Zechariah 8:8
And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the middle of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Zechariah 8:8. And I will bring them — Though many things interpose to hinder, none shall prevent their returning; I will lead the way, guard them in it, supply their necessities, give strength to the weak and support to the dejected, and bring them safe to the end of their journey. And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem — They shall inhabit their capital city as in old times. And they shall be my people, &c. — They shall duly perform their duty to me, and I will perform my promises to them; they shall truly worship me, and I will protect and bless them. In truth and in righteousness — If we refer these words to God only, the word righteousness is equivalent to mercy, as it is often used; and, joined with truth, implies God’s faithfulness in performing his gracious promises. Or, this may be understood of the people, implying that, as God was faithful to them, so they should live in obedience to him.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.They shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem - Not the literal Jerusalem; for this would not contain the Jews from all quarters of the world, whom, as they multiplied, the whole land could not contain; but the promised Jerusalem, the Jerusalem, which "should be inhabited as towns without walls," to which the Lord should be a wall of fire round about.

And they shall be My people - He promises this as to those who were already His people; "I will save My people - and will bring them, and they shall dwell - and they shall be My people." And this they were to be in a new way, by conversion of heart, as Jeremiah says, "I will give them an heart to know Me, that I am the Lord, and they shall be My people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto Me with their whole heart" (Jeremiah 24:7; add Jeremiah 30:22), and, "This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and will write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people" Jeremiah 31:33.

Osorius: "The circuit of one city will not contain so great a multitude. But one confession of faith, one conspiration of sanctity, one communion of religion and righteousness, can easily enfold all born of the holy fathers, united to them in faith and piety. And God is specially called the God of all these. For He specially consults for these, loads them with benefits, fences them in with most strong protection, illumines them with His light, crowns them, when confirmed in the image of His beauty, with glory immortal and divine."

In truth and in righteousness - This too is on account of their former relation to God. Isaiah had upbraided them for a worship of God, "not in truth and righteousness" Isaiah 48:1. Jeremiah had said, "Thou shalt swear, the Lord liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness" Jeremiah 4:2. God should be their God in truth and righteousness; Ribera: "truth in fulfilling His promises; righteousness in rewarding every man according to his works."

8. in truth—in good faith, both on their side and Mine: God being faithful to His everlasting covenant and enabling them by His Spirit to be faithful to Him. I will bring them; though many things interpose to hinder, none shall keep them from returning; I will lead the way, I will guard them in it, I will supply their necessities, I will give strength to the weak and cheer up the dejected, I will gather and carry too.

They shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; settle their habitation in Jerusalem. They shall be my people; a peculiar people to obey and honour me; it contains very much, Jeremiah 30:22 31:33 32:37,38 Eze 11:20.

I will be their God; I will own them, perform all my promises to them.

In truth and in righteousness, both on God’s part and on their part; on God’s in truth, on theirs in righteousness, in obedience to God’s righteous law. And l will bring them,.... To Zion, into the church of God, the Gospel fold, where Christ has engaged to bring his other sheep, that there may be one fold for Jew and Gentile, Jeremiah 3:14 John 10:16,

and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: the Gospel church; and be no more foreigners and strangers, but of the household of God, enjoying all the immunities and privileges of the Jerusalem that is above, the mother of us all:

and they shall be my people; appear to be so by effectual calling; which makes those manifest to be the people of God, to be in the covenant of his grace, who before were not known to be so, either by themselves or others, 1 Peter 2:10,

and I will be their God, in truth, and in righteousness; according to the covenant of his grace, which will now in a very open manner be truly and faithfully fulfilled; and they, in consequence of the grace bestowed on them, will worship God in sincerity and truth, being justified by the righteousness of Christ, and so will have no dependence on their own for their acceptance with God; see Hosea 2:19.

And I will bring them, and they shall {e} dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.

(e) So that their return will not be in vain: for God will accomplish his promise, and their prosperity will be sure and stable.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
8. in truth and in righteousness] “These are the conditions of the covenant on both sides.” Speak. Comm.Verse 8. - In the midst of Jerusalem. As the centre of worship (see Zechariah 2:4, and note there). In truth and in righteousness. The words belong to both parts of the preceding clause: God will deal truly and righteously with them, but they must deal truly and righteously with him. If they are faithful to their obligations, God would be unto them all that he had promised to be. "Exult, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! rejoice and exult with all the heart, O daughter Jerusalem. Zephaniah 3:15. Jehovah has removed thy judgments, cleared away thine enemy; the King of Israel, Jehovah, is in the midst of thee: thou wilt see evil no more. Zephaniah 3:16. In that day will men say to Jerusalem, Fear not, O Zion; let not thy hands drop. Zephaniah 3:17. Jehovah thy God is in the midst of thee, a hero who helps: He rejoices over thee in delight, He is silent in His love, exults over thee with rejoicing." The daughter Zion, i.e., the reassembled remnant of Israel, is to exult and shout at the fulness of the salvation prepared for it. The fulness is indicated in the heaping up of words for exulting and rejoicing. The greater the exultation, the greater must the object be over which men exult. הריעוּ, to break out into a cry of joy, is a plural, because the Israel addressed is a plurality. The re-establishment of the covenant of grace assigns the reason for the exultation. God has removed the judgments, and cleared away the enemies, who served as the executors of His judgments. Pinnâh, piel, to put in order (sc., a house), by clearing away what is lying about in disorder (Genesis 24:31; Leviticus 14:36), hence to sweep away or remove. 'Oyēbh: with indefinite generality, every enemy. Now is Jehovah once more in the midst of the daughter Zion as King of Israel, whereas, so long as Israel was given up to the power of the enemy, He had ceased to be its King. Yehōvâh is in apposition to melekj Yisrâ'ēl, which is placed first for the sake of emphasis, and not a predicate. The predicate is merely בּקרבּך (in the midst of thee). The accent lies upon the fact that Jehovah is in the midst of His congregation as King of Israel (cf. Zephaniah 3:17). Because this is the case, she will no more see, i.e., experience, evil (ראה as in Jeremiah 5:12; Isaiah 44:16, etc.), and need not therefore any longer fear and despair. This is stated in Zephaniah 3:16 : They will say to Jerusalem, Fear not. She will have so little fear, that men will be able to call her the fearless one. ציּון is a vocative of address. It is simpler to assume this than to supply ל from the previous clause. The falling of the hands is a sign of despair through alarm and anxiety (cf. Isaiah 13:7). This thought is still further explained in Zephaniah 3:17. Jehovah, the God of Zion, is within her, and is a hero who helps or saves; He has inward joy in His rescued and blessed people (cf. Isaiah 62:5; Isaiah 65:19). יחרישׁ בּאחבתו appears unsuitable, since we cannot think of it as indicating silence as to sins that may occur (cf. Psalm 50:21; Isaiah 22:14), inasmuch as, according to Zephaniah 3:13, the remnant of Israel commits no sin. Ewald and Hitzig would therefore read yachădı̄sh; and Ewald renders it "he will grow young again," which Hitzig rejects as at variance with the language, because we should then have יתחדּשׁ. He therefore takes yachădı̄sh as synonymous with יעשׂה חדשׁות, he will do a new thing (Isaiah 43:19). But this rendering cannot be justified by the usage of the language, and does not even yield a thought in harmony with the context. Silence in His love is an expression used to denote love deeply felt, which is absorbed in its object with thoughtfulness and admiration,

(Note: "He assumes the person of a mortal man, because, unless He stammers in this manner, He cannot sufficiently show how much He loves us. Thy God will therefore be quiet in His love, i.e., this will be the greatest delight of thy God, this His chief pleasure, when He shall cherish thee. As a man caresses his dearest wife, so will God then quietly repose in thy love." - Calvin.)

and forms the correlate to rejoicing with exultation, i.e., to the loud demonstration of one's love. The two clauses contain simply a description, drawn from man's mode of showing love, and transferred to God, to set forth the great satisfaction which the Lord has in His redeemed people, and are merely a poetical filling up of the expression, "He will rejoice over thee with joy." This joy of His love will the Lord extend to all who are troubled and pine in misery.

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