8:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was a jealous for Zion
with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great
(a) I loved my city with a singular love, so that I could
not endure that any should do her any injury.
8:3 Thus saith the LORD; I have returned to Zion, and will dwell
in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a
b city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the
(b) Because she will be faithful and loyal toward me her
8:4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old c men
and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every
man with his staff in his hand for very age.
(c) Though their enemies did greatly molest and trouble
them, yet God would come and dwell among them, and so
preserve them as long as nature would allow them to
live, and increase their children in great abundance.
8:6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it is d marvellous in the
eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it
also be marvellous in my eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
(d) He shows in what our faith consists, that is, to believe
that God can perform that which he has promised, though
it seem ever so impossible to man; (Ge 13:14, Rom 4:20).
8:8 And I will bring them, and they shall e dwell in the midst
of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be
their God, in truth and in righteousness.
(e) So that their return will not be in vain: for God will
accomplish his promise, and their prosperity will be
sure and stable.
8:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your f hands be strong,
ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the
prophets, who [were] in the day [when] the foundation of the
house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might
(f) Let neither respect of your personal benefits, neither
counsel of others, nor fear of enemies, discourage you
in the going forward with the building of the temple,
but be steadfast and obey the Prophets, who encourage
you to that.
8:10 For before these days there was no hire for g man, nor
any hire for beast; neither [was there any] peace to him
that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I
set all men every one against his neighbour.
(g) For God cursed your work, so that neither man nor beast
had profit from their labours.
8:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish
h you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the
LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
8:15 So again have I thought in these days i to do good to
Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
(i) Which declares that man cannot turn to God until he
changes man's heart by his Spirit, and so begin to do
good to them, which is to pardon his sins and to give
him his graces.
8:19 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth
[month], and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the
seventh, and the fast of the k tenth, shall be to the
house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts;
therefore love the truth and peace.
(k) Which fast was appointed when the city was besieged,
and was the first fast of these four. And here the
prophet shows that if the Jews will repent, and turn
wholly to God, they will have no more occasion to fast,
or to show signs of heaviness, for God will send them
joy and gladness.
8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; [It shall] yet [come to
pass], that there shall come l people, and the
inhabitants of many cities:
(l) He declares the great zeal that God would give the
Gentiles to come to his Church, and to unite with the
Jews in his true religion, which would be in the
kingdom of Christ.