And in this place will I give peace - שלום shalom a peace-offering, as well as peace itself; or Jesus Christ, who is called the Prince of peace, through whom peace is proclaimed between God and man, between man and his fellows; and through whom peace is established in the disconsolate soul. And at this temple this peace was first promulgated and proclaimed.
But it is said that the glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former. Now this cannot be said because Jesus Christ made his personal appearance in that temple, or rather in that built by Herod; for, though we allow that Jesus Christ is equal with God, we do not grant that he is greater. Now the first temple was the dwelling-place of God: here he manifested his glory between the cherubim, and it was his constant residence for more than four hundred years. But the glory of this latter house was greater because under it the grand scheme of human salvation was exhibited, and the redemption price paid down for a lost world. As all probably applies to the Christian Church, the real house of God, its glory was most certainly greater than any glory which was ever possessed by that of the Jews. See on Haggai 2:22-23; (note).
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former - or, perhaps, more probably, “the later glory of this house shall be greater than the former;” for he had already spoken of the present temple, as identical with that before the captivity. “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory, anti how do you see it now?” He had spoken of its “first glory.” Now he says, in contrast, its later glory should be greater than that of its most glorious times. In this case the question, whether the temple of tiered was a different material building from that of Zerubbabel, falls away.
In either case, the contrast is between two things, either the temple in that its former estate, and this its latter estate after the captivity, or the two temples of Solomon and Zerubbabel. There is no room for a third temple. God holds out no vain hopes. To comfort those distressed by the poverty of the house of God which they were building, God promises a glory to this house greater than before. A temple, erected, after this had lain waste above 1800 years, even if Antichrist were to come now and to erect a temple at Jerusalem, could be no fulfillment of this prophecy.
In material magnificence the temple of Solomon, built and adorned with all the treasures accumulated by David and enlarged by Solomon, far surpassed all which Herod, amid his attempts to give a material meaning to the prophecy, could do. His attempt shows how the eyes of the Jews were fixed on this prophecy, then when it was about to be fulfilled. While taking pains, through the gradualness of his rebuilding, to preserve the identity of the fabric, he lavished his wealth, to draw off their thoughts from the king, whom the Jews looked for, to himself. The friendship of the Romans who were lords of all, was to replace the “all nations,” of whom Haggai spoke; he pointed also to the length of peace, the possession of wealth, the greatness of revenues, the surpassing expenditure beyond those before. A small section of Erastians admitted these claims of the murderer of his sons.
The Jews generally were not diverted from looking on to Him who should come. Those five things, the absence whereof they felt, were connected with their atoning worhip or God‘s presence among them; “the ark with the mercy-seat and the cherubim, the Urim and Tummin, the fire from heaven, the Shechinah, the Holy Spirit.” Material magnificence could not replace spiritual glory. The explanations of the great Jewish authorities, that the second temple was superior to the first in structure (which was untrue) or in duration, were laid aside by Jews who had any other solution wherewith to satisfy themselves. “The Shechinah and the five precious things,” says one, “which, according to our wise of blessed memory, were in it, and not in the second house, raised and exalted it beyond compare.” Another says, “When Haggai saith, ‹greater shall be the glory of this later house than the first,‘ how is it; that the house which Zerubbabel built through the income which the king of Persia gave them was more glorious than the house which Solomon built? And though it is said that the building which Herod made, was exceeding beautiful and rich, we should not think that it was in its beauty like to the house which Solomon built. For what the wise of blessed memory have said of the beauty of the house of Herod is in relation to the house which Zerubbabel built. How much more, since Scripture saith not, ‹Great shall be the beauty or the wealth of this latter house above the first,‘ but the glory: and the glory is not the wealth or the beauty, or the largeness of the dimensions of the building, as they said in their interpretations, for the ‹glory‘ is in truth spoken of the glory of God, which filled the tabernacle, after it was set up, and of the glory of God which filled the house of God, which Solomon built, when he brought the ark into the holy of holies, which is the Divine cloud and the Light supreme, which came down thither in the eyes of all the people, and it is said, ‹And it was when the priests came out of the Italy place, the cloud filled the house of God, and the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of God filled the house of God.‘ And this glory was not in the second house.
And how shall it be said, if so, ‹great shall be the glory of this later house above the first?‘” The poor unconverted Jew did not know the answer to his question: “Through the presence of God, in the substance of our flesh; through the son given to us, Whose name should be Mighty God.” The glory of this temple was in Him Who John 1:14. was made Flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” “There Christ, the Son of God, was, as a Child, offered to God: there He sat in the midst of the Doctors; there He taught and revealed things, hidden from the foundation of the world. The glory of the temple of Solomon was, that in it the majesty of God appeared, veiling itself in a cloud: in this, that same Majesty showed itself, in very deed united with the Flesh, visible to sight: so that Jesus Himself said, John 14:9. “He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father.” This it was which Malachi sang with joy Malachi 3:1, “The Lord whom ye seek shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, whom ye delight in.”
And in this place I will give peace - Temporal peace they had now, nor was there any prospect of its being disturbed. They were quiet subjects of the Persiam empire, which included also all their former enemies, greater or less. Alexander subdued all the bordering countries which did not yield, but spared themselves. Temporal peace then was nothing, to be then given them, for they had it. In later times they had it not. The temple itself was profaned by Antiochus Epiphanes (Isaiah 9:6-7 “the Prince of peace: of the increase of His government and of His peace there was to be no end;” in His days Psalm 72:3, Psalm 72:7 “the mountains were to bring peace to the people; there should be abundance of peace, so long as the moon endureth; the work of righteousness was to be peace Isaiah 32:17, the chastisement of our peace (that which obtained it) was upon Him” Isaiah 53:5, “great should be the peace of her children” Isaiah 54:13, in the Gospel God would give peace, true peace, to the “far off and the near” Isaiah 57:19. He would extend Isaiah 66:12 “peace to her like a river:” the good things of the Gospel was “the publishing of peace” Isaiah 52:7. The Gospel is described as Zechariah 9:10 “shall speak peace to the Pagan;” He himself should be “our peace” Micah 5:5. And when He was born, the angels proclaimed Luke 2:14 “on earth peace, goodwill toward men” Luke 1:79. “The Dayspring from on high visited us, to guide our feet into the way of peace.” He Himself says John 14:27, “My peace I leave with you.” He spake, that John 16:33 “in Me ye might have peace.” Peter sums up “the word which God sent unto the children of Israel, as Acts 10:36 preaching peace by Jesus Christ Romans 14:17. The kingdom of God is joy and peace Ephesians 2:14-15, Ephesians 2:17; Christ is our peace; made peace; preaches peace. God calleth us to peace” 1 Corinthians 7:15 in the Gospel Romans 5:1, “being justified by faith, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ our Lord Galatians 5:22, the fruit of the Spirit is love joy peace.” Spiritual peace being thus prominent in the Gospel and in prophecy, as the gift of God, it were unnatural to explain the peace which God promised here to give, as other than He promised elsewhere; peace in Him who is “our peace, Jesus Christ.”
“Peace and tranquility of mind is above all glory of the house; because peace passeth all understanding. This is peace above peace, which shall be given after the third shaking of heaven sea earth, dry land, when He shall destroy all powers anti principalities (in the day of judgment). - And so shall there be peace throughout, that, no bodily passions or hindrances of unbelieving mind resisting, Christ shall be all in all, exhibiting the hearts of all subdued to the Father.”
Two days before the Passover, when Christ had for the last time departed from the temple, after denouncing the hypocrisy of the Jewish rulers, He again went out with His disciples to the Mount of Olives and seated Himself with them upon the grassy slope overlooking the city. Once more He gazed upon its walls, its towers, and its palaces. Once more He beheld the temple in its dazzling splendor, a diadem of beauty crowning the sacred mount. GC 23.1
A thousand years before, the psalmist had magnified God's favor to Israel in making her holy house His dwelling place: “In Salem also is His tabernacle, and His dwelling place in Zion.” He “chose the tribe of Judah, the Mount Zion which He loved. And He built His sanctuary like high palaces.” Psalm 76:2; 78:68, 69. The first temple had been erected during the most prosperous period of Israel's history. Vast stores of treasure for this purpose had been collected by King David, and the plans for its construction were made by divine inspiration. 1 Chronicles 28:12, 19. Solomon, the wisest of Israel's monarchs, had completed the work. This temple was the most magnificent building which the world ever saw. Yet the Lord had declared by the prophet Haggai, concerning the second temple: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former.” “I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9, 7. GC 23.2
After the destruction of the temple by Nebuchadnezzar it was rebuilt about five hundred years before the birth of Christ by a people who from a lifelong captivity had returned to a wasted and almost deserted country. There were then among them aged men who had seen the glory of Solomon's temple, and who wept at the foundation of the new building, that it must be so inferior to the former. The feeling that prevailed is forcibly described by the prophet: “Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do ye see it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?” Haggai 2:3; Ezra 3:12. Then was given the promise that the glory of this latter house should be greater than that of the former. GC 23.3Read in context »
And yet this was the building concerning which the Lord had declared by the prophet Haggai: “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former.” “I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.” Haggai 2:9, 7. For centuries learned men have endeavored to show wherein the promise of God, given to Haggai, has been fulfilled; yet in the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, the Desire of all nations, who by His personal presence hallowed the precincts of the temple, many have steadfastly refused to see any special significance. Pride and unbelief have blinded their minds to the true meaning of the prophet's words. PK 597.1
The second temple was honored, not with the cloud of Jehovah's glory, but with the presence of the One in whom dwelt “all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”—God Himself “manifest in the flesh.” Colossians 2:9; 1 Timothy 3:16. In being honored with the personal presence of Christ during His earthly ministry, and in this alone, did the second temple exceed the first in glory. The “Desire of all nations” had indeed come to His temple, when the Man of Nazareth taught and healed in the sacred courts. PK 597.2Read in context »
13. Reproof Changed to Encouragement—It was after Haggai's second message that the people felt that the Lord was in earnest with them. They dared not disregard the repeated warning that their prosperity and the blessing of God were dependent upon their entire obedience to the instructions given them. As soon as they decided that they would do the words of the Lord, His messages of reproof changed to words of encouragement. O how merciful a God we have! He says, “I am with you.” The Lord God omnipotent reigneth. He assured the people that if they were obedient, they would place themselves in a position where He could bless them for His own name's glory. If God's people will only rely upon Him, and believe in Him, He will bless them (Manuscript 116, 1897). 4BC 1176.1
1-9, 11, 12. Parables Showing What God Endorses—In speaking of the building of a house for God, the prophet Haggai shows in parables what God endorses and what He condemns. 4BC 1176.2Read in context »