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In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying,

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

1:1 Darius the king. “Darius the king” was Darius Hystaspes, who ruled the Persian empire from 521 to 486 B.C., also known as “Darius the Great.”

1:1 by Haggai. Haggai preceded Zechariah and then Malachi as the three post-exilic prophets, ministering to the returning Jews who rebuilt Jerusalem and its temple. Both Haggai and his younger contemporary, Zechariah, are mentioned in Ezra 5:1 and 6:14. Haggai was probably very old when he wrote his short book—the shortest Old Testament book except Obadiah—and the only two-chapter book in the Bible.

1:1 Zerubbabel. Zerubbabel the governor had led the first contingent of returning exiles from Babylon, following the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 1:2; 2:2). Here, he is called “the son of Shealtiel (or Salathiel),” whereas I Chronicles 3:17-19 indicates that Salathiel was his uncle, with Pedaiah his father. A possible explanation is that Salathiel became his “foster father,” as it were, after Pedaiah died. Another possibility is that, through a Levirate marriage (as described in Deuteronomy 25:5,6), Shealtiel died without a son, and Pedaiah married his widow, giving their first-born son the name of Shealtiel as his legal father.

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