The people returned from exile in Babylon. For 16 long years they didn’t rebuild the temple. Then Haggai the prophet calls them to rebuild it.
The book is named for its author.
Haggai refers to himself with the simple words of “Haggai the prophet.” We know nothing of his parentage or genealogy.
His name is derived from the Hebrew word khag. Apparently it means “festive” or “festival.”
In Haggai 2:3, he refers to the temple of Solomon. That could possibly mean he witnessed it being destroyed in 586 BC. If so, Haggai is an elderly prophet.
Haggai 1:1 tells us the exact date when Haggai began prophesying.
It was “In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month.”
This date was August 29, 520 BC.
The Babylonian Empire destroyed the temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC.
The Jewish people were marched to Babylon to be exiles. They were without the temple, and without sacrifices.
Many years later, in 538 BC, Cyrus the Great, king of Persia, authorized nearly 50,000 Jewish people to return to Jerusalem.
They were led by Zerubbabel, and accompanied by Joshua the high priest and the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah.
Soon, they rebuilt altar for burnt offerings and resumed the Levitical sacrifices. In the second year of their return, they laid the foundation of the temple.
However, harassment from the Samaritans, combined with eventual pressure from Persia, brought a halt to the rebuilding of the temple.
Spiritual apathy set in. For about 16 more years, the construction of the temple was discontinued.
Then the LORD God raised up Haggai the prophet to call the people to rebuild the temple.
Hagai 2.9. この場所に私わ平和お与える (Shin kyo do yaku translation)
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.