Zechariah 10:4
Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.
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Zechariah 10:4. Out of him — From God, came forth — Or rather, shall come forth the corner — The prince or ruler, who is in a body politic, as a corner stone in a building; the nail — Which fastens the tents of war, or the timber together in a house; the battle-bow — All warlike provision both of men and arms. Out of him every oppressor — Officer, exactor, or collector of tribute. It was from God that Nebuchadnezzar mightily prevailed and oppressed Israel; and it was from God also that Judah grows up to such power as to be able to cope with his adversaries, and to impose tribute on them. Newcome reads, From him shall go forth every ruler together, observing, that the word which we translate oppressor is also used in a good sense Isaiah 60:17 : that is, Judah shall furnish both civil and military governors. Blayney’s interpretation of the verse is, Out of it, that is, out of the house of Judah, shall go forth a corner, the commander-in- chief; out of it a nail, the officers next in rank; the bow of battle, the archers; out of it all that draw near together; so he renders כל נוגשׁ יחרו, instead of every oppressor, or ruler, together. “In the house, or building,” says he, “the words would denote the stones of common use, placed contiguous, or close in order, one by another. Correspondently in the army must be meant, the close-imbodied phalanx, or main body of men of war, advancing on together in regular order to meet the enemy.”10:1-5 Spiritual blessings had been promised under figurative allusions to earthly plenty. Seasonable rain is a great mercy, which we may ask of God when there is most need of it, and we may look for it to come. We must in our prayers ask for mercies in their proper time. The Lord would make bright clouds, and give showers of rain. This may be an exhortation to seek the influences of the Holy Spirit, in faith and by prayer, through which the blessings held forth in the promises are obtained and enjoyed. The prophet shows the folly of making addresses to idols, as their fathers had done. The Lord visited the remnant of his flock in mercy, and was about to renew their courage and strength for conflict and victory. Every creature is to us what God makes it to be. Every one raised to support the nation, as a corner-stone does the building, or to unite those that differ, as nails join the different timbers, must come from the Lord; and those employed to overcome their enemies, must have strength and success from him. This may be applied to Christ; to him we must look to raise up persons to unite, support, and defend his people. He never will say, Seek ye me in vain.Out of him came forth - Or rather, "From him is the corner," as Jeremiah, "Their nobles shall be from themselves, and their governor shall go forth from the midst of them" Jeremiah 30:21. Her strength, though given by God, was to be inherent in her, though from her too was to come He who was to be "the head-corned-stone," the sure Foundation and Crowner of the whole building.

From thee the nail - An emblem of fixedness in itself, (as Isaiah says, "I will fasten him a nail to a sure place" Isaiah 22:23) and of security given to others dependent on Him, as Isaiah says further, "And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, from the vessels of cups to the vessels of flagons" Isaiah 22:24; all, of much or little account, the least and the greatest. Osorius: "Christ is the cornerstone; Christ is the nail fixed in the wall, whereby all vessels are supported. The word of Christ is the bow, whence the arrows rend the king's enemies."

From it every exactor shall go forth together - God had promised Zechariah 9:8 that no "oppressor," or "exactor Isaiah 14:2, shall pass through them anymore." He seems to repeat it here. "From thee shall go forth every oppressor together; go forth," not to return: as lsaiah had said, "Thy children shall make haste to return; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee" Isaiah 49:17. "From it, its cornerstone; from it, the sure nail; from it, the battle bow; from it," he no longer unites closely with it, that which should be from it, or of it, but - "from it shall go forth every oppressor together;" one and all, as we say; a confused pele-mele body, as Isaiah, "all that are found of thee are bound together" Isaiah 22:3; "together shall they all perish" Isaiah 31:3; or, in separate clauses, "they are all of them put to shame; together they shall go into confusion" Isaiah 45:16.

4. Out of him—Judah is to be no more subject to foreigners, but from itself shall come its rulers.

the corner—stone, Messiah (Isa 28:16). "Corners" simply express governors (1Sa 14:38, Margin; Isa 19:13, Margin). The Maccabees, Judah's governors and deliverers from Antiochus the oppressor, are primarily meant; but Messiah is the Antitype. Messiah supports and binds together the Church, Jews and Gentiles.

the nail—(Jud 4:21; Isa 22:23). The large peg inside an Oriental tent, on which is hung most of its valuable furniture. On Messiah hang all the glory and hope of His people.

bow—(Zec 9:13). Judah shall not need foreign soldiery. Messiah shall be her battle-bow (Ps 45:4, 5; Re 6:2).

every oppressor—rather, in a good sense, ruler, as the kindred Ethiopic term means. So "exactor," in Isa 60:17, namely, one who exacts the tribute from the nations made tributary to Judah [Ludovicus De Dieu].

Out of him, or out from him, from Judah, rather from the God of Judah,

came forth the corner, which in buildings is strength and beauty; here it is the prince or ruler, which is in a polity as a corner-stone in buildings.

Out of him the nail; from God the nail which fastens the tents of war, or fastens the timber together in a house.

The battle bow; all warlike provision both of men and arms, synecdochically expressed by bow.

Out of him every oppressor, or officer, exactor, collector of tribute. It was from God that Nebuchadnezzar mightily prevailed, and in the course of his victories oppressed Israel; and it is from God also that Judah is at last made free, grows up to such power as to be able to cope with his adversaries, to beat them, and to impose tribute on them. He sets up and pulls down as he pleaseth, Psalm 9. Out of him came forth the corner,.... Or "cornerstone"; by which is meant a king or ruler, as the Targum, Jarchi, and Kimchi; and is no other than the King Messiah, who was to come out of Judah, and did spring from that tribe, 1 Chronicles 5:2 and this is a reason why God will visit the house of Judah, or the Jews, in the latter day, because the Messiah was promised and sent unto them, salvation was of them, though they rejected him; but the Lord will have mercy on them; the Redeemer shall come to Zion in a spiritual manner, and turn away iniquity from them, and then all Israel shall be saved by him. The epithet of a "corner" stone well agrees with him, that being not only the ornament, but the strength and support of the building, which knits, cements, and keeps the whole together: Christ is a beautiful and precious cornerstone, which gives glory and lustre to the church, and is the support, yea, the foundation of it; and who joins and unites together men and angels; Jews and Gentiles; Old and New Testament saints; saints above and below; saints in all ages and places, and of all nations and denominations; and is the Head of the corner, being superior to men and angels, to the kings of the earth, and to the church of God; see Ephesians 2:20.

Out of him the nail; the Targum is, "out of him his Messiah"; which shows that this text was formerly understood of Christ by the Jews; Jarchi and Kimchi interpret it of a prince and governor; so Eliakim the governor is said to be "as a nail in a sure place", Isaiah 22:23 who was a type of Christ; and this agrees with Christ himself. The allusion is either to a nail, by which the timber in the building is compacted together, and the whole is strengthened, as the church is by Christ: or to a nail to which the cords of tents are fastened, as those of shepherds, travellers, or soldiers; the church is as such a tent; Christ is the nail to which its cords are fastened, which denotes the stability and security of it: or to a nail fixed in a wall, on which things are hung; on Christ are hung all the vessels of mercy; the covenant of grace, and all its promises and blessings; and all the glory of his Father's house, of his building, the temple, and of the salvation of his people, is to be hung on him.

Out of him the battle bow; or "warrior", as Jarchi interprets it; the Lord is a man of war; Christ makes war in righteousness; the armies of heaven follow him; he is at the head of them, and fights the battles of his people, and is victorious, and makes them more than conquerors; their spiritual armour is from him, and they are armed by him, Revelation 19:11

out of him every oppressor together: or "exactor" (n); which is used in a good sense, Isaiah 60:17 as it must be here, since all the rest of the epithets are; and may design the apostles of Christ, who preached the doctrines of grace and righteousness, and required of men the obedience of faith; and these came out of Judah and Jerusalem, and went into all the world, demanding faith in and obedience to the Son of God.

(n) "exactor", Montanus, Vatablus, Tigurine version, Junius & Tremellius, Calvin, Drusius, De Dieu, Cocceius, Burkius.

Out {f} of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every {g} oppressor together.

(f) Out of Judah will the chief governor proceed, who will be as a corner to uphold the building, and as a nail to fasten it together.

(g) Over their enemies.

4. out of him came forth] Rather, from him (Judah) shall come forth. Comp. Jeremiah 30:21. Some, however, take it to mean “from Him, Jehovah, shall proceed,” &c. Comp. Ephesians 4:11.

the corner] i.e. the corner-stone, which was the stay and ornament of the whole building. Isaiah 28:16; Ephesians 2:20.

the nail] or peg, from which, firmly fixed and stable, the furniture of the house could be suspended. Isaiah 22:23-24.

oppressor] or, ruler, as in R. V. margin, a sense which the word will bear in Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 60:17. Every ruler, civil and military, “the corner-stone,” “the nail,” “the battle-bow,” shall proceed from Judah, blessed by God, or from God, as His gift to Judah, as the need of the state requires. Calvin, however, and others would give the word its more common sense, and understand, civil rulers for the well-being of the state, “the corner,” “the nail;” military leaders, for its defence and extension, “the battle-bow;” governors to keep in subjection provinces annexed and conquered by the battle-bow, “the oppressor.”Verse 4. - The firmness and security of Judah, thus "visited," is announced in terms admitting of further application. Out of him came forth (shall come). Out of Judah, mentioned in ver. 3. Others, not so suitably, explain, "out of Jehovah," in contrast to Hosea 8:4. The succeeding figures are taken from the building and furnishing of a house. The corner. The cornerstone (Isaiah 28:16). From Judah herself shall come the prince on whom the whole edifice shall rest; i.e. primarily, she shall be independent of foreign rulers; and secondly, from Judah shall come the Messiah, "the Headstone of the corner" (Matthew 21:42; Ephesians 2:20; Hebrews 7:14). Septuagint (taking the noun as a verb), καὶ ἀπ αὐτοῦ ἐπέβλεψε, "et ex ipso respexit" (Jerome). The nail. The word (yathed) is taken for the peg that fastens the cord of a tent, for a nail used in building with timber, or a peg for hanging up arms and utensils on the walls of a house. In whichever sense we take it here, it implies one who consolidates or upholds the political constitution (Isaiah 22:23, 24). The battle bow. The people shall themselves have arms and military skill to protect them against all assailants. Oppressor; rather, ruler, as Isaiah 3:12; Isaiah 60:17. Judah shall have every leader necessary for all emergencies. Septuagint, πᾶς ὁ ἐξελαύνων ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ, "he that expelleth together;" Vulgate, omnis exactor simul. If the word be taken in the sense of these versions and the Authorized Version, the clause would mean that the Israelites shall subjugate their enemies, and oppress them, and exact tribute from them. The word (noges) usually means "taskmaster." The prophet explains these words in Haggai 2:15-19 by representing the failure of the crops, and the curse that has hitherto prevailed, as a punishment from God for having been wanting in faithfulness to the Lord (Haggai 2:15-17), and promises that from that time forward the blessing of God shall rest upon them again (Haggai 2:18, Haggai 2:19). Haggai 2:15. "And now, direct your heart from this day and onward, before stone was laid to stone at the temple of Jehovah. Haggai 2:16. Before this was, did one come to the heap of sheaves of twenty-(in measure), there were ten: did he come to the vat to draw fifty buckets, there were twenty. Haggai 2:17. I have smitten you with blasting, and with mildew, and with hail, all the work of your hands; and not one of you (turned) to me, is the saying of Jehovah." The object to which they are to direct their heart, i.e., to give heed, is not to be supplied from Haggai 1:5, Haggai 1:7, "to your ways" (Ros. and others), but is contained substantially in Haggai 2:16 and Haggai 2:17, and is first of all indicated in the words "from this day," etc. They are to notice what has taken place from this day onwards. נמעלה, lit., upwards, then further on. Here it is used not in the sense of forwards into the future, but, as the explanatory clause which follows (from before, etc.) clearly shows, in that of backwards into the past. Mitterem, literally "from the not yet of the laying ... onwards," i.e., onwards from the time when stone was laid upon stone at the temple; in other words, when the building of the temple was resumed, backwards into the past; in reality, therefore, the time before the resuming of the building of the temple: for min and mitterem cannot be taken in any other sense than in the parallel מיּום which precedes it, and מהיותם which follows in Haggai 2:16. The objection which Koehler raises to this cannot be sustained. מהיותם, from their existence (backwards). Most of the modern commentators take the suffix as referring to a noun, yâmı̄m (days), to be supplied from Haggai 2:15; but it appears much simpler to take it as a neuter, as Mark and others do, in the sense of "before these things were or were done, viz., this day, and this work of laying stone upon stone," etc. The meaning is not doubtful, viz., looking backwards from the time when the building of the temple was resumed, in other words, before the point of time. בּא commences a new sentence, in which facts that they had experienced are cited, the verb בּא being used conditionally, and forming the protasis, the apodosis to which is given in והיתה. If one came to a heap of sheaves of twenty measures (se'âh is probably to be supplied: lxx σάτα), they became ten. A heap of sheaves (‛ărēmâh as in Ruth 3:7), from which they promised themselves twenty measures, yielded, when threshed, no more than ten, i.e., only the half of what they expected. They experienced just the same at the pressing of the grapes. Instead of fifty buckets, which they expected, they obtained only twenty. Yeqebh was the vat into which the juice flowed when pressed out of the grapes. Châsaph, lit., to lay bare, here to draw out, as in Isaiah 30:14; and pūrâh, in Isaiah 63:3, the pressing-trough, here a measure, probably the measure which was generally obtained from one filling of the wine-press with grapes (lxx μετρητής). Haggai 2:17 gives the reason why so small a result was yielded by the threshing-floor and wine-press. Jehovah smote you with blasting and mildew. These words are a reminiscence of Amos 4:9, to which passage the last words of the verse also refer. To the disease of the corn there is also added the hail which smote the vines, as in Psalm 78:47. 'Eth kol-ma‛ăsēh, all the labour of the hands, i.e., all that they had cultivated with great toil, is a second accusative, "which mentions the portion smitten" (Hitzig). The perfectly unusual construction אין־אתכם אלי does not stand for אין בּכם א, non fuit in vobis qui (Vulg.), nor is אתכם used for אתּכם, "with you;" but אין־אתכם either stands for אינכם, the suffix which was taken as a verbal suffix used as an accusative being resolved into the accusative (cf. Ewald, 262, d); or it is the accusative used in the place of the subject, that is to say, את is to be taken in the sense of "as regards," quoad (Ewald, 277, p. 683): "as far as you are concerned, there was not (one) turning himself to me." אלי, to me, sc. turning himself or being converted; though there is no necessity to supply שׁבים, as the idea is implied in the word אל, as in Hosea 3:3 and 2 Kings 6:11.
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