The Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion
8 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came [to me], saying, 2 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I am [a]jealous for Zion with great jealousy [demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine], and I am jealous for her with great wrath [against her enemies].’ 3 Thus says the Lord, ‘I shall return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the [faithful] City of Truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts will be called the Holy Mountain.’ 4 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Old men and old women will again sit in the [b]streets (public places) of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of his advanced age. 5 And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.’ 6 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘If it is difficult in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days [in which this comes to pass], will it also be difficult in My sight?’ declares the Lord of hosts.(A) 7 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Behold, I am going to save My people from the east country and from the west,(B) 8 and I will bring them home and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth (faithfulness) and in righteousness.’
9 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Let your hands be strong, you who in these days hear these words from the mouths of the prophets who, on the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, foretold that the temple might be rebuilt. 10 For before those days there were no wages for man or animal; nor was there any peace or success for him who went out or came in because of his enemies, for I set all men against one another. 11 But now [in this time since you began to build] I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ declares the Lord of hosts. 12 ‘For there the seed will produce peace and prosperity; the vine will yield its fruit, and the ground will produce its increase, and the heavens will give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit and possess all these things. 13 And as you have been a curse among the nations, O house of Judah (Southern Kingdom) and house of Israel (Northern Kingdom), so I will save you, that you may be a blessing. Fear not; let your hands be strong.’(C)
14 “For thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘Just as I planned to do harm to you when your fathers provoked Me to wrath,’ says the Lord of hosts, ‘and I did not relent, 15 so I have again planned in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear! 16 These are the things which you should do: speak the truth with one another; judge with truth and pronounce the judgment that brings peace in [the courts at] your gates.(D) 17 And let none of you devise or even imagine evil in your heart against another, and do not love lying or half-truths; for all these things I hate,’ declares the Lord.”
18 Then the word of the Lord of hosts came to me (Zechariah), saying, 19 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘The fast of the fourth [month to mourn the breaching of Jerusalem’s walls], the fast of the fifth [month to mourn the temple’s destruction], the fast of the seventh [month to mourn Gedaliah’s assassination], and the fast of the tenth [month to mourn the siege of Jerusalem] will become times of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah; so [to bring this about] love truth and peace.’(E)
20 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘It will come to pass that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come [to Jerusalem]. 21 The inhabitants of one [city] will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to ask the favor of the Lord and to seek the Lord of hosts. I will go also.” 22 So many peoples and powerful nations will come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to ask the Lord for His favor.’ 23 Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘In those days ten men [as representatives] from all the nations will grasp the robe of a Jew, saying, “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.”’”
- Zechariah 8:2 “There is no implication of envy in the ‘jealousy’ of God, but rather the boundless enthusiasm of the Lord which loves holiness, hates sin, brings judgment upon sinners, and intervenes on behalf of His godly ones.” Charles Feinberg, God Remembers.
- Zechariah 8:4 The Hebrew word refers to broad, spread-out spaces such as wide streets, squares, plazas, public parks, and so throughout.
New Living Translation
Promised Blessings for Jerusalem
8 Then another message came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies: 2 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: My love for Mount Zion is passionate and strong; I am consumed with passion for Jerusalem!
3 “And now the Lord says: I am returning to Mount Zion, and I will live in Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the Faithful City; the mountain of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will be called the Holy Mountain.
4 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Once again old men and women will walk Jerusalem’s streets with their canes and will sit together in the city squares. 5 And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls at play.
6 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: All this may seem impossible to you now, a small remnant of God’s people. But is it impossible for me? says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.
7 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: You can be sure that I will rescue my people from the east and from the west. 8 I will bring them home again to live safely in Jerusalem. They will be my people, and I will be faithful and just toward them as their God.
9 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Be strong and finish the task! Ever since the laying of the foundation of the Temple of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, you have heard what the prophets have been saying about completing the building. 10 Before the work on the Temple began, there were no jobs and no money to hire people or animals. No traveler was safe from the enemy, for there were enemies on all sides. I had turned everyone against each other.
11 “But now I will not treat the remnant of my people as I treated them before, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 12 For I am planting seeds of peace and prosperity among you. The grapevines will be heavy with fruit. The earth will produce its crops, and the heavens will release the dew. Once more I will cause the remnant in Judah and Israel to inherit these blessings. 13 Among the other nations, Judah and Israel became symbols of a cursed nation. But no longer! Now I will rescue you and make you both a symbol and a source of blessing. So don’t be afraid. Be strong, and get on with rebuilding the Temple!
14 “For this is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: I was determined to punish you when your ancestors angered me, and I did not change my mind, says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 15 But now I am determined to bless Jerusalem and the people of Judah. So don’t be afraid. 16 But this is what you must do: Tell the truth to each other. Render verdicts in your courts that are just and that lead to peace. 17 Don’t scheme against each other. Stop your love of telling lies that you swear are the truth. I hate all these things, says the Lord.”
18 Here is another message that came to me from the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. 19 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: The traditional fasts and times of mourning you have kept in early summer, midsummer, autumn, and winter[a] are now ended. They will become festivals of joy and celebration for the people of Judah. So love truth and peace.
20 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: People from nations and cities around the world will travel to Jerusalem. 21 The people of one city will say to the people of another, ‘Come with us to Jerusalem to ask the Lord to bless us. Let’s worship the Lord of Heaven’s Armies. I’m determined to go.’ 22 Many peoples and powerful nations will come to Jerusalem to seek the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and to ask for his blessing.
23 “This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: In those days ten men from different nations and languages of the world will clutch at the sleeve of one Jew. And they will say, ‘Please let us walk with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”
- 8:19 Hebrew in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months. The fourth month of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar usually occurs within the months of June and July. The fifth month usually occurs within the months of July and August. The seventh month usually occurs within the months of September and October. The tenth month usually occurs within the months of December and January.