|The Home-Coming of the Jews
Ezra 1:1 to Ezra 3:7
A GREAT COMPANY of people were gathering in the valley along the Euphrates River, preparing to start on a long journey. There were old people, and young people, and even little boys and girls.
These people were the Jews, and they were arranging soon to start back to the land of their
“The Lord God of heaven was given me all the kingdoms of earth; and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Now who is there among his people–the Jews–who will go up to Jerusalem and build this house for God?”
Daniel was too old to return on this long journey to Jerusalem. And perhaps the King would have been unwilling to spare this great man from his work. But there were others, many others, who were just as eager as Daniel to see the temple of the Lord rebuilt.
And one of these persons was Zerubbabel, a brave young man who belonged to the family of David. He became the leader of the people who returned to Jerusalem, but he ruled as a prince under the command of King Cyrus; for the throne of David was not restored in Jerusalem again.
When the long journey began, the people moved slowly up the highway that led northward from Babylon, the same highway over which some of them had traveled seventy years before.
Many of them walked, but some rode on horses, others on camels or donkeys. Now they were singing songs of joy, and they were carrying their beautiful harps back to their own land. There they would be glad and there they would play sweet music in the new house of the Lord which Cyrus had commanded them to build.
Cyrus had given them the vessels of gold and of silver which Nebuchadnezzar had stolen from the temple before he set it on fire, and they were taking those vessels back to be used in the new temple.
And Cyrus had commanded their neighbors and friends to give them rich gifts of gold and of silver. So they were well laden for their journey.
Not all the Jews returned to Jerusalem; for many were becoming rich in their new homes, and they did not care to go back to Judah. But they sent precious gifts to help in the building of the new temple. And they were glad because some of their own people were returning to build up the altar of the Lord, which had been torn down.
When at last the long journey was nearing its end, the people came in sight of the crumbled walls of Jerusalem. Some of them remembered how the city looked before it had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, and their hearts where filled with sadness.
But many of them had never seen Jerusalem, for they had been born in the land of captivity. They had heard their parents tell about the land which God had given to them long ago, and which he had allowed King Nebuchadnezzar to take away from them because they had worshiped idols. And they were glad to come back and build homes in that land which Nebuchadnezzar had taken away from them.
In the ruins of Jerusalem the people found the place where the temple of the Lord used to stand. They found the rock where the altar of the Lord had been built. And here the priests and the Levites cleared away the rubbish and gathered stones to build a new altar.
Then they began to offer sacrifices to God each morning and each evening, just as the law of Moses commanded them to do.
Archive for February, 2012
Dear Father, thank you for your good and perfect gifts. I open my heart to you today and ask that you help me see your goodness so that I can know you more. Fill me with your peace and joy as I follow you all the days of my life.
In Jesus’ Name
God has so many good and perfect gifts in store for you. Not only does He offer eternal life through His Son, Jesus, but the Bible is filled with His generous and abundant promises in this life. He wants to bless you with provision and supply all your needs according to His riches in glory. He wants to pour out His abundant favor on you and cause everything you touch to prosper. He wants to bless you with spiritual gifts and make you strong in your inner man. He wants you to enjoy your job and be proud of your work each day. These are all gifts from God.
Every good gift from God is meant to draw us closer to Him. Often times, people have an idea about God based on past experiences. But today, I encourage you to let go of old mindsets and see God according to His Word. He is good and faithful, and He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him! Seek Him today and experience the life of blessing He has in store for you!
|Judas Betrays Jesus, and Peter Denies Him
Matt. 26:36-75; Mark 14:32-72; Luke 22:39-71; John 18:1-27
THROUGH THE DEEP shadows which fell from the buildings along the streets a silent figure glided along, hurrying toward the assembly-room where the enemies of Jesus were sitting together waiting. That silent figure was the evil-minded disciple, Judas Iscariot, who was hurrying on his way to sell his Lord. Soon the footsteps of Judas fell on the floor of the hall, and his knock sounded on the door of the assembly-room. In the reply to the call, “Who is there?” came the answer, “He for whom you wait,” and quickly the door was thrown open and Judas entered.
Now there followed a hasty conversation, some argument, and finally thirty pieces of silver were counted out and handed to Judas. Then the assembly broke up, each man hurrying to get a torch or to summon the soldiers who should on their midnight errand.
While this was taking place, Jesus and the eleven disciples had left the room up-stairs where they had eaten the last Passover supper together, and had gone outside the city to a garden across the brook Kidron. Here at the entrance of the garden Jesus had told eight of the disciples to wait, and, taking with him Peter, James, and John, he had gone into the deeper shadows of the trees to pray.
But while Jesus prayed the disciples fell asleep. They could not understand why he should seem so troubled and they did not know how to comfort him, and just when he longed to have them near to pray with him they slept. Three times Jesus went to waken Peter, James, and John, but not once did they offer him the comfort he sought.
Then while he prayed in agony alone God sent an angel from heaven to strengthen and comfort him. For Jesus knew the sorrow that was soon to come; he knew what Judas was even then doing; and he knew his enemies would not cease to torture him till he should be hanging dead upon the cross.
Not only that, for Jesus knew also that he must bear the sins of the whole world in order to become the Savior of men. And because he had a body such as we have, he dreaded to suffer the pain of such a death, and he dreaded to be left alone by those whom he loved. So he asked God to take away the suffering from him if such a thing should be possible. But he added, “Let thy will, not mine, be done.”
When Jesus had roused the sleepy disciples the third time, he told them to arise; for it was time for them to be going on their way. And they rose up to follow him out of the garden. But as they went toward the entrance they saw a band of men coming to them carrying torches as if they were searching for some one.
Jesus walked up to the men and asked, “For whom are you seeking?”
They replied, “For Jesus of Nazareth.”
“I am he,” answered Jesus. And the men fell backward.
When they rose, Jesus asked them the second time whom they were seeking, and again they said, “For Jesus of Nazareth.”
Judas, the unfaithful disciple, was with the band of men, and he stepped forward and cried, “Hail, Master!” and kissed Jesus on the cheek.
But Jesus knew the evil thought that was in Judas mind, and he looked sadly into the guilty face of his unfaithful disciple and asked, “Judas, do you betray the Son of man with a kiss?”
Judas had told the band of men the sign by which they might know whom to take for their prisoner, and that sign was the kiss he had given to Jesus. Now the soldiers took hold of Jesus roughly and prepared to lead him away.
At this Peter was thoroughly aroused from his sleep. Drawing a short sword, which he carried in his belt, he struck at one of the soldiers and cut off his ear. But Jesus seemed displeased, and told Peter to put away his sword. Then he healed the soldier’s ear; and Peter, unable to understand how he might now defend his master, sank back into the shadows with the other frightened disciples.
The soldiers then bound their prisoner, and the procession started toward the assembly-room where the enemies of Jesus were waiting impatiently. And far behind Peter followed, wondering what he should do, and yet fearing that the soldiers might take him, also.
First the soldiers brought Jesus to the house of a man named Annas, who was father-in-law of the high priest, Caiaphas, and there his trial began. John, one of the disciples, gained admittance at the door, for he was acquainted with the household of the high priest. And he went in where Jesus was. But Peter stood outside, for he was a stranger, and the doorkeeper, a young girl, would not let him in.
Presently John spoke to the doorkeeper, and she allowed him to take Peter into the court-room, for the night was cold. When Peter was inside the young girl said, “Are you not also one of his disciples?”
But Peter was afraid, and he said, “No, I did not know the man.”
In the open court a fire was burning, and Peter went near to warm himself. Around the fire stood other men, some who were servants in the high priest’s house and others who were officers.
One of the men by the fire then turned to Peter and asked, “Are you not one of this man’s disciples?”
Again fear crept into Peter’s heart, and he replied stoutly, “No, I am not!”
But a soldier standing by who had been in the garden when Jesus was taken had seen Peter use his sword, and he spoke, saying, “I saw you in the garden with him!”
Peter denied fiercely, and pretended that he had never known Jesus at all.
While this had been happening to Peter, out in the high priest’s courtyard, the high priest and others had been asking Jesus questions about his teaching and had been treating him shamefully.
Then the enemies of Jesus led their prisoner out of the high priest’s house, and as he passed by he looked sadly upon Peter. And Peter remembered how Jesus had told him that before the return of another day he would deny three times that he had ever known the Lord.
Now tears filled Peter’s eyes, and he turned blindly away from the fire and rushed out of the door, to weep bitterly. He saw himself no longer a true man, brave, and ready to help in the work of his master, but a coward, ashamed to own that he had once proudly followed the innocent man who now stood bound in chains and condemned to die.
A thoughtful mind, when it sees a Nation’s flag, sees not the flag only, but the Nation itself; and whatever may be its symbols, its insignia, he reads chiefly in the flag the Government, the principles, the truths, the history which belongs to the Nation that sets it forth.
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor. “For the foundations of the earth are the LORD’S; upon them he has set the world.
1 “Now my eyes have seen all this; my ears have heard and understood it.
2 What you know, I also know. You are not better than I am.
3 But I want to speak to the Almighty and to argue my case with God.
4 But you smear me with lies. You are worthless doctors, all of you!
5 I wish you would just stop talking; then you would really be wise!
6 Listen to my argument, and hear the pleading of my lips.
7 You should not speak evil in the name of God; you cannot speak God’s truth by telling lies.
8 You should not unfairly choose his side against mine; you should not argue the case for God.
9 You will not do well if he examines you; you cannot fool God as you might fool humans.
10 God would surely scold you if you unfairly took one person’s side.
11 His bright glory would scare you, and you would be very much afraid of him.
12 Your wise sayings are worth no more than ashes, and your arguments are as weak as clay.
13 “Be quiet and let me speak. Let things happen to me as they will.
14 Why should I put myself in danger and take my life in my own hands?
15 Even if God kills me, I have hope in him; I will still defend my ways to his face.
16 This is my salvation. The wicked cannot come before him.
17 Listen carefully to my words; let your ears hear what I say.
18 See, I have prepared my case, and I know I will be proved right.
19 No one can accuse me of doing wrong. If someone can, I will be quiet and die.
20 “God, please just give me these two things, and then I will not hide from you:
21 Take your punishment away from me, and stop frightening me with your terrors.
22 Then call me, and I will answer, or let me speak, and you answer.
23 How many evil things and sins have I done? Show me my wrong and my sin.
24 Don’t hide your face from me; don’t think of me as your enemy.
25 Don’t punish a leaf that is blown by the wind; don’t chase after straw.
26 You write down cruel things against me and make me suffer for my boyhood sins.
27 You put my feet in chains and keep close watch wherever I go. You even mark the soles of my feet.
28 “Everyone wears out like something rotten, like clothing eaten by moths.
Job reproves his friends. (1-12) He professes his confidence in God. (13-22) Job entreats to know his sins. (23-28)
Commentary on Job 13:1-12
With self-preference, Job declared that he needed not to be taught by them. Those who dispute are tempted to magnify themselves, and lower their brethren, more than is fit. When dismayed or distressed with the fear of wrath, the force of temptation, or the weight of affliction, we should apply to the Physician of our souls, who never rejects any, never prescribes amiss, and never leaves any case uncured. To Him we may speak at all times. To broken hearts and wounded consciences, all creatures, without Christ, are physicians of no value. Job evidently speaks with a very angry spirit against his friends. They had advanced some truths which nearly concerned Job, but the heart unhumbled before God, never meekly receives the reproofs of men.
Commentary on Job 13:13-22
Job resolved to cleave to the testimony his own conscience gave of his uprightness. He depended upon God for justification and salvation, the two great things we hope for through Christ. Temporal salvation he little expected, but of his eternal salvation he was very confident; that God would not only be his Saviour to make him happy, but his salvation, in the sight and enjoyment of whom he should be happy. He knew himself not to be a hypocrite, and concluded that he should not be rejected. We should be well pleased with God as a Friend, even when he seems against us as an enemy. We must believe that all shall work for good to us, even when all seems to make against us. We must cleave to God, yea, though we cannot for the present find comfort in him. In a dying hour, we must derive from him living comforts; and this is to trust in him, though he slay us.
Commentary on Job 13:23-28
Job begs to have his sins discovered to him. A true penitent is willing to know the worst of himself; and we should all desire to know what our transgressions are, that we may confess them, and guard against them for the future. Job complains sorrowfully of God’s severe dealings with him. Time does not wear out the guilt of sin. When God writes bitter things against us, his design is to make us bring forgotten sins to mind, and so to bring us to repent of them, as to break us off from them. Let young persons beware of indulging in sin. Even in this world they may so possess the sins of their youth, as to have months of sorrow for moments of pleasure. Their wisdom is to remember their Creator in their early days, that they may have assured hope, and sweet peace of conscience, as the solace of their declining years. Job also complains that his present mistakes are strictly noticed. So far from this, God deals not with us according to our deserts. This was the language of Job’s melancholy views. If God marks our steps, and narrowly examines our paths, in judgment, both body and soul feel his righteous vengeance. This will be the awful case of unbelievers, yet there is salvation devised, provided, and made known in Christ.
The Man Who Preached Hope and Mercy
1. The prophet in Judah, whose Spirit-inspired book is the eleventh among the Minor Prophets
Ezra 5:1: – 1 Now Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the prophet, a descendant of Iddo, prophesied to the Jews in Judah and Jerusalem in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them.
Ezra 6:14: – 14 So the elders of the Jews continued to build and prosper under the preaching of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah, a descendant of Iddo. They finished building the temple according to the command of the God of Israel and the decrees of Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes, kings of Persia.
Zech. 1:1: – 1 In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.
Zech. 7:1: – 1 In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of the LORD came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev.
Zech. 7:8: – 8 And the word of the LORD came again to Zechariah.
Among the many bearing the name of Zechariah, the one who wrote the Book of Zechariah, was, like Haggai, a prophet of the Restoration. As a son of the priest named Iddo (Neh. 12:4: – 4 Iddo, Ginnethon, Abijah), Zechariah was of priestly descent, and likely a priest himself. Doubtless he was born in Babylon and exercised his ministry in times of political turbulence and great unrest. His call was one for righteousness in home life, in the political arena and in worship.
Zechariah’s mission was of a varied nature. He had to:
I. Arouse the people to activity in rebuilding the Temple.
II. Restore the theocratic spirit or recognition of God-government.
III. Rekindle the nation’s faith and hope during the coming desolation.
IV. Reorganize the true worship of God.
V. Remove idolatry from the nation.
As “the prophet of hope and mercy” Zechariah has given us a series of eight night visions which portrayed the final restoration of Israel and the security and blessing which will be their portion when the Lord reigns in their midst. The prophet uses the personal pronoun freely and is always careful to date his oracles. Note:
The scouts of Jehovah; He watches over His own
Zech. 1:7-17: – 7 On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo.
8 During the night I had a vision, and there before me was a man mounted on a red horse. He was standing among the myrtle trees in a ravine. Behind him were red, brown and white horses.
9 I asked, “What are these, my lord?” The angel who was talking with me answered, “I will show you what they are.”
10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees explained, “They are the ones the LORD has sent to go throughout the earth.”
11 And they reported to the angel of the LORD who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have gone throughout the earth and found the whole world at rest and in peace.”
12 Then the angel of the LORD said, “LORD Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?”
13 So the LORD spoke kind and comforting words to the angel who talked with me.
14 Then the angel who was speaking to me said, “Proclaim this word: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘I am very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion,
15 and I am very angry with the nations that feel secure. I was only a little angry, but they went too far with the punishment.’
16 “Therefore this is what the LORD says: ‘I will return to Jerusalem with mercy, and there my house will be rebuilt. And the measuring line will be stretched out over Jerusalem,’ declares the LORD Almighty.
17 “Proclaim further: This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘My towns will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and choose Jerusalem.’”
The four horns; enemies are destroyed
Zech. 1:18-21: – 18 Then I looked up, and there before me were four horns.
19 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these?” He answered me, “These are the horns that scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem.”
20 Then the LORD showed me four craftsmen.
21 I asked, “What are these coming to do?” He answered, “These are the horns that scattered Judah so that no one could raise their head, but the craftsmen have come to terrify them and throw down these horns of the nations who lifted up their horns against the land of Judah to scatter its people.”
God is surveyor; enlargement and security
Zech. 2:1-8: – 1 Then I looked up, and there before me was a man with a measuring line in his hand.
2 I asked, “Where are you going?”
He answered me, “To measure Jerusalem, to find out how wide and how long it is.”
3 While the angel who was speaking to me was leaving, another angel came to meet him
4 and said to him: “Run, tell that young man, ‘Jerusalem will be a city without walls because of the great number of people and animals in it.
5 And I myself will be a wall of fire around it,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I will be its glory within.’
6 “Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,” declares the LORD, “for I have scattered you to the four winds of heaven,” declares the LORD.
7 “Come, Zion! Escape, you who live in Daughter Babylon!”
8 For this is what the LORD Almighty says: “After the Glorious One has sent me against the nations that have plundered you, for whoever touches you touches the apple of his eye.
Joshua consecrated; righteousness restored
Zech. 3: – 1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satanstanding at his right side to accuse him.
2 The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.
4 The angel said to those who were standing before him, “Take off his filthy clothes.”
Then he said to Joshua, “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put fine garments on you.”
5 Then I said, “Put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by.
6 The angel of the LORD gave this charge to Joshua:
7 “This is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in obedience to me and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.
8 “‘Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.
9 See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua! There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the LORD Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.
10 “‘In that day each of you will invite your neighbor to sit under your vine and fig tree,’ declares the LORD Almighty.”
The lampstand; the sufficiency of grace
Zech. 4: – 1 Then the angel who talked with me returned and woke me up, like someone awakened from sleep.
2 He asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a solid gold lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lamps on it, with seven channels to the lamps.
3 Also there are two olive trees by it, one on the right of the bowl and the other on its left.”
4 I asked the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?”
5 He answered, “Do you not know what these are?”
“No, my lord,” I replied.
6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.
7 “What are you, mighty mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become level ground. Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of ‘God bless it! God bless it!’”
8 Then the word of the LORD came to me:
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; his hands will also complete it. Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you.
10 “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the LORD that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?”
11 Then I asked the angel, “What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?”
12 Again I asked him, “What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?”
13 He replied, “Do you not know what these are?”
“No, my lord,” I said.
14 So he said, “These are the two who are anointed to serve the Lord of all the earth.”
The flying roll; sinners judged
Zech. 5:1-4: – 1 I looked again, and there before me was a flying scroll.
2 He asked me, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a flying scroll, twenty cubits long and ten cubits wide.”
3 And he said to me, “This is the curse that is going out over the whole land; for according to what it says on one side, every thief will be banished, and according to what it says on the other, everyone who swears falsely will be banished.
4 The LORD Almighty declares, ‘I will send it out, and it will enter the house of the thief and the house of anyone who swears falsely by my name. It will remain in that house and destroy it completely, both its timbers and its stones.’”
The woman; sin removed.
The four chariots; judgment begins
Zech. 6:1-8: – 1 I looked up again, and there before me were four chariots coming out from between two mountains, mountains of bronze.
2 The first chariot had red horses, the second black,
3 the third white, and the fourth dappled, all of them powerful.
4 I asked the angel who was speaking to me, “What are these, my lord?”
5 The angel answered me, “These are the four spirits of heaven, going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world.
6 The one with the black horses is going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south.”
7 When the powerful horses went out, they were straining to go throughout the earth. And he said, “Go throughout the earth!” So they went throughout the earth.
8 Then he called to me, “Look, those going toward the north country have given my Spirit rest in the land of the north.”
One or two unique features of the Book of Zechariah are worthy of mention. His references to Christ are numerous and detailed. Next to Isaiah, Zechariah carries the most frequent prophecies of the Messiah, especially to Him as the suffering King. The prophet depicts Him as:
The meek King
Zech. 9:9: – 9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
with Matt. 21:5: – 5 “Say to Daughter Zion, ‘See, your king comes to you, gentle and riding on a donkey, and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.’”
John 12:13: – 13 They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, “Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”
The One sold for thirty pieces of silver
Zech. 11:13: – 13 And the LORD said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the LORD.
with Matt. 26:15: – 15 and asked, “What are you willing to give me if I deliver him over to you?” So they counted out for him thirty pieces of silver.
The pierced Saviour
Zech. 12:10: – 10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.
with John 19:37: – 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
The smitten Shepherd
Zech. 13:7: – 7 “Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the LORD Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.
with Matt. 26:31: – 31 Then Jesus told them, “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’
Mark 14:27: – 27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’
Zechariah is the first of the prophets to mention Satan. He recognized sin as an independent working power and personifies sin in the woman of his vision.
Numerous lessons can be gleaned from this Old Testament prophet who saw Christ’s day and rejoiced.
Calamity should not create despondency but inspire wisdom.
A lost vocation can be restored.
All past guilt can be atoned for.
The will of God abides and prevails.
The servant dies but the Master lives and His work continues.
The supplies of divine grace are continuous and abundant.
Fasting and feasting are nothing in themselves.
Faith and faithfulness are everything.
The key to the eastern situation is the Jew.
Many other Zechariahs are to be found in the Bible’s vast portrait gallery of men.
2. A chief Reubenite when genealogies were prepared (1 Chron. 5:7: – 7 Their relatives by clans, listed according to their genealogical records: Jeiel the chief, Zechariah).
3. A son of Meshelemiah, a Levite, a gatekeeper of the Tabernacle in David’s time
1 Chron. 9:21: – 21 Zechariah son of Meshelemiah was the gatekeeper at the entrance to the tent of meeting.
1 Chron. 26:2: – 2 Meshelemiah had sons: Zechariah the firstborn, Jediael the second, Zebadiah the third, Jathniel the fourth.
1 Chron, 26:14: – 14 The lot for the East Gate fell to Shelemiah. Then lots were cast for his son Zechariah, a wise counselor, and the lot for the North Gate fell to him.
4. A brother of Ner and uncle of Saul
1 Chron. 9:37: – 37 Gedor, Ahio, Zechariah and Mikloth.
also called Zacher (1 Chron. 8:31: – 31 Gedor, Ahio, Zeker).
5. A Levite musician in David’s reign
1 Chron. 15:18: – 18 and with them their relatives next in rank: Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Benaiah, Maaseiah, Mattithiah, Eliphelehu, Mikneiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel, the gatekeepers.
1 Chron. 15:20: – 20 Zechariah, Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Unni, Eliab, Maaseiah and Benaiah were to play the lyres according to alamoth.
1 Chron. 16:5: – 5 Asaph was the chief, and next to him in rank were Zechariah, then Jaaziel, Shemiramoth, Jehiel, Mattithiah, Eliab, Benaiah, Obed-Edom and Jeiel. They were to play the lyres and harps, Asaph was to sound the cymbals.
6. A Tabernacle priest in David’s time (1 Chron. 15:24: – 24 Shebaniah, Joshaphat, Nethanel, Amasai, Zechariah, Benaiah and Eliezer the priests were to blow trumpets before the ark of God. Obed-Edom and Jehiah were also to be doorkeepers for the ark).
7. A son of Isshiah, a Levite of the family of Kohath (1 Chron. 24:25: – 25 The brother of Micah: Ishiah; from the sons of Ishiah: Zechariah).
8. A son of Hosah, a gatekeeper of the Tabernacle (1 Chron. 26:11: – 11 Hilkiah the second, Tabaliah the third and Zechariah the fourth. The sons and relatives of Hosah were 13 in all).
9. The father of Iddo and chief of the half tribe of Manasseh (1 Chron. 27:21: – 21 over the half-tribe of Manasseh in Gilead: Iddo son of Zechariah; over Benjamin: Jaasiel son of Abner).
10. A prince of Judah used by Jehoshaphat to teach the law (2 Chron. 17:7: – 7 In the third year of his reign he sent his officials Ben-Hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel and Micaiah to teach in the towns of Judah).
11. The father of Jahaziel, who encouraged the king’s army against Moab (2 Chron. 20:14: – 14 Then the Spirit of the LORD came on Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly).
12. The third son of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 21:2: – 2 Jehoram’s brothers, the sons of Jehoshaphat, were Azariah, Jehiel, Zechariah, Azariahu, Michael and Shephatiah. All these were sons of Jehoshaphat king of Israel).
13. Son of Jehoiada the priest, who was stoned to death for rebuking the people for their idolatry. Announcement of divine judgment was more than the idolaters could stand, so at the bidding of the king in the court of the Lord’s house he died a death similar to that of Stephen. His dying words, “The Lord look upon it, and require it,” were long remembered
2 Chron. 24:20: – 20 Then the Spirit of God came on Zechariah son of Jehoiada the priest. He stood before the people and said, “This is what God says: ‘Why do you disobey the LORD’s commands? You will not prosper. Because you have forsaken the LORD, he has forsaken you.’”
2 Chron. 24:21: – 21 But they plotted against him, and by order of the king they stoned him to death in the courtyard of the LORD’s temple.
14. A person who understood the visions of God (2 Chron. 26:5: – 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success).
15. A son of Asaph, a Levite who helped to cleanse the Temple (2 Chron. 29:13: – 13 from the descendants of Elizaphan, Shimri and Jeiel; from the descendants of Asaph, Zechariah and Mattaniah).
16. A son of Kohath, a Levite, and overseer of temple repairs (2 Chron. 34:12: – 12 The workers labored faithfully. Over them to direct them were Jahath and Obadiah, Levites descended from Merari, and Zechariah and Meshullam, descended from Kohath. The Levites—all who were skilled in playing musical instruments).
17. A prince of Judah in the days of Josiah (2 Chron. 35:8: – 8 His officials also contributed voluntarily to the people and the priests and Levites. Hilkiah, Zechariah and Jehiel, the officials in charge of God’s temple, gave the priests twenty-six hundred Passover offerings and three hundred cattle).
18. A chief man who returned with Ezra from exile (Ezra 8:3: – 3 of the descendants of Shekaniah; of the descendants of Parosh, Zechariah, and with him were registered 150 men).
19. A son of Bebai who also returned
Ezra 8:11: – 11 of the descendants of Bebai, Zechariah son of Bebai, and with him 28 men.
Ezra 8:16: – 16 So I summoned Eliezer, Ariel, Shemaiah, Elnathan, Jarib, Elnathan, Nathan, Zechariah and Meshullam, who were leaders, and Joiarib and Elnathan, who were men of learning.
20. A returned captive who put away his wife (Ezra 10:26: – 26 From the descendants of Elam: Mattaniah, Zechariah, Jehiel, Abdi, Jeremoth and Elijah).
21. A prince who stood beside Ezra (Neh. 8:4: – 4 Ezra the teacher of the Law stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion. Beside him on his right stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah and Maaseiah; and on his left were Pedaiah, Mishael, Malkijah, Hashum, Hashbaddanah, Zechariah and Meshullam).
22. The son of Amariah, a descendant of Pharez (Neh. 11:4: – 4 while other people from both Judah and Benjamin lived in Jerusalem. From the descendants of Judah: Athaiah son of Uzziah, the son of Zechariah, the son of Amariah, the son of Shephatiah, the son of Mahalalel, a descendant of Perez).
23. A Shilonite (Neh. 11:5: – 5 and Maaseiah son of Baruch, the son of Kol-Hozeh, the son of Hazaiah, the son of Adaiah, the son of Joiarib, the son of Zechariah, a descendant of Shelah).
24. Son of Pashur, a priest (Neh. 11:12: – 12 and their associates, who carried on work for the temple, 822 men; Adaiah son of Jeroham, the son of Pelaliah, the son of Amzi, the son of Zechariah, the son of Pashhur, the son of Malkijah).
25. A priest of Joiakim’s time (Neh. 12:16: – 16 of Iddo’s, Zechariah; of Ginnethon’s, Meshullam).
26. An Asaphite, who helped in the purification of the wall of Jerusalem
Neh. 12:35: – 35 as well as some priests with trumpets, and also Zechariah son of Jonathan, the son of Shemaiah, the son of Mattaniah, the son of Micaiah, the son of Zakkur, the son of Asaph.
Neh. 12:41: – 41 as well as the priests, Eliakim, Maaseiah, Miniamin, Micaiah, Elioenai, Zechariah and Hananiah with their trumpets.
27. A witness Isaiah used. Perhaps the same Zechariah of
2 Chronicles 26:5: – 5 He sought God during the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the fear of God. As long as he sought the LORD, God gave him success.
and Isaiah 8:2: – 2 So I called in Uriah the priest and Zechariah son of Jeberekiah as reliable witnesses for me.
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: ‘Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.’ So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me. He said, ‘Can I not do with you, Israel, as this potter does?’ declares the LORD. ‘Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, Israel.
God told Jeremiah, ‘Up on your feet! Go to the potter’s house. When you get there, I’ll tell you what I have to say.’ -So I went to the potter’s house, and sure enough, the potter was there, working away at his wheel. Whenever the pot the potter was working on turned out badly, as sometimes happens when you are working with clay, the potter would simply start over and use the same clay to make another pot. -Then God’s Message cam e to me: ‘Can’t I do just as this potter does, people of Israel?’ God’s Decree! ‘Watch this potter. In the same way that this potter works his clay, I work on you, people of Israel. At any moment I may decide to pull up a people or a country by the roots and get rid of them. But if they repent of their wicked lives, I will think twice and start over with them. At another time I might decide to plant a people or country, but if they don’t cooperate and won’t listen to me, I will think again and give up on the plans I had for them.
|Jesus’ Teaching on the Mount of Olives
Matt. 23:37 to 25:46; Mark 13; Luke 21:5-38
AS JESUS LEFT the temple for the last time, his disciples spoke to him about the beauty of the Lord’s house. Like all other Jews, they took much pride in the temple where God was worshiped. And they were surprized to hear Jesus say, “The time is coming when the stones of these buildings shall be torn apart.” On the Mount of Olives, Jesus rested for a while before going on to Bethany. And his disciples gathered around him there to ask when the time should come that the beautiful temple would be destroyed. No one else was near to disturb them, and Jesus talked long and earnestly to his disciples about the things that would happen to Jerusalem, and later to the whole world.
He told them that men would come who would claim to be the Christ of God, and what many would believe in them. He said that great wars would be fought among the nations of the earth, and that troubles of different kinds would come upon the people.
Then he said that before the end of time the gospel of the kingdom would be preached, not only among the Jews, but to all people in every part of the world. How strange these things must have sounded to the disciples! for they had always believed that salvation belonged to the Jews only.
Then Jesus told the disciples the parable of the ten young women, called virgins. Five of these young women were wise and five were foolish. All had been invited to the marriage of a friend, and they started to meet the wedding-party. They took their lamps with them to give light, for the wedding would take place at night and only those carrying lights would be allowed to join the wedding-party.
But the wedding-party was slow in coming, and the young women grew tired waiting. So they fell asleep. At midnight a cry was made that the wedding-party was coming, and the young women aroused and began at once to trim their lamps to be ready to join the procession when it came by.
Now the five who were wise poured more oil into their lamps; for they saw the light was growing dim, and they had brought an extra supply of oil with them. But the five who were foolish had brought no more oil, and they, too, saw that their lights were growing dim.
”What shall we do?” they asked each other. Then they spoke to their wise friends and said, “Please give some of your oil to us, for our lights are going out!”
The wise young women did not have enough to give to their friends in distress, so they answered, “You must go to them who sell and buy for yourselves. We do not have enough to share.”
And while they hurried away to buy more oil, the wedding-party came, and the five wise young women joined the party and went to the home where the marriage festivities would take place.
When all the guests had entered, the door was shut, and no other persons could enter. The foolish young women came after the door had been shut, and they knocked; but the bridegroom would not let them in. They had come too late.
By this story Jesus wished to teach his disciples to watch and be ready, for they should not know the time when he would call for them to leave this world and go to be with him. If they should not be ready when he should call, they would have no time left in which to make ready, but, like the foolish young women, they would be shut out of heaven.
Jesus told the disciples what will happen at the end of the world. He said that then the Son of man will come in his glory, bringing all the angels with him. And he will sit upon the throne of his glory. And before him all nations of the earth shall be gathered, and he will divide the good from the evil.
Those who have believed in him he will place on his right, and those who have disobeyed he will place on his left, just as a shepherd in that country divided his sheep from his goats.
The disciples no doubt had watched the shepherds come in from the fields and separate the sheep from the goats in their great flocks, and they understood how this separation will be.
”Then shall the Son of man be King,” said Jesus; “and he will say to them on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of my Father, and dwell in the kingdom which has been prepared for you. For I was hungry, and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger, and you gave me shelter; I was shivering with cold, and you gave me clothes to keep me warm; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to see me even there.’
”And the ones on his right will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you in need and help you thus?’ And the King answer, ‘whenever you helped one of my needy brothers, even the least of them, you helped me.’
”Then the King will turn to those on his left, and will say to them, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, and go away into everlasting fire, which has been made ready for the devil and his evil spirits.
”For I was hungry, and you did not feed me; I was thirsty, and you gave me no water; I was a stranger, and you gave me no shelter; without clothes, and you did not give clothes to me; sick, and you did not visit me; in prison, and you did not come to me there.’
”And the ones on his left will reply, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry, or thirsty, or without clothes, or a stranger, or sick, or in prison,, and not help you?’ And he will say to them, ‘Whenever you refused to help one of my brothers, even the poorest of them, you refused to help me.’
”And those on the right,” said Jesus, “will go into life eternal in heaven, while those on the left shall be turned away into everlasting torment.”