Zechariah is filled with the Holy Spirit (Lk 1:67-1:67)

“Then his father,

Zechariah,

Was filled with

The Holy Spirit.

He spoke

This prophesy.”

 

Καὶ Ζαχαρίας ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ ἐπροφήτευσεν λέγων

 

Luke indicated that Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit, just like John, Mary, and Elizabeth, earlier in this chapter, in verses 15, 35, and 41.  This gift of the Holy Spirit was tied to prophecy just as in Joel, chapter 2:28, where there was an outpouring of the Spirit upon all humans, the young men, the sons, the young women, and the daughters.  These young people would prophesize, while the old men would dream dreams.  The young men would see visions.  Even the male and female slaves would receive this outpouring of the Spirit.  Luke has this outpouring of the Spirit when Peter talked in the Acts of the Apostles.  Here Luke said that John’s father (ὁ πατὴρ αὐτοῦ), Zechariah (Καὶ Ζαχαρίας), was filled with the Holy Spirit (ἐπλήσθη Πνεύματος Ἁγίου).  Thus, Zechariah spoke this prophesy (καὶ ἐπροφήτευσεν λέγων).

 

The old and the young will be in the city (Zech 8:4-8:5)

“Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

‘Old men,

Old women,

Shall again sit

In the streets of Jerusalem.

Each of them

Will have a staff

In hand,

Because of their great age.

The streets of the city

Shall be full

Of boys,

Of girls,

Playing in its streets.’”

Yahweh said that both the old men and the old women would again sit in the streets of Jerusalem with their walking canes due to their old age.  Meanwhile, the young boys and the young girls would fill the city by playing in the streets.

The outpouring of the Spirit (Joel 2:28-2:29)

“Then afterward,

I will pour out

My Spirit

On all flesh.

Your sons,

As well as your daughters,

Shall prophesy.

Your old men

Shall dream dreams.

Your young men

Shall see visions.

In those days,

I will pour out

My Spirit,

Even on the male slaves,

Even on the female slaves.”

This is the outpouring of the Spirit that Peter will later talk about in the Acts of the Apostles. This Spirit will come upon all humans, the young men, the sons, with the young women, the daughters. These young people will prophesize, while the old men will dream dreams. The young men will see visions. Even the male and female slaves will receive this outpouring of the Spirit. In the Jerusalem Bible, this is chapter 3, not the end of chapter 2. However, I will follow the numeration as in the Oxford Bible here.

The change in habits (Lam 5:13-5:14)

“Young men

Are compelled

To grind

At the mill.

Boys stagger

Under loads of wood.

The old men

Have left

The city gate.

The young men

Have left

Their music.”

The lives of the people left in Jerusalem have changed. The young men are now grinding at the mill, while the young boys stagger under the heavy loads of wood. The old men have left their discussions at the city gate, while the young men no longer are involved with music.

The mourning in Jerusalem (Lam 2:10-2:10)

Yod

“The elders

Of daughter Zion

Sit on the ground

In silence.

They have thrown dust

On their heads.

They have put on

Sackcloth.

The young girls

Of Jerusalem

Have bowed

Their heads

To the ground.”

There is a change in tone here. No longer was Yahweh with his anger the main point. The emphasis now shifts to those left in the city of Jerusalem itself. The elders, who were left in Jerusalem, were sitting on the ground in silence. They were grieving, as they threw dust on their heads and put sackcloth on. The young girls of Jerusalem also bowed their heads to the ground. Obliviously not everyone was killed or taken captive. These old men and young women left in Jerusalem were in a state of shock and mourning. This verse starts with the Hebrew consonant letter Yod. Each verse after this will use the next letter of the Hebrew alphabet in this acrostic poem.

The war club of Yahweh (Jer 51:20-51:23)

“You are my war club!

You are my hammer!

My weapon of battle!

With you

I smash nations.

With you

I destroy kingdoms.

With you

I smash the horse.

With you

I smash its rider.

With you

I smash the chariot.

With you

I smash the charioteer.

With you

I smash men.

With you

I smash women.

With you

I smash the old man.

With you

I smash the boy.

With you

I smash the young man.

With you

I smash the girl.

With you

I smash the shepherds.

With you

I smash their flock.

With you

I smash the farmers.

With you

I smash their teams.

With you

I smash the governors.

With you

I smash their deputies.”

Yahweh is the war club or hammer that smashes everything. Thus with Yahweh, Jeremiah can smash nations, kingdoms, horses, riders, chariots, charioteers, men, women, old men, boys, young men, girls, shepherds, their flocks, farmers, their teams, governors, and their deputies. Yahweh is a strong weapon that can smash practically everything.

Israel shall come back rejoicing (Jer 31:12-31:14)

“They shall come.

They shall sing aloud

On the height of Zion.

They shall be radiant

Over the goodness of Yahweh,

Over the grain,

Over the wine,

Over the oil,

Over the young of the flock.

Over their herd.

Their life shall become

Like a watered garden.

They shall never languish again.

Then shall the young women

Rejoice in the dance.

The young men

With the old men

Shall be merry.

I will turn their mourning

Into joy.

I will comfort them.

I will give them gladness

For sorrow.

I will give the priests

Their fill of fatness.

My people shall be satisfied

With my goodness.’

Says Yahweh.”

The Israelites will come to the heights of Zion to sing aloud. They will be happy over the goodness of Yahweh with their grain, their wine, their oil, their flocks, and their herds. Their life will become like a watered garden. They will never again languish away. The young women will rejoice in dancing, while the young and old men will be merry. Yahweh was going to comfort them by giving them gladness for all the sorrows that they suffered. Their mourning shall turn into joy. The priests would have fat sacrifices. They will be satisfied with all the goodness of Yahweh.