8:9-17 Those only who lay their hands to the plough of duty, shall have them strengthened with the promises of mercy: those who avoid their fathers' faults have the curse turned into a blessing. Those who believed the promises, were to show their faith by their works, and to wait the fulfilment. When God is displeased, he can cause trade to decay, and set every man against his neighbour; but when he returns in mercy, all is happy and prosperous. Surely believers in Christ must not trifle with the exhortation to put away lying, and to speak every man peace with his neighbour, to hate what the Lord hates, and to love that wherein he delights.
10. before these days—before the time in which ye again proceeded with the building of the temple (Zec 8:9), namely, at the time that the temple lay neglected.
no hire for man … beast—that is, no produce of the field to repay the labor of man and beast on it (Hag 1:6, 9, 10; 2:16).
neither … peace to him that went out or came in—(2Ch 15:5). No one could in safety do his business at home or abroad, in the city or in the country, whether going or returning.
because of the affliction—so sorely pressed were they by the foe outside. Maurer translates, "Because of the foe" (Ezr 4:1).
every one against … neighbour—There was internal discord, as well as foes from without.