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The Prophecies of Zechariah and Malachi,
CONTEMPORARY with Haggai as to the first part of his writings, and immediately succeeding him as to the remainder, Zechariah prophesied. Several passages of this prophet allude to the coming of the Messiah, and some foretel it in a very direct manner. The first of these occurs in a vision, in which the prophet sees an Angel addressing Joshua the High Priest, and after giving him a general charge concerning his conduct, renews the gracious promise of Christ. For behold (says he, Chap. iii. ver. 8.) I will bring forth my serpant the Branch. The same expression is used concerning Christ in Jeremiah xxiii. 5, where it has been explained, and in other parts of scripture. Primate New
come however, considers it as relating here to Zerubbabel, for which he gives no reason, though such an opinion is contrary to the general sense of the Jews *, as well as of Christians. Certainly the term Branch, or East, is too remarkable and appropriate, to be applied to different persons; nor can I think it at all applica-' ble to Zerubbabel, who is so often prophesied of by name, and is so in this very book. Besides which there is reason to believe that Zerubbabel was himself one of the persons represented in this vision, as one of the fellows of Joshua and present with himnt. At any rate he was then liv, ing, and engaged in the building of the temple, (see Chap. iv. 9.) and could not therefore be prophesied of in the words I will bring forth; so that I think there can be no reasonable doubt, that these words were meant to foretel Christ, especially as
. * Judæi de Messią hunc locum interpretantur. Grot, in loc.
+ Wells, and Calmet. But W. Lowth goes still farther and says, '" of whom Zerublabel without question was one,”
it is generally allowed that the whole passage was typical of him and his kingdom, part of it in a primary, (as verses 8, 9, 10,) and part in a secondary sense.
Another passage of nearly a similar nature occurs in Chap. vi. 12 and 13, where the prophet is commanded to crown the same Joshua the High Priest with two crowns, and to address him as a type of the Messiah. And speak unto him saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is the Branch*, and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord. Even he shall build the temple of the Lord, and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. Here also the learned Primate sees no reference to Christ; though upon any other supposition, the prophecy seems to me void of meaning, and absolutely unintelligible. The temple, which
* The Jews explain this as one of the names of Christ. « Germen sive splendor.” Midras cited by Çoch in notis. P. 379.
was finished in the 20th year from its commencement, had at this time been building 15 years; therefore the expression shall build the temple, which is twice repeated, could not relate to this material temple now so nearly finished, but to the spiritual temple of Christ (2 Cor. vi. 16.) which was to come. So the circumstance of the two crowns, (ver. 11.) could not be applicable to Joshua, because the High Priest had but one crown, or mitre, upon the front of which was only a plate of gold *, whereas one of these was a gold, and the other a silver crown. These were therefore typical of the double office of Christ, as High Priest and King, which is clearly intimated in the expressions of the text, he shall sit and rule upon his throne, and he shall be a priest upon his throne ; neither of which could relate to Joshua who was already High Priest, and never was a King. Whatever difficulty might be in the expression so immediately addressed
to Joshua, Behold the man whose name is the Branch, the words which follow it shew that the accomplisliment of it was remote, and that therefore it could be spoken to him only as to a type * of Christ the true Branch; he shall grow up out of his place, whether it refers to his succeeding to Joshua's place, i. e. the priesthood, or, as the Septuagint, and Vulgate, and our old version seem to imply, merely to the distance of time.f, still shews that it was a future event thus typified and foretold. For Joshua, as before mentioned, was already High Priest; he grew po more; and as Mr. Granville Sharp well observes, “ he could be only a type of the branch there promised, because the real branch was yet to grow up out of his place." The last expression, the counsel of peace shall be between them both is capable of various interpretations; some commentas tors explain it of the future union of both
* Qui typus erat Christi. Junius in loc,
+ Ttoraligev als avalent. Subter eum orietur. Ho that shal sprynge up after lıym. " Remarks,” Diss, 11, P. 17,