2:15 Now therefore reflect carefully on the recent past, 1 before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple. 2
2:18 ‘Think carefully about the past: 3 from today, the twenty-fourth day of the ninth month, 4 to the day work on the temple of the Lord was resumed, 5 think about it. 6
1 tn Heb “and now set your heart from this day and upward.” The juxtaposition of מָעְלָה (ma’lah, “upward”) with the following מִטֶּרֶם (mitterem, “before”) demands a look to the past. Cf. ASV “consider from this day and backward.”
2 sn Before one stone was laid on another in the Lord’s temple is best taken as referring to the laying of the present temple’s foundation, sixteen years earlier (536 b.c.; see Ezra 3:8). Cf. NCV “before you started laying stones”; TEV “before you started to rebuild”; NLT “before you began to lay (started laying CEV) the foundation.”
3 tn Heb “set your heart.” A similar expression occurs in v. 15.
4 sn The twenty-fourth day of the ninth month was Kislev 24 or December 18, 520. See v. 10. Here the reference is to “today,” the day the oracle is being delivered.
5 sn The day work…was resumed. This does not refer to the initial founding of the Jerusalem temple in 536 b.c. but to the renewal of construction three months earlier (see 1:15). This is clear from the situation described in v. 19 which accords with the food scarcities of that time already detailed in Hag 1:10-11.
6 tn Heb “set your heart.” A similar expression occurs in v. 15 and at the beginning of this verse.