Haggai 2:21-24 – The Lord’s Signet Ring

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Hag 2:21

  1. The first message that Haggai received from God on this day was addressed to all the people, but this second message is only addressed to Zerubbabel the governor.
  2. That God will shake “heaven and earth” indicates that everything will change. God will execute a divine judgment on foreign kingdoms which will result in them losing their kingdoms and their armies.
  3. Haggai’s fellow prophet Zechariah follows the same line, describing a future kingdom of peace in which all armies are a thing of the past and God reigns as king (Zech 9:9-10).
  4. When Jesus appears on the world stage, he uses Haggai language to inform us that he has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (Matthew 28:18) and that his Father has left judgment to him (John 5:22).
  5. The author of Hebrews also quotes Haggai when he says that God shook “the earth” when he gave Moses the Sinai covenant, but that in the future God “will shake not only the earth, but also the heavens” (Heb 12:18-27).
  6. In other words, it can be concluded that the New Testament conveys a picture that the Messiah has come in Jesus and that the future kingdom of peace has begun to come, but that at the same time we are waiting for its completion.
  7. John writes in his Revelation that the heavens will thunder and the earth will shake at the battle of Armageddon just before Jesus comes back to conquer the nations (Rev 16:16-18, 19:11-21).
  8. The conclusion we can draw is that we have not yet seen the end of this prophecy.

Hag 2:23

  1. Here Haggai links to the concept of the “Day of the Lord”, which fits well with the message that God has judged his people and brought them into captivity on the Day of the Lord and now goes on to reveal some information about the future Day of the Lord which will be a blessed period.
  2. When God describes himself as Yahweh of hosts (the Lord of hosts), this shows that he wants to convey to Zerubbabel that he does have power behind these words.
  3. A signet ring was used by kings and rich men and was usually a ring or necklace with a seal on it that could be used as a stamp to approve, for example, a law or a document. Today, a signet ring can be compared to a signature.
    1. It is remarkable that on the two occasions when the Lord’s signet ring is mentioned in the Bible, it is first when Zerubbabel’s grandfather Jeconiah loses that role and then when Zerubbabel receives that role. That there is a connection here must be beyond reasonable doubt.
    2. The lives of Yekonya and Serubbabel contrast with each other:
      1. Jeconiah loses his post as king of Judah, Zerubbabel becomes governor of Judah.
      2. The son of Jeconiah may not become the new king of Judah, but the descendant of Zerubbabel may become the Messiah.
      3. The temple is plundered in the time of Jeconiah, the temple is rebuilt in the time of Zerubbabel.
      4. Jeconiah is taken away into captivity, Zerubbabel returns from captivity.
      5. The people of Jeconiah are taken into captivity; Zerubbabel leads his people back from captivity.
      6. The curses of the Law (Deuteronomy 28:15-68) afflicted Zerubbabel’s grandfather Jeconiah and the restoration of the Law afflicts Zerubbabel (Deuteronomy 30:1-14).
    3. The fact that Zerubbabel is not appointed king but only governor could be explained by the image of the signet ring. The fact that the signet ring is on God’s finger indicates that God sees himself as king over Israel and that he gives his authority to a person who may act in his name as king. That God saw Himself as King over Israel and that He did not really want a human being to have that role can be seen from 1 Samuel 8. What title the deputy is given is thus of less importance since it is God who is the actual king after all.
    4. The fact that Zerubbabel is not appointed king may also indicate that even though the prophecy was primarily addressed to Zerubbabel, the message is ultimately about a future king; the Messiah.
  4. Finally, in 515 BC, exactly 70 years after the destruction of the Jerusalem temple and the carrying away of the Jewish people into captivity, the temple is rededicated and the Babylonian captivity is brought to a symbolic end (Ezra 6:15).
    1. Although the opening of the temple was a great celebration and a great day of joy (Ezra 6:16) for many, this temple could not be compared to the formerly magnificent Temple of Solomon (Ezra 3:12).
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