7:2 sent . . . to entreat the favor of the Lord. A delegation came from Bethel to inquire whether they should continue to fast in mourning for the destruction of the temple. The temple was destroyed in the fifth month (586 b.c.), according to 2 Kin. 25:8–15. The question is answered by the prophet in 8:18, 19. Chapter 7 shows that the restored community in Jerusalem was outwardly religious but was missing the fruits of true religion. True religion should result in good deeds (James 1:26, 27). See notes on vv. 9, 10.