Zechariah 8:8
And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst 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. Zechariah 8:8Zechariah 8:7. "Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, Behold, I save my people out of the land of the rising and out of the land of the setting of the sun. Zechariah 8:8. And I bring them hither, and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and will be my people, and I shall be their God, in truth and righteousness." The deliverance of the people of God out of the heathen lands did indeed commence with the return of a body of exiles from Babylon under the guidance of Zerubbabel, but their deliverance out of all the countries of the earth is still in the future. Instead of all countries, the land of the rising (the east) and the land of the setting (the west) are individualized (cf. Psalm 50:1; Psalm 113:3; Isaiah 59:19; Malachi 1:11). This deliverance is first effected through the Messiah. This is indisputably evident from the words, "I bring them to Jerusalem," by which of course we cannot understand the earthly Jerusalem, since that would not furnish space enough for the Jews scattered throughout all the world, but the open and enlarged Jerusalem mentioned in Zechariah 2:8, i.e., the Messianic kingdom of God. Then will those who have been gathered together out of all the countries of the earth become in truth God's nation. Israel was the nation of Jehovah, and Jehovah was also Israel's God from the time of the establishment of the old covenant at Sinai (Exodus 24). This relation is to be restored in the future, "in truth and righteousness." This is the new feature by which the future is to be distinguished from the present and the past. The words "in truth and righteousness" belong to the two clauses, "they shall be" and "I will be." For the fact itself, compare Hosea 2:21-22; and for the expression, Isaiah 48:1 and 1 Kings 3:6.
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