Our last reading this week: Haggai 2:10-14
v10 This date is just over 3.5 months after this prophecy began.
· The 9th month is the month of Kislev. Hanukkah (which means dedication) is celebrated on the 25th Kislev (although the celebration for it begins on the evening of the 24th).
· There were three pilgrim festivals (‘pilgrim’ because the Jews used to travel to Jerusalem in order to celebrate them)
· We see in John 10:22-23 that Yeshua celebrated Hanukkah in Jerusalem. We are going to see that Hanukkah, a feast instituted a lot later than the other feasts, gives us a paradigm for what G-d is going to do at the end.
v11 G-d was testing these priests to see what their answer would be. They were the ones who were meant to be teaching the people the difference between that which is holy and that which is profane.
v12 The question being asked here is this: Can something unholy be changed and made holy because it touches something holy?
· This is the implication of this question: Does going to the temple (church etc) and working in it or being touched by it (so to speak) impart holiness to us? The answer is: NO
v13 If those things (the bread, stew etc) are touched by unclean things their status IS changed and they do become unclean. The problem is this: When we come into contact with impure or unclean things our status is changed, and we become unclean. Being unclean means that we are distanced or separated from G-d.
v14 Although these people have worked on the temple, and although they worship in it, the temple itself does not have the capacity to bring about a change in their status. It cannot make them clean or holy.
· Something had to change if there was going to be any hope for these people…any hope for us