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The first object of this prophetic vision, evidently was to predict the success, and encourage the exertions of the Jews, in rebuilding their temple. But this was not the only object to which the vision had respect. In the great work, which Joshua with his assistants should perform, in order to fulfil the prophecy in its temporal sense, he was but the historical' type of one greater than himself. This fact, and the very person prefigured, are indicated to Joshua himself, in the words which are addressed to him in the vision of Zechariah: “ Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee,” as assessors, “ for they are men wondered 'at,” or rather, they are men of wonder, men who represent by sign or type the future wonders which the Lord shall
perform; “ For, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.”
Now by this title a great deliverer had before been predicted. Isaiah had directed the
k Margin.—Quia viri portendentes estis. Vulg. See Chandler's Defence, chap. iii. §. 1, 4. Lowth on Zech. iii. 8. În the present copies of the Septuagint the passage is rendered dióti ävòpes TepaTUTKÓWOL Eirí; men studióus of signs. Bishop Chandler suggests, that the true reading is tepaTOOKOTOI, men proposed to others for signs: and the words are so quoted in Eusebius: Demonstratio Evang. Lib. IV. chap. xvii. p. 125. Stephan. Paris, 1545. But a subsequent quotation, p. 126. agrees with the Septuagint version. The same variation is found in the other printed editions.
attention of the Israelites to that day, in which the Branch of the Lord should be beauty and glory ;' and had delivered the promise, “there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots." ", Jeremiah had spoken with still greater clearness : “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch : and a king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute justice and judgment in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, THE LORD OUR RIGHTEOUS NESS." " And afterwards, in express reference to a person so clearly distinguished, and henceforth so confidently expected, he had repeated the same promise, with a more definite limitation of the time of his appearance : “ In those days, and at that time, will I cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David.” The same person, so frequently predicted under the same appellation, is here again promised in the vision of Zechariah, “ Behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH :3 and reference is made to him as the object of the typical prefiguration.
But the Holy Spirit proceeds to designate
1 lsai. iv. 2.
m Isai. xi. 1. See also Isai. liii. 2. lx. 21.
the person thus represented, under a different character. “For, behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone shall be seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree.”
He, therefore, who was prefigured by Joshua and his companions, should rise up in a time of profound peace, should be the predicted Branch from the stem of Jesse, and should be properly represented under the emblem of a living foundation-stone, polished after the similitude of a palace, standing, as it were, the vigilant guardian of the whole building fitly framed together, a enriched with titles of peculiar honour, and possessing the power of averting evil from the holy temple.
Scripture is often best illustrated by a comparison of different passages, in which a similarity of design can be distinctly traced. What is omitted in one part is often supplied in another. We will, therefore, briefly refer to the two other prophecies, delivered nearly at the time when the typical vision was seen by Zechariah ; prophecies in which information p Psalm cxliv. 12.
4 Ephes. ii. 21.
respecting the times of the Messiah is, in like manner, blended with a prediction intended to encourage the Jews in rebuilding the temple of God.
The first is that of Haggai, delivered only four months before the vision of Zechariah." In this celebrated verbal prophecy, they who had seen the Lord's house in her first glory, and considered that which they were building in comparison of it as nothing, were animated with the assurance, “ Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will shake all nations : and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. The glory of this latter house shall be greater than that of the former, saith the Lord of hosts.” Now the material glory of the latter house was not to be compared with that of the former. Many of the splendid distinctions of the first temple appeared not in the second. The ark of the covenant, from which the voice of God was heard in answer to the enquiries made of Him; the Urim and Thummim, which instructed the high priest in the will of God;
Hag. i. 1. and ii. 1. compared with Zech. i. 7.
the fire which came down from heaven upon the altar; the cloud between the cherubim, that special indication of God's presence; and the spirit of prophecy-which had all adorned the temple built by Solomon, were all excluded from that which succeeded. But, during its continuance, there was to come one greater than Solomon, whose presence should confer a dignity and glory surpassing any other. This prophecy, then, while it promised success to the work in which the Jews were engaged, expressly indicated the future glories of the Messiah's coming
The remaining prophecy was given by Zechariah, in less than two years after his former vision. The prophet was then commanded to point out Joshua the high priest as a representative of the BRANCH, by an express symbolical action. .“ The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah. Then take silver and gold, and make crowns," and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech the high
+ Zech. i. 7. compared with Zech. vii. 1.
Perhaps one crown:" See notes on Zech. vi. 11. in Archbishop Newcome's and in Dr. Blayney's translations.