And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 2 “Thus says the LORD of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath.
3 Thus says the LORD: I will return to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of the `LORD of hosts, the holy mountain. 4 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand for very age. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. 6 Thus says the LORD of hosts: If it is marvelous in the sight of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in my sight, says the LORD of hosts? 7 Thus says the LORD of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; 8 and I will bring them to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, in faithfulness and in righteousnes.” Zech. 8:1-7
Numerous pronouncements of “Thus says the LORD” are given to Zechariah. Once again we are to learn the LORD will exact wrath on Israel’s enemies and the restoration of Judah and Jerusalem will include his dwelling in their midst
Thoughout Zechariah, the prophet refers to the LORD as the LORD of Hosts. But, here in Chapter 8 it is particularly noticeable. It is a reminder to them that they are His Hosts and He is their God. As long as they keep their end of the bargain, everything will be well with them. Repeated numerous times, “Thus says the LORD of hosts”, is an emphatic statement of holy jealousy. It also shows the LORD was “impatient” to restore the prosperity of His city and dwell with His people.
“that they may walk in my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God. Ezek. 11:20
The LORD is passionate about Zion, her honor and her reputation. Jerusalem will once again be his dwelling place after years of anger against his people for their sins. Formerly treacherous, his people will become faithful and honest. The LORD of Hosts dwells among his people.
FYI: the holy mountain is not only a reference to Mt. Moriah, but beyond and includes the entire region (Isa 11:9, 27:13, 66:20; Jer 37:13). Zion was the site of one of the hills that Jerusalem inhabited. Originally a Jebusite fortress, it was also called Salem. Melchezedek was king of Salem or king of righteousness. David captured the city and brought the ark to Zion, where it became associated with holiness (II Sam 6:10-12). When Solomon’s Temple was built and he moved the ark to it, Zion was extended to include the temple site (I Ki 8:1).
He says he will bring great wrath or destruction upon those who dealt barbariously with his people. His fierce anger, once toward his people, is now turned against their enemies.
“They made their hearts like adamant lest they should hear the law and the words which the LORD of Hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great wrath came from the LORD of Hosts.” Zech 7:12
Zion had been idolatrous and unfaithful in their covenants with the LORD. This people, who will be transformed by following His ways will now be faithful. In fact, they never do turn to idolatry again.
FYI: the holy mountain was cleared of idols and is no longer the mountain of corruption. 2 Ki 23:13
As part of the retoration of Jerusalem, there will be an increase in the number of young and those who live to an old age going about their usual activities. This is a sign of normality, the young and old involved in daily activities without concern for safety. Peace will return even to these troubled streets, the same streets which had seen so many slain by Nebuchadneezers’ armies some 70 plus years earlier.
The LORD of hosts says that although the times are difficult and these things seem impossible, in fact it is not hard for the LORD to do this. The LORD anticipates that the people will be amazed that Jerusalem will be restored and replenished, but this is what the LORD is promising to them as a result of them following Him.
The LORD will bring his people to safety wherever they are, in Babylon or in Eygpt. His might and will brings his people to the very Jerusalem of promise. They will be His people and He will be their God. He brings them to dwell in righteousness because of His faithfulness. They will renew their covenants and He will be true to them in all that He has promised.