Zephaniah 3:16
In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
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Zephaniah 3:16-17. In that day — Or, time of restitution, when the captives shall return and be settled in their own land; it shall be said to Jerusalem — By prophets, or by friends congratulating and encouraging them; Fear thou not — Disquiet not yourselves with unnecessary fears, though you may apprehend some danger from Sanballat, Tobiah, and the Samaritans: see Nehemiah 4:1-2; and though you shall have troublesome times, Daniel 9:25. Let not thy hands be slack — In the work of the Lord, in rebuilding the city and temple, and restoring the worship of God. The Lord — Hebrew, Jehovah; thy God — Thine in a covenant never to be repealed or forgotten; in the midst of thee is mighty — He can and will restrain and destroy thine enemies, and support and defend his own people. He will save, &c. — Will deliver thee from thy fears, and thine enemies’ rage. Will rejoice over thee with joy — Will greatly rejoice in thee, and take pleasure in blessing and doing thee good. He will rest in his love — Will continue peculiarly to love thee, and will take satisfaction in so doing. These promises also, in their full sense, belong only to the Christian Church, composed of converted Jews and Gentiles, and shall be completely fulfilled during the millennium, when believers will have, as it were, a heaven on earth.

3:14-20 After the promises of taking away sin, follow promises of taking away trouble. When the cause is removed, the effect will cease. What makes a people holy, will make them happy. The precious promises made to the purified people, were to have full accomplishment in the gospel. These verses appear chiefly to relate to the future conversion and restoration of Israel, and the glorious times which are to follow. They show the abundant peace, comfort, and prosperity of the church, in the happy times yet to come. He will save; he will be Jesus; he will answer the name, for he will save his people from their sins. Before the glorious times foretold, believers would be sorrowful, and objects of reproach. But the Lord will save the weakest believer, and cause true Christians to be greatly honoured where they had been treated with contempt. One act of mercy and grace shall serve, both to gather Israel out of their dispersions and to lead them to their own land. Then will God's Israel be made a name and a praise to eternity. The events alone can fully answer the language of this prophecy. Many are the troubles of the righteous, but they may rejoice in God's love. Surely our hearts should honour the Lord, and rejoice in him, when we hear such words of condescension and grace. If now kept from his ordinances, it is our trial and grief; but in due time we shall be gathered into his temple above. The glory and happiness of the believer will be perfect, unchangeable, and eternal, when he is freed from earthly sorrows, and brought to heavenly bliss.In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not - For "perfect love casteth out fear" John 4:18; from where he saith, "Fear not, little flock; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom" Luke 12:32. Who then and what should the Church or the faithful soul fear, since "mightier is He that is in her, than he that is in the world? And to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack," through faint-heartedness (see Hebrews 12:12), but work with all thy might; be ready to do or bear anything; since Christ worketh with, in, by thee, and "in due time we shall reap, if we faint not" Galatians 6:9. 16. Let not thine hands be slack—(Heb 12:12). Do not faint in the work of the Lord. In that day; the day or time of restitution, when the captivity returned shall be settled in their land.

It shall be said; by prophets, or by friends, congratulating them, or by each to other.

To Jerusalem; inhabitants of Jerusalem, the place being put for the people.

Fear thou not; disquiet not yourselves with fears, though you may apprehend some dangers from Sanballat and Tobiah, &c., though troublous times. as Nehemiah 4:1,2 Da 9:25.

Let not thine hands be slack, in the work of the Lord, building the city and temple, and restoring the worship of God; take heart, O ye returned captives, for God your King is with you.

In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, fear thou not,.... Do not be afraid of any enemies; neither outward ones, the armies of Gog and Magog, the Turk, who will threaten, and will attempt to dispossess them of their land, now returned to it; nor inward and spiritual enemies, sin, Satan, death, and hell, being all vanquished and subdued by Christ: this will be said, not by the enemies themselves, who will confess they have no power to stand before the mighty God, as Aben Ezra; but either by the prophets of the Lord, or by the people themselves, encouraging one another, every man his neighbour, as Kimchi; or rather by the Lord himself, as the Septuagint and Arabic versions supply it,

"the Lord shall say to Jerusalem;''

this will be said at the time of the Jews' conversion, when reinstated in their own land, and shall be threatened with another remove from it, which they will have no reason to fear:

and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack; weak, remiss, hang down through fear of mind, and fainting of spirit; and so unfit to meet the enemy, or perform duty; but, on the contrary, pluck up a good heart, be of good courage, fear not the enemy, be vigorous, active, and diligent, in the performance of the service of the Lord, animated by the following considerations:

In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.
16. Let not thine hands be slack] that is, hang down, in terror or paralysis. Jeremiah 6:24; Hebrews 12:12.

Verse 16. - It shall be said. So obvious to all men shall be the happy and secure, position of Zion under God's favour and rule, that they shall join in bidding her east away fear and exult in the Divine protection. Fear thou not (comp. Matthew 14:27; Matthew 28:5, 10; Luke 12:7, 32). And to Zion. Probably vocative, O Zion. Let not thine hands be slack. Be not despairing or faint hearted, but work with energy and confidence (comp. Isaiah 13:7; Hebrews 12:12); or the sentence may be rendered, "Jerusalem will be called Fear not, and Zion, Let not thine hands be slack." In this case we may compare the names Hephzibah and Beulah given to Jerusalem (Isaiah 62:4), and Jehovah-Tsidkenu (Jeremiah 33:16). Zephaniah 3:16"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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