Zechariah 1:3 MEANING

Zechariah 1:3
Verse 3. - Say thou unto them. The prophet shows why he has reminded them of their forefathers' sins and punishment. Saith the Lord of hosts. The expression recurs three times in this verse; it denotes the almightiness and infinite resources of God (see note A in the appendix to Archdeacon Perowne's edition of this prophet). Its constant repetition, as in Haggai, gives a certain heaviness to the prophet's style. Turn (return) ye unto me. He calls the people to repentance, partly, doubtless, with a view to their taking an active part in rebuilding the temple, thus carrying on the exhortations of Haggai, but also with reference to their general indevotion and laxity which Ezra afterwards had to reprove (see Ezra 9:2). Saith the Lord of hosts; literally, (it is) the utterance of Jehovah of hosts. This is a more threatening form than the mere "saith" in the other two places in this verse. And I will turn (return) unto you (Malachi 3:7). God promises his favour on their repentance and better conduct; as Haggai had been commissioned to proclaim a return of fruitful seasons as soon as the people obeyed his word and attended diligently to the work before them (Haggai 2:19). They were called now to attend to the pure worship of the Lord, as the sole condition of prosperity (comp. 2 Chronicles 30:6; James 4:8). It has been well observed that when it is said, "Turn ye unto me," etc., we are reminded of our free will; and when we cry, "Turn us, good Lord, and we shall be turned," we acknowledge the need of God's preventing grace.

1:1-6 God's almighty power and sovereign dominion, should engage and encourage sinners to repent and turn to Him. It is very desirable to have the Lord of hosts for our friend, and very dreadful to have him for our enemy. Review what is past, and observe the message God sent by his servants, the prophets, to your fathers. Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings. Be persuaded to leave your sins, as the only way to prevent approaching ruin. What is become of our fathers, and of the prophets that preached to them? They are all dead and gone. Here they were, in the towns and countries where we live, passing and repassing in the same streets, dwelling in the same houses, trading in the same shops and exchanges, worshipping God in the same places. But where are they? When they died, there was not an end of them; they are in eternity, in the world of spirits, the unchangeable world to which we hasten apace. Where are they? Those of them who lived and died in sin, are in torment. Those who lived and died in Christ, are in heaven; and if we live and die as they did, we shall be with them shortly and eternally. If they minded not their own souls, is that a reason why their posterity should ruin theirs also? The prophets are gone. Christ is a Prophet that lives for ever, but all other prophets have a period put to their office. Oh that this consideration had its due weight; that dying ministers are dealing with dying people about their never-dying souls, and an awful eternity, upon the brink of which both are standing! In another world, both we and our prophets shall live for ever: to prepare for that world ought to be our great care in this. The preachers died, and the hearers died, but the word of God died not; not one jot or title of it fell to the ground; for he is righteous.Therefore say thou unto them,.... This is an order from the Lord to Zechariah, to say unto them, in the name of the Lord:

thus saith the Lord of hosts; of the hosts above and below, of angels and of men, of heaven and earth, and all that is therein: this is said, that the greater regard might be had to his words:

turn ye unto me, saith the Lord of hosts; by repentance, and acknowledgment of former sins; by reformation for the future; by attending to the worship and service of God, and seeking to glorify him. So the Targum, "return to my worship": this is not the condition of what follows, but what follows is the motive and encouragement to this:

and I will turn unto you, saith the Lord of hosts; to dwell among them, manifest himself unto and protect them. Three times the phrase, "the Lord of hosts", is used in this verse: it may be with respect to the three Persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Spirit; who manifest themselves unto, and take up their abode with, such as love the Lord, and keep his commandments; see John 14:21.

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