B2 U 7:1-14. Fasts. V 8:1-17. Restoration of Jerusalem. U 8:18,19. Feasts. V 8:20-23. Accession of Nations.
U W1 1-3. Question. W2 4-14. Answer.
1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius [Hystaspis] (2 years after the 1st literal prophecy in 1:1), that the word of the LORD came to Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu; (Late November.)
2 When they had sent to the house of God Sherezer (probably born in exile, as he bears an Assyrian name) and Regemmelech (mumbo-jumbo), and their men (Bet-el had already been occupied by exiles returned from Babylon. See Ezra 2:28. Neh. 7:32; 11:31), entreat the Lord's favor by prayer, (Never read prayer to talk to Him. He wants to hear you, not what someone else says.)
3 And to speak to the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts (Deut. 17:9; 33:10), and to the prophets, saying, "Should I weep in the fifth month (see v.5), separating myself, according as I have done now so many years?" (God dislikes poor me babies.)
W2 X 4-6. Fasting and Mourning. Formal. Y 7-. The former prophets. Z -7. Disobedience. Prosperity. X 8-10. Fasting and Mourning. True. Y 11,12-. The former prophets. Z -12-14. Disobedience. Adversity.
4 Then came the word of the LORD of hosts to me, saying,
5 "Speak to all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, 'When you fasted and mourned in the fifth (the month Ab. The fast had already been instituted to commemorate the destruction of Jerusalem on the 10th of Ab [our July 28th, Jer. 52:12,13) and seventh month (the month Tirsi, our October. The fast had already been instituted, on the 3rd of Tirsi, to commemorate the murder of Gedaliah by Ishmael, the son of Nethaniah. See Jer. 40:8; 41:1-3,15-18. See 8:19), even those seventy years, did you at all fast to Me, even to Me?
6 And when you did eat, and when you did drink, did not you eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves? (Not "before the Lord" or for His glory. See Deut. 12:7; 14:26. 1 Chron. 29:22; and cp. 1 Cor. 10:31. Col. 3;17.)
7 Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD has cried by the hand of the former prophets (see 1:4),
when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south (the Negev. See Cp. Gen. 13:1. Deut. 1:7. Ps. 126;4) and the lowland?' " (Cp. Deut. 1:7. Judg. 1:9,&c.) LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,
9 "Thus speaks the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show loving-kindness and compassions every man to his brother:
10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, and the poor (ref. Ex. 22:21,22. Deut. 24:17); and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart."
11 But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder (turning aside from the one who speaks), and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. (Cp. 1:4. Jer. 6:10,17,17,&c.)
12 Yes, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law (ref. Ex.20,&c.), and the words which the LORD of hosts has sent by His spirit by the former prophets:
therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
13 "Therefore it is come to pass, that as He cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear," says the LORD of hosts:
14 "But I scattered them with a whirlwind (= to drive with a tempest. Cp. Isa. 54:11. Hos. 13:3. Jonah 1:11,13. Hab. 3:14) among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate (ref. Lev. 26:22)after them (i.e. when they had left it), that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the desirable land (Dan. 8:9) desolate."