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Zechariah 8:9-15


8:9 “The Lord who rules over all also says, ‘Gather strength, you who are listening to these words today from the mouths of the prophets who were there at the founding of the house of the Lord who rules over all, 1  so that the temple might be built. 8:10 Before that time there was no compensation for man or animal, nor was there any relief from adversity for those who came and went, because I had pitted everybody – each one – against everyone else. 8:11 But I will be different now to this remnant of my people from the way I was in those days,’ says the Lord who rules over all, 8:12 ‘for there will be a peaceful time of sowing, the vine will produce its fruit and the ground its yield, and the skies 2  will rain down dew. Then I will allow the remnant of my people to possess all these things. 8:13 And it will come about that just as you (both Judah and Israel) were a curse to the nations, so I will save you and you will be a blessing. Do not be afraid! Instead, be strong!’

8:14 “For the Lord who rules over all says, ‘As I had planned to hurt 3  you when your fathers made me angry,’ says the Lord who rules over all, ‘and I was not sorry, 8:15 so, to the contrary, I have planned in these days to do good to Jerusalem and Judah – do not fear!

1 sn These prophets who were there at the founding of the house of the Lord who rules over all included at least Haggai and Zechariah, and perhaps others. The founding referred to here is not the initial laying of the temple’s foundations in 536 b.c. (Ezra 3:8) but the resumption of work two years before the time of the present narrative (i.e., in 520 b.c.), as vv. 10-12 make clear.

2 tn Or “the heavens” (so KJV, NAB, NIV). The Hebrew term שָׁמַיִם (shamayim) may be translated “heavens” or “skies” depending on the context.

3 tn The verb זָמַם (zamam) usually means “to plot to do evil,” but with a divine subject (as here), and in light of v. 15 where it means to plan good, the meaning here has to be the implementation of discipline (cf. NCV, CEV “punish”). God may bring hurt but its purpose is redemptive and/or pedagogical.

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