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present among them in the pillar of cloud and of fire, is the same, who, being now sent from the Most High God, brings to the people, through the prophet, this glorious message, and who, in v. 14, is called Jehovah, and is here distinguished from him as the ambassador from him who sends him. That he is identical with the Messiah, appears from chap. 9:9, where the arrival of the latter is announced to the people in almost the same words ; here, “Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for behold I come ;” there, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion, shout, O daughter of Jerusalem, behold the king cometh unto thee.”

Chap. 11 gives a further explanation, according to which the angel of the Lord appearing in the person of the Messiah among the people, with whom he had hitherto been invisibly present, and whom he had represented before God, undertakes to exercise the office of shepherd over them. While here, in chap. 9, only the bright side, there, in accordance with chap. 5, at the same time the dark side, the unbelief of the greatest part of the people in the manifested Messiah, and his rejection, is prominently exhibited. The reference of the prophecy to the Messianic times was acknowledged by the older Jewish interpreters in Jerome, as well as by Kimchi and Abarbanel.

4. The High Priest Joshua before the Angel of the Lord.

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Chap. 3.

. V.1. "And (the Lord) showed me Joshua, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him.The fut. with vav convers.. closely connects this vision with the foregoing, and gives us one of a series of visions granted to the prophet in the same night. . The subject in," he showed me,” is without doubt the Lord, as the Seventy and Jerome have already perceived. It is the most natural, because he had mentioned him immediately before, and indeed in a sentence with which the vav convers. connects. In addition to this is the comparison of chap. 2:3,“ The Lord showed me four smiths.” According to the common supposition, the subject is the angelus collocutor; but uniformly only the interpretation, not the presenting of the images, belongs to him. The expression bigo? non stands here, as v. 8, and chap. 6:11, with peculiar emphasis. It shows, that Joshua is not


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here considered according to his person, but his office; not according to his private, but his public character. ’: The phrase, “ standing before the angel of the Lord,” is, for the most part, misunderstood by interpreters. They regard it as a judicial expression; the angel of the Lord is supposed to appear as a judge, Satan as an accuser, Joshua as one accused. Considerable injury has thus been done to the interpretation of the whole vision. The expression, " to stand before any one,” is never spoken of the appearance of the accused before the judge, but rather always of the appearance of the servant before the lord, to tender him his services and await his commands. Comp. e. g. Gen. 41:46, “ Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh." 1 Sam. 16:21, " And David came to Saul and stood before him, and he loved him greatly, and he became his armourbearer.” 1 Kings 1:28, 10:8, Deut. 1:38. But the phrase is most frequently employed in reference to the service of the Lord; thus of the prophets, 1 Kings 17:1, "Elias said, As the Lord liveth, before whom I stand," Jer. 18:20. Of the whole people, 2 Chron. 20:13; but chiefly of the priests, for whose service it became a technical term ; comp. Deut. 10 : 8, “At this time the Lord separated from the tribe of Levi, -- to stand before the Lord, to serve him, and to bless in his name.” 2 Chron. 29: 11 : “My sons be not slack, for the Lord has chosen you to stand before him, to serve him, and present to him incense.” Ps. 135 : 2, “ The servants of the Lord who stand in the house of the Lord.” Judges 20 : 27, “Phineas stood before the Lord at that time.” Deut. 17:12. Accordingly the prophet here also sees the high priest Joshua, as such, engaged in serving the angel of the Lord, who, v. 2, appears under the name Jehovah, which belongs to God alone, and who, v. 4, ascribes to himself a work exclusively divine, the forgiveness of sins. Joshua implores his mercy for himself and the people, and presents to him prayers and intercession. Theodoret, τας υπέρ του λαού πρεσβείας προσφέρων τω Jell. The correctness of this interpretation is confirmed by v. 4, where 55 7y in like manner occurs of the service of the Lord. The following also; " and Satan stood at (properly over) his right hand,” is commonly misunderstood. Proceeding on the supposition already shown to be false, that a judicial trial is here represented, this has been referred to an alleged custom of the ancient Hebrews, for which, however, there is no proof, in accordance with which the accuser stood on the right hand of the accused. The

truth was seen by Werner in his valuable treatise, * De Josua Summo Sacerd. ex Zach. 3:8. Jena, 1741; Locus ad dexteram commodissimus est ei, qui alium in opere suo promovere vult, vel impedire." (Comp. Ps. 142:5; “Look, O Lord, on the right hand, I have no friend," &c.), Amicus itaque a dextera nobis stat, ut nos eo melius juvet ct protegat (Comp. Ps. 109: 31 ; “. The Lord stands at his right hand, japok, to deliver him from those who judge his soul.” Ps. 16:8. Ps. 121': 6); Inimicus vero ad dexteram esse dicitur, ut id quod in nobis firmum est, turbet ac debilitet.That by standing on the right hand in this passage, a violent and successful assault is signified, appears especially from the two parallel passages : Job 30 : 12, "Upon my right hand rise the youth; they push away my feet, and they raise up against me the wages of their destruction ; and Ps. 106: 9, "Set an ungodly man over him, and let an adversary stand at his right hand." In both, the by designates that which oppresses, prevents the action of the right hand, paralyzes all the efforts of the assailed. ivy is well explained by Tarnov; Ut sic nominis sui mensuram ab adversando Satanas dictus impleret." Rückert: “The enemy stands at his right hand to oppose him." The scene is accordingly as follows : the high priest is in the sanctuary, the building of which has been commenced, employed in supplicating the mercy of the angel of the Lord; who, in order to testify his good pleasure, condescends to appear in the temple, (comp. v.7), attended by a host of angels. Satan, the sworn enemy of the church of God, sees with envy the restoration 'of a state of reconciliation between her and the Lord. He endeavours to interrupt it by his accusations. The supposition of some of the older interpreters, (Kimchi, Drusius,) that Sanballat and his associates, who endeavoured to hinder the building of the temple, are here figuratively represented by Satan, needs no refutation. It is already shown to be groundless by a comparison of the prologue to Job, which Zechariah, who always imitates those who have gone before him, had 'certainly in view, compare also there chap. 1: 10, with Zech. 6:5. This comparison is also important, inasmuch as 'it teaches us, what here belongs to the drapery and what to the sub

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* On the contrary, the prolix Dissert. de Josua Summ. Sac. of Zeising, pres.. J. G. Walch, Jena, 1758, is worthless, and does not pay for the trouble of a comparison.

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yet lovely myrtle in a deep valley. Similar is the comparison of the Theocracy with the still waters of Siloa, in contrast with the roaring waters of the Euphrates. Is. chap. 8. While outward splendor surrounded the kingdoms of the world, the kingdom of God was always small and obscure, and appeared, especially at that time, to be near its extinction. That the angel of the Lord halts among the myrtle bushes, indicates the high protection which the church of God, helpless in itself, enjoys. The import of the appearance of the angel of the Lord as sitting on a horse, and indeed on a red horse, we cannot better express than in the words of Theodoret : TOūTON ορα εποχούμενον μεν ίππω διά την οξύτητα των δρωμένων, το δε τού ίππου πυρρόν την κατά των πολεμίων εθνών αγανάκτησιν δηλοί ύφαιμον γάρ και υπέρυθρον το θυμοειδές. Red is the color of blood ; in red garments, Is. 63; the angel of the Lord comes from Bozrah, after he has crushed the enemies of his kingdom; on a red horse, Apoc. 6: 4, Satan appears, to whom it is given to take peace from the earth, that men shall slay each other, and who bears a great sword. By the color of the horse, therefore, is symbolized what the angel of the Lord, v. 15, says of himself: “I am inflamed with great wrath against the secure and quiet nations," comp. Is. 47: 6. The inferior angels, which surrounded the angel of the Lord, symbolize the thought, that all means for the prosperity of his people, and the destruction of his enemies, are at his command. The color of their horses signifies the judgments impending over the latter, about to be executed with victorious might. White is the color of victory; comp. Apoc. 6:2;“ And I saw, and behold a white horse : and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him : and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.” That the angels are sent to spy out the condition of the earth, and that they bring back the answer, that the whole earth is at rest, is designed to symbolize the thought, that it is now time for the accomplishment of the promises in favor of the covenant people, and the threatenings against their enemics. There reigned in the second year of Darius a general peace; all the nations of the former Chaldean kingdom enjoyed a peaceful and uninterrupted prosperity. Even the Babylonians (that to them the words, "the whole earth is at rest," principally refer, appears from v. 15. Jun. and Trem, appropriately remark: Delitias agit Babylonius et quisquis adversarius ecclesia, dum ecclesia tua maximis tempestatibus agitatur”) had soon recovered from the disadvantages they had suffered from the capture of the city by Cyrus, which was still rich and prosperous. Judea alone, the seat of the people of God, exhibited a mournful aspect; the capital still lay for the most part in ruins; no protecting walls surrounded it; the building of the temple, which had been some inonths before recommenced at the exhortation of Haggai, had hitherto been obstructed by difficulties, which the dispirited people despaired of being able to overcome; the number of inhabitants was but small; the greatest portion of the land still lay waste; comp. Neh. chap. 1. This state of things must have been a great temptation to the pious; and have served the wicked as an excuse for their ungodliness; comp. Mal. 2: 17, where the latter inquire,

Every one that doeth evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and be delighteth in them; or, Where is the God of judgment?and 3: 15, " Therefore we praise only the despisers, for the ungodly increase, they tempt God and all goes well with them.” It required great strength of faith, under such circumstances, not to doubt either the truth of God or his omnipotence. His promises to the covenant people had only begun, and that in a small degree, to be fulfilled by their return; his predicted judgments upon Babylon extended much farther than to a mere capture of the city, and even this beginning of their fulfilment had apparently ceased, since the city was continually regaining its former prosperity. To counteract the temptations, destructive of all active zeal for the Theocracy, which this condition of things must bring with it, is the object of the prophecy. That the angel of the Lord appears as protector of his people, afforded them of itself a rich source of consolation. That he presented an intercession for his people, showed still more clearly, that the time of compassion was at hand. For his intercession cannot be in vain, nor the will of God unknown to him.

By the answer, which the Lord imparts to him, must every remnant of fear and despondency be removed ; it showed, that his promises and threatenings though gradually, and at the time determined in his holy and wise counsel, would yet certainly be fulfilled. We have now still to remark a few words concerning the fulfilment. Its commencement ensued even in the nearest future. The rebellion of the Babylonians under Darius the son of Hystaspes, brought the city near to its predicted entire destruction. Not to insist that it may be regarded as a consequence of the capture by Cyrus, it inflicted upon the city still deeper wounds. A great slaughter was occasioned and its walls were destroyed. The building of the tem

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