Ver. 1. Casleu, in our November or December. C.
Ver. 2. And. Sept. from; (S. Jer.) or, "to Bethel sent Sarasar and Arbesesar, the king and his men, to render the face of the Lord propitious." H.
--- These were Persian governors under Darius, (S. Jer.) or Cutheans, (Theod.) or Jews, at a distance from the temple, though in the country. M.
--- But they seem rather to be some who had not returned. C.
Ver. 3. The fifth month. They fasted on the tenth day of the fifth month; because on that day the temple was burnt. Therefore they inquire whether they are to continue that fast after the temple is rebuilt. See this query answered v. 19 of the following chapter. Ch.
--- The third of the seventh month (v. 5) was also a fast, on account of the death of Godolias, (C.) during the captivity. 4 K. xxv. 8. 25. W.
--- Sept. "Has the sanctification entered hither in the fifth month, as they (or I) have done?" &c. H.
--- Fasting and lamentation are styled sanctification, because they promote it; curatos quoque sanctificat; (S. Jer.) if the proper conditions be observed. H.
Ver. 5. Years, from the ruin of the temple till the fourth of Darius.
--- Unto me? Did you grieve for the injury done to me; or was your sorrow caused by your own loss? The prophet gives not a direct answer; but sufficiently shews that exterior works of themselves are of little value. Whether the Jews entered into his sentiments or not, they still observe these fasts, though he said they should be changed into days of rejoicing. C. viii. 19. C.
--- The fast was good, but imperfect, wanting works of charity. S. Greg. W.
Ver. 6. Yourselves, to gratify the senses more than from necessity, and without doing it for God's glory. H.
Ver. 7. Prophets. He alludes to Is. lviii. 3. See also Jer. xiv. 12. Joel ii. 12. The Jews were always too much attached to the letter, without minding the spirit of the law, being zealous for corporal rather than for spiritual works.
--- South. Several of these cities were occupied by the Idumeans.
--- Plain, or Sephala, which afterwards became flourishing and populous. C.
Ver. 9. Judgment. Avoid sinning, when you fast. W.
Ver. 10. Devise. Sept. "wickedly remember in your hearts each one the evil of his brother." H.
Ver. 11. Depart, so to leave the burden on their partner. Heb. C.
--- Lit. "giving way;" recedentem. Sixt. V. recedentes. Sept. "they gave a contemptuous back," (H.) like a slave, whom the whip cannot correct.
Ver. 12. As, &c. Heb. "of Samir;" a stone used to polish jewels. Sept. "disobedient."
Ver. 13. So shall. It seems the past time would be preferable; as Theodoret, S. Cyr. &c. understand it. C.
--- Yet the Jews, whom the prophet addressed, were also reprehensible; and they or their posterity felt the effects of God's indignation, when he scattered them throughout the world, as we see at present. Sept. have the future; but Prot. the past tense, "they cried," &c. H.