God told Haggai to ask the priests some questions about the Law (2:11) because the “lawyers” mentioned in the New Testament were not His idea. They weren’t baptized (Lu. 7:30) so they weren’t saved (Mark 1:4) and so would answer questions wrongly. Their appearance in the Lord’s day show how far Israel had drifted from the Law. The Law said that priests should answer Law questions (Mal. 2:7).
“Holy flesh” (2:12) was the flesh of animal sacrifices (cf. Ex. 29:32-34). Men carried them to the priests in the “skirt” of their garment like an apron. The Law said that if the sacrifice touched something it was holy (Lev. 6:24-27), but not the skirt holding it, so the priests answered right. In times like this, when the Law didn’t address questions like this exactly, it was the priest’s job to settle it (Ezek. 44:15,23,24).
If a man touched a dead body he was unclean (Num. 19:11), and if he in turn touched something, it was unclean (v.22), so the priests answers this question right as well (Hab. 2:13). These laws should teach us not to hang around Christians who engage in unclean things (I Cor. 5:6).
But God’s point for Israel was that their sacrifices, which were usually holy (Ex. 23:32-34), could not make the people holy because the “skirt” of their disobedience was in between them and the holy sacrifices they were offering.
It’s like in the past when they offered their babies as human sacrifices “through the fire” to Molech (Jer. 32:35). God said the blood of those poor innocents was on their skirts (Jer. 2:34). Not literally, for fire doesn’t cause blood, just figuratively. And the skirts of the Jews’ disobedience in Haggai’s day kept their sacrifices from making them holy (cf. Isa. 1:11-13). So instead of their sacrifices making them holy, their sin was making the sacrifice unholy, just as when the man made unclean by a dead body touched something.
When they sinned, God chastened them with things like bad crops (Lev. 26:18-20), and that was happening in Haggai’s day (1:5-9). They looked for much but brought in little (1:9 cf. 2:15,16). “Blasting” and “mildew” (2:17) were also God’s chastening (Deut. 28:15,22). With no seed in the barn to plant that year (2:19), things were looking grim. But God promised to bless them now that they had repented (2:19).
Their ultimate blessing will come when God conquers their enemies at Armageddon (Hag. 2:20-22 cf. Joel 3:16) in “the day of the Lord” (Joel 3:14). The nations will have one “throne” (singular) in that day (Hag. 2:22) because the nations will give their power to Antichrist (Rev. 17:3,13).
The overthrowing of chariots and horses (Hag. 2:22) reminds us of Pharaoh’s overthrow in the Red Sea (Ex. 14:27,28), a picture of the day of the Lord (Isa. 19:2). The “Zerubbabel” of the day of the Lord in Haggai 2:23 can’t be the governor of ancient Israel in Haggai’s day any more than the “Egyptians” of Isaiah 19:2 can be the ancient Egyptians showing up at the day of the Lord. The “Zerubbabel” here is Christ. This Zerubbabel is called God’s chosen servant (2:23), making him a type of Christ was (Mt. 12:18).
Christ is called God’s “signet,” the king’s insignia that he pressed into a seal (cf. Dan. 6:17) to seal something up and serve notice that anyone messing with the seal messed with the king. In the day of the Lord, God will seal His people safely with Christ as their signet seal, and serve notice that anyone messing with them messed with God Himself.
The reason God brings up this business of a “signet” is because God promised David that Messiah would come from his seed (II Sam. 7:12,13). That meant anyone messing with any of Judah’s kings threatened God’s promise, so every king of Judah was one of God’s signets (Jer. 22:24).
But Coniah messed up somehow, so God swore no son of his would sit on Judah’s throne (Jer. 22:24-30), ending the line of David at Coniah. But how then could Christ be a son of David (Mt. 1:1) with Coniah in his ancestry (Mt. 1:12-16)? How could God give Him David’s throne (Lu. 1:32)? Well, by Law if a man has no sons to inherit his possessions, his daughters inherit (Num. 27:1-8), and Mary was a son of David as well (Lu. 3:23-31). The genius of God!