Zechariah 8

1The restoration of Jerusalem. 9The people are encouraged to build the temple by a promise of God's blessing. 16Truth and justice required of them. 18Joy and enlargement of the church promised.

1AGAIN the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,

2Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was 1jealous 2for Zion with great jealousy, and I wasa jealous for her with great fury.

1 Namely, to redeem Zion from shame and damage which their enemies have put upon them. I have been provoked to great wrath against those who persecuted and distressed them so tyrannically, namely, the Babylonians. Compare Isa. 9:7 and the annotation there.

2 That is, for Jerusalem, built upon Mount Zion.

a Zech. 1:14.

3Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called 3a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.

3 That is, in a city which the lovers of truth and holiness shall inhabit; and the truth shall be preached and embraced. Compare verses 8, 16; Zeph. 3:13; 1 Tim. 3:15. See the contrary Isa. 1:21.

4Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 4There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand 5for very age.

4 That is, I shall bless the inhabitants of Jerusalem with great age and with many children, verse 5. This blessing, according to the letter, Zerubbabel, Joshua, Ezra, Nehemiah, and other godly people have enjoyed. Yet these temporal promises and blessings must especially be applied to the spiritual benefits of the Kingdom of Christ, for the children of God shall live eternally in gladness in the celestial Jerusalem.

5 On account of his old age.

5And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in 6the streets thereof.

6 Namely, of Jerusalem.

6Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If 7it be 8marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people 9in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.

7 That is, which was foretold just now.

8 Or, impossible, as Gen. 18:14. What is impossible with men is possible with God.

9 That is, at this time, also likewise verses 9, 23.

7Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, 10I will save my people from the east country, and from 11the west country;

10 The sense is: I shall assemble and gather My people together by the preaching of the Holy Gospel from all the corners and quarters of the world. Compare Mat. 8:11; Luke 13:29.

11 Hebr. of the entrance, namely, of the sun. See Psalm 19:5.

8And I will bring them, 12and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, 13in truth and in righteousness.

12 That is, they shall be members of My church.

13 That is, I will surely give them what I have promised them, and I will make them righteous through Jesus Christ. Compare Hosea 2:19, 20.

9¶Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 14Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, 15which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.

14 That is, continue courageously with the building of the temple, not so much looking at your own profit, nor heeding the discouraging counsel of suspicious men, nor being daunted by the enemies’ threats and attempts, but only hearkening to, and obeying the words and exhortations of the prophets, such as there were Haggai, Zechariah himself and others. See Ezra 5:1, 2.

15 Other, that from that day, when the foundation was laid to the house of the LORD of hosts, the temple should have been built.

10For 16before these days there 17was no hire for man, 18nor any hire 19for beast; neither was there any peace to him 20that went out or came in 21because of the affliction: for 22I set all men every one against his neighbour.

16 Namely, in which they did not now continue with the building of the temple.

17 According to the Hebrew letter: the wages of man was not. The sense is: As ye were slack and meager toward the building of the temple, so the Lord was also slack and meager to impart His blessing unto you, but there was a dearth of all things, and ye were grievously plagued by your enemies; yea it was all in vain whatever ye took in hand, God’s curse was upon all your labor. See Hag. 1:6, 10; 2:16, 17.

18 That is, all their labor was in vain; the land yielded no fruit, though it was never so well cultivated and tilled.

19 Or, of the animal, namely, of the burden bearers’ cattle or animal, as there are horses, camels, asses, oxen, etc. The people earned no money by them; there was nothing to do.

20 That is, nobody was permitted or could come in peace in or out of Jerusalem; the running and looting soldiers, yes, even some of your enemies who grudged you the prosperity you enjoyed and were vexed to see Jerusalem being build up again, did hinder and hurt you, how and wherever they could. Compare herewith the Divine threatenings, Deut. 28:16, 19; 2 Chron. 15:5.

21 Or, because of the distress. The Hebrew word signifies an enemy, and an hostile distress.

22 The sense is: I did order by My righteous judgment that people persecuted and destroyed each other; yes, I even did set them one against another. The Lord makes often use of evil instruments to execute His good intents. See Joel 2:25.

11But 23now I will not be unto the residue of this people 24as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts.

23 Namely, since ye go on so bravely in the building of My temple, making it evident that ye took My worship to heart, thus shall I not show Myself so severe against the remnant.

24 Namely, when the building of the temple stood still.

12For 25the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people 26to possess all these things.

25 Hebr. shall be seed of peace, that is, it shall thrive; it shall be sown in peace and it shall grow up in peace.

26 That is, permitting to enjoy, giving to possess, according to the promise of God, Deut. 28:8, 11, 12; Psalm 65:9; 67:6; Joel 2:22.

13And it shall come to pass, that as ye were 27a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and 28ye shall be a blessing: fear not, but let your hands be strong.

27 That is, overwhelmed with all manner of curse, misery and calamity.

28 That is, ye shall be blessed by Me, and favored with all manner of graces and mercies. See Gen. 12:2, and compare Hag. 2:19.

14For thus saith the LORD of hosts; 29As I thought 30to punish 31you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:

29 See Ezekiel 18 on verse 19, on verse 20, the annotations, etc.

30 That is, to vex.

31 Whom, as well the fathers as those out of the captivity, were still left of the Jewish people.

15So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.

16¶These are the things that ye shall do; Speakb ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace 32in your gates:

b Eph. 4:25.

32 That is, in your public assemblies and judicatories, which of old were held in the city gates. See Gen. 34 on verse 20; Deut. 22:15.

17And letc none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and loved no false oath: for 33all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.

c Zech. 7:10.

d Zech. 5:3, 4.

33 Or, all these are that which I hate; therefore, the Lord wants to say, ye ought to hate them likewise.

18¶And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying,

19Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 34The fast of the fourth month, and 35the fast of the fifth, and the fast of 36the seventh, and 37the fast of the tenth, shall be to 38the house of Judah 39joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.

34 Instituted in remembrance that the city has been broken through, Jer. 52:7.

35 See Zech. 7:3.

36 See Zech. 7:5.

37 Instituted in remembrance that Jerusalem was then begun to be besieged, Jer. 52:4. See also 2 Kings 25.

38 That is, tribe, family of Judah.

39 The sense is: All the sorrow which ye had hitherto, shall be changed into rejoicing and cheerfulness; namely, if so be that ye turn seriously to the Lord and hold on diligently in the building of My house.

20Thus saith the LORD of hosts; 40It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:

40 This is a prophecy of the calling and conversion of the Gentiles unto Christ. See the fulfillment in Acts 2:5, etc.; 8:27; 10:1.

21And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, 41Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: 42I will go also.

41 Other, Let us go, let us go. Hebr. Let us going go.

42 Thus shall the one speak to the other. Other, let me go also.

22Yea, many people and 43strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.

43 Or, exceeding many, that is, strong in numbers, big heaps.

23Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that 44ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of 45the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, 46We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.

44 That is, many, as Lev. 26:26. Herewith is to be understood that the Gentiles shall come in with large numbers and with great zeal and shall join themselves unto the christian church, which formerly consisted only of the Jews. Compare Isa. 2:3; Micah 4:2.

45 Or. hem. Hebr. wing, namely, skirt or loose part of the garment.

46 Or, Let us go with you.