Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Haggai 1:7 - 1:7

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Keil and Delitzsch Commentary - Haggai 1:7 - 1:7

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After this allusion to the visitation of God, the prophet repeats the summons in Hag 1:7, Hag 1:8, to lay to heart their previous conduct, and choose the way that is well-pleasing to God. Hag 1:7. “Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Direct your heart upon your ways. Hag 1:8. Go up to the mountains and fetch wood and build the house, and I will take pleasure therein and glorify myself, saith Jehovah.” Hâhâr (the mountain) is not any particular mountain, say the temple mountain (Grotius, Maurer, Ros.), or Lebanon (Cocceius, Ewald, etc.); but the article is used generically, and hâhâr is simply the mountain regarded as the locality in which wood chiefly grows (cf. Neh 8:15). Fetching wood for building is an individualizing expression for providing building materials; so that there is no ground for the inference drawn by Hitzig and many of the Rabbins, that the walls of the temple had been left standing when it was destroyed, so that all that had to be done was to renew the wood-work, - an inference at variance not only with the reference made to the laying of the foundation of the temple in Hag 2:18 and Ezr 3:10, but also to the express statement in the account sent by the provincial governor to king Darius in Ezr 5:8, viz., that the house of the great God was built with square stones, and that timber was laid in the walls. וְאֶרְצֶה־בּוֹ, so will I take pleasure in it (the house); whereas so long as it lay in ruins, God was displeased with it. וְאֶכָּבֵד, and I will glorify myself, sc. upon the people, by causing my blessing to flow to it again. The keri וְאֶכָּֽבְדָה is an unnecessary emendation, inasmuch as, although the voluntative might be used (cf. Ewald, §350, a), it is not required, and has not been employed, both because it is wanting in אֶרְצֶה, for the simple reason that the verbs לה do not easily admit of this form (Ewald, §228, a), and also because it is not used in other instances, where the same circumstances do not prevail (e.g., Zec 1:3).

(Note: The later Talmudists, indeed, have taken the omission of the ה, which stands for 5 when used as a numeral, as an indication that there were five things wanting in the second temple: (1) the ark of the covenant, with the atoning lid and the cherubim; (2) the sacred fire; (3) the shechinah; (4) the Holy Spirit; (5) the Urim and Thummim (compare the Babylonian tract Joma 21b, and Sal. ben Melech, Miclal Jophi on Hag 1:8).)

Ewald and Hitzig adopt this rendering, “that I may feel myself honoured,” whilst Maurer and Rückert translate it as a passive, “that I may be honoured.” But both of these views are much less in harmony with the context, since what is there spoken of is the fact that God will then turn His good pleasure to the people once more, and along with that His blessing. How thoroughly this thought predominates, is evident from the more elaborate description, which follows in Hag 1:9-11, of the visitation from God, viz., the failure of crops and drought.