(20) And again the word of the LORD came to Haggai on the twenty-fourth day of the month, saying, (21) “Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying:
‘ I will shake heaven and earth.
(22) I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms;
I will destroy the strength of the Gentile kingdoms.
I will overthrow the chariots
And those who ride in them;
The horses and their riders shall come down,
Every one by the sword of his brother. (23) ‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.”
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The second Kislev 24 prophecy, found in Haggai 2:20-23, spells out a readily identifiable blessing: righteous leadership.
This prophecy contains, among other things, the fulfillment of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. God is describing the time when, as it says in Revelation 11:15, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ.” It is the time when the divine Stone strikes the Gentile kingdoms on the feet, and they are all blown away and consumed by God's Kingdom, as Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream (Daniel 2:35, 44-45).
God will shake heaven and earth, as is described by the Sixth Seal (Revelation 6:12-13) and which is also mentioned in Haggai 2:6 (see also Matthew 24:29, 35; Mark 13:25; Luke 21:26; II Peter 3:10). At that time, Israel and Judah will be reunited, and more importantly, reunited with God, who will be ruling from a liberated and cleansed Jerusalem. At the time God gave this prophecy, the Jews were still living under the shadow of the Gentile Persian Empire, so it held great hope for those hearing it.
Verse 23 singles out Zerubbabel, and though there may be several lesser fulfillments of this, it is vital to recognize the real, ultimate fulfillment. The name Zerubbabel means “seed of Babylon” or “planted in Babylon.” He became the governor of Judah after the Babylonian captivity. As a scion of the Davidic line, he was also part of Jesus' lineage on Joseph's side (Matthew 1:12-13).
Zerubbabel was indeed a prominent figure in what God was working out, but we must keep in mind that the One who ultimately fulfilled his role is Jesus Christ, the epitome of a righteous ruler. In the same way, the ultimate fulfillment of Joshua's role as High Priest is also Jesus Christ. Zerubbabel is called God's servant, but so is Christ (Matthew 12:18; John 13:16; Acts 3:13, 26; 4:27, 30; Romans 15:8). Zerubbabel was chosen, but so was Christ (Matthew 12:18; Luke 23:35; I Peter 2:4). Zerubbabel received God's seal, but so did Christ (John 6:27).
Just as God chose Abraham and promised to bless all nations through him, Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, and Judah to bring forth the Messiah, so God chose Zerubbabel and his Descendant—his most important Descendant—to be His signet or signature ring. God set His seal on Zerubbabel, but more importantly, He set His seal on Zerubbabel's holy Descendant, the Messiah.
When God takes note of Judah's uncleanness, and her disastrous focus—idolatry—His promised blessing will be the means by which He will turn those things around. He will restore Israel's and Judah's lands and cities to them, and He will give them the definitive Governor and the ultimate High Priest. Zerubbabel and Joshua are just types of what Christ will later fulfill.
— David C. Grabbe