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Lord of hosts that speaks is the Messiah; who, while he solemnly announces his second advent, avows that the Lord of hosts, God the Father, hath sent him, thus bearing an illustrious testimony to his own divinity *. After the glory, he declares himself to be sent unto the nations that spoiled his ancient people: and now he will shake his hand upon them, and cause them in their turn to become a spoil to those, whom they had made their servants. I have no doubt that the destruction of Antichrist, at the period of the restoration of Judah, is here predicted, in exact harmony with the writings of all the other prophets. After the glory, Christ is sent to take vengeance upon the collected nations of his enemies. This glory I conceive to be the same, as the glory which Zechariah had already mentioned; for the context seems to require, that, what the one glory means, the other should likewise mean. Subsequent t then to this glory that is to say, subsequent to the manifestation of God's glory in the midst of Jerusalem, Messiah will shake his hand over the vassal allies of Antichrist. I know not what inference we can draw from this remarkable passage, espe. cially when viewed in connection with other parallel passages, except the following: that, after the Antichristian faction has succeeded in taking Jerusalem, and when its armies are upon the full march to Megiddo with a view of attacking the dispirited remnant of the Jews and their protectors the maritime power, then will the glory of the Lord appear in the midst of his holy city; and, after it has thus appeared, Messiah will go forth in his strength to tread the wine-press of the mystic Edom. His enemies being thus subdued, the whole body of his ancient peo
See Dr. Eveleigh's very clear and satisfactory sermon on this passage. + Dr. Blayney gives quite a different sense to the word after, and explains the whole passage in a manner altogether unlike that which I hare adopted. “ To send a person after any thing," says he, “implies the requisition of his services for that particular purpose. When therefore God is said to have sent the angel after the glory, he must be understood to have charged him with the means of bringing it about.” The word after sometimes bears such a sense in English, and I will not presume so far to set my knowledge in competition with that of the late learned professor as to assert that was never bears such a sense in Hebrew: but this I may safely say, that I do not recol. lect to have met with the word thus used elsewhere, nor do either Buxtorf or Parkhurst assign to it any such signification. I have adopted in short what: appears to myself at least the most natural interpretation of the passage.
ple shall acknowledge that the Lord of hosts hath sent him. They shall look upon him whom they have pierced, when he cometh, and dwelleth in the midst of them; and the daughter of Zion shall sing, and rejoice in the presence of her incarnate God. Meanwhile, after the destruction of the apostate army, many nations shall be joined unto the Lord of hosts. They shall acknowledge his divine mission, and walk in his courts. They shall be awfully silent before him, when he riseth up out of his holy habitation : and every mouth shall be stopped, when he inherits Judah his portion, and when he chooses Jerusalem again.
The general restoration of the Jews, and the conversion of the
Gentiles. Zechariah viii. 2. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury. 3. Thus saith the Lord, I am returned unto Zion, and I dwell in the midst of Jerusalem : and Jerusalem shall be called, The city of the truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, The holy mountain. 4. Thus'saith the Lord of hosts : There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jeru. salem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. 5. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. 6. Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes ? saith the Lord of hosts. 7. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold I will save my people from the east-country, and from the west-country *; 8. And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in
* I will save my people from the east-country, and from the west-country.] “ This denotes the general restoration of the Fewish nation from their several dispersions, an event foretold by most of the prophets of the Old Testament. The west-country here mentioned hath a particular relation to their present dispersion, great numbers of them being in these latter ages settled in the western parts of the world. Mr. Lowth in loc.
the midst of Jerusalem : and they shall be my people, and I will be their God in truth and in righteousness 13. And it shall come to pass, that, as ye were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah, and house of Israel *; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear, not; let your hands be strong. 14. For thus saith the Lord of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts, and I repented not; 15. So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah ; fear ye not-20. Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities. 21. And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord t, and to seek the Lord of hosts : I will go also. 22. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord. 23. Thus saith the Lord of hosts; It shall come to pass in those days, that ten men out of all the languages of the nations shall take hold, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying we will go with you : for we have heard that God is with you.
This prophecy must, I think, be referred to the yet future restoration of God's ancient people, and not merely to the return of Judah from the Babylonian captivity. The following considerations lead me to adopt such an opinion. A restoration from the cast and the west, which was yet future, is promised ; the Jews had already returned from Babylon, which was only in the north-east. The restoration both of the house of Judah and the house of Israel is predicted : Judah alone returned from Babylon, with the exception of a few stragglers belonging to the other ten tribes. Judah and Israel are conjointly to cease to be a curse among the nations: they are still, even in the present day, a proverb and a bye-word. Fi. nally there is to be a great influx of mighty and strong nations to Jerusalem, there to worship the Lord, and to seek his face; they are to acknowledge, that God of a truth dwelleth with the Jews, and so eager are they to be to court an intimate communication with the house of Jacob, that even ten men of all nations and languages shall lay hold of the skirt of a single Jew: this prophecy has never yet been accomplished, for it is absurd to suppose it accomplished in the few gentile proselytes made occasionally before the days of the first advent ; and, if it be not yet accomplished, we must look for its completion in the days of the second advent, agreeably to many other predictions to which this is exactly parallel *. '
** O house of Fudah, and house of Israel.] “The mentioning both Fudah and Israel, which had been so long separated, shews that both the curse and the blessing here spoken of, in its ultimate sense, belongs to the whole body of the Fews; who, as they are a public instance of God's judgments now, so shall they hereafter be of his blessings : namely, at the general restoration and conversion of that nation, to which several promises in this chapter relate,” Mr. Lowth in loc.
t Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord.] “ A prophecy of the gentiles coming into the Church.” Mr. Lowth in loc.
Such then being the case, we may see the reason why it should appear so marvellous in the eyes of the people. They had only just been brought back from Babylon, and they are presented with a prophecy relative to some yet future restoration both of Judah and Israel. They do not seem to have considered, that a prediction of this nature involved necessarily a prediction of some yet future dispersion. Hence it was marvellous in their eyes: but should it for that reason be likewise marvellous in the eyes of the Lord of hosts? Their second dispersion by the Romans has now long since taken place: and from the past we may anticipate, as equally certain, their future restoration along with the house of Israel, both from the west-country and from the east-country.
* See Isaiah ii. 1-.-5. lxyi. 12, 19...24, and Micah iv. 1, 2, 3.
The instrumentality of Judah in the overthrow of Antichrist-The
restoration of Joseph-His office of converting the Gentilesen The fate of Egypt and Assyria.
Zechariah x. 3. Mine anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goats: for the Lord of hosts visiteth his flock the house of Judah, and maketh them as his goodly horse in the battle. 4. Out of him shall go forth a corner, out of him a nail, out of him the bow of battle, out of him all that draw near together. 5. And they shall be as mighty men *, which tread down in the mire of the streets in a battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them; and the riders on horses shall be confounded. 6. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Josepht, and I will bring them again to place them: for I will have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off : for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. 7. And they of Ephraimţ shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine : yea, their children shall see it, and be glad ; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. 8. I will hiss for them, and gather them: for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase, as they have increased. 9. And I will sow them among the people, and they shall remember me in far countries; for they shall live with their children, and shall return. 10. I will bring them also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and it shall not suffice for them. 11. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and
* They shall be as mighty men.] “This may be understood...of the victories, which the Jews should obtain over their enemies in the latter times. See chap. xii. 6, to which the following part of the chapter seems to relate." Mr. Lowth in loc.
t Judah..-Joseph.] “This promise is probably to be understood of the general restoration of the Fewish nation upon their conversion, a subject often treated of by the prophets in the Old Testament, where Fudah and Israel are spoken of as equal sharers in this blessing." Mr. Lowth in loc. ; # They of Ephraim.] “ Ephraim is equivalent here to the ten tribes, as the house of Foseph is, ver. 6." Mr. Lowth in loc.