1 Again 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 fury.' 3 Thus says the LORD: 'I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.' 4 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall yet dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for abundance of 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 eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in my eyes?' 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 and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.'
9 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'Let your hands be strong, you who hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets who were in the day when the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, so that the temple might be built. 10 For before these days there was no hire for man nor any hire for beast, neither was there any peace to him who went out or came in because of the enemy, for I sent forth all men each against his neighbor. 11 But now I will not be to the residue of this people as in the former days,' says the LORD of hosts. 12 'For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give her fruit, the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew, and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 And it shall come to pass, that as you were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing. Do not fear. Let your hands be strong.'
14 "For thus says the LORD of hosts: 'As I thought to punish you when your fathers provoked me to wrath,' says the LORD of hosts, 'and I did not repent, 15 So again I have thought in these days to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. Do not fear. 16 These are the things that you shall do: each of you speak the truth to his neighbor, execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates, 17 Let none of you devise evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath, for all these are things that I hate,' says the LORD."
18 And the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, 19 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth shall be joy, gladness, and cheerful feasts to the house of Judah; therefore, love the truth and peace.'
20 "Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people and the inhabitants of many cities. 21 And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, "Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD and to seek the LORD of hosts. I will also go." 22 And many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to pray before the LORD.' 23 Thus says the LORD of hosts: 'In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men out of all languages of the nations shall take hold, shall even take hold of the skirt of him who is a Jew, saying, "We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you."'"
John Gill's Chapter Summary
This chapter contains promises of various blessings to the people of the Jews; and exhortations to each of the duties incumbent on them; and is concluded with a prophecy of the calling of the Gentiles. The cause of all the blessings promised is the love of God to them, signified by zeal, or jealousy for them (verses 1-2); the blessings promised are the Lord's return to dwell in Jerusalem, and the integrity and holiness of that city (verse 3); the long life of the inhabitants of it, and the plenty of children that should be born in it (verses 4-5); and, however wonderful and incredible this might seem to some, it was not to the Lord, who was determined to bring his people who were in various distant countries to Jerusalem, and settle them there; and renew and reestablish his covenant with them (verses 6-8); therefore the Lord encourages them to go on in rebuilding the temple (verse 9); and promises them that things would be better with them than in times past; that whereas there had been nothing but penury, affliction, and distress, now there should be great affluence and prosperity (verses 10-12); and though before they were a curse among the nations, now they should be a blessing; and though their fathers were punished, they should be dealt well with (verses 13-15); and then they are exhorted to the discharge of several duties mentioned, to which they are induced by the Lord's hatred of that which is evil, and by his turning their fasts into cheerful feasts (verses 16-19); to which is added a prophecy of the calling and conversion of the Gentiles, which would make for the glory of the Jewish church; who are described by their numbers, being many people, and the inhabitants of many cities; by their association together, to pray to the Lord, and worship him; by their coming up to Jerusalem for that purpose; and by their junction with the Jews, to which they will be encouraged by having heard that God is with them (verses 20-23).
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 1-8:
Grant, Almighty God, that though we daily depart from you by our sins, we may not yet be wholly removed from the foundation on which our salvation depends; but may you so sustain us, or even raise us up when fallen, that we may ever continue in our degree, and also return to you in true repentance, and whatever may happen to us, may we learn ever to look to you, that we may never despair of your goodness, which you have promised to be firm and perpetual, and that especially while relying on your only-begotten Son our Mediator, we may be able to call on you as our Father, until we shall at length come to that eternal inheritance, which has been obtained for us by the blood of your only Son. Amen.
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 9-13:
Grant, Almighty God, that as you see us to be cold and frigid, when all our actions ought to be consecrated to you, and all our members to be devoted to your service in obedience to your word,— O grant, that we may every day courageously strive against our natural indifference, and contend with all hindrances, and boldly repel all assaults which Satan may make, so that though our fervor may not be such as it ought to be, we may yet with sincere desire and genuine affection of heart ever advance in the course of our calling, until we reach the goal and be gathered into your kingdom to enjoy the victory which you have promised to us, and with which you also daily favor us, until at length it be fully enjoyed, when we shall be gathered into your celestial kingdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 14-19:
Grant, Almighty God, that as you invite us so kindly and graciously to yourself, we may not be refractory, but with every evil affection subdued, offer ourselves to your service; and since you require nothing else from us but to observe what is right toward one another,— O grant that we may be mindful of that brotherhood which your only-begotten Son has consecrated by his own blood, and call on you as our Father, and prove by the whole of our conduct that we are your children; and may every one of us so labor for one another, that being united in heart and affection, we may with one consent aspire after that blessed life, where we shall enjoy that inheritance which has been prepared and obtained by the blood of your Son, and through him laid up for us in heaven. Amen.
[v.20-23] - John Calvin's prayer for verses 20-23 is included with the first verse of the next chapter. Therefore, the prayer is in the next chapter.