1. Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying,
1. Et fuit sermo Jehovae exercituum, dicendo, --
2. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury.
2. Sic dicit Iehova exercitumm, Zelatus sum pro Sion zelo magno (vel, aemulatione magna,) et indignatione magna aemulatus sum pro ea (vel, zelatus sum.)
Some think that at the beginning of this chapter the people are reproved for their unfaithfulness, because they conducted themselves towards God in a way they ought not to have done, as they had violated that sacred marriage which God had been pleased to contract with them; for it is a common mode of speaking for God to compare himself to jealous husbands, when he sees his Church dealing with him unfaithfully. But this meaning is inadmissible: for the verb qn', kona, connected as it is here, is to be taken in a good sense, as signifying concern or affection, inasmuch as l, lamed, means, |on account of,| or |for;| and we have in the first chapter a similar sentence; Zechariah 1:1 and it is evident that in many other places the meaning is no other, but that God burned with wrath against all the enemies of his Church, as he regarded his Church with singular love. Emulation then here does not mean jealousy, but is to be taken in a different sense, as signifying that concern which God had for the protection of his Church. The whole then of this chapter proves that God would be the defender of his people, and that such was his care for the safety of all the godly, that he resolved to oppose the whole world, if necessary, for their protection. This is the sum of the whole.
He then says, that the word of Jehovah came to him; we hence learn, that this was a distinct prophecy. He adds, I have been zealous for Sion (for as we have said, the letter l, lamed, is to be thus taken) with great zeal This was indeed an incredible change, for God had for a time restrained himself, while the ungodly at their pleasure harassed the Church, so that they thought that they could do so with impunity. As God then had for some time remained at rest, what the Prophet says here could not have been easily believed, that is, that God would, through a sudden jealousy, undertake the cause of the Church. Hence the indignation, immediately subjoined, must be regarded with reference to enemies, as though he had said, that all the ungodly would now perceive what they had by no means expected, -- that God was the protector of Jerusalem. It now follows --