Made their hearts as an adamant stone - שמיר shamir may mean the granite. This is the hardest stone with which the common people could be acquainted. Perhaps the corundum, of which emery is a species, may be intended. Bochart thinks it means a stone used in polishing others. The same name, in Hebrew, applies to different stones.
Harder than adamant - The stone, whatever it be, was hard enough to cut ineffaceable characters: it was harder than flint. It would cut rocks; it could not be graven itself, or receive the characters of God.
This is the last sin, obduracy, persevering impenitence, which “resisted the Holy Spirit” Acts 7:51. and “did despite to the Spirit of grace” Hebrews 10:29. Not through infirmity, but of set purpose, they hardened themselves, lest “they should convert” Isaiah 6:10 and be healed. They feared to trust themselves to God‘s word, lest He should convert them by it.
Lest they should hear the law and the words which the Lord God sent by His Spirit by the hand of the former prophets - The Holy Spirit was the chief agent; “by His Spirit;” the inspired prophets were His instruments; by the hand of. Nehemiah confesses the same to God: “Thou didst protest to them by Thy Spirit by the hand of Thy prophets” Nehemiah 9:30. Moses was one of the greatest prophets. The law then may be included, either as delivered by Moses, or as being continually enforced by all the prophets. Observe the gradations:
(1) The words of God are not heard.
(2) The restive shoulder is shown; people turn away, when God, by the inner motions of His Spirit or by lesser chastisements, would bring them to the yoke of obedience. Osorius: “They would not bear the burden of the law, whereas they willingly bore that most heavy weight of their sins.”
(3) Obduracy. Osorius: “Their adamantine heart could be softened neither by promises nor threats.” Therefore nothing remained but the great wrath, which they had treasured to themselves against the day of wrath. And so Zechariah returns to that, wherewith his message and visions of future mercy began, the great wrath which fell upon their fathers Zechariah 1:7.
Osorius: “‹I sought not,‘ He says, ‹for your tears; I enjoined not bitterness of sorrow; but what, had they been done, the calamity, for which those tears were meet, had never befallen you. What was it which I admonished you formerly by the former prophets to recall you from sin? What I bid you by Zechariah now. This I preach, admonish, testify, inculcate upon you. ‹“
“And the word of the Lord came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” Zechariah 7:8-10. This is the word of the Lord to us also. 6T 460.1
I cannot think that the closing part of this chapter will be your experience: “But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the Lord of hosts hath sent in His Spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, that as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the Lord of hosts: but I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate.” Verses 11-14. 6T 460.2
Brethren, in your dealings with the Lord's household, “follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify [build up] another.” Romans 14:19. Speak no words of censure. Lay no blame on this one or that one. There is need now of the help that all can bring. Seek to heal the breach that has been made. Do it cheerfully. Do it nobly. Come up to the help of the Lord, to the help of the Lord against the mighty. Redeem at once the institution that is in so great peril. 6T 460.3Read in context »