Haggai wrote other letters to Governor Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel and High Priest Joshua ben Jehozadak about to give them God’s messages. In one of these letters, Haggai wrote, So God wants to know if any of y’all ever saw the Temple before it was destroyed? Or even read a description of it? Because It’s not, how shall I put this? impressed with the results so far. But no matter. It’s going to shake up the nations and make it rain on Judah so y’all can bling it up.
And another time, Haggai wrote to them to ask, Do y’all understand the difference between clean and unclean things? Like, have you even cracked open Leviticus? Because y’all keep offering some things the Lord don’t like. But, here’s what God’s willing to do. If you only offer the right sort of things in the right sort of ways, God will make sure that the crops stop suffering from blight and drought and that the next harvest will be huge.
In a third letter, Haggai wrote to Zerubbabel to tell him that God had chosen him as Its signet ring, and to remember that he was blessed and loved by God during the coming wars.
The end! More about the Second Temple in Zechariah next time!
Efforts were made during the tumultuous time of the returning exiles described in Ezra to rebuild the Temple. The prophet Haggai wrote to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel ben Shealtiel, and the high priest, Joshua ben Jehozadek, that God wanted Its house rebuilt and ASAP. Haggai wrote, God wants to know if y’all think it’s ok that y’all are living in houses and It’s still homeless? God also wants you to know that the reason nothing y’all do down in Judah ever prospers is because y’all have left It homeless. Until you rebuild God’s house, you will never be able to turn a profit or grow enough crops!
So Zerubbabel and Joshuah organized the people to get the materials and crews to rebuild the Temple.
Zephaniah declared, Woe to Jerusalem, that hotbed of corrupt politicians and religious leaders! God’s punishments are always just, so when It destroys a place, like it will Jerusalem, that place and its people deserve it! But one day, when everyone in the world speaks the same language, they will also turn to the one true God–the Hebrew God–and then the world will be perfect. There will be no more lies or corruption or greed or injustice! Then Jerusalem will be restored and will be the center of the world! So everyone rejoice that God will eventually raise you up, even if it first destroys you!
Zephaniah continued, And God’s not just gonna take down Judah. No. Not hardly. God is going to take down every nation that has ever had a beef with Judah. See, It might be mad at the Hebrews, but they’re still Its people, and Its got their backs. So any nation that ever went to war with Judah, or even scoffed at it or made fun of it, is going down. Gaza will be a wasteland, and the destruction of Philistia, Canaan, Moab, Ammon, Cush, and, yes Assyria, will make what It did to Sodom and Gomorrah look like a party!
During the reign of Josiah, Zephaniah ben Cushi ben Gedaliah ben Amariah ben Hezekiah prophesied doom for Judah and the whole world. Zephaniah preached, God has told me that It will sweep away everything from the face of the earth! Every plant, every bug, every bird, every beast, and every cheating Hebrew who worships Baal on the side! It will punish every noble and prince who traipse about in foreign duds and every worker who cheats his boss! It will search all of Jerusalem and ferret out every cheating cheater and make them pay! A day of wrath, a day of doom, a day of destruction is at hand! God will pour out distress upon humans and the earth will drink their blood!
Yahweh, you’ll find
there’s only one love,
yours ‘n’ mankind.
You’ve got so much love.
We’re needing you so,
your love for us,
you’ll never let go.
You’ve got so much love.
All I want is to praise you.
Let me show you how much I worship you, God.
I don’t mind, I don’t mind (worshiping you).
God, I love you.
Nothing’s above you.
You made the sun.
You made the rain.
You made my life and this foolish game.
You always know
I love you so,
even if you smite us again and again.
The end! More prophesying about the end of Judah in Zephaniah next time!
Habakkuk continued, I’ll wait for my answer over here.
God was all, You better write this down, bro, because what I’m about to drop this so important. First, true believers live by faith alone. They don’t need no evidence! Second, wine and/or wealth totally leads to greed, sin, and Sheol. Furthermore, in this message is for the Babylonians, even though I’m sending you to punish Judah, woe to you! Woe to you because you’ve plundered nations! Woe to you because you colonized other lands! Woe to you for building new towns on top of ones you had destroyed and murdered the inhabitants! Woe to people who get their neighbors drunk in order to date rape them! Woe to those who worship idols, especially when those idols are money!