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In Zechariah 8 we read (KJV):

[9] Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these (הָאֵ֑לֶּה) days these (הָאֵ֑לֶּה) words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the Lord of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. [10] For before these (הָהֵ֔ם) days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour.

[15] So again have I thought in these (הָאֵ֑לֶּה) days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not.

I've been told that the Hebrew word הָאֵ֑לֶּה in v. 9 basically means "these" and הָהֵ֔ם in v. 10 basically means "those".

In v. 10, when it writes "those (הָהֵ֔ם) days", it is referring to the second year of Darius: when the prophets prompted the people to continue rebuilding the temple (cross reference to this verse would would be Haggai 1:6). Is it possible, then, that when Zechariah writes the phrase "these days" with the word הָאֵ֑לֶּה, he is referring to the present time (Zechariah 8 was given in the fourth year of Darius, Zech 7:1), and therefore contrasting the days of the second year of Darius ("those days") with the days of the fourth year of Darius (or just anytime which is not in the second year of Darius)?

Is there a reason why Zechariah uses two different words for "these" and "those"? The Hebrew words have different roots.

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    Given that the foundation was laid in the second year of Cyrus(Ezra 3:8-13), then that would seem to be the most likely time period referenced in Zechariah 8:9b-10(cmp. Haggai 2:10;18-19). – user21676 Jun 11 '18 at 8:17
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Zechariah 8:9, Thus saith the LORD of hosts, "Let your hands be strong ye that hear "IN THESE DAYS" "these words"(present) by the mouth of the prophets which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid. So God is saying he is going to tell those present words that were spoken in the past.

Verse 9 sets the stage for v-10. "Let your hands be strong, Ye that hear in these days." (Then God talks about the words of an old prophet and then continues his message)"For before these days... there was no hire for man"

God is speaking to people present, about the past: " For ****before these days** there "was" no hire for man..." (But IN THESE DAYS there is hire for man). So if you add "those" it corrupts the story, "Before those days there was no hire for man?" (

In THESE DAYS things are not like THOSE DAYS)

Yah see? If you add "those" in v-10 it wont make sense? ((Before "THOSE days" there was no hire for man...because I made everybody fight all the time?) In "those days" there was none, but "IN THESE DAYS" there is.

  • Yes but in verse 10 the word "these" literally translates as "those" in English. – user329957 Feb 12 at 17:22
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In v. 10, when it writes "those (הָהֵ֔ם) days", it is referring to the second year of Darius: when the prophets prompted the people to continue rebuilding the temple (cross reference to this verse would would be Haggai 1:6).

Yes, "those days" is referring to before the 2nd year of Darius in Hag 1:6-15.

Is it possible, then, that when Zechariah writes the phrase "these days" with the word הָאֵ֑לֶּה, he is referring to the present time (Zechariah 8 was given in the fourth year of Darius, Zech 7:1), and therefore contrasting the days of the second year of Darius ("those days") with the days of the fourth year of Darius (or just anytime which is not in the second year of Darius)?

"these days" should be the time after Hag 1:14-15 up until the present time of Zech 8.

Is there a reason why Zechariah uses two different words for "these" and "those"? The Hebrew words have different roots.

You have answered that question. "those days" refers to a time in the past, and "these days" to the present of Zech ch 8.

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