It was in the second year of Darius’ reign, on the first day of the sixth month of it, that a message came from the Lord through the prophet Aggaeus; came to Zorobabel, son of Salathiel, that was governor of Juda, and to the high priest, Josue son of Josedec. And thus it ran: Word from the Lord of hosts to his people, that will not restore his temple, but cry, Too early yet! Listen, the Lord said to them through the prophet Aggaeus, is it not too early yet for you to have roofs over your heads, and my temple in ruins? Think well on it, says the Lord of hosts; here is much sown, and little reaped, nor eating brings you a full belly, nor wine a merry heart; such clothes you wear as leave you shivering, such wages win as leak out at purse’s bottom! Think well on it, says the Lord of hosts; up to the hill-side with you, fetch timber and restore my temple, if content me you will, the Lord says, if honour me you will! So much attempted, so little attained; store you brought into your houses withered at my breath; would you know the reason for it? says the Lord of hosts. Because to your own houses you run helter-skelter, and my temple in ruins! That is why the skies are forbidden to rain on you, earth to afford its bounty; ban of barrenness lies on plain and hill, wheat and wine and oil and all the earth yields, man and beast and all they toil to win.
What made they of it, Salathiel’s son Zorobabel, and the high priest, Josue son of Josedec, and all the people with them? That voice they could not choose but heed, that message from the Lord their God sent to them by the prophet Aggaeus, and they were sore adread of the divine warning. Yet here was divine encouragement; Aggaeus, the Lord’s own messenger, gave them the Lord’s own assurance he was at their side. So the Lord put heart into them, governor and priest and people alike; and they set to work building up the temple of the Lord God of hosts.
This was on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, in the second year of Darius.
— Haggai i.