And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, said the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour: see Zechariah 7:10.
Love no false oath: see Zechariah 5:4: you that must not lie to a man, must not swear to a lie before God, Psalm 15:4 Ezekiel 17:18,19.
For all these are things that I hate; so that I cannot be reconciled to them; so that I must not, will not let them go unpunished. If your will be blest as I promise, look you do as I prescribe. This is reason enough why you should not do them. Zechariah 7:10 hatred without a cause was a governing vice under the second temple, and Jarchi says was the cause of the destruction of it; see John 15:25,
and love no false oath; whereby the character and property of a fellow creature are hurt; nor any vain one, which the Jews were addicted to, Matthew 5:34,And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 17. - Let none of you imagine (see note on Zechariah 7:10, where these words occur). Love no false oath. The prevalent sins at this time were not idolatry, but cheating and lying and injustice, vices learned in the land of exile, where they had turned their energies to traffic and commerce (see Zechariah 5:2-4, and note on ver. 3 there). Haggai 1:4 to this speech of the people; and in order to give greater prominence to the antithesis, the introductory formula, "The word of Jehovah came by Haggai the prophet thus," is repeated in Haggai 1:3. In order to appeal to the conscience of the people, God meets them with the question in Haggai 1:4 : "Is it time for you yourselves to live in your houses wainscoted, whilst this house lies waste?" The ה before עת is not the article, but ה interr. אתּם is added to strengthen the pronoun (cf. Ges. 121, 3). Sephūnı̄m without the article is connected with the noun, in the form of an apposition: in your houses, they being wainscoted, i.e., with the inside walls covered or inlaid with costly wood-work. Such were the houses of the rich and of the more distinguished men (cf. Jeremiah 22:14; 1 Kings 7:7). Living in such houses was therefore a sing of luxury and comfort. והבּית וגו is a circumstantial clause, which we should express by "whilst this house," etc. With this question the prophet cuts off all excuse, on the ground that the circumstances of the times, and the oppression under which they suffered, did not permit of the rebuilding of the temple. If they themselves lived comfortably in wainscoted houses, their civil and political condition could not be so oppressive, that they could find in that a sufficient excuse for neglecting to build the temple. Even if the building of the temple had been prohibited by an edict of Pseudo-Smerdes, as many commentators infer from Ezra 4:8-24, the reign of this usurper only lasted a few months; and with his overthrow, and the ascent of the throne by Darius Hystaspes, a change had taken place in the principles of government, which might have induced the heads of Judah, if the building of the house of God had rested upon their hearts as it did upon the heart of king David (2 Samuel 7:2; Psalm 132:2-5), to take steps under the new king to secure the revocation of this edict, and the renewal of the command issued by Cyrus.
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