Haggai was the first of the three prophets — Zechariah and Malachi being the other two — whose ministry belonged to the period of Jewish history which began after the return from captivity in Babylon. As with most of the other minor prophets hardly anything is known about his personal life.
Haggai was a man with a simple message: The temple must be rebuilt if Godís people want to receive His blessings. Haggai and Zechariah worked together to encourage the Jews to rebuild the house of God. An effort was made to rebuild Godís temple when the first group of captives returned. However, they faced opposition from the people of the land. They also became involved in building their own houses and earning a living. Soon, work on the temple stopped. Nothing was done for nearly sixteen years.
In the second year of King Darius (520 B.C.), Haggai was called to prophesy. The little colony of returned Jews were suffering greatly. God had sent drought, disease, poor crops and famine to awaken the Jews to their responsibilities. They lacked faith in God to fulfill His promises. They had not put God first in their lives. Haggai delivered a series of messages from God. These messages encouraged the people to trust in God and give Him first place. When they did this, they went to work and soon had the temple rebuilt.
Text partly sourced from Truth for the World Correspondence Studies.