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Zechariah Seven

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Zechariah 7:1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;

king Darius. Two years after Zechariah was given the eight visions, he received another word from God, this time rebuking the Jews still in Babylon for instituting a formal fast day without authorization from God and without true repentance. Like many modern religionists, “they made their hearts as an adamant stone” (Zechariah 7:12) whenever they heard God's Word.

Zechariah 7:2 When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,

house of God. Possibly this delegation came from Bethel (which means “House of God”). Elsewhere in the Old Testament, the temple is always spoken of as “the house of the Lord.” The delegation wanted to know if they should continue to mourn and fast in commemoration of the temple's destruction, now that it was being rebuilt.

Zechariah 7:3 And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?

Zechariah 7:4 Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying,

Zechariah 7:5 Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?

did ye at all fast unto me? This was a rhetorical question. The fact that they asked it indicated that these fasts were a burden to them. As a matter of fact, the Lord had never commanded them in the first place. The only regular fast specified by God was that on the Day of Atonement (Leviticus 23:26-32).

Zechariah 7:6 And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?

Zechariah 7:7 Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?

Zechariah 7:8 And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,

Zechariah 7:9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother:

Zechariah 7:10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.

Zechariah 7:11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.

Zechariah 7:12 Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

adamant stone. See note on Ezekiel 3:9. The Hebrew word for “adamant” basically means “pricking” and is often translated “briers.” When used in connection with a stone, however, it means a “pricking” stone, one which can engrave metals or glass. It is translated “diamond” in Jeremiah 17:1.

Zechariah 7:13 Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:

Zechariah 7:14 But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.