Zechariah 8:2
Thus said the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
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Zechariah 8:2. I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy — With great care that she should not, as formerly, sin against my love and her own welfare, and with a great desire to do her good, and rescue her from her enemies. Jealousy is properly the passion of a lover, or husband, made up of love, care, and anger, in their highest degrees, for his beloved, and against all that he thinks hurtful to her. Thus God had greatly loved Zion, had been careful of her honour and welfare, and displeased with her sins, which first hurt her, and then with the Chaldeans, who violated her. And I was jealous for her — Or toward, or against her, as להmay be rendered; with great fury — Hebrew, חמה, heat, or wrath, namely, for her sins. In a note on Zechariah 1:14, Blayney gives it as his opinion, that the jealousy there spoken of was God’s resentment against his people for their disloyalty and misbehaviour toward him. “In this opinion,” he here says, “I am confirmed by the present passage, where not the least mention is made of the persecuting nations. That God’s jealousy bespeaks wrath toward the object of it, needs no other proof than his own words, Numbers 25:11.”8:1-8 The sins of Zion were her worst enemies. God will take away her sins, and then no other enemies shall hurt her. Those who profess religion must adorn their profession by godliness and honesty. When become a city of truth and a mountain of holiness, Jerusalem is peaceable and prosperous. Verses 4,5, beautifully describe a state of great outward peace, attended with plenty, temperance, and contentment. The scattered Israelites shall be brought together from all parts. God will never leave nor forsake them in a way of mercy, for this he has promised them; and they shall never leave nor forsake him in a way of duty, as they have promised him. These promises were partly fulfilled in the Jewish church, betwixt the captivity and the time of Christ's coming; and they had fuller accomplishment in the gospel church; but the full import must be as to the future times of the Christian church, or the future restoration of the Jews. With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible; so far are God's thoughts and ways above ours. In the present low state of vital godliness, we can hardly conceive that so complete a change can be made; but a change thus extensive and glorious, can be brought to pass by the almighty power of the new-creating Spirit, in less time than he was pleased to employ in creating the world. Let the hands of all who labour in the cause of the gospel be strong, serving the Lord in true holiness, assured that their labour shall not be in vain.Thus saith the Lord of hosts - Jerome: "At each word and sentence, in which good things, for their greatness, almost incredible are promised, the prophet premises, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts," as if he would say, Think not that what I pledge you are my own, and refuse me not credence as man. What I unfold are the promises of God."

I was jealous - Literally, "I have been and am jealous for." . He repeats in words slightly varied, but in the same rhythm, the declaration of tits tender love wherewith He opened the series of visions, thereby assuring beforehand that this was, like that, an answer of peace. The form of words shows, that this was a jealousy for, not with her; yet it was one and the same strong, yea infinite love, whereby God, as He says, "clave unto their fathers to love them and chose their seed after them out of all nations" Deuteronomy 10:15. His jealousy of their sins was part of that love, whereby, (Dionysius), "without disturbance of passion or of tranquillity, He inflicted rigorous punishment, as a man fearfully reproves a wife who sins." They are two different forms of love according to two needs. Rup.: "The jealousy (Zelus) of God is good, to love people and hate the sins of people. Contrariwise the jealousy of the devil is evil, to hate people and love the sins of people." Osorius: "Since God's anger had its origin in the vehemence of His love (for this sort of jealousy arises from the greatness of love), there was hope that the anger might readily be appeased toward her."

2. jealous for Zion—(Zec 1:14).

with great fury—against her oppressors.

I was; I have been in time past, in days of old before the captivity, and I have been so since the captivity for some years past.

Jealous for Zion: properly it is the passion of a lover or husband, mixed of love, care, and anger in their highest degrees for the beloved, and against all that is hurtful to it; so God had greatly loved Zion, had been careful of her honour and welfare, and displeased with her sins, which first hurt her, and then with the Chaldeans, which violated her.

With great jealousy; with great care that she should not, as formerly, sin against my love and her own welfare, and with a great love to do her good now, and to rescue her from her enemies.

I was jealous for her; on her behalf, and not as formerly against her, I am jealous in favour to her, as the Hebrew phrase importeth.

With great fury; with heat of anger against her enemies, as Zechariah 1:14,15, See Poole "Zechariah 1:14", See Poole "Zechariah 1:15". Thus saith the Lord of hosts,.... This prophecy, according to Kimchi and Ben Melech, respects time to come; the days of the Messiah, in the war of Gog and Magog, when they shall come up against Jerusalem, and the Lord shall pour out his great wrath upon them; and it seems right to interpret it, not only literally of Jerusalem, but spiritually of the church in Gospel times:

I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy; the Arabic version reads, "for Jerusalem, and for Zion"; as in Zechariah 1:14; see Gill on Zechariah 1:14,

and I was jealous for her with great fury: that is, against her enemies; the Babylonians and Chaldeans now, and the antichristian powers in Gospel times. The Targum paraphrases it, "against the people that provoked her to jealousy"; the past tense is put for the future, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was {a} jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.

(a) I loved my city with a singular love, so that I could not endure that any should do her any injury.

2. Thus saith the Lord of hosts] “At each word and sentence, in which good things, for their greatness almost incredible, are promised, the prophet premises, Thus saith the Lord of hosts, as if he would say, Think not that what I pledge you are my own, and refuse me not credence as man. What I unfold are the promises of God.” Jerome, quoted by Pusey.

I was] Rather, I am. Comp. Zechariah 1:14, where the same tense is so rendered.

with great fury] i.e. against her enemies, as Zechariah 1:15.Verse 2. - Thus saith the Lord of hosts. This formula occurs ten times in this chapter, thus enforcing the truth that all the promises made to Zion come from the Lord himself, and are therefore sure to be fulfilled. I was jealous; - I am jealous, as Zechariah 1:14 (where see note). With great fury. Against her enemies (Zechariah 1:15). "Zelus" is defined by Albertus Magnus: "amor boni cum indignatione contrarii." One side of God's love for Zion is shown in the punishment of her enemies. Knabenbauer likens this zeal or jealousy of God to the pillar of fire at the Exodus - light and protection to the Israelites, darkness and destruction to the Egyptians (Exodus 14:20). "For then will I turn to the nations a pure lip, that they may all call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve Him with one shoulder. Zephaniah 3:10. From beyond the rivers of Cush will they bring my worshippers, the daughter of my dispersed ones, as a meat-offering to me." By the explanatory kı̄ the promise is connected with the threat of judgment. The train of thought is this: the believers are to wait for the judgment, for it will bring them redemption. The first clause in Zephaniah 3:9 is explained in different ways. Many commentators understand by sâphâh bherūrâh the lip of God, which He will turn to the nations through His holy servants. According to this view, Luther has adopted the rendering: "Then will I cause the nations to be preached to otherwise, with friendly lips, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord." But this view, which has been defended by Cocceius, Mark, and Hofmann (Schriftbeweis, ii. 2, pp. 573-4), would only be admissible if bruur signified clear, evident, - a meaning which Hofmann assumes as the ground of his explanation: "A clear, easily intelligible, unmistakeable language does God turn to the nations, to call them all in the name of Jehovah, that they may serve Him as one man." But, apart from the inadmissible rendering of קרא בשׁם יי, this explanation is proved to be erroneous by the fact that bârūr does not mean clear, intelligible; that even in Job 33:3 it has not this meaning; but that it simply means pure, purified, sinless; and that sâphâh bherūrâh, the opposite of טמא שׂפתים in Isaiah 6:5, cannot be used at all of the lip or language of God, but simply of the lip of a man who is defiled by sin. Consequently הפך אל must be explained according to 1 Samuel 10:9, since the circumstance that we have הפך ל in this passage does not make any material difference in the meaning. The construction in both passages is a pregnant one. God turns to the nations a pure lip, by purifying their sinful lips, i.e., He converts them, that they may be able to call upon Him with pure lips. Lip does not stand for language, but is mentioned as the organ of speech, by which a man expresses the thoughts of his heart, so that purity of the lips involves or presupposes the purification of the heart. The lips are defiled by the names of the idols whom they have invoked (cf. Hosea 2:19; Psalm 16:4). The fruit of the purification is this, that henceforth they call upon the name of Jehovah, and serve Him. קרא בשׁם יי, when used of men, always signifies to call solemnly or heartily upon the name of Jehovah. To serve shekhem 'echâd, with one shoulder, is to serve together or with unanimity. The metaphor is taken from bearers who carry a burden with even shoulders; cf. Jeremiah 32:39.

As an example of the way in which they will serve the Lord, it is stated in Zephaniah 3:10 that they will offer the widely scattered members of the Israelitish church as a sacrifice to the Lord. Compare Isaiah 66:20, where this thought is applied to the heathen of all quarters of the globe; whereas Zephaniah, while fixing his eye upon that passage, has given it more briefly, and taken the expression "from beyond the rivers of Cush" from Isaiah 18:1, for the purpose of naming the remotest heathen nations instar omnium. The rivers of Cush are the Nile and the Astaboras, with their different tributaries. עתרי בּת פּוּצי is the accusative of the nearest object, and מנחתי that of the more remote. ‛Athâr does not mean fragrance (Ges., Ewald, Maurer), but worshipper, from ‛âthar, to pray, to entreat. The worshippers are more precisely defined by bath pūtsai, the daughter of my dispersed ones (pūts, part. pass.), i.e., the crowd or congregation consisting of the dispersed of the Lord, the members of the Israelitish congregation of God scattered about in all the world. They are presented to the Lord by the converted Gentiles as minchâh, a meat-offering, i.e., according to Isaiah 66:20, just as the children of Israel offered a meat-offering. In the symbolism of religious worship, the presentation of the meat-offering shadowed forth diligence in good works as the fruit of justification. The meaning is therefore the following: The most remote of the heathen nations will prove that they are worshippers of Jehovah, by bringing to Him the scattered members of His nation, or by converting them to the living God. We have here in Old Testament form the thought expressed by the Apostle Paul in Romans 11, namely, that the Gentiles have been made partakers of salvation, that they may incite to emulation the Israelites who have fallen away from the call of divine grace. The words of the prophet treat of the blessing which will accrue, from the entrance of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God, to the Israelites who have been rejected on account of their guilt, and refer not only to the missionary work of Christians among the Jews in the stricter sense of the term, but to everything that is done, both directly and indirectly, through the rise and spread of Christianity among the nations, for the conversion of the Jews to the Saviour whom they once despised. Their complete fulfilment, however, will only take place after the pleroma of the Gentiles has come in, when the πώρωσις, which in part has happened to Israel, shall be removed, and "all Israel" shall be saved (Romans 11:25-26). On the other hand, Mark, Hitzig, and others, have taken ‛ăthârai bath pūtsai as the subject, and understand it as referring to the heathen who have escaped the judgment by flying in all directions to their own homes, for example even to Cush, and who having become converted, offer to the Lord the gift that is His due. But, apart from the parallel passage in Isaiah 66:20, which alone is quite decisive, this view is proved to be untenable by bath pūtsai, daughter of my dispersed ones. The thought that Jehovah disperses the heathen, either at the judgment or through the judgment, is foreign to the whole of the Old Testament, as Hitzig himself appears to have felt, when he changed pūts, to disperse, into its very opposite - namely, to come home. The thought, on the other hand, that God will disperse His people Israel among all nations on account of their sins, and will hereafter gather them together again, is a truth expressed even in the song of Moses, and one which recurs in all the prophets, so that every hearer or reader of our prophet must think at once of the Israel scattered abroad in connection with the expression "my (i.e., Jehovah's) dispersed ones." The objection, that Judah is first spoken of in Zephaniah 3:11 (Hitzig), is thereby deprived of all its significance, even if this really were the case. But the objection is also incorrect, since the Judaeans have been already addressed in Zephaniah 3:8 in the expression חכּוּ לי.

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