Zechariah 8

 

וַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות לֵאמֹר׃   8:1

Zech. 8:1   And the word of the Lord of hosts occurred saying,

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות קִנֵּאתִי לְצִיֹּון קִנְאָה גְדֹולָה וְחֵמָה גְדֹולָה קִנֵּאתִי לָהּ׃   8:2

Zech. 8:2   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘I have a passion concerning Zion, a great passion and a great ‘rage;’ My passion is for her.’”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה שַׁבְתִּי אֶל־צִיֹּון וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְּתֹוךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְנִקְרְאָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם עִיר־הָאֱמֶת וְהַר־יְהוָה   8:3           צְבָאֹות הַר הַקֹּדֶשׁ׃

Zech. 8:3   “Thus says the Lord:  ‘I return to Zion and I shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the Holy Mountain.’”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות עֹד יֵשְׁבוּ זְקֵנִים וּזְקֵנֹות בִּרְחֹבֹות יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְאִישׁ מִשְׁעַנְתֹּו בְּיָדֹו מֵרֹב   8:4                 יָמִים׃

Zech. 8:4   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘Old men and old women shall yet sit in the plazas of Jerusalem, and each, one's staff in one's hand, because of an abundance of days.’”

וּרְחֹבֹות הָעִיר יִמָּלְאוּ יְלָדִים וִילָדֹות מְשַׂחֲקִים בִּרְחֹבֹתֶיהָ׃   8:5

Zech. 8:5   “And the plazas of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its broad places.”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות כִּי יִפָּלֵא בְּעֵינֵי שְׁאֵרִית הָעָם הַזֶּה בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם גַּם־בְּעֵינַי יִפָּלֵא נְאֻם יְהוָה   8:6      צְבָאֹות׃

Zech. 8:6   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘Because it will be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, it shall indeed be marvelous in My ‘eyes,’ declares the Lord of hosts.’”

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הִנְנִי מֹושִׁיעַ אֶת־עַמִּי מֵאֶרֶץ מִזְרָח וּמֵאֶרֶץ מְבֹוא הַשָּׁמֶשׁ׃   8:7

Zech. 8:7   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘Behold, I am saving My people from the land of the sunrise and from the land of the going of the sun,

וְהֵבֵאתִי אֹתָם וְשָׁכְנוּ בְּתֹוךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָם וְהָיוּ־לִי לְעָם וַאֲנִי אֶהְיֶה לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים בֶּאֱמֶת וּבִצְדָקָה׃   8:8

Zech. 8:8   and I shall bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and they shall be for a people to Me and I shall be for God to them, with truth and in righteousness.’”

In v. 8:7, the phrase “the land of the sunrise ... the land of the going of the sun” (sunset) is thought by some commentators to mean all the world.  Others consider the land of the sunrise to be Babylon and Persia and the land of the going of the sun to be Egypt and Assyria.  I am inclined to agree with the former commentators.  If the latter supposition were more accurate, I’d guess that the words for “land” would have been plural, “lands.”

כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות תֶּחֱזַקְנָה יְדֵיכֶם הַשֹּׁמְעִים בַּיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה אֵת הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה מִפִּי הַנְּבִיאִים   8:9    אֲשֶׁר בְּיֹום יֻסַּד בֵּית־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות הַהֵיכָל לְהִבָּנֹות׃

Zech. 8:9   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘Let your hands be strong, you hearing in these days these words from the mouth of the prophets who are in the time of foundation laying of the house of the Lord of hosts, of the Temple to be built,

כִּי לִפְנֵי הַיָּמִים הָהֵם שְׂכַר הָאָדָם לֹא נִהְיָה וּשְׂכַר הַבְּהֵמָה אֵינֶנָּה וְלַיֹּוצֵא וְלַבָּא אֵין־שָׁלֹום   8:10              מִן־הַצָּר וַאֲשַׁלַּח אֶת־כָּל־הָאָדָם אִישׁ בְּרֵעֵהוּ׃

Zech. 8:10   for before those days the hire of man was not done, or the hire of beast, nothing at all of it, and going out or coming in there was no peace from the foe, and I let every man each go at his neighbor.’

וְעַתָּה לֹא כַיָּמִים הָרִאשֹׁנִים אֲנִי לִשְׁאֵרִית הָעָם הַזֶּה נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאֹות׃   8:11

Zech. 8:11   ‘But now I am not to the remnant of this people as the earlier days,’ declares the Lord of hosts.”

כִּי־זֶרַע הַשָּׁלֹום הַגֶּפֶן תִּתֵּן פִּרְיָהּ וְהָאָרֶץ תִּתֵּן אֶת־יְבוּלָהּ וְהַשָּׁמַיִם יִתְּנוּ טַלָּם וְהִנְחַלְתִּי   8:12                     מִן־הַצָּר אֶת־שְׁאֵרִית הָעָם הַזֶּה אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה׃

Zech. 8:12   “For sowing shall be peaceful; the vine shall yield its fruit, and the land shall deliver up its produce, as the skies bestow their dew, and I shall have the remnant of this people inherit all of these.”

וְהָיָה כַּאֲשֶׁר הֱיִיתֶם קְלָלָה בַּגֹּויִם בֵּית יְהוּדָה וּבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל כֵּן אֹושִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם וִהְיִיתֶם בְּרָכָה   8:13            אַל־תִּירָאוּ תֶּחֱזַקְנָה יְדֵיכֶם׃

Zech. 8:13   “And it shall be, as you were a curse throughout the nations, house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall become a blessing.  Do not be afraid; let your hands be strong.”

כִּי כֹה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות כַּאֲשֶׁר זָמַמְתִּי לְהָרַע לָכֶם בְּהַקְצִיף אֲבֹתֵיכֶם אֹתִי אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות   8:14    וְלֹא נִחָמְתִּי׃

Zech. 8:14   “For thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘As I intended to do evil to you because of your fathers provoking Me,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I was not ‘sorry,’

כֵּן שַׁבְתִּי זָמַמְתִּי בַּיָּמִים הָאֵלֶּה לְהֵיטִיב אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְאֶת־בֵּית יְהוּדָה אַל־תִּירָאוּ׃   8:15

Zech. 8:15   so I reverse My intent in these days, making Jerusalem glad, and the house of Judah; do not fear.’”

אֵלֶּה הַדְּבָרִים אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשׂוּ דַּבְּרוּ אֱמֶת אִישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵהוּ אֱמֶת וּמִשְׁפַּט שָׁלֹום שִׁפְטוּ בְּשַׁעֲרֵיכֶם׃   8:16

Zech. 8:16   “These are the things that you shall do:  Speak truth, each of you faithfully with his neighbor, and execute sound judgment within your gates,

וְאִישׁ אֶת־רָעַת רֵעֵהוּ אַל־תַּחְשְׁבוּ בִּלְבַבְכֶם וּשְׁבֻעַת שֶׁקֶר אַל־תֶּאֱהָבוּ כִּי אֶת־כָּל־אֵלֶּה אֲשֶׁר   8:17      שָׂנֵאתִי נְאֻם־יְהוָה׃

Zech. 8:17   and each the evil of his neighbor you shall not value in your heart, and you shall not love a false oath, for it is all of these that I ‘hate,’ declares the Lord.”

וַיְהִי דְּבַר־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות אֵלַי לֵאמֹר׃   8:18

Zech. 8:18   And the word of the Lord of hosts occurred to me saying,

כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות צֹום הָרְבִיעִי וְצֹום הַחֲמִישִׁי וְצֹום הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְצֹום הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵית־יְהוּדָה   8:19 לְשָׂשֹׂון וּלְשִׂמְחָה וּלְמֹעֲדִים טֹובִים וְהָאֱמֶת וְהַשָּׁלֹום אֱהָבוּ׃

Zech. 8:19   “Thus says the Lord of hosts:  ‘The fast of the fourth, along with the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth, shall become for joy and gladness for the house of Judah, and for happy appointed times.  So love truthfulness and tranquility.”

This is fascinating.  There were four months in which fasts were observed at that time.  But the four fasts mentioned here were not Torah fasts.  The fast in the fourth month is assumed to be commemorative of the breach of the Jerusalem walls and the entrance of the Chaldeans into the city.  The fast in the fifth month is that mentioned in Zech. 7:5, the fast of Tishe B’Av.  The fast in the seventh month was also tentatively identified in that verse, likely commemorative of the murder of Gedaliah.  The fast in the tenth month is thought to be in memory of the day the Chaldeans began their siege of Jerusalem.  In any event, the Lord is saying in this verse that those fasts will no longer be necessary.  They will become joyous times.

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות עֹד אֲשֶׁר יָבֹאוּ עַמִּים וְיֹשְׁבֵי עָרִים רַבֹּות׃   8:20

Zech. 8:20   “The Lord of hosts says:  ‘Moreover, peoples and inhabitants who are of many cities shall come.’

וְהָלְכוּ יֹשְׁבֵי אַחַת אֶל־אַחַת לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה הָלֹוךְ לְחַלֹּות אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה וּלְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות   8:21    אֵלְכָה גַּם־אָנִי׃

Zech. 8:21   ‘And the inhabitants, each shall go to another saying, ‘Let us, by all means, go to entreat the presence of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts; I shall also go.’”

וּבָאוּ עַמִּים רַבִּים וְגֹויִם עֲצוּמִים לְבַקֵּשׁ אֶת־יְהוָה צְבָאֹות בִּירוּשָׁלִָם וּלְחַלֹּות אֶת־פְּנֵי יְהוָה׃   8:22

Zech. 8:22   Thus many peoples and mighty nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the presence of the Lord.

כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאֹות בַּיָּמִים הָהֵמָּה אֲשֶׁר יַחֲזִיקוּ עֲשָׂרָה אֲנָשִׁים מִכֹּל לְשֹׁנֹות הַגֹּויִם וְהֶחֱזִיקוּ   8:23         בִּכְנַף אִישׁ יְהוּדִי לֵאמֹר נֵלְכָה עִםָּכֶם כִּי שָׁמַעְנוּ אֱלֹהִים עִםָּכֶם׃

Zech. 8:23   Thus says the Lord of hosts:  “In those days that ten men from any of the languages of the nations shall take hold, then they shall take hold of the skirt of anyone Jewish saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard God is with you.’”

The prophecy of this chapter does not sound to me like it’s for a distant future.  It seems to be about the almost immediate future, maybe soon after the new Temple has been built.  Support for my presumption is found in v. 8:11.  There the Lord says He is not to this remnant as before.  If this prophecy was for a more distant time, why would the Lord refer to “this remnant?”  Wouldn’t He have said “to this people,” or “to the descendants of this remnant?”  As a result, I believe that this prophecy of Zechariah’s was inaccurate and therefore false.  The picture described in this chapter does not reflect the reality of the years of that Temple era.  So color me ignorant, stupid -- or brutally honest.

 

[Return to Zechariah Chapters]   [Prev.:  Zech. 7]   [Next:  Zech. 9]