Haggai 2:9 As the Bible says:
«The glory of this last house shall be greater than the glory of the first, says the Lord of hosts». The «old», or first house, was the temple built by Solomon, which was very glorious, if we consider the vast treasure of wealth accumulated by David, and given to Solomon for his construction.
The great number of workers employed in it; the majesty of the fabric, as never seen before, the model drawn by the Lord himself; the decoration of it; the vessels in it; and, above all, the glory of the Lord who filled it and continued in it; and yet this «last» or second house surpassed it.
It Must Be a Very Great Glory to Overcome This!
The Jews themselves possessed several things which were missing from the second that were in the first, such as the «ark,» the «Urim» and «Thummim,» the «fire» of heaven, the «Shekinah,» (or, as in some books, the anointing oil, and, in others, the cherubim) and the «Holy Ghost.
By one of its writers, they are considered in this order, the ark, the mercy seat, and the cherubim, one; the Shechinah or divine Majesty, the second; the Holy Spirit, which is prophecy, the third; Urim and Thummim, the fourth; and the fire of heaven, the fifth. What could be in it to compensate for the lack of these, and to bring it to a level, and even to excel the temple of Solomon?
The towering glory did not rest on the canvas; when the foundation was laid, the old men wept, for it was far inferior to the other; and when the building was erected, it was to their eyes as nothing.
Who were better judges than the later Jews, who magnify the construction of the second temple; depending on the authority of Josephus ben Gorion, who cannot be trusted: nor was he in the duration of it, but continued ten years longer, they say, than the first.
Which, if true, could not answer the deficiencies mentioned above; that is, an encouragement to the builders to continue their work, nor the riches contributed by the Gentiles in the time of the Maccabees, which was very despicable.
And I could never equal it to Solomon’s temple, much less preferable to it; nor by Alexander the Great honoring it with his presence; because surely Solomon was greater than him. It remains that what gave him the greatest glory was the personal presence of the Messiah in him, his doctrines and his miracles: and, or «by», in this place I will give peace, says the Lord of hosts, not temporal peace, for there was little of that during the second temple.
Witness the times of the Maccabees and wars with the Romans; but spiritual peace, through the blood and justice of Christ; peace with God, reconciliation for sin, through the sacrifice of the Son of God, in whom he is pleased.
Yes, Christ can be the Prince of peace, the man of peace, who is our peace, (Isaiah 9: 6) (Micah 5: 5) (Ephesians 2: 14) the author of peace between God and men, between Jew and Gentile; the giver of spiritual and eternal peace: the Lord gave him, «set», and placed in this place, the temple, as previously observed; and where the Gospel of peace was preached, and from where it went out to all the world.
The Arabic Version Adds
«Peace of soul, I say, to be possessed by all who work to raise this temple”. And in this place I will give peace – שלום shalom an offering of peace, as well as peace itself; or Jesus Christ, called the Prince of Peace, through whom peace is proclaimed between God and man, between man and his fellow men. And through whom peace is established in the disconsolate soul. And in this temple this peace was first promulgated and proclaimed.
But it is said that the glory of this last house will be greater than that of the first. Now, this cannot be said because Jesus Christ made his personal appearance in that temple, or rather in the one built by Herod. Because, although we allow Jesus Christ to be equal to God, we do not guarantee that he will be greater.
Now the first temple was God’s dwelling place: here He manifested His glory among the cherubim, and it was His constant residence for more than four hundred years. But the glory of this last house was greater because under it was displayed the great scheme of human salvation, and the price of redemption paid by a lost world.
As everything probably applies to the Christian Church, the true house of God, its glory was certainly greater than any glory that ever possessed that of the Jews. See Haggai 2:22-23 (note).
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