8:2 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was a jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
(a) I loved my city with a singular love, so that I could not endure that any should do her any injury. 8:3 Thus saith the LORD; I have returned to Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a b city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain.
(b) Because she will be faithful and loyal toward me her husband. 8:4 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old c men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age.
(c) Though their enemies did greatly molest and trouble them, yet God would come and dwell among them, and so preserve them as long as nature would allow them to live, and increase their children in great abundance. 8:6 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it is d marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in my eyes? saith the LORD of hosts.
8:8 And I will bring them, and they shall e dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness.
(d) He shows in what our faith consists, that is, to believe that God can perform that which he has promised, though it seem ever so impossible to man; ( Genesis 13:14 ; Romans 4:20 ).
(e) So that their return will not be in vain: for God will accomplish his promise, and their prosperity will be sure and stable. 8:9 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your f hands be strong, ye that 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, that the temple might be built.
(f) Let neither respect of your personal benefits, neither counsel of others, nor fear of enemies, discourage you in the going forward with the building of the temple, but be steadfast and obey the Prophets, who encourage you to that. 8:10 For before these days there was no hire for g man, nor any hire for beast; neither [was there any] peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.
(g) For God cursed your work, so that neither man nor beast had profit from their labours. 8:14 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish h you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:
8:15 So again have I thought in these days i to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.
(h) Read ( Ezekiel 18:20 ).
(i) Which declares that man cannot turn to God until he changes mans heart by his Spirit, and so begin to do good to them, which is to pardon his sins and to give him his graces. 8:19 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth [month], and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the k tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace.
(k) Which fast was appointed when the city was besieged, and was the first fast of these four. And here the prophet shows that if the Jews will repent, and turn wholly to God, they will have no more occasion to fast, or to show signs of heaviness, for God will send them joy and gladness. 8:20 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; [It shall] yet [come to pass], that there shall come l people, and the inhabitants of many cities:
(l) He declares the great zeal that God would give the Gentiles to come to his Church, and to unite with the Jews in his true religion, which would be in the kingdom of Christ.