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 December.
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; (Jer 41:2).
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 years?
(c) By weeping and mourning are shown what exercises they
used in their fasting.
(d) That is, prepare myself with all devotion to his fast.
(e) Which had been since the time the temple was destroyed.
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
(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 yourselves]?
(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 plain?
(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
7:9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, k Execute true
judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his
(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;
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; (Ne 9:29).
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
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 desolate.
(n) That is, after they were taken captive.
(o) By their sins by which they provoked God's anger.