|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:1-3 In figurative expressions, that destruction of Jerusalem, and of the Jewish church and nation, is foretold, which our Lord Jesus, when the time was at hand, prophesied plainly and expressly. How can the fir trees stand, if the cedars fall? The falls of the wise and good into sin, and the falls of the rich and great into trouble, are loud alarms to those every way their inferiors. It is sad with a people, when those who should be as shepherds to them, are as young lions. The pride of Jordan was the thickets on the banks; and when the river overflowed the banks, the lions came up from them roaring. Thus the doom of Jerusalem may alarm other churches.
Verse 1. - Open thy doors, O Lebanon. The prophet graphically portrays the punishment that is to fall upon the people. The sin that occasions this chastisement, viz. the rejection of their Shepherd and King, is denounced later (§ 9). Lebanon stood in the path of an invader from the north, whence most hostile armies entered Palestine. The "doors" of Lebanon are the mountain passes which gave access to the country. Some commentators, following an old Jewish interpretation, take Lebanon to mean the temple or Jerusalem; but we are constrained to adhere primarily to the literal signification by the difficulty of carrying on the metaphorical allusions in the following clauses. That the fire may devour thy cedars. That the invader may wantonly destroy thy trees which are thy glory and thy boast.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Open thy doors, O Lebanon,.... By which may be meant, either the temple of Jerusalem, which was built of the cedars of Lebanon;
"the gates of which are said (w) to open of themselves forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, when Jochanan ben Zaccai, who lived at the same time, rebuked them, saying, O temple, temple, wherefore dost thou frighten thyself? I know thine end is to be destroyed; for so prophesied Zechariah, the son of Iddo, concerning thee, "open thy doors, O Lebanon".''
So Lebanon, in Zechariah 10:10, is interpreted of the sanctuary, both by the Targum and by Jarchi; or else it may be understood of Jerusalem, and of the whole land of Judea, because it was situated by it; it was the border of it on the north side.
That the fire may devour thy cedars; of which the temple was built, and the houses of Jerusalem, which were consumed by fire; unless the fortresses of the land are meant. So the Targum paraphrases it,
"and the fire shall consume your fortresses.''
(w) T. Bab. Yoma, fol. 39. 2.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Zec 11:1-17. Destruction of the Second Temple and Jewish Polity for the Rejection of Messiah.
1. Open thy doors, O Lebanon—that is, the temple so called, as being constructed of cedars of Lebanon, or as being lofty and conspicuous like that mountain (compare Eze 17:3; Hab 2:17). Forty years before the destruction of the temple, the tract called "Massecheth Joma" states, its doors of their own accord opened, and Rabbi Johanan in alarm said, I know that thy desolation is impending according to Zechariah's prophecy. Calvin supposes Lebanon to refer to Judea, described by its north boundary: "Lebanon," the route by which the Romans, according to Josephus, gradually advanced towards Jerusalem. Moore, from Hengstenberg, refers the passage to the civil war which caused the calling in of the Romans, who, like a storm sweeping through the land from Lebanon, deprived Judea of its independence. Thus the passage forms a fit introduction to the prediction as to Messiah born when Judea became a Roman province. But the weight of authority is for the former view.
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