Cambridge University Press, 2021
Tucked away at the end of the Minor Prophets, the Books of Haggai and Zechariah offer messages of challenge and hope to residents of the small district of Yehud in the Persian Empire in the generations after the return from Babylonian exile. In this volume, Robert Foster focuses on the distinct theological message of each book. The Book of Haggai uses Israel's foundational event - God's salvation of Israel from Egypt - to exhort the people to finish building the Second Temple. The Book of Zechariah argues that the hopes the people had in the prophet Zechariah's days did not come true because the people failed to keep God's long-standing demand for justice, though hope still lies in the future because of God's character. Each chapter in this book closes with a substantive reflection of the ethics of the major sections of the Books of Haggai and Zechariah and their implications for contemporary readers.
"Foster majors on these minor prophets, often ignored as a theological resource for contemporary communities of faith. His accessible interpretations arise from careful exegesis rooted in the texts’ original contexts. But he never stops with exegesis, always engaging these texts for theological and especially ethical purposes as he provides provocative and relevant connections to the burning issues of our day."
Mark J. Boda, Professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada