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on this prophecy. guished nation ; and that such should be the perma- | those which clearly predict the preservation of the nency of their political existence, that, whilst other Jewish people by the Divine command, see Zech. ii. ; nations and mighty empires should be overthrown, and and the faithfulness of God to his covenant concerning their very name blotted out under heaven, the Jews the Messiah, who should be born of the seed of Abrashould ever remain a distinct people, even in the wreck ham, and in the family of David, of whose throne he of their own government, and the loss of all which was the rightful Proprietor. rendered their religion splendid and attractive.
According to this view, by the promise, ' In that “In confirmation of this interpretation, I would day~-) will make thee as a signet,' &c., must be unrefer to the threatening denounced against Jeconiah, 'derstood, that the preservation of the Jews as a distinct (called Coniah, Jer. xxii.,) the last reigning king of people, when all the great empires of the heathen were Judah, and the progenitor of Zerubbabel. I appre- overthrown, would manifest the honour now conferred hend I may be authorized to read Jer. xxii. 24 thus : on Zerubbabel as the instrument of their restoration • As I live, saith the Lord, though Coniah, the son of after the Babylonish captivity. Thus the promise to Jehoiakim, king of Judah, be the signet upon my right Abraham, Gen. xii., 'I will make of thee a great hand, yet will I pluck thee thence, and I will give thee nation and in thee shall all families of the earth be into the hand of them that seek thy life,' &c.
blessed,' evidently referred to a very distant future “ If it be considered that the kings of Judah were period ; and the honour connected with it could not in an especial and peculiar manner the delegates of be enjoyed by Abraham during his mortal life.” Jehovah, governing in his name and by his authority, a
M. A. B. peculiar propriety will appear in their being resembled I think, however, that we have lived to see the to signets, or royal seals contained in rings. Compare spirit of this prophecy fulfilled. The earth has been Gen. xli. 42 ; Esth. iii. 10, 12, viii. 2, 8; Dan. vi. 7. shaken; another shaking, and time shall be swallowed And the promise to Zerubbabel will be equivalent to up in eternity.
ZECHARIAH, the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets, was son of Berechiah, and
grandson of Iddo. He returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel : and began to prophesy in the second year of the reign of Darius, son of Hystaspes, in the year of the world 3484; before Christ, 516 ; before the vulgar era, 520; in the eighth month of the holy year; and two months after Haggai had begun to prophesy.
These two prophets, with united zeal, encouraged at the same time the people to go on with the work of the temple, which had been discontinued for some years.
The time and place of the birth of Zechariah are unknown. Some will have him to have been born at Babylon, during the captivity ; others think he was born at Jerusalem, before the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were carried away. Some maintain that he was a priest ; but others affirm that he was no priest. Many say he was the immediate son of Iddo ; others believe, with much more reason, that he was son of Berechiah, and grandson of Iddo.
He has been confounded with one Zechariah, the son of Barachiah, who lived in the time of Isaiah ; and with Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist; which opinion is plainly incongruous. Lastly, he has been thought to be Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom our Saviour mentions, and says he was killed between the temple and the altar; though no such thing is anywhere said of our prophet. A tomb is shown to this day at the foot of the Mount of Olives, which, it is pretended, belongs to the prophet Zechariah. Dorotheus maintains that he was buried in a place called Bethariah, one hundred and fifty furlongs from Jerusalem.
Zechariah is the longest and the most obscure of all the twelve minor prophets. His style is interrupted, and without connection. His prophecies concerning the Messiah are more particular and express than those of the other prophets. Some modern critics, as Mede and Hammond, have been of opinion that the ninth, tenth, and eleventh chapters of this prophet were written by Jeremiah ; because in Matthew, chap. xxvii. 9, 10, under the name of Jeremiah, we find quoted Zechariah; (chap. xi. 12;) and as the aforesaid chapters make but one continued discourse, they concluded from thence that all three belonged to Jeremiah. But it is much more natural to suppose that, by some unlucky mistake, the name of Jeremiah has slipped into the text of St. Matthew instead of that of Zechariah.
The prophet Zechariah exactly foretold the siege of Babylon by Darius, son of Hystaspes. This prince laid siege to that rebellious city at the beginning of the fifth year of his reign, and reduced it at the end of twenty months. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah had foretold this calamity, and had admonished the Jews that inhabited there to make their escape when they perceived the time draw nigh. Isaiah says to them, “Go ye forth to Babylon, flee from the Chaldeans; with a voice of singing declare ye, tell this, utter it even to the end of the earth; say ye, The Lord hath redeemed his servant Jacob.” And Jeremiah
“ Remove out of the midst of Babylon, and go forth out of the land of the Chaldeans, and be as the he-goats before the flocks.” And elsewhere, " Flee out of the midst of Babylon, and deliver every man INTRODUCTION TO THE BOOK OF ZECHARIAH. his soul; be not cut off in her iniquity : for this is the time of the Lord's vengeance, He will render unto her a recompense.” Lastly, Zechariah, a little before the time of her fall, writes thus to the Jews that were still in this city : “Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord; for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of heaven, saith the Lord. Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. For thus saith the Lord of hosts, after the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you, for he that toucheth you, toucheth the apple of his eye. For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants; and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me."
It is probable that the Jews took advantage of these admonitions, and returned from Babylon into their country; or, at least, withdrew into a place of more security till the city was taken. We do not hear, either from the history or the prophecies, that they suffered any thing by this siege, or that Darius, son of Hystaspes, bore them any grudge for the revolt of Babylon; which seems to indicate that they had no part in it. :
The Mohammedans do not distinguish between the prophet Zechariah, and Zachariah the father of John the Baptist. Some of them make him to be descended from David ; and others, from Levi. By an anachronism that is still more insupportable, these confound Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, with Mary or Miriam, the sister of Moses, which they derive even from the Koran itself.
The author of Tarik Montekhib relates that, when Jesus Christ was born of the virgin, the prophet Zechariah could not believe that a child could be born without a father; and that, declaring his sentiments upon this point, the Jews entertained a suspicion of him, and obliged him to betake himself to flight. He withdrew; and hid himself in a hollow oak, which the Jews sawed in two.
Such is the ignorance of the Mussulmans as regards the history both of the Old and New Testaments. VOL. IV.
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P R O P HET ZE CHARI A H.
Chronological Notes relative to this Book.
Year from the Creation, according to Archbishop Usher, 3484.-Year of the Julian Period, 4194.-Year of the
Jewish era of the world, 3241.-Year from the Flood, 1828.—Year from the vocation of Abram, 1401. -Year since the first celebration of the Olympic games in Elis, by the Idæi Dactyli, 934.-Year since the destruction of Troy, according to the general account, 664.—Year since the foundation of the monarchy of the Israelites by the Divine appointment of Saul to the regal dignity, 576.—Year from the foundation of Solomon's temple, 492.—Year from the division of Solomon's monarchy into the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, 456.-Year since the re-establishment of the Olympic games in Elis by Lycurgus, Iphitus, and Cleosthenes, 365.—Year since the conquest of Coræbus at Olympia, usually called the first Olympiad, 257.First year of the sixty-fish Olympiad.—Year from the building of Rome, according to the Varronian or generally received computation, 234.—Year from the building of Rome, according to Cato and the Fasti Consulares, 233.-Year from the building of Rome, according to Polybius the historian, 232.—Year from the building of Rome, according to Fabius Pictor, 228.-Year of the era of Nabonassar, 228.-Year since the destruction of the kingdom of Israel by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria, 202.-Year since the destruction of the kingdom of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon, 68.—Year since the destruction of the Chaldean empire by the Persians, 18.—Year before the birth of Christ, 516.—Year before the vulgar era of Christ's nativity, 520.--Cycle of the Sun, 22.-Cycle of the Moon, 14.-Second year of Darius I., king of Persia.--Twenty-eighth year of Amyntas, king of Macedon.-Seventh year of Demaratus, king of Lacedæmon, of the family of the Proclidæ.-Eleventh year of Cleomenes, king of Lacedæmon, of the farnily of the Eurysthenida.--Fifteenth year of Tarquinius Superbus, the last king of the Romans.— This was about twelve years before the commencement of the consular government. According to some chronologers this was the age of Confucius.
CHAPTER 1. The prophet earnestly exhorts the people to repentance, that they may escape such punishments as had been
inflicted on their fathers, 1-6. The vision of the horses, with the signification, 7-11. The angel of the Lord successfully intercedes in behalf of Jerusalem, 12-17. The vision of the four horns, and of the four carpenters, 18-21. A. M. 3484.
2 The Lord hath been c
A. M. 3484. IN the eighth month, in the B. C. 520.
B. C. 520. Ol. LXV.1. second year of Darius, came displeased with your fathers. Ol. LXV.I. Anno Tarquinii
Anno Tarquinii Superbi,
the word of the LORD bunto 3 Therefore say thou unto Superbi, R. Roman., 15. Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, them, Thus saith the Lord of R. Roman., 15. the son of Iddo the prophet, saying, hosts; Turn a ye unto me, saith the Lord of a Ezra iv. 24; Hag. i. 1.- Ezra v. l; Matt. xxiii. 35. d Jer. xxv. 5; Xxxv. 15; Mic. vii. 19; Mal. iii. 7, Luke ır. 20; © Heb. with displeasure.
James iv. 8.
MSS. and in editions; but they are only different ways Verse 1. In the eighth month, in the second year of of writing the same name. Darius) This was Darius Hystaspes; and from this Verse 2. The Lord hath been sore displeased with date we find that Zechariah began to prophecy just your fathers.) For their ingratitude, idolatry, iniquity, two months after Haggai.
and general rebellion. Son of Iddo] There are a number of various read- Verse 3. Turn ye unto me) This shows that they ings on this name, 177 Iddo, and wity Iddo, both in had power to return, if they would but use it. 770
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B. C. 520. OI. LXV.1.
Vision of a man
riding upon a red horse, A. M. 3484. hosts, and I will turn unto you, 8. I saw by night, and behold
A. M. 3484.
B. C. 520. saith the LORD of hosts. ka man riding upon a red horse, Ol. LXV. 1. Anno Tarquinii
Anno Tarquinii Superbi,
4 Be ye not as your fathers, and he stood among the myrtle Superbi, R. Roman., 15.
R. Roman., e unto whom the former prophets trees that were in the bottom; have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of and behind him were there 1 red horses, hosts ; * Turn ye now from your evil ways, - speckled, and white. and from your evil doings : but they did not 9 Then said I, O my lord, what are these? hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the Lord. And the angel that talked with me said unto
5 Your fathers, where are they ? and the ine, I will show thee what these be prophets, do they live for ever?
10 And the man that stood among the myrtle 6 But & my words and my statutes, which I trecs, answered and said, " These are they whom commanded my servants the prophets, did they the Lord ath sent to walk to and fro through not h lake hold of your fathers ? and they re- ihe carth. turned and said, Like as the Lord of hosts 11 And they answered the angel of the Lord thought to do unto us, according to our ways, that stood among the myrile trees, and said, We and according to our doings, so hath he dealt have walked to and fro through the earth, and, with us.
bchold, all the earth sittcih still, and is at rest. 7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the 12 Then the angel of the Lord answered eleventh month, which is the month Sebat, in and said, P O Lord of hosts, how long wilt the second year of Darius, came the word of thou not have mercy on Jerusalem, and on the the Lord unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, cities of Judah, against which thou hast had the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,
indignation 4 these threescore and ten years? e 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16. Isa. xxxi. 6; Jer. jii. 12 ; xviii. k Josh. v: 13; Rev. yi. 4.- Chap. vi. 2-7. um Or, bay. Il; Ezek. xviii. 30 ; llos, xiv, 1.- Isa. lv. l.- Lh Or, over- n Heb. i. 14.-- Psa. ciii. 20, 21,--p Psa.cii. 13; Rev, vi. 10. take. i Lam. i. 18; ii. 17.
4 Jer. xxv. 11, 12; Dan. ix. 2; chap. yii. 5. And I will turn unto you] I will show you mercy A red horse] An emblem of war and bloodshed. and grant you salvation, if you will use the grace I Among the myrtle trees] This tree was an emblem have already given you. Men are lost, because they of peace ; intimating that all war was shortly to end. turn not unto God; but no man is lost because he had But some think these trees are emblergatical of the not power to return. God gives this, and he will true followers of Christ. require it.
And behind him were there red horses) Probably Verse 5. Your fathers, where are they?) Israel has pointing out the different orders of angels in the heabeen destroyed and ruined in the bloody wars with the venly host, which are employed by Christ in the defence Assyrians; and Judah, in those with the Chaldeans. of his Church. The different colours may point out
The prophets, do they live for ever?] They also, the gradations in power, authority, and excellence, of who spoke unto your fathers, are dead; but their pre- the angelic natures which are employed between Christ dictions remain ; and the events, which have taken and men. place according to those predictions, prove that God Verse 9. O my lord, what are thèse ?] The angel sent them.
here mentioned was distinct from those mentioned in Verse 6. Did they not take hold of your fathers ?) the eighth verse; he who talked with the prophet, Every thing happened according to the predictions, and they were obliged to acknowledge this; and yet they Verse 10. The man that stood
the myrlle would not turn from their evil way.
trees) The Angel of the Covenant, as above, ver. 11. Verse 7. Upon the four and twentieth day of the Whom the Lord hath sent] Who are constituted eleventh month] This revelation was given about three guardians of the land. months after the former, and two months after they had Verse 11. All the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.) recommenced the building of the temple.
There is general peace through the Persian empire, Sebat] Answers to a part of our February. See and other states connected with Judea ; but the Jews Hag. ii. 18.
are still in affliction; their city is not yet restored, nor Verse 8. I saw by night] The time was emblema- their temple built. tical of the affliction under which the Jews groaned. Verse 12. Then the angel of the Lord] He who
A man] An angel in the form of a man : supposed was among the myrtles--the Lord Jesus. to have been the Lord Jesus ; who seems to have O Lord of hosts, how long] Jesus Christ was not appeared often in this way, as a prelude to his incar- only the “ Lamb slain from the foundation of the nation; see Josh. v. 13; Ezek. i. 26 ; Dan. vii. 13, world,” but was always the sole Mediator and Interand x. 5. The same, probably, that appeared to Joshua cessor between God and man. with a drawn sword, as the captain of the Lord's host. These threescore, and ten years ?] This cannot Josh. v. 13-15.
mean the duration of the captivity, for that was nearly