1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu;
Chisleu is currently known as Kislev. It's the third month of the civil year, and the ninth month of the ecclesiastical year. It is an autumn month, normally during November-December. It probably means hope or positiveness. It could mean "ksil" which is the Hebrew name for Orion, in the hopes for rain.
2 When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,
Sherezer and Regemmelech were people from the captivity who were sent to pray.
It doesn't seem like the captivity was very captive. There are stories of people who just came and went as they pleased to and from Babylon, even during the early part with the Babylonians. If the Babylonian captivity was prison, it seems like it was even easier than a work release program.
5 Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?
6 And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?
God is a bit mad, he wants the people to worship him, and do things for him, not for themselves.
9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother:
10 And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.
Imagine is used in 16 verse in the KJV1611. It's all about thinking about doing... not good, it's about thinking about doing mischief and evil.
Not most of the time, ALL of the TIME! All 16 verses
are about evil.
Psalm 2:1 imagine vain; Psalm 10:2 devices imagined; Psalm 21:11 imagined a mischievous device; Hosea 7:15 imagine mischief; Acts 4:25 imagine vain.
Imagining is NOT a good thing. Now, what's that famous song???
Originally Posted by dirty hippy
Imagine there's no heaven...
Imagine there's no countries...
Imagine no possessions...
Imagine all the people...
Are any of those things good Biblical values?
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 spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.
God didn't ask the people to do too much; true judgment, mercy, compassion, don't oppress, and don't imagine evil... how friggin hard is that?
But they didn't do it, so God went all Old Testament; in the Old Testament.
God wanted to go back.
3 Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
God misses his house. He was only gone for 70-ish years this time. Imagine (I mean, just think about) how much he misses it for the more than 2000 years that he's been homeless since the Romans.
4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.
It'll be a great place, old people sitting on their front porches, kids frolicking in the streets.
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;
I've said it before, Israel is a really weird country. They aren't out for world domination. They don't want to take over other people's lands. They don't want to spread their religion. The only time they ever left was when they were taken away, or were starving from famine (Joseph's dreams). They don't even know who their neighbors are. They had no clue that Babylon was there, when Persia took it over, they were like "who the hell are these guys. They never even bothered to look beyond their borders... they've never met... (wait for a chapter)
8 And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
God wants his people. He doesn't want the rest, although he gets them now.
10 For before these days there was no hire for 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.
Obama must have been governor. No jobs (no hire for man), no industry (no hire for beast), a divided country (every one against his neighbour).
11 But now I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts.
God's going to act different this time. Even though He's always acted the same. Everything starts great, goes to shit; he wipes it out; starts it over great, it goes to shit; he wipes it out; starts it over... but this time, he's not going to do that... except for the whole "Day of the LORD" thing... but after that, then nothing will go to shit. That time he promises!!!
12 For the seed shall be prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.
Grape juice, that's what the Southern Baptists think came from the vine.
15 So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
16 These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:
17 And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the LORD.
It looks like the list of things they have to do has shortened. Is God getting more tolerant? They don't have to worry about not oppressing widows. Is God getting soft? Will the people follow these new abbreviated rules? Is the temple still standing?
22 Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.
(That's the US, fyi)
God is going to punish some other places:
2: Hamath, Tyrus, Zidon
5: Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon
6: Ashdod, Philistines
9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
(Remember that for later)
13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
Holy crap, the Bible mentions Greece, as Greece. Greece had been around from the 800's BC, and it only took like 300 years for Israel to even notice them by name.
15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.
We came, we conquered, we got drunk!
1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
God at the strip club: makin it rain bishes!!!
2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.
Remember a false prophet is probably the one who is promising you good things.
3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.
A good craftsman doesn't blame his tools.
6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.
God will love them like he used to, and everyone will forget the whole "stuck in Babylon" period... we'll just act like that didn't happen.
Just like the way your wife forgave you for all your indiscretions, she loves you like it was before then, and she forgot all about that.
8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.
I think he will whistle for them.
10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.
When you hear the whistle of God, you come running from where ever you are.
So what have we learned today?
1. God only asks for a couple of rules, each time, he seems to ask for less.
2. God's gonna make it rain!
3. God's going to destroy some people.
4. God's going to call his people back.