Haggai 2:23


King James Version (KJV)

In that day, said the LORD of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, said the LORD, and will make you as a signet: for I have chosen you, said the LORD of hosts.

American King James Version (AKJV)

In that day, said the LORD of hosts, will I take you, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, said the LORD, and will make you as a signet: for I have chosen you, said the LORD of hosts.

American Standard Version (ASV)

In that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith Jehovah, and will make thee as a signet; for I have chosen thee, saith Jehovah of hosts.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

In that day, says the Lord of armies, I will take you, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, says the Lord, and will make you as a jewelled ring: for I have taken you to be mine, says the Lord of armies.

Webster's Revision

In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet; for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

World English Bible

In that day, says Yahweh of Armies, will I take you, Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel,' says Yahweh, 'and will make you as a signet, for I have chosen you,' says Yahweh of Armies."

English Revised Version (ERV)

In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, my servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet: for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.

Definitions for Haggai 2:23

Signet - A seal or stamp.

Clarke's Haggai 2:23 Bible Commentary

In that day, saith the Lord - Some think, says this same learned writer, that Zerubbabel is put here for his people and posterity: but it may well be said that the commotions foretold began in the rebellion of Babylon, which Darius besieged and took; and exercised great cruelties upon its inhabitants. - Herod. lib. iii., sec. 220. Justin. 1:10. Prideaux places this event in the fifth year of Darius; others with more probability, in the eighth year. Compare Zechariah 2:9.

And will make thee as a signet - I will exalt thee to high dignity, power, and trust, of which the seal was the instrument or sign in those days. Thou shalt be under my peculiar care, and shalt be to me very precious. See Jeremiah 22:24 (note); Sol 8:6 (note); and see the notes on these two places.

For I have chosen thee - He had an important and difficult work to do, and it was necessary that he should be assured of God's especial care and protection during the whole.

On the three last verses of this prophecy a sensible and pious correspondent sends me the following illustration, which I cheerfully insert. Though in many respects different from that given above, yet I believe that the kingdom of Christ is particularly designed in this prophecy.

"I think there is an apparent difficulty in this passage, because the wars of the Persians and Babylonians were not so interesting to the rising commonwealth of the Jews as many subsequent events of less note in the world, but which were more directly levelled at their own national prosperity; and yet neither the one nor the other could be termed 'a shaking of the heavens and the earth, and an overthrow of the throne of kingdoms.' "I know not if the following view may be admitted as an explanation of this difficult passage. I take 'the shaking of the heavens and earth' here (as in Haggai 2:6) to have a more distant and comprehensive meaning than can belong to Zerubbabel's time, or to his immediate posterity; and that it extends not only to the overthrow of kingdoms then existing, but of the future great monarchies of the world; and not excepting even the civil and ecclesiastical establishments of the Jews themselves. For I take 'the heavens,' in the prophetic language, uniformly to denote the true Church, and never the superstitions and idols of the nations.

"What, then, are we to understand by the promise made to Zerubbabel, 'I will make thee as a signet?' In the first place, the restitution of the religious and civil polity of the people of Israel, conformably to the promises afterwards given in the four first chapters of Zechariah. And, secondly, as the royal signet is the instrument by which kings give validity to laws, and thereby unity and consistence to their empire; so Jehovah, the God and King of Israel, condescends to promise he will employ Zerubbabel as his instrument of gathering and uniting the people again as a distinguished nation; and that such should be the permanency of their political existence, that, whilst other nations and mighty empires should be overthrown, and their very name blotted out under heaven, the Jews should ever remain a distinct people, even in the wreck of their own government, and the loss of all which rendered their religion splendid and attractive.

"In confirmation of this interpretation, I would refer to the threatening denounced against Jeconiah, (called Coniah, Jeremiah 22), the last reigning king of Judah, and the progenitor of Zerubbabel. I apprehend I may be authorized to read Jeremiah 22:24 thus: 'As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah, the son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, be the signet upon my right hand, yet will I pluck thee thence, and I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life,' etc.

"If it be considered that the kings of Judah were in an especial and peculiar manner the delegates of Jehovah, governing in his name and by his authority, a peculiar propriety will appear in their being resembled to signets, or royal seals contained in rings. Compare Genesis 41:42; Esther 3:10, Esther 3:12; Esther 8:2, Esther 8:8; Daniel 6:7. And the promise to Zerubbabel will be equivalent to those which clearly predict the preservation of the Jewish people by the Divine command. see Zechariah 2:1-13; and the faithfulness of God to his covenant concerning the Messiah, who should be born of the seed of Abraham, and in the family of David, of whose throne he was the rightful Proprietor.

"According to this view, by the promise, 'In that day; - I will make thee as a signet,' etc., must be understood, that the preservation of the Jews as a distinct people, when all the great empires of the heathen were overthrown, would manifest the honor now conferred on Zerubbabel as the instrument of their restoration after the Babylonish-captivity. Thus the promise to Abraham, Genesis 22, 'I will make of thee a great nation - and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,' evidently referred to a very distant future period and the honor connected with it could not be enjoyed by Abraham during his mortal life." - M. A. B.

I think, however, that we have lived to see the spirit of this prophecy fulfilled. The earth has been shaken; another shaking, and time shall be swallowed up in eternity.

Barnes's Haggai 2:23 Bible Commentary

I will make thee as a signet - God reverses to Zerubbabel the sentence on Jeconiah for his impiety. To Jeconiah He had said Jeremiah 22:24, "though he were the signet upon My right hand, yet would I pluck thee thence; and I will give thee into the hand of them that seek thy life." The signet was very precious to its owner, never parted with, or only to those to whom authority was delegated (as by Pharaoh to Joseph Genesis 41:42, or by Ahasuerus to Haman Esther 3:10 and then to Mordecai Esther 8:2.); through it his will was expressed. Hence, the spouse in the Canticles says, Sol 8:6. "Set me, as a seal upon thy heart, as a seal upon thy arm." The signet also was an ornament to him who wore it. "God is glorianfied in His saints;" 2 Thessalonians 1:10. by Zerubbabel in the building of His house. He gave him estimation with Cyrus, who entrusted him with the return of his people, and made him (who would have been the successor to the throne of Judah, had the throne been re-established) his governor over the restored people.

God promises to him and his descendants protection amid all shaking of empires. "He was a type of Christ in bringing back the people from Babylon, as Christ delivered us from sin death and hell: he built the temple, as Christ built the Church; he protected his people against the Samaritans who would hinder the building, as Christ protects His Church: he was dear and joined to God, as Christ was united to Him, and hypostatically united and joined His Humanity to the Word. The true Zerubbabel then, i. e., Christ, the son and antitype of Zerubbabel, is the signet in the hand of the Father, both passively and actively, whereby God impresses His own Majesty thoughts and words and His own Image on men angels and all creatures." "The Son is the Image of God the Father, having His entire and exact likeness, and in His own beauty beaming forth the nature of the Father. In Him too God seals us also to His own likeness, since, being conformed to Christ, we gain the image of God." "Christ, as the Apostle says, is Hebrews 1:3 "the Image of the invisible God, the brightness of His Glory and the express Image of His Person," who, as the Word and Seal and express Image, seals it on others. Christ is here called a signet, as Man not as God. For it was His Manhood which He took of the flesh and race of Zerubbabel. He is then, in His Manhood, the signet of God;

1) as being hypostatically united with the Son of God;

2) because the Word impressed on His Humanity the likeness of Himself, His knowledge, virtue, holiness, thoughts, words, acts and conversation;

3) because the Man Christ was the seal, i. e., the most evident sign and witness of the attributes of God, His power, justice, wisdom, and especially His exceeding love for man. For, that God might show this, He willed that His Son should be Incarnate. Christ thus Incarnate is as a seal, in which we see expressed and depicted the love power justice wisdom etc. of God;

4) because Christ as a seal, attested and certified to us the will of God, His doctrine law commands, i. e., those which He promulgated and taught in the Gospel.

"No one," John saith John 1:18, "hath seen God at any time: the Only-Begotten Son Who is the Image the Father, He hath declared Him." Hence, God gave to Christ the power of working miracles, that He might confirm His words as by a seal, and demonstrate that they were revealed and enjoined to Him by God, as it is in John Joh 6:27, "Him hath God the Father sealed." "Christ is also the seal of God, because by His impress, i. e., the faith grace virtue and conversation from Him and by the impress in Baptism and the other sacraments, "He willed to conform us to the Image of His Son," Romans 8:29. that 1 Corinthians 15:49, "as we have borne the image of the earthly Adam, we mnay also bear the image of the heavenly." Then, Christ, like a seal, seals and guards His faithful against all temptations and enemies. The seal of Christ is the Cross, according to that of Ezekiel, "Seal a mark upon the foreheads of the men who sigh," and in the Revelation Rev 7:2, "I saw another Angel having the seal of the living God." For the Cross guardeth us against the temptations of the flesh, the world and the devil, and makes us followers, soldiers, and martyrs of Christ crucified. Whence the Apostle says, Galatians 6:17. "I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus."

"This is said without doubt of the Messiah, the expected;" says even a Jewish controversialist , "who shall be of the seed of Zerubbabel; and therefore this promise was not fulfilled at all in himself: for at the time of this prophecy he had aforetime been governor of Judah, and afterward he did not rise to any higher dignity than what he was up to that day: and in like way we find that God said to Abraham our father in the covenant between the pieces, Genesis 15:7, Genesis 15:18. "I am the Lord who brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees to give thee this land to inherit it," and beyond doubt this covenant was confirmed of God to the seed of Abraham, as lie Himself explained it there afterward, when He said, "In that day God made a covenant with Abraham, saying, To thy seed have I given this land etc.," and many like these.

Abarbanel had laid down the right principles, though of necessity misapplied. "Zerubbabel did not reign in Jerusalem and did not rule in it, neither lie nor any man of his seed; but immediately after the building of the house, he returned to Babylon and died there in his captivity, and how saith he, 'In that day I will take thee?' For after the fall of the kingdom of Persia Zerubbabel is not known for any greatness, and his name is not mentioned in the world. Where then will be the meaning of 'And I will place thee as a signet, for thee have I chosen?' For the signet is as the seal-ring which a man putteth on his hand, it departeth not from it, night or day. And when was this fulfilled in Zerubbabel? But the true meaning, in my opinion, is, that God showed Zerubbabel that this very second house would not abide, for after him should come another captivity, and of this he says, 'I shake the heaven etc.,' and afterward, after a long time, will God take His vengeance of these nations 'which have devoured Jacob and laid waste his dwelling place;' and so he says 'I will overthrow the thrones, etc.,' and He sheweth him further that the king who shall rule over Israel at the time of the redemption is the Messiah of the seed of Zerubbabel and of the house of David; and God saw good to shew him all this to comfort him and to speak to his heart; and it is as if he said to him, 'It is true that thou shalt not reign in the time of the second temple, nor any of thy seed, but in that day when God shall overthrow the throne of the kingdoms of the nations, when He gathereth His people Israel and redeemeth them, then shalt thou reign over My people, for of thy seed shall he be who ruleth from Israel at that time forever, and therefore he saith, 'I will take thee, O Zerubabbel etc.,' for because the Messiah was to be of his seed he saith, that he will take him; and this is as he says, Ezekiel 37:24. 'And David My servant shall be a prince to them forever;' for the very Messiah, he shall be David, he shall be Zerubbabel, because he shall be a scion going forth out of their hewn trunk" Isaiah 11:1.

For I have chosen thee - God's forecoming love is the ground of all the acceptableness of His creature 1 John 4:19. "We love Him, because He first loved us." Zerubbabel was a devoted servant of God. God acknowledges his faithfulness. Only, the beginning of all was with God. God speaks of the nearness to Himself which He had given him. But in two words He cuts off all possible boastfulhess of His creature. Zerubbabel was all this, not of himself, but "because God had chosen" him. Even the sacred manhood of our Lord (it is acknowledged as a theological truth) was not chosen for any foreseen merits, but for the great love, with which God the Father chose it, and God the Son willed to be in such wise incarnate, and God the Holy Spirit willed that that Holy Thing should be conceived of Him. So God says of Him Isaiah 42:1, "Behold My Servant whom I uphold, Mine elect in whom My soul delighteth;" and God bare witness to Him Matthew 3:17; Matthew 17:5, "This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."

Wesley's Haggai 2:23 Bible Commentary

2:23 My servant - A type of him who was God's most beloved servant.As a signet - Which is very highly valued, and carefully kept.So shall the antitypical Zerubbabel, the Messiah, be advanced, loved, and inviolably preserved king, and supreme over his church. He is indeed the signet on God's right - hand. For all power is given to him, and derived from him. In him the great charter of the gospel is signed, and sanctified, and it is in him, that all the promises of God are yea and amen.

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