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[prophetic visions. death, sufferings, and kingdom of Messiah, in many particulars not mentioned by any of the Prophets before him; every thing relating to those great events becoming more explicit in proportion as their accomplishment drew nearer. Zechariah's style, like that of Haggai, is for the most part prosaic, only more obscure towards the beginning, on account of his various types and emblems. Towards the end he is more plain, as well as more elevated and poetical. The difference in the style, among other reasons, has led many to conclude, that the last six chapters might be written by Jeremiah, or some other Prophet, though annexed to this prophecy of Zechariah. See the Exposition of chap. ix.
IN the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
2 The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers.
3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil and from your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD.
5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?
6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? and they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us.
7 Upon the four and twentieth day
of the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and behind him were there red horses, speckled, and white.
9 Then said I, O my Lord, wha are these? and the angel that talke with me said unto me, I will sher thee what these be.
10 And the man that stood amog the myrtle trees answered and sail, These are they whom the LORD hat sent to walk to and fro through the earth.
11 And they answered the angl of the LORD that stood among th myrtle trees, and said, We have walkd to and fro through the earth, and, bhold, all the earth sitteth still, ands at rest.
12 Then the angel of the L&D answered and said, O LORD of hits, how long wilt thou not have merc on Jerusalem and on the cities of Juah, against which thou hast had ingnation these threescore and ten ye's?
CHAP. I. Ver. 1. In the eighth month.-Comp. Haggai ii. 1, 10.-The second year of Darius-is eckoned by Blair the year 520 before Christ. This r. Stonard considers as the termination of the 70 Pars' captivity, which we have commenced, B. C. (vol. i. p. 706), and consequently end 518, folwing Usher, Blair, and other eminent chronologists, hich is two years later than Dr. Stonard; but perps these dates cannot be ascertained with perfect curacy.
Ver. 2. Sore displeased-Heb." Angry (with) anr;" i. e. very angry.
Ver. 5. Your fathers, &c. that is, "Your faers are dead, and the prophets who prophesied to em are dead: but the testimony of facts to the
13 And the LORD answed the
truth of my predictions still remains." AbNewcome. The question implies, that they had diedader marks of God's displeasure.
Ver. 6. Did they not take hold?-rg. "Overtake?" So Newcome.
Ver. 7. The month Sehat-a Syro-ecian month, answering to our January and Fetary. Golius and Stonard.
Ver. 8. Red horses, speckled and hite.- Newcome," Red, dun, and white;" onard, "Red, pale, and white:" the middle term ing of disputed import. Newcome says, these anls" had horses to show their power and celerity ;ad horses of different colours, to intimate their rent ministries, whether adverse, neutral, or frien."
angel that talked with me with good words and comfortable words.
14 So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy.
15 And I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction.
16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem.
17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad;
[of four horns. and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. 18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns.
19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What be these? And he answered me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.
20 And the LORD shewed me four carpenters.
21 Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up their horn over the land of Judah to scatter it. (A)
(A) Zechariah exhorts to repentance, and elates two visions of different coloured mrses &c. The Prophet begins with rminding the Jews, that their fathers had (nany of them) died in captivity, and under the divine displeasure; and earnestly Cautions them against following their evil xample, lest they should provoke the like udgments upon themselves.
The first prophetic vision opens in the th verse, and it is expressly said to have ken seen by night. The scene is a valley "myrtle trees," and the principal charter exhibited was "the Angel of the Lrd" upon a red (or bright bay) horse, al followed by other horses of different cours, and mounted by riders (as is suppod) representing the various agents enloyed by Providence in the govern met of the world. The Angel of the Lord herintroduced as riding upon a red horse, is ve naturally understood as the Son of God mself, who, in the last book of the New estament, is represented as a Conquero upon a white horse (Rev. vi. 2). The horse, indeed, seems to represent him, so properly in the victories of the goel (as described by St. John), as in densing judgments among the heathen red being symbolical of wrath, of war, id of punishment. By those that
followed him on horses of the same colour, we must understand inferior ministers, perhaps both good and evil; and it is very remarkable that they are described as using the very language used by Satan in the introduction of the book of Job; as "going (or walking) to and fro" to see what was doing in the earth; and they bring in a report that "all the earth is sitting still and at rest;" meaning, as we conceive, that the chosen people having been completely subjugated, the surrounding nations were enjoying their triumph over them. This gives occasion for Israel's advocate, the Angel of the Lord, to offer a prayer on their behalf. "O Lord of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on de rusalem?" intimating at the same time that the seventy years of their captivity were now about to terminate. To this an adswer is immediately given by the medium of another angel, expressing how much the Lord was displeased with the heathen, in not setting them at liberty. For though both Cyrus and Darius had intimated their disposition to that effect, it is plain enough that there was a very powerful combina tion to oppose them.
In the last four verses of this chapter, another vision is introduced of four horssthe horns which are said to have "scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem." But
Ver. 20. F carpenters-From this rendering we may supp that our translators supposed these horns to be olood: so Vitringa renders the word smiths, becau he imagined them to be of iron. If we admit, lever, that they were horns of living animals, Wmay render the term more literally,
as Newcome does, "Workmen," or rather, working men, either in agriculture or in the arts. It is obvious that it needed neither carpenters nor smiths to drive away living animals; and nothing is said of cutting off their horns.
lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand.
2 Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length there
3 And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,
4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls, for the multitude of men and cattle therein :
5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.
6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD.
[with a measuring-line.
7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon.
8 For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye.
9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me.
10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
11 And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
13 Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation. (B)
commentators are not exactly agreed whether these are to be considered as distinct horns (like the horns of the altar), or as horned animals, as in Daniel's visions. By four labouring or working men coming to fray or frighten them away, we are naturally led to think of living animals; and if the number of the horns, or military powers implies that Israel had enemies on every side (i. e. to the four winds), it naturally leads us to the idea of one-horned animals, or unicorns, whereof we read in different parts of scripture, and which were certainly ferocious animals; and not to tame cattle, which seldom did any mischief. Who the powers were that scattered Israel; and who the agents that conquered and dispersed them, Daniel will inform us. See
CHAP. II. Ver. 1. A measuring line-Heb. “ And In his hand a line of measuring.
Ver. 4. To this young mani. e. the prophet: but Dr. Stonard understands it of the angel, though we think without reason. The Angel that had "alked with Zechariah, "went forth" as if to leave him; but the superior Angel directed him to run, i, e. to step quickly back with this message to the prophet.-As towns without wails-that is, with an overflowing population, as in the next line.
Ver. 6. From the land of the north-that is, from Persia and Chaldea. Compare Rev. xviii. 4. Ver. 8, 9. After the glory-Newcome," After (the btaining of) glory." Stonard, "After glory hath
he sent me;" i. e. after the glory of the nations; as it is added, "they shall become a spoil to their servants; that is, they shall plunder those who plundered them. See also Rev. xxi. 24.
Ibid. He that toucheth, &c. See Deut. xxxii. 10. -I will shake my hand upon-or "over;" i. e. in a threatening attitude.
Ver. 11. I will dwell. The Lord hath sent, &¢.-From this passage, compared with Isa. xlviii. 16, an argument has been drawn in favour of the Holy Trinity. One person, who is Jehovah, sends another person, who also is Jehovah, yet are there not two Jehovahs. See Dr. Eveleigh's Sermon at Oxford, on Zech. ii. 8-11; Lond. 1796.
The vision of]
AND he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they are men won dered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree. (C)
EXPOSITION-Chap. II. Continued.
"wall of fire all around," must have a farther reference to the glory and prosperity of the latter days of the Messiah. In consequence however of these promises, the Jews then inhabiting Babylon, and the regions round about, are called upon to hasten home, ("Ho! from the north," &c.) that they might not be involved in the fate of their enemies, who were to fall a prey to the nations which they had formerly subdued. The promises of God's presence with his church, and her consequent prosperity as set forth in the latter verses of this chapter, were in some measure fulfilled in the great number of proselytes made to Judaism, both during and after the captivity; still more so in the
conversion of many thousands to Christianity after the day of pentecost; yet have we good reason to expect a farther signal and extensive fulfilment of them in the glorious days of the Millennium.
(C) The Jewish church vindicated, and Messiah promised.—The visiou here exhibited, represents the enemies of the Jews, as incorporated in the person of the great adversary of mankind, while the Jewish church itself, as some expositors conceive, is personified in Joshua the high priest, and its melancholy condition represented by his tattered and defiled garments. The promised change of raiment plainly indi
CHAP. III. Ver. 1. And Satan-Marg. "An adversary. See Note on Job i. 6.--To resist himMarg, "To be his adversary."
Ver. 2. The Lord said.-The Syriac, Newcome, Boothroyd, and others, supply from chap. i. "The angel of." Compare Jude, ver. 9. This angel, however, must be understood to mean, "the Angel of the covenant."
Ver. 3. Filthy garments-perhaps "the garments of a captive." Newcome.
Ver.7. Places to walk-Heb. "Walks." Comp. Matt. xxii. 30; Rev. iii. 4.
Ver. 8. Men wondered at Heb. "Men of wonder," as being all "brands plucked out of the burning," or, "of a sign;" i. e. typical men, or types of a future great deliverance. The BRANCH that is, "The great Messiah himself, through
whom alone iniquity is put away." Dr. Blayney.
Ver. 9. The stone.-See Gen. xlix. 24; Ps. exvii, 22: Isa. viii. 13, 14; Dan. ii. 34, &c.—Epos one stone shall be seven eyes.--Some render this in the present tense," are seven eyes;" but as there is no verb in the original, we think, with Dr. Stonard and others, that none is necessary; "Behold .... upon one stone seven eyes!" We can by no means, however, agree with our learned author, that these eyes "are intended to represent the angels of God, subject to the command of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1. Angels are not (we believe) ever compared to eyes; and, 2. The Head of the church sees with his own eyes, and not, like temporal monarchs, with the eyes of others. See Expos.-In one day.—Comp. Dan. ix. 14: Heb. ix. 26.
Ver. 10. Under the vine, &c.-See Micah iv. 4.
The golden candlestick]
AND the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which are upon the top thereof:
3 And two olive trees by it, one upon the right side of the bowl, and the other upon the left side thereof.
4 So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord?
[and olive trees.
5 Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
6 Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.
7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and he shall bring forth the head stone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it.
8 Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
9 The hands of Zerubbabel have
cates reconciliation with God, to which, in the latter part of the chapter, is added an express prophecy of the Messiah, as the branch predicted by Isaiah two centuries before. (Isa. iv. 2; xi. 1.) Dr. Macknight (who is herein followed by Dr. Stonard) was of opinion, that the church personified as above in the person of Joshua, is intended by "the body of Moses" in the Epistle of St. Jude; but the enquiry would here perhaps be premature.
As to the Jews now occupied in rebuilding their temple, the vision was calenlated to give them the strongest encouragement by assuring them, that God, after plucking them as "brands out of the fire" (i. e. from the captivity of Babylon), would not now give them up to their adversaries, but would still continue to prosper their undertaking; and that, notwithstanding all the interruptions they had met with, the work should be finished under the superintendence of a kind Proand that their high priest, clothed in his pontifical robes, should again officiate in the sanctuary. As to Joshua, personally considered, he
is involved in no charge of public guilt (though it appears his sons were; Ezra x. 18); but is assured, that by due attention to his official duties, he should hereafter be accepted and rewarded; and that degraded as his present situation might appear, he should one day be numbered among the heavenly hosts, and have a place to walk in white amongst them. (See Note on Ver. 7.)
In the mean time the Messiah is brought again before us, as the foundation stone of all the church's hope; and upon this stone is engraved, by the hand of God himself, seven eyes. These eyes naturally remind us of him, who is described as having "seven horns and seven eyes." (Rev. v. 6.) i. e. a fulness of power and wisdom-or, which is the same thing, "the fulness of the Godhead"-residing in him "bodily." (Col. ii. 9.)-The eyes of kings are their counsellors, and the kings of Persia had "seven counsellors" (Ezra vii. 14; Esther i. 13, 14.); but the king of Zion needs no foreign aid "The seven eyes are in the stone."
CHAP. IV. Ver. 2. A candlestick is certainly an mproper term, since it was to hold lamps; nor is handelier more literally correct, though, as being a French term, its absurdity is not so glaring. The golen vessel here named appears to us to have strongly esembled the candlestick, or lamp-bearer, in the bernacle, Exod. xxxii. 31, &c., with perhaps this derence, that instead of the branches being solid, ey were hollow, for the purpose of conveying to each amp the supply of oil which was received by the owl from the olive trees beside them. Taid. Seven pipes to the seven lamps Margin, Seven several pipes to the lamps," &c. Dr. Stoard thinks that he has discovered in the Hebrew Fraseology of this chapter, two serens of lamps, e seven belonging to the Jewish, the other to the iristian church; but we confess that we see idence to support this discovery; nor do we think
it harmonious with the doctrine of the New Testament. It is true there were many Christian societies, or worshipping assemblies, both of Jews and Gentiles, but we have no idea of their forming two distinct and coeval churches. The Christian church is one, united under one head, and animated by one spirit. We hope to be excused in the freedom of this remark, though it would be absurd to attempt here the minute examination of an hypothesis which occupies several pages in the statement.
Ver. 6. Not by might, (or army) &c.—that is, the building of this temple, and more especially of the Christian church, should not be affected by secular power, nor by human might, but by the divine agency.
Ver. 7. Who (or what) art thou?-that is, Whois the chief opposer of this work? and what is the obstacle to its completion? Before the power of the Almighty, all opposition is as nothing.