Zechariah 12:6
In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
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Zechariah 12:6. In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire, &c. — The word may be rendered, a pot. The Arabs, according to Harmer, (vol. 1. p. 233,) make a fire in a great stone pitcher, and when it is heated, spread paste upon it, which is baked almost in an instant. By a hearth of fire, however, here may be meant, a firebrand taken from the hearth, which, though small, will set other things on fire, and even whole cities. This is thought by some to be a very apt resemblance of the mischief done by the small forces of the Jews, under Judas Maccabæus, to the armies of Antiochus. It may, however, be a resemblance equally, and even more apt, of the destruction made of Gog and Magog, in the latter days, by the Jews restored to their own land. And they shall devour all the people round about — They shall destroy all the enemies that annoy them; on the right hand and on the left — That is, on the south and on the north: see note on Ezekiel 16:46. The Targum explains the right hand, and the left, of the south and the north. And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place — Shall be situated and inhabited on the very spot where she formerly stood: see note on Zechariah 14:10.

12:1-8 Here is a Divine prediction, which will be a heavy burden to all the enemies of the church. But it is for Israel; for their comfort and benefit. It is promised that God will make foolish the counsels, and weaken the courage of the enemies of the church. The exact meaning is not clear; but God often begins by calling the poor and despised; and in that day even the feeblest will resemble David, and be as eminent in courage and every thing good. Desirable indeed is it that the examples and labours of Christians should render them as fire among wood, as a torch in a sheaf, to kindle the flame of Divine love, to spread religion on the right hand and on the left.I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth - or "cauldron" of fire large, broad, deep, and full of fire, among the wood which is prepared for burning, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf The fire could not kindle the wood or the sheaf, of itself, unless applied to it. All is of the agency of God: "I will make."

Ribera: "He foretells the increase of the Church, which by such persecutions shall not be diminished, but shall be marvelously increased. The preachers of the Church shall raise up all the peoples round about, shall destroy all unbelief, and shall kindle the hearts of hearers with the fire of the divine word." "On the right hand and on the left." Ribera: "He indicates the strength and success of the preachers, whom no one can resist nor hinder," as our Lord says, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" Luke 21:15.

And Jerusalem shall again - Rather, "yet, be inhabited." "Yet" is a sort of burden in Zechariah's prophecies . Osorius: "They at once burned up by the flame all the defilement of vices, and kindled the minds of people with the torch of divine love; at once consumed the enemy and cast a heavenly fire into the human heart: 'yet;' in despite of all appearances, of all which is against her. 'She shall yet dwell in her own place in Jerusalem;' for, however the waves of this world chafe and lash themselves into foam against her, they break themselves, not her; as soon as they have reached their utmost height, they fall back; if they toss themselves, and, for a moment, hide her light, they fall down at all sides, and the ray shines out, steady as before; for she is 'founded on a rock,' against which 'the gates of hell' should not 'prevail' Matthew 16:18.

6. On "governors of Judah," see on [1190]Zec 9:7.

hearth—or pan.

torch … in a sheaf—Though small, it shall consume the many foes around. One prophet supplements the other. Thus Isa 29:1-24; Joe 3:1-21; Zec 12:1-14:21, describe more Antichrist's army than himself. Daniel represents him as a horn growing out of the fourth beast or fourth kingdom; St. John, as a separate beast having an individual existence. Daniel dwells on his worldly conquests as a king; St. John, more on his spiritual tyranny, whence he adds a second beast, the false prophet coming in a semblance of spirituality. What is briefly described by one is more fully prophesied by the other [Roos].

The governors: see Zechariah 12:5.

Like a hearth of fire; a hearth on which fire is thoroughly kindled.

Among the wood; the more is laid on, the more is consumed and burnt up: so the enemies of Judah and Jerusalem shall be, their multitudes shall no more save themselves than much wood cast on a great fire in the hearth can preserve itself.

Like a torch of fire in a sheaf; which immediately sets the whole sheaf on fire, and it is consumed.

They shall devour, & c.; the governors of Judah with their handful of men shall thus surely and speedily consume their enemies which set upon them.

Jerusalem shall be inhabited again; as indeed it was, and continued so till Christ’s death, and forty years after; for of these times doth the prophet speak, and not of times still to come.

In her own place; not built as Nineveh, Tyre, Babylon, or Rome, in some place near to the old cities of that name, but in the very same place where old Jerusalem did, shall re-edified Jerusalem again stand.

Even in Jerusalem; so you shall find Jerusalem in Jerusalem; or thus, spiritual Jerusalem shall be that Jerusalem in which you ought to look, and where you shall find the old typical Jerusalem, which though it lie waste, and I fear must never be built, yet is in more ample manner built up in the church, spiritual Jerusalem.

In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood,.... As a large hearth of fire, with wood all about it, devours and consumes it; so shall the governors of Judah be to the nations that shall come up against Jerusalem. The Targum renders it,

"as a garment of fire among wood:''

and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; of wheat, which presently destroys it; see Obadiah 1:18,

and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left; on the south and on the north, as the Targum interprets it. The phrase denotes the utter destruction of the people on all sides:

and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem; upon that very spot of ground which was formerly called Jerusalem shall the city be built again, and inhabited; and shall continue, notwithstanding the attempts of all the nations of the earth to destroy it; see Jeremiah 30:18.

In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
6. a hearth] Rather, pan. The word is used in 1 Samuel 2:14 of a “pan,” or cooking vessel. Elsewhere it is a bason or laver, Exodus 30:18; Exodus 30:28; 1 Kings 7:38; and once a pulpit or platform, 2 Chronicles 6:13. Here the figure would seem to be of a chafing-pan full of fire set among wood or faggots.

in a sheaf] among sheaves, R. V.

Verse 6. - A hearth; literally, a pan. The victory should be easy and complete. The chieftains of Judah shall be like a chafing dish full of fire set among dry faggots (comp. Obadiah 1:18; Nahum 1:10). In a sheaf; among sheaves. Jerusalem shall be inhabited again; rather, Jerusalem shall yet again dwell. Jerusalem is personified as a female. In spite of all the attacks of the enemy, who tried to destroy and remove her, she shall remain firm and unshaken in her own place. In Jerusalem, the centre of the theocracy where God has set her. So against the Church the gates of hell shall not prevail, and the persecutions which she suffers increase her stability and add to her numbers. Zechariah 12:6Zechariah 12:5. "And the princes of Judah will say in their hearts, The inhabitants of Jerusalem are strength to me, in Jehovah of hosts their God. Zechariah 12:6. On that day will I make the princes of Judah as a basin of fire under logs of wood, and like a torch of fire under sheaves; and they will devour all nations round about, on the right and on the left; and Jerusalem will dwell still further in its place, at Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:7. And Jehovah will save the tents of Judah first, that the splendour of the house of David and the splendour of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not lift itself up over Judah." The princes of Judah are mentioned as the leaders of the people in war. What they say is the conviction of the whole nation ('allūph, as in Zechariah 9:7). אמצה (in this form ἁπ. λεγ.) is a substantive equals אמץ, strength (Job 17:9). The singular lı̄ (to me) expresses the fact that every individual says or thinks this, as with the expression "should I weep" in Zechariah 7:3. The princes of Judah recognise in the inhabitants of Jerusalem their strength or might, not in this sense, that Judah, being crowded together before Jerusalem, expects help against the foe from the strength of the city and the assistance of its inhabitants, as Hofmann and Koehler maintain, for "their whole account of the inhabitants of the land being shut up in the city (or crowded together before the walls of Jerusalem, and covered by them) is a pure invention" (Koehler), and has no foundation in the text; but in this sense, that the inhabitants of Jerusalem are strong through Jehovah their God, i.e., through the fact that Jehovah has chosen Jerusalem, and by virtue of this election will save the city of His sanctuary (compare Zechariah 10:12 with Zechariah 3:2; Zechariah 1:17; Zechariah 2:12). Because the princes of Judah put their trust in the divine election of Jerusalem, the Lord makes them into a basin of fire under logs of wood, and a burning torch under sheaves, so that they destroy all nations round about like flames of fire, and Jerusalem therefore remains unconquered and undestroyed in its place at Jerusalem. In this last sentence Jerusalem is first of all the population personified as a woman, and in the second instance the city as such. From the fact that Jerusalem is still preserved, in consequence of the destruction of the enemy proceeding from the princes of Judah it is very evident that the princes of Judah are the representatives of the whole nation, and that the whole of the covenant nation (Judah with Jerusalem) is included in the house of Judah in Zechariah 12:4. And Zechariah 12:7 may easily be reconciled with this. The statement that the Lord will "save the tents of Judah first, that the splendour of the house of David may not lift itself up above Judah," contains the simple thought that the salvation will take place in such a manner that no part of the nation will have any occasion to lift itself up above another, and that because the salvation is effected not by human power, but by the omnipotence of God alone. "The tents of Judah, i.e., its huts, form an antithesis to the splendid buildings of the capital, and probably (?) also point to the defenceless condition of Judah, through which it was absolutely cast upon the help of God"

(Note: Calvin observes: "In my opinion, the prophet applies the term 'tents' to huts which cannot protect their guests or inhabitants. We have thus a tacit contrast between huts and fortified cities.")

(Hengstenberg). תּפארת, the splendour or glory, not the boasting. The house of David is the royal line, which was continued in Zerubbabel and his family, and culminated in Christ. Its splendour consists in the glorification promised in Zechariah 4:6-10 and Zechariah 4:14, and Haggai 2:23; and the splendour of the inhabitants of Jerusalem is the promises which this city received through its election to be the city of God, in which Jehovah would be enthroned in His sanctuary, and also through the future glorification predicted for it in consequence (Zechariah 1:16-17; Zechariah 2:8, Zechariah 2:12, ff.). The antithesis between Jerusalem and the house of David on the one hand, and the tents of Judah on the other, does not serve to express the thought that "the strong ones will be saved by the weak, in order that the true equilibrium may arise between the two" (Hengst.), for Judah cannot represent the weak ones if its princes consume the enemy like flames of fire; but the thought is simply this: At the deliverance from the attack of the foe, Jerusalem will have no pre-eminence over Judah; but the promises which Jerusalem and the house of David have received will benefit Judah, i.e., the whole of the covenant nation, in like manner. This thought is expressed in the following way: The defenceless land will be delivered sooner than the well-defended capital, that the latter may not lift itself up above the former, but that both may humbly acknowledge "that the victory in both cases is the Lord's" (Jerome); for, according to Zechariah 12:8, Jerusalem will enjoy in the fullest measure the salvation of God.

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