Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Haggai, the economic prophet

There is a certain logic to the inner dialogue, and it uncovers (reveals) that politics is building a team. It is not a solo job. Haggai, that prophet to Judah of the initial period of the rebuilding of the temple, is obscure to most of us, I am sure, but his prophecies are team building, encouraging, and not addressed to the soloist - though there is a leader who is singled out as beloved (compare Song 8:6 with the last verse below).

The leaders of today that will be effective - if the people vote well - are the leaders that know that the world is not successful because the people have adulation for some individual, be he or she president prime minister, or some other august title. The world is 'successful' when ... fill in the blank, perhaps from the following musings.

Consider how Haggai builds up the whole people in this second chapter (below). And ask yourself is it really true that only uncleanness (for today read obsessive fear) is contagious? Yes it is, but it is not the whole story. Pace Haggai, who has the priests give the obvious - no - to whether holiness is effective over uncleanness. Not at all - holiness is contagious in the extreme and filled with healing. It builds a team of those who can themselves construct a social order with cooperation. They will not run either from their mistakes or into their obsessive fears.

Ask yourself - who, among your potential leaders, chooses people who can work together? Who are they? (If you don't know their names, they do not exist). A good team also reveals its inner disagreements. No disagreement, no decisions to make. (Remember Flaherty and his criticism of income splitting.)

So 'define in your hearts', Haggai says (Except in the last verse, I have used the strange gloss, define, to show verbal repetition across the two chapters.)

I am deliberately awkward. I do this to make me read what is there and not allow myself to short-circuit the obvious. So I could easily say - Yahweh destroys only out of favoritism. Or Yahweh punishes his favorite because they have disobeyed (consider Deuteronomy 28 which is alluded to in this chapter.) But as with Deuteronomy, that book of love, (Peter Craigie), it is much less and much more than that. Put verse 17 into your preconceptions and it is banal and useless.
I struck you with blight and with mildew and with hail, every deed of your hands,
yet to me, there was no, with you. An oracle of Yahweh.
But hear the odd: yet to me, there was no, with you. And you see that punishment was not the point but longing for presence - not the people longing for the presence of God, but God's longing for the presence of the people!

If we care only for ourselves, there is fear magnified, and economies devalue their currencies at our expense. And there is no cooperation, but only competition and scarcity. Where more are working and the disabled are assisted, there is increased wealth, more labour, more capital, and more prosperity. Yet this is not a prosperity gospel but a gospel of love. So the final allusion is to the Song.

Note too that Yahweh does not 'destroy' in some cases but rather 'change'. This day forward - is this day upward, reflecting ascension. And the horse-rider comes down like the dew of Hermon. Perhaps brothers can learn some unity rather than the sword.

Now who would have thought that I would find 9 words in common between Haggai 2 and Psalm 133 - this table is just to show that I can compare word usage in any two sections of my data.
הראשׁוןּ former
HAG 2:3ראשׁ
ומּה and why
HAG 2:3מּה
הראשׁוןּ the former
HAG 2:9ראשׁ
שׁמּןּ oil
HAG 2:12שׁמּןּ
שׁםּ there
HAG 2:14שׁםּ
ומּעלה and upward
HAG 2:18מּעלה
ועדּ or yet
HAG 2:19עדּ
אבּרךּ I will bless
HAG 2:19בּרךּ
וירדּו will come down
HAG 2:22ירדּ
אחיו his brothers
HAG 2:22אח
המּעלותּ of the ascents
PSA 133:1מּעלה
מּה how
PSA 133:1מּה
ומּה and how
PSA 133:1מּה
אחיםּ kin
PSA 133:1אח
כּשׁמּןּ as the oil
PSA 133:2שׁמּןּ
הראשׁ the head
PSA 133:2ראשׁ
ירדּ running down
PSA 133:2ירדּ
שׁירדּ running down
PSA 133:2ירדּ
שׁירדּ running down
PSA 133:3ירדּ
שׁםּ there
PSA 133:3שׁםּ
הבּרכּה the blessing
PSA 133:3בּרךּ
עדּ to
PSA 133:3עדּ

Haggai 2 Fn Min Max Syll
בַּשְּׁבִיעִ֕י בְּעֶשְׂרִ֥ים וְאֶחָ֖ד לַחֹ֑דֶשׁ
הָיָה֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה בְּיַד־חַגַּ֥י הַנָּבִ֖יא לֵאמֹֽר
1 In the seventh, on the twenty-first of the month,
it happened that Yahweh spoke by the hand of Haggai the prophet, saying,
3e 4A 12
15
אֱמָר־נָ֗א אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶ֤ל בֶּן־שַׁלְתִּיאֵל֙ פַּחַ֣ת יְהוּדָ֔ה וְאֶל־יְהוֹשֻׁ֥עַ בֶּן־יְהוֹצָדָ֖ק הַכֹּהֵ֣ן הַגָּד֑וֹל
וְאֶל־שְׁאֵרִ֥ית הָעָ֖ם לֵאמֹֽר
2 Say, please, to Zerubabbel, child of Shealtiel, viceroy of Judah and to Joshua, child of Yehotsedek, the great priest and to the residue of the people, saying, 3e 4C 34
9
מִ֤י בָכֶם֙ הַנִּשְׁאָ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֤ר רָאָה֙ אֶת־הַבַּ֣יִת הַזֶּ֔ה בִּכְבוֹד֖וֹ הָרִאשׁ֑וֹן
וּמָ֨ה אַתֶּ֜ם רֹאִ֤ים אֹתוֹ֙ עַ֔תָּה הֲל֥וֹא כָמֹ֛הוּ כְּאַ֖יִן בְּעֵינֵיכֶֽם
3 C Who is still here among you that saw this house in its former glory?
And how are you seeing it now? Is it not as it were not in your sight?
3d 4C 22
20
וְעַתָּ֣ה חֲזַ֣ק זְרֻבָּבֶ֣ל ׀ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֡ה וַחֲזַ֣ק יְהוֹשֻׁ֣עַ בֶּן־יְהוֹצָדָק֩ הַכֹּהֵ֨ן הַגָּד֜וֹל וַחֲזַ֨ק כָּל־עַ֥ם הָאָ֛רֶץ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֖ה וַֽעֲשׂ֑וּ
כִּֽי־אֲנִ֣י אִתְּכֶ֔ם נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
4 So now, be courageous Zerubbabel. An oracle of Yahweh. And be courageous Joshua child of Yehotsedek, the great priest, and be courageous, all the people of the land, and construct,
because I will be with you. An oracle of Yahweh of hosts.
3d 4B 46
11
אֶֽת־הַדָּבָ֞ר אֲשֶׁר־כָּרַ֤תִּי אִתְּכֶם֙ בְּצֵאתְכֶ֣ם מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם וְרוּחִ֖י עֹמֶ֣דֶת בְּתוֹכְכֶ֑ם
אַל־תִּירָֽאוּ
5 The word which I cut with you when you came out from Egypt and my spirit stands in your midst.
Do not fear.
3e 4C 26
4
כִּ֣י כֹ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת ע֥וֹד אַחַ֖ת מְעַ֣ט הִ֑יא
וַאֲנִ֗י מַרְעִישׁ֙ אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֣יִם וְאֶת־הָאָ֔רֶץ וְאֶת־הַיָּ֖ם וְאֶת־הֶחָרָבָֽה
6 B Because thus says Yahweh of Hosts, yet once, a little it is,
and I, myself, from the quaking of the heavens and the earth and the sea and the desert,
3e 4C 15
24
וְהִרְעַשְׁתִּי֙ אֶת־כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֔ם וּבָ֖אוּ חֶמְדַּ֣ת כָּל־הַגּוֹיִ֑ם
וּמִלֵּאתִ֞י אֶת־הַבַּ֤יִת הַזֶּה֙ כָּב֔וֹד אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
7 and I will quake all the nations, so will come the one coveted of all the nations,
and I will fill this house with glory, says Yahweh of Hosts.
3e 4C 18
19
לִ֥י הַכֶּ֖סֶף וְלִ֣י הַזָּהָ֑ב
נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
8 f Mine is the silver and mine the gold.
An oracle of Yahweh of Hosts.
3e 4B 9
7
גָּד֣וֹל יִֽהְיֶ֡ה כְּבוֹד֩ הַבַּ֨יִת הַזֶּ֤ה הָאַֽחֲרוֹן֙ מִן־הָ֣רִאשׁ֔וֹן אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת
וּבַמָּק֤וֹם הַזֶּה֙ אֶתֵּ֣ן שָׁל֔וֹם נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת פ
9 B Greater will be the glory of this latter house than the former says Yahweh of Hosts.
And from this place, I will give peace. An oracle of Yahweh of Hosts. P
3e 4C 26
18
בְּעֶשְׂרִ֤ים וְאַרְבָּעָה֙ לַתְּשִׁיעִ֔י בִּשְׁנַ֥ת שְׁתַּ֖יִם לְדָרְיָ֑וֶשׁ
הָיָה֙ דְּבַר־יְהוָ֔ה אֶל־חַגַּ֥י הַנָּבִ֖יא לֵאמֹֽר
10 On the twenty-fourth, the ninth, in the second year of Darius,
it happened that Yahweh spoke to Haggai the prophet, saying,
3e 4C 18
14
כֹּ֥ה אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת
שְׁאַל־נָ֧א אֶת־הַכֹּהֲנִ֛ים תּוֹרָ֖ה לֵאמֹֽר
11 f Thus says Yahweh of Hosts,
Ask, please, the priests instruction, saying,
3c 4B 8
12
הֵ֣ן ׀ יִשָּׂא־אִ֨ישׁ בְּשַׂר־קֹ֜דֶשׁ בִּכְנַ֣ף בִּגְד֗וֹ וְנָגַ֣ע בִּ֠כְנָפוֹ אֶל־הַלֶּ֨חֶם וְאֶל־הַנָּזִ֜יד וְאֶל־הַיַּ֧יִן וְאֶל־שֶׁ֛מֶן וְאֶל־כָּל־מַאֲכָ֖ל הֲיִקְדָּ֑שׁ
וַיַּעֲנ֧וּ הַכֹּהֲנִ֛ים וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ לֹֽא
12 B Lo, someone has borne away the flesh of the holy in the hem of his garment and he touch, with his hem, to the bread or to the stew or to the wine or to oil or to anything to eat, does it become holy?
and the priests answered and they said, No.
3c 4B 44
12
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר חַגַּ֔י אִם־יִגַּ֧ע טְמֵא־נֶ֛פֶשׁ בְּכָל־אֵ֖לֶּה הֲיִטְמָ֑א
וַיַּעֲנ֧וּ הַכֹּהֲנִ֛ים וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ יִטְמָֽא
13 And Haggai said, if an unclean being touch any of these, does it become unclean?
And the priests answered and they said, It becomes unclean.
3c 4B 19
13
וַיַּ֨עַן חַגַּ֜י וַיֹּ֗אמֶר כֵּ֣ן הָֽעָם־הַ֠זֶּה וְכֵן־הַגּ֨וֹי הַזֶּ֤ה לְפָנַי֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה וְכֵ֖ן כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יְדֵיהֶ֑ם
וַאֲשֶׁ֥ר יַקְרִ֛יבוּ שָׁ֖ם טָמֵ֥א הֽוּא
14 And Haggai answered and said, So this people and so this nations facing me, an oracle of Yahweh, and so every deed of their hands,
and that which they bring near me is itself unclean.
3d 4C 36
10
וְעַתָּה֙ שִֽׂימוּ־נָ֣א לְבַבְכֶ֔ם מִן־הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה וָמָ֑עְלָה
מִטֶּ֧רֶם שֽׂוּם־אֶ֛בֶן אֶל־אֶ֖בֶן בְּהֵיכַ֥ל יְהוָֽה
15 So now, define, please, for your hearts, from this day and upward,
from ere stone upon stone define the temple of Yahweh,
3c 4B 16
14
מִֽהְיוֹתָ֥ם בָּא֙ אֶל־עֲרֵמַ֣ת עֶשְׂרִ֔ים וְהָיְתָ֖ה עֲשָׂרָ֑ה
בָּ֣א אֶל־הַיֶּ֗קֶב לַחְשֹׂף֙ חֲמִשִּׁ֣ים פּוּרָ֔ה וְהָיְתָ֖ה עֶשְׂרִֽים
16 and for them it was that one came to a pile of twenty and it would be ten,
one would come to the wine-vat to strip fifty measures of juice and it would be twenty.
3e 4B 16
17
הִכֵּ֨יתִי אֶתְכֶ֜ם בַּשִּׁדָּפ֤וֹן וּבַיֵּֽרָקוֹן֙ וּבַבָּרָ֔ד אֵ֖ת כָּל־מַעֲשֵׂ֣ה יְדֵיכֶ֑ם
וְאֵין־אֶתְכֶ֥ם אֵלַ֖י נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה
17 I struck you with blight and with mildew and with hail, every deed of your hands,
yet to me, there was no, with you. An oracle of Yahweh.
3e 4C 26
10
שִׂימוּ־נָ֣א לְבַבְכֶ֔ם מִן־הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה וָמָ֑עְלָה
מִיּוֹם֩ עֶשְׂרִ֨ים וְאַרְבָּעָ֜ה לַתְּשִׁיעִ֗י לְמִן־הַיּ֛וֹם אֲשֶׁר־יֻסַּ֥ד הֵֽיכַל־יְהוָ֖ה שִׂ֥ימוּ לְבַבְכֶֽם
18 Define please, for your hearts, from this day and upward,
the twenty-fourth day of the ninth, from the day that the temple of Yahweh was founded, define for your hearts:
3d 4B 13
28
הַע֤וֹד הַזֶּ֙רַע֙ בַּמְּגוּרָ֔ה וְעַד־הַגֶּ֨פֶן וְהַתְּאֵנָ֧ה וְהָרִמּ֛וֹן וְעֵ֥ץ הַזַּ֖יִת לֹ֣א נָשָׂ֑א
מִן־הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּ֖ה אֲבָרֵֽךְ ס
19 C Is the seed yet in the storehouse, or have the vine or the fig tree or the pomegranate or the olive trees not borne?
From this day, I will bless. S
3c 4C 29
9
וַיְהִ֨י דְבַר־יְהוָ֤ה ׀ שֵׁנִית֙ אֶל־חַגַּ֔י בְּעֶשְׂרִ֧ים וְאַרְבָּעָ֛ה לַחֹ֖דֶשׁ לֵאמֹֽר 20 And it happened that Yahweh spoke a second time to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, 3c 4C 23
אֱמֹ֕ר אֶל־זְרֻבָּבֶ֥ל פַּֽחַת־יְהוּדָ֖ה לֵאמֹ֑ר
אֲנִ֣י מַרְעִ֔ישׁ אֶת־הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֶת־הָאָֽרֶץ
21 Say to Zerubbabel, viceroy of Judah, saying,
I from the quaking of the heavens and the earth,
3e 4B 14
13
וְהָֽפַכְתִּי֙ כִּסֵּ֣א מַמְלָכ֔וֹת וְהִ֨שְׁמַדְתִּ֔י חֹ֖זֶק מַמְלְכ֣וֹת הַגּוֹיִ֑ם
וְהָפַכְתִּ֤י מֶרְכָּבָה֙ וְרֹ֣כְבֶ֔יהָ וְיָרְד֤וּ סוּסִים֙ וְרֹ֣כְבֵיהֶ֔ם אִ֖ישׁ בְּחֶ֥רֶב אָחִֽיו
22 I will change the throne of kingdoms and I will exterminate the courage of the kingdoms of the nations.
And I will change chariot and those who ride it. Horses and those who ride them will come down each by the sword of his brothers.
3e 4C 21
26
בַּיּ֣וֹם הַה֣וּא נְאֻם־יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֡וֹת אֶ֠קָּחֲךָ זְרֻבָּבֶ֨ל בֶּן־שְׁאַלְתִּיאֵ֤ל עַבְדִּי֙ נְאֻם־יְהוָ֔ה וְשַׂמְתִּ֖יךָ כַּֽחוֹתָ֑ם
כִּֽי־בְךָ֣ בָחַ֔רְתִּי נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
23 B On that day, an oracle of Yahweh of Hosts, I will take you, Zerubbabel, child of Shealtiel, my servant. An oracle of Yahweh of Hosts. I have set you in place as a seal,
because in you, I have chosen. An oracle of Yahweh of Hosts.
3e 4C 37
13


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