Andrew Wommack’s Living Commentary.
Zerubbabel was a direct descendant of David. He would have been king if the Jewish nation had not been conquered. But the land was under Persian rule, and he was called the governor. Haggai and Zechariah were contemporaries (Ezra 5:1-2 and 6:14). Haggai prophesied two months before Zechariah (compare this verse with Zechariah 1:1).
Adam Clarke’s Commentary.
The prophet reproves the people, and particularly their ruler and high priest, for negligence and delay in rebuilding the temple; and tells them that their neglect was the cause of their having been visited with unfruitful seasons, and other marks of the Divine displeasure, vv. 1-11. He encourages them to set about the work, and on their doing so, promises that God will be with them, vv. 12-15.
We know nothing of the parentage of Haggai. He was probably born in Babylon during the captivity, and appears to have been the first prophet sent to the Jews after their return to their own land. He was sent particularly to encourage the Jews to proceed with the building of the temple, which had been interrupted for about fourteen years. Cyrus, who had published an edict empowering the Jews to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their city and temple, revoked this edict in the second year of his reign, through the evil advice of his courtiers and other enemies of the Jews. After his death Cambyses renewed the prohibition, but after the death of Cambyses, Darius, the son of Hystaspes, renewed the permission; and Haggai was sent to encourage his countrymen to proceed with the work. Darius came to the throne about the year B.C. 521, and published his edict of permission for the Jews to rebuild the city and temple in the second year of his reign, which was the sixteenth of their return from Babylon.