Preface To The Prophet Zechariah
(1532)This prophet lived after the Babylonian Captivity and with his comrade, Haggai, helped to rebuild the Temple and bring the scattered people together again, so that government and order might again be set up in the land. He is in truth one of the most comforting of the prophets, for he brings forward many lovely and comforting visions, and gives many kindly words, in order to encourage and strengthen the troubled and scattered people to set up the building and the government, in spite of the great and various resistance which they had endured. He does this down to the fifth chapter.
In the fifth chapter, under the vision of the letter ▼
▼ English, “The flying scroll,” Zechariah 5:1-8.and the ephah, he prophesies of the false teachers who are afterwards to come among the Jewish people, and who will deny Christ; and this still applies to the Jews at the present day.
In the sixth, he prophesies of the Gospel of Christ and the spiritual temple, to be built in all the world, because the Jews denied Him and would not have Him.
In the seventh and eighth a question arises which the prophet answers, encouraging and exhorting them once more to build the Temple and establish the government; and with this he concludes the prophecy about the rebuilding in his time.
In the ninth, he goes on to the time to come, and prophesies, first, in chapter 10, of how Alexander the Great shall win Tyre and Sidon and Philistia, so that the whole world shall be opened to the coming Gospel of Christ, and he leads King Christ into Jerusalem on an ass.
In the eleventh, however, he prophesies that Christ shall be sold by the Jews for thirty pieces of silver, for which cause He will leave them, so that Jerusalem shall finally be destroyed and the Jews be hardened in their error and dispersed, and thus the Gospel and the Kingdom of Christ come to the Gentiles, after the sufferings of Christ, in which He, as the shepherd, shall be smitten, and the apostles, as the sheep, be scattered. For He must first suffer and thus enter into His glory.
In the last chapter, when he has destroyed Jerusalem, he abolishes the Levitical priesthood, with its organization and vessels and festivals, and says, “All spiritual offices shall be common, for the service of God, and shall not belong to the tribe of Levi only”; that is, there shall be other priests, other festivals, other sacrifices, other worship, which other tribes can observe, nay, even the Egyptians and all Gentiles. That means that the old testament is to be abolished and taken away.
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