Chapter 7: Hypocrisy in Fasts
In the fourth year of Darius, the people ask if they should weep and fast in the fifth month to commemorate the destruction of the first temple. The Lord criticizes those who fast without a purpose, asking; “…did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?” (Zechariah 7:5). He goes on to explain that all things done in hypocrisy are not of the Lord. Compassion and mercy unto your fellow man is more important than hypocrisy in fasting. It is very important to note that fasting is not hypocrisy if done with true intent for the Lord!
Chapter 8: The Restoration
The word of the Lord again comes to Zechariah and told him “…I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy…” (Zechariah 8:2). The Lord tells Zechariah that He will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be a safe place with children playing in the streets. It will be secure and safe. More people will return from the east and the west. The Lord also encourages the people to finish the temple. Judah is described as being a curse, but a curse that shall become a blessing.
The Lord explains that He is as determined to bless the people now as He was to punish them in the past. The Lord tells Zechariah what the people must and must not do to keep the Lord from becoming angry; “…Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates: And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord.” (Zechariah 8:16-17)