Go up to the mountain, and bring wood, and build the house; and I will take pleasure in it, and I will be glorified, says the LORD.
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Ambrose of Milan
The man who dies before his time does not build his tomb, for, although he lives, he is dead. He does not hear the words of Haggai, whose name interpreted the banqueter, for he does not enter the tabernacle of God “with the voice of joy and praise, the noise of one feasting.” How does he hear his voice if he does not see his works? If he saw them, he would hear the word which was put within his grasp, he would rejoice in his acts, whereby “he knocked and it was opened to him,” and he would have gone down into his soul that he might feed therein upon the food of sincerity and truth. Because he failed to hear, the word of Haggai again comes, saying: Rise from houses embossed and carved with wickedness, and go up to the mount of heavenly Scriptures and hew the tree of wisdom, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Make straight your ways, order your actions so that they may have due order which is necessary and useful for building the house of God.
I believe, brothers, that you remarked and committed to memory the title of this psalm. “The conversion,” he said, “of Haggai and Zechariah.” These prophets were not as yet in existence when these verses were sung…. But both, the one within the year after the other, began to prophesy that which seemed to pertain to the restoration of the temple, as was foretold so long before.… “For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.” Whoever therefore converted himself to the work of this building together, and to the hope of a firm and holy edifice, like a living stone from the miserable ruin of this world, understands the title of the psalm, understands “the conversion of Haggai and Zechariah.” Let him therefore chant the following verses, not so much with the voice of his tongue as of his life. For the completion of the building will be that ineffable peace of wisdom, the “beginning” of which is the “fear of the Lord.” Let him therefore, whom this conversion builds together, begin the...
The mountain Libanus. Wood had been purchased before, but had been used for other purposes, 1 Esdras iii. 7. Now the people went to procure more. The following year Darius confirmed the decree of Cyrus, which was a change plainly effected by Providence. (Calmet)