Haggai 1:2—How could the indifference of the leaders have caused the work to cease when Ezra 4:23 blames foreign influence?

Problem: Haggai 1:2 implies that the people were indifferent toward the building of the temple, while Ezra 4:7–23 claims that foreign enemies came up to force the people to stop the rebuilding project. Was the reason indifference or opposition?

Solution: Both statements are true. The military force of the enemy caused the rebuilding to stop, but it was the indifference of the people that prevented the project from being restarted. (See comments on Ezra 4:23.)

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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.