Zechariah 7:12
Yes, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts has sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
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7:8-14 God's judgements upon Israel of old for their sins, were written to warn Christians. The duties required are, not keeping fasts and offering sacrifices, but doing justly and loving mercy, which tend to the public welfare and peace. The law of God lays restraint upon the heart. But they filled their minds with prejudices against the word of God. Nothing is harder than the heart of a presumptuous sinner. See the fatal consequences of this to their fathers. Great sins against the Lord of hosts, bring great wrath from his power, which cannot be resisted. Sin, if regarded in the heart, will certainly spoil the success of prayer. The Lord always hears the cry of the broken-hearted penitent; yet all who die impenitent and unbelieving, will find no remedy or refuge from miseries which while here they despised and defied, but which they then will not be able to bear.Harder than adamant - The stone, whatever it be, was hard enough to cut ineffaceable characters : it was harder than flint . It would cut rocks; it could not be graven itself, or receive the characters of God.

This is the last sin, obduracy, persevering impenitence, which "resisted the Holy Spirit" Acts 7:51. and "did despite to the Spirit of grace" Hebrews 10:29. Not through infirmity, but of set purpose, they hardened themselves, lest "they should convert" Isaiah 6:10 and be healed. They feared to trust themselves to God's word, lest He should convert them by it.

Lest they should hear the law and the words which the Lord God sent by His Spirit by the hand of the former prophets - The Holy Spirit was the chief agent; "by His Spirit;" the inspired prophets were His instruments; by the hand of. Nehemiah confesses the same to God: "Thou didst protest to them by Thy Spirit by the hand of Thy prophets" Nehemiah 9:30. Moses was one of the greatest prophets. The law then may be included, either as delivered by Moses, or as being continually enforced by all the prophets. Observe the gradations:

(1) The words of God are not heard.

(2) The restive shoulder is shown; people turn away, when God, by the inner motions of His Spirit or by lesser chastisements, would bring them to the yoke of obedience. Osorius: "They would not bear the burden of the law, whereas they willingly bore that most heavy weight of their sins."

(3) Obduracy. Osorius: "Their adamantine heart could be softened neither by promises nor threats." Therefore nothing remained but the great wrath, which they had treasured to themselves against the day of wrath. And so Zechariah returns to that, wherewith his message and visions of future mercy began, the great wrath which fell upon their fathers Zechariah 1:7.

Osorius: "'I sought not,' He says, 'for your tears; I enjoined not bitterness of sorrow; but what, had they been done, the calamity, for which those tears were meet, had never befallen you. What was it which I admonished you formerly by the former prophets to recall you from sin? What I bid you by Zechariah now. This I preach, admonish, testify, inculcate upon you. '"

12. hearts … adamant—(Eze 3:9; 11:19).

Lord … sent in Spirit by … prophets—that is, sent by the former prophets inspired with His Spirit.

therefore … great wrath—(2Ch 36:16). As they pushed from them the yoke of obedience, God laid on them the yoke of oppression. As they made their heart hard as adamant, God brake their hard hearts with judgments. Hard hearts must expect hard treatment. The harder the stone, the harder the blow of the hammer to break it.

They made their hearts as an adamant: though the heart of itself is far from taking impressions, and receiving kindly the law of God, yet these desperate sinners think it is too pliable, they study how to harden it, and this was the fault of many of them. An adamant; the hardest of stones.

Lest they should hear the law; which was peremptorily required of them, and they as peremptorily resolved against it.

The law of God by Moses, of whom they boasted, whilst they despised his law.

The words, counsels and commands, which the Lord of hosts, their God, spake; nay, though they knew he spake they would not hear.

In his spirit; by his Holy Spirit, in clear evidences, piercing convictions, powerful operation, and dreadful threatenings; yet they opposed and resisted. and sinned against his Spirit.

By the former prophets: all of them acted by the same Spirit, pressing them to the same duties, and foretelling the same miseries, and promising the same blessings, but all would not prevail.

Therefore, for this great obstinacy, came a great wrath, which consumed the whole land, and burned against them seventy years together in Babylon.

From the Lord of hosts; in all which the hand of the Lord was most evidently seen, dealing to them according to their ways. Such were your fathers, such their ways, such their sufferings, all which is well known to you who start such queries, and meanwhile run away from the great commands of the law. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone,.... The word here used is translated a "diamond" in Jeremiah 17:1 and it is said to be harder than a flint, Ezekiel 3:9. The Jewish writers say (g) it is a worm like a barley corn, so strong as to cut the hardest stones in pieces; Moses (they say) used it in hewing the stones for the two tables of the law, and in fitting the precious stones in the ephod; and Solomon in cutting the stones for the building of the temple; and is so hard that it cannot be broken by iron: and as hard is naturally the heart of man, and which becomes more so by sinning, and obstinate persisting in it, that nothing can remove the hardness of it but the powerful and efficacious grace of God: as hard as the adamant is, it is to be softened by the blood of a goat, as naturalists says (h); so the blood of Christ sprinkled on the heart, and a sense of forgiveness of sin by it, will soften the hardest heart:

lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath seat in his Spirit by the former prophets; the words of reproof, admonition, caution, and exhortation, which Jeremiah and others were sent to deliver to them, under the influence of the Spirit of God:

therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts; which brought the Chaldeans upon them, who carried them captive into Babylon.

(g) Misn. Sota, c. 9. sect. 12. Pirke Abot. c. 5. sect. 5. & Maimon. & Bartenora in ib. Kimchi in 1 Reg. vi. 7. Jarchi in Isa. v. 6. (h) Pausan. Arcadica, sive l. 8. p. 485. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 37. c. 4.

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 {m} spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.

(m) Which declares that they did not only rebel against the Prophets, but against the Spirit of God that spoke in them.

12. an adamant] perhaps diamond, “so called from its cutting and perforating (the original meaning of the word being a sharp point, or thorn), as the point of a stylus was made of diamonds, Jeremiah 17:1.” Gesen. “The stone, whatever it be, was hard enough to cut ineffaceable characters (Jeremiah 17:1): it was harder than flint (Ezekiel 3:9). It would cut rocks; it could not be graven itself, or receive the characters of God.” Pusey.

in his spirit] Rather, by His Spirit, as R. V. The preposition is the same as in the next clause, by the hand of His prophets. The Holy Ghost was the Divine Agent, the prophets were the human instruments. Comp. Nehemiah 9:30.Verse 12. - They made their hearts as an adamant stone. They made their hearts as hard as a stone which could receive no cutting or engraving; no message from God could find entrance; and this from their wilful obstinacy. The word rendered "adamant," shamir, probably means "diamond," a stone so hard, says Jerome, as to break all metals to pieces, but to be itself broken by none; hence it is called adamas, "unconquerable." Ezekiel (Ezekiel 3:9) notes that it is harder than flint (comp. Jeremiah 17:1). The LXX., paraphrasing, gives. Τὴν καρδίαν αὐτῶν ἔταξαν ἀπειθῆ, "They set their heart disobedient." The Law. The various enactments of the Mosaic system. In his Spirit; rather, by his Spirit. The leaching which the Spirit of God inspired the prophets to deliver (comp. Nehemiah 9:30; 2 Kings 17:13; Micah 3:8). And for the succession of prophets from Solomon to the Captivity, see note on Amos 2:11; and to those there enumerated, add Iddo, Shemaiah, Hanani, Micaiah, Huldah. Jerusalem sins in this manner, without observing that Jehovah is constantly making known to it His own righteousness. Zephaniah 3:5. "Jehovah is just in the midst of her; does no wrong: morning by morning He sets His justice in the light, not failing; but the unjust knoweth no shame. Zephaniah 3:6. I have cut off nations: their battlements are laid waste; I have devastated their streets, so that no one else passeth over: their cities are laid waste, that there is no man there, not an inhabitant more." Zephaniah 3:5 is attached adversatively to what precedes without a particle, in this sense: And yet Jehovah is just beqirbâh, i.e., in the midst of the city filled with sinners. The words recal to mind the description of the divine administration in Deuteronomy 32:4, where Jehovah is described as אין עול and ישׁר. It follows from this that tsaddı̄q is not to be referred to the fact that God does not leave the sins of the nation unpunished (Ros.), but to the fact that He commits no wrong: so that לא יעשׂה עולה is only a negative paraphrase of tsaddı̄q. His justice, i.e., the righteousness of His conduct, He puts in the light every morning (babbōqer babbōqer, used distributively, as in Exodus 16:21; Leviticus 6:5, etc.), not by rewarding virtue and punishing wickedness (Hitzig, Strauss, after the Chaldee, Jerome, Theodoret, and Cyril), according to which mishpât would signify judgment; but by causing His law and justice to be proclaimed to the nation daily "by prophets, whose labour He employs to teach the nation His laws, and who exert themselves diligently by exhorting and admonishing every day, to call it to bring forth better fruit, but all in vain (Ros., Ewald, etc.; cf. Hosea 6:5). It is at variance with the context to take these words as referring to the judgments of God. These are first spoken of in Zephaniah 3:6, and the correspondence between these two verses and Zephaniah 3:7 and Zephaniah 3:8 shows that we must not mix up together Zephaniah 3:5 and Zephaniah 3:6, or interpret Zephaniah 3:5 from Zephaniah 3:6. Just as the judgment is threatened there (Zephaniah 3:8) because the people have accepted no correction, and have not allowed themselves to be moved to the fear of Jehovah, so also in Zephaniah 3:5 and Zephaniah 3:6 the prophet demonstrates the righteousness of God from His double administration: viz., first, from the fact that He causes His justice to be proclaimed to the people, that they may accept correction; and secondly, by pointing to the judgments upon the nations. לא נעדּר paraphrases the idea of "infallibly;" the literal meaning is, that there is no morning in which the justice is wanting. Hitzig, Strauss, and others have rendered it quite unsuitably, "God does not suffer Himself to be wanting," i.e., does not remain absent. But the perverse one, viz., the nation sunk in unrighteousness, knows no disgrace, to make it ashamed of its misdeeds. In Zephaniah 3:6 Jehovah is introduced as speaking, to set before the nations in the most impressive manner the judgments in which He has manifested His righteousness. The two hemistichs are formed uniformly, each consisting of two clauses, in which the direct address alternates with an indefinite, passive construction: I have cut off nations, their battlements have been laid waste, etc. Gōyı̄m are neither those nations who are threatened with ruin in Zephaniah 2:4-15, nor the Canaanites, who have been exterminated by Israel, but nations generally, which have succumbed to the judgments of God, without any more precise definition. Pinnōth, the battlements of the fortress-walls and towers (Zephaniah 1:16), stand per synecdochen for castles or fortifications. Chūtsōth are not streets of the city, but roads, and stand synecdochically for the flat country. This is required by the correspondence of the clauses. For just as the cities answer to the castles, so do chūtsōth to the nations. Nitsdū, from tsâdâh, not in the sense of waylaying (Exodus 21:13; 1 Samuel 24:12), but in accordance with Aramaean usage, to lay waste, answering to nâshammū, for which Jeremiah uses nittetsū in Jeremiah 4:26.
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