"In the second year of King Darius, in the sixth
month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by
Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of
Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, saying,
‘Thus speaks the Lord of hosts, saying: This people
says, The time has not come, the time that the Lord’s house should be
Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet,
saying, ‘Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled
houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?’"
Passages From the Writings
- "They believe that the Messiah will come to exalt them to glory, and
yet the church among them has been devastated…"
- "From all these passages it may be seen what ‘vastation’ and
‘desolation’ are; and that it is not a vastation and desolation of the
peoples of a land, and of cities, but of the goods and truths of the
church, whence there is nothing but evils and falsities." Of the many
passages listed as examples from the Word, Haggai 1:4 and 9 are cited.
"In the second year…"
- Years signify the times and states of the church. Years do not refer
to a person’s life-span. (AC 515)
- Two or twain (second) signifies some kind of conjunction:
conjunction of the will and understanding; conjunction of the external
and internal person or church. (AC 5194) Two signifies things
that correspond like a pair that complete one another. (AC 747)
"In the second year of King Darius…"
- In the positive sense, a king represents divine truth and divine
good, which are in and from the Lord. Good and truth are the principals
that are to guide, protect, and save the Lord’s people. (AE 446 
and AE 721 )
- Darius the Mede is likened to Nebuchadnezzar as representing one who
required the people to worship him as a god. This worship of self means
a ruling from all that is filthy and profane. (AC 1326 )
"In the sixth month, on the first day of the month…"
- A month represents the state of truth in a person. [Apocalypse
Revealed (AR) 22, 935]
- A month signifies a full or plenary (entire or complete) state.
- Six signifies "all" of truth and good because six is composed of
three and two multiplied by each other; three signifies "all" with
respect to truth, and two signifies "all" with respect to good. (AR
- Day signifies the successive states of a person’s regeneration.
(AC 6) In the creation story, the Lord divided the light from the
darkness on the first "day." In AC 16, we read "By the
prophets…‘beginning’ involves the first period when man is being
"…the word of the Lord…"
- AC 2 reminds us that the Word is from the Lord and "it must of
necessity contain within it such things as belong to heaven, to the
church, and to religious belief, and that unless it did so it could not
be called the Lord’s Word, nor could it be said to have any life in it."
- AC 129 explains that the "true order is for a person to be wise
from the Lord, that is, from the Word…Thus [our] starting-point must be
the Lord, and not [ourselves]; for the former is life, but the latter is
"…the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet…"
- The name "Haggai" is derived from the word for "a festival."
Roget’s Thesaurus offers the following synonyms for festivity:
celebration, merrymaking, gayety, and jollity. In light of the news
Haggai brought, celebration would seems to be the synonym worth
considering. AE 321 tells us that "…celebration and glorification
is a living acknowledgment that the Lord’s Human is Divine, and has
omnipotence and omniscience…"
"…to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel…"
- The Hebrew meaning of Zerubbabel’s name is "seed of Babylon" or
"born in Babylon." His family tree in Chronicles 3:17-19 shows that he
is descended from David (through Solomon or Nathan).
- In AR 43, we read that "…by ‘Zerubbabel,’ who is to build the
house, thus the church, the Lord is represented…that in that church
there will also be truths from a celestial origin."
- Shealtiel, a descendent of David and a son of King Jeconiah, was
Zerubbabel’s father. The name "Shealtiel" means either "God is a shield"
or "God is victor."
- The words "son of…" denote truths that are derived from good, thus
one origin. (AC 5515)
- As the governor of "Judah," Zerubbabel in the supreme sense
signifies the Lord as to celestial love; in the spiritual sense, the
celestial kingdom of the Lord and the Word; and in the natural sense the
doctrine of the celestial church from the Word. (AR 350)
- Governors "signify generals…in which and under which are
particulars…" (AC 5290) Before we lose this concept of "generals"
and "particulars," let’s read a quote from AC 848  that
explains how important they are in "building or rebuilding" ideas. "It
is with regeneration exactly as with man’s birth as an infant. His life
is then very obscure; he knows almost nothing, and therefore at first
receives only general impressions of things, which by degrees become
more distinct as particular ideas are inserted in them, and in these
again still more minute particulars. Thus are generals illustrated by
particulars…so it is with every one who emerges out of spiritual
"…and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest…"
- This Joshua is not to be confused with the Joshua who succeeded
Moses and led the children of Israel into the Promised Land. The Joshua
of our study, like his father and grandfather, was a high priest. His
priestly role is mentioned in Ezra and Nehemiah. (In these two Minor
Prophets, he is called "Jeshua.")
- In the original Hebrew form, the name "Joshua" means "Yahweh is
salvation," "Yahweh saves," or "Yahweh will save." The name "Jesus" grew
out of the name Joshua.
- Priests represent the Lord as to His divine good. (AR 854)
Priests are to teach truth and lead people to the good of life and so to
the Lord. (AC 10794) The priesthood represents the Lord as to the
work of salvation. (AC 9809)
- Only the high priest could enter into the Holy of Holies. Refer to
the following numbers to read more about priestly duties and the
representations of their grooming and clerical garb: AC 6148 ,
9477, 9807, and 9809.
"[The word of the Lord, through the prophet Haggai came
to]…the high priest, saying ‘Thus speaks the Lord of hosts’…"
- The "Lord of hosts" signifies the Lord as to all good
and truths fighting against falsities and evils. (AE 453 )
- "Jehovah of hosts" signifies the church in its whole complex, by
which the Lord removes the hells in general and with each person
individually. (AE 734 )
- When we read that "Jehovah said," it signifies that the Lord from
the Divine Celestial through the Divine Spiritual perceives (thinks)
and acts because "saying" involves both. (AC 2619)
- Thus we can see that the Lord’s (saying) announcement is full and
complete. All of His Goods and Truths will be brought to Use to remove
the influence of Hell, and His perception and acts will be for the birth
of the New Church and the salvation of His people.
"This people says…"
- Is the word "say" repeated so that we might see a contrast? The
Lord’s saying will be different than the people’s saying. The Lord’s
"saying" comes from an Infinite and Eternal perspective, and the
people’s "saying" comes from the finite and temporal perspective.
Keeping this in mind will be important for what comes next in Haggai’s
"[The people say] the time has not come, the time that the
Lord’s house should be built."
- "You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern
the signs of the times." (Matthew 16:3)
- "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent,
and believe in the gospel." (Mark 1:15)
- "Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is."
- The Lord told His disciples to beware of those who predict when and
where He was to be found. (Matthew 24:23 and Mark 13:21)
- The point: The Lord, and not the people, knows the time for
the building or rebuilding of His house.
- AC 710 tells us that "the house of the Lord" signifies the
church in which love is primary within the celestial and spiritual
- The house of God in the internal sense signifies the church. In the
more universal sense, it represents heaven. In the most universal sense,
it represents the whole kingdom of the Lord. But in the supreme sense,
it signifies the Lord Himself as to the Divine Human. (AC 3720)
"Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet,
- Reading this phrase is almost like hitting the "refresh" button on
the computer. This phrase is repeated to remind us who is revealing
these truths. This phrase, the "refresh" button, brings on line the
latest, freshest, news from the Lord. These are not the words of some
human named Haggai. These are the deeper thoughts of the Lord as He
thinks and acts from the great resources of His Love and Wisdom. But
coming through Haggai, the festival one, these words tell all in heaven
and on earth the happy and necessary news of the power and salvation
that is to come through the Lord’s Divine Human.
"Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled
houses, and this temple to lie in ruins?"
- In the Revised Standard Version (RSV) of the Bible and the
New English Bible (NEB), the word "ceiling" is used place of
"paneled." The Writings tell us the meaning of "ceiling" but not
"paneled." AC 3391  says "…ceiling with cedar…denotes
falsifying intellectual and spiritual truths."
- The use of "you" and "yourselves" emphasizes the fallacy of human
prudence caring first for itself while ignoring spiritual issues.
- "Is it time" is the wonderful way the Lord gets us to reflect on our
spiritual state. He knows the answer to that question. We lack
perception and need to reflect so an answer can come to us "as-of-self."
- AC 3720 gives us many meanings of the word "temple": the Lord’s
spiritual church, the spiritual kingdom, and (in the highest sense) His
- The word "ruin" has many synonyms: stricken, stumble, crash, fallen,
wasted, desolate, failure, dilapidated, wreck, impoverished, relic, and
impure. Which of these words fit the internal sense? P&P
introduces yet another word: devastated. "…the church among them has
been devastated." How did that happen? The people of the church believed
the "Messiah" would "exalt them to glory."
Putting It All Together
1. We must begin our summary with the statement found in
P&P: "the church among them was devastated." How did that happen?
After the many years of captivity, the minds of the people were longing
for a "Messiah" who would restore their "world-power" status among the
nations. In their minds, it was "pay-back" time, and they "believed the
Messiah would come to exalt them to glory."
2. Such thinking made them lose their sense of "timing."
The Lord wanted to move them from generals to particulars. He wanted them
to return to the things of the Word. Patience, based on truth, needed to
come among the people. As Isaiah 28:10 put it: "For precept must be
upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a
little, there a little."
3. The people were not with the Lord at this time. It
amounted to "the Lord says" versus "the people say." The call to the
governor and the high priest is of spiritual significance. The Lord’s
deepest caring for the salvation of His people is represented by these
offices. From His Celestial Love and Wisdom, the way is opened for
everyone to emerge from the bondage of spiritual temptations.
4. But the Divine question has to reach and touch hearts.
"Is it time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this
temple to lie in ruins?" It may appear that other things in life have to
be addressed first. The time is right! The time is now! Look within and
see where you falsified the intellectual and spiritual things of the
church. Worship of the Lord is not a "me" thing. It is giving the Lord the
best we have within us. Rebuilding and making the house of the Lord the
center and power of our lives must be the first priority within the hearts
and minds of the Lord’s children.
5. Isn’t it interesting to note that the prophet comes to
the governor and high priest first? The governor represents the Lord as to
celestial love and the spiritual sense of the Word. The high priest is
meant to do the work of salvation by leading people to the good of life
and the Lord. Joshua’s name means "Yahweh saves" or "Yahweh is salvation."
6. Best of all, Haggai, whose name is "festive," gets to
carry the celebratory news to the disillusioned and lethargic ex-captives.
Haggai shares the news that the Messiah is coming. He is coming to restore
order. His Divine Human will fight and overcome the hells, and He will
help rebuild the "house of the Lord."
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Haggai 1:1-4
Questions to Stimulate Reflection
1. The first verse gives us a historical date to fix on:
the second year of Darius, in the sixth month, the first day…. The
Writings open up our thinking by telling us these dates do not refer to
any man’s life span. Instead, all dates and times refer to spiritual
states and needs. When angels read names and dates, they do not "see"
names or dates. They are aware of the spiritual significance of each
thing. Look back and see what states the angels might see when they read
these dates. What states did you see?
2. Falling out of "timing" with the Lord seems to be a
human problem. We say. The Lord says. We feel the Lord’s way is slow. We
feel the Lord is a hard taskmaster. The Lord says His yoke is easy and His
burden is light. Do we generally feel that is the case? Can we identify
with the wish to delay taking on certain spiritual responsibilities? What
makes us feel this way? How do we get out of step with the Lord?
3. What thoughts crossed your mind on the "paneled house"
observation? From your perspective, is the house of the Lord inside you in
a state of ruin? Is your earthly house more comfortable than your
spiritual house? Why?
4. "The Lord says…." What kind of things do you hear the
Lord saying? Are other voices (concerns) overriding His voice? What helps
you to hear Him?
5. Generals to particulars: what a wonderful way to remind
ourselves that the Lord wants steady progress. He isn’t interested in
quantum leaps. Precept by precept, line upon line, here a little there a
little. Think about the process of regeneration. What precepts or lines do
you take on one at a time? How do we keep the (particular) larger goal in
view as we take each small (general) step?
"Now therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider
your ways! You have sown much, and bring in little; you eat, but do
not have enough; you drink, but you are not filled with drink; you
clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; and he who earns wages, earns
wages to put into a bag with holes."
Passages from the Writings
- "They could no longer be taught by the Word."
- This phrase seems to say, "In spite of what you have been thinking,
here are the facts as the Lord sees them."
"…thus says the Lord of hosts…"
- Please review the teachings about "saying" and "the Lord of Hosts"
given in the previous section. (AE 453  and AE 734 )
"Consider your ways…"
- The word "consider" commands the Jews to rethink, or reflect on,
their ways. What were they to rethink? In AC 10566, there is a
long list of the mistakes Israel made over the years:
- They thought they were the only people with whom the Divine was
present, that they were the "nation of Jehovah."
- They thought nothing of the church.
- They thought only of possessions and eminence over others.
- They believed in God because they saw great miracles wrought by
- They turned aside to worship many gods.
"You have sown much, and bring in little…"
- To understand this verse, we need to consider the word
"appearances." It appeared that they sowed "the good of charity and the
truth of faith." (AC 6154) The results indicate that few real
seeds must have been planted. Little is brought in. That is contrary to
the Lord’s teachings that good ground would yield some hundred-fold,
some sixty, some thirty. (Matthew 13:8)
"You eat, but do not have enough…"
- AC 2343 teaches that eating signifies to communicate, be
conjoined, and to appropriate. From this teaching, we get the picture
that Israel went through the motions of "eating" without really taking
much in. The words "do not have enough" seem to say they "ate crumbs"
instead of the meal; another image is "standing in the midst of plenty
starving." The lack of genuine communication with the Lord limited their
spiritual sustenance and nourishment balance.
"You drink, but you are not filled with drink…"
- To drink wine signifies having a desire "to investigate the things
which are of faith…" (AC 1071)
- AC 3089 describes drinking water as a desire to make "inquiry
whether anything of truth …could be conjoined" or appropriated into
- It appears from the literal sense that desire, investigation, and
appropriation were missing from their spiritual lives. The people felt
this lack, a sense of thirst not being quenched from the "living
waters." The Lord said, "Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give
…will never thirst…. [My water] will become in him a fountain of water
springing up into everlasting life." (John 4:14)
"You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm…"
- AC 9003 teaches us that clothing signifies "memory-knowledges"
that support our external life.
- AE 240  contrasts "clothed" with "naked." To be "naked"
signifies "those…who are not in truths and thence not in good, being
ignorant of truths and yet longing for them. This is the case with those
within the church when those who teach are in falsities…and with those
outside the church who do not have the Word and consequently do not know
truths and thence know nothing about the Lord."
- Our text seems to represent people somewhat between the clothed and
the naked state. Such people know little things of faith but do not find
them warm or comforting. They appear to be cold and useless facts with
no extension or application.
"And he who earns wages, earns wages to put into a bag
- AC 8002 [4 & 5] tells us "…those who labored for hire, by them
in the internal sense are meant those who do what is good for the sake
of their own advantage in the world; and in a sense…for the sake of
reward in the other life; thus who desire to merit by works…. Such
cannot possibly be consociated with angels….The end is what determines
the actions, and gives them their quality."
- Bags signify the exterior natural. (AC 5649) If that
definition doesn’t help, check this one out: AC 5657 says bags
represent truths given "gratuitously." The recipient feels doubtful of
the worth of those truths, even though they are intended to provide
- My question is this: Could these doubts about gratuitous truths
given to the exterior natural be the holes in the bag that loses the
Putting It All Together
1. P&P teaches: "They could no longer be taught by
the Word." How sad is that?
2. The Lord tells them to consider their ways and fix the
problem. The "many seeds" of their tradition were in reality a pretense
that served little use. The repetitions of traditional chants, songs, and
prayers were not the kind of "food" that brought genuine communication and
conjunction with the Lord. They were not drinking deeply from the living
waters of truth within the Word. The truths that should have clothed their
minds and protected their externals were meager and inadequate: "No one is
warm." The merit or recognition they sought was fleeting, a lost cause.
"Consider your ways" is a call for Israel to begin anew. The Lord must be
first in all things. Israel must receive the truths that are freely given
every day and use them to confirm truth in the exterior natural. The Lord
asks them to allow their lives and daily commitments to the Lord to become
the end that determines "the actions, and gives them their quality."
(AC 8002 )
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Haggai 1:5-6.
Questions To Stimulate Reflection
1. When the Lord advises us to "consider your ways," do we
do so with a sense of agreement or a sense of resistance? Hell certainly
has a field day with the Lord’s request. It tries to get us to put off any
form of reflection. The hells tell us, "Why open this or that problem? Why
dwell on negative things? If you want to open unpleasant things and dwell
on the negative, try looking into a sewer system. Let bygones be bygones.
Live for the moment!" "Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero." Seize
the moment; Enjoy today, trust little to tomorrow. What do you think about
this philosophy of life? What makes it hellish?
2. The correspondential Derived Doctrine section seems
fairly straight-forward: sowing seed; drinking; clothing; and wages. What
applications to life can you see for these correspondences?
3. AC 8002 has that wonderful line: "The end is
what determines the actions, and gives them their qualities." How is this
different from the statement of the world that says "the end justifies the
4. Why would the hells want to prevent us from considering
our ways? Could it be that if we consider our ways, the hells might have
to go away? Certainly if we shun evils as sins, their "comfortableness in
secret places" is jeopardized. Anything we take on from the Lord, such as
love, stirs (agitates) them up greatly. Do you remember one of the
definitions of temptation? "All temptation is an assault upon the love in
which the man [person] is, and the temptation is in the same degree as is
the love. If the love is not assaulted, there is no temptation." (AC
1690 ) In conclusion, we are taught the greater and purer our love
is for the Lord, the greater is the assault against those loves from hell.
Are we ready and willing to face such assaults? How can we face and
5. Looking ahead, we will be faced with Haggai’s push to
rebuild the Temple of the Lord. Are you thinking ahead as to what this
represents for us today and for those coming after us? What do you think
the temple represents?
Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways! "Go
up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple, that I may
take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the Lord. "You looked for
much, but indeed it came to little; and when you brought it home, I
blew it away. Why?" says the Lord of hosts. "Because of My house that
is in ruins, while every one of you runs to his own house.
Passages From the Writings
- "The church cannot be instituted among them, because every one looks
to himself and not to the Lord…"
AC 1488 
- "In Haggai…‘houses’ denote memory-knowledges by which, through
reasonings, come falsities." Haggai 1:8-10 is cited.
- Haggai 1:9-10 are mentioned in AC 3579 , but the number
explains the correspondential meaning of verse 10, so we will come back
to this number in the next section.
AE 573 
- "From this it can be seen that the truths and goods of heaven and
the church are meant in the Word by ‘hosts;’ which makes clear why it is
that Jehovah is called in the Word ‘Jehovah Zebaoth.’ And ‘Jehovah God
Zebaoth,’ that is, ‘of hosts’ as in …." Haggai 1:9 and 14 are cited.
"Thus says the Lord of hosts: consider your ways!"
- Remember that when we read "Thus says the Lord", it means that the
Lord is speaking from His totality. His Divine Love and Divine Wisdom
have looked, assessed, and determined that this is the quality of the
issue and this is the way goods and truths will fight against falsity
and evil. (AE 453) This is the whole complex by which the Lord
removes the hells. (AE 734 )
- To "consider your ways" is the work of spiritual reflection and
"Go up into the mountains and bring wood and build the
- To ascend or go up signifies to make advancements from
memory-knowledges to celestial light. (AC 1541)
- When said of human beings, ascending or going up signifies to go
from a lower to a higher internal state. (AC 811  and AE 1057
- Simply stated to bring wood represents the good that is in works of
charity, and in justice. (AC 2784)
"…build the temple…"
- To build signifies to raise up or vivify (enliven, quicken, give
life) what has fallen. (AC 151)
- To build signifies to form doctrinal things. (AC 1187, 1304)
- To build signifies that those who had receded from the truths and
goods of the church will now return and help raise them up again. (AE
- To build signifies to restore the church by leading into the good of
love and teaching the truths of doctrine. (AE 391 )
- A temple may signify to be or to become intelligent from divine
truth and to realize a heavenly joy from such intelligence. (AE 630
- A temple signifies that in the New Jerusalem, external worship
will not be separate from internal worship. (AE 918)
- A temple signifies that the Divine Human of the Lord, or truth
itself, cannot be destroyed, for when it seems to be so, it
rises again, glorified. (AC 7847 , AC 10406 , and AE 220)
"…that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified…"
- Let’s read this lesson from AC 997 regarding pleasure,
delight, and uses: "…a life of charity is a life of uses. Such is the
life of the whole heaven; for the kingdom of the Lord, because it is a
kingdom of mutual love, is a kingdom of uses. Every pleasure
therefore which is from charity, has its delight from use.
The more noble the use, the greater the delight… and so it
is with every pleasure – the more noble its use, the
greater its delight."
- Regarding the Lord, His Noble Uses are the source of the greatest
pleasure and the greatest delight. They surely glorify His Holy Name.
And how can we glorify Him? With the surrender of our hearts to His
"You looked for much, but it indeed came to little…"
- The loftiness of a person signifies having a desire to pursue or
develop one’s "own" intelligence. (AE 445) Is the Lord sharing
with us that "looking for much" represents wanting to have a lofty
self-intelligence? If so, the answer seems clear. It will "come to
"And when you brought it home…"
- AC 3809 describes "bring to his house" as signifying
conjunction. If a person seeks a lofty self-intelligence, he seeks to
welcome it into his home and looks for ways to conjoin it to his "home."
"I blew it away…"
- Let’s consider what the "it" is in this prophecy. Can we assume that
the "it" refers to self-intelligence, the artificialities and hatching
of ideas from the unenlightened mind?
- Couple this idea with this quote from AE 419 : "…in the
spiritual world, as in the natural world, strong winds and tempests
spring up.… It has at different times been granted me to perceive these
tempests and also the east wind by which the evil were dispersed and
cast into the hells, when the Last Judgment was in progress." In other
words, "winds" signify the dispersion of falsities and evils.
- The Writings have a wonderful series of passages about why the Lord
asks, inquires, or interrogates people on certain issues when He already
knows the answer. See AC 226, 1931, 5800, and
6132 for illustrations. Here is a short answer drawn from AC 226:
"…the reason for asking is that man may acknowledge and confess." The
Lord seeks to lead us to the end, cause, and effect of things. His
questions show us internal disorders that lie hidden in secret places.
The questions are intended to help us discover things when our state is
ready to acknowledge and confess our mistakes.
"Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of
you runs to his own house."
- The Lord’s house is in ruins. What does this represent in the
- A house signifies accumulated memory-knowledges. (AC 1488)
- A house signifies scientifics (facts, data, memory-knowledges) that
are collected together. To collect scientifics is to raise and build up
the external person. (AC 1488)
- The house of the Lord signifies the church, heaven, and more
universally the Lord Himself as to the Divine Human. (AC 3720)
- Contrast the above with what would be in a human being’s "house."
- Running to our own house illustrates that we are comfortable with
our ways and not as familiar with the Lord’s ways. How quickly do we use
human prudence without considering the ways of the Lord? Is it a
surprise to hear that the Lord’s house is in ruins while our "house" is
cared for more often?
Putting It All Together
1. P&P announces that a church cannot be instituted
among people who look to themselves and not to the Lord. For those who
rely on memory-knowledges, or scientifics, there is but one end: reasoning
that gives rise to falsities. The human mind void of the Lord’s good and
truth becomes inventive. It hatches ideas that are inconsistent with
eternal truths. These artificial ideas tear away at the base of the Lord’s
house (within the individual) and leave it in a state of ruin.
2. "Consider your ways" is a call to reflection. It is an
invitation to come aboard and participate in what is going to happen
spiritually. The Lord is going to blow away the world of falsity and
illusion. We need to gather "wood." The Temple of the Lord is going to be
built with Love, Charity, and Justice. The house of the Lord (His Temple)
will once again offer the kind of worship that will help His people see
Him in the Divine Human.
3. Do you remember the history of the five Churches? The
Most Ancient Church worshipped the Lord as the Divine Human. The Ancient
Church worshipped Him as the Divine Human Representative. The Jewish
Church worshipped Him as the Invisible One and feared to speak His Name.
The Christian Church worshipped Him as the Son of Man and Son of God. But
the announcement to the New Church carried the good news that we could
once again worship the invisible as visible. The Divine Human would come
among us—the Nunc Licet—so that we might enter into the mysteries
of faith with understanding. This would be The New Jerusalem, the crown of
all churches, whose kingdom shall be forever and ever.
But within this prophecy is a warning. If we care more for
our houses than the Lord’s house, we will miss out on the rebirth and
restoration of spiritual order. Human prudence will be blown away, "says
the Lord of hosts."
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Haggai 1:7-9.
Questions To Stimulate Reflection
1. Compare the passages from the Writings and the Word
with the doctrine we derived from them. Do you feel this section followed
that direct teachings of the Writings? Can you think of other teachings
that would contribute to our discussion here?
2. How difficult is it to keep the house of the Lord in
better shape than our own? Why?
3. Have you ever "hatched" artificial ideas to fit into
the things of the Word? What are some ways that such artificialities
manifest themselves in the world and the church?
4. Think about the Lord blowing "it" away. Smog often
results from pollutants hanging over a city. What chases that stagnation
away? A "breath of fresh air." So it is with the Lord and truth. We need
His help in clearing away the smog of the mind. How does He clear the air?
How can we help?
5. The invisible becoming visible: that is a promise of
revelation. It will come, but it will come as each individual opens his or
her heart and mind to the Second Coming. Don’t we long for it to happen at
a faster pace? Could it be that the Lord still has to get many more people
to consider their ways and that He has to ask more questions among His
"Therefore the heavens above you withhold the dew, and
the earth withholds its fruit. For I called for a drought on the land
and the mountains, on the grain and the new wine and the oil, on
whatever the ground brings forth, on men and livestock, and on all the
labor of your hands."
Passages From the Writings
- "…therefore no truth or good can be received by them."
AC 3579 
- "…that ‘dew’ signifies truth…and speaking of a new church, where the
‘vine giving its fruit’ denotes the spiritual of the church or the truth
of faith, giving good; and the ‘earth giving its produce,’ the celestial
of the church or the good of charity, giving truth; these are the ‘dew
which the heavens shall give." "In Haggai 1:9, 10…where the ‘dew of the
heavens and the produce of the earth,’ which were restrained, have a
AC 3580 
- "…‘wine’ is what is spiritual, thus truth from good…. That ‘corn and
new wine’ have this signification, may be seen…In Haggai 1:10, 11… where
‘drought’ denotes a lack of dew and of rain, thus a lack of truth
derived from any good; ‘a drought upon the corn’ is a lack of good; and
‘drought upon the new wine’ is a lack of truth."
1. Remember, the doctrines tell us that the heavens
withholding dew and the earth withholding fruit represent the loss of good
and truth. It is not the Lord withholding these things. It is the heart
and mind of the individual who "cuts" it off. The person is the one with a
cold heart and a state barren of the produce the soul needs each moment.
"…‘year of drought’"
- A drought "signifies a state of loss and deprivation of truth."
(AE 481 )
- Drought signifies the "absence of good and truth." (AC 1949)
- Drought denotes truths wherein there is nothing of life. (AC
- A drought signifies "sounding words without any spirit in them.
(AC 10406 )
- A drought signifies "deprivation of truth." (AE 355 )
- A drought signifies a church "where there is no good." (AE 504
- A drought represents a state without perception of good. (AE 537
- A year in the internal sense does not refer to 365 days. To the
angels, who are in the internal sense of the Word, a year signifies what
is full in respect to the states of the church and what is eternal.
"I called for a drought on the land and on the mountains…"
- AC 2571 shares these representations of the word "land":
- The internal man of the church.
- The region where the church is.
- The church itself.
- In the universal sense, the Lord’s kingdom in heaven and on earth.
- The doctrine of love and charity where the faith of the church
- "On the mountains" signifies where the good of celestial love
prevails. (AC 10438)
- A mountain signifies the church where love to the Lord and worship
prevails. (AE 734 )
- There are so many more references we could cite. A mountain provided
the setting for the reception of the Decalogue. Therefore, it could
represent the laws of the Lord setting life in order. A mountain
provided the children of Israel with moments of respite when they
traveled through the desert. Therefore, a mountain represented moments
of peace and tranquility prior to a return to the valley to face the
arduous task of regeneration.
"… [a drought] on the grain and the new wine and the oil…"
- Let’s note the trine here: grain, wine, and oil.
- The Writings translate the words "drought upon the grain" to "a
drought upon corn," which represents a lack of good.
- The drought upon the new wine represents a lack of truth.
- A drought on the oil means a lack of the good of love to the Lord
from the Lord. See AC 10261 or AE 375 [24 –26].
"… [a drought] on whatever the ground brings forth, on men
and on livestock, and on all the labor of your hands."
- In the positive sense, "To bring forth" signifies the restoration
and reformation of the church. "‘…to bring forth’ signifies to make them
fruitful and bring them forth in act, which is to live according to
them, and thus be reformed…" (AE 721 [10, 18]) When the drought
is introduced, it means the opposite happened.
- Man, in the positive sense, represents or signifies the wisdom and
intelligence necessary to fight against falsity. (AC 49)
- Livestock (cattle) "…in the original tongue is from a word which
also means ‘acquisition,’ and ‘acquisition’ in the spiritual sense is
also truth from which is good, for the reason that good is acquired by
means of truth." (AC 6049)
- Livestock signifies the good of truth. (AC 6016)
- Livestock signifies the forms of good and truth. (AC 6009)
- The labor of one’s hands or the fruit of one’s hands represents
pursuit of life according to the Lord’s commandments. (AE 340 )
- Hands signify power, and what is in a person’s power is at his or
her disposal. (AC 5296)
- The works of a person’s hands signify the things proper to them,
which are evil and false. The works of the Lord’s hands signify the
things that are proper to Him, which are goods and truths. (AR 457)
Putting It All Together
1. When anyone looks to themselves and not the Lord, "no
truth can be received by them." (P&P) When a person looks to him-
or herself for good and truth, the heavens dry up. There is no morning dew
to refresh the ground. When anyone looks to memory-knowledges or the
natural lumen, the mind (earth) can bear no spiritual fruit. A spiritual
drought touches the land, the mountains, the grain, the wine, and the oil.
When a person looks to the strength of his or her hands, that person’s
labor is for the moment and not eternity.
2. Sad to say, a life apart from the Lord takes away the
livestock—acquisitions—for which we are to care. Livestock correspond to
every essential of life that forms good and truth. Such things are
essential for our souls. Our spiritual livestock must feed, cloth, and
nurture the rational mind and spiritual life.
3. Into such conditions Haggai was called. He had to call
on the governor and the high priest to lead the way. He had to repeat over
and over, "Consider your ways." Haggai had to call attention to the
inappropriate priorities. He spoke of true priorities, telling the people
that the Lord had to be first and their comforts second.
Will the people listen? Will they quit making excuses and
blaming others for their indifference and neglect of the Lord?
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Haggai 1:10-11.
Questions To Stimulate Reflection
1. What method do you use to keep spiritual priorities on
top of your life’s "to do" list?
2. Dew has an interesting correspondence. It plays a part
in the manna story. It plays a part in Gideon’s story. How can this "dew"
reach your practical every day experiences?
3. The correspondences of draught remind us of all kinds
of dryness. By itself, doctrine, or study of the Word, can seem dry to us.
How can we "wet" these things so the Lord can use them to give us living
water? How we let studying the Word bring rain back to the land and the
4. Livestock represent every essential of life. Thinking
of animals as an essential of life is not my usual mode of thinking. How
about you? On the other hand, can we still care for the essentials of life
without thinking about the correspondence of livestock? How do we move
from understanding a correspondence to understanding its application to
5. Does Haggai, as a prophet, sound and feel gentler in
his prophecy than Amos or Nahum? Why or why not? What might account for
"Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, and Joshua the
son of Jehozadak, the high priest, words of Haggai the prophet, as the
Lord their God had sent him; and the people feared the presence of the
Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, spoke the Lord’s
message to the people, saying, ‘I am with you, says the Lord.’
So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the
son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son
of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of
the people; and they came and worked on the house of the Lord of
hosts, their God, on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the
second year of King Darius."
Passages From The Writings
- "The church will be instituted among those who are wise from the
AC 573 [7-8]
- "…the truths and goods of heaven and the church are meant in the
Word by ‘hosts;’ which makes clear why it is that Jehovah is called in
the Word ‘Jehovah Zebaoth,’ and ‘Jehovah God Zebaoth,’ that is, ‘of
hosts’ (as in…Haggai 1:9, 14…). From this it is now evident that ‘hosts’
signify the truths and goods of heaven and the church in the whole
complex; and as most things in the Word have also a contrary sense, so
do ‘hosts’ and in that sense they signify falsities and evils in their
Doctrine of the Lord 47
- "There are in man two fountains of life, one is the motion of the
heart, and the other is the respiration of the lungs. The life from the
respiration of the lungs is what is properly meant by ‘spirit’ and also
by ‘soul.’ That this acts as one with the man’s thought from the
understanding, and that the life from the heart’s motion acts as one
with his will’s love, will be seen…."
Doctrine of the Lord 48, ii
- "As man’s life varies according to his state, by ‘spirit’ is meant
the varying affection of life in man. As…The excitation of life…" Haggai
1:14 is cited as one of the examples.
- AR 43 helps us focus on the derived doctrine we will need to use
for the closing verses of chapter one. "…by ‘Zerubbabel’ who is to build
the house, thus the church, the Lord is represented…"
- In AR 350, we are taught that Zerubbabel as a governor
represents the Lord as to His celestial love; the celestial kingdom of
the Lord and the Word; and in the natural sense, the celestial church
from the Word.
- Joshua, the high priest, represents the Lord as to the work of
salvation. (AC 9809)
"…with all the remnant of the people…"
- A "remnant" signifies those within the church who are in good.
(AC 3322 )
- "The remnant of the people" signifies truths stored up by the Lord
in the interior person. (AC 5113 )
- "Remnants" signify the truths and goods stored up in a person by the
Lord from infancy. (AE 724 )
"…obeyed the voice of the Lord their God…"
- Listening, or harkening, denotes "obedience from affection." (AC
- When the spiritual man disposes all things in the natural man, the
natural man ought to obey as a servant of his Lord. (AC 3167)
- "…the voice of the Lord" in the Word signifies the Word itself, the
doctrine of faith, and also the conscience. (AC 219)
- "Voice" signifies what is enunciated from the Word, thus the
precepts of the Lord. (AC 8360)
"And the people feared the presence of the Lord."
- Fear has many meanings. Let’s look first at what is called "holy
fear." Holy fear has within it a longing (love) for the Divine. With
that longing is a desire not to do anything that would offend the love
for the Lord. (AC 3718)
- Fearing; being not afraid "signifies resuscitation, and then
adoration from the deepest humiliation". Holy fear sometimes is
accompanied with a sacred tremor of the mind’s interiors as there is a
sense of the Lord’s entrance to replace one’s (proprium) own life.
"I am with you, says the Lord."
- Do we really need to cite doctrinal sources for this sentence? The
Lord is Omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient: all present, all
powerful, and all knowing. The Lord saying, "I am with you" is of great
value when any rebuilding of the temple is undertaken.
"So the Lord stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel … and the
spirit of Joshua…and the spirit of the remnant of the people…"
- Look again at the passage from Doctrine of the Lord 48. The
"spirit of excitation" is involved in this portion of the text. A sense
of newness, a sense of restoration entered into the hearts and minds of
the people mentioned in the prophecy.
"…they came and worked on the house of the Lord of hosts,
- We can rework this sentence with the help of AC 573 . They
came and worked on "the truths and goods of heaven and the church in the
whole complex." The people came to understand the meaning of dedication,
commitment, and endeavor.
Putting It All Together
1. "The church will be instituted among those who
are wise from the Word." (P&P)
2. Obeying, harkening to the Word of the Lord, brings
about powerful results. The spirit of excitation fills us. A sense of
possibility replaces defeatism. How many times have we felt the voice of
negativity dampen our spirit of enthusiasm? In this story, the Lord’s
leadership of governors and priests brings action. Holy fear, a sense of
humility and love, causes the soul to tremble with anticipation as the
"old ways" are removed and replaced by the "new ways." The coming of the
New Church whisks in with a breath of fresh air to clear away the smog of
"Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed
than the fat of rams." (I Samuel 15:22)
Read and Review
Read the selection from P&P.
Read Haggai 1:12-15.
Questions to Stimulate Reflection
1. This section strikes a strongly positive note. Could
you feel a sense of the building of "excitation of the spirit"? Look for
examples in the passage.
2. By now, you have had plenty of practice at thinking
from correspondences. Are you seeing what is behind the literal sense? Are
you also applying what you see to current life issues?
3. Listening and obeying require a certain inner
discipline. There’s a song that says, "you only hear as well as you
listen." The rebellious part of us is quick to use "yes, but" arguments to
avoid some responsibilities. Yes, the Lord will rebuild, but in light of
(some example is given)…it probably will not happen. How many "yes, buts"
have you heard or used? What is dangerous about them?
4. The Lord’s New Church is growing. Every day, we move
closer to its fulfillment. What would you pick as your best contribution
to this spiritual cause? How can you make that contribution each day?
5. In your marriage, in your relationship with family and
friends, how do you see "holy fear" as an asset?