Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jerusalem – The City of Truth

Next we will jump ahead to the message of chapter 8; the subject of this chapter is again the coming Kingdom of Israel. I will continue to utilize excerpts from my journal.

Zechariah 8:2-3 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto 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.

Every other translation of the eight others I checked translate verse 2 in the present tense—“I am jealous….” I think the translators of the King James must have been influenced to contrast past and present due to the message of verse 3—“I am returned….” We know that Zion has been established in scripture as the place on earth where God has chosen to place His name perpetually.

1Kings 9:3 And the LORD said unto him, I have heard thy prayer and thy supplication, that thou hast made before me: I have hallowed this house, which thou hast built, to put my name there for ever; and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually.

The Hebrew defines jealous as zealous, and Webster defines jealous as: “zealous; solicitous; vigilant; anxiously watchful.” In other words, God is very interested in the well being of His land and its people. When you truly want the best for those you love, you are willing to inflict judgment to turn them from wicked, harmful practices. It’s a principle that loving parents often employ. God is a very attentive and faithful Father. His judgment did not mean that He had cast off His people forever. It was intended to result in restored fellowship, and it had. He was now declaring His return to Zion to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem and His people.

At this point I think the main thrust of the prophecy jumps much further into the future. I’m not sure Jerusalem has ever been known as the “city of truth” since the captivity in Babylon. And although the temple was rebuilt and functional even through Jesus’ lifetime, I’m not sure God would have described it as His holy mountain. This will, however, be true of Zion and the temple that are part of Messiah’s millennial kingdom.

Zechariah 8:4-5 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof.

Again, I can’t be dogmatic, but I don’t think these verses are descriptive of Jerusalem in the times of Zechariah or since. It is, however, a part of the description of Jerusalem during the Messiah’s Kingdom as prophesied by Isaiah.

Isaiah 65:18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

Isaiah 65:20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

Jeremiah 30:19-20 And out of them shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them, and they shall not be few; I will also glorify them, and they shall not be small. Their children also shall be as aforetime, and their congregation shall be established before me, and I will punish all that oppress them.

Zechariah 8:7-8 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country; 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.

When the Lord talks about bringing His people home from east and west, He is making reference to the entire planet from the reference point of Jerusalem. The implication is that all Israel will be brought home, and He will dwell with them physically in Jerusalem. At that time, God will be joined to His people in truth and righteousness.

Again, I believe this is looking forward to the Messianic Kingdom. It’s at that time that all the Jewish people will be brought home to Israel and will be established under the new covenant spoken of by Jeremiah.

Jeremiah 31:31-34 Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.

I believe this is the time that ALL Israel will be saved and will never again rebel against God.

Romans 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

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