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Zec 7:1-14. II. DIDACTIC PART, SEVENTH AND EIGHTH CHAPTERS. OBEDIENCE, RATHER THAN FASTING, ENJOINED: ITS REWARD.
2. they . . . sent unto . . . house of
God--The Jews of the country sent to the house of God or
congregation at Jerusalem. The altar was long since reared
though the temple was not completed till two years afterwards
The priests' duty was to give decision on points of the law
Beth-el is here used instead of Beth-Jehovah, because the
religious authorities, rather than the house itself (designated
are intended. The old Beth-el had long ceased to be the seat of
idol-worship, so that the name had lost its opprobrious meaning. "The
house of the Lord" is used for the congregation of worshippers headed
by their priests
makes the "house of God" nominative to "sent."
makes "Beth-el" so.
3. Should I weep in the fifth month--"I" represents here the people
of God (compare
This rather favors MAURER'S view, taking "the
house of God," the congregation, as nominative to "sent." Their
hypocrisy appeared because they showed more concern about a ceremony of
human institution (not improper in itself) than about moral obedience.
If, too, they had trusted God's promise as to the restoration of Church
and State, the fast would have now given place to joy, for which there
was more cause than for grief [PEMBELLUS].
5. Speak unto all--The question had been asked in the name of the
people in general by Sherezer and Regemmelech. The self-imposed fast
they were tired of, not having observed it in the spirit of true
6. did not ye eat for yourselves?--literally, "Is it not ye who eat?" that is, it is not unto Me and My glory. It tends no more to My glory, your feasting than your fasting.
7. Should ye not hear the words--rather, "Should
ye not do the words," as their question naturally was as
to what they should do
"hearing" is not mentioned till
The sense is, It is not fasts that Jehovah requires of you, but that ye
should keep His precepts given to you at the time when Jerusalem was in
its integrity. Had ye done so then, ye would have had no occasion to
institute fasts to commemorate its destruction, for it would never have
Or, as the Margin, "Are not these the words" of
the older prophets
which threatened a curse for disobedience, which the event has so
awfully confirmed. If ye follow them in sin, ye must follow them in
suffering. English Version is good sense: Ye inquire anxiously
about the fasts, whereas ye ought to be anxious about hearing
the lesson taught by the former prophets and verified in the nation's
punishment; penitence and obedience are required rather than fasts.
9. speaketh--implying that these precepts addressed to their ancestors were the requirements of Jehovah not merely then, but now. We must not only not hurt, but we must help our fellow men. God is pleased with such loving obedience, rather than with empty ceremonies.
12. hearts . . . adamant--
(Eze 3:9; 11:19).
13. he cried--by His prophets.
14. whirlwind--of wrath