Z E C H A R I A H.
The work of ministers is rightly to divide the
word of truth and to give every one his portion. So the prophet is
here instructed to do, in the further answer he gives to the case
of conscience proposed about continuing the public fasts. His
answer, in the foregoing chapter, is by way of reproof to those
that were disobedient and would not obey the truth. But here he is
ordered to change his voice, and to speak by way of encouragement
to the willing and obedient. Here are two words from the Lord of
hosts, and they are both good words and comfortable words. In the
former of these messages (ver.
1) God promises that Jerusalem shall be restored,
reformed, replenished (ver.
2-8), that the country shall be rich, and the affairs of
the nation shall be successful, their reputation retrieved, and
their state in all respects the reverse of what it had been for
many years past (ver.
9-15); he then exhorts them to reform what was amiss
among them, that they might be ready for these favours designed
them (ver. 16, 17). In
the latter of these messages (ver.
18) he promises that their fasts should be superseded by
the return of mercy (ver.
19), and that thereupon they should be replenished,
enriched, and strengthened, by the accession of foreigners to them,