Zechariah 7

CHAPTER VII

Some Jews being sent from those who remained at Babylon to

inquire of the priests and prophets at Jerusalem whether they

were still bound to observe those fasts which had been

appointed on occasion of the destruction of Jerusalem, and kept

during the captivity, the prophet is commanded to take this

opportunity of enforcing upon them the weightier matters of

the law, judgment and mercy, that they might not incur such

calamities as befell their fathers. He also intimates that in

their former fasts they had regarded themselves more than God;

and that they had rested too much on the performance of

external rites, although the former prophets had largely

insisted on the superior excellence of moral duties, 1-14.

NOTES ON CHAP. VII

Verse 1. The fourth year of King Darius] Two years after they

began to rebuild the temple, see Zec 1:1, A.M. 3486.

The ninth month, even in Chisleu] This answers to a part of our

November and December. The names of the month appear only under

and after the captivity.

Verse 2. When they had sent-Sherezer and Regem-melech] To

inquire whether the fasts should be continued, which they had

hitherto observed on account of their ruined temple; and the

reason why they inquired was, that they were rebuilding that

temple, and were likely to bring it to a joyful issue.

Verse 5. When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth-month] This

they did in the remembrance of the burning of the temple, on the

tenth day of that month; and on the seventh month, on the third

of which month they observed a fast for the murder of Gedaliah,

and the dispersion of the remnant of the people which were with

him. See Jer 41:1, and 2Ki 25:25.

Verse 6. And when ye did eat] They had not observed those fasts

as they should have done. They deplored the loss of their temple,

and its riches, &c., but they did not humble themselves because of

those iniquities which had brought the displeasure of God upon

them, their temple, and their city.

Verse 7. The words which the Lord hath cried by the former

prophets] nebiim harishonim, is the title which

the Jews give to Joshua, Judges, the two books of Samuel, and the

two books of Kings.

The latter prophets, nebiim acharonim, are

Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets.

The hagiographa, kethubim, holy writings, are the

Psalms, Proverbs, Job, Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations,

Ecclesiastes, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah, and the two books of

Chronicles. But the above words, the former prophets, seem to

apply to Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel.

The south and the plain?] From Eleutheropolis to the sea,

Ob 1:19. The

south was the wilderness and mountainous parts of Judea: and the

plain, the plains of Jericho.

Verse 9. Execute true judgment] See the parallel texts in the

margin.

Verse 10. Evil against his brother in your heart.] Do not

indulge an unfavourable opinion of another: do not envy him; do

not harbour an unbrotherly feeling towards him.

Verse 11. Pulled away the shoulder] From under the yoke of the

law, like an unbroken or restive bullock in the plough.

Verse 12. Made their hearts as an adamant stone] shamir

may mean the granite. This is the hardest stone with which the

common people could be acquainted. Perhaps the corundum, of which

emery is a species, may be intended. Bochart thinks it means a

stone used in polishing others. The same name, in Hebrew, applies

to different stones.

Verse 14. I scattered them with a whirlwind] This refers to the

swift victories and cruel conduct of the Chaldeans towards the

Jews; they came upon them like a whirlwind; they were tossed to

and fro, and up and down, everywhere scattered and confounded.

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