7:1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, [that] the word of the LORD came to Zechariah in the fourth [day] of the ninth month, [even] in a Chisleu;
(a) Which contained part of November and part of
7:2 When b
they had sent to the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to
pray before the LORD,
(b) That is, the rest of the people that yet
remained in Chaldea, sent to the Church at Jerusalem for the resolution of
these questions, because these feasts were consented upon by the agreement of
the whole Church, the one in the month that the temple was destroyed, and the
other when Gedaliah was slain; (Jeremiah
7:3 [And] to speak to the priests who [were] in the
house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I c
weep in the fifth month, d separating
myself, as I have done these so many e
(c) By weeping and mourning are shown what
exercises they used in their fasting.
(d) That is, prepare myself with all devotion to
(e) Which had been since the time the temple was
7:5 Speak to all the people of
the land, and to the f priests, saying,
When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month], even those seventy
years, did ye at all fast to me, g
[even] to me?
(f) For there were both of the people, and of the
priests, those who doubted with regard to this controversy, besides those who
as yet remained in Chaldea, and argue about it, as of one of the chief points
of their religion.
(g) For they thought they had gained favour with
God because of this fast, which they invented by themselves: and though
fasting of itself is good, yet because they thought it a service toward God,
and trusted in it, it is here reproved.
7:6 And when ye ate, and when ye drank, did ye not
eat h [for yourselves], and drink [for
(h) Did you not eat and drink for your own
benefit and necessity, and so likewise you abstained according to your own
imaginings, and not after the command and direction of my Law.
7:7 [Should ye] not [hear] the words which the LORD i
hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in
prosperity, and her cities around her, when [men] inhabited the south and the
(i) By this he condemns their hypocrisy, who
thought by their fasting to please God, and by such things as they invented,
and in the meantime would not serve him as he had commanded.
7:9 Thus speaketh the LORD of
hosts, saying, k Execute true judgment,
and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
(k) He shows that they did not fast with a
sincere heart, but because of hypocrisy, and that it was not done from a pure
religion, because they lacked these offices of charity which should have
declared that they were godly; (Matthew
7:11 But they refused to
hearken, and l withdrew the shoulder,
and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.
(l) And would not carry the Lord's burden,
which was sweet and easy, but would bear their own, which was heavy and
grievous to the flesh, thinking to gain merit by it: which metaphor is taken
from oxen, which shrink at the yoke; (Nehemiah
7:12 Yea, they made their hearts [as] an adamant
stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath
sent in his m spirit by the former
prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
(m) Which declares that they did not only rebel
against the Prophets, but against the Spirit of God that spoke in them.
7:14 But I scattered them
with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was
desolate n after them, that no man
passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land o
(n) That is, after they were taken captive.
(o) By their sins by which they provoked God's