The Old Testament prophets that come before Haggai lived and focused on the period leading to the fall of Israel and Judah and the captivity of those peoples in foreign empires. Haggai, along with Zechariah and Malachi, preached during the period of rebuilding after the captivity.
A theme that runs through this book is one that runs through much of the Old Testament. The people suffer because they do no follow God. In particular, they neglected the rebuilding of the temple, but they also neglected the righteous life to which God called them. Getting on the temple job was the easy part.
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