“all the earth is at rest and in peace.” At this time in history, the known pagan world was largely at rest. Furthermore, there was no sign of the shaking of the nations that Haggai foretold, which we know was to precede the coming of the Messiah and the restoration of Israel: “in a little while…I will shake all nations…I will shake the heavens and the earth. I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms. I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations. I will overthrow the chariots and those who ride in them” (Haggai 2:6-7, 21-22).
But while the pagan world was at rest, the people of God were in a sad state, ruled by pagans and not fully returned to God in their hearts (Zech. 1:3).