About sixteen years later after Cyrus had died and Darius had begun his second year as king, the Lord spoke to Haggai and expressed His displeasure regarding their failure to rebuild the temple. With the opposition from the Samaritans discouraging their work, they concentrated their efforts upon restoring their homes, farms and lives. The temple work was forgotten by everyone except God.
God called for Haggai to make His feelings known. He informed them that their miseries and crop failures had been brought on because of their neglect of Him. “Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?” He told them to gather the materials and build the temple, “that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified.”
Zerubbabel, the governor, Joshua/Jeshua, the high priest and the people obeyed the words from Haggai. They began to work on the temple in just twenty-three days after receiving God’s directive. He was pleased and said, “I am with you.”
After only four weeks of construction, the restored temple seemed to be lacking much in size and glory compared to the destroyed temple of Solomon. Haggai speaking for God encouraged the people, especially those who had seen the former temple to be strong for He was with them. The inward glory and peace of the new temple would exceed the outer glory of the former structure. Zerubbabel, the governor of the small recovering nation of Judah would become strong among the kingdoms.