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7 grandeur and extend their empire. And the bay went forth,

and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth : and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth ; re. ferring probably to the latter end of the Roman empire under the

Goths and Vandals, and the ten kingdoms erected by them, (sce 8 Rev. xiii. 1. xvii. 3.) Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country ; that is, the Persians have avenged my quarrel and executed my righteous

vengeance on the Chaldeans. . 9 10 And 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 ZephaIl niah ;* Then take silver and gold which they have brought

with them to offer to the Lord, and make two crowns, and set

(them) upon the head of Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high 12 priest, who was to be a type of the Messiah ; And speak unto

him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold, the man whose name [is] The BRANCH ; behold a plain representation of the Messiah ; and he shall grow up out of his place, or, branch up from under him, shall be his successor

in the priesthood, and he shall build the temple of the LORD : 13 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: Christ shall unite in his sacred person the priestly and the royal offices : and the counsel of peace shall be between them both ; between both offices. Therefore a crown was sent to the high priest, and not to Zerubbabel or any one of the house of David, lest they should think that he was the Messiah. These offices sometimes clashed, and differences arose between kings and priests ; but they were united in Christ, and the exercise of both these offices by him shall sweetly concur to produce peace and reconciliation with God, as priest ; deliverance from all our spiritual enemics,

as king ; and to make peace between Jews and Gentiles, Eph. 14 ii. 13, &C. And the crowns shall be to Helem, and.to Tobi

jah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD ; these persons are to

take the crowns and lay them up in the temple, as memorials of 15 this, and to keep up the expectation of the Messiah.t And they

(that are) far off shall come and build in the temple of the

• This refers to the messengers who came from the captives that remained in Baby. lon, bringing presents to the temple. The prophet is ordered to meet them in the house of Josiah, who probably kept the treasures of the temple.

+ There were probably several crowns; two gold ones for Joshua, and some of silver for his companions. A beautiful type of Christ's making his servants kings and priest wnto God, surrounding the throne on which he sits.

LORD ; many Jews in Babylon, and others in remote countries, shall come and help forward the building of the material temple, as pledges of the Gentiles joining themselves to the church of Christ and helping 10 build up the spiritual temple ; and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And [this] shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God ; and you shall be the first to partake of the benefits and blessings of the Messiah's kingdom.

REFLECTIONS.

1. I ET us learn hence, to reverence God as the Lord of all

I the armies in heaven and earth. Whether the monarchies of the earth, or the angels that have the administration of calamitous or prosperous affairs, or of mixed dispensations among men, they are all under the direction of the Almighty ; all are executed according to the counsel of his will. His providence superintends the concerns of nations, and the issues of war ; and his angels execute his purposes : an important and comfortable thought. Amidst all the confusions around us, let us impress this upon our hearts, that the Lord hath prepared his throne in the heavens, and that his kingdom ruleth over all.

2. Let us acknowledge the divine goodness, in raising up Christ as a priest on his throne : a noble and delightful view of the Redeemer's offices ! He is a king to rule over the church and world, and to guard the interests of his people ; and a priest to atone and intercede for them : and it is pleasing to consider him in both lights. Let us submit to him as a king ; and trust in him as a priest, to offer up our humble sacrifices, to build his spiritual temple, and to raise up souls for eternal glory. The collective body of true christians are one temple, with whom Christ dwells, and who honour and glorify him. He bears the glory, that is, these glorious offices, with honour : he executes them well : and there. fore deserves to receive glory and praise from all his subjects.

3. If we desire the blessings of the Redeemer's kingdom, we must diligently obey his voice. His kingdom is established among us though we are Gentiles, v. 15. and we should do all in our power that this kingdom, or christian temple, may be sup. ported and adorned ; that we may be living stones in it, and add to its beauty and strength. In order to this, let us diligently obey the voice of the Lord, do his whole will, and leave nothing undone : for Christ is the author of eternal salvation to them only, and to all of them that obey him.

CHAP. VII. The Jews having sent to inquire concerning the regard they were

to show to their set fasts, Zechariah here reproves their hypoc. riay in them; and exhorts them by repentance to put away sin, tahich was the cause of their calamity. 1 A ND it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius,

[that] the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth [day] of the ninth month, [even) in Chisleu ; % When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and

Regemmelech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,* 3 [And] to speak unto the priests which (were) in the house

of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years ? separating myself from common labours and comfor18, in remembrance of the temple and city, which were then burnt ? as the temple was rebuilt, and its worship restored, They thought this might be dispensed with.

Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, say5 ing, Speak unto all the people of the land, not to the Jews in

Babylon only, but to all in Judea, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month,] on account of the murder of Gedaliah, whom Nebuchadnezzar kad appointed to be ruler of the Jews, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, [even) to me ? was there not hypoc. risy in your fasts ? was your design good ? was your manner

of doing it acceptable ? was there any real religion in these 6 things ? And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not

ye eat [for yourselves,) and drink (for yourselves?] 10 satisfy your appetites, and not to glorify me ; that is, you lived in a

gluettonous and riotous manner after your fasts were over. 7 [Should ye) not (hear] the words, or, are not these the words, which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets ? did not God send you these messages by his prophets before me, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities there. of round about her, when (men) inhabited the south and the plain? your neglect of which was your ruin, 80 that a country,

once well peopled, became desolate. & And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, 9 Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judg

ment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his 10 brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the

stranger, nor the poor ; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart; do not imagine that ceremonia!

observances will make you prosperous, without integrity and Il charity. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the

These were persons of considerable rank and fortune, sent as messengers of the Jews, who continued in Babylon, to offer prayers and sacrifices on their behalf at Jerusa

lein,

shoulder, like refractory beasts, and stopped their ears, that 12 they should not hear. ' Yea, they made their hearts [as] an

adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his Spirit by the former prophets : no arguments impressed them : therefore, as migke

reasonably be expected, there came a great wrath from the 13 Lord of hosts. Therefore it is come to pass, (that) as he : cried, that is, as I called to them 10 repent, and they would not

hear ; so they cried to me to deliver, and I would not hear, 14 saith the Lord of hosts : But I scattered them with a whirl

wind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned : for they laid the pleasant land desolate.

REFLECTIONS.

1. W E are again taught, that the externals of religion are

nothing, without a suitable conduct and behaviour. These people were inquisitive about fasts ; and more concerned about ceremonies, than moral duties. This is a common error : let us therefore beware of it. In all religious acts, let us be concerned to glorify God, and approve ourselves unto him. Let us hear the words of his trophets ; and when we come to pray, be willing to hear and learn the will of God. If we turn away our ear from hearing the law, our fastings and prayers will be an abomination. • 2. See the necessity of making the glory of God, the end of our common actions. This is an important part of religion. Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsorver ye do, do all 10 the glory of God, (1 Cor. x. 31.) and this is applicable to all labours and recreations. Great stress is laid upon this here : Have ye done this to me, even to me? If all centre in self, in bodily gratification and pleasure, there is no religion even in religious festivals. Whereas, if God is regarded in all, common actions are religious ones : and every meal is an acceptable service, if the prevailing intention be that the body may be thereby fitted to serve the soul in God's work.

3. Let us be careful not to refuse and disobey divine warnings. We see what God required of the Jews by succeeding prophets, v. 9, 10. A neglect of his admonitions brought on national judgments. And these things happened to them for ensamples io us. Let us then take warning: avoid oppression, and practise the strictest honesty, kindness, and benevolence, as we desire the prosperity of our country, our families, or our souls. These things have been required under every dispensation ; and all pretences to religion and communion with God; all hopes of his favour without them, are vain. What doth the Lord thy God re. quire of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and 10 Walk humibly with thy God?

CHAP. VIII.

This chapter contains encouragements to obedience by promises of

divine favour. I AGAIN the word of the LORD of hosts came [to me,) 2 saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts ; I was, or, hade

been, jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous

for her with great fury ; and have brought heavy punishments > on the Babylonians her oppressors. Thus saith the LORD ; I

am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem : and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth ; sincerity and true religion shall distinguish its inhabitants ; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain, where idol4 atry shall be practised no more. Thus saith the LORD of

hosts ; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand

for very age ; whereas before, men were cut off in their prime, 5 by sword, pestilence, &c. And the streets of the city shall be

full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof ; God will

build up the families of its inhabitants, and give them security, 6 health, and plenty. 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 7 LORD of hosts. Thus saith the Lord of hosts ; Behold, I

will save my people from the east country, and from the west 8 country; And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the

midst of Jerusalem : and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness ; in faithfulness and mercy.

Thus saith the LORD of hosts ; Let your hands be strong, ve that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which (were] in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might

be built ; those comfortable promises, by which you have laiely 10 been encouraged to rebuild my house. For before these days

there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beasts ; there was not produce enough to pray the wages of men and beasts ; neither (was there any) peace to him that went out or came

in because of the affliction, of molestation by neighbours : for I Il set all men every one against his neighbour. But now I [will

not (be) unto the residue of this people as in the former days, 12 saith the LORD of hosts. For the seed time (shall be] pros

perous ; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew ; I

will take away the former curse ; and I will cause the remnant 13 of this people to possess all these things.) And it shall come . to pass, (that) as ye were a curse among the heathen, a MOM

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