Zechariah 7:13
Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, said the LORD of hosts:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Zechariah 7:13-14. Therefore — On this very account; as he cried — As I, by my Spirit in my prophets, called, warned, entreated, and urged them to repent, obey, and live, but they would not; so they cried — In their deep distress, and amidst their overwhelming calamities; and I would not hear — Would not answer, or regard their prayer. But I scattered them — Cast them out of their habitations, and dispersed them through distant countries; with a whirlwind — Suddenly and irresistibly; among all the nations — All the heathen, that hated them and their ways. Thus the land — Once flowing with milk and honey; once full of cities, men, and cattle; was desolate after them — Became waste as a wilderness after they were cast out; that no man passed through — An entire riddance was not only made of its inhabitants, but the very highways were desolate, so that none passed and repassed: and that which was before a pleasant land, became a mere desert. 7:8-14 God's judgements upon Israel of old for their sins, were written to warn Christians. The duties required are, not keeping fasts and offering sacrifices, but doing justly and loving mercy, which tend to the public welfare and peace. The law of God lays restraint upon the heart. But they filled their minds with prejudices against the word of God. Nothing is harder than the heart of a presumptuous sinner. See the fatal consequences of this to their fathers. Great sins against the Lord of hosts, bring great wrath from his power, which cannot be resisted. Sin, if regarded in the heart, will certainly spoil the success of prayer. The Lord always hears the cry of the broken-hearted penitent; yet all who die impenitent and unbelieving, will find no remedy or refuge from miseries which while here they despised and defied, but which they then will not be able to bear.And it came to pass - that is, this which God had said, "As He cried and they heard not, so shall they cry and I will not hear, saith the Lord of hosts." God had often said this. "It shall be too late to cry for mercy, when it is the time of justice." So Wisdom had said by Solomon; "then, that is, when distress and anguish cometh upon them, they shall call upon Me, but I will not answer; they shall seek Me early, and they shall not find Me" Proverbs 1:27-28. So by Isaiah, "When ye spread forth your hands, I will hide Mine eyes from you; yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full of bloods" Isaiah 1:15. So by Hosea, Hosea 5:6, by Micah M1 Corinthians 3:4, by Jeremiah Jer 11:14; Jeremiah 14:12. It was one message which was verilied in every day of chastisement, "there will be a 'too late;'" not a final "too late," until the end of ends comes, but a "too late" for them, a "too late" to avert that particular judgment of God, whereby the sinner's earthly trial and future were changed permanently . 13. he cried—by His prophets.

they cried—in their calamities.

I … not hear—retribution in kind (Pr 1:24-26; Isa 1:15; Mic 3:4).

Therefore it is come to pass; this is the very cause, and it is just too.

As he cried; my Spirit by the prophets called, warned, entreated, and urged them to repent, obey, and live, but they would not; so they cried, by fasting and howling in their deep but chosen distress, in the miseries they fell under after Gedaliah’s death, yet

I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts. Is it not most just I should disregard their tears for Gedaliah, when after his death they pretended to inquire that they might obey my word, Jeremiah 42:2,3,5,6, yet then they gave my prophet the lie, and contemptuously resolved to do contrary to my word by him, Jeremiah 43:4? Thus you know my resentments of your fasts held on with your sins, saith the Lord. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried,.... The Lord by the former prophets called them to repentance and obedience:

and they would not hear; his words, nor obey his voice:

so they cried: when they were besieged in Jerusalem, and were carried captive into Babylon:

and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts; so as to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies; see Proverbs 1:24.

Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 13. - As he cried. As the Lord called to them by the prophets. Just retribution fell upon them (Proverbs 1:24, etc.; Isaiah 65:12, 13; Isaiah 66:4). So they cried, and I would not hear; rather, so they shall cry, and I will not hear. God will be deaf to their cry, and will give them up to their own ways (Jeremiah 2:28). In the protasis Jehovah is spoken of in the third person, in the apodosis he speaks in the first. Jerusalem sins in this manner, without observing that Jehovah is constantly making known to it His own righteousness. Zephaniah 3:5. "Jehovah is just in the midst of her; does no wrong: morning by morning He sets His justice in the light, not failing; but the unjust knoweth no shame. Zephaniah 3:6. I have cut off nations: their battlements are laid waste; I have devastated their streets, so that no one else passeth over: their cities are laid waste, that there is no man there, not an inhabitant more." Zephaniah 3:5 is attached adversatively to what precedes without a particle, in this sense: And yet Jehovah is just beqirbâh, i.e., in the midst of the city filled with sinners. The words recal to mind the description of the divine administration in Deuteronomy 32:4, where Jehovah is described as אין עול and ישׁר. It follows from this that tsaddı̄q is not to be referred to the fact that God does not leave the sins of the nation unpunished (Ros.), but to the fact that He commits no wrong: so that לא יעשׂה עולה is only a negative paraphrase of tsaddı̄q. His justice, i.e., the righteousness of His conduct, He puts in the light every morning (babbōqer babbōqer, used distributively, as in Exodus 16:21; Leviticus 6:5, etc.), not by rewarding virtue and punishing wickedness (Hitzig, Strauss, after the Chaldee, Jerome, Theodoret, and Cyril), according to which mishpât would signify judgment; but by causing His law and justice to be proclaimed to the nation daily "by prophets, whose labour He employs to teach the nation His laws, and who exert themselves diligently by exhorting and admonishing every day, to call it to bring forth better fruit, but all in vain (Ros., Ewald, etc.; cf. Hosea 6:5). It is at variance with the context to take these words as referring to the judgments of God. These are first spoken of in Zephaniah 3:6, and the correspondence between these two verses and Zephaniah 3:7 and Zephaniah 3:8 shows that we must not mix up together Zephaniah 3:5 and Zephaniah 3:6, or interpret Zephaniah 3:5 from Zephaniah 3:6. Just as the judgment is threatened there (Zephaniah 3:8) because the people have accepted no correction, and have not allowed themselves to be moved to the fear of Jehovah, so also in Zephaniah 3:5 and Zephaniah 3:6 the prophet demonstrates the righteousness of God from His double administration: viz., first, from the fact that He causes His justice to be proclaimed to the people, that they may accept correction; and secondly, by pointing to the judgments upon the nations. לא נעדּר paraphrases the idea of "infallibly;" the literal meaning is, that there is no morning in which the justice is wanting. Hitzig, Strauss, and others have rendered it quite unsuitably, "God does not suffer Himself to be wanting," i.e., does not remain absent. But the perverse one, viz., the nation sunk in unrighteousness, knows no disgrace, to make it ashamed of its misdeeds. In Zephaniah 3:6 Jehovah is introduced as speaking, to set before the nations in the most impressive manner the judgments in which He has manifested His righteousness. The two hemistichs are formed uniformly, each consisting of two clauses, in which the direct address alternates with an indefinite, passive construction: I have cut off nations, their battlements have been laid waste, etc. Gōyı̄m are neither those nations who are threatened with ruin in Zephaniah 2:4-15, nor the Canaanites, who have been exterminated by Israel, but nations generally, which have succumbed to the judgments of God, without any more precise definition. Pinnōth, the battlements of the fortress-walls and towers (Zephaniah 1:16), stand per synecdochen for castles or fortifications. Chūtsōth are not streets of the city, but roads, and stand synecdochically for the flat country. This is required by the correspondence of the clauses. For just as the cities answer to the castles, so do chūtsōth to the nations. Nitsdū, from tsâdâh, not in the sense of waylaying (Exodus 21:13; 1 Samuel 24:12), but in accordance with Aramaean usage, to lay waste, answering to nâshammū, for which Jeremiah uses nittetsū in Jeremiah 4:26.
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