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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 7

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-3



Verses 1-3:

The Question Of The Facts

Verse 1 establishes the time of the following events as occuring in the fourth year of king Darius of Persia, two- years after the previous prophecy, Zechariah 1:1; Haggai 2:10-18. It was on the fourth day of the ninth Hebrew month, called Chisleu or December, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah this time, Ezra 6:14.

Verse 2 recounts that "they" of the Jewish captivity in Babylon, sent a mission or delegation to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, headed by Sherezer and Regemmelech, to pray in the presence of the Lord, at the rebuilt altar, while the temple was being rebuilt. As Jacob went back to Bethel returned to pray, these came to the priests and Levites who led in the worship of the Lord in Jerusalem, Zechariah 3:7; Hosea 8:1.

Verse 3 adds that this delegation was not only sent to pray but also to speak to or converse with the priests and the prophets in the house of the Lord, or reestablished order of Jewish congregational worship in Jerusalem. They asked, (each) should I, and our people yet in Babylon, continue to observe or commemorate the fifth month of our year (the month of August), as I and we have for many years past? They had arbitrarily, not by order of the Lord, instituted a fast day in commemoration of the destruction of Jerusalem, Jeremiah 52:12-14. Their day had become a mere formal style. after more than 70 years, and they seemed to want to be released from keeping it, but respectfully desired sanction of the priests and prophets in the congregation in Jerusalem, Joel 2:16.

Verses 4-7

Jehovah’s Reply To The Mission From Babylon

Verses 4-7:

The Fast Was Vain--They Should Have Heeded The Prophets

Verse 4 repeats a key phrase, that certified "The word (message) of reproof of the Lord of hosts had come," to Zephaniah, a message he was about to present. Like true prophets he did not claim that his messages were of his own thinking, design, or purpose, but of supernatural origin, ordained to be delivered to those to whom he spoke and wrote, as also in Zechariah 4:8; Zechariah 6:9; Zechariah 7:8; Zechariah 8:1, etc., 2 Peter 1:21; 2 Timothy 3:16-17.

Verse 5 asserts that the Lord directed Zechariah to speak to all the people of the land of Israel (those who had returned from captivity) and to the priests among the Levites. He was to ask them a chiding or reprimanding question, regarding their fasting and mourning the fifth and seventh month. It was in essence, "did you all really fast unto me, the Lord, for those seventy years?" or the idea is, were you not really mourning with self pity for your own covetous personal and physical well being? It was to gratify self.

Verses 8-14

Unanswered Prayers

Verses 8-14:

Why Their Prayers Were not Answered

Verse 8 reiterates, certifies, and reminds all the remnant of Israel that the Lord was still seeking to guide them, through messages delivered by His and their prophets, to observe not formal fastings, Acts 10:32; Luke 24:25; Luke 24:27; Luke 24:44; 2 Peter 2:21; Revelation 19:10.

Verse 9 forcefully restates that the Lord of hosts had directed that they should execute or administer true judgment, in which mercy and compassion were shown every man, to or toward his own brother, Ezekiel 18:8. Such was the spirit of the law of the Lord, given them by Moses their lawgiver and prophet. God is pleased that His penalty for sin in society be accompanied with a measure of mercy and compassion, toward ones fellowman, even as He shows these Divine attributes toward men daily, Lamentations 3:22-23; Galatians 6:1.

Verse 10 lists four oppressions that they were to avoid:

1) Of a widow, a thing the Pharisees and Sadduccees did, Matthew 23:14; Mark 12:40; Luke 20:47.

2) Of the fatherless, or orphans, Malachi 3:5; James 1:27.

3) The stranger, wanderer, yet human souls, Psalms 146:9; Proverbs 27:2; Luke 17:18.

4) The poor, impoverished, whatever the cause, Deuteronomy 15:11; Psalms 10:14.

And they were charged to imagine or devise no evil in their hearts against a brother, to seek no revenge, Genesis 6:5; Leviticus 19:18; Psalms 36:4; Micah 4:1.

Verse 11 reminds the remnant of the rebellion and disobedience of their forefathers against the law of the Lord, in willfully turning their shoulder and back upon Him, and following after the ways of heathen gods and idolatry, Nehemiah 9:29; Hosea 4:16; Jeremiah 7:26; Acts 7:57.

Verse 12 continues a review of the list of sins of their forefathers which had brought suffering and dispersion and judgment oppression upon them. They had adamantly, obstinately, willfully made their hearts as hard and insensitive as stone to truth, mercy, love, compassion, and divine obedience, as "flint-stone," Ezekiel 3:9; Ezekiel 11:19. They had done it lest they should heed and obey the law and word of the Lord, delivered in the power of the spirit, to and through His former prophets. As a direct fruit of their chosen disobedience, it is here divinely certified that the "wrath from the Lord of hosts," came upon them in a great way, Proverbs 29:1; See also Haggai 2:13; 2 Chronicles 36:16.

Verse 13 concludes that as He (God) had cried to them through the prophets and they obstinately, willfully stopped their ears and hardened their hearts, even so, when they cried in their calamities; In just retribution, He would not hear their cries or prayers, Proverbs 1:24-26; Isaiah 1:15; Jeremiah 11:14; Jeremiah 14:11-12; Micah 3:4.

Verse 14 announces that for their disobedience the Lord did scatter or disperse them, like a whirlwind, among the heathen and barbarous nations whom they knew not. In the siege of their captivity, when carried from their own land, the Lord reminded them that it was His hand of permissive judgment that caused their land to be laid desolate, so that no man longer passed through it, as formerly they did for purposes of commercialism, Ezekiel 33:17. Such judgment came only, after a loving forewarning from the Lord, and a long show of divine mercy, Nahum 1:3; Deuteronomy 28:58-68; Deuteronomy 30:17-20; 2 Chronicles 36:21; Psalms 106:24; Jeremiah 3:19.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Zechariah 7". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/zechariah-7.html. 1985.
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