Haggai 2:15—Why does this verse imply that the building of the temple began in 520 b.c.?

“Haggai 2:15 – According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.

Problem: Haggai 2:15 implies that the building of the temple did not begin until 520 b.c.Ezra 3:8–13 claims that the rebuilding of the temple began in about 536 b.c., while Ezra 4:24 says the rebuilding of the temple took place during the reign of Darius, king of Persia. Which one of these is correct?

Solution: All of them are correct. They are simply referring to different aspects of the work.

The statements in Ezra 3:10 and 5:16 are references to laying the foundation, while Ezra 4:24 and Haggai 2:15 concern the resuming the rebuilding project after a long period of delay. Ezra 4:4 points out that as soon as the people of the land heard about the rebuilding project, they discouraged the people and frustrated their efforts throughout the reign of Cyrus. The project was abandoned for 16 years. At this point, God directed Haggai to prophesy to the people of Jerusalem to motivate them to begin the project again. This is referred to in Ezra 4:24. The rebuilding of the temple was resumed about 520 b.c. during the time of Darius and was completed in 516 b.c.

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