Verses 1, 2 – More details about the work and messages of Haggai and Zechariah are found in the books of the Bible that bear their name. God sent His prophets Haggai and Zechariah, not only to preach, but they were also involved in the labor.
Verses 3-5 – The non-Jews who lived nearby attempted to hinder the construction of the temple. But scripture says God had His eye upon them and they weren’t about to stop building while a dispute was going on. If what you are doing is a desire from God, don’t let others discourage or distract you.
Verse 11 – When the Persian governor questioned the Jews as to who gave them permission to construct this temple, they answered, “the God of heaven and earth.” As believers our allegiance is to God first, people second. When we contemplate the reactions and criticisms of hostile people we can become paralyzed with fear. If we try not to offend anyone and please everyone, we won’t be effective in the work He has for us. Let others know by your words and actions whom you really serve.
Verse 13-17 – Cyrus is called King of Persia in 1:1 and King of Babylon in 5:13, because Persia had conquered Babylon. Cyrus was king of both nations. Babylon is more important to this story because it was the location of the Hebrew 70-year captivity. So from here in the story, Darius hunts for a decree from the previous king.