Zechariah 8:9-13 forms a single unit within the chapter, and is organized chiastically:
A. strong hands, v 9a
B. house of Yahweh, v 9b
C. no wages, v 10a
D. no peace, v 10b
E. Not according to former days, v 11
D’. peace for seed, v 12a
C’. produce of the land: inherit, v 12b
B’. house of Judah/Israel, v 13a
A’. strong hands, v 13b
Several notes. First, the exhortation to “let your hands be strong” reminds us of David’s exhortations to Solomon and Moses’ to Joshua. Zechariah is exhorting the people to be strong and diligent in a new temple-building project, which is also a new conquest. Second, the B sections interestingly connect the house/temple of Yahweh with the house of Israel and Judah. Third, the C section seems to be a rebuke to Israel’s economic injustices prior to the exile; men were not paid for their work, and even animals were not hired. In the reversal in C’, Yahweh takes responsibility for ensuring that every Israelite among the remnant has an inheritance, the produce of the land.
Finally, of course, Yahweh’s own decision to do things differently is the hinge on which Israel’s restoration and redemption turns. It is an unmotivated decision, a sovereign act of an electing God. He has punished earlier generations of Israel and Judah, but now He is determined that he will not treat the new generation, the seed and remnant, in the same way, and reinforces this with the oracle formula ne’um YHWH tzeba’oth .