This chapter treats concerning the nature and use of certain fasts kept by the Jews, on account of the destruction of the temple, and other things; and concerning the message of the former prophets to them, and the effects of it. The occasion of the former was an embassy sent by the Jews to the priests and prophets, to know whether they should continue the fast of the fifth month; upon which the prophet was sent by the Lord unto them. The time of the prophecy is noted, Zec 7:1. An account of the embassy is given, of the persons that were sent, and to whom, and upon what account, Zec 7:2,3. The answer of the Lord to it by the prophet, showing the usefulness of fasts to him, and putting them upon hearkening to his voice by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was in great prosperity, Zec 7:4-7 and then they are exhorted by him, in the ministry of the present prophet, to acts of righteousness, several species of which are mentioned; and which were the same they had been exhorted to by the former prophets, but had neglected, and hardened their hearts against all exhortations and instructions, Zec 7:8-12 and were the reason of their captivity and desolation, Zec 7:13,14.