|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:9-15 Some Jews from Babylon brought an offering to the house of God. Those who cannot forward a good work by their persons, must, as they are able, forward it by their purses: if some find hands, let others fill them. Crowns are to be made, and put upon the head of Joshua. The sign was used, to make the promise more noticed, that God will, in the fulness of time, raise up a great High Priest, like Joshua, who is but the figure of one that is to come. Christ is not only the Foundation, but the Founder of this temple, by his Spirit and grace. Glory is a burden, but not too heavy for Him to bear who upholds all things. The cross was His glory, and he bore that; so is the crown an exceeding weight of glory, and he bears that. The counsel of peace should be between the priest and the throne, between the priestly and kingly offices of Jesus Christ. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, and of all believers, shall be wrought, though not by two several persons, yet by two several offices meeting in one; Christ, purchasing all peace by his priesthood, maintaining and defending it by his kingdom. The crowns used in this solemnity must be kept in the temple, as evidence of this promise of the Messiah. Let us not think of separating what God has joined in his counsel of peace. We cannot come to God by Christ as our Priest, if we refuse to have him rule over us as our King. We have no real ground to think our peace is made with God, unless we try to keep his commandments.
Verse 11. - Silver and gold. That which had been brought from Babylon. However unwilling the Jews were to let the Samaritans take part in the good work, they were quite ready to receive contributions from their brethren in the dispersion, and likewise from heathen kings and princes (see Ezra 6:8, etc.; Ezra 7:15, etc.). Make crowns. The prophet was to get the crowns made (comp. Exodus 25, passim). The plural may here be used intensively for "a noble crown," as in Job 31:36; or it may signify the two metals of which the crown was made, two or more wreaths being intertwined to form it. It is certain that only one crown was to be made, and that that was to be placed on Joshua's head. There is no mention of Zerubbabel in the passage; so the plural cannot be taken to intimate that there was a crown for the high priest and a crown for the princely ruler, as Ewald and Bunsen assert. These critics, followed by Hitzig and Wellhausen, supply the passage thus: "on the head of Zerubbabel and on the head of Joshua." Zerubbabel had no kingly position. Rather, all mention of Zerubbabel is expressly excluded, in order to denote that in the Person of him whom Joshua symbolized, the offices of priest and king were united (Psalm 110). We may note that in Revelation 19:12 Christ is said to have on his head many crowns, by which is meant a diadem composed of many circlets. The high priest's mitre is never called a crown. That which was placed on Joshua's head was a royal crown, a token of royal dignity, not his own, but his whom he represented - Christ the eternal Priest, the universal King.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then take silver and gold, &c. Which the Jewish writers suppose were brought by the above men from their brethren in Babylon, as a free will offering towards the building of the temple:
and make crowns; two at least, one of silver, and another of gold; the one to be put upon the head of Joshua the high priest; the other upon the head of Zerubbabel, as Kimchi conjectures; though, according to the text, they seem to be both, or all of them, be they as many as they will, to be put upon the head of Joshua; and may signify the different states of the priesthood in the present time, and when in its pristine glory; or that both the crown of the priesthood and the crown of the kingdom should meet in his antitype Christ, who is said to have on his head many crowns, Revelation 19:12. The Targum renders it, "thou shalt make a great crown"; as if only one crown was to be made of gold and silver mixed together; and so the Arabic version renders it; but more are certainly meant, for it follows:
and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech the high priest; on whose head a fair mitre was set; see Zechariah 3:5 and with the mitre was wore by the high priest the holy crown, made of pure gold; and which was no other than the plate or "flower" of gold, on which was engraved "Holiness to the Lord", Exodus 28:36 and this, according to the Jewish writers (b), was a plate of gold two fingers broad, and reached from ear to ear; though Josephus (c) seems to give a different account of it; he says,
"the golden crown surrounds (either the mitre, or perhaps rather the forehead or temples); and on it were three rows of cups or flowers, like those of the herb we call "saccharus"; and the Grecian botanists "hyosciamus";''
or henbane; and after describing the herb, and the figure of the buds, cups, or flowers of it, he adds,
"like to these is made a crown reaching from the hinder part of the head unto both temples; for the flowers do not encompass the forehead; but there is a golden plate, which has the name of God engraved in sacred letters;''
which seems to disagree with the accounts of other Jewish writers; unless, as Braunius (d) observes, they may be thus reconciled, that the crown was nothing else but the plate that was two fingers broad, and was in length from ear to ear; so that about the temples it was ornamented with three rows of henbane flowers on each side: and these three rows may give occasion for the use of the word in the plural number; and some have called it a triple crown (e); and Popish writers fail not to improve it in favour of the crown their pontiff wears; and Lyra (f) speaks of little crowns or coronets, even in the mitres of the common priests; which (he says) were circles in the lower part of them so called; wherefore the rows of flowers in the high priest's crown, from whence it might be called a flower, might with more propriety bear that name. Philo the Jew (g), speaking of the golden plate, says it was like a crown engraven with four letters of the name (Jehovah); and further observes, that
"the mitre under it kept the plate from touching the head, on which the "cidaris" or diadem was put; for it was like the cidaris which the eastern kings used for a diadem:''
and indeed this crown, and the three rows of flowers in it, were a hieroglyphic or emblem of the threefold office of Christ, whom the high priest represented, kingly, priestly, and prophetic; and so may be fitly signified here by crowns in the plural number; and it is usual with the Jewish writers to speak of three crowns, the crown of the law, the crown of the kingdom, and the crown of the priesthood (h); and very probably from the high priest among the Jews wearing crowns it was that the priests among the Heathens had the same ornaments on their heads; and to be crowned was with them the same as to exercise the office of priesthood (i), and who was an eminent type of the Messiah, and in this of having crowns put upon his head, as the following words show.
(b) Maimon. Cele Hamikdash, c. 9. sect. 1. Jarchi in Exodus 28.36. (c) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 7. sect. 7. (d) De Vestitu Sacerdot. Hebr. l. 2. c. 28. sect. 18. p. 807. (e) Fortunatus Scacchus in Myrothec. l. 3. c. 40. p. 1000. Solerius de Pileo, sect. 13. p. 266. (f) In Exodus 39.27. (g) De Vita Mosis, l. 3. p. 670, 671. (h) Pirke Abot, c. 4. sect. 13. (i) Paschalius de Coronis, l. 4. c. 13.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. The high priest wore a crown above the miter (Zec 3:5; Le 8:9). Messiah shall wear many crowns, one surmounting the other (Re 19:12). It was a thing before unknown in the Levitical priesthood that the same person should wear at once the crown of a king and that of a high priest (Ps 110:4; Heb 5:10). Messiah shall be revealed fully in this twofold dignity when He shall "restore the kingdom to Israel" (Ac 1:6).
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