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Haggai (Hebrew: חַגַּי, Ḥaggay or "Hag-i", Koine Greek: Ἀγγαῖος) was one of the twelve minor prophets and the author of the Book of Haggai. His name means "my feast". He was the first of three prophets (with Zechariah, his contemporary, and Malachi, who lived about one hundred years later), whose ministry belonged to the period of Jewish historymarker which began after the return from captivity in Babylonmarker.

Scarcely anything is known of his personal history. He may have been one of the captives taken to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar. He began his ministry about sixteen years after the return of the Jews to Judah (ca. 520 BCE). The work of rebuilding the temple had been put to a stop through the intrigues of the Samaritans. After having been suspended for eighteen years, the work was resumed through the efforts of Haggai and Zechariah. They exhorted the people, which roused them from their lethargy, and induced them to take advantage of a change in the policy of the Persian government under Darius the Great.

The name Haggai, with various vocalizations, is also found in the Book of Esther, as a eunuch servant of the Queen.

Liturgical commemoration

On the liturgical calendar followed by the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, Haggai is commemorated as a saint and prophet. His feast day is December 16 (for those churches which follow the traditional Julian Calendar, December 16 currently falls on December 29 of the modern Gregorian Calendar). He is also commemorated, in common with the other righteous persons of the Old Testament, on the Sunday of the Holy Fathers (the Sunday before the Nativity of the Lord).

Haggai is commemorated with the other Minor prophets in the Calendar of saints of the Armenian Apostolic Church on July 31.

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