Zechariah 1

Verse 15. In the four and twentieth day] Haggai received his

commission on the first day of this month and by the twenty-fourth

day he had so completely succeeded that he had the satisfaction to

see the whole people engaged heartily in the Lord's work; they

left their own houses to build that of the Lord. Here was a

faithful reprover, and he found obedient ears; and the Lord's

work was done, for the people had a mind to work.

THE BOOK

OF THE

PROPHET ZECHARIAH

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 Idaei 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 Coroebus at Olympia, usually called

the first Olympiad, 257.

-First year of the sixty-fifth 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 Lacedaemon, of the family of

the Proclidae.

-Eleventh year of Cleomenes, king of Lacedaemon, of the family of

the Eurysthenidae.

-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 I

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.

NOTES ON CHAP. I

Verse 1. In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius] This

was Darius Hystaspes; and from this date we find that Zechariah

began to prophecy just two months after Haggai.

Son of Iddo] There are a number of various readings on this

name, Iddo, and Iddo, both in MSS. and in editions;

but they are only different ways of writing the same name.

Verse 2. The Lord hath been sore displeased with your fathers.]

For their ingratitude idolatry, iniquity, and general rebellion.

Verse 3. Turn ye unto me] This shows that they had power to

return, if they would but use it.

And I will turn unto you] I will show you mercy and grant you

salvation, if you will use the grace I have already given you. Men

are lost, because they turn not unto God; but no man is lost

because he had not power to return. God gives this, and he will

require it.

Verse 5. Your fathers, where are they?] Israel has been

destroyed and ruined in the bloody wars with the Assyrians; and

Judah, in those with the Chaldeans.

The prophets, do they live for ever?] They also, who spoke unto

your fathers, are dead; but their predictions remain; and the

events, which have taken place according to those predictions,

prove that God sent them.

Verse 6. Did they not take hold of your fathers?] Every thing

happened according to the predictions, and they were obliged to

acknowledge this; and yet they would not turn from their evil way.

Verse 7. Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month]

This revelation was given about three months after the former, and

two months after they had recommenced the building of the temple.

Sebat] Answers to a part of our February. See Hag 2:18.

Verse 8. I saw by night] The time was emblematical of the

affliction under which the Jews groaned.

A man] An angel in the form of a man: supposed to have been the

Lord Jesus; who seems to have appeared often in this way, as a

prelude to his incarnation; see Jos 5:13; Eze 1:26;

Da 7:13; 10:5. The same, probably, that appeared to Joshua with

a drawn sword, as the captain of the Lord's host. Jos 5:13-15.

A red horse] An emblem of war and bloodshed.

Among the myrtle trees] This tree was an emblem of peace;

intimating that all war was shortly to end. But some think these

trees are emblematical of the true followers of Christ.

And behind him were there red horses] Probably pointing out the

different orders of angels in the heavenly host, which are

employed by Christ in the defence of his Church. The different

colours may point out the gradations in power, authority, and

excellence, of the angelic natures which are employed between

Christ and men.

Verse 9. O my lord, what are these] The angel here mentioned was

distinct from those mentioned in the eighth verse; he who talked

with the prophet, Zec 1:13.

Verse 10. The man that stood among the myrtle trees] The angel

of the Covenant, as above, Zec 1:11.

Whom the Lord hath sent] Who are constituted guardians of the

land.

Verse 11. All the earth sitteth still, and is at rest.] There is

general peace through the Persian empire, and other states

connected with Judea; but the Jews are still in affliction; their

city is not yet restored, nor their temple built.

Verse 12. Then the angel of the Lord] He who was among the

myrtles-the Lord Jesus.

O Lord of hosts, how long] Jesus Christ was not only the "Lamb

slain from the foundation of the world," but was always the sole

Mediator and intercessor between God and man.

These threescore and ten years?] This cannot mean the duration

of the captivity for that was nearly twenty years past. It must

mean simply the time that had elapsed from the destruction of the

temple to the time in which the angel spoke. As the temple was

destroyed in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar, and this

vision took place in the second year of Darius, the term of

seventy years was completed, or nearly so, between these two

periods.

Verse 13. The Lord answered the angel] And the angel told the

prophet that the answer was gracious and comfortable. This answer

is given in the next verse.

Verse 14. I am jealous for Jerusalem] I have for them a strong

affection; and indignation against their enemies.

Verse 15. I was but a little displeased] I was justly displeased

with my people, and I gave their enemies a commission against

them; but they carried this far beyond my design by oppression and

cruelty; and now they shall suffer in their turn.

Verse 16. I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies] Before, he

came to them in judgments; and the principal mercy is, the house

of the Lord shall be rebuilt, and the ordinances of' the Lord

re-established.

And a line shall be stretched forth] The circuit shall be

determined, and the city built according to the line marked out.

Verse 17. My cities-shall yet be spread abroad] The whole land

of Judea shall be inhabited, and the ruined cities restored.

Verse 18. And behold four horns.] Denoting four powers by which

the Jews had been oppressed; the Assyrians, Persians, Chaldeans,

and Egyptians. Or these enemies may be termed four, in reference

to the four cardinal points of the heavens, whence they came:-

1. NORTH. The Assyrians and Babylonians.

2. EAST. The Moabites and Ammonites.

3. SOUTH. The Egyptians.

4. WEST. The Philistines. See Martin.

Verse 20. Four carpenters.] Four other powers, who should defeat

the powers intended by the horns. These are the same as the four

chariots mentioned Zec 6:1-3, 6, 7. The

first was NABOPOLASSAR, father of Nebuchadnezzar, who overturned

the empire of the Assyrians. The second was CYRUS, who destroyed

the empire of the Chaldeans. The third was ALEXANDER the Great,

who destroyed the empire of the Persians. And the fourth was

PTOLEMY, who rendered himself master of Egypt. Some of these had

already been cast down; the rest were to follow. Calmet gives this

interpretation, and vindicates it at length.

Verse 21. These are come to fray them] To break, pound, and

reduce them to powder. Fray, from the French, frayer, to rub.

charashim signifies either carpenters or smiths;

probably the latter are here intended, who came with hammers,

files, and such like, to destroy these horns, which no doubt

seemed to be of iron.

From a sensible correspondent I have received the following

note:-

"The word we translate carpenters, charashim, is a root

which, according to Mr. Parkhurst, denotes silent thought or

attention; and in kal and hiphil, to contrive, devise

secretly, or in silence; hence applied as a noun to an artificer

of any kind, and to any work which disposes to silent attention.

Thus, to potters' ware, Le 6:28; Job 2:8; and in many other

places. So also to ploughing, De 22:10; Pr 20:4, which

requires constant attention to make 'the right-lined furrow.' Let

it be remembered that in ancient times such works were more

esteemed than the useless ones we have learned to admire. So

again, in Ge 24:21, and elsewhere, it implies

to be silent, as in deep thought or great attention.

"Now it is evident that the purport of this vision is the same

with the gracious declarations which precede it, viz., to express

the return of the protecting mercies of God to his people,

delivering them from their enemies. I should therefore be inclined

to render charashim here, watchers or inspectors, in

the sense which our translators have rendered the Chaldee ir,

a watcher, in the fourth chapter of Daniel, Da 4:13;

understanding thereby 'spirits of the heavens, which go forth from

standing before the Lord of all the earth,' Zec 6:5, and are

described in the first vision as 'sent to walk to and fro through

the earth.' This gives to the whole narrative a sublime and

important sense, affording us some glimpse of the Divine

government by the ministration of angels, such as Jacob was

favoured with in his vision at Beth-el, and which our Saviour

himself informed Nathanael constituted part of the glory of his

mediatorial kingdom."

M. A. B.

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