Zechariah 6:9-8:23 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Justice and Mercy Not Fasting
Comments for Study 3

Zechariah 6:9-8:23
Memory Verse: 6:13

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I. Crowning (6:9-15)

Gold and Silver Crown

See picture of a gold and silver crown to the right.

>1. How might have Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah reacted to their arrive from Babylon? (9-10)

* Zechariah 6:9-10 "The word of the LORD came to me: "Take [silver and gold] from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon. Go the same day to the house of Josiah son of Zephaniah."

* "The word of the LORD came to me" -This is not part of the eight visions that Zechariah saw earlier. This is not stated as being a vision. The fourth and fifth visions concerned the high priest and the civil government. They are now going to be connected to the Messianic King-Priest. (Hebrews 5:4-10)

* "Take [silver and gold] from the exile" -Haggai 2:8 and Ezra 6:5 records the Lord saying the silver and gold is his. See below.

* "Heldai, Tobijah and Jedaiah" -Part of a caravan of arrivals.

* "who have arrived from Babylon" -The caravan brought more exiles from Babylon, perhaps in response to Zechariah's earlier cry to leave Babylon.

* "Go the same day to the house" -The Lord had an task Zechariah had to do right away. sometimes missions the Lord gives us have a time-stamp that needs to be kept.

* "Josiah son of Zephaniah" -One of the new arrivals from Babylon. Since his father is mentioned he must have been more important, probably the leader of the caravan.

* Haggai 2:8 "'The silver is mine and the gold is mine,' declares the LORD Almighty."

* Ezra 6:5 "Also, the gold and silver articles of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took from the temple in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, are to be returned to their places in the temple in Jerusalem; they are to be deposited in the house of God."

>What was to be done with the silver and gold?

* Zechariah 6:11 "Take the silver and gold and make a crown, and set it on the head of the high priest, Joshua son of Jehozadak."

* "make a crown" -Kings are the only ones who wore crown. Judah was still a providence under Persian rule. Making a crown would be considered rebellion. Zechariah obeyed.

* "set it on the head of the high priest" -Priests do not wear crowns. They wear turbans. Zechariah's mission was to announce something new. Something about the Messiah.

* "Joshua the high priest" -Joshua here, in 3:1, and Haggai 1:1 is spelled "Jeshua" in Ezra 2:2 and Nehemiah 7:7 and means "the Lord saves". Jesus is another spelling of the same name. (Matthew 1:21)

* Revelation 19:12 "His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself."

Jesus the Branch

>How might people react to the making of a crown?

* Persia would consider it rebellion.

* Joshua would be worried and embarrassed because never before had a high priest wore a crown.

* Zerubbabel was governor and in the line of David and would have been confused and hurt.

* Jews in general would have been worried, mad, confused, and some even encouraged.

* Neighboring territories would have reported this to Persia because they didn't want Judah to start a war in the area.

>2. What message was to be delivered with the crowning? (12-13)

* Zechariah 6:12-13 "Tell him this is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the LORD. It is he who will build the temple of the LORD, and he will be clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne. And he will be a priest on his throne. And there will be harmony between the two.'"

* "Here is the man" -"When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, "Here is the man!" (John 19:5)

* "whose name is the Branch" -Zechariah 3:8 makes the message easier to understand. It says, "Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch."

* "the Branch" -Jesus is the branch, the Priest-King.

* "and" -repeated five times joining the phrases together.

* "will" -The added descriptions are all future tense further point to someone other than Joshua, the high priest.

* "he will branch out from his place" -The place is Jerusalem. Jesus told his disciples, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

* John 15:1-4 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

* Romans 11:17-18 "If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you."

* Luke 13:18-19 "Then Jesus asked, "What is the kingdom of God like? What shall I compare it to? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his garden. It grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air perched in its branches."

* Isaiah 53:2 "He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground. He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him."

Jesus' Transfiguration

* "build the temple of the LORD" -The Jews were building a temple of stone. Jesus built a temple of flesh. Paul wrote, "In him (Jesus) the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." (Ephesians 2:21-22)

* "he will be clothed with majesty" -During Jesus' ministry he did not wear any special clothing. However, while on the mount after Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus "was transfigured before them. His clothes became dazzling white, whiter than anyone in the world could bleach them." (Mark 9:2b-3) When the apostle John saw him he wrote in Revelation, "Among the lampstands was someone "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters." (Revelation 1:13-15)

* "will sit and rule on his throne -Jesus as "King of kings and Lord of lords" will rule his kingdom. This is being fulfilled now during the age of preaching the gospel and will be when he comes again to begin his one thousand years of reign and forever more.

* "he will be a priest on his throne" -Hebrews 7:23-25 says, "Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them."

* "there will be harmony between the two" -The priesthood and the kingship.

* The sect at Qumran during Jesus' time believed that there would be two Messiah's because of verses like these. But these verses are clear, "there will be harmony" meaning both offices in one person.

* The Aramaic Targum (a paraphrase), the Jerusalem Talmud (a collection of religious instruction), and the Midrash (practical exposition) all from early Jewish date, state that this was Messianic.

>Why might the high priest not be allowed to keep the crown? (14)

* Zechariah 6:14 "The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah as a memorial in the temple of the LORD."

* "The crown will be given to Heldai, Tobijah, Jedaiah and Hen son of Zephaniah" -The three who had given the gold and silver plus one. Since Hen and Josiah, the maker of the crown have the same name of the father it is possible that this is another name for Josiah. Also, Hen means gracious one.

* "as a memorial in the temple of the LORD" -The high priest Joshua would not keep the crown and the owners would store it in the temple.

* The Lord used these four men to make a prophecy and where honored for their faith and offering.

Jesus on the Throne

>How does verse 15 show that this message did not concern the temple under construction in Jerusalem?

* Zechariah 6:15 "Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the LORD, and you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you. This will happen if you diligently obey the LORD your God."

* "Those who are far away will come and help to build the temple of the LORD" -Certainly not the temple that was well under-way when Zechariah gave this, which was destroyed by the Romans. Since there has not been a temple since this one it most certainly refers to a spiritual temple, the temple that include Gentiles who are far off and preaching the gospel.

* "you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you" -This is not only Zechariah, but more surely Jesus the Messiah.

* "This will happen if you diligently obey the LORD your God" -"This" refers to "those who are far away will come and help". Therefore, obeying the command to preach the gospel to the ends of the earth with precipitate the coming of the Priest-King to rule in harmony. Jesus said, "And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

* Isaiah 60:4-7 "Lift up your eyes and look about you: All assemble and come to you; your sons come from afar, and your daughters are carried on the arm. Then you will look and be radiant, your heart will throb and swell with joy; the wealth on the seas will be brought to you, to you the riches of the nations will come. Herds of camels will cover your land, young camels of Midian and Ephah. And all from Sheba will come, bearing gold and incense and proclaiming the praise of the LORD. All Kedar's flocks will be gathered to you, the rams of Nebaioth will serve you; they will be accepted as offerings on my altar, and I will adorn my glorious temple."

>What did the Lord Jesus say about His Temple? (John 2:18-22; Eph. 2:19-22; and 1 Peter 2:4-6)

* John 2:18-22 "Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days." The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. Then they believed the Scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken."

* Ephesians 2:19-22 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

* 1 Peter 2:4-6 "As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him-- you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: "See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."

* We are now the temple of the Lord for the Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father co-dwell in our bodies.

II. About Fasting and a Promise (7:1-14)

>3. What question resulted in the next word coming to Zechariah from the Lord? (1-3)

* Zechariah 7:1-3 "In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev. The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men, to entreat the LORD by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets, "Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?"

* "In the fourth year of King Darius... on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev" -December 7, 518 B.C.

* "Bethel" -Bethel was less than 10 miles (16km) north of Jerusalem. Because of its abundant springs, the area was fertile and attractive to settlements as early as 3200 B.C., and first supported a city around the time of Abraham. Entering Canaan, Abraham built an altar at Bethel, calling upon the name of the Lord (Genesis 12:8), and returned here after his time in Egypt (Genesis 13:3). His grandson, Jacob, spent the night at Bethel on his way to Syria to find a wife. In a dream the Lord confirmed the Abrahamic covenant, and Jacob responded by renaming this locale which was previously called Luz, “Bethel” (house of God; Genesis 28:10-22). Probably the name “Bethel” is referred to but out of chronological sequence in the earlier Abraham passages. When he returned with his large family, Jacob came to Bethel again to hear the Lord's confirmation of the covenant and his name was changed to “Israel.” At Bethel again Jacob set up a stone monument (Genesis 35:1-16; Hosea 12:4,5). Extensive fortification of Bethel came after this patriarchal period. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* "The people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-Melech, together with their men" -This section of the verse is hard to interpret because the original Hebrew is confusing partly due to the names.

* "to entreat the LORD by asking the priests of the house of the LORD Almighty and the prophets" -In order to find out the Lord's will the average person needed to ask the priests and prophets for they did not have the Holy Spirit (as we do in this age), most were illiterate and thus unable to read the Bible themselves, and even fewer had in depth knowledge of the Bible. (The Bible in Zechariah's time consisted of all of the Old Testament with the exception of this book and Malachi)

* "Should I mourn and fast" -Mourning and fasting was showing repentance and humility while petitioning the Lord with fervent prayer, song, and worship.

* "the fifth month" -Commemorating the burning of he temple and the other important buildings (2 Kings 25:8-10; Jeremiah 52:12-14)

* "as I have done for so many years" -During the seventy years of captivity.

* From the outside this question looked reasonable since the temple and Jerusalem were being rebuilt. So why mourn and fast?

* The four fasts mentioned in this section were self imposed fasts. The Lord had not called them. They were not part of the original feast of the Lord.

>What did the people say about their fasting during the captivity? (4-5)

* Zechariah 7:4-5 "Then the word of the LORD Almighty came to me: "Ask all the people of the land and the priests, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months for the past seventy years, was it really for me that you fasted?"

* "Ask all the people of the land and the priests" -The answer was to everyone including the priest who were asked the question.

* "seventh months" -Marked the anniversary of Gedallah's assassination (2 Kings 25:22-25; Jeremiah 41:1-21)

* "the past seventy years" -586 B.C. to the answer was actually 68 years. The rounding off was probably due to the fact of what Jeremiah had prophesied.

* "was it really for me that you fasted" -The people must have said they were fasting for the Lord. However, here the Lord questions their motive.

* Why do we do the things we do, especially the religious feasts and holidays? Why do we serve the Lord? Why do we pray and sing songs of praise? Why do we attend a worship service? All these questions fit in line with the Lord's question above?

>What did the Lord say? (6-7)

* Zechariah 7:6-7 "And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves? Are these not the words the LORD proclaimed through the earlier prophets when Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous, and the Negev and the western foothills were settled?'"

* "And when you were eating and drinking" -Between fasts. So the answer of the Lord concerned all times, not just the times they fasted.

* "were you not just feasting for yourselves" -Just as they normally ate and drank to satisfy their own needs, so self-interest prompted their fasting. It amounted to no more than self-pity. A similar accusation occurs in Isaiah 58:3, followed by teaching that fasting should result in renewed concern for and generosity towards the needy. (Psalm 34:18; Joel 1:14, 2:12) (Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries)

* "were at rest and prosperous" -During several times in Israel's history they were not at war with anyone and most of the time they were prosperous.

* "Negev" -The Negev is a desert and semi-desert region of southern Israel. The region's largest city is Beersheba. According to Genesis chapter 20, Abraham lived for a while in the Negev near Kadesh after being banished from Egypt. Later the Negev was inhabited by the tribe of Judah and pockets in the southern part of the Negev contained cities states consisting of the tribe of Simeon. (Sometime during the time of Israel's kings the tribe of Simeon dwindled so much that they were no longer mentioned.) The Negev was part of the Kingdom of Solomon and then when Israel split when he died it was part of the Kingdom of Judah. The Babylonians carried off all the Jews in the Negev leaving it vacant until the survivors of Edom moved in.

* "the western foothills were settled" -About halfway between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River is highland. Either side of the highland contains foothills. The west side slowly slops to the Mediterranean. The east side slops down to the Jordan River.

>Why should we fast and eat? (Rom. 14:6)

* Romans 14:6 "He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God."

* Paul was inspired by the Holy Spirit as he was writing to the Roman congregation which consisted of believers with Jewish, Greek, and Roman backgrounds. Disagreements about what to eat and not eat was a theological challenge that caused some disruption. During the council at Jerusalem years before this many Christian elders and leaders concluded that the Gentiles and Jews could have different cultural traditions. Paul sums this up with, "does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God". Jesus similarly said this, "When you fast, do not look somber as the hypocrites do, for they disfigure their faces to show men they are fasting. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you fast, put oil on your head and wash your face, so that it will not be obvious to men that you are fasting, but only to your Father, who is unseen; and your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:16-18)

>4. What does the Lord desire? (8-10a)

* Zechariah 7:8-9 "And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah: "This is what the LORD Almighty says: 'Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor."

* "Administer true justice" -Parents, teachers, religious and civil leaders all should be just. Corruption is using places of power for selfish advantage. Jesus said his disciples were where arguing about which of them was the greatest, "The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves. You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Luke 22:25-30)

* "show mercy and compassion to one another" -Jesus said, "Love one another. As I have loved you so you must love one another." (John 13:34)

* "Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor" -James 1:27 states, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

>From where does such good actions come? (10b; Matt. 9:13, 15:18-20)

* Zechariah 7:10b "In your hearts do not think evil of each other.'"

* Matthew 15:18-20 "But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean.'"

* Hosea 6:6 "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgement of God rather than burnt offerings."

* Matthew 9:13 "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."

* "In your hearts" -The heart is our thoughts and emotions. God looks at our heart; to what motivates us when we do what we do. Our heart needs to be rightly focused to God is all we do. Have you accepted Jesus in your heart, emotions, and mind? Do you love him? Is your motive to return the love he has for you? Does your actions towards others reflect the love he has towards you? Do you love your spouse, parents, and children as he has shown us how to love?

>5. What does it mean to have a hard heart? (11-12a; Luke 8:11-13)

* Zechariah 7:11-12a "But they refused to pay attention; stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears. They made their hearts as hard as flint and would not listen to the law or to the words that the LORD Almighty had sent by his Spirit through the earlier prophets."

* Luke 8:11-13 "This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may not believe and be saved. Those on the rock are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away."

* "they refused to pay attention"

* "stubbornly they turned their back"

* "stopped up their ears"

* "They made their hearts as hard as flint"

* "would not listen to the law or ...the earlier prophets"

* "the words that the LORD Almighty"

Birds Eating Seeds on Rock

* See picture of birds eating seeds on a slab of rock to the right.

>How does the Lord react to people with hard hearts? (12b; Mark 3:4-6)

* Zechariah 7:12b "So the LORD Almighty was very angry."

* Mark 3:4-6 "Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent. He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored. Then the Pharisees went out and began to plot with the Herodians how they might kill Jesus."

* "very angry" -Anger is an emotion displayed by God. He is slow to anger. Yet when people stubbornly continue to refuse to believe he will be angry with them. Jesus showed this anger toward to religious leaders of his days who continually refused to believe all the signs and words he had given them.

>How did the Lord react to Israel and Judah when they would not change their hearts? (13-14)

* Zechariah 7:13-14 "'When I called, they did not listen; so when they called, I would not listen,' says the LORD Almighty. 'I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers. The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.'"

* "When I called, they did not listen" -The Lord did try to bring them to him.

* "so when they called, I would not listen" -The last king of Judah tried to reverse the sins of his forefathers and the people. His attempts was to little, to late. Hebrews 6:4-8 states, "It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age, if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned."

* "I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers" -The Lord's anger toward Israel and Judah was acted out by his scattering them among the nations. This happened twice.

* "where they were strangers" -The Lord had given he Jews customs. He molded their culture. True, they have often added and subtracted to them. When they were exiled both times (Babylon and Rome) they held onto this culture. The nations they were in expected them to get ride of their culture and live like they did. The Jews did not. So they were persecuted.

* "The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go. This is how they made the pleasant land desolate." -In a way, leaving the land desolate made it so few came into the land while they were in Babylon.

III. The Restoration of Israel (8:1-23)

>6. What is Zion and why is the Lord jealous for it? (1-2)

* Zechariah 8:1-2 "Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I am very jealous for Zion; I am burning with jealousy for her."

* "Zion" -The Mountain that Jerusalem and the temple was on was called Zion among other names.

* "I am burning with jealousy" -Jesus displayed this jealousy when he left Jerusalem to pray on the Mount of Olives right before his crucifixion. "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'" (Luke 13:34-35)

Mount of Olives Cemetery

* See picture of the Mount of Olives Cemetery to the right.

>What did he promise concerning it? (3)

* Zechariah 8:3 "This is what the LORD says: "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD Almighty will be called the Holy Mountain."

* "I will return to Zion and dwell in Jerusalem" -Jesus did go into Jerusalem during his first coming. However he did not make his dwelling there. When Jesus comes again he will dwell there because his people will want him to.

* "the City of Truth" -Jesus will rule from Jerusalem with truth and righteousness when he comes again.

* "will be called the Holy Mountain" -Right now Jerusalem has been a city of wars. The only way anyone or anything can be holy is when the Lord Jesus is there. When the Lord appeared to Moses he called the land holy and told Moses to take his sandals off.

* Jesus will come again, but only after all the Jews call him their Lord, Master, and Messiah. Since the early 1970s more and more Jews have done so in an every increasing rate. Thus, his coming is very soon.

>Was this fulfilled or when will it be fulfilled? (14:3-5; John 12:17-19; Acts 4:10-11)

* John 12:17-19 "Now the crowd that was with him when he called Lazarus from the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to spread the word. Many people, because they had heard that he had given this miraculous sign, went out to meet him. So the Pharisees said to one another, "See, this is getting us nowhere. Look how the whole world has gone after him!"

* Acts 4:10-11 "then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. He is "'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone'."

* Zechariah 14:3-5 "Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him."

* When Jesus came to Jerusalem during his earthy ministry some two thousands years ago he tried to make the temple holy. But the religious leaders rejected his actions and question his authority. When he comes again he will make Jerusalem holy for all will accept and obey his word, all will accept his authority.

>7. When Jesus comes again how will society change? (4-5)

* Zechariah 8:4-5 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with cane in hand because of his age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."

* "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem"

* "each with cane in hand because of his age"

* "The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there"

* This is true right now. During the seven years of tribulation many will flee Jerusalem because of the Antichrist. After Jesus comes again Jerusalem will be repopulated and at peace. No one will attack it. Jesus' rule will take away fear from the old and the young, the most vulnerable.

>How was this so different than what the remnant experienced? (6)

* Zechariah 8:6 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?" declares the LORD Almighty."

* "It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time

* "but will it seem marvelous to me?" -The answer is no because he will make it possible. This is the way it was always suppose to be.

*

>What will be the nature of the relationship between the Lord and his people? (7-8)

* Zechariah 8:7-8 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west. I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem; they will be my people, and I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God."

* "I will save my people from the countries of the east and the west"

* "I will bring them back to live in Jerusalem"

* "they will be my people"

* "I will be faithful and righteous to them as their God."

>8. How did things change after the work on the temple started again? (9-11)

* Zechariah 8:9-11 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "You who now hear these words spoken by the prophets who were there when the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD Almighty, let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built. Before that time there were no wages for man or beast. No one could go about his business safely because of his enemy, for I had turned every man against his neighbor. But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past," declares the LORD Almighty.

* "let your hands be strong so that the temple may be built"

* "Before that time there were no wages for man or beast"

* "No one could go about his business safely because of his enemy"

* "for I had turned every man against his neighbor"

* "I will not deal with the remnant of this people as I did in the past"

>What did the Lord promise to give them as an inheritance? (12-13)

* Zechariah 8:12-13 "The seed will grow well, the vine will yield its fruit, the ground will produce its crops, and the heavens will drop their dew. I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people. As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."

* "The seed will grow well"

* "the vine will yield its fruit"

* "the ground will produce its crops"

* "the heavens will drop their dew"

* "I will give all these things as an inheritance to the remnant of this people"

* "As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel"

* "As you have been an object of cursing among the nations, O Judah and Israel, so will I save you, and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."

* "so will I save you, and you will be a blessing"

* "Do not be afraid, but let your hands be strong."

>9. How does the Lord want his people to treat each other? (14-17)

* Zechariah 8:14-17 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Just as I had determined to bring disaster upon you and showed no pity when your fathers angered me," says the LORD Almighty, "so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid. These are the things you are to do: Speak the truth to each other, and render true and sound judgment in your courts; do not plot evil against your neighbor, and do not love to swear falsely. I hate all this," declares the LORD."

* so now I have determined to do good again to Jerusalem and Judah. Do not be afraid."

* "Speak the truth to each other"

* "render true and sound judgment in your courts"

* "do not plot evil against your neighbor"

* "do not love to swear falsely"

* "I hate all this"

>Has this desire changed? (John 13:34-35)

* John 13:34-35 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."

* The Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He still requires these of us.

>Why will the fasts be changed to feasts? (18-19)

* Zechariah 8:18-19 "Again the word of the LORD Almighty came to me. This is what the LORD Almighty says: "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah. Therefore love truth and peace."

* "The fasts of the fourth, fifth, seventh and tenth months"

* "will become joyful and glad occasions and happy festivals for Judah"

* "Therefore love truth and peace"

*

Feast

* See picture of a food feast to the right.

>10. How is the gospel going out to the Gentiles prophesied? (20-22)

* Zechariah 8:20-22 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come, and the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say, 'Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going.' And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."

* "Many peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will yet come"

* "the inhabitants of one city will go to another and say"

* "Let us go at once to entreat the LORD and seek the LORD Almighty. I myself am going."

* "And many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the LORD Almighty and to entreat him."

>How will the converted Gentiles interacted with the converted Jew? (23)

* Zechariah 8:23 "This is what the LORD Almighty says: "In those days ten men from all languages and nations will take firm hold of one Jew by the hem of his robe and say, 'Let us go with you, because we have heard that God is with you.'"

* Not yet fulfilled.

>When will this happen again?

* When Jesus comes again and establishes his world wide rule.

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