Good News Translation (GNB)

The LORD's Command to Rebuild the Temple


Ezra 4.24—5.2
During the second year that Darius was emperor of Persia, on the first day of the sixth month, the LORD spoke through the prophet Haggai. The message was for the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, and for the High Priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak.

2The LORD Almighty said to Haggai, “These people say that this is not the right time to rebuild the Temple.” 3The LORD then gave this message to the people through the prophet Haggai: 4“My people, why should you be living in well-built houses while my Temple lies in ruins? 5Don't you see what is happening to you? 6You have sown much corn, but have harvested very little. You have food to eat, but not enough to make you full. You have wine to drink, but not enough to get drunk on! You have clothing, but not enough to keep you warm. And a worker cannot earn enough to live on. 7Can't you see why this has happened? 8Now go up into the hills, get timber, and rebuild the Temple; then I will be pleased and will be worshipped as I should be.

9“You hoped for large harvests, but they turned out to be small. And when you brought the harvest home, I blew it away.1.9 I blew it away; or I spoilt it. Why did I do that? Because my Temple lies in ruins while every one of you is busy working on his own house. 10That is why there is no rain and nothing can grow. 11I have brought drought on the land — on its hills, cornfields, vineyards, and olive orchards — on every crop the ground produces, on people and animals, on everything you try to grow.”

The People Obey the LORD's Command

12Then Zerubbabel and Joshua and all the people who had returned from the exile1.12; 1.14 who had returned from the exile; or who had not gone into exile. in Babylonia, did what the LORD their God told them to do. They were afraid and obeyed the prophet Haggai, the LORD's messenger. 13Then Haggai gave the LORD's message to the people: “I will be with you — that is my promise.” 14The LORD inspired everyone to work on the Temple: Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah; Joshua, the High Priest, and all the people who had returned from the exile.1.14; 1.12 who had returned from the exile; or who had not gone into exile. They began working on the Temple of the LORD Almighty, their God, 15on the 24th day of the sixth month of the second year that Darius was emperor.