on Zechariah 8 :13
As ye were a curse - Instead of being execrated among the people, ye shall be blessed; instead of being reproached, ye shall be commended. Ye shall be a blessing to all the nations round about. All these promises we may expect to be completely fulfilled when the Jews acknowledge their Messiah.
O house of Judah, and house of Israel - The restoration shall be complete, when both Israel and Judah are brought back.
on Zechariah 8 :13
As ye were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you - The ten tribes bore the name of Israel, in contrast with the two tribes with the name of Judah, not only in the history but in the prophets; as Hosea says, "I will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel, and on the house of Judah I will have mercy" Hosea 1:6-7. Here he unites both; both, in the time of their captivity, were a curse, were held to be a thing accursed, as it is said, "He that is hanged is the curse of God" Deuteronomy 21:23, that is, a thing accursed by Him; and God foretold of Judah, that they should be "a desolation and a curse" 2 Kings 22:10, and by Jeremiah, "I will deliver them to be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth for hurt, a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse in all places whither I shall drive them" ; and in deed, when it was so, "therefore is your land a desolation and an astonishment and a curse without an inhabitant, as at this day" Jeremiah 44:22.
Now the sentence was to be reversed as to both. "As ye were a curse, among the nations, naming each, so I will save you." There would have been no proportion between the curse and the blessing, unless both had been included under the blessing, as they were under the curse. But Israel had no share in the temporal blessing, not returning from captivity, as Zechariah knew they were not returned hitherto. Therefore the blessings promised must be spiritual. Even a Jewish commentator saw this. "It is possible, that this may have been spoken of the second temple, on condition that they should keep the commandments of the Lord; or, it is still future, referring to the days of the Messiah: and this is proved by the following verse which says, 'O house of Judah and house of Israel.' During the second temple the house of Israel did not return."
And ye shall be a blessing - This is a revival and an application of the original promise to Abraham, "thou shalt be a blessing" Genesis 12:2; which was continued to Jacob, "God give thee the blessing of Abraham, to thee and to thy seed with thee" Genesis 28:4. And of the future king, of whom it is said, "Thou gavest him length of days forever and ever," David says, "Thou hast made him blessings forever" Psalm 21:4, Psalm 21:6, and again, "They shall be blessed in Him" Psalm 72:17). So Isaiah had said of the days of Christ, "In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land;" Isaiah 19:24; and symbolically of the cluster of grapes, "Destroy it not: for a blessing is in it" Isaiah 65:8; and Ezekiel, "I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing" Ezekiel 34:26. They were this; for of them, "according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed forever" Romans 9:5; of them were the Apostles and Evangelists, of them every writer of God's word, of them those who carried the Gospel throughout the world. Osorius: "Was this fulfilled, when the Jews were under the Persians? or when they paid tribute to the Greeks? or when they trembled, hour by hour, at the mention of the Roman name? Do not all count those who rule much happier than those oppressed by the rule of others? The prediction then was fulfilled, not then, but when Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, shone on the earth, and He chose from the Hebrews lights, through whom to dissipate darkness and illumine the minds of people who were in that darkness. The Jews, when restored from the captivity, seemed born to slavery." They were reputed to be of slaves the most despised. "But when they had through Christ been put in possession of that most sure liberty, they overthrew, through their empire, the power and tyranny of the evil spirits."
on Zechariah 8 :13