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Reiteration of God’s Promises concerning Jerusalem
The whole chapter is made up of ten short oracles each introduced by the formula, ’Thus saith the Lord of hosts’ (except Zechariah 8:3). God has come to dwell with His people. Happiness and prosperity are in store for Jerusalem if it will do His will. All nations will seek to join in worshipping God in Jerusalem.
1. Again] RV ’and’: there is no break in thought between the two chapters
2. I was jealous] better, ’I am jealous.’ The word indicates strong emotion either for or against some object. In this case the context shows it is on behalf of Zion: ’I burn with zeal for the cause of Zion.’
3. A city of truth] RV ’The city of truth,’ i.e. the faithful city: cp. Isaiah 1:26.
4, 5. A beautiful picture of a peaceful time. Amid so many wars and privations, old men and children had been comparatively rare in the ranks of the returned exiles, and even in the homes of Judæa.
6. If it be] Although it may seem incredible to the people, it is not impossible to God: cp. Psalms 118:23; Psalms 126:1, Psalms 126:2.
8. ’They shall be to me for a people’: cp. Hosea 2:23.
9. Prophets] i.e. Haggai and Zechariah, and perhaps others now unknown. The wording of the v. is difficult. What the prophets had said is given at the end, viz. ’The Temple must be rebuilt.’ The rebuilding of the Temple has progressed steadily in the two years. The prophet encourages the workers to go on: cp. Haggai 2:15-19.
10, 11. The strife and poverty of the early days, when the building of the Temple was neglected, are contrasted with the peace and prosperity that are to come.
10. Hire] i.e. wages. The affliction] RV ’the adversary,’ probably the Samaritans and Ammonites, who plundered the helpless Jews: cp. Ezra 8:22.
12. Nature also will contribute to the glory of the Messianic age—a frequent feature of Messianic prophecy: cp. Isaiah 35:1; Isaiah 55:12, Isaiah 55:13. The seed shall be prosperous] RV ’there shall be the seed of peace.’
13. A curse among the heathen] a subject of reproach, something of which they spoke evil: see Jeremiah 24:9.
14, 15. God’s promises of punishment were fulfilled; so surely also will be His promises of blessing.
16, 19. In these vv. the prophet once more answers the question concerning fasts. ’Let them alone,’ he says, ’and follow the principles of truth and righteousness, and God shall turn your fast-days into feast-days.’
16. In your gates] The gate was the market-place where all business transactions took place: see Ruth 4:1-11. Execute the judgment of truth and peace] be fair-minded and peaceable.
20, 23. The gathering in of the nations was never adequately fulfilled in regard to Jerusalem or the Temple then approaching completion; but the prophecy foretells most strikingly the success of the kingdom of Christ. It was the dream of all Hebrew prophecy: cp. Micah 4:2; Isaiah 2:3.
23. Ten men] used for a large number: cp. Genesis 31:7; Leviticus 26:26; Nehemiah 4:12. Take hold of the skirt] the involuntary action of one who wishes to be listened to: cp. 1 Samuel 15:27; Isaiah 4:1. How earnestly have men sought salvation! They find it in Him—a member of the Jewish race—who is the Saviour of the world.
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 8". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Second Week after Epiphany