Build the Temple

You are here

Build the Temple

Login or Create an Account

With a account you will be able to save items to read and study later!

Sign In | Sign Up


In the time of the minor prophet Haggai, Judah had just come back from captivity in Babylon and the temple was in ruins. Nebuchadnezzar II had destroyed the temple at the siege of Jerusalem and it was time for it to be rebuilt.

The temple was important because it was the dwelling place for God. But when Judah returned to Jerusalem where the temple was, they spent 16 years running around and doing their own things. They started the project, but got discouraged and made excuses for not building it, and turned their focus on building their own homes with luxury (Haggai 1:1-2). There wasn’t much time left over for building the temple, and it was neglected by the people of God.

God tried to get Judah’s attention, and He allowed their lives to become difficult because of their indifference towards building the temple. And when the people didn’t understand why, He said His famous line: "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:6-11).

He moved the leaders of Judah and the people to work hard again on building the House of God. He encouraged and exhorted them, saying not to worry of the beauty of the restored temple compared to the original one built in Solomon’s time—but rather to "be strong, all you people of the land and work; for I am with you" (Haggai 2:4). If they would get busy and build the Temple, God would bless their efforts, and the Temple would become beautiful because of His presence, glory and Spirit that filled it (Haggai 2:7).

In 1 Corinthians 3:9 we are told that we are "God’s fellow workers." And "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).

We all need to take time to be honest with ourselves and to consider our ways. What areas of your life do you need to build and change by the power and grace of God? What parts of you, the Temple of God, are in ruins or in need of maintenance? Ask God and read His Word. Then start building.


  • Chris James

    Josephus in Antiquities of the Jews - Book XI, chapter 4, declared:-

    "(2) In the second year of their coming to Jerusalem, as the Jews were there in the second month, the building of the temple went on apace; and when they had laid its foundations on the first day of the second month of that second year..." "(7) Now the temple was built in seven years time. And in the ninth year of the reign of Darius, on the twenty-third day of the twelfth month, which is by us called Adar..."

    If Josephus is correct in the Temple only taking seven years to build, and it was in the building stage from the second to the ninth year of the reign of Darius then it took eight regnal years to complete. However the building started in the second month of the second year and ended in the twelfth month of the ninth year, this would be counted in the months of the Jewish calendar not the regnal years of the Persian kings and therefore only seven Jewish years Nisan to Adar. This is another reference that the Jews were still using a Nisan calendar after the return from Babylon and the Persians were using a different one.

    In the first year of Cyrus the decree was given to rebuild Jerusalem and the Temple (Ezra 1:1). In the seventh month of that year the Jews were gathered into Jerusalem and the altar was set up (Ezra 3:2), but the foundations for the Temple were not laid until the second year in the second month (Ezra 3:8). However in Ezra 6:15 it states "And this house was finished on the third day of the month Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king," possibly only four years instead of the seven claimed by Josephus. It has been shown above that the first year of Cyrus was also the first year of Darius the Mede as king of Babylon, so if this reference to the completion of the building of the Temple in seven years by Josephus, or possibly only four as in Ezra is correct, then the building was completed within the reign of Cyrus, and the Darius mentioned must refer to Darius the Mede.

  • Amanda Boyer

    Thank you for the correction. I meant to say minor prophet but must have switched it around in my head. I would definitely agree his message is of major importance! :)

    I think it's really cool to recognize Jesus Christ's role in the temple--there are so many analogies of it in the Bible as you showed! I Corinthians 3 also says, "you are God's building. According to the grace of God . . . But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ" (vs. 9-11). Paul built on this foundation and continued to lay this foundation in all His service to God and preaching. When Judah was building the temple, the project had been started--they actually had the foundation done before any of their reasons not to build came up. They just needed to build on it. And in our spiritual lives, it can be the same way. We need to build on that same Rock (Matthew 7:24-25).

    Paul continued on to say, "Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one's work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one's work, of what sort it is. If anyone's work which he has build on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire" (vs. 12-15). As a friend and classmate of mine at the Ambassador Bible Center pointed out to me; this passage shows God's mercy. He tests us with fiery trials so when ever we, God's people, don't build our temple right; for example, with hay, those works can be burnt down and we can build it right for judgement day.

    As you pointed out David: "Now, therefore, you are no longer stranger and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you are also being buil together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit." Ephesians 2:19-22. Thank you for your comments.

    What an awesome calling and job to do! :)

  • David L. Nunn

    It seems to me that God repeatedly uses a "building the temple" analogy to describe the salvation of all humanity. Consider that Christ is the chief cornerstone. 1 Peter 2:7. The Apostles's doctrines are the 12 foundations of the New Jerusalem. Ephesians 2:20-21; Revelation 21:14. The first fruits that overcome are to be made spiritual pillars of the temple. Revelation 3:12. The gates of the New Jerusalem are named after the 12 tribes is Israel, probably illustrating that reunited Israel (House of Israel and House of Judah) will yet be instrumental in leading all people to the salvation available only through Jesus Christ. See Exodus 19:5-6. It seems that people coming to God in all ages are the rest of the spiritual temple. 1 Peter 2:4. When the spiritual temple is finally built with all mankind, God will inhabit all of mankind redeemed from the Earth. John 17:20-23.

    We all certainly need to take your words to heart, and repent so we can be part of that spiritual building project. Thanks for another great post.

  • Norbert Z

    I think it could be said that Haggai was a prophet who had a message of major importance to the his countrymen during the time of his work. Plus the only thing that is minor about him is the size of his writings.

    However from my understanding Haggai is recognized as one of the minor prophets not the major ones.

  • Join the conversation!

    Log in or register to post comments