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The Book of Zechariah
Chapter 8

The 11th Prophecy in Zechariah (Zec.8:3-8) unfulfilled). Next one: (Zec.8:11)

Chapter 8 is God's third explanation to the people concerning their question about ritual fasts. Why hasn't God blessed us? His first answer was: "When the heart is right, the ritual is all right." His second answer was: "When the heart is wrong, the ritual is wrong." In other words, the ritual does NOT have anything to do with it! It is the heart that is important! Some commentators say that chapter 7 is the negative part of the answer, while chapter 8 is the positive answer to this question. God's purpose concerning Jerusalem is not changed by ANY ritual. Whether you go through a ritual or you do not go through it, you are NOT going to change God's plan and purpose. He will carry through His plan and His purpose, no matter what you or I do.

There are 5 words in this chapter that are important. The meaning of this chapter hangs on these words.

  • #1. First is the phrase, "Lord of hosts." "The Lord of hosts" occurs 18 times in this chapter.
  • #2. "Jerusalem" occurs six times, and Zion occurs twice. Jerusalem is a city located in Israel. When God says Jerusalem, He means Jerusalem, NOT London, Washington, D.C., Rome or Los Angeles or any other place.
  • #3. The word "jealous" occurs three times, in verse 2.
  • #4. The word "remnant" occurs twice Zec.8:6,12. A remnant from all twelve tribes returned to the land, not a remnant just from the two southern tribes. There were very few, even from Judah, who came back.
  • #5. "Thus saith the Lord," occurs ten times. When God keeps repeating this, it means "thus saith the Lord" . . . NOT the prophet, not you, not me.

Some commentators believe that chapter 8 brings the Ten Commandments down on the people of Israel even more so than chapter 7. The last part of chapter 7, the Ten Commandments came down on them, and they were found wanting. They did NOT measure up to God's standard at all. In the first eight verses of chapter 8, we see that God's ultimate purpose has NOT changed concerning Israel, the land, and Jerusalem. At present, God is not fulfilling any prophecy concerning Israel. He is dealing today with the church; He is calling out a body of believers in the church (Rom.11:25). It seems God has a quota of Gentiles to be brought into church, before He takes action on Israel again.

The church and Israel are two entirely separate entities. When God gets through calling out the church, He will turn to the people of Israel again. The prophecies in chapter 8 are simply saying that Israel's return to the land in Zechariah's day was very small . . . just a tiny picture, of the return to the land that shall come in the future.

Zechariah 8:1 Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, (KJV)

Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me saying . . . as the word of reproof in chapter 7, so the word of consolation in this chapter, was from God.

The Lord of hosts . . . God assured the Jews that what He promises, He can do, and in this chapter, many great things are promised.

Zechariah 8:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. (KJV)

Thus saith the LORD of hosts . . . means this is God speaking!

I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy . . . (Zec.1:14) God was jealous in the past, and is now. "Jealous for Zion" . . . with the passion of a husband (Isa.54:5); mixed of love, care, protection and anger. God had greatly loved Zion, had been concerned with her honor and welfare, and was displeased with her sins.

When God says that He is jealous, it is not the same as man's jealousy, but He does have the same thing in mind. If you think that you can live comfortably in this world of sin, serving the devil, and then go to church on Sunday, supposedly serving God . . . you are wrong! It will NOT work! You won't make it, my friend. IF you are a TRUE child of God, and you try this, He will come down hard on you. He will judge you. If you are living like that, and get by with it, it means that you are NOT God's child, because He is jealous of those who are His. He has told us concerning sin in our lives, "For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged" (1 Cor.11:31). And we are also told, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 Jn.1:9). Sin MUST be confessed. You CANNOT have fellowship with God and have sin in your life.

Zechariah 8:3 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. (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord, I am returned to Zion . . . to the temple then being built, and almost finished, and the worship of God restored in it.

And will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem . . . or "cause my Shekinah to dwell there." For more on Shekinah, see: http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/13537-shekinah

And Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth . . . when Christ, who is "Truth" itself (Jn.14:6), was in the Temple, the Truths of the Gospel were preached there by Him and His apostles, and they were received and professed by many, although despised by others. In the latter day, the Jews shall finally generally and cordially embrace Christ Jesus and His Gospel, and shall "worship God in spirit and in truth" (Jn.4:24), and not in the shadowy, formal and hypocritical way they do now (Isa.1:26). This shall especially be true of the New Jerusalem. Rev.21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life. (KJV)

The mountain of the Lord of hosts . . . which will be established upon the top of the mountains, and where the Lord will be seen and exalted in His glory, even the Lamb, with the hundred and forty four thousand with Him (Isa.2:2; Rev.14:1).

The holy mountain . . . where the Holy Word of God will be preached, the holy ordinances administered, and holiness of life will be strictly attended to; yea, "in that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD" (Zec.14:20).

Zechariah 8:4 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. (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . these words are used with every comforting Promise given by the Lord.

There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem . . . meaning that the inhabitants would be very healthy; no disease or calamity would be among them, and they would live to old age.

And every man with his staff in his hand for very age . . . tranquil and prosperous shall the nation be that wars shall no longer prematurely cut off the people: men and women shall reach advanced ages. The promise of long life was esteemed one of the greatest blessings in the Jewish theocracy with its temporal rewards of obedience (Ex.20:12; Deut.4:40), so this is a main feature in millennial blessedness (Isa.65:20-22). "For very age" is literally, for multitude of days. Millennium: (Gen.5:5,27; Job 5:26; Ps.92:12-14; Isa.62:8-9; 65:9,15; Jer.31:5; Amos 9:14; Rev.20:3-6).

Zechariah 8:5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. (KJV)

And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls . . . meaning an increase of inhabitants, in a literal sense; and may spiritually mean large numbers of converts, who are regenerated by the grace and Spirit of God.

Playing the streets thereof . . . Jerusalem shall be in peace, good health, and plenty, parents shall not fear danger to their children (Ps.128:1-6; Isa.11:1-9; 65:17-25; Zep.3:11-13; Zec.9:9-10; 14:16-21; Mat.16:18-19; 26:29; Mk.14:25; Heb.8:11; Rev.14:6; Rev. 20:1-15).

Zechariah 8:6 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. (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . this is repeated for the same end as before; see verse 4.

If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days . . . the things promised may seem strange and difficult, if not impossible. Either in the then present days and time; the sense is, it would seem wonderful and scarcely possible to the small number of the Jews in Judea, that all the great and good things before promised should be fulfilled . . . or maybe in the times of the Gospel, when the remnant, according to the election of grace (Rom.6:14-15), would wonder at the marvelous loving kindness of the Lord.

Should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts . . . no, because it was NOT impossible for Him to do (Mat.19:26). It shall be done, as marvellous and unbelievable as it may seem to be. These words are as an affirmation; that God would do that which was marvellous, He said He would and He shall do it!
Question 26. Next one, Zec.13:6.

Zechariah 8:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold . . . as being something wonderful, of great importance, and deserving attention.

I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country . . . this does not mean bringing those Jews that remained in Babylon, and other places, to their own land, because Babylon was north of Judea (Zec.6:6), and at that time, there were no Jews in the western part of the world. Now they are mainly in the east and west, from where they will be gathered at the time of their general conversion. This may refer to the times of the apostles of Christ, and to their ministry in the several parts of the world, who went forth, east, west, north, and south, and were the means and instruments of saving the Lord's people, both Jews and Gentiles, wherever they came, from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same (Ps.1:1; 113:3; Mal.1:11).

Zechariah 8:8 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. (KJV)

And I will bring them . . . though many things hinder, none shall keep them from returning. The Lord will lead the way, and guard them in it, supplying their necessities, giving strength to the weak and hope to the depressed. He shall bring them to Zion, into the church of God, the Gospel fold, where Christ Jesus has brought His "other sheep" (Jn.10:16), that there may be just ONE fold for Jew and Gentile (Jer.3:14-17).

And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem . . . they shall settle in Jerusalem. They shall be God's people; a peculiar people to obey and honor Him (Jer.30:22; 31:33; 32:37-38; Eze.11:20). It shall be the household of God, for there shall be no more foreigners and strangers, but all enjoying the protection and privileges of Jerusalem, that shall be the gathering place of all people. Israel brought home to dwell in safety: (Lev.26:12; Jer.3:17-18; 4:2; 23:8; 30:22; 31:1,33; 32:38-41; Eze.11:20; 36:28; 37:25,27; Hos.2:19-23; Joel 3:20; Amos 9:14-15; Ob.1:17-21; Zep.3:14-20; Zec.13:9; 2 Cor.6:16-18; Rev.21:3,7)

And they shall be my people . . . Jews and Gentiles appear to be so by effectual calling; which makes those clearly to be the people of God, to be in the covenant of His grace (Rom.6:14-15), who before were not known to be so, either by themselves or others (Rom.9:6-8; Gal.3:26-28; 1 Pet.2:10).

And I will be their God, in truth, and in righteousness . . . according to the covenant of His grace, which will now in a very open manner be truly and faithfully fulfilled; and they, because of the grace bestowed on them, will worship God in sincerity and truth (Josh.24:14), being justified by the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor.1:30; Rom.5:1), and so will have no dependence on their own righteousnesses (Isa.64:6) for their acceptance with God (Hos.2:19-20).

Zechariah 8:9 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. (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Let your hands be strong . . . to go on with the building of the Temple, which represents the church of God (Hag.2:4). Many great and good things were promised by the Lord. They should be of good courage, as they look forward with hope to the expectation of God's Promise, and the doing their duty.

Ye that hear in these days . . . such as Zerubbabel the ruler, Joshua the high priest and the Jews who returned to the land. This is said to revive their courage as they hear God's Word proposing great things. "In these days" . . . the days of Darius Hystaspes, in these days of hope from Darius favorably helping, but most from God assisting and blessing.

These words by the mouth of the prophets . . . the words, promises, exhortations and counsels, which were delivered by the prophets Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.

Which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid . . . which was in the second year of Darius, on the twenty fourth day of the ninth month (Hag.2:10).

That the temple might be built . . . the foundation had been laid; and from that time it was to continue building, until it was finished.

Zechariah 8:10 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. (KJV)

For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast . . . before they started to build the Temple. For eighteen years, there was no hire; reward or recompense, no profit by the labor of man or beast, sowing or planting (Hag.1:6-11; 2:15-17; Mal.3:10-11), meaning that although the poor Jew labored and received wages, it did NOT profit him, for God "blasted" it because of their disobedience. Any wages earned were as if they were put "into a bag with holes," did NOT prosper with them, or do them any service (Hag.1:6).

Neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in, because of the affliction . . . there was no safety in their passing to and fro, nor any peaceable enjoyment of what any man had, because of affliction and oppression by the enemy on every side . . . NO safety, NO content and NO rest at home or abroad. Nothing they did prospered as they might have hoped because of the affliction. Distress and want plagued all their labor, giving a great barren feeling, because of sin.

For I set all men everyone against his neighbour . . . "For I" meaning Almighty God, just and holy! "Set all men everyone against his neighbour" . . . this expresses the internal divisions and contentions among themselves, which is said to be "of the Lord," because He had permitted them as a chastisement upon them for their sins. Chastisement: (Lev.26:28; Deut.11:2,9; 2 Sam.7:14-15; 2 Chron.6:24-31; 7:13-14; Job 5:17; 33:19; Ps.6:1; 38:1; 73:14; 89:32; 94:12-13; 94:13; 101:3; 106:43-44; 107:17-21,23-31; 118:18; 119:67,75; Pro.3:11-12; Isa.26:16; 42:25; 53:4-5; 57:16-18; Jer.2:30; 30:14; 31:18-20; 46:28; Lam.1:5; Hos.7:12; 10:10; Hag.2:17; Heb.12:5-11; Rev.3:19).

In America today, people have just about forgotten all about God! There are just a minimum few (Mat.7:13-14) in public life today: the rich, the famous, the government, etc. . . . who make ANY reference to Him at all EXCEPT to ridicule Him and blaspheme Him! Jesus' Holy Name cannot be used in public prayer, BUT, is CAN be used publicly in blasphemy! NO problem there! The Name of "Jesus" is being forbidden to be spoken by "Christian" chaplains in the armed forces today!
http://www.wnd.com/2007/01/39655/
http://www.jesus-is-savior.com/Evils%20in%20America/Apostasy/military-no_jesus.htm
http://us.altermedia.info/news-of-interest-to-white-people/military-chaplins-in-mid-east-cant-say-jesus_1271.html

Matthew 7:13-14 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV)
When I think of these Words of Jesus, I see just how true they are! God is being left out in the cold today by the vast majority of people, world-wide! There shall be billions of people who shall have as their eternal 'home' HELL!
Isaiah 57:20-21 But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. 21 There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked. (KJV)
We know when we do wrong! Any sin from you or me, makes the purity and holiness of God turn away from us. We can have NO peace with God unless we confess our sin (1 Jn.1:9).

Zechariah 8:11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts. (KJV)

But now I will not be unto the residue of this people . . . "residue" is the remnant brought out of captivity, settled in the land, and now were rebuilding the temple.

As in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts . . . when they neglected the house of the Lord, caring only for their own "cieled houses" (2 Chron.3:5; Jer.22:14; Eze.4:16; Hag.1:2-4). God tells them, "I will not bless you as you are now or as you were before I sent you into captivity, but I will bless you."

The 12th prophecy in Zechariah (Zec.8:11-13) fulfilled. Next one: (Zec.8:19).

Zechariah 8:12 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. (KJV)

For the seed shall be prosperous . . . a Promise! Seed put into the earth, shall spring up and produce a large increase; where before, although they sowed much, little was harvested (Hag.1:6).

The vine shall give her fruit . . . grape vines would be loaded with clusters, and produce large quantities of wine; where before there was a drought, and where there should have been 50 vessels out of the press, there were just 20 (Hag.1:11; 2:16).

And the ground shall give her increase . . . meaning wheat and barley; where before there was a drought upon the corn, and where there used to be "an heap of twenty measures, there were but ten" (Hag.1:11; 2:16).

And the heavens shall give their dew . . . moisture which makes the Earth fruitful; where before the heaven over them was stayed from dew, and instead of it were blasting, mildew, and hail (Hag.1:10; 2:17).

And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things . . . as a symbol of better things to come by the remnant according to the "election of grace" (Rom.6:14-15; 11:5-8); and who have the promise both of this life and that to come; and who, seeking first spiritual things, shall have all others added to them (Mat.6:33; Lk.12:31).

God brought prosperity to Israel for a time. The great judgment came upon them when they rejected the Messiah. Titus the Roman destroyed Jerusalem and scattered the people throughout the Roman Empire. They have never returned from that dispersion, according to the Word of God.

Zechariah 8:13 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. (KJV)

And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen . . . Israel was/is reproached, vilified, and called accursed by heathens (Jer.24:9-10); just as TRUE Christians, and real believers in Christ are "as the filth of the world" by the men of this world (1 Cor.4:12-13).

O house of Judah, and house of Israel . . . both being carried captive at different times, and were typical of the true and spiritual Israel of God.

So will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing . . . the Jews shall be blessed in themselves with the above blessings of plenty and prosperity in outward things (Hag.2:19) and a blessing to others, and blessed by them. All those who are saved in the Lord Jesus Christ, have an everlasting salvation are blessed "with all spiritual blessings" in Him (Eph.1:3).

Once saved, always saved! http://www.hisservants.org/OSAS_1_eternal_security_h_s.htm
Blessings: (Gen.12:3; 22:17; Lev.26:4-6; Num.10:32; Deut.28:1-14; Ps.81:16; 103:1; Pro.28:20; Isa.30:23; Joel 2:26; Amos 9:13; Zec.10:1; Mal.3:10; Mat.6:33; Lk.12:31-32; 18:30).

Fear not, but let your hands be strong . . . fear neither their enemies, or the accomplishment of these Promises. "But let your hands be strong" (Zec.8:9).

Israel has become a curse among the nations. Anti-Semitism is growing throughout the world. BUT . . . God says, "When I save them and bring them back to that land, they are going to be a blessing to the world." I believe that the nation of Israel will be the priests for the Gentile nations of the Earth (Rev.7).

Zechariah 8:14 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: (KJV)

For thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . this again is assurance to them of the Truth of what He promised. He brought up the fulfillment of what He had threatened, because He is as true and faithful in the one as in the other. He CANNOT lie (Tit.1:2). Whatever He promises, He shall fulfill!

As I thought to punish you . . . the Lord was determined to punish them for their continued sin and disobedience to Him, by their being carried away captive to Babylon. He said that He would do it, and He did!

Captivity of Judah in Babylon, prophecy of: (Isa.39:6-7; Jer.5:19; 7:15; 13:19; 15:14; 20:4-5; 22:12,22,26; 25:2-11; 32:28)
Fulfilled: (2 Ki.24:11-16; 2 Ki.25; 2 Chron.36; Jer.52:28-30).
Jews return from Babylon: (Ezra 2; Ezra 3; Ezra 8)
As a judgment to Israel: (Ezra 5:12; 9:7; Isa.5:13; Jer.29:17-19; Lam.1:3-5; Eze.39:23-24)

When your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts . . . by their immorality, idolatry and contempt of His prophets. Time and time again, Israel failed the Lord. BUT, do not be so quick to judge them . . . what about you?

http://www.hisservants.org/israel%27s_ten_failures_h_s.htm

And I repented not . . . God NEVER went back on His Word. When He resolved in His heart, and declared it by His prophets, that He would punish them; He did NOT repent of, revoke, change and/or alter His Plan, but steadfastly stood by it, and executed it.

In this section we look forward to the time when God is going to make Jerusalem the capital of this Earth. God says that NOTHING can detour or detract Him from His plan and purpose. This shall be carried out by His marvelous and infinite grace. God shall have mercy on whom He will have mercy, and compassion on whom He will have compassion (Rom.9:15-16; Ex.33:19). God will show mercy and grace to those whom He will show mercy and grace. It is NOT what we do in works, for it is the Lord Jesus Christ who shows mercy on all those who accept Him!

Zechariah 8:15 So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not. (KJV)

So again . . . or "so I am returned" (Zec.8:3).

Have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah . . . by bestowing the above mentioned blessings on them. As the Lord of hosts has thought, so it shall come to pass, exactly as He has purposed and planned, so it shall stand . . . whatever He determines; be it for evil or for good (Isa.14:24).

Fear ye not . . . as in (Zec.8:13).

Going through the ritual or omitting the ritual is NOT why God has mercy on people. He said that He would bless the people, and one day out in the future, He would deal with them again, by doing a glorious thing upon the Earth. He is looking on down to the time of the Millennium. Since the Jews shall represent God in the end times, it means that they CANNOT do as they please. They must obey God. The grace and mercy of God extended to them and us does NOT mean that we can live any kind of life, although some people believe this.

http://www.hisservants.org/a_1_a_license_to_sin.htm

See what God says now:

Zechariah 8:16 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: (KJV)

These are the things that ye shall do . . . certain duties were required of them. They were to perform these things, under a sense of the favors bestowed upon them, to show their gratitude to God, and that they might glorify Him by doing so.

Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour . . . NO deceit, NO distortion, NO lying (Eph.4:25), and my dear friend, it should be so with every person in the Gospel dispensation. And too, according to the "gift" (Mat.25:15; Rom.12:4-6; 1 Pet.4:10-11) we have received, we must speak, publish and declare the Truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Mk.1:1; 2 Thes.1:8), to the edification of others (Mat.28:19-20).

Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates . . . meaning execute TRUE judgment (Zec.7:9-10), do justice between man and man, without "respect of persons;" the result of which will be peace between the contending parties: and this was to be done in their "gates" (Deut.16:18; 17:8; 21:19; 25:6-7), because it was there their courts of justice were kept. No respect of persons: (Deut.1:17; 16:19; 2 Chron.19:7; Pro.24:23; 28:21; Acts 10:34; Rom.2:11; Eph.6:9; Col.3:25; Jam.2:1,9; 1 Pet.1:17).

Zechariah 8:17 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. (KJV)

And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour . . . (Zec.7:10). Hatred without a cause (Jn.15:25) is wrong! 1 John 3:15 Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. (KJV)

And love no false oath . . . where the character and property of a fellow human is hurt; nor any vain oath, which the Jews were addicted to (Mat.5:34-37).

For all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord . . . all were contrary to His nature and to His Law; thus they should be hated and avoided by men.

We all have seen bumper stickers that say that "GOD IS LOVE." God IS love (1 Jn.4:8), and that is wonderful! BUT . . . according to this verse . . . God also hates! You cannot love something without hating something else. If you love the Truth, then you must hate lies. If you love your child, you will hate a ferocious dog. You would kill that dog before it hurt your child. God does hate! He hates lies, he hates covetousness, He hates disobedience, He hates sin! He hates many things that goes on in this world today.

Zechariah 8:18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying, (KJV)

And the word of the Lord of hosts came unto me, saying . . . a new prophecy begins here, concerning the abolishing of Jewish fasts, and the calling of the Gentiles.

Zechariah 8:19 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. (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . what follows is a full answer to the question in Zec.7:3.

The fast of the fourth month . . . the month Tammuz, which answers to June. Some say this was kept on the ninth day of the month, because the city of Jerusalem was broken up on that day (2 Ki.25:3), while others and the Jewish calendar say this was on the seventeenth day of that month, because the two tables of the law were supposedly broken that day (Ex.32:19). For a list of the dates of Jewish festivals and fasts, see:
http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/3921-calendar

And the fast of the fifth . . . the month Ab, which answers to July, on the tenth of which the city was burnt (Jer.52:12-13), but the fast was kept on the ninth day (Zec.7:3), on which day the Jews say that both the first and second temple were destroyed. Jewish months: http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm

And the fast of the seventh . . . the month Tisri is September; on the third of this month a fast was kept on account of the murder of Gedaliah (Jer.41:1-18), and on the tenth day of the same month was the day of atonement, which was the great fast (Acts 27:9).

And the fast of the tenth . . . the month Tebet would be December, on the tenth day of this month, the city of Jerusalem was besieged by Nebuchadnezzar; and this fast was kept on that account (Jer.52:4). Now of all these fasts, the Lord, by the prophet says, they:

Shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts . . . meaning that there shall be no more reason for them, because now, the opposite shall apply . . . there shall be an abundance of good things, both temporal and spiritual; and that, instead of fasts, festivals should be kept with the great cheerfulness, joy and gladness. So all these previous fasts shall cease in the times of the Messiah, with all the others, for it will be a time of joy and gladness.

Therefore love the truth and peace . . . love to speak truth, and execute the judgment of peace (Zec.8:16), or express by words and deeds love to Christ Jesus, who is "the way, the truth, and the life" (Jn.14:6); and also is our Peace (Eph.2:14), the Peacemaker (Isa.9:6), and Peace giver (Jn.14:27). Because of these and many others, Christ Jesus is greatly to be loved, also His Gospel (Mk.1:1; Rom.15:29), which is "the word of truth" (2 Cor.6:7), and the "Gospel of peace" (Rom.10:15; Eph.6:15); which contains NOTHING BUT TRUTH, and is "the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor.5:18), and is to be loved on that account.

I think what God is saying to us today is: "Don't come before Me with a long face and and a put-on pious look. I want you to come before Me with joy and gladness because of all I have done for you." Being a child of God (Jn.1:12-13; 3:3-8), being a "Christian" should make us eternally grateful! It should make us run to the Word of God, because we want to know more about Him. There is something dreadfully wrong, if studying the Word of God is not on your agenda.

The 13th prophecy in Zechariah (Zec.8:19-23). (Zec.8:19) fulfilled; (Zec.8:20-23) unfulfilled). Next one: (Zec.9:1).

Zechariah 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts, It shall yet come to pass . . . this solemn testimony is that of the Lord of hosts, Who shall do that great thing next promised. This calls both for our heeding and believing it, for it is something that shall surely be accomplished.

That there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities . . . multitudes of people, the inhabitants of many and great cities. The Gentiles shall come and hear the Gospel and believe in Christ, and join together in a Gospel church as they did at Antioch, Thessalonica, Corinth, and many other places (Acts 2:41,47; 4:4; 5:14; 6:7; 9:31; 11:21,24; 14:1; 16:5; 17:4; 18:8).

Zechariah 8:21 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. (KJV)

And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another . . . this shows their concern for the spiritual welfare of each other, their zeal for the honor and glory of God, and their readiness to attend worship of Almighty God. They shall express themselves by way of example and encouragement.

Saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord . . . in going let us hold on constantly and cheerfully (Isa.2:3; Mic.4:2). Prayer, is to go to the Lord and to ask for forgiveness of sin, encouragement in our walk with the Lord, and His amazing grace which we all need as we live this life on Earth. Prayer is simply talking with the Lord! It is NOT "vain repititions." Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. (KJV)

And to seek the Lord of hosts . . . by prayer and supplication (pleading). "To seek the Lord of hosts" is to daily learn the Truths of His Gospel; to know His will for us, and know the right way to worship Him. It is also to seek Christ Jesus for eternal life, for there is NO other way to God the Father! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (KJV)

I will go also . . . foretelling a readiness with the invited, they shall with much zeal embrace the Gospel of Jesus Christ as others did.

This looks to the FACT that Jerusalem shall become the capital of the Earth, both the political capital and also the religious capital. It looks forward to the time that we call the Millennium, the "thousand years" (Rev.20:1-7).

Zechariah 8:22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD. (KJV)

Yea, many people, and strong nations . . . this verse both confirms and illustrates the former. There it was people (vs.20), here it is many people, mighty or great; not just the poor, and contemptible. In contrast to the few and weak Jews now building the temple and city, then such shall be their influence that many and strong nations shall come to worship the Lord their God in Jerusalem (Isa.60:3; 66:23). Strong nations shall submit to the Gospel.

Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem . . . literally understood you have the first fruits of them mentioned in Acts 2:9-11. Spiritually, Jerusalem is the church of Christ, or the state of it in the times of the Gospel (Ps.110:2; Isa.2:3). This means Jerusalem! There is little Christianity there today, but it will become the center of God's government during the Millennium. Some people do not believe there will be a "Millennium." They do not believe that God will turn to Israel ever again or that He will ever turn again to Jerusalem. They think that God is through with the people of Israel. They are WRONG! Zechariah makes it quite clear that God is NOT through with Jerusalem and He is NOT through with the nation Israel.

And to pray before the Lord . . . join in public prayer, and other ordinances of the Gospel. "And to pray before the Lord" is also in the verse 21, meaning that the Lord, and HE alone, should be the object of prayer. NO prayer is to be made to any creature, or to any idol made with hands, or anything they had prayed to before . . . but to the One and only living and true God: the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, Who is omniscient, Who knows all persons and their views in their petitions to Him, and knows if these come from a true heart for all things are naked and open unto him (Isa.65:1-2).

Zechariah 8:23 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. (KJV)

Thus saith the Lord of hosts . . . for the further confirmation and illustration of this prophecy, once more the Lord affirms this as His plan, and so His work as His purpose, and He would put it into effect.

In those days it shall come to pass . . . this shall be done in the times of the preaching of the Gospel by Christ and His apostles. In the days which shall be the shadow of better, many in the provinces of that mighty kingdom became Jews; but in the Millennium it shall be more full.

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 . . . "out of all languages" NO nation will be excluded.

Which may be understood of our Lord Jesus Christ; who was a Jew by nation, the Jews being His own people (Jn.1:11), and Judea His nation; by descent, He springing from the tribe of Judah, and the family of David; by religion, being under the Jewish law; by His habit and dress, and by His language, the woman of Samaria knew He was a Jew (Jn.4:9), and very probably He wore the fringe the Jews did on the border of his garment (Mat.9:20).

"Of him that is a Jew" . . . to whom the Gospel was first preached (Rom.1:16; 2:9-10), and who were the first preachers of it (Acts 1:13-14; ch.2), as were the apostles, and the seventy disciples (Lk.10:1,17).

"Take hold of the skirt" . . . is a gesture of pleading appeal as to a superior (Lk.8:45-47). The Gentiles in the last days shall eagerly seek to share the religious privileges of the Jew. The skirt with a fringe and blue ribbon upon it (Num.15:38; Deut.22:12) was a distinguishing mark of a Jew.

Saying, We will go with you . . . with Christ, resolving to follow Him where ever He goes; to abide by His Truths and ordinances; to walk in His ways, no matter what they suffer for His Name's sake (Ruth 1:16).

For we have heard that God is with you . . . with Christ, as He always was (Jn.8:29; 16:32); in the council and covenant of grace before time, and at the beginning of time (Jn.1:1-2) to His incarnation (Luke ch.2); and during His state of humiliation (Jn.12:27-29), and in His sufferings and death (Lk.22:39-43; Mat.28:2-6).

"For we have heard" . . . and now see, believe, and are assured, that God, the TRUE God, Whom to know is eternal life. 1 John 5:20 And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life. (KJV) . . . Heathen gods are vanity, a doctrine of lies and a destructive cheat. They must be cast off, and NOT to be trusted. Only "the TRUE and Almighty God can be with you," a heathen god can NEVER be "with you."

When God comes to us with His amazing grace and mercy, we must meet Him with great joy and gratitude! We must be faithful and honest in all our dealings; and it should be a pleasure to us to do so. We must strive to live peaceably with all men (Rom.12:16-18), and let the Truths of God rule in our hearts and heads. It is good, and a blessing to be with those who have God with them. And IF we take God for our God, then we must take His people for our people. We should be examples of Christ, so that others may want to go with us, and to have their portion with us in the eternal realm of Heaven.

Book of Zachariah

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