represents the period of affliction as having lasted seventy years; for Darius Hystaspes came to the throne, as has already been described (p. 20), in 521 B.C., so that his fourth year was the sixty-ninth after the destruction of Jerusalem. Cf. also Zc. 112. He is here called simply the king, not, as he is by later writers, "king of Persia." Cf. Ezr. 11 Dn. 110. His second year corresponded roughly to 520 B.C., and the sixth month, according to the Babylonian system, which was adopted by the Jews during the Exile, to the latter part of August and the first part of September. It was on the first day of this month, then called Elul (Ne. 615), when the people were enjoying a holiday (Am. 85 Is. 6623), that the word of Yahweh came, lit., was. See also v.3 21. 10. 20 Zc. 11 et pas. The message came by, lit., by the hand of, Haggai the prophet. Hitherto it has not been clear who was writing. It now appears that it is not Haggai recording his own utterances, but some one else reporting what the prophet said on various occasions. This becomes more evident in the next section, where the same author, presumably, describes the effect of Haggai's preaching. The prophet, it seems, when the book was compiled, had already closed his career. His message was intended primarily for two persons at that time prominent in Jerusalem. The first was Zerubbabel. His name, whatever may be its first component, evidently has for its second the Hebrew designation for Babylon. The person so called is described as a son of Shealtiel, who, according to 1 Ch. 318, was the eldest son of the captive king Jehoiachin (2 K. 2415 2527) and governor of Judah.
- Cf. DB., art. Time; EB., art. Year; Benzinger, Arch., 199 f.
- This form of expression is frequent in the prophecies of Jeremiah and later writings. See especially the book of Ezekiel, where it occurs about fifty times.
- This, also, is a late idiom, common from the Exile onward. Cf. Ju. 34 1 K. 1215 Je. 372, et pas.; also C. and HB., Hex., i, 219a.