« AnteriorContinuar »
captivity, the land of the north, and the Babylon in which they are now hid and held captive. This is shewn in ver. 5, when “ the glory shall be in the midst of her:" which glory is the restored Shechinah ; whose departure from Solomon's temple is shewn forth in Ezek. X. ; which returns not during the whole period of the second temple, nor of course during the time of the present dispersion of the Jews; but which shall again return, and fill the last temple which they shall raise on mount Zion, after their restoration to their own land; when it shall never again be withdrawn, as is manifest from Ezek. xliii. 4.
This departure and return of the glory I shall prove from Ezekiel. In his vision of the Cherubim (i. 22) there is a firmament over their heads; and above the firmament (ver. 26) the likeness of a throne; and upon the likeness of the throne was the likeness
appearance of a Man above upon it. Here the whole is complete, -cherubim, throne, and King thereon. But in x. 1 the cherubim and throne are first seen without the King ; and (ver. 3) the cherubim stood on the right side of the house, the
King of Glory” being as yet on the mercy-seat in the holy of holies, between the cherubim of gold. But (ver. 4) the glory of the Lord went up from the cherub (i.e. the mercy-seat), and stood over the threshold of the house; and the house was filled with the cloud, and the court was full of the Lord's glory. Here the Shechinah leaves the holy of holies, and rests over the gate of the temple. “ Then (ver.18) the glory of the Lord departed from off the threshold of the house, and stood over the cherubim.” “ The cherubim stood on the right side of the house ver. 3, and the throne above them was vacant: here the glory of the Lord fills the vacant throne. (Ver. 19), the cherubim lifted up their wings, and mounted up from the earth in my sight....and stood at the door of the east gate of the Lord's house, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.” Here the Shechinah is ready for departure. (xi. 22) did the cherubim lift up their wings, and the wheels beside them; and the glory of the God of Israel was over them above.” (Ver. 23) “ Ănd the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city, and stood upon the mounta in which is on the east side of the city” (i. e. Mount Olivet, whence our Lord ascended). (Ver. 24) “ So the vision that I had seen went up
Thus the Shechinah departed from Solomon's temple previous to its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar. This glory returned not to the second temple; but another yet remains to be built, which house the Lord shall fill with glory (Heb. xii. 26); for in Ezek. xxxvi. 24 the Lord promises " I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land;”. (ver. 26) “a new heart also will I give you; and a new spirit will I put within you : and I will take the stony heart out of your
flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.” This gather-
Such is “the glory in the midst of her” (Zech. ii. 5), at the deliverance of Zion from the daughter of Babylon (ver. 7). But (ver. 8) “after the glory”-that is, after the Lord's return to his people--the nations are visited, and become a spoil to those who had previously been their servants. And this answers precisely to the invasion of Gog in Ezekiel, and its attendant circumstances : (Ezek. xxxviii. 14) “ Say unto Gog, Thus saith the Lord God, In that day when my people Israel dwelleth safely, shalt thou not know it? And thou shalt come from thy place out of the north parts against my people of Israel, as à cloud to cover the land : it shall be in the latter days: and I will bring thee against my land, that the heathen may know me, when I shall be sanctified in thee, O Gog, before their eyes.” (Ver. 23) “ Thus will I magnify myself, and sanctify myself; and I will be known in the eyes of many nations; and they shall know that I am the Lord.” (xxxix. 25) “ Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name:" (ver. 29) “ neither will I hide my face any more from them : for I have poured out my Spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord God." These events, given at large by the other prophets, are condensed into a single chapter of Zechariah ; intending to shew, when and under what circumstances, the
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 Hesh, 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. xxii. 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, 0 all flesh, before the Lord; for he is raised up out of his holy babitation ” (ii. 13). “The Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him” (Hab. i. 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, “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 910 WX, 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 WX 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 : be 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
VOL. 1.-NO. I.