5 The Lord has broken the club of the wicked, the scepter of rulers. 6 It furiously struck down nations with unceasing blows. It angrily ruled over nations, oppressing them without restraint. 7 The whole earth rests and is quiet; they break into song. 8 The evergreens also rejoice over your demise, as do the cedars of Lebanon, singing, ‘Since you fell asleep, no woodsman comes up to chop us down!’ 9 Sheol below is stirred up about you, ready to meet you when you arrive. It rouses the spirits of the dead for you, all the former leaders of the earth; it makes all the former kings of the nations rise from their thrones.
9 Then I asked one nearby, “What are these, sir?” The angelic messenger who replied to me said, “I will show you what these are.” 10 Then the man standing among the myrtle trees spoke up and said, “These are the ones whom the Lord has sent to walk about on the earth.” 11 The riders then agreed with the angel of the Lord, who was standing among the myrtle trees, “We have been walking about on the earth, and now everything is at rest and quiet.” 12 The angel of the Lord then asked, “O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, how long before you have compassion on Jerusalem and the other cities of Judah that you have been so angry with for these 70 years?” 13 The Lord then addressed good, comforting words to the angelic messenger who was speaking to me.
Notes and References
"... To summarize the main points thus far, the news that “all the earth is at rest and quiet” in Zechariah 1:11 is not good news for Zechariah’s audience, as evidenced by the ensuing lament of Zechariah 1:12. This phrase alludes to Isaiah 14:7, and it does not necessarily need to be read in the way Isaiah uses it, that is, positively. Instead, if the context is allowed its due weight, the phrase cannot be positive. I suggest that Zechariah is here recalling Isaiah for rhetorical effect. A message of salvation that should have resulted in rejoicing is instead recalled and applied to a different object, the nations, with the opposite result, lamenting. The original intent of Isaiah’s message heightens the despair effected by Zechariah’s use of the phrase in this context. By incorporating an allusion, the report of Zechariah’s messengers not only describes the ease of the surrounding nations, from which Jerusalem is excluded, but it also brings to mind the promised peace of the Lord through Isaiah that at this time is yet to be. ..."
Seufert, Matthew Thomas Zechariah: Select Problems and Allusive Solutions (pp. 57-58) The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2017
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