Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Zechariah 8

Staff in hand, Jerusalem, 2010
Encouraged חזק is the word following the successful copying of a book of the Bible by a scribe. And the scribe then writes control counts for words, verses, and chapters on the page of the manuscript. We could use resolved also. But in this same chapter, I think I would preserve the concordance. I find the last verse ambiguous. Who is encouraged? Why not both parties?

I hear echoes of Psalm 85 in this chapter. The two chapters share about 25% of their words in total. In verses 7 to 12, we find salvation, dwell, truth, righteousness, peace, yield and produce in the same sequence as in Psalm 85:10-14 + a few other shared words - again about 25% of the words in this section. I wonder if the Psalmist was writing based on the prophet's promise?

Zechariah 8
וַיְהִ֛י דְּבַר־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת לֵאמֹֽר 1 And the word of Yahweh of hosts happened, saying. 11
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת קִנֵּ֥אתִי לְצִיּ֖וֹן קִנְאָ֣ה גְדוֹלָ֑ה
וְחֵמָ֥ה גְדוֹלָ֖ה קִנֵּ֥אתִי לָֽהּ
2 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, I am jealous for Zion, a great jealousy,
and a great heat. I am jealous for her.
19
10
כֹּ֚ה אָמַ֣ר יְהוָ֔ה שַׁ֚בְתִּי אֶל־צִיּ֔וֹן וְשָׁכַנְתִּ֖י בְּת֣וֹךְ יְרֽוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
וְנִקְרְאָ֤ה יְרוּשָׁלִַ֙ם֙ עִ֣יר־הָֽאֱמֶ֔ת וְהַר־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת הַ֥ר הַקֹּֽדֶשׁ ס
3 Thus says Yahweh, I have returned to Zion and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
And Jerusalem will be called the city of truth and the hill of Yahweh of hosts, the holy hill.
20
24
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת עֹ֤ד יֵֽשְׁבוּ֙ זְקֵנִ֣ים וּזְקֵנ֔וֹת בִּרְחֹב֖וֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
וְאִ֧ישׁ מִשְׁעַנְתּ֛וֹ בְּיָד֖וֹ מֵרֹ֥ב יָמִֽים
4 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, Yet will sit old men and old women in the plazas of Jerusalem,
and each with their staff in their hand for multitude of days.
24
12
וּרְחֹב֤וֹת הָעִיר֙ יִמָּ֣לְא֔וּ יְלָדִ֖ים וִֽילָד֑וֹת
מְשַׂחֲקִ֖ים בִּרְחֹֽבֹתֶֽיהָ ס
5 And the plazas of the city will be full of boys and girls,
gamboling in her plazas.
14
10
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת כִּ֣י יִפָּלֵ֗א בְּעֵינֵי֙ שְׁאֵרִית֙ הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֔ה בַּיָּמִ֖ים הָהֵ֑ם
גַּם־בְּעֵינַי֙ יִפָּלֵ֔א נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת פ
6 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, That it is wonderful in the eyes of the residue of this people in these days,
even in my eyes it will be wonderful, an oracle of Yahweh of hosts.
27
15
כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֔וֹת הִנְנִ֥י מוֹשִׁ֛יעַ אֶת־עַמִּ֖י מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִזְרָ֑ח
וּמֵאֶ֖רֶץ מְב֥וֹא הַשָּֽׁמֶשׁ
7 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, Note me well saving my people from the land of the sunrise,
and from the land of the going down of the sun.
21
9
וְהֵבֵאתִ֣י אֹתָ֔ם וְשָׁכְנ֖וּ בְּת֣וֹךְ יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
וְהָיוּ־לִ֣י לְעָ֗ם וַֽאֲנִי֙ אֶהְיֶ֤ה לָהֶם֙ לֵֽאלֹהִ֔ים בֶּאֱמֶ֖ת וּבִצְדָקָֽה ס
8 And I will bring them and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem,
and they will be my people and myself, I will become their God, in truth and in righteousness.
15
24
כֹּֽה־אָמַר֮ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֒ תֶּחֱזַ֣קְנָה יְדֵיכֶ֔ם הַשֹּֽׁמְעִים֙ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה אֵ֖ת הַדְּבָרִ֣ים הָאֵ֑לֶּה
מִפִּי֙ הַנְּבִיאִ֔ים אֲ֠שֶׁר בְּי֞וֹם יֻסַּ֨ד בֵּית־יְהוָ֧ה צְבָא֛וֹת הַהֵיכָ֖ל לְהִבָּנֽוֹת
9 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, Let your hands be encouraged. Hear in these days these words,
from the mouths of the prophets who were in the day when the foundation of the house of Yahweh of hosts, the temple, was to be built.
31
24
כִּ֗י לִפְנֵי֙ הַיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֔ם שְׂכַ֤ר הָֽאָדָם֙ לֹ֣א נִֽהְיָ֔ה וּשְׂכַ֥ר הַבְּהֵמָ֖ה אֵינֶ֑נָּה
וְלַיּוֹצֵ֨א וְלַבָּ֤א אֵין־שָׁלוֹם֙ מִן־הַצָּ֔ר וַאֲשַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־כָּל־הָאָדָ֖ם אִ֥ישׁ בְּרֵעֵֽהוּ
10 For before those days the wage of the human had not been, nor was there any wage for the beast,
and to go out or to come in, there was no peace from the foe, and I set loose every human each against its associate.
24
27
וְעַתָּ֗ה לֹ֣א כַיָּמִ֤ים הָרִֽאשֹׁנִים֙ אֲנִ֔י לִשְׁאֵרִ֖ית הָעָ֣ם הַזֶּ֑ה
נְאֻ֖ם יְהוָ֥ה צְבָאֽוֹת
11 But now, not as the former days am I, to the residue of this people,
an oracle of Yahweh of hosts.
20
7
כִּֽי־זֶ֣רַע הַשָּׁל֗וֹם הַגֶּ֜פֶן תִּתֵּ֤ן פִּרְיָהּ֙ וְהָאָ֙רֶץ֙ תִּתֵּ֣ן אֶת־יְבוּלָ֔הּ וְהַשָּׁמַ֖יִם יִתְּנ֣וּ טַלָּ֑ם
וְהִנְחַלְתִּ֗י אֶת־שְׁאֵרִ֛ית הָעָ֥ם הַזֶּ֖ה אֶת־כָּל־אֵֽלֶּה
12 For seed is the repayment. The vine will yield fruit and the land will yield her produce and the heavens will give dew.
And I will make the residue of this people inherit all these.
30
16
וְהָיָ֡ה כַּאֲשֶׁר֩ הֱיִיתֶ֨ם קְלָלָ֜ה בַּגּוֹיִ֗ם בֵּ֤ית יְהוּדָה֙ וּבֵ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל כֵּ֚ן אוֹשִׁ֣יעַ אֶתְכֶ֔ם וִהְיִיתֶ֖ם בְּרָכָ֑ה
אַל־תִּירָ֖אוּ תֶּחֱזַ֥קְנָה יְדֵיכֶֽם ס
13 And it will happen that as you were a denial in the nations, House of Judah and House of Israel, so I will save you and you will become a blessing.
Do not fear. Let your hands be encouraged.
36
12
כִּ֣י כֹ֣ה אָמַר֮ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֒ כַּאֲשֶׁ֨ר זָמַמְ֜תִּי לְהָרַ֣ע לָכֶ֗ם בְּהַקְצִ֤יף אֲבֹֽתֵיכֶם֙ אֹתִ֔י אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת
וְלֹ֖א נִחָֽמְתִּי
14 Because thus says Yahweh of hosts, That as I intended to do injury to you in that your ancestors enraged me, says Yahweh of hosts,
and not I did not sigh,
36
5
כֵּ֣ן שַׁ֤בְתִּי זָמַ֙מְתִּי֙ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָאֵ֔לֶּה לְהֵיטִ֥יב אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַ֖ם וְאֶת־בֵּ֣ית יְהוּדָ֑ה
אַל־תִּירָֽאוּ
15 So I have turned from my intention in these days to do good to Jerusalem and the house of Judah.
Do not fear.
26
4
אֵ֥לֶּה הַדְּבָרִ֖ים אֲשֶׁ֣ר תַּֽעֲשׂ֑וּ
דַּבְּר֤וּ אֱמֶת֙ אִ֣ישׁ אֶת־רֵעֵ֔הוּ אֱמֶת֙ וּמִשְׁפַּ֣ט שָׁל֔וֹם שִׁפְט֖וּ בְּשַׁעֲרֵיכֶֽם
16 These are the things that you will do:
speak truth each with its associate, truth and judge the judgment of peace in your gates.
10
23
וְאִ֣ישׁ ׀ אֶת־רָעַ֣ת רֵעֵ֗הוּ אַֽל־תַּחְשְׁבוּ֙ בִּלְבַבְכֶ֔ם וּשְׁבֻ֥עַת שֶׁ֖קֶר אַֽל־תֶּאֱהָ֑בוּ
כִּ֧י אֶת־כָּל־אֵ֛לֶּה אֲשֶׁ֥ר שָׂנֵ֖אתִי נְאֻם־יְהוָֽה ס
17 And each of you, do not plot evil to your associate in your heart. An oath of falsehood do not love,
because all these are what I hate, an oracle of Yahweh.
25
15
וַיְהִ֛י דְּבַר־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת אֵלַ֥י לֵאמֹֽר 18 And the word of Yahweh of hosts happened to me saying, 13
כֹּֽה־אָמַ֞ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֗וֹת צ֣וֹם הָרְבִיעִ֡י וְצ֣וֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי֩ וְצ֨וֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִ֜י וְצ֣וֹם הָעֲשִׂירִ֗י יִהְיֶ֤ה לְבֵית־יְהוּדָה֙ לְשָׂשׂ֣וֹן וּלְשִׂמְחָ֔ה וּֽלְמֹעֲדִ֖ים טוֹבִ֑ים
וְהָאֱמֶ֥ת וְהַשָּׁל֖וֹם אֱהָֽבוּ פ
19 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, The fast of the fourth and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth will be for the house of Judah of joy and of gladness and good engagements.
Love both truth and peace.
48
12
כֹּ֥ה אָמַ֖ר יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת
עֹ֚ד אֲשֶׁ֣ר יָבֹ֣אוּ עַמִּ֔ים וְיֹשְׁבֵ֖י עָרִ֥ים רַבּֽוֹת
20 Thus says Yahweh of hosts,
Yet it is that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come,
8
14
וְֽהָלְכ֡וּ יֹשְׁבֵי֩ אַחַ֨ת אֶל־אַחַ֜ת לֵאמֹ֗ר נֵלְכָ֤ה הָלוֹךְ֙ לְחַלּוֹת֙ אֶת־פְּנֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה וּלְבַקֵּ֖שׁ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה צְבָא֑וֹת
אֵלְכָ֖ה גַּם־אָֽנִי
21 So will go the inhabitants of one to another saying, Let us go walking, to wait expectantly before Yahweh, and to seek Yahweh of hosts.
I will go, even I.
33
5
וּבָ֨אוּ עַמִּ֤ים רַבִּים֙ וְגוֹיִ֣ם עֲצוּמִ֔ים לְבַקֵּ֛שׁ אֶת־יְהוָ֥ה צְבָא֖וֹת בִּירוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
וּלְחַלּ֖וֹת אֶת־פְּנֵ֥י יְהוָֽה ס
22 And many peoples will come and numerous nations to seek Yahweh of hosts in Jerusalem,
and to wait expectantly before Yahweh.
26
9
כֹּ֥ה אָמַר֮ יְהוָ֣ה צְבָאוֹת֒ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֔מָּה אֲשֶׁ֤ר יַחֲזִ֙יקוּ֙ עֲשָׂרָ֣ה אֲנָשִׁ֔ים מִכֹּ֖ל לְשֹׁנ֣וֹת הַגּוֹיִ֑ם
וְֽהֶחֱזִ֡יקוּ בִּכְנַף֩ אִ֨ישׁ יְהוּדִ֜י לֵאמֹ֗ר נֵֽלְכָה֙ עִמָּכֶ֔ם כִּ֥י שָׁמַ֖עְנוּ אֱלֹהִ֥ים עִמָּכֶֽם ס
23 Thus says Yahweh of hosts, In those days, it will be that ten adults from all tongues of the nations will be encouraged,
and they will be encouraged by the hem of each one from Judah saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard God is with you.
34
29
Thoughts that occurred to me while reading this. I find such thoughts very hard to express.

Who 'takes hold' of whose garment hem?

Zechariah writes at the time of the restoration from exile in Babel (Babylon). Do we not all experience exile in some fashion?

Is it wonderful in Yahweh's eyes today, the state of Jerusalem? It is a hope, a patient expectation, that something can be done to alleviate the tension.

The gamboling in the plazas is even moot in more peaceful places as irrational fears grip common experience.

Notice the appeal to commerce. There should be a wage for earthling and for beast. It is so easy for every one to be set loose against everyone else.

I hope that appeals to self-interest will be rejected by electorates everywhere for good reason.

Yet people need their children, the crop, and the harvest, i.e. the economy - all people including the homeless and the refugee, the ones who are like me and the ones who are not. Don't trust the people who appeal to your baser instincts, fear and self-preservation. We cannot preserve ourselves. We can, however, help and encourage others and be encouraged by them. Don't trust vague appeals to freedom. We are not to be free from responsibility but rather free to respond.



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