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Shechinah should be restored to the temple: the prophet looking on to the final purpose, and disregarding the intermediate period of desertion, as being a sort of parenthesis interposed by the faithlessness and sin of the people: the delay being chargeable on man, though overruled to the greater glory of God. In like manner, when the Israelites were brought out of Egypt, they were promised to be put in possession of the land, and were led direct to its borders; but their rebellion and murmurings against the Lord condemned them to forty years' wandering in the wilderness, and they were made to know his breach of promise (Num. xiv. 34). So, also, when our Lord came in flesh, he contended earnestly with that "faithless and perverse generation," crying, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; but ye would not " (Matt. xxiii. 37). "If thou hadst known, at least in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace; but now they are hid from your eyes" (Luke xix. 42). "Wherefore fill ye up the measure of your fathers, that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth."-" Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: for I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord" (Matt. xxiii. 39). This time of desolation the Prophet Zechariah overlooks in the 2d chapter; but, knowing the blessedness which should wait upon Him "that cometh in the name of the Lord," passes over the interval of sorrow, and, dazzled with the final glory of that house which the Shechinah rests upon for ever, exclaims, "Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord; for he is raised up out of his holy habitation" (ii. 13). "The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him" (Hab. ii. 20). "Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth" (Ps. xlvi. 10).
I cannot pass this chapter without remarking the striking interchange of personal pronouns in the several verses. Verse 5, "I, saith the Lord, will be the glory." 8, "Thus saith the Lord, After the glory hath he sent me.......for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye." 9," Behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me." 10, "6 Lo, I come; and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord." 11, "And thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee." 12, And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion, in the Holy Land." "It is the Lord who is raised up out of his holy habitation" (ver. 13). "And it is the Lord who discomfits Gog" (Ezek. xxxviii. 16, 18, 23). Which, compared with the interchange of
pronouns, demonstrates that it shall be a personal presence of Jehovah with his people in the latter days and carrying the mind back to the mighty works wrought at the first deliverance of his people, when the angel of God's "presence" went before them concerning whom they are charged, " Beware of him, and obey his voice: provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions; for my name is in him" (Ex. xxiii. 21); and the still earlier manifestation (Gen. xxii. 12), "I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son, from me."
In chap. iii. the priesthood is carried through to its consummation, as the temple had been in the preceding chapter; and Aarons' rod, Urim and Thummim, and the accepted sacrifice (of which the sacred fire was the sign), are all shewn to be here restored, as the Shechinah was in chap. ii. Joshua stands as the representative of the priesthood and nation; upon whom, as high priest, devolved the office of expiating the sins of the whole people on the day of atonement. This is aptly represented in the person of Joshua, first clothed in filthy garments; and then iniquity passing away with change of raiment, and a fair mitre on his head. The whole work is represented as complete in the first five verses, and in these there is no intimation of the intervening rejection of Christ by the Jewish people, and their temporary rejection by God: just as in the preceding chapter their dispersion had been omitted: but, in chap. iii. 7 this is intimated in the form of a protest: "If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house;" implying that they would not do so. Moreover, Joshua and his fellows are called "men wondered at" (men of portent); and it may be rendered, “As they are men of portent; so, behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch, &c., and remove the iniquity of that land in one day." The parallel is this: As when Joshua laid down" the filthy garments," the Lord says, "I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee;" so Christ, who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, shook them off as filthy garments in the grave, and removed iniquity in one day, by the sacrifice of himself: And as Joshua then receives "change of raiment and a fair mitre" of priesthood, so Christ, being "clothed upon" with his glorious body, is entered, as our priest, "into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us" (Heb. ix. 24). Joshua and his fellows are called WN, men portentous; but the word translated "men," properly means weak fallen men, that we may know them to be but types of another, called (vi. 12) the Man whose name is the Branch, to be brought forth in the latter days. In this chapter (iii. 8) he is called " my servant the Branch ;" denoting the lowliness of his first appearance, when
he" took upon himself the form of a servant" (Phil. ii. 7): according as it is written in Isa. xlii., "Behold my servant,whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth: I have put my Spirit upon him; he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.' This prophecy, "I have put my Spirit upon him," is symbolized in Zech. iii. 9 by the stone laid before Joshua having seven eyes:"-" they are the eyes of the Lord (iv. 10). "Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (iv. 6). The stone alludes also to "the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel" (Gen. xlix. 24); the "tried Stone, a precious Corner-stone, a sure Foundation" (Isa. xxviii. 16): and to Dan. ii. 34, "Thou sawest till a stone was cut out without hands." Here the stone is cut out without hands; and in Zech. iii. 9 it is "graven by the Lord of hosts:" but this graving refers to "the breast-plate of judgment" (Ex. xxviii. 15), “ with names like the engravings of a signet" (ver. 21); in which was put the Urim and Thummim, to be borne " on Aaron's heart, when he goeth in before the Lord; and Aaron shall bear the judgment of the children of Israel upon his heart before the Lord continually" (ver. 30). Again, pointing us to Isa. xxviii. 17, "Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies:" which last note, of hail, carries on our thoughts to the earthquake and hail of the last times, when (ver. 21) “the Lord shall rise up, as in Mount Perazim; he shall be wroth, as in the valley of Gibeon; that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act." In that day shall the Stone, now refused by the builders, become "the head-stone of the corner" (Matt. xxi. 42; Mark xii. 10; Luke xx. 17; Acts iv. 11; Psal. cxviii. 22). The sacrifice already offered and accepted shall in that "one day, known to the Lord" (Zech. xiv. 6-9), be applied to that land, and remove its iniquity. In that day shall the Assyrian and all enemies be cut off (Isa. x. 17; xlvii. 9). And in that day shall the Lord comfort Jerusalem and his people (Isa. lxvi. 8-13). And in that day shall "the mountain of the Lord's house be established in the top of the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and people shall flow unto it: The law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem: Nation shall not lift up a sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more; but they shall sit every man under his vine and under his fig-tree, and none shall make them afraid" (Mic. iv. 1-4); and " ye shall call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree" (Zech. iii. 10).
Thus the events concerning the priesthood are condensed in this chapter, and we have been obliged to expand and explain them from the other Prophets, as we found it necessary to do
with the temple in the preceding chapter. And as in the preceding chapter the Shechinah was restored, so in this are restored all the signs of true priesthood,-Aaron's rod, in the Branch * ; Urim and Thummim, in the graven stone; the high priesthood, in the fair mitre; the sacred fire (which was the sign of accepted sacrifice), in the removal of iniquity. And I cannot omit to observe, in passing, how all the types, symbols, and prophecies are obliged to be clustered, embodied, and accumulated, to express the varied and complex character of Christ's one mighty act: "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken by his Son."
In chap. iv. a new revelation begins: the temple and priesthood had been shewn completed in chap. ii. and iii., and now a series of symbols is given;-the first (iv. 2, 4, 11, 14), representing the illumination given to the church and by the church diffused, as a candlestick; the second (v. 1, 4), representing the law of the church, as a flying roll; the third (v. 5, 11), representing the corruption of the visible church, as an ephah filled with wickedness; the fourth (vi. 1, 8), the political standing of the church, or its civil history, as four chariots; the fifth (vi.9, 15), the accomplishment of God's purpose, in the glorious consummation of all the preceding visions; when the Branch shall grow up out of his place-build the temple of the Lord and sit as King and as Priest on the same throne, the counsel of peace between them both. This series is shewn to be a new revelation, in its being said, "The angel came again, and waked me as a man is wakened out of his sleep" (iv. 1). -The first symbol is a candlestick, with seven lamps, and fed with oil by two olive-trees. We must first distinguish the several parts of the symbol. A candlestick represents a church : "The seven candlesticks are the seven churches" (Rev. i. 20). The lamp, or light, represents the illumination or instruction diffused by ministers and teachers: "Ye are the light of the world" (Matt. v. 14); "Let your light so shine before men (ver. 16); "He was a burning and a shining light" (John v. 35). This light is fed by two olive-trees, representing the Scriptures, by means of which the understanding is enlightened: "The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes" (Eph. i. 18; Ps. xix. 8). They are two anointed ones, testifying to the Kinghood and Priesthood of Christ. They pour their oil into one candlestick in this chapter, because the testimony to both offices of Christ was then given by one church and
* I may remark, that the word translated "Branch," is by the LXX., Syriac, and Vulgate, rendered "East;" and this double rendering is preserved in our version, Luke i. 78, where "Day-spring" in the text is given, and "Branch" in the margin.
one book, the Scripture of the Jewish church; but in Rev. xi. the witnesses are called two candlesticks, for then these truths were preserved pure-one, the Kinghood, by the Jews in the Hebrew Scriptures; the other, the Priesthood, by Christians in the Greek Testament; while for general use they allowed only the Vulgate translation, called, in Rev. xi. 3, " clothed in sackcloth." It is these who, by their silent agency, raise up the spiritual temple of lively stones" not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts:" "and he shall bring forth the headstone, crying, Grace, grace, unto it" (iv. 6, 7).
In chap. v. the Prophet "looked, and behold a flying roll"that is, a book unrolled and expanded in the air, which he that runs may read. Its contents are a curse," or denunciation, against two great classes of sin-1st, against him that stealeth; 2d, against him that sweareth falsely by the name of the Lord. This is an emblem of the two tables of the Law: all offences against the first table being resolved into perjury, or contempt of God; all offences against the second table being resolved into stealing, or depriving our neighbour of his right. And they are counterparts of the two commandments in which our Lord summed up the whole Law: Thou shalt Love the Lord with all thine heart; and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. And the tables of stone, which the second temple wanted, are thus restored in their spirit and substance.
The next emblem is a complicated one: an ephah, with a cover of lead, a woman sitting in the midst of it, and two women with wings who bear it away. The ephah (a measure like our bushel) was, among the Jews, the symbol of abundance, as the cornucopia among the heathen: and the angel says, This is their "resemblance"-literally, their eyes *, or object of affection: to this their eyes are directed. In the midst of the ephah, a woman called Wickedness (ver. 8) is sitting; and a woman denotes a church. We have thus a church of wickedness, growing out of plenty abused, and become an object of inordinate desire. The woman is only shewn for an instant, and then cast into the midst of the ephah, and the weight of lead on the mouth thereof; indicating that it was to be shut for a time, and not to be manifested in the prophet's day. Two other women, or churches, then came out, having wings like a stork (a bird of passage) for a distant migration: they lifted up the ephah and carried it away, "to build it an house in the land of Shinar; and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base." Her own base, then, is in the land of Shinar. In that land Babel stood. I scarcely need mention the antitype
* The LXX. have adıkta, reading my forty.