Zechariah 1.16

Ben Crick ben.crick at argonet.co.uk
Tue Apr 3 18:19:46 EDT 2001

On Mon  2 Apr 2001 (17:22:25), peterg45 at excite.com wrote:
>    I friend and I are having a discussion concerning the "glory of the
> Lord" departing from the Temple in Jerusalem, as related by Ezekiel. He
> claims that it never returned. However, I claim that Zechariah proclaims to
> the returned exiles that God has returned--Zechariah 1.16. The RSV
> translates:
> "I have returned" (the verb form is "shabti" (qal perf.). The NIV translates
> it as: "I will return." The NKJV translates it: "I am returning.".
> Gesenius Grammar is about as specific as BilClinton talking about his
> relationship with Monica.
>    Does anyone out there have a suggestion on how this particular qal
> perfect is to be translated, and why?

 Dear Peter,

 This IMHO is an example of the so-called 'Prophetic Perfect', seen a lot in
 e.g. Isaiah 53, where some of the Perfects are usually taken as Futures. The
 Perfect seems to be used because the fulfilment of the prophecy is so certain,
 that it is spoken of as a foregone conclusion.

 Isaiah prophesied of Judah that "a Remnant shall return" [$e'aR Ya$uB]
 (Isaiah 7:3; 10:21-22). Now God tells Zechariah that He will return, and that
 the Temple will again be built (1:16-17). The Tabernacle/Temple symbolises God
 tabernacling among His people (Exodus 29:45-46). Compare Haggai 2:9.

 As for the K:BoWD-YHWH, which Ezekiel saw depart from the Temple (Ezekiel
 10:18, 11:23): we are not told of it returning until the End Time (Ezekiel
 43:4). The Glory had departed before ('iY KaBoWD, "Ichabod", 1 Samuel 4:21);
 and did not return until the First Temple was dedicated by Solomon (1 Kings
 8:10). But Malachi prophesied "and the Lord ['aDoWN] whom ye seek, shall
 suddenly come to his temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom ye
 delight in: behold, *he shall come* [HiNNeH Ba']" (Malachi 3:1). Ba' is
 another Prophetic Perfect, IMHO.

 For theological comment I must refer you to the commentaries.

 Revd Ben Crick, BA CF
 <ben.crick at argonet.co.uk>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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