|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
4:8-10 The exact fulfilment of Scripture prophecies is a convincing proof of their Divine original. Though the instruments be weak and unlikely, yet God often chooses such, to bring about great things by them. Let not the dawning light be despised; it will shine more and more to the perfect day. Those who despaired of finishing the work, shall rejoice when they see Zerubbabel giving directions what to do, and taking care that the work be done. It is a comfort to us that the same all-wise, almighty Providence, which governs the earth, is in particular conversant about the church. All that have the plummet in their hands, must look up to the eyes of the Lord, have constant regard to Divine Providence, act in dependence on its guidance and submission to its disposals. Let us fix our faith on Christ, and view Him carrying on his work according to his own glorious plan, and daily bringing his spiritual building nearer to completion.
Verse 9. - Have laid the foundation. Zerubbabel had commenced the rebuilding in the second year of the return, in the second month (Ezra 3:8); it had been hindered by the opposition of the neighbouring people (Ezra 4:1-5, 24), and was not resumed till the second year of Darius. Shall finish it. The temple was finished in Darius's sixth year (Ezra 6:15). Thou shalt know, etc. The truth of the angel's mission would be proved by the event, viz. the successful issue (comp. ch. 2:9, 11; 6:15; Deuteronomy 18:22). The completion of the material temple was a pledge of the establishment of the spiritual temple, the Church of God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house,.... The temple at Jerusalem, which was laid, or however renewed, after it had been long neglected, even the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, two months before this vision and prophecy, Haggai 2:18 compared with Zechariah 1:7,
his hands shall also finish it: signified by bringing in the head or top stone, Zechariah 4:7 and so Christ our great Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of his church, which is no other than himself; and is a foundation firm and strong, sure and certain, immovable and everlasting; and his hands will finish the building of it, by bringing and laying every elect soul upon this foundation; which may be concluded from his hands being those which have laid the foundations of the heavens and the earth; uphold all things in being, and hold the reins of government; and who, as Mediator, has all the persons of his people in his hands, and all grace and glory for them: his hands also have laid the foundation of grace in the hearts of his people, and he will finish it; he, who is the author, will be the finisher of faith:
and thou shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you; this clause is not an address to Zerubbabel, as Aben Ezra and others think; but to the people of the Jews, as appears from the plural word used, at the end of it; nor are the words spoken by the prophet of himself; though the Targum paraphrases them to this sense,
"and ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me to prophesy unto you;''
that is, when they should see his prophecies accomplished, and the temple built, then they would know and acknowledge that he was a true prophet, sent of God unto them; nor is the angel designed, so often mentioned, that talked with the prophet; for he was sent, not to the Jews, but to him; but they are spoken by the Messiah, called "the Word of the Lord"; Zechariah 4:8 who, when he shall have finished the work of grace on every man's heart by his Spirit, and shall have completed the whole Gospel building, the church, by gathering in everyone of the elect; then it shall be known and owned by all, both the converted Jews and Gentiles, that he is the true Messiah, the sent of God to the forefathers of the Jews, who came to preach the Gospel to them, work miracles among them, and obtain eternal redemption for men.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. Zerubbabel … shall … finish it—(Ezr 6:15) in the sixth year of Darius' reign.
Lord … sent me unto you—(Zec 2:9). The Divine Angel announces that in what He has just spoken, He has been commissioned by God the Father.
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