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The third message of Zechariah was uttered nearly two years later. It was a fourfold answer to an inquiry made by the people concerning the necessity for observing certain fasts.
The history of these fasts is contained in2 Kings 25:1-12.25.30; 2 Kings 25:1-12.25.30. One was established in the tenth month, in connection with the siege of the city. The next, which occurred in the fourth month, commemorated the taking of the city. The third, held in the fifth month, was in memory of the burning of the city, and the last was in the seventh month, the month in which Gedaliah was murdered.
The inquiry was confined to the fast of the fifth month, whether it was necessary to continue its observance. The answer of the prophet was delivered in four statements of what Jehovah had said to him. The first of these answers declared that the fasts had been instituted, not by divine command, but entirely on the initiative of the people themselves. It declared also that they should consider the messages which had been delivered to them before the occasion which gave rise to the fasts of which they now complained.
The second answer reminded them that God sought justice and mercy rather than the observance of self-appointed fasts. It also reminded them that they had refused to hear the call of justice, and therefore all the evil things which had befallen the city had resulted. The inference was that had they been obedient, the occasions for these fasts would never have arisen.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Zechariah 7". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent