Zechariah 1.16

George Athas gathas at goconnect.net
Wed Apr 4 20:54:33 EDT 2001

|  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.

Ben, I don't think this stands in the case of Zech 1:16. The point of the oracle is that
because Yahweh has returned to Jerusalem, his house should be rebuilt. It's because he has
returned to Jerusalem that his people will again prosper. This is part of the urgency
which Zechariah alludes to -- "Yahweh is back, so we must hurry to build his house."

As for Isa 53, how do you account for the change of aspect and/or tense from
perfects/consecutives to imperfects midway through? Isaiah was simply telling the story of
a servant who had suffered terribly (past), but who would be vindicated and restored
(future). In the contexts of Isa 40-55, this would seem to be the faithful remnant of
Judah who, despite the painful past would experience liberation and restoration in the
near future (under Cyrus).

| [...]
|  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.

Malachi's oracle is in response to the Judeans' cry for justice. The circumstance in
Malachi is not that Yahweh was absent from his temple so that he needed to come back.
Rather, the circumstance is that Yahweh threatens to come along and enact total justice.
Yahweh does not stand for piecemeal justice, but total justice. As such, it's not just the
neighbours whom Yahweh will clean up, but also his very own people - starting with those
closest to him, the Levites. Malachi's context is completely different to the context of

Best regards,

(Sydney, Australia)
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