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the splendour of its ornaments, utensils, and furniture, it was the most magnificent structure he had ever seen or heard of. Yet probably if he or any other Jew had been asked whether he thought it more glorious than Solomon's Temple, a negative reply would have been given. We are much of opinion that the later temple was probably more magnificent and beautiful, considered architecturally, than the former ; but that it equalled or approached it in the abundance of its precious things and the costliness of its materials, ornaments, and utensils, there is every reason to doubt, parcicularly when we compare the resources of Herod with those of David and Solomon. But, above all, the latter house wanted the Shechinah, or divine glory, which filled the former house, as well as the tables of the law, the pot of manna, &c.: and wanting these, we are firmly convinced that no Jew, before the later temple was destroyed, would for a moment have allowed that it exceeded the former in glory, even had he believed its material magnificence greater than that of Solomon's Temple. We have therefore no hesitation in believing that this important prophecy refers to the Messiah as “ the Desire of all Nations,” and predicts his coming in the times of the later temple. To what else, also--to what increase of temporal splendour or security-can we refer the declaration in verse 9, “In this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts”? No other peace than that which Christ brought was ever given there.
9. " The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former."-As a sequel to the preceding note, we may here notice a difficulty which has been suggested in the view which it states. This is, that the house which the presence of the Messiah glorified, was not the same as that of which Haggai spoke, but a new one built by Herod. For we are informed by Josephus, that, before the birth of Christ, the temple built by the returned captives was pulled down, the very foundations being removed, and a new and larger structure erected by Herod. As, however, the Jewish writers are in the habit of speaking of improvements in a large sense-as when some kings are described as having "built” cities which we know to have been in previous existence, and which they merely improved or fortified-the statement of Josephus is quite open to the explanation—that Herod did not wholly rebuild the Temple, but repaired it generally and extensively, taking down certain parts that were decayed, and constructing them again on new foundations, and adding new buildings and walls ; completing, strengthening, and adorning the whole, on a regular plan. Such alterations and repairs, although very extensive, would not destroy the identity of the building. As we do not read of any alteration in the mode of celebrating the services of religion while these works were in progress, it is more than probable that the Holy Place at least remained standing; and if so, this was alone sufficient to maintain the identity of the building, for ihat was essentially the “house," although it occupied but a small part of the site covered by the courts and buildings of the “Temple,” in the extensive sense.
To this explanation, which is in substance that most usually given, we will venture to add the suggestion that the Hebrews did not consider the identity of a building destroyed unless when a new one was erected after the old one had lain for a time in a state of desolation, ruined and overthrown. Such an interval occurred between the destruction of Solomon's Temple and the foundation of a new one by the returned captives ; and the latter was therefore a second temple. But no such interval occurred between this and the temple built or improved by Herod; and therefore the latter was not a third temple, but continued to be identified with the second. At all events, nothing is more certain than that the Jews did regard the temple which stood in the time of our Saviour, and which was destroyed by Titus, as the second temple; and this is really all that is essential to be known. Even Josephus, on other occasions, regards it as the second temple with respect to that of Solomon ; as do all the Jewish writers who have occasion to make any distinction. And, still more, the early Jews, who did consider the present prophecy to refer to the advent of the Messiah, continued to expect that he would come in the time of Herod's Temple. Hence the mournful and memorable cry which the Rabbi Jose is said to have uttered when that temple was destroyed, "Alas! the time of the Messiah is past!”
ingo I saw by night, and behold a man
in 9 Then said 1, 0 my lord, what are these ?
the eleventh month, which is the month SeCHAPTER I.
bat, in the second year of Darius, came the
word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of 1 Zechariah exhorteth to repentance. 7 The vision
of the horses. 12 At the prayer of the angel | Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saycomfortable promises are made to Jerusalem. 18 The vision of the four horns, and the four car- 8 a penters.
riding upon a red horse, and he stood among
the myrtle trees that were in the bottom; N the and behind him were there red horses, 'spec
eighth kled, and white. month, in the second And the angel that talked with me said year of Da
unto me, I will shew thee what these be.
chariah, 11 And they answered the angel of the
2 The wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and Lord hath been 'sore displeased with your on the cities of Judah, against which thou fathers.
hast had indignation these threescore and 3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus ten years? saith the LORD of hosts; "Turn ye unto me, 13 And the LORD answered the angel saith the Lord of hosts, and I will turn that talked with me with good words and unto you, saith the LORD of hosts.
comfortable words. 4 Be
ye not as your fathers, unto whom 14 So the angel that communed with me the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith saith the Lord of hosts ; 'Turn ye now from the Lord of hosts; I am "jealous for Jeruyour evil ways, and from your evil doings : salem and for Zion with a great jealousy. but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, 15 And I am very sore displeased with saith the LORD.
the heathen that are at ease: for I was but 5 Your fathers, where are they? and the a little displeased, and they helped forward prophets, do they live for ever?
the affliction. 6 But my words and my statutes, which 16 Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am I commanded my servants the prophets, did returned to Jerusalem with mercies : my they not take hold of your fathers ? and house shall be built in it, saith the LORD they returned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth of hosts thought to do unto us, according to upon Jerusalem. our ways, and according to our doings, so 17 Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD hath he dealt with us.
of hosts; My cities through 'prosperity shall 7 9 Upon the four and twentieth day of yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall Heb. with displeasure. & Mal 3. 7. 3 Isa. 31. 6. Jer. 3. 12, and 18. 11. Ezek. 18. 30. Hos. 14. l. • Or, overtake.
Or, bay. 7.Chap. 8. 9.
Lam, l. 18.
yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jeru- 20 And the LORD shewed me four carsalem.
penters. 18 Then lifted I up mine eyes, and 21 Then said I, What come these to do? saw, and behold four horns.
And he spake, saying, These are the horns 19 And I said unto the angel that which have scattered Judah, so that no man talked with me, What be these? And did lift up his head: but these are come to he answered me, These are the horns fray them, to cast out the horns of the Genwhich have scattered Judah, Israel, and Je- tiles, which lifted up their horn over the rusalem.
land of Judah to scatter it.
Zechariah.— It appears from the prefixed inscription that Zechariah was the contemporary of Haggai, beginning to prophesy two months after Haggai had delivered his commencing prophecy. He was, of course, one of that body which returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel. Although the names of his father and grandfather are given, we are not told to what tribe he belonged ; nor are any particulars of his history supplied : for this Zechariah is not to be confounded with any other person of the same name mentioned in Scripture. It may be presumed from ch. i. 4, that he was a young man when he commenced his prophetic career ; but how long he lived or where he died, we know not. Traditions state that he was buried near Jerusalem; and with this concurs the existing belief which finds, in a remarkable monument in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, the tomb of Zechariah. Some further information concerning this mongment will be found at the end of this book.
The object of Zechariah's prophecy is the same as that of Haggai's—to stimulate the returned captives to rebuild the temple and restore the regular worship of God; and to encourage their faith and hope by the promise of the Mes. siah. The Jews considered the style of Zechariah so remarkably similar to that of Jeremiah, that they were accustomed to observe that the spirit of the latter prophet had passed into him. His style is characterized by Bishop Lowth as generally prosaic: but “towards the conclusion of the prophecy there are some poetical passages, and those highly ornamented ; theyare also perspicuous, considering that they are the production of the most obscure o all the prophetic writers.”
Verse 8. “Myrtle.”—(D'077 hadassim). The myrtle family abounds in trees of a most charming aspect. The foliage is generally of a polished green; and the leaves are punctured with a multitude of translucent spots, which are seen when they are interposed between the eye and the light. The flowers are of a snowy whiteness in some, as the Myrtus communis, or myrtle, for example; in others, they grow in clusters, and glow with the richest tints of crimson, as in the Jambosa Malaccensis, or Malay apple. The stamens are numerous, and form circular rows of palisades about the pistil or central column, bestowing an elegant appearance upon the blossom. Many of them yield an edible fruit, as the Psidium and the Eugenia, the Guava and the Cayenne Cherry. But the transparent dots upon the leaves afford an easy and beautiful characteristic of the Myrtacea, while the whole of the numerous genera and species are connected together by the most intelligible features of neatness and grace. As they often grow in the shaded valleys, between two neighbouring mountains, where all is calm and tranquil, they naturally become associated in the mind with every thing that is lovely and peaceful. The myrtle trees offered a choice emblem of peace and quietude, and gave a living freshness to the annunciation of the angel, “ We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth silteth still, and is at rest.”
18. “ Horns.” – Here and in the following verses the “horn” occurs, as it frequently does in Seripture, as a symbo! of power and exaltation. Hannah's declaration (1 Sam. ii. 1), “ Mine horn is exalted in the Lord,” gave us occaBlou tu notice the born, or tantoura, worn by the women of Lebanon and other places: and now we have the pleasure of introducing pictorial representations of these remarkable appendages of the head. The same cut contains, after Bruce, two portraits of Abyssinian chiefs, showing the horn which such persons attach to their heads, which practice seems founded on the idea of power, and particularly, military power, attached to that symbol. They therefore illustrate rather the idea than any thing else ; for there does not appear much reason to conclude that the Hebrew chiefs or military commanders assumed a similar mark of distinction, although there is something remarkable in the fact that the false prophet Zedekiah “ made him horns of iron;" and said to Ahab, to encourage him in his expedition against the Syrians, " With these shalt thou push the Syrians, until thou hast consumed them” (1 Kings xui 11). These “ horns" attracted the particular attention of Bruce in a cavalcade, when he observed that the governors of provinces were distinguished by this head-dress. It consists of a large broad fillet, tied behind, from the centre of which
a horn, or conical piece of silver, gilt, about four inches long, and in its general appearance very much resembling a candle extinguisher. It is called kirn (just the same word in the Hebrew 17p keren), and is only worn at reviews, or parades, after a victory. The peculiar manner in which the wearers are obliged to hold their heads, when bearing this ornament, to prevent it from falling forward, agrees remarkably with the text, “ Lift not your horn on high, speak uut with a stiff neck.” (Ps. lxxv. 5.)
20. “ Carpenters.”—This is perhaps too definite. The word on cheresh, means generally any artificer in metal, stone, or wood, and it is better to take it in the general sense of workmen," as Newcome does here, unless when the context sufficiently indicates a more definite application. Some suppose that the present context so far does this as to Farrant the conclusion that the workmen were smiths, represented as coming to destroy the horns, understanding these to have been of iron.
7 Deliver thyself, 0 Zion, that dwellest I God, in the care of Jerusalem, sendeth to measure with the daughter of Babylon.
it. 6 The redemption of Zion. 'O The promise 8 For thus saith the Lord of hosts; After of God's presence.
the glory hath he sent me unto the nations I LIFTED up mine eyes again, and looked, which spoiled you: for he that 'toucheth you and behold a man with a measuring line in toucheth the apple of his eye. his hand.
9 For, behold, I will shake mine hand 2 Then said I, Whither goest thou ? And upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to servants: and ye shall know that the LORD see what is the breadth thereof, and what is of hosts hath sent me. the length thereof.
10 'Sing and rejoice, O daughter of 3 And, behold, the angel that talked with Zion: for, lo, I come, and I 'will dwell in me went forth, and another angel went out the midst of thee, saith the LORD. to meet him,
11 And many nations shall be joined to 4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this the Lord in that day, and shall be my peoyoung man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inha- ple: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, bited as towns without walls for the multi- and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts tude of men and cattle therein:
hath sent me unto thee. 5 For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her 12 And the LORD shall inherit Judah his a wall of fire round about, and will be the portion in the holy land, and shall choose glory in the midst of her.
Jerusalem again. 6' Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the 13 Be silent, О all flesh, before the LORD: land of the north, saith the LORD: for I for he is raised up out of his holy habihave spread you abroad as the four winds of tation. the heaven, saith the LORD.
* Isa. 12. 6, and 54. l. 8 Levit. 96. 12. Ezek. 37. 27. 2 Cor. 6. 16. • Heb, the habitation of his holiness. Verse 5. “ A wall of fire round aboul.”—It is not unlikely that this image may be derived from the very general custom, in places where danger is apprehended from wild beasts, for travellers to keep fires burning round their own resting place to prevent their approach. Such a wall of fire round about a resting party is in general most effectual for their protection from beasts of prey, in consequence of the dread with which fire is regarded by all wild animals; although examples are recorded in which the more powerful beasts, rendered desperate by famine, have defied the obstruction which the fiery barrier offered, and rushed through its flames upon their prey.
I Deut. 32. 10. Psal. 17.8.
ments. And the angel of the LORD stood 1 Under the type of Joshua, the restoration of the by.
church, 8 Christ the Branch is promised. 6 And the angel of the Lord protested And he shewed me Joshua the high priest unto Joshua, saying, standing before the angel of the LORD, and 7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If thou Satan standing at his right hand 'to resist wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep him.
my 'charge, then thou shalt also judge my 2 And the Lord said unto Satan, "The house, and shalt also keep my courts, and 'Í LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD will give thee 'places to walk among
these that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is that stand by. not this a brand plucked out of the fire ? 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest,
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy gar- thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: ments, and stood before the angel.
for they are men wondered at: for, behold, 4 And he answered and spake unto those I will bring forth my servant the 'BRANCH. that stood before him, saying, Take away. 9 For behold the stone that I have laid the filthy garments from him. And unto before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven him he said, Behold, I have caused thine eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will thee with change of raiment.
remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre 10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, upon his head. So they set a fair mitre shall ye call every man his neighbour under upon his head, and clothed him with gar- | the vine and under the fig tree. i That is, an adversary. $ Heb. to be his adversary.
* Heb, men of wonder. 7 Isa. 11. 1. Jer. 23.5, and 33. 15. Chap. 6. 12. Luke 1.78.
* Or, ordinance.
5 Heb. walks.