Gaebelein's Annotated Bible
Again the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying,CHAPTER 8
1. The restoration announced (Zechariah 8:1-3)
2. The peace of Jerusalem (Zechariah 8:4-5)
3. The return to the land (Zechariah 8:6-8)
4. The blessing of the land and the people (Zechariah 8:9-23)
Zechariah 8:1-3. The answer is now given to the question, and it is an answer which none of the petitioners expected. The answer is closely linked with the third night vision in chapter 2, for here is an enlarged prophecy concerning the restoration of Jerusalem. Jehovah was jealous for Jerusalem. The wrath fell upon the Gentiles and He poured out His fury upon them (which of course is future). When that has taken place He returns unto Zion and establishes His dwelling place in the midst of His people. Then Jerusalem is no longer trodden down by the Gentiles. Her name is a new name, “the City of Truth.” How different from the other names she bore in her humiliation! She was called an unclean woman Lamentations 1:8; Lamentations 1:17; a harlot and a murderer Isaiah 1:21; Sodom and Egypt Revelation 11:1-19.
Zechariah 8:4-5. The misery of Jerusalem was great while under judgment. All will be changed “in that day.” The city will have peace and prosperity and be largely inhabited. Hence there will be no more need to weep over her past fate and desolation, for greater glory has come.
Zechariah 8:6-8. They all return to the land. In the second chapter the north country was mentioned (Russia); and their return announced. Here the east and the west are named, the far east, India, China, Japan; and the West, the European countries and America.
Zechariah 8:9-23. What a contrast with the former days of judgment and dispersion and misery! For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast.... Little fruit was had from the ground; there was nothing for man and beast.... Neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in on account of the affliction.... There was no rest, no peace, but uncertainty and affliction. Those that went out from the land had no peace, and they that came into the land found no peace. The curse said, No rest for the sole of their feet, and how literally it has been fulfilled. Again the people seek a resting place in the land without their God and their Saviour, all in the confidence of the flesh. They will succeed in their restoration plans only to find themselves at last in greater difficulties and facing worse afflictions than ever before. Then every one will be against his neighbor (Zechariah 8:10). Money spent by the millions in building channels for irrigation, planting of trees and vines, building railroads, etc. (just what modern Zionism proposes and has undertaken to do), may succeed in transforming the land in spots into a fruitful garden, but the time of Jacob’s trouble will sweep that all away. The Lord will be gracious to the very land in the day of His manifestation. There will be a time of peace, the vine will give her fruit, the ground her increase, the heavens their dew.
The curse will then be changed into a blessing and the remnant will be a holy people. Fast days become feast days; national calamities of the past are forgotten, and in the place of weeping there is praise and worship. The songs of praise with which the book of Psalms closes will undoubtedly then be sung by the restored nation. This great restoration chapter closes with a vision of the conversion of the whole world (Zechariah 8:20-23). The nations are seeking the Lord of Hosts in Jerusalem to pray before Him. Then the Jew will no longer be a dishonored person among the Gentiles, but they will be the messengers of the King among the nations; and they will gladly take hold of the skirt of the Jew to be taken by him to Jerusalem.