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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah

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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah 8: The Lord promises to bless Jerusalem

 

[Preliminary Comment: The main feature of this chapter is the number of times Zechariah declares, “This is what the Lord Almighty says”, each one emphasizing the particular point the Lord who is sovereign is making. We will let each ‘sub-heading speak for itself with just limited additional notes.]

 

 

v.1,2 The Lord's jealousy for Jerusalem is what provokes Him to speak now

v.1  The word of the Lord Almighty came to me.

v.2 This is what the Lord Almighty say: ‘I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her.'

 

v.3 He declares His intent to return to Jerusalem

v.3  This is what the Lord says: ‘I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City, and the mountain of the Lord Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain.'

 

[Notes: The Lord had left Jerusalem, as Ezekiel had witnessed [see Ezek 10:4, 11:23] and so now the Lord makes very clear His intention to return because of all He has felt for this city down through the centuries – hence His ‘jealousy'.]

 

v.4,5 Security will come to the city resulting in the return of the aged and the young

v.4   This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age.

v.5  The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there.'

 

v.6 What seems amazing to you, is easy [ordinary?] for me

v.6 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘It may seem marvellous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvellous to me?' declares the Lord Almighty.

 

v.7,8 I WILL return the scattered exiles and bring them back here

v.7  This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west.

v.8  I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God.'

 

[Notes: Peace & security will return to Jerusalem in an action that is not difficult for God, to bring all His scattered people home.]

 

v.9 Be secure in this new day so you can complete the building of the temple

v.9   This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Now hear these words, “Let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built.” This is also what the prophets said who were present when the foundation was laid for the house of the Lord Almighty.

 

v.10,11 When it was started [ten years ago] it was tough, but that has changed

v.10  Before that time there were no wages for people or hire for animals. No one could go about their business safely because of their enemies, since I had turned everyone against their neighbour.

v.11  But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past,' declares the Lord Almighty.

 

[Notes: All of this should encourage you in your rebuilding work that will be completed under the good hand of the Lord.]

 

v.12 My blessing will mean fruitfulness to make you a blessing in the earth

v.12  ‘The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people.

 

v.13 You may have been cursed in the past, but now you are blessed

v.13  Just as you, Judah and Israel, have been a curse among the nations, so I will save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong.'

 

v.14,15 Although I was angry previously, that is passed and it's time for blessing

v.14 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Just as I had determined to bring disaster on you and showed no pity when your ancestors angered me,' says the Lord Almighty,

v.15  ‘so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid.

 

[Notes: The curses of the past are passed and now the blessing of the Lord on the present will mean fruitfulness and abundance.]

 

v.16,17 Just make sure you do these things to express your righteousness

v.16  These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts;

v.17  do not plot evil against each other, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this,' declares the Lord .

 

v.18,19 Your fasts will turn into joyful festivals

v.18  The word of the Lord Almighty came to me.

v.19 This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace.'

 

[Notes: As you more fully enter into being this righteous people of God joy will replace the mourning you have known in the past.]

 

v.20-22 Many peoples will gather here in Jerusalem

v.20   This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come,

v.21  and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, “Let us go at once to entreat the Lord and seek the Lord Almighty. I myself am going.”

v.22  And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord Almighty and to entreat him.'

 

v.23 Many nations will want to be with you, seeing God is with you

v.23   This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘In those days ten people from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, “Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.”'

 

[Notes: The outcome of all this is that you will be seen by the whole world and they will come to you to share in the blessing from God – His very presence with you.]

   

    

Continue to Chapter 9