Zechariah 8 - Outline of Zechariah (MENU page)
I. Symbolic Visions - Israel's Messianic Hope: Sure (ch. 1-6)
  1. Introduction and Message of Warning, 1:1-6
  2. Ten Visions, 1:7 - 6:15
II. Historic Traditions - Israel's Religion: Misdirected (ch. 7,8)
  1. Question Concerning a Religious Ritual: Fasting (7:1-3)
  2. Answer in four messages, which are each introduced by: "the Word of the LORD came" (7:4- 8:23)
    1. Israel's ritual: empty, through disregard of God's Word (7:4-7)
    2. Israel's ruin: cut off, through disregard of God's Word (7:8-14)
    3. Israel's restoration (historic and future): sure, in fulfillment of God's Word (8:1-17)
    4. Israel's rejoicing (future): overflowing, through love of the Truth (8:18-23)
1. Again the word of the LORD of hosts came [to me], saying,
2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
3 Thus saith the LORD;
I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem:
and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth;
and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem,
and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
I was jealous... I am returned...- The LORD Himself is the active agent here.
Israel's restoration will not come about through their religious rituals, but rather in accord with His purposes (as described in His Word which they had despised), and through His power (the same power which He had exercised in judging them).
I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy...-
God's jealousy for Jerusalem, and for His people has two sides:
  • Ardent zeal that His people be separated unto Him, which is manifested in His anger against their sin. Psa 78:58,59
  • Ardent zeal that His people be protected from His enemies, which is manifested in His vengeance against the heathen nations for mistreating Israel. Zech 1:14-16; Isa 42:13,14; 63:4-6
I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem... shall be called a city of truth... the holy mountain.-
In Zechariah's day, the LORD had "returned to Jerusalem with mercies" to allow a remnant of His people to rebuild the destroyed city (Zech 1:16). But the city will not become the city of truth, the holy mountain, until the millenial Kingdom of Messiah, when the LORD will literally dwell in the midst of Jerusalem (Isa 12:1-6; Jer 30:10,11; Zech 2:10; Joel 3:16,17).
There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem...-
During Israel's years of trouble, the Jewish people have either been exiles from their city, or lacked peace and security while living there. But in the Kingdom of Messiah, Jerusalem and its people will enjoy unending quietness and peace. cp. Lam 2:20,21; 5:11-15; Isa 65:17-22
...and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls...-
The city's streets will be safe for children because terrorism and other dangers will be banished from the kingdom. The fact that the city will be "full of boys and girls" speaks of an abundance of children, which indicates the LORD's blessing on the nation (Zech 2:4,5; Jer 30:19,20; 31:27; 33:11).
6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days,
should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
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.
If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant... in these days...-
The restoration in view, in vs. 1-8, is that of the millenial Kingdom of the Messiah (cp. vs.7,8 with Amos 9:14,15; Zeph 3:14-20; Jer 31:1,33; 32:38,39; Hos 2:19-23; Rev 21:3). The description of that future day was "marvellous" {ie., wonderful, extraordinary, surpassing all power and expectation}, in the eyes of the recent returnees, because it far surpassed the situation in their day, when their efforts to restore and rebuild Jerusalem were being met with oppositon, and were falling far short of the former glory in the days of David and Solomon (whose glory fell short of the glories described here).
should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.-
Twenty-four times, in ch. 7-8 (cp., a total of 53 times in the entire book of Zechariah), the LORD chose to refer to Himself as "the LORD of hosts" {'hosts' is HB=tsaba, Sabaoth, that which goes forth, armies, warfare}. There is no god like the Everliving One who goes forth to war in behalf of His people Israel (Jer 10:16). As the Commander of the armies of heaven, it is He who secures Israel's future (cp. Jer 31:35,36).
  • It was the LORD of hosts, whose powerful Word the people had neglected (Zech 7:9-12a; Isa 5:7).
    God's Word is powerful, for it is inseparable from who He is and what He does. Of the 24 occurrences of "the LORD of hosts," in Zechariah ch. 7-8, eighteen refer directly to the Word which He has spoken (eg. vs. 1,2).
  • It was the LORD of hosts, whose powerful wrath scattered Israel to the nations (Zech 7:12b-14; Isa 9:19).
  • It is the LORD of hosts, who will restore and build Messiah's Kingdom, and who will dwell in the midst of His people in that day (vs. 1-8; Isa 47:4; 54:5).
  • It was the LORD of hosts, who would enable the work of the remnant in Zechariah's day (vs. 9-12; Psa 46:7,11), for that restoration foreshadowed the restoration of the future day.
9. Thus saith the LORD of hosts;
Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words
by the mouth of the prophets,
which [were] in the day [that] the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid,
that the temple might be built.
10 For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast;
neither [was there any] peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction:
for I set all men every one against his neighbour.
11 But now I [will] not [be] unto the residue of this people as in the former days,
saith the LORD of hosts.
12 For the seed [shall be] prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit,
and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew;
and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these [things].
Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words...-
by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid...-
Zechariah and Haggai were the prophets who ministered to the remnant as the foundation of the second Temple was being prepared (Ezr 5:1,2). The message of Haggai, in Haggai ch. 2, closely parallels Zechariah's message, here in ch. 7 - 8. (Compare the outline of Zech ch. 7-8, with the one below.)
  1. Hag 2:10-14, A Question of Clean versus unclean. (Empty worship: Unclean hearts are not made clean by association with sanctified objects. Rather, holy objects are rendered unholy by impure worshipers.)
  2. Hag 2:15-17, the "blasting" of judgment due to the nation's impurity.
  3. Hag 2:18-19, the blessing of God's Grace. (A day is coming when God will cleanse and renew the hearts of His people.)
  4. Hag 2:20-23, the future day of full restoration (foreshadowed by Zerubbabel, who pre-figures Christ in His Kingdom, Hag 2:1-9).
...now I will not be unto the residue {remnant} of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts.-
"In the former days" {ie., during the 70 years of Judah's captivity}, while Israel was suffering under judgment for their sin, peace and prosperity had been far from them. Separated from their homes and farms, they had been unemployed ('no hire'). The work that they had found had not been profitable. Hag 2:17
...for the seed shall be prosperous... and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.-
But now, the LORD promised to bless the recently returned remnant, as they gave themselves to the work of rebuilding the Temple. cp. Hag 1:6-15
13 And it shall come to pass, [that] as ye were a curse among the heathen,
O house of Judah, and house of Israel;
so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing:
fear not, [but] let your hands be strong.
14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts;
As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath,
saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
15 So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah:
fear ye not.
16 These [are] the things that ye shall do;
Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour;
execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour;
and love no false oath:
for all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD.
as I thought to punish you... so again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem...
God's promise to strengthen the remnant in the work of rebuilding was just as sure as His now fulfilled promise to judge their predecessors (as described in Zech 7:8-14).
these are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth...-
The returned remnant is warned to follow the LORD in truth (heeding the Word of God, which had been neglected by their fore-fathers). The whole nation will heed this call to righteousness, when the LORD's Word comes to full fruition, in the future kingdom of their Messiah (Isa 55:3-13).

18. And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying,
19 Thus saith the LORD 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 be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts;
therefore love the truth and peace.
the fast[s]... shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts...-
These fasts marked sorrowful events in Israel's history. They suffered these calamities in judgment for their rebellion against the LORD. Amos 8:10-12
  • the fast of the tenth month...- mourned the anniversary of Nebuchadnezzar's siege against Jerusalem 2Kin 25:1; Jer 39:1; 52:4; Eze 24:1,2
  • the fast of the fourth month...- mourned the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar (2Kin 25:3,4; Jer 39:2,3; 52:6,7).
  • the fast of the fifth month...- mourned the destruction of the city and Temple (2Kin 25:8,9; Jer 52:12,13).
    This fast was the subject of the initial question in this section of Zechariah (7:1-3) The fifth month is called 'Av.' To this day, the Jewish people regard "the ninth of Av" {Tisha B' Av}, as the anniversary of the destruction of both the first Temple (in 586 BC) and the second Temple (in 70 AD). Other tragic events in the history of Israel are also linked to this date by rabbinic tradition.
  • the fast of the seventh month...- marked the Day of Atonement for sin (Lev 16:29,30; 23:24-32).
    [The seventh month also included the fast of Gedaliah, as mentioned in the Book Notes at Zech 7:5.]
Today, many Jewish people continue to observe all of the above fasts, with sorrow, and with the hope that their afflictions will merit favor in the sight of God. They understand neither the emptiness of their religious works, nor the power of the One who works in their behalf, in whose salvation the believer may safely rest (Lev 23:31-32; cp. Rom 10:3,4).
...shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts...-
The things, once mourned, will become cause for rejoicing, through the work of the LORD of Hosts, in that day when He will tabernacle among them (v. 3; as illustrated by the Feast of Tabernacles, also in the seventh month, Lev 23:34-36; Zech 14:16):
20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; [It shall] yet [come to pass],
that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
21 And the inhabitants of one [city] shall go to another, saying,
Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts:
I will go also.
22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come
to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
(Isa 2:2-5; 60:1-3; Zech 2:11,12; Rev 21:22-26)
23 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days [it shall come to pass],
that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations,
even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew,
saying, We will go with you: for we have heard [that] God [is] with you.
(Isa 61:5,6)
The nations will come seeking the One who is the Glory of His people Israel (Isa 41:16; Luk 2:32), the Truth of God (Joh 1:14; 14:6), and 'God with us' ('Immanuel' Isa 7:14; Rev 21:3,4; Psa 46:8-11).

Click here to continue the study in Zechariah 9
Return to Zechariah - MENU page.

Limited permission is granted to copy & distribute these notes from www.theBookWurm.com


Go to The Book opening page.