And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech…
It is not right to restrict the influence of the Spirit to one thing only, as some do, who imagine that the Israelites were confirmed in their good resolution, as they say, having before spontaneously obeyed the Word of God. These separate, without reason, what ought to be read in the prophet as connected together. For God roused the spirit of Zerubbabel and of the whole people; and hence it was that they received the message of the prophet and were attentive to his words. Foolishly, then, do they imagine that the Israelites were led by their own free will to obey the Word of God, and then that some aid of the Holy Spirit followed, to make them firmly persevere in their course. But the prophet declared, in the first place, that his message was respectfully received by the ]people; and now he explains how it was, even because God had touched the hearts of the whole people. We ought to notice the expression, when it is said that the spirit of Zerubbabel and of all the people was stirred up. For much sloth, we Know, prevailed, especially among the multitude. But as to Zerubbabel and Joshua, they were already willing, but delayed until the coldness under which they laboured was reproved. But the prophet here simply means that they became thus obedient through the hidden impulse of God, and also that they were made firm in their purpose. God does not form new souls in us, when He draws us to His service, but changes what is wrong in us; for we should never be attentive to His Word, if He did not open our ears; and there would be no inclination to obey, were He not to turn our hearts; in a word, both will and effort would immediately fail in us, were He not to add His gift of perseverance.
( John Calvin.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and did work in the house of the LORD of hosts, their God,
WEB: Yahweh stirred up the spirit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and the spirit of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and the spirit of all the remnant of the people; and they came and worked on the house of Yahweh of Armies, their God,