak to the people and exhort them to be strong as they rebuild the temple. He prophesies that the Messiah (Jesus Christ) will come to His temple and bring peace.