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Old Testament Essays

On-line version ISSN 2312-3621
Print version ISSN 1010-9919


O'KENNEDY, Daniel F.. Haggai 2:20-23: Call to rebellion or eschatological expectation?. Old testam. essays [online]. 2014, vol.27, n.2, pp.520-540. ISSN 2312-3621.

This article investigates one of the most well-known passages in the book of Haggai, namely Hag 2:20-23. The following question is posed: Is Hag 2:20-23 a call to rebellion or eschatological expectation ? An exegetical study of the passage focuses on the literary, historical and theological dimensions of the text. The final oracle in Haggai is introduced with a specific date formulae namely December 18, 520 B.C.E.. Some scholars opt for a later dating (e.g. during the time of the Chronicler or Hellenistic period), but several indicators favour an earlier dating. If one focuses on vv. 21 and 22, the impression could be that the prophet Haggai calls his people to rebel against the Persian empire and other oppressing kingdoms. However, these verses never emphasise that Zerubbabel or any other Israelite leader will take responsibility for the "overthrow of kingdoms." YHWH is the subject of the Hebrew verbs •-• (overthrow) and --• (destroy). If one focuses on v. 23 the call to rebellion fades away. Verse 23 does not use military symbols or political terms like "king " or "governor. " It rather uses eschatological terms and expressions like "on that day," "servant" and "signet ring. " Haggai prophecies about an eschatological day when the Davidic kingdom will be restored by means of Zerubbabel, YHWH's servant and chosen signet ring.

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