Haggai in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE

hag'-a-i, hag'-a-i (chaggay, an adjective formed from chagh, "feast"): 1. Name: The word "Haggai" may mean "festal," the prophet having been born perhaps on a festival day; compare the Roman name "Festus." Hebrew proper names were sometimes formed in this manner, e.g. Barzillai, "a man of iron," from barzel, "iron." Haggai may, however, be a shortened form of Haggiah (1 Ch 6:30), meaning "festival of Yahweh," as Mattenai is an abbreviation of Mattaniah (Ezr 10:33,16). In Greek Haggaios, in Latin, Aggaeus or Aggeus, sometimes Haggaeus. Haggai is the 10th in the order of the Twelve Prophets. 2. Personal History: Little is really known of his personal history. But we do know that he lived soon after the captivity, being the first of the prophets of the Restoration. From Hag 2:3 of his prophecies it is inferred by many that he had seen the first temple, which, as we know, was destroyed in 586 BC. If so, he must have prophesied when a comparatively old man, for we know the exact date of his prophecies, 520 BC. According to Ezr 5:1; 6:14, he was a contemporary of Zechariah, and was associated with him in the work of rebuilding the temple; besides, in the Greek and Latin and Syriac VSS, his name stands with Zechariah's at the head of certain psalms, e.g. Ps 111 (112), in the Vulgate (Jerome's Latin Bible, 390-405 A.D.) alone; Psalms 125; 126, in the Peshitta alone; Ps 137, in the Septuagint alone; Psalms 146; 147; 148, in Septuagint and Peshitta; and Ps 145, in Septuagint, Peshitta and Vulgate; perhaps these psalms were introduced into the temple-service on their recommendation. He was a prophet of great faith (compare 2:1-5); it is possible that he was a priest also (compare 2:10-19). Like Malachi he bears the name of "Yahweh's messenger" (Heg 1:13; compare Mal 3:1). According to Jewish tradition, he was a member of the Great Synagogue...

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