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7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts ; ConsiCHAPTER I.
der your ways. 1 Haggai reproveth the people for neglecting the build- 8 Go up to the mountain, and bring wood,
ing of the house. 7 He inciteth them to the building. and build the house ; and I will take pleasure 12 He promiseth God's assistance to them, being forward.
in it, and I will be glorified, saith the LORD.
9 Ye looked for much, and, lo, it came to N the second little ; and when ye brought it home, I did year of Darius
'blow upon it. Why? saith the LORD of the king, in hosts. Because of mine house that is waste, the
sixth and ye run every man unto his own house. month, in the
10 Therefore the heaven over you is stayed first day of the from dew, and the earth is stayed from her month, came fruit. the word of 11 And I called for a drought upon the the Lord 'by land, and upon the mountains, and upon the Haggai the corn, and upon the new wine, and upon the prophet unto oil, and upon that which the ground bringeth Zerubbabel forth, and upon men, and upon cattle, and the son of She- upon all the labour of the hands. altiel, ‘gover- 12 | Then Zerubbabel the son of Shealnor of Judah, tiel, and Joshua the son of Josedech, the high
and to Joshua priest, with all the remnant of the people, the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying, obeyed the voice of the Lord their God, and
2 9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, say- the words of Haggai the prophet, as the LORD ing, This people say, The time is not come, their God had sent him, and the people did the time that the Lord's house should be fear before the LORD. built.
13 Then spake Haggai the Lord's mes3 Then came the word of the Lord by senger in the Lord's message unto the people, Haggai the prophet, saying,
saying, I am with you, saith the LORD.
Ι Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your 14 | And the LORD stirred up the spirit of cieled houses, and this house lie waste ? Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of
5 Now therefore thus saith the LORD of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Johosts ; 'Consider your ways.
sedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the 6 Ye have ‘sown much, and bring in little ; remnant of the people; and they came and ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe their God, you, but there is none warm; and he that 15 In the four and twentieth day of the earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a sixth month, in the second year of Darius the bag with holes.
king i Heh, by the hand of Haggai. 2 Or, captain. 3 Heb. Set your heart on your ways. * Deut. 28. 38. Mic. 6. 14, 15.
5 Heb. pierced through. 6 Or, blow it away.
7 Deut. 28, 23,
the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to
the residue of the people, saying, 1 He encourageth the people to the work, by promise of 3 Who is left among you that saw this greater glory to the second temple than was in the
house in her first glory? and how do ye see it first. 10 In the type of holy things and unclcun, he "sheweth their sins hindered the work. 20 God's pro
now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of mise to Zerubbabel.
it as nothing?
4 Yet now, be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of day of the month, came the word of the LORD Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all 'by the prophet Haggai, saying,
ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and 2 Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of work : for I am with you, saith the Lord of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua hosts :
1 Heb. by the hand of.
5 According to the word that I covenanted day and upward, from before a stone was laid with you when ye came out of Egypt, so my upon a stone in the temple of the LORD: spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not. 16 Since those days were, when one came
6 For thus saith the Lord of hosts ; ‘Yet to an heap of twenty measures, there were but once, it is a little while, and I will shake the
ten: when, one came to the press-fat for to heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the draw out fifty vessels out of the press, there dry land;
were but twenty. 7 And I will shake all nations, and the 17 I smote you with blasting and with desire of all nations shall come: and I will mildew and with hail in all the labours of fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of your hands ; yet ye turned not to me, saith hosts.
the LORD. 8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, 18 Consider now from this day and upsaith the LORD of hosts.
ward, from the four and twentieth day of the 9 The glory of this latter house shall be ninth month, even from the day that the foungreater than of the former, saith the Lord of dation of the Lord's temple was laid, consihosts: and in this place will I give peace,
der it. saith the Lord of hosts.
19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet
1 10 In the four and twentieth day of the the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegraninth month, in the second year of Darius, nate, and the olive tree, hath not brought came the word of the LORD by Haggai the forth: from this day will I bless you. prophet, saying
20 | And again the word of the LORD 11 Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Ask now came unto Haggai in the four and twentieth the priests concerning the law, saying, day of the month, saying,
12 If one bear holy flesh in the skirt of his 21 Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Jugarment, and with his skirt do touch bread, dah, saying, I will shake the heavens and the or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall
earth; it be holy? And the priests answered and 22 And I will overthrow the throne of said, No.
kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of 13 Then said Haggai, If one that is unclean the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overby a dead body touch any of these, shall it throw the chariots, and those that ride in be unclean? And the priests answered and them; and the horses and their riders shall said, It shall be unclean.
come down, every one by the sword of his 14 Then answered Haggai, and said, So is brother. this people, and so is this nation before me, 23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, saith the LORD ; and so is every work of their will I take thee, 0 Zerubbabel, my servant, hands; and that which they offer there is un- the son of Shealtiel, saith the Lord, and will clean.
make thee as a signet : for I have chosen 15 And now, I pray you, consider from this thee, saith the LORD of hosts.
Verse 7. · The desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory.'--Many Jewish and some Christian interpreters understand the clause, rendered • the desire of all nations,' to mean not a person, but things-the desirable things of all nations-their wealth, their treasure, and productions, which should be brought to adorn and glorify the second house. It does indeed appear, from the account of the valuable things taken away by Antiochus (1 Macc. i. 21, 22), that this temple did become very rich; and still more so, when, in a later age, Herod expended immense sums in rebuilding, improving, and ornamenting the sacred structure--producing the temple which stood in the time of our Saviour, and was destroyed by Titus; and of which Josephus says that with respect to magnitude, building, and 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 magni
ficent 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, particularly 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, etc.: 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 "house,' although it occupied but a small part of the site of the former.'--As a sequel to the preceding note, we may covered by the courts aud buildings of the temple, in here notice a difficulty which has been suggested in the the extensive sense. view which it states—this is, that the house which the To this explanation, which is in substance that most presence of the Messiah glorified, was not the same as usually given, we will venture to add the suggestion that that of which Haggai spoke, but a new one built by the Hebrews did not consider the identity of a building Herod. For we are informed by Josephus, that, before destroyed unless when a new one was erected after the the birth of Christ, the temple built by the returned cap- old one had lain for a time in a state of desolation, ruined tives was pulled down, the very foundations being re- and overthrown. Such an interval occurred between the moved, and a new and larger structure erected by Herod. destruction of Solomon's temple and the foundation of a As, however, the Jewish writers are in the habit of speak- new one by the returned captives; and the latter was ing of iinprovements in a large sense--as when some therefore a second temple. But no such interval occurred kings are described as having built cities which we between this and the temple built or improved by Herod; know to have been in previous existence, and which they and therefore the latter was not a third temple, but conmerely improved or fortified--the statement of Josephus tinued to be identified with the second. At all events, is quite open to the explanation--that Herod did not nothing is more certain than that the Jews did regard the wholly rebuild the temple, but repaired it generally and temple which stood in the time of our Saviour, and which extensively, taking down certain parts that were decayed, was destroyed by Titus, as the second temple; and this is and constructing them again on new foundations, and really all that is essential to be known. Even Josephus, adding new buildings and walls ; completing, strengthen- on other occasions, regards it as the second temple with ing, and adorning the whole, on a regular plan. Such respect to that of Solomon; as do all the Jewish writers alterations and repairs, although very extensive, would who have occasion to make any distinction. And, still not destroy the identity of the building. As we do not more, the early Jews, who did consider the present proread of any alteration in the mode of celebrating the ser- phecy to refer to the advent of the Messiah, continued to vices of religion while these works were in progress, it is expect that he would come in the time of Herod's temple. more than probable that the Holy Place at least remained Hence the mournful and memorable cry which the Rabbi standing; and if so, this was alone sufficient to maintain Jose is said to have uttered when that temple was de. the identity of the building, for that was essentially the stroyed, - Alas! the time of the Messiah is past !
Z E C Η Α R Ι Α Η.
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. ii. 4, that he was a young man when he commenced his prophetic career; but how long he lived or where he died, is not known. 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 monument 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 Messiah. No one has ever questioned that the first eight chapters of this book were really the prophecies of Zechariah: but in these latter times several critics have contested the authenticity of the six last, which form the second portion of the book. Some allege that these chapters must have been composed in times long anterior to Zechariah-under Joash or even Ahaz; while others, on the contrary, urge that they were not written till long after Zechariah—in the times of Alexander the Great, of Antiochus Epiphanes, or even of king Hyrcanus.
These positions may be safely left to neutralize each other. But it may be added, in answer to the first of them, that in the second part the style and literary characteristics of both portions are similar, and that the second, equally with the first, exhibits marks peculiar to the later prophets, and such as are not found in those of earlier date; and that the compilation of the canonical Scriptures being an event touching upon, if not actually in the time of Zechariah himself, nothing is less probable than that the writings of a more ancient prophet should have been placed under his name. It could not have been done. All the intimations of this portion also agree with the state of things which existed in the time of Zechariah, while there is an entire absence of those allusions which should be expected in a writer who lived before the ten tribes went into captivity, and while kings still sat upon the throne of David. The other notion, which assigns to this portion of Zechariah the later date, is met by the reasons we have already had more than once occasion to produce, shewing the impossibility that any additions could be made to the canon of Old Testament Scripture at so late a period. The notion, indeed, deserves the less attention as it is in fact founded upon the rationalistic principle that the prophet could not announce distant events, but only those which were passing before his eyes ; and hence, that as these chapters appear to refer to the events of this later date, they must have been composed at the time when these events occurred. Such an opinion it is not in this country necessary to refute; but those who are curious on the subject, may see the argument of both sets of writers ably handled by Jahn in his Introduction, and by Hengstenberg in his Beiträge zur Einleitung ins Alte Testament,
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. This 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; they are also perspicuous, considering that they are the production of the most obscure of all the prophetic writers.' Jahn expresses his view of this prophet's writings with more completeness. In the first part of the book future events are expressed by symbolical visions, the sense of which is explained not by God himself, as in Ezekiel, but by an angel as in Daniel. It is a peculiarity in this prophet also, that the angel never interprets the vision till the prophet has declared that he does not comprehend what it signifies. The symbolical images are not so bold or so grand as those of Daniel. This prophet is also wanting in the marked delineations of Ezekiel : he often merely indicates the subject of his vision, leaving the details to be supplied by the mind of the reader. This may be seen in i. 8-11; ii. 1-2; iii. 1-4; iv. 1-14; and v. 1-5.' This he regards as one cause of the obscurity of this prophet; and after some further remarks on the style of the first part, Jahn proceeds: The second part of the book, although poetical, exhibits none of that fire, nor of that enthusiasm which characterize the writings of the older
i. 361 sq.
prophets. Many of the figures and allegories offer something new, and are not wanting in a degree of elegance; but they are not always perfectly natural, nor completely drawn.' A much more elaborate and minute examination of the style of these prophecies is given by the accomplished Eichhorn, which we would quote but for its length, and but for the strong degree in which it is tainted with his usual fault of ascribing to the particular genius of the writer all that belongs to the Divine Spirit by which he was inspired.
The following are the principal separate commentaries on Zechariah. Luther, Der Prophet Zacharias ausgelegt, Vitemb., 1528; Stunica, Comment. in Zachariam Prophetam, etc., Salmant., 1577; Grynæi Comm. in Zuchariam, Genevæ, 1581; Osorii Comm. in Zacharium, Colon., 1584; Sanctii Comm. in Zachariam, Lugd., 1616; Pembley, An Exposition on the Prophecy of Zachariah, Lond., 1629; Ursini Comm. in P. Zachariam, Francof., 1652 ; Hase, Analysis Prophetiæ Zacharia, Bremæ, 1689; Biermann, De prophetie van Zacharias, Utrecht, 1697 ; Gerbade, Zions Vertroosting opgeslooten in de prophetie van Zacharias, Leyden, 1702; Meiss, Der Prophet Zacharias kurz und deutlich erklärt, Leipz., 1706; Bohlii Analysis et exegesis Propheta Zachariæ, Rostochii, 1711 ; Nemethi Prophetia sancti P. Zachariæ explicata, Ultrajecti, 1714; Boekholt, De Prophet Zacharias verklaart, Amstelod., 1718; Andala, Dissertationes in pracipua Zachariæ dicta, Franek., 1720; Vitringa, Comm. ad librum prophetiarum Zachariæ quæ supersunt, Leovardiæ, 1734; Mann, Die dem Propheten Zachariah, etc., Bremen, 1734; Trinius, Vebersetzung des Propheten Zacharias mit Anmerkungen, Quedlinburg, 1780; Venema, Sermones Acadamici, vice Comm. ad librum Prophetiarum Zacharia, Leovardiæ, 1787; Blayney, Zechariah, a new Translation, with_Notes Critical, Philological, and Explanatory, Lond., 1797; Koester, Meletemata Critica et Exegetica in Zach. Prophetæ partem posteriorem, cap. ix.-civ., pro tuenda ejus authentia, Göttingæ, 1818; Stonard, A Commentary on the Vision of Zechariah the Prophet, with a corrected Translation and Critical Notes, Lond., 1824 ; Forberg, Comm. crit. et exeget. in Zacharie Vaticinior. partem posteriorem, Coburg, 1824 ; Kimchi, Commentary upon the Prophecy of Zechariah. Translated from the Hebrew with Notes by A. M'Caul, D.D., Lond. 1837 ; Burges, Etudes exégétiques et critiques sur le P. Zacharie, Strasb., 1841. [On the Minor Prophets collectivelyDie 12 kleinen Propheten erklärt v. F. Hitzig, 2 Aufl. 1852; Baumgarten, Die Nachgesichte Sacharias, 1855.]
year of Da
4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom 1 Zechariah erhorteth to repentance. 7 The vision of the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus the horses. 12 At the prayer of the angel comfort
saith the LORD of hosts; *Turn ye now from able promises are made to Jerusalem. 18 The
your evil ways, and from your evil doings : vision of the four horns, and the four carpenters. but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me,
N the saith the LORD.
commanded my servants the prophets, did rius, came they not 'take hold of your fathers ? and they the word of returned and said, 'Like as the LORD of hosts the Lord thought to do unto us, according to our ways, unto Ze- and according to our doings, so hath he dealt chariah,
with us. the son of 7 9 Upon the four and twentieth day of Berechiah, the eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, the son of in the second year of Darius, came the word Iddo the of the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Bereprophet, chiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, saying,
8 8 I saw by night, and behold a man riding
2 2 The upon a red horse, and he stood among the Lord hath been 'sore displeased with your myrtle trees that were in the bottom; and fathers.
behind him were there red horses, Ospeckled, 3 Therefore say thou unto them, Thus and white.
. saith the LORD of hosts ; ?Turn ye unto me, 9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these ? saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto And the angel that talked with me said unto you, saith the Lord of hosts.
I will shew thee what these be. 1 Heb. with displeasure.
3 Isa. 31. 6. Jer. 3. 12, and 18. 11. Ezek. 18. 30. Hos. 14. 1. 4 Or, overtake.
6 Or, bay.
. Mal. 3. 7.
5 Lam, l. 16.