Ḥaggai haNavi

Ḥaggai (חַגַּי‎; Koine Greek: Ἀγγαῖος; Latin: Aggaeus) was a Hebrew prophet during the building of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, and one of the twelve minor prophets in the Hebrew Bible and the author of the Book of Ḥaggai. He is known for his prophecy in 520 BCE, commanding the Jews to rebuild the Temple. His name means "my (pilgrimage) festivals." He was the first of three post-exile prophets from the Neo-Babylonian Exile of the House of Judah (with Zekhariah, his contemporary, and Malakhi, who lived about one hundred years later), who belonged to the period of Jewish history which began after the return from captivity in Babylon. Scarcely anything is known of his personal history. He may have been one of the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He began prophecying about sixteen years after the return of the Jews to Judah (ca. 520 BCE). The work of rebuilding the Temple had been put to a stop after protestations by the Samaritan-Israelites. After having been suspended for eighteen years, the work was resumed through the efforts of Haggai and Zekhariah. They exhorted the people, which roused them from their lethargy, and induced them to take advantage of a change in the policy of the Persian government under Darius I.


הפטרה חלופית לשבת שחל ביום לפני חנוכה או ביום הראשון של חנוכה (ביום כד׳ וכה׳ לכסלו)‏ | Alternative Haftarah for when Shabbat falls either on the day before Ḥanukkah or the first day of Ḥanukkah

Contributed on: כ״ב בכסלו ה׳תשפ״א (2020-12-07) by Isaac Gantwerk Mayer (translation) | the Masoretic Text | Ḥaggai haNavi |

When the first day of Ḥanukkah is a Shabbat, the last day of Ḥanukkah is also Shabbat. In most customs this is addressed by using the standard Shabbat Ḥanukkah haftarah from Zechariah on the first day and I Kings 7:40–50 on the last day. But this never sat well with me, since I Kings 7:40–50 (also the haftara for Vayakhel) is a very technical reading, and the last day of Ḥanukkah is more of a culmination. Conveniently, another minor prophet contemporary of Zechariah, Ḥaggai, discusses the reconstruction of the House as a process of national revitalization, *and* claims that the foundation of the temple was rebuilt on the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month — i.e. the day before Ḥanukkah! This is historically fascinating since it suggests that Ḥanukkah as a rededication festival might predate the Maccabean Revolt entirely, but more importantly here, it makes it a very appropriate reading for the day before or the first day of Ḥanukkah. This is an alternative haftarah from the book of Ḥaggai , chapter 2 verses 2—23, that could be used as a replacement for the standard haftarah when Shabbat falls on the day before Ḥanukkah or on the first day of Ḥanukkah. When read on the first day of Ḥanukkah, the traditional Ḥanukkah haftarah reading of Zechariah 2:14–4:7 would be postponed to the eighth day in its place. . . .