Haggai 2:20-23 — Shake the Nations, Lord!

Haggai’s fourth oracle comes on the same day as his third, that is, the day on which the foundation of the temple is laid. As Judah gathered to celebrate the occasion (cf. Ezra 3:10-13), Haggai addressed first the priests and people (2:10-19) and now he specifically addresses Zerubabel who is the governor of Judah (2:20-23).

Zerubabel himself had laid the foundation stone (cf. Zechariah 4:8). Along with the priests, he is a leader in the festivities. He represents the house (dynasty) of David. While he is no king since he serves the Persian Emperor Darius, his line is a royal one and that line carries the hope of Israel for the future. Haggai address this royal hope. Zerubabel’s royal lineage—his connection to David as the “son of Shealtiel”—is what is important and not his present governorship. Haggai looks to the future.

Haggai’s message to Zerubabel is astounding. It not only reverses a divine judgment from the days of Jeremiah, but it renews the Abrahamic and Davidic promises.

Previously, Haggai used the language of shaking heaven and earth to announce that God would insure that the wealth of the nations would flow into Judah in order to enrich the glory of this second temple. In that promise the nations would share their wealth with Judah and the temple would again—even surpass previous episodes—experience glory. God will glorify his temple.

However, Haggai now uses this language—the shaking of heaven and earth—to describe the subjugation of the nations. God will overthrow thrones and shatter the power of the nations. He will create such havoc among the nations that they will slaughter each other and undermine their military power. The nations will destroy themselves in their violence (“sword”).

Consequently, Zerubabel (and the people as well) need not fear the power of the mighty Empires who in their arrogance believe they achieve something significant and rule by their own power. The kingdom of God, that is, the reign of God, will undermine the kingdoms of this world.

“That day” is coming, says Yahweh. Like in Zechariah 12-14, “that day” is an eschatological, future day. The fall of the nations will be the “day of the Lord” which promises the fall of God’s enemies. It is, ultimately, an eschatological day when God will finally and fully shake heaven and earth, destroy the last enemies, and renew the creation in a new heaven and new earth.

“On that day” the Davidic line (“son of Shealtiel”) will sit upon the throne of God and rule over the new heaven and new earth. Haggai promises Zerubabel, that despite all appearances, that day will come. God promises this by making him “like [his] signet ring.”

This is an important statement as it recalls a text in Jeremiah 22:24-30. Jehoiachin, who suffered exile in Babylon, is compared to a “signet ring” that God removes from his hand and throws away into another country. The signet ring was a piece of jewelry used to seal documents. It represented the king himself and, in this case, the king of Judah represented Yahweh. But Jehoiachin failed to imitate Yahweh and thus is removed from God’s hand.

Moreover, Jeremiah promised that none of Jehoiachin’s offspring who went with him into exile would ever sit on the throne. The throne of David is emptied and left vacant. But is the promise thus vacated? Is the throne of David dead?

Absolutely not! The signet ring that was removed (Jehoiachin) is now placed on a descendent of David one who was born in exile (Zerubabel). God, in renewal of the Davidic promise, anoints Zerubabel as the Davidic successor. Zerubabel is not one of the offspring of Jehoiachin who went into exile but he is his grandson who was born in exile. God renews the Davidic covenant with Zerubabel, and thus renews the hope of that the kingdom of God will yet fill the earth as the prophets, including Isaiah and Zechariah, have promised.

Zerubabel receives this promise but even more he typifies or symbolizes the reign of the coming kingdom of God in God’s Anointed (Messiah). Zerubabel himself would not see the day when the kingdoms of the earth would be overthrown by Yahweh, though he did see revolts in Babylon and Egypt against the Persian Empire defeated. But his offspring—one from the line of David—would eventually defeat those kingdoms.

That one reigns even now at the right hand of God where he must reign until every enemy is defeated. On “that day” the Messiah will defeat the kingdoms of this world and death itself and thus reign upon the Davidic throne in the new Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth.

Lord, come quickly!

4 Responses to “Haggai 2:20-23 — Shake the Nations, Lord!”

  1.   rich constant Says:

    That one reigns even now at the right hand of God where he must reign until every enemy is defeated.

    [ to me john mark it is one issue to realize( believe) that you HAVE been defeated,and another not to realize.]

    On “that day” the Messiah will defeat the kingdoms of this world and death itself and thus reign upon the Davidic throne in the new Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth.
    john mark…

    Paul seems to fully realize…and THAT the prophets words have been fulfilled,also just what being in the body of the Christ entails for those that believe.

    AND THE diatribe of Paul’s argument continues…

    1Co 15:19 If we only have hope in Christ in this life, we are of all men most miserable.

    “i just love an interjection of a BUT NOW”

    1Co 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep.

    1Co 15:55 “O death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?” Hos. 13:14
    1Co 15:56 Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law;
    1Co 15:57 but thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

    Eph 1:19- Eph 1:23

    •   rich constant Says:

      HOW does OR DID god over come all rule, authority,and power?
      the gospel….( BROUGHT FORWARD)
      Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation to everyone believing, both to Jew first, and to Greek;

      Eph 4:12 with a view to the perfecting of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ,
      Eph 4:13 until we all may come to the unity of the faith and of the full knowledge of the Son of God, to a full-grown man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,
      Eph 3:5 which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations, as now it was revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit,
      Eph 3:6 for the nations to be joint-heirs, and a joint-body and joint-sharers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,

      COL. 1:15 TO CH.2
      Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
      Joh 1:2, Joh 1:3
      Joh 1:4 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men;
      Joh 1:5 and the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it.
      Joh 1:6 ‘ Joh 1:7, Joh 1:8


      •   rich constant Says:

        ANOTHER PS
        SEEMS THE JEWS were subject to the wrath of god as well as the nations considering rom 1:18 through out the narrative,we see all kinds of unfaithfulness to doing god’s good (nations) also disobedience (to the torah) and all (both jew and the nations) became

        Rom 3:9 What then? Do we excel? Not at all! For we have charged both Jews and Greeks before, all with being under sin;
        Rom 3:10 according as it has been written, “There is not a righteous one, not even one!”
        Rom 3:11 “There is not one understanding; there is not one seeking God.”
        Rom 3:12 All turned away, they became worthless together, not one is doing goodness, not so much as one!” LXX-Psa. 13:1-3
        Rom 3:13 “Their throat is a tomb being opened;” “they used deceit with their tongues; the poison of asps is under their lips;
        Rom 3:14 whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.
        Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;
        Rom 3:16 ruin and misery are in their way;
        Rom 3:17 and they did not know a way of peace;
        Rom 3:18 there is no fear of God before their eyes.” LXX-Psa. 5:10; 139:4; 9:28; Isa. 59:7, 8; Psa. 35:2; MT-Psa. 14:1-3; 5:9; 140:3; 10:7; Isa. 59:7, 8; Psa. 36:1

  2.   rich constant Says:

    IN 1ST COR3:6- THROUGH 6:18 PAUL SAYS quite a bit
    in reference to the topic of temple building with a new cov. and new creation by way of heb 8,9,10.
    not yet fully realized none the yet as real as GOD


    the tabernacle of god as in gen which is very good creation.
    he tabernacles with Adam.
    skip. skip.
    and then GOD tabernacles with us in the new creation of promise in the new temple of promise which the lord built which we each of us become through the Spirit of Christ that resides with us and in us .cor.2.6:16 for the purpose of ,as paul said cor.5;20(Then on behalf of Christ, we are ambassadors, as God is exhorting through us, we beseech on behalf of Christ, Be reconciled to God.)

    Act 15:16 After these things “I” will return and “will build again the tabernacle of David which has fallen,” “and I will build again the things which have been demolished,” and I will set it up, Amos 9:11, 12
    Act 15:17 so as the rest of men may seek the Lord, “even all the nations on whom My name has been called, says the Lord, who is doing all these things.
    2Co 3:6 who also made us able ministers of a new covenant, not of letter, but of Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive.
    2Co 3:7 But if the ministry of death having been engraved in letters in stone was with glory, so as that the sons of Israel could not gaze into “the face of Moses” because of the glory of his face, which was to cease, Ex. 34:34
    2Co 3:8 how much rather the ministry of the Spirit will be in glory!
    2Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle is taken down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in Heaven.
    .2Co 5:4 For indeed, being in the tabernacle, we groan, having been weighted down, inasmuch as we do not wish to be unclothed, but to be clothed, so that the mortal may be swallowed up by the life.
    2Co 5:17 So that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!
    2Co 5:18 And all things are from God, the One having reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and having given to us the ministry of reconciliation,

    2Co 6:16 And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are a temple of the living God, even as God said, “I will” dwell in them and “walk among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27
    2Co 6:17 Because of this, “come out from among them” “and be separated,” says the Lord, “and do not touch the unclean thing,” and I will receive you. Isa. 52:11
    2Co 6:18 “And I will be a Father to you, and you will be sons” and daughters to Me, says the Lord Almighty. 2 Sam. 7:8, 14; Isa. 43:6

Leave a Reply