Jerusalem and the City of God
Chapter 8 continues where seven left off. In chapter seven, the
men who came from Bethel arrive in Jerusalem and want to know
should they stop fasting, since the Temple is almost complete.
Through Zechariah, the Lord answers their question, rebuking
their religious ceremonial fasting, which also occurred before
the nation was cast out of the land. The Lord requires a
sincere relationship, with his people, not ceremony. For this
reason, Jerusalem and Judah were judged, the city destroyed and
the people scattered.
Here in chapter eight, the Lord paints the future relationship
He will one day have with his people and the city of Jerusalem.
The city looks forward to the Millennium, where the Lord will
dwell in Jerusalem with His people in righteousness and truth.
His people, the Jewish people, who have returned from the
nations, will dwell in fellowship with their King. The people of
the earth, the gentiles will then come to the city of Jerusalem
to know the Lord God and have a relationship.
Restoration of Jerusalem
1 Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying, 2 "Thus says
the Lord of hosts: 'I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; With
great fervor I am zealous for her.' 3 "Thus says the Lord: 'I
will return to Zion, And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, The Mountain of the
Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain.' 4 "Thus says the Lord of
hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of
Jerusalem, Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great
age. 5 The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls
Playing in its streets.' 6 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'If it
is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these
days, Will it also be marvelous in My eyes?' Says the Lord of
hosts. 7 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Behold, I will save My
people from the land of the east And from the land of the west;
8 I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of
Jerusalem. They shall be My people And I will be their God, In
truth and righteousness.'
(1) Again: This follows on
the revelation given in the seventh chapter, regarding the
Temple and Jerusalem.
Thus says the Lord: These words
preface the ten promises in the chapter, the Lord makes these
promises in the context of Zechariah’s day.
zealous for Zion
return to Zion
and old women shall again sit In the streets of
marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people
, I will
save My people from the land of the east…west
your hands be strong
determined to punish you When your fathers provoked Me
fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth, The
fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be
joy and gladness and cheerful feasts
shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities;
those days ten men from every language of the nations
shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us
go with you, for we have heard that God is with you." '
I am Zealous: The Lord here describes His attitude toward the city of
Jerusalem, called Zion. The Hebrew word, anqQana' is
translated both as jealous and zealous. The Lord is zealous
regarding the inhabitants of the city, the descendents of
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and His eternal plans for the
location. He desires a righteous city, reflecting His eternal
nature. (Zechariah 1:14, I kings 14:22).
passion the Lord demonstrates for the city is amplified in this
verse. He reiterates this point three more times in this verse,
describing His feeling as “Great zeal” then “Great
fervor”, then the Lord repeats His attitude again at the end
of the verse, just in case the reader/hearer does not understand“I am zealous for her”. The Hebrew term fervor
translates to heat or rage, The Lord’s special plans for
Jerusalem, would not permit the Lord to tolerate the
abominations of idol worship and vain religious ceremony to go
unpunished or unchecked.
Zion: Zion is
one of the hills upon which Jerusalem was built and is 105 feet
higher then Mt. Moriah. The name has come to symbolize
(3) I will
return: Here Zechariah
looks forward to an event, when the Lord God will dwell visibly
in the city of Jerusalem. This special event had both a near
and a distant fulfillment. The near fulfillment is pictured in
Zechariah 9:9 as the Lord is pictured entering Jerusalem on a
donkey. This was fulfilled literally, as Jesus entered and dwelt
in the city of Jerusalem. (Matthew 21:4-5, Mark 11:9-10, John
12:13-15). Jesus who entered the city on a donkey was God
incarnate, the same one declaring in the book of Zechariah “I
"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of
Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and
having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal
of a donkey. Zechariah 9:9
nations rejection of the Messiah and His death, which paid for
the sins of the world, brought the judgment of God against the
city and the Temple the second time, following its
reestablishment in Haggai and Zechariah days.
of the Lord to Jerusalem in the 2nd Coming is also
pictured Zechariah 12:10, here we see the one who was pierced,
the rejected King who entered Jerusalem on a donkey (Zechariah
9:9), returns in glory and power to the city of Jerusalem, as
King and Lord. At the Second Coming, Jesus returns in
glory and power with the angelic host of Heaven (Matthew 24:30,
25:31, Revelation 19:11-13).
10 "And I will
pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem
the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me
whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns
for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a
firstborn. Zechariah 12:10
in...Midst of Jerusalem: Ultimately Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, will be elevated above every
city on earth when the Lord God Himself, makes Jerusalem the
city of His rule on earth. This rule follows the return of
Jesus Christ, who returns in glory and power, to set up the
Messianic Kingdom in the Millennium. The point of God ruling
from Jerusalem cannot be under emphasized, this point is made
repeatedly in both Old and New Testaments.
detailed description of the Millennium is in the book of
Ezekiel, chapters 40 to 48, detailing Israel, Jerusalem and the
Temple in the Millennium. Here we see the King of Jerusalem, theGlory of the Lord ruling from the Temple as God Himself,
who rebukes the past kings for putting their dead bodies near
5 The Spirit
lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold,
the glory of the Lord filled the temple. 6 Then I heard
Him speaking to me from the temple, while a man stood beside me.
7 And He said to me, "Son of man, this is the place of My
throne and the place of the soles of My feet, where I will
dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever. No more
shall the house of Israel defile My holy name, they nor their
kings, by their harlotry or with the carcasses of their kings on
their high places. 8 "When they set their threshold by My
threshold, and their doorpost by My doorpost, with a wall
between them and Me, they defiled My holy name by the
abominations which they committed; therefore I have consumed
them in My anger. 9 "Now let them put their harlotry and the
carcasses of their kings far away from Me, and I will dwell
in their midst forever. 10 "Son of man, describe the temple
to the house of Israel, that they may be ashamed of their
iniquities; and let them measure the pattern.
Again, we in
the 14th chapter of Zechariah, the King of Jerusalem
is none other then the Lord Himself who dwells with His people.
The nations come to Jerusalem to worship the King.
8 And in that
day it shall be That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem,
Half of them toward the eastern sea And half of them toward the
western sea; In both summer and winter it shall occur. 9 And the
Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day it shall
be-"The Lord is one," And His name one.16 And it shall come to
pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came
against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the
King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.Zechariah 14:8-9,16
In the New
Testament, Jesus promised His return to the city after it
accepts Him as their Messiah (Matthew 23:337-39). Jesus
admitted to being the King of the Jews, when He was crucified,
he was declared King, at the leaders objection. The King who
entered Jerusalem on a Donkey and was crucified will one day
rule the city in glory and power.
Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him,
saying, "Are You the King of the Jews?" So Jesus said to him,
"It is as you say."29 When they had twisted a crown of thorns,
they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they
bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of
the Jews!"37 And they put up over His head the accusation
written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Matthew
City of truth:When
Jesus the Messiah, rules the city of Jerusalem, He will rule in
truth and righteousness. The name of the city will personify
His character and nature. The nature of Christ (Messiah) is
truth. The city He dwells in would be the city of truth, by
its very nature.
6 Jesus said to
him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the
Father except through Me. John 14:6
Mountain…Lord of Hosts: Though Mt.
Moriah, where the Temple stands by all accounts is more like a
hill then a mountain, when the presence of Almighty God is
there, it will be called after Him.
..women: The scene presented here is one of contrast to the current
situation in Zechariah’s day. In the year, Zechariah wrote
this; his people were under constant threat from the surrounding
peoples. Those who were old would have been relatively few in
number. In addition, children playing in the streets, in safety
and security would have also seemed impossible to those around
impossible situation, The Lord looks past Zechariah’s day, to a
day when The Lord would rule over the city of Jerusalem as the
King, the Lord of Hosts.
Staff…great age: The staff is symbol of age, the point being
made here is not of feeble age, but of great age. The reason
the old men have a staves is because they have great age, this
is a picture in the Millennium, when the age of those who live
on the earth will be great compared to Zechariah’s day. The
scene in Isaiah sheds light on this image in Zechariah. One
hundred will be considered the age of a child.
19 I will
rejoice in Jerusalem, And joy in My people; The voice of weeping
shall no longer be heard in her, Nor the voice of crying. 20 "No
more shall an infant from there live but a few days, Nor an old
man who has not fulfilled his days; For the child shall die one
hundred years old, But the sinner being one hundred years old
shall be accursed. 21 They shall build houses and inhabit them;
They shall plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 22 They shall
not build and another inhabit; They shall not plant and another
eat; For as the days of a tree, so shall be the days of My
people, And My elect shall long enjoy the work of their
(5) Full of
boys…girls: This is a contrasting image from the current situation in
Jerusalem, people are afraid of the foreign forces in Jerusalem
and surrounding areas. People would only let their children play
outside, when there is security. This scene is added to the
picture of men of great age with staves, to present a contrast
in the age to come from Zechariah’s day, with both children and
men of great age both existing.
(6) Marvelous: The image presented by the Lord through Zechariah seems like
an impossible event, something to marvel at, the Lord implies
what seems impossible for men is not impossible for the Lord.
(7) I will save
my people: When the children of Israel were about enter the Promised
Land, in the days of Moses, before Joshua assumed leadership,
the nation received the covenant promises for obedience and
disobedience. If the nation was obedient they would be blessed
above all the nations on the earth (Deut. 28;1-2), if the nation
disobeyed they would be scattered to the nations and suffer
under foreign oppression. (Deut. 28:64-66) Despite their
disobedience in the past, the Lord promised to gather His people
back into the land of their forefathers, and bless them even
greater then before.
4 "If any of you
are driven out to the farthest parts under heaven, from there
the Lord your God will gather you, and from there He will bring
you. 5 "Then the Lord your God will bring you to the land which
your fathers possessed, and you shall possess it. He will
prosper you and multiply you more than your fathers. 6 "And the
Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your
descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul, that you may live. Deut. 30:4-6
This will be
completely fulfilled following the return of the Messiah
(Zechariah 12:10) as those Jews who were scattered and in hiding
are gathered following the national conversion of the nation
to Jesus Christ who returns in glory in power to rule the
30 "Then the
sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the
tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31
"And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet,
and they will gather together His elect from the four winds,
from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:30-31
Literally, from the sunrise (xrzmMizrach) to the sunset (XmX
awbm Mabow Shemesh), the east from Israel’s perspective is where the sun rises and the west
is where it set. In Zechariah’s day, the nation had only been
scattered to the east in Babylon, but the gathering referred to
here is a gathering in the end times. A complete gathering of
the people, from the lands where the sun rises to the lands
where the sun sets takes place at the end of days.
back: The gathering of the nation of Israel is one of the most
prophesied events in scripture, whole chapters are devoted to
the subject. (Ezekiel 36 and 37), (See also Isaiah 11:11-12,
Joel 3:1-2, Isaiah 14:1-2, Jeremiah 31:8-10, Hosea 1:10-11,
Micah 5:3-4, Zechariah 10:6-12).
In the end
of days, the Lord will bring back the descendents of Israel into
the land, to fulfill scriptures, which will bring the Messiah in
the end of days.
(8) Midst of Jerusalem: The
relationship between the Lord and his people will be a direct
relationship, they will know the Lord their God. In the
Millennium, Jerusalem and the Israel will be the chief city and
nation on the earth, as they receive the blessing of obedience
promised in Deut. 28:1.
The relationship will be restored as the people living in the
land will be the Lord’s people. They will know the Lord, He
will not reject them for disobedience as in the former years.
9 "Thus says the
Lord of hosts: 'Let your hands be strong, You who have been
hearing in these days These words by the mouth of the prophets,
Who spoke in the day the foundation was laid For the house of
the Lord of hosts, That the temple might be built. 10 For before
these days There were no wages for man nor any hire for beast;
There was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came
in; For I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor. 11 'But
now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former
days,' says the Lord of hosts. 12 'For the seed shall be
prosperous, The vine shall give its fruit, The ground shall give
her increase, And the heavens shall give their dew-I will cause
the remnant of this people To possess all these. 13 And it shall
come to pass That just as you were a curse among the nations, O
house of Judah and house of Israel, So I will save you, and you
shall be a blessing. Do not fear, Let your hands be strong.' Zechariah 8:9-13
(9) Let your
hands: The Lord
message is one of encouragement, He wants to encourage those who
heard the prophets (Haggai and Zechariah). These prophets came
on the scene in the year 520 B.C., after the people had lost
their incentive to continue with the Lord’s Temple, because of
difficulty. Since the people would not continue the Lord’s
work, they suffered in their daily lives. The situation of the
people’s disobedience is announced in Haggai.
Mouth of the
The people paid attention to the words of Haggai and Zechariah,
who urged the Temple completion despite of the difficulties.
these days: Before the days
the people choose to listen to the prophets and complete the
Temple, the land was adversarial to the people. God resisted the
people because they resisted Him. Haggai chapter 1, illustrates
the condition of the peoples heart toward the Lord.
3 Then the word
of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, 4 "Is it time
for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, and this
temple to lie in ruins?" 5 Now therefore, thus says the Lord of
hosts: "Consider your ways! 6 "You have sown much, and bring in
little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are
not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is
warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with
holes." 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts: "Consider your ways! 8
"Go up to the mountains and bring wood and build the temple,
that I may take pleasure in it and be glorified," says the Lord.
9 "You looked for much, but indeed it came to little; and when
you brought it home, I blew it away. Why?" says the Lord of
hosts. "Because of My house that is in ruins, while every one of
you runs to his own house. 10 "Therefore the heavens above you
withhold the dew, and the earth withholds its fruit.
now: When the people ignored the Temple, they suffered, never
having enough and through strife between enemy and neighbor.
(12) For the
seed...vine…ground….heavens: Now that the people have obeyed the words of the prophets,
and almost finished the Temple and have listened with their
hearts, they shall reap the prosperity of spiritual success.
Their life will not be adverse as before, they will now prosper.
For…Curse…Blessing: The nation of Israel, the Jewish people are God’s covenanted
people. Through the descendents of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob the
Messiah, the Redeemer of humanity was born. Through Christ, the
gentile nations can now receive the blessings of God’s covenant
people have always been a distinct people amongst the nations,
when they were scattered to Babylon, they were there because of
a curse, because of disobedience. In the days to come, the
nation of Israel will be a blessings to the nations not only
because the Messiah came through them, but also because through
them the Lord extends His relationship to all humanity by
actions of the Jews living in the Millennium.
tribulation, the nation of Israel will be a light to the
nations, with the 144,000 Jewish evangelists (Revelation 7:1-8,
14:1-4) and the 2 witnesses in Jerusalem (Revelation 11:1-11).
Through them, the nations will learn the way of salvation in the
end of days.
14 "For thus
says the Lord of hosts: 'Just as I determined to punish you When
your fathers provoked Me to wrath,' Says the Lord of hosts, 'And
I would not relent, 15 So again in these days I am determined to
do good To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear. 16
These are the things you shall do: Speak each man the truth to
his neighbor; Give judgment in your gates for truth, justice,
and peace; 17 Let none of you think evil in your heart against
your neighbor; And do not love a false oath. For all these are
things that I hate,' Says the Lord." Zechariah 8:14-17
determined: The Lord is a just God, who does not let iniquity go
unpunished, he not only allowed adversity, He caused the
adversity. This is an important point to understand from a
personal application, God often will cause adversity in our
lives, because He loves us and wants us to return to Him, the
Lord chastens those He loves (Hebrews 12:7). Just as the Lord
was determined to punish the nation for sin, He is now
determined to bless the nation for obedience.
(16) You shall
The blessing to come is still conditional on the nation’s
obedience, not in ceremony but in heart. How they treat their
neighbors, how they administer justice are all outward
expressions of a sincere relationship with the Lord.
18 Then the word
of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, 19 "Thus says the Lord
of hosts: 'The fast of the fourth month, The fast of the fifth,
The fast of the seventh, And the fast of the tenth, Shall be joy
and gladness and cheerful feasts For the house of Judah.
Therefore love truth and peace.' 20 "Thus says the Lord of
hosts: 'Peoples shall yet come, Inhabitants of many cities; 21
The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, "Let us
continue to go and pray before the Lord, And seek the Lord of
hosts. I myself will go also." 22 Yes, many peoples and strong
nations Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, And
to pray before the Lord.' 23 "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'In
those days ten men from every language of the nations shall
grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, "Let us go with you,
for we have heard that God is with you." ' " Zechariah
(19)fast of . . . fourth month--On
the fourth month of the eleventh year of Zedekiah's reign, on
the ninth day, Jerusalem was taken (Jeremiah 39:6, 52:6,7). It
was therefore made a fast day.
tenth--On the tenth month and tenth day, in the ninth
year of Zedekiah, the siege began (Jeremiah 52:4). The siege of
Jerusalem that commenced on the 10th day of the month
in 588 B.C, so the people mourned and fasted.
This month the people fasted and mourned the death of Gedaliah
the first Babylonian appointed governor of Judah. Zechariah 7:5
In the days to
come there shall be cheerful feasts on these months as the
This scene looks forward into the future, as the Gentile nations
will one day know the God of Israel as their own God. The
Messiah Jesus Christ was a light to the nations, establishing a
relationship, which leads to redemption.
6 "I, the Lord,
have called You in righteousness, And will hold Your hand; I
will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, As a
light to the Gentiles, 7 To open blind eyes, To bring out
prisoners from the prison, Those who sit in darkness from the
prison house Isaiah 42:6-7
looks forward to the day when people throughout the Earth will
come to know the God of Israel, when the nations will come to
Jerusalem for judgment and guidance.
1 The word that
Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. 2 Now
it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of
the Lord's house Shall be established on the top of the
mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations
shall flow to it. 3 Many people shall come and say, "Come, and
let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, To the house of the
God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in
His paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word
of the Lord from Jerusalem. 4 He shall judge between the
nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords
into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation
shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn
war anymore. Isaiah 2:1-4
(22) Strong nations: In the Millennium, the nations will submit to King Messiah,
the strong nations of the earth will bow in worship to the
Messiah, who rules in Jerusalem.
8 Ask of Me, and
I will give You The nations for Your inheritance, And the ends
of the earth for Your possession. 9 You shall break them with a
rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's
vessel.' " Psalm 2:8-9
(23) Ten men… Sleeve of a Jewish man: The knowledge of the Lord will flow from Jerusalem and
Israel, those who are born in the Millennium and seek to know
the God of Israel who rules from Jerusalem, will turn to Jews
and ask for their help.
In one sense,
this was fulfilled in the first coming, as the early
church was largely made up of Jewish believers, who brought the
Gospel to the gentile nations. Paul a Jew, brought the Gospel
to the men of Athens who worshipped the unknown God (Acts
17:16-22). This will also be fulfilled in the Millennium, as
those born during this period will also turn to those from
Jerusalem and Israel, that they may know the God of the earth.