Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Haggai 1:2 - 1:2

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Haggai 1:2 - 1:2

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The prophet begins by charging the people with their unconcern about building the house of God. Hag 1:2. “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: This people saith, It is not time to come, the time for the house of Jehovah to be built.” הָעָם הַזֶּה, iste populus, not my people, or Jehovah's people, but hazzeh (this) in a contemptuous sense. Of the two clauses, (a) “It is not time to come,” and (b) “The time of the house of Jehovah,” the latter gives the more precise definition of the former, the בֹּא (to come) being explained as meaning the time to build the house of Jehovah. The meaning is simply this: the time has not yet arrived to come and build the house of Jehovah; for לֹא in this connection signifies “not yet,” as in Gen 2:5; Job 22:16. A distinction is drawn between coming to the house of Jehovah and building the house, as in Hag 1:14. There is no ground, therefore, for altering the text, as Hitzig proposes, inasmuch as the defective mode of writing the infinitive בֹּא is by no means rare (compare, for example, Exo 2:18; Lev 14:48; Num 32:9; 1Ki 13:28; Isa 20:1); and there is no foundation whatever for the absurd rendering of the words of the text, “It is not the time of the having arrived of the time of the house,” etc. (Hitzig).