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Bible Study, The Minor Prophets: Zechariah 7 and 8

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Posted on CCPC's website 2022

The Minor Prophets Study Index page.

Chapter 7

      A time check with who's doing all this and why.

      One of the people sent to Bethel to pray was Sarezer, see 2 Kings 19 : 37 and Isaiah 37 : 38. The other was "Regem Melek" which appears to be a variation of the other name used in the passage in 2 Kings and Isaiah.

      to ask "ha ko ha nim" (priests) in the house of YHWH of Hosts, and "han ne bi 'im" (prophets) saying "ha 'eb keh" (weep) in the fifth month (called Shevat) "him na zer" (separate / abstain (as an ascetic, refrain from 'pleasures of the body' (includes 'fast' but is more than that)) as have done "kammeh sanim" ('for how many years')?

4 and 5
      and the word of YHWH came to me
      thus says YHWH of hosts "sam tem" (to fast) "we sa po wd" (and lament / mourn) in the fifth and seventh month (Nisan) for seventy years "ha so wm" "sam tu ni" (both words are forms of the same word for 'fasting', the usage appears to turn it into a question) "'a ni" (Me)

A look at the Jewish "Pregnant Year"
      Remember, these are Lunar months based on the appearance of the crescent moon after the 'new moon', and as such do not line up neatly with the modern Gregorian calendar introduced in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII.
      Instead of a 'leap year day' every four years as the minutes of difference between the 365 day cycle and the sundial add up, every two or three years the Hebrew calendar has an extra month to bring their calendar back in line with the solar cycle, making the correct term for the Jewish calendar "lunisolar". Those years are called "Shanah Me'uberet" (pregnant year) as the eleven day difference between the solar year and the lunar year build up and are then brought back in line with a thirteen month calendar year.
      Because the extra month appears just before the regular sixth month of Adar, it gets to be repeated. So in the pregnant year you have Adar One, and then Adar Two.
            Let's hope 'Adar' is as good month!
end look

      paraphrase: when you eat and drink, you do it for yourselves. (it isn't worded as a question but a statement)

      "ha low" (not) "'et had de ba rim" ('listened to the words') which "qa ra" (called / proclaimed) YHWH through the prophets "ha ri so nim" (first / former), when Jerusalem "yo se bet" (inhabited) "u se le wah" (prosperous / carefree).....
      the Negev is a semi-arid region south of Jerusalem with several areas of mining and pastures around waterholes that is bordered by the Negev desert which runs south into the Sinai. The 'Lowlands' most likely refers to the coastal plain.

8 and 9
      and the word of YHWH came to me saying thus says YHWH of Hosts...
      .... "mis pat" (justice / ordinance) "'e met" (truth / true), "se po tu" (judge) "we he sed" (loving-kindness) "'a su" (do / make / show) everyone to his brother -

      paraphrase: widow and orphans and etc are added to the list for the 'loving-kindness' from the previous verse, and the note not to oppress them.....

welcome to Zech's 'social justice' section, which is required to be a Minor Prophet

      ... and don't plan evil against your brother.

      "way ma 'a nu" (refused) "le haq sib" (heed (as in 'listen and obey')) 'turned their shoulders away' and 'covered their ears'

12 and 13
      paraphrased: they made their hearts like stone, refusing to hear the Law and the words of the prophets from YHWH of Hosts...
      and just as He said, they would not hear what I said, so I didn't listen to them, said YHWH of Hosts

      discussion: It has been pointed out elsewhere that there are Jews scattered all over the Earth, see link below for the special essay from earlier in this study. This verse reinforces the idea that the Jews, as a people, were scattered everywhere. In this case, by a 'whirlwind'.
      The ending of this verse is a reminder that this was the "land flowing with milk and honey", and now, instead of pleasant, it is desolate.

Chapter 8
1 and 2

      And again came....
      Thus says YHWH, I am "qin ne ti" (jealous) for Zion 'greatly', with "we he mah" (fire) 'great', I am jealous for her.

      The translations are on message including:
      ... and be called "Yerusalem" "'ir" (city) "ha 'e met" (truth / faithfulness)....

4 and 5
      The translations are good except it isn't just the old men with a cane, it is both. Watching the kids play.

      Thus says YHWH of Hosts, "ki" (if / because) "yip pa le" (wondrous / marvelous / extraordinary / etc) "be 'e ne" ('in the' eyes / sight) "se re rit" (remnant) 'of this people' 'in that time' also "be 'e nay" ('in My' eyes / sight) "yip pa le" (wondrous ...) says YHWH of Hosts.
      The implication is that the old people from the previous verses will sit around and talk about how amazing it is that, after everything that has happened, that peace and joy have returned to the old city.

      thus says YHWH of Hosts, behold "mo wo si a'" (save / deliver) "'am mi" (My people) from the land of "miz ra" (the east) and from the land of "has sa mes" (the west)
      This may be the first clear indication in the Book of the Twelve that something nasty is in the west that they need to worry about.

      "we he be ti" (came / brought) them "we sa ke nu" (dwell / live) in middle of Jerusalem, and they shall be my people, and I will be their God "be 'e met" ('in' truth) and "u bis da qah" (righteousness)

      thus says YHWH of Hosts, "te he zaq nah" (strong / strengthen) "ye de kem" (hands), "has so me im" (heard / listen) these days, these words, by the mouth of the prophets, in the day the "yus sad" (foundation (laid)) "bet" (house) of YHWH of Hosts that "ha he kal" (temple) be built.
      This is one of the few verses where both terms for the building dedicated to God is used. Here it is both His 'house' and his 'temple'.

      Paraphrase and discussion: Before the days of the construction there was no work for man or beast, with no peace from the enemy, for I made everybody against each other.
      As to why there was no work is fairly obvious. Before this time in Zechariah, the city had been sacked and burnt and a large percentage of the people had either been killed or taken captive. Whoever, and whatever was left was subject to the whims of the occupying forces from Chaldean ruled Babylon, and you didn't know who was a collaborator or spy. So the verse is accurate on all counts.

11 and 12
      But now I won't treat the remnant like I did then says YHWH...
      ... seeds will grow, and the rains will come, and good things will be theirs.

      "we ha ya" ('a time will come') "ka 'a ser" ('you' which) "qe la lah" (curse) "bag go w tim" ('to / in' 'foreign' nations), "bet" (house) "ye hu dah" and "bet" "yis ra 'el" so "'o wo si a'" ('I will' save / deliver) "wih yi tim" (become) "be ra kah" (blessing). "'al" (not) "ti ra 'u" (fear), "te he zaq nah" (strong / strengthen) "ye de kem" (hands).

      thus says YHWH of Hosts, "ka 'a ser" (which / because) "le ha ra'" (affliction / 'evil') 'to you' "be haq sip" (angry) "'a bo te kem" (forefathers) Me. Says YHWH of Hosts, and not "ni he me ti" (comfort)
      This one takes some work to understand from the Hebrew. Essentially, the bad things that happened to their ancestors came upon them because they angered God.

      So "sab ti" (turned back) "za mam ti" (consider) 'in this time' "le te tib" (do good) to Jerusalem and the house of Judah, do not fear.

      "el lah" (these) "had de ba rim" (words / things) "'a ser" that "ta 'a su" ('you' do)....
      this is an order, a commandment
      .... - "dab be ru" (speak) "'e met" (truth) "'is" (man) to "re 'e hu" (neighbor / another) - "'e met" (truth) "u mis pat" (judgment) "be sa 'a re kem" ('in the' gate).

      "we 'is" (and none 'of you') "ra 'at" (evil) "re 'e hu" (neighbor) - not think "bil bab kem" (heart (inner mind)) "u se bu 'at" (oath) "se qer" (false / falsehood) - not love these things I "sa ne ti" (hate), says YHWH.

18 and 19
      and the word of YHWH came to me
      thus says YHWH of Hosts, "so wm" (the fast) the fourth month, "so wm" fifth month, ... seventh, and tenth, shall be for the house of Judah "le sa so wn" (joy / gladness) "u le sim hah" (gladness / joy), "u le mo 'a dim" ('appointed feast time' (festival)) - "to w bim" ('be' cheerful) "we ha 'e met" ('therefore' truth) "we has sa lo wm" (and peace) "'e ha bu" (love).

      Thus says YHWH of Hosts - yet that shall come "'am min" (people), "we yo se be" ('and' inhabitants) "'a rim" (cities) many.

21 and 22
      paraphrase: all these people of these cities shall say to one another 'let's go pray to YHWH' and to seek YWHW of Hosts.
      the next verse repeats the same general idea, but is now the people of the nations.

      Thus says YHWH of Hosts - in those days "ya ha zi qu" (strong) ten men "mik kol" (all / every) "le so no wt" (language) "hag go w yim" ((foreign) nations) "we he he zi qu" (shall hold) "bik nap" (corner / edge 'of garment') "'is'" (man) "ye hu di" (Jew / Jews) saying, "ne le kah" ('we' come) with you "sa ma' nu" ('we' heard) that 'Elohim "im ma kim" (with 'you').

end 8

For this chapter

The Jewish Leap Year

A Minor Prophets Study feature focus: The Ten 'Lost Tribes' of the Northern Kingdom of Israel

Sources used throughout entire study:
Bible Hub Interlinear pages: We'll change this link as we change books.

the Geneva Bible downloadable

the 1611 KJV

The Minor Prophets Study Index page.

NOTE: The Bible Study Lesson presented above is posted as a reference document to begin a conversation of the topic. And that's it. Please accept it at such.

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