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The following verse in the Torah prophesizes about a nation which will be given "peace" and coming of a praised being:

and I will shake all nations, and the choicest(חֶמְדַּת ) things of all nations shall come, and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts. 8 Mine is the silver, and Mine the gold, saith the LORD of hosts. 9 The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, saith the LORD of hosts; and in this place will I give peace(שָׁלוֹם), saith the LORD of hosts.' Haggai 2

Also its said that the nation will be great and shake all other nations and God will give the nation "(שָׁלוֹם)".

I understand that prophecies seem to be very cryptic until when the prophecy actually happens , and the verses become clear after the prophecy is manifested. Hence i guess only the ones who are very firmly grounded in knowledge would give us a clue to understand the above verse? And even they can go wrong in interpreting the verses as God alone would know its true meaning.

Hence understanding the current scenario and the rich histroy of nations passed , what can be an obvious example of a nation which would usher in the coming of a praised thing (חֶמְדַּת ) who will be given peace(שָׁלוֹם) yet shake other nations?

P.S (My preference): since these verses are a prophecy and we know that the Isralite tradition dates back to the Mosaic covenant epoch and hence commentries of old Rabbis around the time of this monumental epoch would be very helpful in understanding the prophecy.

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@Ali, Is this a riddle? The phrasing in the question sounds leading, and your most recent comment seems to indicate that you already have an answer you consider obvious. –  Isaac Moses Feb 27 '13 at 15:49
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Hi @Ali, welcome back. Please review (again) our FAQ and meta discussions about comparative religion questions and proselytizing. If you have any questions that are rooted in trying to understand Judaism and not rooted in trying to understand Islam better or convert Jews to Islam, feel free to ask any time. –  Seth J Feb 27 '13 at 15:57
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@Ali We don't have any writings from Rabbis from BCE except what you'll find in Scripture or the Jewish Apocrypha. We have traditions passed down from them and recorded starting about 150 CE. –  Double AA Feb 27 '13 at 17:34
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In short, your request for interpretations of the "old rabbis" cannot be fulfilled if, by "old", you mean "during the 'Mosaic epoch'" or whatever it is that you termed it. If, however, you want to know what Jewish tradition says, we can probably provide that (if the question is improved) with the proper citation from the period in which it was written and in the name of whomever it is recorded. –  Seth J Feb 27 '13 at 17:48
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why would there be commentary about a prophecy made in about the 6th century bce from sources from the mosaic period, some 800 years earlier? –  Danno Feb 27 '13 at 17:58
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closed as not constructive by Isaac Moses, yoel, Seth J, Gershon Gold, HodofHod Mar 22 '13 at 7:47

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1 Answer

The verse says clearly who will 'shake' all nations: God. (Verse 6 says "so said God…" and verse 7 continues "I will shake all the nations".) So your question as to which nation will shake all other nations has no answer based in Haggai.

But what is referred to in verse 7 as (in very rough translation) "the best of all the nations" ("חֶמְדַּת כָּל הַגּוֹיִם")?

  • Mahari Kara says verse 7 means "I will make all the nations tremble" in fear of Alexander the Great, "and they" — Alexander and his successors — "will come [to] the best of all nations", Jerusalem: but "I will fill this house" — the holy temple — "with honor" in the times of the Maccabees. Rashi says similarly, though in less detail.
  • Radak says verse 7 means "And I will move all the nations" to come to Jerusalem and see the rebuilt (i.e. second) holy temple "and with the best of all the nations will they come", i.e., they'll bring their wealth with them as a gift. The "peace" in verse 9 refers to the general peace that prevailed in the land in the time of the second temple.

Indeed, that the verse refers to the second temple is taken as obvious by the Babylonian Talmud (Bava Basra 3:1). (A tip of the hat to Isaac Moses for pointing me to this source and to the Rashi cited above.)

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Ali, the commentators @msh210 cited (whose bios are linked in the answer) and Rashi are classic medieval commentaries and among the first we'd consult in interpreting a verse in the Bible. Rashi, as I indicated, cites the Talumd, and in particular, Rav and Shmuel, from the first generation of Amoraim. It would be hard to find more authoritative commentaries on this verse from the Jewish tradition. –  Isaac Moses Feb 27 '13 at 16:21
    
I've deleted a bunch of comments on this answer that didn't "contribute to the improvement or understanding of the post itself". –  msh210 Feb 27 '13 at 19:29
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