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Bible Commentaries

Lange's Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical
Zechariah 8

 

 

Verses 1-23

2. THE BLESSINGS OF OBEDIENCE. THE QUESTION ANSWERED

A. General Promises and Precepts ( Zechariah 8:1-17). B. Fasts shall become Festivals, and whole Nations be added to the Jews ( Zechariah 8:18-23)

Zechariah 8

1And the word of Jehovah of Hosts came to me,[FN1] saying,

2Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

I am jealous[FN2] for Zion with great jealousy,

And with great fury I am jealous for her.

3Thus saith Jehovah, I am returned to Zion,

And will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem;

And Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth,[FN3]

And the mountain of Jehovah of Hosts the holy mountain.

4Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

Yet shall there sit[FN4] old men and old women in the streets of Jerusalem,

Each having his staff in his hand for very age;[FN5]

5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls,

Playing in the streets.

6 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

Because it will be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this nation in those[FN6] days,

Shall it be marvelous in my eyes also? saith Jehovah of Hosts.

7 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

Behold, I save my people from the land of the rising,

And from the land of the setting of the sun;

8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem,

And they shall be my people and I will be their God,

In truth and in righteousness.

9 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts

Let your hands be strong,

Ye who hear in these days these words,

From the mouth of the prophets who spake[FN7]

On the day the house of Jehovah of Hosts, the temple,[FN8]

Was founded, that it might be built.

10 For before those days there was no wages for a man

And no wages for a beast,[FN9]

And no peace to him that went out or came in, because of the oppressor;

And I set[FN10] all men, each against his neighbor.

11But now not as in the former days am I

To the remnant of this people, saith Jehovah of Hosts.

12For[FN11] there shall be a seed of peace,

The vine shall yield its fruit,

And the earth shall yield its produce,

And the heavens shall give their dew,

And I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these.

13And it shall be, that as ye were a curse among the nations,

O house of Judah and house of Israel,

So will I save you and ye shall be a blessing;

Fear not, let your hands be strong.

14For thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

As I thought to do evil[FN12] to you when your fathers provoked me,

Saith Jehovah of Hosts, and I repented not;

15 So have I thought again[FN13] in these days

To do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah,

Fear ye not.

16 These are the words which ye are to do;

Speak truth, each to his neighbor;

Truth and judgment of peace judge ye[FN14] in your gates.

17 And let none of you devise the evil of his neighbor in your hearts,

And love not an oath of falsehood;

For all these[FN15] are what I hate, saith Jehovah.

18–19 And the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

The fast of the fourth (month), and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall become pleasure and joy to the house of Judah, and cheerful feasts; but love ye truth[FN16] and peace.

20 Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

It shall yet[FN17] be that peoples[FN18] will come,

And the inhabitants of many cities;

21And the inhabitants of one (city) shall go to another, saying,

Let us go speedily to entreat Jehovah[FN19]

And to seek Jehovah of Hosts.

I will go also.

22And many peoples and strong nations shall come

To seek Jehovah of Hosts in Jerusalem,

And to entreat Jehovah.

23Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts,

In those days it shall come to pass

That ten men of all languages of the nations shall take hold;

Even shall take hold of the skirt of a Jew,

Saying, we will go with you,

For we have heard that God is with you.

EXEGETICAL AND CRITICAL

In the preceding chapter the Prophet had rebuked the people for their formalism, and set forth the dreadful consequences of disobedience. Now he turns to the other side of the subject and paints an exquisite picture of the results of conformity to the Divine will. Zechariah 8:1-3. The restoration of purity.

Zechariah 8:4-6. Wonderful peace and prosperity.

Zechariah 8:7-8. Rescue of all captives from every quarter.

Zechariah 8:9-13. General fertility in place of the previous drought and want.

Zechariah 8:14-15. Future execution of promises as sure as past execution of threats.

Zechariah 8:16-17. Moral conditions of prosperity.

Zechariah 8:18-19. Fasts shall become festivals.

Zechariah 8:20-23. Lively statement of the extension of God’s kingdom.

The chapter is divided into two parts by the phrase, “And the word of Jehovah of Hosts came to me” ( Zechariah 8:1 and Zechariah 8:18). Each of these parts is again divided into separate utterances by the recurring formula, “Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts.” The first contains seven of these segments ( Zechariah 8:2-4; Zechariah 8:6-7; Zechariah 8:9; Zechariah 8:14); the second has but three ( Zechariah 8:19-20; Zechariah 8:23). Jerome justly explains these reiterated references to the Almighty as meaning, “Do not consider these words to be my own, and therefore disbelieve them as coming from a man; they are the promises of God.”

(a.) General Promises and Precepts, ( Zechariah 8:1-17).

Zechariah 8:1. And the word of Jehovah, etc. See the same formula, ante i7, iv8.

Zechariah 8:2. I am jealous.…. for her. For the usage and the sense, see on Zechariah 1:14. Both passages speak of wrath, but there the object of the wrath is stated (the nations), here, the cause (Zion). This vehement affection manifests itself in the ways described in the next verse.

Zechariah 8:3. I am returned to Zion. He had forsaken his dwelling-place when Jerusalem was given up to her foes, and Ezekiel had seen in vision the glory of Jehovah departing ( Ezekiel 11:23). Now he would return, and in consequence, the city would be called the city of truth, i. e., where truth is found, and Moriah the holy mountain; which does not mean that they would actually bear these names, but that they would deserve them as expressing their real character. The strict fulfillment of this promise must be referred to the Messianic period.

Zechariah 8:4-5. Yet shall there sit, etc. This beautiful picture represents the extremes of life as dwelling in all security and happiness in the midst of Jerusalem. Long life and a multitude of children were ordinary theocratic blessings ( Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 7:13-14; Psalm 128:3-5), and this promise must in part at least relate to the period between Zerubbabel and Christ. There is a curious verbal coincidence in the words of the author of 1 Maccabees ( Zechariah 14:9), describing the peaceful prosperity which prevailed in Judæa under the rule of Simon: “The ancient men sat all in the streets, communing together of good things, and the young men put on glorious and warlike apparel.” But the full realization has been seen only under a latter economy.

Zechariah 8:6. Because it will be marvelous, etc. The Lord confirms their faith in his words by reminding them that what seemed incredible to them was not therefore incredible to Jehovah. The common explanation of the second clause, supposes וַּם to stand for הֲגַם, as in 1 Samuel 22:8, and the question to imply a negative answer. This is simple and pertinent, especially if we, like the E. V, render הָהֵם these, instead of those, which is its customary sense as denoting the farther demonstrative. But even according to the rendering, in those days, i. e., when this shall come to pass, the sense is better than with Köhler to make the second clause an affirmation, and explain the passage as saying that it would be right for the people to regard it as marvelous, for it would appear such even to Jehovah himself. Remnant of this nation. See Haggai 1:12-14.

Zechariah 8:7-8. Behold I save my people.… righteousness. Jehovah will rescue his people from all lands as far as the sun shines, install them again in Jerusalem and renew the old covenant relation,—He their God and they his people ( Zechariah 13:9); and this, in the exercise on both sides of, truth and righteousness ( Hosea 2:21-22). Henderson, Kohler, Pressel, et al., refer this to the restoration of the Jews still scattered abroad, but the words are too large to admit of so narrow a restriction, nor is there any historical evidence of any such general return of the diaspora to Palestine. Jerusalem must stand here as elsewhere for the Messianic kingdom. On the basis of these promises, Zechariah proceeds to encourage the people.

Zechariah 8:9. Let your hands, etc. To have the hands strong=to be of good courage ( Judges 7:11; 2 Samuel 16:21). A reason for this courage is shown in the description of those to whom it is addressed. They are those who hear what the later Prophets say, e. g., in Zechariah 8:2-8 of this chapter. These later Prophets (Haggai and Zechariah) had appeared at the time when the foundation of the temple was laid, and the good effects of their activity already to be seen were a pledge of what should follow. It is unnecessary with Hitzig to conceive בְּיוֹם as put for מִיוֹם, but he is happy in the suggestion that the last words of the verse that it might be built, are intended to emphasize the thought that this second founding of the temple ( Haggai 2:15-18), unlike the first ( Ezra 3:10), should issue in the completion of the building.

Zechariah 8:10-12 present the contrast between the present and the former times.

Zechariah 8:10. Before those days, namely, in which work on the temple was resumed. No wages. The labor of man and beast yielded so little result that it might be said to be none. There was also an entire absence of internal quiet to him that went out or came in, i. e., men engaged in their ordinary occupations. הַצָּר, rendered by the ancient versions as an abstract noun, is made concrete by nearly all the moderns. That this does not refer wholly to a heathen oppressor is made plain by the following clause.

Zechariah 8:11. But now makes vivid the contrast with the opening words of the preceding verse.

Zechariah 8:12. For there shall be.… peace. This clause is variously construed. Some say, “the seed shall be secure” (Targum, Peshito), or “prosperous” (E. V, Henderson), which is ungrammatical. Others, “the seed of peace, namely, the vine, shall,” etc. (Keil, Köhler), and they say that the vine is thus called because it can be produced only in peaceful times; but is not war just as destructive to any other fruit of the earth? I prefer the view of the Vulgate and Pressel given above, a general statement of productiveness of which the following clauses give the details. “Future abundance will compensate for the drought and scarcity of the past” (Jerome).

Zechariah 8:13 sums up all the blessings in a single utterance. As ye were a curse, etc. This does not mean that they would become a source of blessing to the nations (a view which Pressel urges with great zeal, but manifestly without ground), but an example, of blessedness, and therefore they would be employed in a formula of benediction, just as they had been used for an imprecatory formula (cf. Genesis 48:20; Jeremiah 29:22).—Israel. See on p30 a the remark on a similar occurrence of this name in Zechariah 1:19. It is very significant. “The idea that the ten tribes still exist somewhere in the world, and are still to be restored in their tribal state, has arisen from a misconstruction of those prophecies which refer to the return from Babylon” (Henderson).

Zechariah 8:14-17. The two former of these verses confirm the foregoing promise, and the two latter indicate a condition of its performance.

Zechariah 8:14. And I repented not. Just as the threatening did not fail of its execution, so you may be sure the promise will not.

Zechariah 8:16-17. These are the words There is no need of giving to הַדּבָרִים the doubtful meaning things (E. V, Henderson), since the ordinary sense words is entirely suitable. These “words” are, just as above in Zechariah 7:9-10, first positive ( Zechariah 8:16), then negative ( Zechariah 8:17). Judgment of peace is such judgment as promotes peace, but this is always founded upon truth. Your gates, as the places where justice was usually administered. The first clause of Zechariah 8:17 is curiously reversed in meaning by Henderson: “think not in your hearts of the injury which one hath done to another,”—a sense which the Hebrew cannot have. The last clause is very emphatic in the original, lit, “For as to all these things, they are what I hate.”

b. Fasts shall become Festivals, and the Nations attracted ( Zechariah 8:18-23).

Zechariah 8:18. Here begins the second word of Jehovah. See Zechariah 8:1.

Zechariah 8:19. The fast of the fourth month, etc. For the fasts of the fifth month and the seventh, see on Zechariah 7:3-5. The fast of the fourth month was on account of the taking of Jerusalem ( Jeremiah 39:2); that of the tenth was in commemoration of the commencement of the siege ( Jeremiah 52:4). All these fasts were to be turned into festivals of joy. Not, as Grotius says, that the observance should be retained only with a change of feeling and purpose; but that the general condition should be so happy and prosperous as to render fasting unsuitable. The last clause reminds them of the condition upon which these promises were suspended.

Zechariah 8:20. Yet shall it be that, etc. The position of yet renders it very emphatic, as if to say, Notwithstanding all past desolations, this shall surely come to pass. Peoples, that is to say, not individuals merely, but entire nations. The connection, apparently dropped at the end of this verse, to allow the mention of the reciprocal summons in the next verse, is resumed with the same (וּבאוּ) in Zechariah 8:22.

Zechariah 8:21. And the inhabitants of one city, etc. The mutual appeal stated here greatly enlivens the representation. The emphatic infinitive is very well expressed in the E. V. Let us go speedily, although Prof. Cowles prefers earnestly. The last clause, I will go also, is the prompt response of each of the parties addressed.

Zechariah 8:22. And many peoples, etc. This verse takes up and completes the statement begun in Zechariah 8:20, by reciting the object of the journey, namely, the worship of Jehovah.

Zechariah 8:23. Thus saith Jehovah of Hosts, etc. An important addition. Not only will the heathen go in streams to Jerusalem to worship Jehovah, but they will seek a close and intimate union with the Jews as a nation. אֲשֶׁר, which Henderson says is redundant, is rather emphatic, and the clause is to be construed as the similar one at the commencement of Zechariah 8:20. Ten men, a definite number for an indefinite ( Genesis 31:7). Each of these ten representative men stands for a distinct nation, since they each speak a different language, as appears from the added clause, of all languages; of the nations, where the singularity of the expression seems designed to emphasize this diversity. וְהֶחֱזִיקוּ is simply a resumption of the same verb in the former clause. We will go with you, not merely to the house of God (Hitzig), but in all other ways ( Ruth 1:16). On God is with you, cf. 2 Chronicles 15:9. Henderson explains all this as fulfilled in the number of proselytes made to Judaism after the restoration. But surely neither “many peoples” nor “strong nations” ever in a body joined themselves to the covenant people. He says that “Jerusalem” cannot be understood otherwise than literally. But most persons will think it cannot be understood in that way at all, for how could such a city contain nations? “That these are said to come to Jerusalem is due to the necessary modes of Jewish thought. That was the only way in which the Jews before Christ could conceive of real conversions,—the only language descriptive of conversion which they could understand. They had not yet reached the idea that God can be worshipped acceptably and spiritually just as well anywhere else as at Jerusalem. Hence those glorious conversions of Gentile nations which are to take place far down in the ages of the Gospel dispensation, if foretold at all by Jewish prophets and for Jewish readers, must be presented in thoroughly Jewish language and in harmony with Jewish conceptions. So we ought to expect to find it throughout the Old Testament Prophets, and so we do find it” (Cowles).

THEOLOGICAL AND MORAL

1. The beginning and the indispensable condition of all true prosperity is the presence of God. Hence the very first article in the prophet’s statement of the happy prospects of his countrymen is Jehovah’s assurance, “I am returned to Zion.” His absence, strikingly depicted in the vision in which Ezekiel saw the glory of the Lord depart from the threshold of the sanctuary, had caused all the woes of Israel,—invasion, conquest, exile, bondage. His return was the only sure pledge of permanent restoration. This, according to the 46 th Psalm, is the river the streams whereof make glad the city of God; “God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved.” God’s presence in heaven makes all its bliss, and his presence on earth makes the nearest approach to that bliss. But as He is a God of truth and holiness, they who enjoy his presence must partake of both. Wickedness cannot dwell with Him. As Calvin says, “He is never idle while He dwells in his people, for He cleanses away every kind of impurity that the place where He is may be holy.” The proof of his presence, therefore, is not any partial, outward, or transient reform, but the growth and prevalence of holiness founded on truth, ὁσιότητι τῆς ἀληθείας, Ephesians 4:24.

2. “Longevity and a numerous offspring were specially promised under the old dispensation,” but nowhere is that promise so beautifully set forth as in the scene which Zechariah calls up,—the old man leaning upon his staff, and groups of happy children playing in the streets. No pestilence stalks over the land, no war decimates the population, no famine wastes flesh and strength. The extremes of human life are happy, each in its appropriate way, and all that lie between are in the same peaceful condition. The classes which are most exposed and most defenseless being in complete and conscious security, the others in the prime and vigor of their days must needs be exempt from fear and anxiety. All this was the more impressive to the prophet’s contemporaries because of its contrast with the days when death came up into the windows and cut off the children from the streets,—when the husband was taken with the wife, the aged with him that was full of days ( Jeremiah 9:21; Jeremiah 6:11). There is no need of spiritualizing the description. It serves well in its literal sense to express what is realized already under the beneficent reign of the Prince of Peace, and will become universal and abiding when his kingdom is established over the earth.

3. The chronic sin of human nature is unbelief. Men stagger at the greatness of the divine promises. This is shown not only by the worldly, of whom the standing pattern is that lord in the court of Jehoram, who, when Elisha predicted in the midst of famine a speedy abundance of supplies, exclaimed, If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? ( 2 Kings 7:2); but even by the godly, as illustrated in the case of Moses, who, when God engaged to sate Israel with flesh for a whole month in the wilderness, incredulously reminded Him that there were600,000 footmen, plainly implying that the thing was impossible. And yet Moses had seen all the wonders wrought in Egypt. In like manner the restored exiles regarded the glowing statements of Zechariah. They refused to accept them, and so lost the comfort and stimulus they would otherwise have enjoyed. The prophet puts his finger upon the cause of this irrational unbelief, when he suggests that they judged God by themselves, that they measured his power by their own understanding. It is absolutely necessary to raise our thoughts above the world, to bid adieu to human standards of probability, and to keep in mind the infinite excellence of the Most High. There are very many things of which one can only repeat what the Master said to his disciples, —“With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” ( Matthew 19:26). Faith in the divine omnipotence is easy so long as only hypothetical cases are concerned; but when a question of practical duty is involved, and our faith requires us to run counter to all the maxims of worldly Wisdom of Solomon, it is another matter. It is this feature which gave such a heroic aspect to the course of Abraham when “against hope he believed in hope,” and for scores of years persevered in the expectation of an event which was naturally quite impossible, just because he was “fully persuaded that what God had promised He was also able to perform” ( Romans 4:21). It is needful always to remember that God’s thoughts are not as our thoughts, nor his ways as our ways, but as high above them as the heavens are high above the earth. Faith, therefore, always has abundant warrant. The trouble is that so many, like Thomas, want to see first, and then believe. But the special, peculiar blessing is for those who, without seeing, believe what God says, just because He says it.

4. The argument a fortiori is proverbially strong, and as it is here presented by the prophet, offers great encouragement to weak faith. God reminds Israel that the wrath incurred by their fathers had been actually visited upon them, no repentance on God’s part interposing to avert the blow. Even so should it be with his purposes of mercy; and thus, the very sorrows of the past became pledges for the hopes of the future. The Most High does not willingly afflict, He has no pleasure in the death of him that dieth; yet when the limit of forbearance is reached, He executes the fierceness of his anger, and his threatenings are verified to the letter. Every Jew saw this in the deep furrows the Chaldæan conquest had imprinted on his native land. But if Jehovah carried out his purposes so effectively in the strange work of judgment, how much more would He in the kind, congenial work of beneficence and blessing? If the word of justice had such a complete and ample verification, would not the word of mercy be still more signally illustrated and confirmed? In this view even the gloomy desolation of the Dead Sea and the ruins of Nineveh and Tyre confirm the faith and hope which expect the world-wide blessings of the latter day. The illustrations of God’s severity will be surpassed by those of his goodness.

5. The truest test of religious character is found in the degree of our sympathy with God. If we love what He loves and hate what He hates, then are we his children, and bear his image. Now what God hates particularly is not neglect of outward observances, but all departures from the law of love,—evil acting, evil speaking, evil thinking toward our neighbor. And if we are right-minded we shall shun these things, not for policy’s sake, nor even from abstract considerations of propriety, but because they are so offensive to God. This was what underlay the continence of Joseph under a fierce temptation,—How shall I do this great wickedness and sin against God? And this is the only trustworthy support against the assaults of the adversary. We must have a resolute loyalty to the divine administration; and say with David, “I know, O Lord, that all thy judgments are right,” or with Paul, “Yea, let God be true, but every man a liar.” We may, we must have sympathy With our fellows, but first and before all we are to cultivate the same moral affections as our Maker exercises. The farther this culture proceeds, the more acceptable we become to Him and the truer to the best interests of men. It is the more important to emphasize this truth because in our own day there is a persistent attempt in various quarters to introduce in a disguised form the dreadful error which Paul represents ( Romans 1:25), as lying at the root of the gross idolatry and depravity of the heathen world—the worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator. Men reverse the order laid down by our Saviour, and make regard for man the first and great commandment. The “enthusiasm of humanity” is substituted for obedience to God and love to the Lord Jesus, and the sanctions of religion, properly so called, are quietly ignored. Comte’s proposed worship of Le grand Etre, collective humanity, only put in a concrete form the theoretical principles actuating many who ridiculed this new philosophical religion. He pushed things to their logical result. Yet every page of Scripture teaches that integrity and philanthropy are not piety, and every fresh leaf that is turned in human experience shows that the true love of man is rooted in the love of God, and that no sympathy can be permanently relied upon which is not fed from supernal sources.

6. The lively, dramatic form in which Zechariah predicts the conversion of the Gentiles, is note-worthy. A general movement among the nations; the inhabitants of one city running to another with the eager summons to seek Jehovah, “let us go speedily,” lest we be too late; the instant answer, “I will go also;” different nationalities crowding around one Jew and seizing even the hem of his garment; all coveting fellowship with the obscure child of Israel, simply because they had heard that God was with him. Nothing could have seemed more unlikely to the contemporaries of the prophet, yet how exactly it has been fulfilled! The whole Roman Empire with the vast multitude of peoples it contained, and very many more who never saw the imperial eagles, have submitted to the authority of a Saviour who was a Jew; all rested their hopes for eternity upon a Jew. Other nations have been centres and sources for philosophy, science, art, literature, law, and government; but in the matter of the knowledge of God, the writings of Jews are the only and universal standard. For centuries past the mightiest intellects and largest hearts of the race have breathed the spirit and studied the words of these living oracles. The Jewish outward polity has disappeared, the nation has been scattered as no nation ever was before or since, a bitter and irrational prejudice against them characterizes a large part of Christendom; and yet the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is recognized as the one supreme Creator and Lord of the universe, in the best thought of the civilized world. And at this day literally men of all nations and kindreds and tribes and tongues are, almost without a figure, laying hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew. They cast in their lot with those whom God chose to be a people for Himself, and are resting their hopes upon that crucified Jew who is the Saviour of the world. All other gods are idols. All other faiths are decrepit. All other religions are forms. The hope of Israel alone has survived the vicissitudes of time and the revolutions of earth, and flourishes in immortal youth, making fresh conquests every day, constantly entering new fields, breaking up the apathy of ages, undermining superstitions hoar with the rime of a thousand years, and calling forth from the ends of the earth the old cry, Come, let us go speedily to seek Jehovah of Hosts.

HOMILETICAL AND PRACTICAL

Moore: Zechariah 8:2. Men judge God by themselves, in interpreting his promises, much oftener than in interpreting his threatenings

Zechariah 8:17. When God covenants with his people, He also covenants with their children.

Zechariah 8:20-23. All true piety is instinct with the missionary spirit,—desire for the salvation of others.

Pressel: Zechariah 8:23. Shall we delay our missionary efforts until Heathens, Mohammedans, and Jews seize us by the skirt? No, for if that had been the rule, where would we ourselves have been? No, but on the contrary, let us like brothers seize them by the hand and lead them to the Lord.

Again: No one can be another’s leader to the Lord, unless it be perceived that God is with him; but wherever that is plainly seen, men gladly seek such guidance.

Jerome. Shall it be marvelous. Who would have supposed that the same imperial power which destroyed our churches and burnt our Bibles, should now rebuild the former at public expense, in splendor of gold and various marbles, and restore the latter in golden purple and jeweled bindings?

Footnotes:

FN#1 - Zechariah 8:1.—The word אֵלַי wanting in the Masoretic text, is found in numerous MSS. and several editions, and is supported by the Syriac and Targum.

FN#2 - Zechariah 8:2.—“I am jealous,” not as E. V. “I was.” The Hebrew tense here seems to be=the Greek perfect, in the sense “I have been and still am.”

FN#3 - Zechariah 8:3.—The city of truth, not a city as E. V, but one preëminent in this respect.

FN#4 - Zechariah 8:4.—יֵשְׁבוּ. The literal meaning sit is both more accurate and more expressive than the derived sense dwell, adopted in the E. V. from the Vulgate.

FN#5 - Zechariah 8:4.—“Very age.” This archaism is better than the literal “abundance of days” in margin of E. V.

FN#6 - Zechariah 8:6.—הָהֵם, according to usage, must be rendered those. So Dr. Riggs (Suggested Emendations), who however is not happy in suggesting the marginal rendering of the E. V. as preferable to the textual, in the case of the verb in this clause. The literal sense of יִפָּלֵא is to be singled out, distinguished, wonderful, and the word here expresses something not only difficult, but so difficult as to be marvelous or incredible.

FN#7 - Zechariah 8:9.—אֲשֶׁר requires a verb to be supplied. Some suggest בָאוּ but דִבּרוּ seems better.

FN#8 - Zechariah 8:9.—The grammatical construction here is awkward, yet better than E. V, which seems to imply a difference between the house of Jehovah and the temple.

FN#9 - Zechariah 8:10.—The feminine suffix in אֶינֶנָּה refers to the nearer preceding noun.

FN#10 - Zechariah 8:10.—In וַאֲשַׁלַּח the vav convers. takes Pattach in conformity to the compound Sheva which follows (Green H. G., 99 b).

FN#11 - Ver12.—Keil renders כי but, but the usual signification for is as suitable and idiomatic.

FN#12 - Zechariah 8:14.—להָרע is in contrast with לְהֵיטִיב in Zechariah 8:15, and they should be so rendered—to do evil and to do good; whereas E. V. gives the former as punish, and Henderson afflict.

FN#13 - Zechariah 8:15.—שַׁבְתִי=again. See on Zechariah 5:1, Zechariah 6:1.

FN#14 - Zechariah 8:16.—שׁפטוּ—משׁפט. To render this “Execute judgment” (E. V, Henderson), is misleading, for the words express the pronouncing, not the executing of judgment. Noyes renders, “Judge according to truth, and for peace,” etc.

FN#15 - Zechariah 8:17.—אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה is to be taken as an accus. absol.

FN#16 - Zechariah 8:19.—The E. V. renders the last clause, “love the truth;” and so the Genevan. But both omit the article before “peace,” although the Hebrew has it before each noun.

FN#17 - Zechariah 8:20.—After עֹד we must supply יִהיֶה.

FN#18 - Zechariah 8:20.—עמּים=peoples. This plural, found twice in E. V. ( Revelation 10:11; Revelation 17:15), should have been used here, and in Zechariah 10:9, Zechariah 12:2-4; Zechariah 12:6, Zechariah 14:12, and often elsewhere, to avoid ambiguity.

FN#19 - Zechariah 8:21.—לחלּוֹת׳. See on Zechariah 7:2.

 


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Bibliography Information
Lange, Johann Peter. "Commentary on Zechariah 8:4". "Commentary on the Holy Scriptures: Critical, Doctrinal, and Homiletical". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/lcc/zechariah-8.html. 1857-84.

Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, December 5th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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