p. 171, 1. 12. On the view of the earlier date, this verse will refer to the oppression of the poor by the nobles, such as is pictured in Amos. In either case, the sheep are Israel, suffering at the hands of evil shepherds, and a good shepherd is needed, and the prophet himself is commissioned to represent the shepherd. He takes two staves, which he calls 'Beauty' and 'Bands (or 'Graciousness' and 'Union'). But the sheep were disobedient to the shepherd, so that he broke his staff' Beauty,' and thus annulled the covenant between them. His request for his wages is answered by the gift of 30 shekels, the price of a slave (Exod. xxi. 32). This he is commanded by God to cast into the treasury, i.e., of the Temple, as though it were God Himself they had thus paid. Then the second staff was broken, in sign of the breaking of the brotherhood of Israel and Judah. The people, having rejected their good shepherd, must now come into the hands of an evil one; and the prophet is bidden to assume the part of the latter. In v. 13 the translation 'treasury' is to be preferred. We need simply suppose an unusual spelling of the Hebrew word.

p. 172, 1. 27-p. 178, l. 15. Those who refer these chapters to the concluding years of the Judæan monarchy lay stress on xii. 12, where the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddon' seems to point to that on the death of Josiah, the well-beloved king, whose death at Megiddo was the beginning of the end of the kingdom.

p. 172, 1. 3. The meaning of the second clause is far from clear, but it would seem that the Judæans had themselves joined, probably under compulsion, in the attack on Jerusalem, therefore by them too the cup of trembling' must be drained. The besiegers shall be struck with panic, but Judah's eyes shall be opened, so that she rejoins her proper side. The historic reference is quite unknown.

p. 173, 1. 25. Jerusalem now being delivered, five special consequences are named, each introduced by the words 'in that day.' These are all of the nature of promises, save xii. II, where in emphatic terms it is declared that Jerusalem shall

mourn bitterly as a penitent for the death of the shepherd they have slain, a type of the Great Shepherd of the sheep to whose death these words looked forward.

p. 174, 1. 19. As a result of this humiliation, Jerusalem shall be cleansed as with a healing fountain.

p. 175, 1. 12. Many think that these verses have been displaced, and that they should come after xi. 17, where the worthless shepherd deserts his flock; now the climax is reached when the good shepherd is slain.

p. 175, 1. 24. In this final vision Jerusalem is again beleaguered by the nations. The Lord Himself appears to do battle for His people, and, as though by a mighty earthquake, the Mount of Olives is cleft with a mighty chasm. For Jerusalem all shall be well, the blessing of living perennial waters is promised to her, and the nations who refuse to come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles shall be punished with drought. Even Egypt, which is not dependent on rain, shall be stricken with its own plague.

p. 176, 1. 16. The meaning of the second clause is very doubtful. By a very slight change it might be 'not light, but cold and frost' (so LXX.); or, less likely, following the Hebrew textual reading, the bright ones' (i.e., stars) 'grow congealed or dead.'

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p. 178, L. 9. horses.' In ix. 10 the horse, as part of the machinery of war, was to be destroyed. Now he is consecrated to the Lord; while, as though prefiguring our Lord's cleansing of the Temple, no Canaanite or trafficker was to be allowed to enter it.


p. 178, l. 16-p. 179, 1. 8. The prophet dwells on the fact of God's love for Israel, spite of the murmur 'wherein hast thou loved us?' God's protection of Israel is brought into sharp contrast with the fate of the brother nation of Edom; not that God

made a capricious choice between them, He was acting in accordance with the foreknown religious character of the two.

p. 179, l. 9-p. 180, 1. 16. Not only had Israel doubted God's love, but they had done despite to His Majesty and Fatherhood. They would not dare to treat their Persian governor as they were treating God in the matter of offerings.

p. 179, 1. 24. As this verse stands in the A.V., we have a sharp invective at the mercenary priests, who would not discharge the commonest duties of their office, save for pay. Yet it is perhaps more likely that the meaning is, Would that there were some one among you to close the doors of the Temple, that so ye did not kindle the fire on mine altar in vain. Better that the Temple were closed, and that sacrifices ceased, when they are offered in such a spirit.

p. 179, 1. 28. However irreverent is Israel, among the Gentiles God's name is great. We may best understand this of a looking forward to an ingathering of the Gentiles, when the Jews rejected their Messiah, and the ancient Scriptures found their appointed end in the great sacrifice of Calvary.

p. 180, 1. 17. It is clear that the priests of the time had glaringly failed in their duty as teachers of the people. Man's intellect is a Divine gift, and to the priests it should have fallen to raise it to yet higher and diviner levels; 'the priest's lips should keep knowledge,' and man 'should seek the Law at his mouth.' Yet they 'caused many to stumble in the Law.'

p. 181, 1. 14-p. 182, 1. 13. The rebuke now is turned to those who had divorced their Israelite wives and married foreigners (see Nehem. xiii. 23 f.). God hates divorce, and the tears of the forsaken wives on his altar mar the offerings laid upon it. Here the prophet rises far above the ordinary level, and, we may almost say, anticipates the teaching of the Gospel.

p. 182, 1. 5. The meaning of the first clause is much disputed. It may be, No one hath done so, who had a residue of the spirit. But what of the one? (i.e., Abraham). He was seeking the divinely promised seed.

p. 182, l. 11. 'for one covereth

.' Rather (I hate) him

who covereth his garment with violence.' The word garment is used here figuratively for wife.

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p. 182, 1. 14. Here the prophet opens up his final subject, the coming of the great day of God for judgment. Where is the God of judgment?' men scornfully cried, as in the days of St. Peter.

p. 182, 1. 19. Here the direct answer to the foregoing question is given, though the whole of the rest of the book is devoted to the topic. God's messenger shall prepare the way before Him, and then shall the Lord come to His temple for judgment. In all the Synoptic Gospels, when the passage is applied to St. John the Baptist, the 'before me' is changed to before thee,' as though addressed by God the Father to our Lord.

p. 283, 1. 13-p. 184, 1. 3. If God is to return to His people, they must return to Him. They must do their duty by Him, whereas by withholding the tithes they have robbed Him.

p. 184, l. 4-p. 185, 1. 3. It would seem, said the doubters, that it is no gain to keep God's law. The wicked tempt God and suffer not. But as the fearers of God talked sadly one to another, the message came. The names of those who fear God are written before Him, and in God's time shall they see the difference between the righteous and the wicked. Thus, in words of marvellous force and beauty, the end is told. To the wicked that coming shall be like a blazing furnace; to the righteous like the rising of the sun, bringing life and healing and rejoicing.

p. 185, 11. 4-11. In view of this the prophet gives his last warning. Remember the Law of God, that Law once given through Moses, and once again to be reiterated by the return of the great prophet Elijah. The canon of prophecy is closed; to Malachi there are no successors, till the second Elijah appears as John the Baptist (Luke i. 17), ushering in the looked for of the nations, the seed of the woman, Emmanuel, God Most High.

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