The Bible Code in the Prophecy of Haggai
Haggai was the first prophet who rose up in the midst of those who fulfilled the word that after the seventy years of exile the people were to return to the land and build the city. And the word of YHVH came to Haggai in the second year of reign of king Dareyavesh (Darius the Great), on the first day of the sixth month (520 B.C.), and caused the work of building the Second Temple, which had been suspended by the machinations of the Samaritans, to resume.
In it YHVH addressed the governor Zerubbavel and the high priest Yehoshua, the leaders of the nation, through Haggai. Speaking the word of YHVH, the prophet began by admonishing them with their unconcern about building the House of God (Hag 1:2). He urged them to resume the building, and that they should not fear the Samaritans who had sent their letters to King Koresh (Cyrus) to have him cease the construction of the Temple, which they had commenced. The construction then was put on hold until the sixth year of Dareyavesh, when the work on the Temple was finished.
On the day (the first day of the sixth month) Haggai admonished Zerubbavel and Yehoshua, the people must have been painfully conscious that the former Temple was still lying in ruins due to the oppression under which they suffered. The admonishment began with the words,
Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this House be in ruins? (Hag 1:4)
With this question of rebuke, the word of YHVH refuted all excuses the people might have had for not rebuilding of the Temple. For if they lived in houses, they had built for themselves, they could not find sufficient excuses for neglecting to build the House of YHVH. The people Haggai rebuked were only that portion of the nation which had returned from exile as a small gleaning of the nation, which had once been much larger before the exile.
After rebuking the excuses, Haggai calls the leaders’ attention to the fact that this might have been the reason why the people had sown much, but brought in little and not had enough, and what they had eaten had not sufficed to satisfy them (Hag 1:5-6), “Because of My House which lies in ruins, while each of you runs to his own house” (Hag 1:9). For YHVH called for a drought on the land and on the grain, and on the fruit of their work (Hag 1:11), because the people, who had left the House of God in devastation, were punished with devastation.
Then, Zerubbavel, Yehoshua the high priest, and all the remnant of the people, listened to the voice of YHVH their Elohim and saw their sin against Him discerning in the drought of judgment. The first fruit of the rebuke was that the people feared before their Lord. And the second was that they resumed the neglected building of the Temple.
And they came and worked on the House on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Dareyavesh the sovereign. Thus, filled with a new spirit, they began the work twenty-three days after Haggai had first addressed his challenge to them. And on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of YHVH came again to Haggai the prophet. This time the word of YHVH came not only to Zerubbavel and Yehoshua, but also to the people.
The people wept for the lost glory of the Temple
“A nation that can mourn for so long the loss of its land and Temple will return one day to their land and see it rebuilt.” Napoleon
In the second year of the return from Babylon, when the foundation for the Temple was laid in the reign of King Koresh, those who had seen the Temple of Shlomo, wept when they saw the new foundation. Hag 2:3 presupposes that there might very well be old men still alive who came from the exile and remembered the glory of the Temple in their early days. There might be many such men still living, as it was only seventy years since the destruction of the first temple.
Doubts might have arisen among the people whether the new building was really the Temple that would please the Lord, when they compared between the foundation they had laid and the glory of the former Temple that used to be, and especially when the prophecies were remembered, according to which the glory of the new Temple was to surpass the former. And how the glory of the new Temple was to surpass the former, when at its dedication it was not filled with the cloud of the glory of YHVH, and the most essential object, the tablets of the Covenant made at Sinai was absent.
But the people were encouraged by the word of YHVH to be strong and work “For I am with you” (Hag 2:4). For thus said YHVH of hosts,
Once more, in a little while, and I shall shake the heavens and earth, the sea and dry land. And I shall shake all the nations, and the desire of all the nations shall come, and I shall fill this House with glory. (Hag 2:6-7)
These verses are reminiscent of the former shaking of the heavens and the earth at the descent of YHVH the Elohim of Israel upon Mount Sinai to establish His covenant with the nation. After these words YHVH declares,
The glory of this latter House shall be greater than that of the former, said Yehovah of the heavenly powers. And in this place I give peace, declares Yehovah of the heavenly powers. (Hag 2:9)
Note: Rashi in his comments noted the controversy between Rav and Samuel concerning the phrase “shall be greater”. One said: In the building; and one said: In the years, that the years of the First Temple were four hundred and ten, and those of the Second Temple were four hundred and twenty.
Upon reading these words, however, we are left perplexed with these final words of promise with which the Book of Haggai is about to close. We are perplexed by the words “this latter House shall be greater than that of the former” and “in this place I give peace”, for we do not know any records left in the annals, nor in the tradition, that the building of the Second Temple had ever been inaugurated with shaking of the heavens and the earth, and that its glory was greater than that of the former Temple.
For the first glory is that of the Temple built by King Shlomo, the last glory was that of Zerubbavel’s Temple. The final glory, however, will be of the Third Temple, the Temple that the Mashiach will build. This perhaps is implied in the closing words of the promise: “And in this place will I give peace.” Here “this place” is not the Temple itself, but Jerusalem, where the Temple will be built; and the “peace” is the world peace Mashiach will bring upon the earth, perfectly evident from Isa 2:2-4. With this the promise closes.
Zerubbavel: the signet of the Lord
And on the twenty-fourth of the ninth month, in the second year of Dareyavesh, the word of YHVH came again to Haggai for a third time (Hag 2:10), when for the second time they began to add to the first foundation built in the days of Koresh king of Persia. Speaking to Haggai the word of YHVH addressed only Zerubbavel the governor, a descendant of David, to explain what was commenced in the second time when He spoke to the leaders and the people.
I am shaking the heavens and earth. And I shall overturn the throne of kingdoms. And I shall destroy the might of the reigns of the nations and overturn the chariots and their riders. And the horses and their riders shall come down, each by the sword of his brother. In that day, declares Yehovah of the heavenly powers, I shall take you, Zerubbavel My servant, son of She’alti’el, declares Yehovah, and shall make you as a signet, for I have chosen you, declares Yehovah of the heavenly powers. (Hag 2:21-23)
Note: The name Zerubbavel is a combination of Hebrew words: Zera (planted or seeded) beBavel (in Babylonia).
Upon hearing these words Zerubbavel must have recalled the Torah’s account of the destruction of the Egyptian army at the bottom of the sea and the shaking of the heavens and the earth at Mount Sinai, when YHVH the Elohim of Israel spoke to the nation.
This time, however, the approaching shaking of the whole world will be much more violent than the one at Sinai to the degree that it will affect the universe (the heavens), and also the nations (the earth), as the Mighty One of Israel will overthrow the governments and destroy their military might when the time for wars and turmoil will come.
Again, we do not know that any kingdom was overthrown as a result of the inauguration of the Temple Zerubbavel built, nor do we know that “this place”, Jerusalem, had received peace from that moment one, quite the opposite.
The only kingdom that was shaken was Persia overtaken by Greece but not destroyed, not to the degree of “shaking the heavens and the earth”. Besides, Persia was not oppressive to the exile; on the contrary, King Koresh let the Jews return to their homeland with the gold vessels the Babylonians took from the Temple and build the House of YHVH.
Nor can we consider that King Herod’s Temple (which was a reconstruction of the Temple of Zerubbavel) was referenced to, because the words of YHVH with which the book ends are clearly speaking of Zerubbavel, the chosen one, the signet of the Lord. Therefore, the Temple Zerubbavel built is meant in the promise when it is said: “The glory of this latter House shall be greater than that of the former”.
Despite the ambiguities of the final words in Haggai, one thing is clear though. When the time comes, the condition of the whole creation will be altered, and this is not merely a figurative representation by symbols, but it will be quite real. For the shaking of the powers of heaven are always heralds of the coming of the Son of man revealed in Dan 7:13-14 to bring judgment upon the whole earth. Through this turmoil the world itself will finally be reduced to ruins (Isa 24:18-20), and from this perishing world a new heaven and a new earth will be created, as it was formerly prophesied in Isa 65:17 and Isa 66:22). Thus, we may deduce that the final words in Haggai may refer to the last days of the world, as the context may prompt to such a conclusion. Or, perhaps, the answer can be found in what follows next.
The Bible code that seals the Word
“The Bible code is the signet of the Omniscient with which He has sealed His word”. Navah
In the conclusion of our study, we will go one and even two steps deeper in the Hebrew text. We read from the Hebrew text of Hag 1:15—Hag 2:3 thus,
בְּיוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ בַּשִּׁשִּׁי בִּשְׁנַת שְׁתַּיִם לְדָרְיָוֶשׁ הַמֶּלֶךְ׃
בַּשְּׁבִיעִי בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאֶחָד לַחֹדֶשׁ הָיָה דְּבַר־יְהֹוָה בְּיַד־חַגַּי הַנָּבִיא לֵאמֹר׃
אֱמׇר־נָא אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶל בֶּן־שַׁלְתִּיאֵל פַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְאֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בֶּן־יְהוֹצָדָק הַכֹּהֵן הַגָּדוֹל וְאֶל־שְׁאֵרִית הָעָם לֵאמֹר׃
מִי בָכֶם הַנִּשְׁאָר אֲשֶׁר רָאָה אֶת־הַבַּיִת הַזֶּה בִּכְבוֹדוֹ הָרִאשׁוֹן וּמָה אַתֶּם רֹאִים אֹתוֹ עַתָּה הֲלוֹא כָמֹהוּ כְּאַיִן בְּעֵינֵיכֶם׃
Starting with shin in the second word of the last verse of Chapter 1, and counting every thirteenth letter from right to left spells out (in red) in a continual sequence: shesh lailah aviv ga’ash.
- Shesh שֵׁשׁ means “six”.
- Lailah לַיְלָה means “night”.
- Aviv אָבִיב refers to the stage of barley’s growing (see Exo 9:31).
- Ga’ash גָּעַשׁ means “to shake, quake violently, storm”.
The Bible code reads in Hebrew: Shesh Lailah Aviv Ga’ash, “six, night, month of the Aviv or spring, to shake violently”. The interpretation of this Bible code is difficult, because even though these four Hebrew words appear in a successive order and in one Equidistant Letter Sequences (ELS), meaning they are one message, not four, we do not know how six, night, Aviv, and to shake violently relate to each other, and how the hidden message relates to the plain reading of the text on the surface.
In such a case, we need to deduce its meaning from second sources. Perhaps, the key for its decoding is hidden in the next Bible code.
The Bible code that unlocks a Bible code
In Hag 2:22, starting with the first mem in the third word and counting every 20th letter from left to right spells out in Hebrew: Mashiach יהו ve’shmo, or “Mashiach of YHV is his name”. We read thus,
שִׂימוּ־נָא לְבַבְכֶם מִן־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה וָמָעְלָה מִיּוֹם עֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַתְּשִׁיעִי לְמִן־הַיּוֹם אֲשֶׁר־יֻסַּד הֵיכַל־יְהֹוָה שִׂימוּ לְבַבְכֶם׃
הַעוֹד הַזֶּרַע בַּמְּגוּרָה וְעַד־הַגֶּפֶן וְהַתְּאֵנָה וְהָרִמּוֹן וְעֵץ הַזַּיִת לֹא נָשָׂא מִן־הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה אֲבָרֵךְ׃
וַיְהִי דְבַר־יְהֹוָה שֵׁנִית אֶל־חַגַּי בְּעֶשְׂרִים וְאַרְבָּעָה לַחֹדֶשׁ לֵאמֹר׃
אֱמֹר אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶל פַּחַת־יְהוּדָה לֵאמֹר אֲנִי מַרְעִישׁ אֶת־הַשָּׁמַיִם וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ׃
וְהָפַכְתִּי כִּסֵּא מַמְלָכוֹת וְהִשְׁמַדְתִּי חֹזֶק מַמְלְכוֹת הַגּוֹיִם וְהָפַכְתִּי מֶרְכָּבָה וְרֹכְבֶיהָ וְיָרְדוּ סוּסִים וְרֹכְבֵיהֶם אִישׁ בְּחֶרֶב אָחִיו׃
With the help of the second Bible code, we now learn that the first code refers to the Mashiach, the anointed of YHVH. How does this help the interpretation of the first Bible code? This is how.
Yeshua was hanging on the execution stake for six hours (from the third until ninth hour) before his death (see Mar 15:25).
For three hours (from the sixth until the ninth hour) it was dark as in night (Luk 23:44).
Aviv is the stage of barley’s growing but also is known as the first month of the year (see also Exodus 12). The barley is ripe and reaped in the sixth month after the sowing-time, in the spring. In modern Hebrew, aviv means “spring”. Yeshua was crucified in the first month of the year, which falls in the spring season (see Luk 22:1-2).
The word ga’ash means “to shake, quake violently, storm”, and refer to earthquake (as found in 2Sa 22:8 and Psa 18:7), or figuratively to trembling of people. When Yeshua cried out with a loud voice and gave up his last breath, the veil of the Second Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth was shaken violently, the rocks were split, and the tombs were opened (Mat 27:50-52). If this interpretation of the two Bible codes in Haggai is correct, then we are left with a lot of thought for reasoning.
Yet, if the words “The glory of this latter House shall be greater than that of the former” refer indeed to the Temple Zerubbavel built, why had its glory not surpassed that of the former Temple, and why the latter was destroyed? This requires further examination and explanation, as we intend to address it in a future study.
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May we merit seeing the coming of our Mashiach speedily in our days!
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