p. 142, 1. 7. The worship of the heavenly bodies in Judah was an imitation of Assyrian practice, perhaps due, in the first instance, to Ahaz (2 Kings xxiii. 12).

p. 142, 1. 8. Swear by the Lord.' Lit., to the Lord. Men were found professing to worship Jehovah, and yet swearing by, and doing homage to, their idol-king.

p. 142, 1. 17. the king's children.' Not, of course, Josiah's own children, but the royal house in general.

p. 142, l. 19. 'leap on the threshold.' There may be an allusion here to the custom of the priests of Dagon (1 Sam. v. 5), but the following words rather point to violent breaking into houses for robbing.

p. 142, l. 23. the second.' 'The second quarter' of the city. Here the prophetess Huldah lived (2 Kings xxii. 14).

[ocr errors]

p. 142, 1. 24. Maktesh.' 'The Mortar,' possibly what was afterwards known as the Tyropœon Valley.

p. 142, 1, 28. Settled on their lees.' A metaphor from wine becoming thick. So these men had become regardless of God's rule till the sudden judgment roused them (see Jer. xlviii. 11).

p. 144, 1. 1. The sense is obscure. Possibly the first clause may mean 'collect yourselves,' i.e., reflect. 'Not desired.' According to Hebrew usage, this should be 'not desirous' (see A.V. margin and R. V. margin), i.e., with no longing for any. thing nobler or better.

p. 144, l. 16. There is a play on the names Gaza and Ekron, which cannot be reproduced in English.

p. 145, 1. 16. breeding.' Rather a possession' of nettles, a place where nothing but nettles would grow.

p. 147, 1. 3. they gnaw not the bones.' This meaning is very doubtful, though perhaps supported by Numb. xxiv. 8. (See also R.V.).'

p. 147. 1. 6. 'have polluted the sanctuary' (see Ezek. xxii. 26).

p. 148, 1. 9. The R. V. margin is to be preferred. The sup plicants, the dispersed Israelites, are themselves the offering.



p. 152, 1. 4. the desire of all nations shall come.' rendering, due to the Veniet Desideratus cunctis gentibus of the Vulgate, has now generally been given up in favour of that of the R.V., 'the desirable things of all nations shall come'; that is to say, the prophecy is not directly Messianic, but only indirectly so. The grammatical ground for the change is that the verb 'come' is in the plural, and thus must imply a plurality of idea in the subject of the verb. The whole thought is that of Isa. Ix. 5 f., where 'the abundance of the sea' and 'the wealth of the nations' are viewed as the offering brought to Zion.


p. 154, 1. 1. Zechariah's first message comes in time between the third and fourth of the utterances of Haggai. It is the appeal, as urgent as it is simple, Turn to the Lord : age after age passes away, but God's word abides for ever.

p. 154, 1. 20-p. 156, 1. 3. The first of the eight visions, that of the angel among the myrtle trees. Messengers bring reports of heathen resting, undisturbed by war, and the Lord declares that He is jealous for Jerusalem, and promises comfort to Zion.

p. 156, 1. 4. The second vision of the 'four horns' and the 'four carpenters' ('smiths,' R.V.). In these we are to see the forces that have scattered Israel, and those that are to ‘fray' and destroy the power of these Gentile oppressors.

p. 156, l. 16-p. 157, 1. 10. The third vision, of the man with a measuring line to measure Jerusalem, The city is to be increased beyond measure, because of the multitude pouring therein. It shall be like an unwalled town, but the Lord Himself shall be 'a wall of fire about her.'

p. 157, ll. 11-19. Arising out of the assurance given in the foregoing verses, the promise follows that God will dwell in Zion, and that the Gentiles shall be joined to the Lord, and shall be His people.' Whatever partial fulfilment these words had, our Lord's presence in Jerusalem and the birth of the Christian Church are what the prophet's words ultimately look on to.

Thoughts beyond his thoughts

To that high bard were given.'

p. 157, 1. 20-p. 158, 1. 24. The fourth vision, where the prophet is shown Joshua the High Priest in filthy garments, and Satan standing as his adversary. He is clothed in fresh

garments and crowned with a 'mitre,' as a type of the restoration of the Church. With this is coupled the promise of the Branch, in the first instance to be explained of Zerubbabel, as heir to David's throne, and ultimately of Him whom we know as the Dayspring from on high.' The Greek word is the same in the two cases, ἀνατολή.

[ocr errors]

p. 158, 1. 18. upon one stone shall be seven eyes.' The stone is the Temple foundation stone, and the eyes are those of God directed in watchful care upon it, the 'seven' indicating the fulness of God's providence.

p. 158, 1. 28. The fifth vision of the golden candlestick and the two olive trees. The promise here is that Zerubbabel shall be enabled to finish the Temple, the oil' clearly representing the power of the Holy Spirit, through whose help this is to be done. The 'two anointed ones' (v. 14) are of course Zerubbabel and Joshua, the representatives of David and of Aaron.

p. 160, 1. 9. The sixth vision of the flying roll, denouncing judgment on the ungodly of the land.

p. 160, 1. 24. The seventh vision of the woman pressed in an ephah. Here the thought is of the banishment of wickedness from Judah to its proper place, the land of Shinar or Babylonia.

p. 161, l. 16. The eighth and last vision of the four chariots,

where the thought seems to be of the judgment about to fall on the nations for their oppression of Israel.

p. 162, 1. 10. These visions are naturally followed by the crowning of Joshua the High Priest, as a sign that the Branch, of whom he is a type, shall be 'a priest upon his throne.'

p. 163, 1. 6. The visions had been granted and the lesson stands out clearly. The iniquity of Israel is pardoned and her warfare accomplished: the Temple and its ritual are to be restored, and God's promise is given that Israel shall be replaced in its old position and heathenism destroyed. At this stage, when the Temple had been two years building, a question is raised as to a fast begun in the Exile. The answer refers to two fasts, one that is in memory of Gedaliah's murder, which, indeed, is kept to this very day. It is put very plainly. They fasted for themselves, and not for God, and are referred to God's former commandment—dealing with ethics and not with ritual. God ordered justice and mercy and kindliness, and it was the neglect of these which brought about the disaster.

p. 163, 1. 9. 'unto the house of God.' They of Beth-el,' R.V. It seems, however, more natural that a deputation, not improbably coming from Babylon, was sent to Jerusalem, than that Beth-el itself was the place whence came two legates with Babylonian names.

p. 164, 1. 20. Following on the preceding general teaching, are ten short declarations of promise. They deal again with the question of the fasts, they reiterate the old ethical commands, and they conclude with the promise of a general incoming of the Gentiles. A striking picture is given of the social blessing of the good time coming in v. 4, old men and women sitting in the streets of Jerusalem, staff in hand, and boys and girls playing through those streets-old age not shut up in the dreary wards of a workhouse, but enjoying the sun; children not embittered by hard work before its time, aggravated by cruel treatment, but enjoying what God meant to be the real springtime of life. p. 167, 1. 8-p. 172, 1. 26. That these three chapters are preExilic, or indeed to be placed before the fall of the Northern

Kingdom, is held by many. In any case, the style is markedly different from that of the preceding chapters. The language seems to point to the Northern Kingdom as still standing, and to the Philistine cities as still independent. The ' pride of Assyria' is spoken of, yet Nineveh had fallen nearly a century before Zechariah's time. On the other hand, some refer the six chapters ix.-xiv. to a date long after the Exile, in the earlier years of the Greek régime. The arguments, however, are too compli cated to be dwelt on here.

p. 167, 1. 9. Hadrach.' This name occurs nowhere else in the Bible, but it is found several times in the inscriptions of Assur-Danil and Tiglath-Pileser, in connection with Damascus and Hamath.

p. 167, 1. 21. 'a bastard,' rather, a bastard race, half-breeds or mongrels.

p. 168, 1. 5. Here the imagery of war and devastation gives place to the vision of the Prince of Peace. So the Gospels apply the prophecy to our Lord's solemn entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, peaceful and lowly, yet a king.

p. 169, 1. 13. The thought of the foregoing verses had been that of material prosperity, yet for these blessings prayer must be made to God and not to idols.

p. 169, 1. 21. The evil shepherds here spoken of are clearly foreign tyrants of Israel, yet the poor sheep shall be changed into war-horses, which shall overthrow their heathen oppressors.

p. 171, 1. 1. The great uncertainty as to the historical references of this chapter is shown by the fact that some would see an allusion to the invasion of Tiglath-Pileser and the subsequent troubles of the Northern Kingdom; while some would explain it of events of the period of the Ptolemies and Seleucids On the former view, the 'foolish shepherd' of v. 15 f. is Hoshea, the last King of Israel. The passes of Lebanon would be the way by which an Assyrian invader would invade Palestine.

p. 171, 1. 5. 'the forest of the vintage.' Rather, 'the inaccessible' (or impenetrable) 'forest.'

« VorigeDoorgaan »