WHO OR WHAT IS “THE DESIRE OF ALL NATIONS?”
by Shawn Brasseaux
Who or what is “the desire of all nations” in Haggai 2:7? “And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.” In this study, we will consider the two common views of the term, and use the context to identify the correct definition.
One idea is it refers to Jerusalem. In light of verse 8, it is said that all nations will desire Jerusalem and bring their wealth to Jerusalem: “The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.” They then pair the verse with Isaiah 60:6,11; Isaiah 61:6; and Zechariah 14:14. This is a rather bizarre interpretation, as Jerusalem does not agree with the word “coming” in verse 7. Is Jerusalem “coming?” Of course not. “The desire of all nations shall come” is impending, approaching. Who or what could this possibly be?
The other view is that “the desire of all nations shall come” is a reference to Messiah/Christ. This is the most likely scenario, seeing as to the context describes the glory of the LORD coming and returning to Jerusalem: “ For thus saith the LORD of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land;  And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts.  The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the LORD of hosts.  The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts.”
Ezekiel the Prophet foresaw God’s glory returning to Jerusalem, which is the event necessary to start the Millennial Reign. Chapter 43: “ Afterward he brought me to the gate, even the gate that looketh toward the east:  And, behold, the glory of the God of Israel came from the way of the east: and his voice was like a noise of many waters: and the earth shined with his glory.  And it was according to the appearance of the vision which I saw, even according to the vision that I saw when I came to destroy the city: and the visions were like the vision that I saw by the river Chebar; and I fell upon my face.  And the glory of the LORD came into the house [Millennial Temple] by the way of the gate whose prospect is toward the east.  So the spirit took me up, and brought me into the inner court; and, behold, the glory of the LORD filled the house.” This Millennial Temple—previewed by Zerubbabel’s Temple under construction during Haggai’s ministry—will function throughout the 1,000-Year Reign of Jesus Christ on Earth.
God’s glory, in the Person of Jesus Christ, will return to Jerusalem at His Second Coming. “And the glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it” (Isaiah 40:5). “ Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee [Israel].  For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee” (Isaiah 60:1-2; Messiah’s coming occurred in the closing verses of chapter 59.)
Some individuals would ask how Jesus Christ is “the desire of all nations.” After all, the world certainly does not want Him today. Indeed, if they had the chance, they would eagerly crucify Him on a cross again! However, as with all Bible themes, we must look at this whole matter dispensationally. Worldwide revival will occur at His Second Coming. Conditions on Earth today will be quite different after our Dispensation of Grace closes and the prophetic program resumes. Again, let the Bible speak for itself.
“Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all nations shall serve him [the Lord Jesus Christ]” (Psalm 72:11). “His name shall endure for ever: his name shall be continued as long as the sun: and men shall be blessed in him: all nations shall call him blessed” (Psalm 72:17). “All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before thee, O LORD; and shall glorify thy name” (Psalm 86:9). “Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest” (Revelation 15:4).
Zechariah chapter 8: “ Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:  And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also.  Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.  Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.”