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.
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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. Zechariah 7:12The second word of the Lord recals to the recollection of the people the disobedience of the fathers, and its consequences, viz., the judgment of exile, as a warning example. The introduction of the prophet's name in the heading in Zechariah 7:8 does not warrant the strange opinion held by Schmieder and Schlier - namely, that our prophet is here reproducing the words of an earlier Zechariah who lived before the captivity - but is merely to be attributed to a variation in the form of expression. This divine word was as follows: Zechariah 7:9. "Thus hath Jehovah of hosts spoken, saying, Execute judgment of truth, and show love and compassion one to another. Zechariah 7:10. And widows and orphans, strangers and destitute ones, oppress not; and meditate not in your heart the injury of every brother. Zechariah 7:11. But they refused to attend, and offered a rebellious shoulder, and hardened their ears that they might not hear. Zechariah 7:12. And they made their heart diamond, that they might not hear the law and the words which Jehovah of hosts sent through His Spirit by means of the former prophet, so that great wrath came from Jehovah of hosts." כּה אמר is to be taken as a preterite here, referring to what Jehovah had caused to be proclaimed to the people before the captivity. The kernel of this announcement consisted in the appeal to the people, to keep the moral precepts of the law, to practise the true love of the neighbour in public life and private intercourse. Mishpat 'ĕmeth, judgment of truth (cf. Ezekiel 18:8), is such an administration of justice as simply fixes the eye upon the real circumstances of any dispute, without any personal considerations whatever, and decides them in accordance with truth. For the fact itself, compare Exodus 22:20, Exodus 22:21; Exodus 23:6-9; Leviticus 19:15-18; Deuteronomy 10:18-19; Deuteronomy 24:14; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 7:5-6; Jeremiah 22:3; Ezekiel 18:8; Hosea 12:7, etc. רעת אישׁ אחיו, the injury of a man who is his brother (as in Genesis 9:5); not "injury one towards another," which would suppose a transposition of the אישׁ equals אישׁ רעת אחיו. In Zechariah 7:11, Zechariah 7:12 the attitude of the people towards these admonitions of God is described. Nâthan kâthēph sōrereth: to give or offer a rebellious shoulder, as in Nehemiah 9:29. The figure is borrowed from an ox, which will not allow a yoke to be placed upon its neck (cf. Hosea 4:16). To make the ears heavy (hikhbı̄d), away from hearing, i.e., so that they do not hear (cf. Isaiah 6:10). To make the heart diamond (shâmı̄r), i.e., as hard as diamond. A stony heart is a heart not susceptible to impressions (cf. Ezekiel 11:19). The relative אשׁר before shâlach refers to the two nouns named before, viz., tōrâh and debhârı̄m, though we need not on that account take tōrâh in the general sense of instruction. God also sent the law to the people through the prophets, i.e., caused them to preach it and impress it upon their hearts. The consequence of this obduracy of the people was, that "there arose great wrath from Jehovah" (cf. Zechariah 1:2; 2 Kings 3:27).
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