Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Zechariah-Chapter 8

After urging them to obey the Torah by remembering what happened to the previous generation, this chapter deals with the coming peace and prosperity of Israel, not only in the time of Zechariah, but fulfilled totally in the messianic kingdom.

v 1…Then the word of the Lord of hosts came saying,

v 2…Thus says the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot-when this is used Yehovah is coming from a military position of power), “I am exceedingly jealous for Zion (Zion means “mark”), yes, with great wrath (against her oppressors) I am jealous for her.”

v 3…Thus says the Lord, “I will return to Zion (Ezekiel saw the glory depart from the Temple) and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem (he will return again). Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth (Hebrew “emet” which is spelled with the first, middle and last letter of the Hebrew alphabet), and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain (the Temple Mount when Messiah comes).”

v 4…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem (people will not be cut off in their youth), each man with his staff in his hand because of age (not because of disease-Isa 65.20).

v 5…And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets (security and future generations).”

v 6…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “If it is too difficult (incredible, hidden, hard to understand) in the sight of the remnant (those who returned from the exile) of this people in those days (when it arrives), will it also be too difficult (incredible, hidden, hard to understand) in my sight (however impossible it seems to you to believe what I have promised, it isn’t for me)?” declares the Lord of hosts.

v 7…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “Behold, I am going to save my people from the land of rising (of the sun, the east) and from the land of the setting (of the sun, from everywhere; this will be in the future when Messiah comes, although this was partially fulfilled in their return from Babylon);

v 8…and I will bring them back, and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem, and they will be my people and I will be their God in truth and righteousness (ultimately when Messiah comes in the messianic kingdom).”

v 9…Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong (take courage to fulfill your calling), you who are listening in these days to these words from the mouth of the prophets (Haggai and Zechariah-Ezra 5.1-2), those who spoke in the day the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, to the end that the Temple might be built.

v 10… For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for animal (no produce from the field to pay any one with-Hag 1.6-10; 2.16); and for him who went out or came in there was no peace because of his enemies, and I set all men against one another (not just external enemies of the heathen, but enemies in their own nation causing strife).

v 11…But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days (I will act differently to the remnant),” declares the Lord of hosts.

v 12…But the seed of peace, the vine, will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce, and the heavens will give their dew; and to the remnant of this people will I give all of this for an inheritance.

v 13…And it will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations (so smitten by God that it was evident a curse was upon them-Jer 24.9, 25.9, 42.18), O house of Judah and house of Israel (another verse showing they were not “lost”), so I will save you that you may become a blessing (empowered to succeed). Do not fear; let your hands be strong (morally in the Torah-Josh 1.7-8).”

v 14… For thus says the Lord of hosts, “Just as I purposed to do harm to you when your fathers provoked me to wrath (through my decree to exile you),’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I have not relented,

v 15… so I have again purposed in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah (through another decree). Do not fear!

v 16… These are things which you should do (if you want this blessing you must be diligent in this): speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates (where courts of justice sat).

v 17…Also let none of you devise evil in your heart against another, and do not love perjury; for all this, I hate it” declares the Lord.

v 18…Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me saying (concerning the question of the fast days),

v 19…”Thus says the Lord of hosts (now he answers Zech 7.3), ‘The fast of the fourth (month called Tammuz; on the 17th the walls of Jerusalem were breached), the fast of the fifth (month of Av; on the 9th the Temple was destroyed), the fast of the seventh (month of Tishri; on the third the Governor Gedaliah was assassinated which led to the third deportation to Babylon), and the fast of the tenth (month of Tevet; on the tenth Nebuchadnezzar laid siege to Jerusalem. Israel added these self-appointed times of mourning to the religious calendar against the command of God in Ezek 24.16-24 not to mourn the destruction of the Temple and the city. The natural man is always looking for ways to ingratiate himself before God. In the future, when man is in a right relationship with God, these will be times of feasting. All of these fasts are still observed by many Jewish and Messianic people today) will become joy, gladness and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah (Israel will keep the joyous festivals and forget to observe these mournful dates when v 16 and 17 are fulfilled); so love truth and peace.”

v 20…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “It will be yet (come to pass) that nations (non-Jews dissatisfied with pagan worship) will come, even the inhabitants of many cities

v 21…and the inhabitants of one (city) will go to another (city) saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts I will also go (Isa 2.2-4; Mic 4.1-4).”

v 22…So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord.”

v 23…Thus says the Lord of hosts, “In those days (Hebrew “B’yamim” and an idiom meaning “when the Messiah comes”) ten (many, a complete number) men from the nations (non-Jews) of every language will grasp the garment (Hebrew “kanaf” meaning “corner” where the tzitzit, or fringes, hang-Num 15.37; Mal 4.2. The tzitzit symbolized the commandments. This is an idiom meaning “embrace the doctrines” found in the Torah, and is another example that the Torah has not been done away with and when the Messiah returns, it will be the rule for the Kingdom for everyone as it applies) of a Jew saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you (salvation and redemption is of the Jews-John 4.22-24).”

As far as the question to keep fasting as in Zech 7.3, Yehovah will change the fast days into days of rejoicing if Israel loves the truth.  What we do know is that Yehovah told Ezekiel in Ezek 24.16-24 not to mourn the destruction of the Temple. 

Posted in All Teachings, Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *