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priest: 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 he shall be a priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”
Now although this prophetic information, conveyed by action instead of word, does not, in itself, prove Joshua to be an historical type of the man whose name is the BRANCH, in the sense in which we have been considering that mode of prefiguration, yet it shews him to have been selected, on a particular occasion, as the special representative of the expected great High Priest and King; and illustrates and confirms the application of the preceding vision, which pointed him out, in the real actions of his ordinary life, as a type of the same great prophet.
In these three prophecies, then, delivered nearly at the same time, and for the same purpose, we recognize one ,common intention. Verbal prophecy, expressive action, and prefiguration historically typical, all unite in encouraging the Jews to persist in their work of rebuilding the temple; all direct their views
* Zech. vi. 9-13.
to some one future deliverer; and all make known some particulars which should characterize him when he appeared. Some of these particulars we will now consider.
1. The person thus predicted was the object of previous prophecy. Zechariah expressly calls him the BRANCH. Whoever, therefore, fulfilled the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah, in which the same distinguished person is promised, fulfilled also the subsequent prophecies; was the object of the symbolical action actually performed by Zechariah towards Joshua; and was historically typified in part of the life of that high priest.
It has been affirmed, that the person so designated was Zerubbabel. The name of Zerubbabel is certainly found in the prophecies of Haggai ;' but the prediction is expressed in terms so magnificent, that it manifestly has reference to some greater deliverer, whom Zerubbabel himself should represent, and who was promised under his name, as he was under that of David. Even if the prophecies do bear some reference to Zerubbabel, it cannot be con tended that they were completely fulfilled in him, without introducing great and unnecessary difficulties. The man whose name is the BRANCH, was to be a rod from the stem of Jesse. And Zerubbabel was doubtless of the house and lineage of David. But he was also a cotemporary of Joshua, and had authority only over the Jews. Now the terms, in which the prophecy of Zechariah is couched, plainly intimate, that the person who fulfilled it was not yet come upon earth, and, when he did come, should not be a deliverer of the Jews only. He was the very same person, who was to cause the glory of the latter house to be greater than the glory of the former: the Desire of all nations; b promised to the whole human race, before the selection of a peculiar people:e and afterwards to Abraham, as one in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed. He was to be a root, or principal stem, of Jesse, which should stand as an ensign of the people, to which the Gentiles should seek.
Grotius on Jer. xxiii. 5. xxxiii. 15. 2 Hag. ii. 23.
a Hos. iji. 5. See Lecture X.
Again, in the last prophetic action, Joshua was chosen as the personal representative of the . BRANCH: and his head was crowned, to indicate, as the Scriptures declare, the union of two distinct characters in the predicted person, who should sit and rule upon his throne, and be a priest upon his throne.' Now it cannot be
Hag. ii. 7. d Gen. xii. 3. xviii. 18. xxii. 18. i Zech. vi. 13.
c Gen. iii. 15. e Isai. xi. 10.
conceived, that Joshua should be selected as the representative of Zerubbabel, who was yet living, and might have been himself pointed out by the prophet. Although Zerubbabel was the chief leader of the Jews, who went out from their captivity in Babylon, and was invested with some power, delegated from the Persian monarch, he possessed not the regal title. Much less could he be denominated a priest upon his throne, an office from which his tribe and station necessarily excluded him.
But the prophecies of the Most High pass not away unfulfilled. And if Zerubbabel be not the person solely indicated in the various predictions, which taught the Israelites to expect some great deliverer, the man who is called the BRANCH; it must be enquired, whether he is yet come, or the world is still to look for another.
Whenever he did appear, the words of the prophets have described him with the greatest accuracy. He was to be the horn of David, which was to be made to bud; h a righteous branch raised up unto David ;' a branch of the Lord's planting." He was to come up before
8 Zerubbabel in Scripture is called 2 præfectus, gubernator, and never king. Hag. i. 1. Mal. i. 8. h Psalm cxxxii. 17.
Jer. xxiii. 5. Isai. xi. 1. * Isai. lx. 21.
him as a tender plánt, and as a root out of a dry ground. The Branch was 'to spring up in a time of calamity, when the bough should be lopped with terror, and the high ones of stature be hewn down, and the haughty be humbled, and the thickness of the forest be cut down with iron." Though the tree of David's house should thus appear to be cut down, it should yet sprout again, and the tender branch thereof should not cease.
Though the root thereof were waxed old in the earth, and the stock thereof had died in the ground, yet through the scent of water it should bud, and bring forth leaves like a plant. It should take deep root and fill the land: the hills should be covered with the shadows of it, and the boughs thereof be like the goodly cedar-trees. It should send forth its boughs unto the sea, and its branches unto the river. It should become the tree which God's right hand had planted, and the BRANCH which he made strong for himself.
All these characters were united in no one but Christ, the Son and the Lord of David.
2. But the same person, who fulfilled the prophecy, was to be something more than a temporal deliverer. He was to sit and rule upon his
1 Isai. liii. 2.
m Isai. x. 33, 34.