Chapter I
Chapter II
Chapter III
Chapter IV
Chapter V
Chapter VI
Chapter VII
Chapter VIII
Chapter IX
Chapter X
Chapter XI
Chapter XII
Chapter XIII
Chapter XIV

Zechariah prophesies more particularly concerning the Messiah than Haggai had done. In the five first verses of his prophecy, he declares the scope of it. Thence to the sixth chapter he relates the visions he saw, and the instructions he received by them. He shews the Jews their present duty, chap. 7. and encourages them to hope for God's favour, chap. 8. Thence to the end, he reproves for sin, threatens the impenitent, and encourages them that feared God with gracious promises.

Chapter I

A call to repentance, ver. 1 - 6. The vision of the horses, ver.7 - 11. The prayer of the angel for Jerusalem answered, ver. 12 - 17. The vision of the four carpenters, ver. 18 - 21

1 In the eighth month - Two months after Haggai began to encourage the Jews to build the temple. Zechariah - Probably this is that Zechariah whom the Jews slew between the temple and the altar, Matt 23:35.
5 Where are they - But where are your disobedient fathers? Were they not consumed with famine and sword, as I threatened them? Do they live - The prophets died as others; they must not live always to warn you.
6 My words - The dreadful menaces which I spake. My statutes - The decreed judgments which I resolved to execute on them, which by my prophets I proclaimed. Take hold - Overtake as a pursuing enemy overtakes, and seizeth on his enemy. They returned - By this it should seem that Zechariah gave them time to consider what answer to give. So hath he dealt - It is true, as God said he would do, so he hath done against us.
8 A man - Christ Jesus in the shape of a man. Riding - In a posture of readiness. A red horse - This colour is a symbol of his coming to avenge himself on his enemies. The myrtle - trees - He posted himself in a convenient place to observe and be ready, among verdant, fragrant trees, emblems of the saints of God. In the bottom - This bottom or valley in which the myrtles grew, is an emblem of the church in a low, afflicted state. Behind him - Christ was, as becomes a captain, at the head, the rest, as his soldiers, are behind attending on him. Red horses - Horses and horsemen, and those are angels, ver.10. And the colour of these horses is red, probably denoting the bloody condition of states and kingdoms, by wars one against another when God punisheth his church, or when he avengeth himself. Speckled - Of a mixt colour; perhaps an emblem of affairs, not all dark, nor all light, such as those during the last seventy prophetic weeks. White - An emblem of the best days of the church.
9 O my Lord - This was Christ, the Lord of hosts. What are these - What is the meaning of these appearances. The angel - Christ, the angel of the covenant.
10 These - Horsemen, are angels, who are ministers of the Divine Providence in the government of the world.
11 Is at rest - All men sit still to take their ease. All is peaceable. This was the state of the empire which at that time ruled all.
12 Angel of the Lord - The angel, the Lord Christ.
14 Cry thou - Now publish what thou hearest, and assure my poor captive church, that God will do good for her.
15 A little displeased - With mine own people, that is, in comparison of the anger I bear against the Heathen. Helped forward - Attempted to destroy whom I would but correct.
16 A line - The builder's measuring line shall be stretched out, to mark out the walls, gates, streets, and houses in Jerusalem.
17 Through prosperity - Through increase of families, they shall send forth colonies, and plant new cities, and thro' increase of wealth, and cattle, be able to build their cities, and stock their colonies.
18 Four horns - Emblems of the enemies of the Jews.
19 The horns - Powers, states, and kingdoms, which have from all sides pushed at, broken and tossed my people. Judah - The two tribes. Israel - The ten tribes.
21 He - Christ. These - He first points to the four horns. But these - These carpenters are emblems of those instruments God will employ in breaking those destroyers. Who lift up - Who employed their arms and strength against the kingdom of Judah, to drive them out of God's inheritance.

Chapter II

A vision signifying the prosperous state of Jerusalem, ver. 1 - 5. An exhortation to the Jews, to hasten into their own land, ver. 6 - 9. Encouragement to them that were returned, and advice to wait patiently for God, ver. 10 - 13.

1 With a line - Ready and prepared to lay out the platform of Jerusalem.
2 To measure - To take the exact dimensions of it, that it may answer God's promise, and be capable to receive its inhabitants. Jerusalem - The city which was to be built hereafter.
3 The angel - Christ, who had so long talked with Zechariah. Went forth - From the midst of the myrtle - trees.
4 And he said - Christ to that angel who came to meet him. Run - Hasten and tell Zechariah. As towns - The suburbs of it shall be as towns unwalled, for extent and for safety.
5 The glory - My presence and favour shall make her glorious.
6 Ho, ho - Ye sleepy Jews. Come forth - Come out from your prisons. Flee - Make all the haste you can. From the land - Babylon, which lay north of Canaan. For I have spread you abroad - As I executed my threats in scattering you, so I will perform my promise, and gather you.
7 Deliver thyself - Accept of thy deliverance.
8 After the glory - After that he is become your glory, I am to avenge you of your enemies.
9 Upon them - Against the nation that doth violence to my people. Unto their servants - Unto the Jews, who were first spoiled by, and then made servants to them. Hath sent me - To inform them of my father's will.
10 I come - To execute judgments on thine adversaries, and to compleat thy deliverance and salvation. I will dwell - This was fulfilled in part to the Jews, but more fully to the gospel church.
11 Shall be joined - Shall worship the God of Israel. In that day - When Christ shall come in the flesh, and take down the partition wall. Sent me - The Messiah.
12 Shall inherit - Claim, recover, possess, and delight in, as a man doth in his paternal inheritance.
13 Be silent - Reverence and adore God, and expect the accomplishment of his word. All flesh - Both Jew and Gentile. He is raised up - God is on this work already, and he will not sit down again, 'till he has accomplished his whole work.

Chapter III

Joshua accused, cleared, and clothed with clean and fair apparel, ver. 1 - 5. A promise made to him, ver. 6, 7. A prophesy of Christ, the Branch, ver. 8 - 10.

1 And he - The Lord represented to me in a vision. Standing - Ministering in his office. The angel - Christ.
2 The Lord - Christ, as a mediator, rather chuses to rebuke him in his father's name, than in his own. Is not this - Joshua.
3 With filthy garments - The emblem of a poor or sinful state. The angel - Christ.
4 And he - Christ. Unto those - Ministerial angels. I have caused - What angels could not take away, Christ did; he removed the filth of sin, the guilt and stain of it. With change of raiment - Clean and rich, the emblem of holiness.
5 I said - Zechariah takes the boldness to desire that for Joshua, which might add to his authority, and he asks the thing of Christ. A fair mitre - The proper ornament for the head of the high - priest. With garments - All the garments which appertained to the high priest. The angel - Christ.
6 Protested - Solemnly declared.
7 My charge - The special charge and office of the high - priest. Judge - Be ruler in the temple, and in the things that pertain to the worship of God there. Keep - Not as a servant, but as the chief, on whom others wait, and at last thou shalt have place among my angels.
8 Thy fellows - Thy associates in the priestly office. That sit - As assessors in a council. Wondered at - The unbelieving Jews wonder at them; at their labour and expense in attempting to build such a house. Bring forth - God the Father will bring forth a much more wonderful work. The Branch - The Messiah.
9 Behold - Behold (pointing to a particular stone) that stone which I have laid in the sight of Joshua. Upon one stone - On that stone are seven eyes, probably so placed, that they may look many ways; so it was a more exact emblem of Christ, and of his perfect knowledge and wisdom. I have removed - I have pardoned the iniquity of this land at once. The temple, founded on such a corner - stone, guarded and watched over by all - seeing Providence, is the blessing and honour of that people, whose sins are all forgiven.
10 In that day - Of removing the sins of my people. Shall ye call - Ye shall invite one another to refresh yourselves with the sweet fruit of the vine and fig - tree. When iniquity is taken away, we receive precious benefits from our justification, more precious than the fruits of the vine or fig - tree. And we repose ourselves in sweet tranquillity, being quiet from the fear of evil.

Chapter IV

The vision of the candlestick and two olive - trees, ver. 1 - 3. Encouragement to the builders of the temple, ver. 4 - 10. The explanation of the vision, ver. 11 - 14.

2 With a bowl - Or basin. His seven lamps - The temple candlestick had just so many. And seven pipes - So each of the lamps had a pipe reaching from it to the bowl. On the top - These lamps were so set, as to stand somewhat higher than the body of the candlestick.
3 Two olive - trees by it - All which is an emblem of the church, made of pure gold; to be a light in the world; to shine as lamps that continually burn, maintained with pure oil, distilled from the olive - trees, not pressed out by man, but continually, abundantly, and freely flowing from God.
6 This word - Is particularly designed to him, and in an emblem prefigures what a church it is, how precious, how full of light, how maintained by God himself. Power - Courage and valour.
7 O great mountain - All opposers put together. Become a plain - Thou shalt sink into nothing. The head stone - Shall assist at the laying of the finishing stone, as he assisted when the foundation stone was laid. Grace, grace - Wishing all prosperity, and a long continuance of it, to the temple and those that are to worship God therein. As the free favour of God began, and finished, may the same ever dwell in it and replenish it.
9 Thou - Zerubbabel and all the Jews.
10 For who hath despised - In the work of God, the day of small things is not to be despised. God often chuses weak instruments, to bring about mighty things: and tho' the beginnings be small, he can make the latter end greatly to increase. For - Tho' they undervalued the meanness of the second temple, yet when finished, they shall rejoice in it. The plummet - The perpendicular with which Zerubbabel shall try the finished work. With those seven - In subordination to the Divine Providence expressed by the seven eyes, which were on that stone. And those that have the plummet in their hand, must look up to these eyes of the Lord, must have a constant regard to the Divine Providence, and as in dependence upon its conduct, and submission to its disposals.
12 I answered - l went on to discourse. Unto him - The angel. What be these - Two principal branches, one in each tree, fuller of berries, and hanging over the golden pipes. Through the pipes - These were fastened to the bowl, on each side one, with a hole through the sides of the bowl, to let the oil that distilled from those olive - branches run into the bowl. Out of themselves - An emblem of supernatural grace; these branches filled from the true olive - tree, ever empty themselves, and are ever full; so are the gospel - ordinances.
14 The two anointed ones - Christ and the Holy Spirit. The Son was to be sent by the Father, and so was the Holy Ghost. And they stand by him, ready to go.

Chapter V

The vision of the flying roll, ver. 1 - 4. Of the ephah, the talent of lead, and the woman, ver. 5 - 11.

1 A flying roll - A volume, or book spread out at large, flying in the air, swiftly.
3 This - This roll or book containeth the curse, due to sinners. The whole earth - Either the whole land of Judea, or all the world, wherever these sins are found. According to it - According to the threats inscribed thereon. Sweareth - Profanely, or falsely.
4 It shall enter - This curse shall come with commission from me. It shall remain - It shall stick close to them and theirs like Gehazi's leprosy. And the stones - Nothing shall remain, as when both the timber and stones of a house are consumed.
6 He - The angel. An ephah - A measure which held about three bushels. Goeth forth - Out of the temple. Their resemblance - This is an emblem of this people everywhere. Thus there is limited time and measure for them, while they sin, and are filling the ephah with their sins, they will find that the ephah of wrath is filled up also, to be poured out upon them.
7 And behold - Here is another part of this vision. Lifted up - Brought thither to cover it. A talent - A piece of lead of a talent weight, as large as the mouth of the ephah. A woman - A woman, the third in the vision. Perhaps this vision was purposely obscure, least a plain denunciation of the second overthrow of the state and temple, might discourage them from going forward in the present restoration of them.
8 This - This woman represents the wickedness of the Jews. He cast it - The angel cast down this woman. On the mouth - And so shut her up, to suffer the punishment of all her sins.
9 There came out - From the same place whence the ephah came. Their wings - They had wings, like the wings of storks, large and strong, and flew before the wind with great swiftness. The judgments came thus flying, and so bore away with them those that were incorrigible.
11 To build - Not in mercy, but in judgment. Of Shinar - Of Babylon whither many of the Jews fled, and others of them were forced by the Romans. Set there - There they shall be confined without hope of release. Her own base - They are settled upon the lees of their own unbelief: their wickedness is established on its own bases.

Chapter VI

The vision of the four chariots, representing God's government of the world, ver. 1 - 8. Joshua crowned as a type of Christ, ver. 9 - 15.

1 Four chariots - Angels who are sometimes styled chariots of God. These as employed in the affairs of church and empire, act their part in the revolution and changes of things, 'till the gospel be preached by the Messiah, and the apostles. Of brass - These denote the immoveable decrees of God, his steady execution of his counsels and the insuperable restraints upon all empires and countries, which God keeps within the barriers of such impregnable mountains.
2 Red horses - Perhaps denoting bloody times, Rev 6:4. Black horses - Perhaps a time of mortality, and wasting diseases, Rev 6:5.
3 White horses - Signifying joyful and prosperous affairs, chap. 1:8. Grisled - A mixt state of affairs.
5 These are - The angels of heaven, who have a great share in the management of the affairs both of the church and states. Of the heavens - Which reside in heaven, 'till employed, go thence when employed, and having done their work, return thither. Standing - They stand as servants attending the command of their Lord.
6 The black horses - The angels signified by the black horses are the executioners of God's just displeasure. Therein - In the second chariot. The north - country - Babylon. The grisled - The angels signified by these, managed the Roman power, which was sometimes favourable, sometimes fierce and severe, to those they had to do with. The south - country - Egypt and Arabia, which lay south of Judea. It may perhaps point at their invading Africa too, whose punishments were mixed, with kindness and mercy more than the punishments of Babylon were.
7 Sought to go - Waited for a commission. He said - Christ who hath all power in heaven and on earth. Through the earth - Thro' the rest of the kingdoms of the world remote from Judea, but not remote from God's wise and sovereign providence.
8 Cried he - Christ spake aloud, and called to him. Quieted my spirit - By doing what I appointed them in revenge of my peoples injuries, and by bringing my people back into Canaan.
10 Take - Of those that are come out of Babylon. Come thou - Go fetch them, if they lodge elsewhere. The same day - The same day in which they come.
11 Make crowns - One of silver, the other of gold. Set them - Put both of them, one after another. Joshua - Who herein is now a type of Christ, king and priest for ever for his people.
12 Unto him - Joshua, but in the hearing of others. Whose name is the Branch - Whom you know by the name of the Branch, who was called so long since. Thou, O Joshua art the portrait, he is the Branch itself. Out of his place - Of the tribe and family, and in the place foretold. He shall build - He it is, though unseen, that stands by you, who build the material temple, far inferior to the spiritual temple, which Christ will build, preserve, and dwell in for ever.
13 The glory - Of both kingly and priestly office; the glory of both those crowns shall abide on him. Shall sit - Which speaks both his royal magnificence, and the perpetuity of it. A priest - The great high - priest, to offer the great sacrifice to God, to make reconciliation, to intercede for his people. The counsel of peace - The peace made for God's people shall rest upon these two, the kingly and priestly office of Christ; by his priestly office he shall make their peace with God, by his kingly office he shall deliver them from their spiritual enemies.
14 The crowns - The two crowns before mentioned. Helem - These persons we know no more of than their names. A memorial - Of the Messiah's certain and speedy coming.
15 They that are far off - This verse hath a double reference, one to the Jews, and the building of the material temple, the other to the bringing in of the Gentiles. And this - The literal part shall come to pass in your day, if you will obey the voice of the Lord. The mystical part shall come to pass also, and, if you will believe and obey, the Gentiles shall come in and be your brethren, and help to build the temple, the spiritual temple. But if you rebel and obey not, you shall be cast out and the Gentiles be taken in, to be God's people.

Chapter VII

In answer to a question concerning fasting, the prophet reproves them for the mismanagement of their fasts, ver. 1 - 7. Exhorts them to reform their lives, ver. 8 - 14.

2 When they - The captives who still continued in Babylon. The house of God - The temple, which now half built began to be frequented. Regem - melech - It appears not who these were, but no doubt they were eminent in dignity and piety. Their men - The train of friends that accompanied them. To pray - To intreat the Lord for pardon of what was past, acceptance of them at present, and an answer to their enquiry.
3 The prophets - Haggai and Zechariah. Weep - Fast, in remembrance of the burning of the temple on the tenth day of that month. Separating myself - From worldly cares and designs.
5 Unto all the people - By their messengers. And seventh - For the murder of Gedaliah, slain by Ishmael. Even to me - You pleased yourselves in it, not me; you wept more for the inconveniences of the thing than the sinfulness of it.
6 For yourselves - I was as little minded by you in your fasts, as in your feasts.
7 Hear the words - You needed not have thus enquired, had you heeded the written word. Prophets - Who have called for repentance, and sincere love to God, and man, and shewed how light, formal services are. Prosperity - Did such observances preserve Jerusalem in its prosperity? Were they sufficient to save the men that inhabited the south of the plain? Did they do no good when things were all safe and well? And do you imagine they can profit you, now all is in ruins?
9 Spake - To your fathers.
10 Imagine evil - Neither think ill of, or with ill to, nor plot evil against one another.
11 Pulled away - Withdrew their shoulder from the yoke of the law.
12 In his spirit - By his holy spirit.
14 They laid the land desolate - By their sins.

Chapter VIII

A promise that Jerusalem shall be restored, ver. 1 - 8. That the whole church shall be established and increased, ver. 9 - 23.

2 Jealousy - With great care that she should not, as formerly, sin against my love, and her own welfare, and with a great desire to do her good, and to rescue her from her enemies. Fury - With heat of anger against her enemies.
3 Shall be called a city of truth - Her citizens shall love the truth and speak it, shall worship me in truth of heart, as well as in the true manner prescribed to them.
4 Old men - Formerly war, or famine or pestilence, and wasting diseases, cut off men and women before they came to old age.
6 Marvellous - These things may seem strange to this people.
7 The east - country - Persia and Media, which lay east from Jerusalem, and were now masters of Babylon.
8 In truth and in righteousness - This signifies both God's part, and their part; on God's part truth, on their's righteousness, obedience to God's righteous law.
9 The prophets - Haggai and Zechariah.
10 Before these days - For eighteen years together. No hire - No profit by the labour of man or beast, no sowing or planting. Affliction - Distress, and want, through the barrenness, which attended all their labour.
11 I will not be - That is, I will not deal with them as in former days.
14 I repented not - I did not fail to do it.
15 So - So with like steadiness of mind I have purposed to do well to you.
16 Judgment of truth - True judgment. Peace - That may restore, and settle peace among you. Gates - The places of judicature, where the judges sat.
19 Thus saith the Lord - This verse is a final decision of the case: provided they do these things required, ver.16, 17, then shall the fasting cease, and turn into joyful feasts. The fourth month - Wherein the city was taken by the Babylonians. The fifth - In which the temple was burnt. The seventh - Wherein Gedaliah was killed. The tenth - On the tenth day whereof the king of Babylon's army sat down before the city.
20 People - Multitudes.
21 I will go also - The invited, shall with as much zeal embrace the motion, as others made it.
22 In Jerusalem - Literally understood, you have the first fruits of them mentioned, Acts 2:10 - 12. Mystically, Jerusalem is the church of Christ. To pray - To perform all gospel - worship.
23 Ten men - That is, many men. All languages - No nation is any longer excluded. A Jew - To whom the gospel was first preached. We have heard - And now see, and are assured. That God - The true God, the only true God, whom to know is life eternal.

Chapter IX

A prophecy against the Syrians and others, ver. 1 - 7. God will protect his people, ver. 8. A prophecy of the Messiah, ver. 9, 10. Of the deliverance and victories of the Jews, ver. 11 - 17.

1 Hadrach - This is the name of a city in Celosyria, and here signifies the country also. It was not far from Damascus. The rest thereof - This burden shall lie long as well as heavy on Damascus. Towards the Lord - For as all men's appeals in cases of wrong are to heaven, so they who have been wronged by Syrian injustice, look to heaven for right.
2 Hamath - A principal town of Syria. Shall border - Shall be so near the storm, that they shall not quite escape. Very wise - Each of them are subtle, and think by craft to save themselves, but God derides their wisdom.
4 Cast her out - Of her inheritance, as the word properly means.
5 Her expectation - Her hope that Tyre would break Alexander's power, or hold out against it. Ashamed - Turned into shame and confusion. The king - The government shall be overthrown. Shall not be inhabited - For many years.
6 A bastard - Strangers, who have no right of inheritance.
7 Take away his blood - Though proud and warlike nations have delighted to shed blood, and, as it were, to eat the blood of their enemies, yet God will overthrow their power, and take the prey out of their mouth. Abominations - Their abominable sacrifices which they offered and feasted on. God will punish their idolatries, and by destroying the cities of those abominations, will remove them for ever. The remnant - That small select number who escape the sword, shall be the Lord's peculiar ones. As a governor - For the honour which shall be given them. As a Jebusite - The city is put for the people, and this one city and people for all the other: all the remaining Philistines shall be as Jebusites, servants to the people of God.
8 I will encamp - To defend it from all its enemies. Mine house - This temple, but as it is an emblem of the church. The army - Of the Persian and the Grecian army, whose march lay through Judea.
9 Thy king - The Messiah. He is just - The righteous one, who cometh to fulfil all righteousness. Having salvation - To bestow on all that believe in him.
10 I will cut off - When the Messiah comes and sets up his kingdom, he will need no external force. Neither chariot, bow nor sword, brought salvation to him, neither shall they be mentioned in the day of his conquest. The heathen - The Heathens through him shall be reconciled unto God, and one another, Eph 2:17. From the river - From Euphrates to the utmost end of Canaan, to the Mediterranean sea; a type of all the world, which was in due time to be the inheritance of Christ.
11 As for thee - Oh Jerusalem; these words are Christ's words to her. By the blood - By my blood, in which thy covenant as confirmed; 'tis God's covenant as made by him, 'tis Zion's covenant as made for her, 'tis Christ's also as made in him. Sent forth - I have delivered the Jews out of Babylon: compared to a pit in which no water was, wherein the Jews must have perished, had not God visited them.
12 Turn ye - The prophet exhorts the Jews to hasten to Christ, who is the salvation and high tower of the church. Prisoners of hope - Captives, yet not without hope. Even to - day - In this day of lowest distress. Double - Twice as much good as thou hast suffered evil.
13 When I have bent Judah - In the day's when Judah shall be in my hand as a strong bow, already bent. Ephraim - Ephraim, the remainder of the ten tribes (which returned with Judah) shall be for a supply of warriors; as the quiver filled is a supply of arrows to the bow - man. O Greece - Against the Grecians or Ionians, who had oppressed the Jews, and bought them for slaves, against whom the Jews took arms, under the conduct of the Maccabees, to whom Christ made good much of this promise.
14 Shall be seen - Shall manifestly appear for them. His arrow - His judgments, swift, irresistible, and sudden. As the lightning - Which breaks forth with violence, and runs from east to west in a moment. The Lord God - Their God, the God of Israel, shall give the alarm to them, and sound the call to bring them together. Of the south - In which the mightiest whirlwinds are raised; some think the prophet alludes to the tempest at the delivery of the law.
15 Devour - Destroy their enemies. With sling - stones - As David did Goliath. Shall drink - In their festivals, when they offer sacrifices of thanksgiving for their victories. Make a noise - Shout with shouts of triumph, as men do whose hearts are glad with success, and cheared with wine. Shall fill - With the blood of the sacrifices they offer.
16 As the flock - As a shepherd saves his flock. As the stones of a crown - Precious in my sight. As an ensign - Or trophy.
17 His goodness - Infinite goodness is the fountain of all the good done for this people. His beauty - How wonderful the beauty of Divine Providence in Israel's deliverance and salvation? Corn - Plentiful harvests shall make the young men chearful in sowing, reaping, and eating the fruits thereof. New wine - There shall be such plenty of wine, that all, young and old, shall be cheared with it.

Chapter X

The Jews are directed to eye God in all events, ver. 1 - 4. To expect strength and success from him in all their struggles, ver. 5 - 12.

1 The latter rain - This made plenty of all provision, and is proverbially used to signify a great blessing. Bright clouds - Bright through the lightnings which break from them. Them - The Jews.
2 Vanity - Their predictions were vain. They went - They went into captivity. Troubled - Oppressed and afflicted. No shepherd - No ecclesiastical or civil governors, that would faithfully do their duty.
3 The shepherds - Officers in the church and state. The goats - The officers among them, who were like he - goats, that push, and wound, and trample under foot the feebler cattle. Visited - In mercy. As his goodly horse - Hath given them strength and courage.
4 Out of him - From God. The corner - The prince or ruler, who is in a polity as a corner - stone in buildings. The nail - Which fastens the tents of war, or the timber together in a house. The battle bow - All warlike provision. Every oppressor - Or collector of tribute. It was from God that Nebuchadnezzar mightily prevailed, and opprest Israel; and it is from God also, that Judah grows up to such power, as to be able to cope with his adversaries, and to impose tribute on them.
6 Of Joseph - The remnant of the kingdom of Israel, the residue of the ten tribes. To place them - To settle them in their own land, and in their own cities.
7 Their children shall see - These blessings shall continue through your generations, to children that shall be born.
8 I will hiss - Though they are now scattered far off, I will call them as a shepherd, and they shall run with speed back to the flock. As they have increased - As they did of old time.
9 I will sow them - Their increase shall be like the increase of rich soil that hath much seed cast on it. The people - The Heathen. In far countries - Whithersoever they were driven. With their children - The children born to them shall live, and grow up with them. Turn again - To their city and country.
10 Place shall not be found - The land shall be too narrow for them.
11 And he passed through - The whole verse is an allusion to what God had done in the two famous deliverances of his people, bringing them out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, and through Jordan, and destroying the Egyptians, and delivering them out of Assyrian bondage, and in order thereto, destroying that kingdom.
12 Walk up and down - Shall manage all their affairs. In his name - By power and wisdom given from above, to the glory of our God, and our Redeemer.

Chapter XI

A prediction of the final destruction of the Jews, ver. 1 - 6. The Messiah will rule them, ver. 7, 8. But at length, provoked by their contempt of him, give them up, ver. 9 - 17.

1 Open thy doors - That destruction of the Jewish church and nation, is here foretold in dark and figurative expressions, which our Lord, when the time was at hand, prophesied of very plainly. Lebanon - Lebanon, a great mountain boundary between Judea and its neighbours on the north, is here commanded to open its gates, its fortifications raised to secure the passages, which lead into Judea. That the fire - Fire kindled by the enemy in the houses and buildings in Judea, and in Lebanon itself. The cedars - Palaces built with cedars.
2 Fir - tree - Houses and towns built with firs. The cedar - Much less shall ye escape. Ye Oaks - Used in that country for building palaces, cities, towns, and fortresses. The forest - Jerusalem, compared to a forest, in regard of the many and tall houses in it. In short, all are called to cry, for the miseries that will come upon all. Come down - Is laid desolate.
3 Of the shepherds - The enemy having driven away their flocks and herds. Their glory - What was their honour. Of Jordan - The great forests on the banks of Jordan, where the young lions were wont to range.
4 My God - God the father speaks to Christ. Of the slaughter - Appointed to the slaughter. The Jews, during four hundred and fifty years, were a flock of slaughter to the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and afterwards the Romans.
5 Whose possessors - Governors. Not guilty - Think they do no ill. That sell them - For slaves. For l am rich - Profanely give God thanks, that they thrive by cruelty and oppression.
6 I will deliver - To rob, imprison, banish, or kill each other. Of his king - The Roman Caesar, whom the Jews had chosen to be so. The land - Their king and his armies shall destroy the land.
7 Bands - The beauty of grace and glory, the bands of love and peace.
9 Then - After that time of his patient feeding the flock, and cutting off the unfaithful shepherds. Cut off - By the sword or famine. The flesh - Either live to be besieged, 'till hunger makes the living eat the dead, or by seditions and bloody intestine quarrels, destroy each other.
10 Even beauty - Which was the beauty and glory of them, the covenant of God, with all the blessings of it. That I might break - Declare it null. Christ calls it his covenant, for he was the mediator of it.
11 Broken - The covenant was disannulled. That waited - Believed in him, and obeyed him. Knew - Saw, and owned God in all this.
12 And I said - Upon parting, Christ seems after the manner of men, to mind them of his claims for them, and desire them to reckon with him. If ye think good - He puts it to them, whether they thought he deserved ought at their hands? So they - The rulers of the Jews, the high priest, chief priests, and pharisees. Weighed - Which was the manner of paying money in those days. Thirty pieces - Which amounts to thirty - seven shillings and six - pence, the value of the life of a slave, Exod 21:32. This was fulfilled when they paid Judas Iscariot so much to betray Christ.
13 The Lord - God the Father. Cast it - As being so little, it would hardly purchase any thing but what was the cheapest among them. A goodly price - God upbraids the shepherds of his people, who prized the great Shepherd no higher. Cast them to the potter - Or rather, cast them into the house of the Lord for the potter; all which the Jewish rulers acted over.
14 Then - So soon as I saw what value they put upon me. I cut asunder - Christ did it really, the prophet did it in the type. Break - Declare it broken. The brother - hood - That friendship which had been among them. Judah - The two tribes, and the remnant of the ten tribes.
15 Take unto thee - O Zechariah, personate a shepherd quite different from him thou hast represented.
16 Who shall not visit - Who seeks not out those that are lost. The young one - Which are aptest to perish through weakness. Nor heal - But leaves it to die of its wounds. That stand still - Not able to go forward. Will eat - Feast on the fattest of the flock. Tear their claws - Tear off their skin unto the very nails; in brief, a sluggish, negligent, covetous, riotous, oppressive, and cruel government, is shadowed out by a foolish shepherd.
17 The idol shepherd - To them that are but the images of shepherds. That leaveth - Casts off the care of the flock. The sword - Of the enemy, shall break his strength and be - fool his counsels. Dried up - They that have gifts which qualify them to do good, if they do it not, they will be taken away. They that should have been workmen, but were slothful, and would do nothing, will justly have their arm dried up. And they that should have been watchmen, but were drowsy, will justly have their eye blinded.

Chapter XII

The enemies of the church shall not prevail against her, ver. 1 - 6. God will strengthen the weakest of his people, ver. 7, 8. A spirit of prayer and repentance promised, ver. 9 - 14.

2 Jerusalem - That weak, unwalled city, and much more the church which is the antitype of Jerusalem. In the siege - Now when all this is in readiness, and no visible means of escape, then will God make them drink the wine of astonishment.
3 In that day - The day of the full accomplishment of this prophecy is a day known to the Lord. A burdensome stone - Too heavy for them, though many join together to remove it.
4 I will open mine eyes - I will watch over my people for good. This eye of God open upon his people, is his wise, powerful, gracious providence for them. With blindness - All their warriors in their consults shall have as little of foresight, as a blind man hath of sight.
5 The inhabitants of Jerusalem - Though but few, and poor, yet they shall be my strength. Not in their own power, but in the power of the Almighty Lord of all.
6 Like a hearth - A hearth on which fire is thoroughly kindled. In her own place - Not built as Nineveh, Babylon, or Rome, in some place near old cities, but in the very same place where old Jerusalem stood.
7 The tents - The unfenced places, the open country, the cottages, or tents. First - First the weaker are saved, next the stronger. The glory - That the illustrious house of David, and the glorious citizens of Jerusalem may not boast of their power, policy and courage.
8 As David - A mighty man of valour. The house of David - Those of the royal line shall be for prudence, and prowess in the conduct of the armies of Israel, most excellent; exprest here in an hyperbole. As the angel - Nay, like the angel of the Lord, like Christ who is captain of our salvation.
9 I will seek - I will purposely and effectually do it.
10 I will pour - This was fulfilled on Christ's exaltation, when he sent the Comforter to his disciples, it is daily performed to the children of God, and will be continually, 'till we are brought to be with Christ for ever. The house of David - The whole family of Christ, his house who was the seed of David, and who is called David, Eze 37:24. The spirit of grace - Which is fountain of all graces in us. Pierced - Every one of us by our sins pierced him, and many of the Jews literally. Mourn - They shall literally lament the crucifying of the Lord Jesus. In bitterness - True repentance will bitterly lament the sins which brought sorrows and shame upon our Lord.
11 In that day - When the Jews shall mourn for their sins, and for that great sin, crucifying the Lord of glory. A great mourning - A mourning exprest by the greatest the Jews ever were acquainted with, and which for its greatness grew into a proverb. The mourning for Josiah slain at Hadadrimmon, a town in the valley of Megiddo.
12 The house of Nathan - The royal family in both branches of it, Solomon's and Nathan's.
13 The house of Levi - The sacerdotal tribe were the most bitter persecutors of Christ, they hired the traitor, they sought witness; the high priest, (head of that family) condemned him to die, for all which they shall one day reckon with God, and therefore above other tribes they are particularly named as chief mourners for their cruelty to Christ.

Chapter XIII

A promise of pardon, of reformation, and of the conviction and silencing of false prophets, ver. 1 - 6. A clear prediction of the sufferings of Christ, the destruction of the Jews, and the purifying of a remnant, ver. 7 - 9.

1 A fountain - The blood of Christ. Opened - The spouse is to Christ a fountain sealed, but Christ is to sinners a fountain opened. Inhabitants of Jerusalem - The inhabitants of Jerusalem are all to whom the gospel is preached. For uncleanness - For purging away all manner of sins and uncleannesses.
2 Cut off - I will utterly destroy idols and idolatry. The prophets - The false prophets. The unclean spirit - The devil who sets the false prophets to work.
3 Prophesy - Falsely. His father - His dearest friends. Shall thrust him through - That is, shall wound, shall chastise him with stripes that may leave their marks behind.
4 A rough garment - Such as the true prophets were wont to wear.
6 With which I was wounded - To recover me from ruining myself and others by imposture, see ver.3.
7 O sword - Afflictions, persecutions, and the cross. My shepherd - Who is my faithful shepherd, and will lay down his life for my sheep. My fellow - This speaks Christ; man with us, and God with his father, God - man in one person. The shepherd - This great and good shepherd. Turn mine hand - God will turn his hand in favour, and for protection will keep the new, and weak disciples.
8 Two parts - Not precisely two, but the greater part shall die a temporal death, by the sword of Titus, or in eternal death under unbelief. The third - A remnant, the lesser part, shall escape or be preserved.

Chapter XIV

The gates of hell threaten the church; but all issues well at last, ver. 1 - 7. The spreading of the church, ver. 8 - 16. The punishment of those that fought against Jerusalem, and that neglect to worship there, ver. 17 - 19. The increase and purity of the church, ver. 20, 21.

1 The day - Of vengeance, Joel 2:1,2, cometh, or will soon overtake you, O sinful, unthankful! bloody! Jews. Thy spoil - All thou hast, O, Jerusalem, shall become a prey to thine enemy.
2 All nations - The Romans who at that time had the rule over all the nations of that part of the world. The residue - That small number of the Jews who were spared by Titus. Shall not be cut off - Were not forbidden to dwell about the city.
3 Then - After he hath sufficiently punished the Jews. As when he fought - As in those days when he fought for his people.
4 Shall cleave - Sinai melted, at the presence of the God of the whole earth. Great valley - So rich shall be a plain access from the place of the feet of the Lord unto Jerusalem.
5 The valley of the mountains - A place provided of God for their safety. O Lord my God - As if it were said, though it will, O Lord, put us into fear; yet without such wonderful works we shall not see thy salvation; therefore, O Lord my God come, and bring thy holy ones with thee.
6 In that day - While God is fighting with the enemies of his church, the nations that fought against Jerusalem. Nor dark - There shall be some mercy to allay the bitterness of judgment, and some judgment with our mercy.
7 One day - One continued day, no setting of the sun to make it quite night: God will always act in order to the full salvation of his spiritual Jerusalem. Known unto the Lord - The Lord knows when it shall begin, and how, and when it shall end.
8 In that day - When the days of ignorance, and idolatry shall end. Living waters - The quickening, saving truths of the gospel, with all its ordinances in purity. From Jerusalem - The church of Christ, the true Jerusalem. The former sea - Or eastern sea. The hinder sea - Or western sea. In summer and in winter - Perpetually, without intermission, these waters shall never dry away, or lose their healing virtue.
9 In that day - All men shall agree in worshipping one God, in one way of spiritual worship, and hearty obedience.
10 All the land - The whole land of Judea, a type of the whole earth, shall be filled with the knowledge of God. As a plain - All high, uneven places, all rocky and barren grounds, shall be changed into fruitful vineyards. So the church of Christ shall be fruitful, humble and lovely. Geba - The north boundary of the land. Rimmon - The south boundary of Judea. Jerusalem - Which taken mystically, is the church of Christ, and by the repair of all to this Jerusalem, is shadowed out of the compleat building of the church on all sides, north, south, west and east. Lifted up - Raised out of the dust. Benjamin's gate - Benjamin's gate north - east, corner - gate north - west; Hananiel's tower south, wine - presses north; that is in brief, compleatly around the city.
11 And men - Many for number, eminent for worth. Utter destruction - There may be afflictions but no utter wasting of Jerusalem; the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
13 A great tumult - Confusion. Shall rise up - From murmurs one against another they shall at last run into civil wars, and so destroy themselves, and revenge Jerusalem.
14 Judah - The Jews, and possibly Judas Maccabeus might be intended.
15 The horse - Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely destroyed.
16 That is left - That escapes the stroke. To worship - By a ceremonial usage which shadowed out a better worship, the prophet foretells the constant zeal of the converted Gentiles to worship the Lord. The feast of tabernacles - One solemn festival is by a figure, put for all the days consecrated to God for holy worship.
20 Shall there be - Written as it were on every common thing. Holiness unto the Lord - Their persons shall bear the dedicating inscription of holiness to the Lord, and by their study of holiness they shall make good their motto. The pots - Which were used in the kitchens of the temple, and were not accounted so sacred as the utensils near the sacrifices, and altar. The bowls - Which received the blood of the sacrifices, were esteemed more holy; so shall thy holiness in these days exceed the holiness of those former days.
21 Every pot - The utensils of private houses shall be all dedicated to God's service. That sacrifice - So the prophet expresses all religious affections, practice, and worship, which shall be as pleasing to God, as were the sacrifices of his people offered up with divine warrant and approbation. Seethe therein - That part of the sacrifice which pertaineth to the priests, and to the offerer to feast on. The Canaanite - Any of the accursed nation, or one who makes merchandise of religion. But all shall know that the Lord hath the greatest pleasure in upright, and sincere love and holiness.

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