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Bible Commentaries

F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary
Zechariah 8

 

 

Verses 1-23

HAVING EXPOSED the sinful state of the people, another word from the Lord came in which the purposes of His mercy were revealed. In this remarkable chapter there are things specially addressed to the remnant then back in the land — verses Zechariah 8:9-17, for instance — yet the main drift of it goes far beyond anything that was realized in their history, between the rebuilding as permitted by Cyrus. and the destruction under the Romans, so it looks on to the end of the age and the second coming of Christ.

In that age Jerusalem will indeed have Jehovah dwelling in her midst and be called 'a city of truth'. Once indeed He who was the 'truth', as well as the 'way', and the 'life', was in her midst, only to be rejected and crucified, while Pilate, who sanctioned that act of rejection, asked satirically, 'What is truth?' No, Jerusalem has never yet been worthy of that designation; but she will be in a coming age. And then human life will be greatly prolonged, and young life be abundant and free. Our modern streets with fast-moving motor traffic are hardly a playground for children.

Verses Zechariah 8:6-8, also look on to the time of the end. What had come to pass in the return of the remnant was indeed wonderful in their eyes, but what is here predicted would be more wonderful still, when God would gather from the west as well as the east, to dwell as His people, so that He would be their God 'in truth and in righteousness'. In Christ truth and righteousness have indeed been revealed and established, but never yet has God dwelt in Jerusalem on that basis. The day is coming when He will do so.

In verses Zechariah 8:9-16. there is a special appeal to the remnant of the people then in the land. They are reminded of the words spoken to them earlier, when the foundation of the temple was laid, and how the adversity that had marked their doings had been turned into a time of prosperity. God was now bestowing much favour and prosperity upon them, but they are reminded that He called for suitable behaviour on their part. Truth, honesty and righteous judgment was what was expected of them. Again the stress is on the moral qualities that are according to God, and not on ceremonial observances.

A further word from the Lord is now given and in verse Zechariah 8:19 four fasts are mentioned. Besides the two mentioned in the previous chapter we now have the one in the fourth month, for in that month famine prevailed and Jerusalem was broken up, according to Jeremiah 52:6, and it was in the tenth month that the city was surrounded by Nebuchadnezzar's army, as verse Zechariah 8:4 of that same chapter records. It is now revealed that the day would come when these four fasts would be turned into feasts of rejoicing. Therefore they were to love truth and peace. These predictions of future blessing were to have a present effect upon the people.

And all that we know of future blessing should have a present effect of good upon ourselves. It is worthy of note that truth precedes peace, as cause and effect. Error produces strife just as certainly as truth produces peace. In the remaining verses of our chapter we find predictions of the happy state of things that will prevail when truth at last prevails in Jerusalem, and peace fills the scene. In that coming day the house of the Lord will indeed be, 'an house of prayer for all people' (Isaiah 56:7). There will be many who desire to seek the Lord in prayer, and they will recognize where God is to be found in that day. All through the centuries the name, 'Jew', has had a measure of reproach attaching to it. It will not be so then, for they will recognize that at last God is with His ancient people. It is obvious that this prediction has never yet been fulfilled, and looks on to a future day.

 


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Bibliography Information
Hole, Frank Binford. "Commentary on Zechariah 8:4". "F. B. Hole's Old and New Testament Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fbh/zechariah-8.html. 1947.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, December 13th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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