1 In the second year of King Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, this word of Hashem came through the navi Chagai to Zerubavel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Yehuda, and to Yehoshua son of Yehotzadak, the kohen gadol:
2 Thus said God of Hosts: These people say, “The time has not yet come for rebuilding the House of Hashem.”
ב כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת לֵאמֹר הָעָם הַזֶּה אָמְרוּ לֹא עֶת־בֹּא עֶת־בֵּית יְהוָה לְהִבָּנוֹת׃
3 And the word of Hashem through the navi Chagai continued:
ג וַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהוָה בְּיַד־חַגַּי הַנָּבִיא לֵאמֹר׃
4 Is it a time for you to dwell in your paneled houses, while this House is lying in ruins?
ha-AYT la-KHEM a-TEM la-SHE-vet b’-va-tay-KHEM s’-fu-NEEM v’-ha-BA-yit ha-ZEH kha-RAYV
ד הַעֵת לָכֶם אַתֶּם לָשֶׁבֶת בְּבָתֵּיכֶם סְפוּנִים וְהַבַּיִת הַזֶּה חָרֵב׃
1:4 Is it a time for you to dwell in your paneled houses
Addressing the Jews who returned to the land of Israel after seventy years of Babylonian exile, Chagai’s mission is to motivate them to resume construction of the second Temple. He begins by challenging them to reflect on their priorities, and to consider what is more important: Their comfort, or God’s? While they dwell in paneled houses, God’s house lies in ruins. The Hebrew term for ‘paneled’ is sefunim (ספונים). According to some, the panels were made out of cedar wood, imported from Lebanon. Chagai is accusing the people of not learning from King David, who said to the prophet Natan, “Here I am dwelling in a house of cedar, while the Aron of Hashem abides in a tent!” (II Samuel 7). David longed to overcome that disparity and build the first Temple, while the Israelites in Chagai’s time are unconcerned. Chagai tries to break their complacency.1 comment
5 Now thus said God of Hosts: Consider how you have been faring!
ה וְעַתָּה כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שִׂימוּ לְבַבְכֶם עַל־דַּרְכֵיכֶם׃
6 You have sowed much and brought in little; you eat without being satisfied; you drink without getting your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one gets warm; and he who earns anything earns it for a leaky purse.
ו זְרַעְתֶּם הַרְבֵּה וְהָבֵא מְעָט אָכוֹל וְאֵין־לְשָׂבְעָה שָׁתוֹ וְאֵין־לְשָׁכְרָה לָבוֹשׁ וְאֵין־לְחֹם לוֹ וְהַמִּשְׂתַּכֵּר מִשְׂתַּכֵּר אֶל־צְרוֹר נָקוּב׃
7 Thus said God of Hosts: Consider how you have fared:
ז כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת שִׂימוּ לְבַבְכֶם עַל־דַּרְכֵיכֶם׃
8 Go up to the hills and get timber, and rebuild the House; then I will look on it with favor and I will be glorified—said Hashem.
ח עֲלוּ הָהָר וַהֲבֵאתֶם עֵץ וּבְנוּ הַבָּיִת וְאֶרְצֶה־בּוֹ ואכבד [וְאֶכָּבְדָה] אָמַר יְהוָה׃
9 You have been expecting much and getting little; and when you brought it home, I would blow on it! Because of what?—says God of Hosts. Because of My House which lies in ruins, while you all hurry to your own houses!
ט פָּנֹה אֶל־הַרְבֵּה וְהִנֵּה לִמְעָט וַהֲבֵאתֶם הַבַּיִת וְנָפַחְתִּי בוֹ יַעַן מֶה נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת יַעַן בֵּיתִי אֲשֶׁר־הוּא חָרֵב וְאַתֶּם רָצִים אִישׁ לְבֵיתוֹ׃
10 That is why the skies above you have withheld [their] moisture and the earth has withheld its yield,
י עַל־כֵּן עֲלֵיכֶם כָּלְאוּ שָמַיִם מִטָּל וְהָאָרֶץ כָּלְאָה יְבוּלָהּ׃
11 and I have summoned fierce heat upon the land—upon the hills, upon the new grain and wine and oil, upon all that the ground produces, upon man and beast, and upon all the fruits of labor.
יא וָאֶקְרָא חֹרֶב עַל־הָאָרֶץ וְעַל־הֶהָרִים וְעַל־הַדָּגָן וְעַל־הַתִּירוֹשׁ וְעַל־הַיִּצְהָר וְעַל אֲשֶׁר תּוֹצִיא הָאֲדָמָה וְעַל־הָאָדָם וְעַל־הַבְּהֵמָה וְעַל כָּל־יְגִיעַ כַּפָּיִם׃
12 Zerubavel son of Shealtiel and the kohen gadol Yehoshua son of Yehotzadak and all the rest of the people gave heed to the summons of Hashem their God and to the words of the navi Chagai, when Hashem their God sent him; the people feared Hashem.
13 And Chagai, Hashem’s messenger, fulfilling Hashem’s mission, spoke to the people, “I am with you—declares Hashem.”
יג וַיֹּאמֶר חַגַּי מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה בְּמַלְאֲכוּת יְהוָה לָעָם לֵאמֹר אֲנִי אִתְּכֶם נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃
14 Then Hashem roused the spirit of Zerubavel son of Shealtiel, the governor of Yehuda, and the spirit of the kohen gadol Yehoshua son of Yehotzadak, and the spirit of all the rest of the people: They came and set to work on the House of God of Hosts, their God,
15 on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. In the second year of King Darius,
טו בְּיוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּשִּׁשִּׁי בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתַּיִם לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃