Zechariah 12:8
In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
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Zechariah 12:8-9. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem — Not only Jerusalem itself from being taken and destroyed, but all the inhabitants of it from being in any way injured: he will not only be a wall of fire about the city to fortify it, but he will compass particular persons with his favour as with a shield. The mystical Jerusalem, the Christian Church, and particularly that of the converted Jews, seems to be chiefly intended. And he that is feeble among them shall be as David — The feeblest among them shall be men of war, bold and brave, skilful and strong: shall enterprise and accomplish great things, as David did, and become as serviceable to Jerusalem in guarding it as David himself was in founding and enlarging it, and as formidable as he was to the enemies of it. Observe, reader, God helps and defends his church and people by giving them courage and strength to defend and help themselves. He enables them to do their part, and then he is not wanting to do his. And the house of David shall be as God — Or, as angels, as the word אלהים, Elohim, is rendered, Psalm 8:3. As the angel of the Lord before them — Or, at the head of them; as that angel (so some interpret it) which went before the people of Israel through the wilderness, Exodus 23:20. God will increase the gifts and abilities, both of the people and princes, in proportion to the respective services for which they are designed. It was said of David, that he was as an angel of God, to discern good and bad, 2 Samuel 14:17; such shall now the house of David be. But this was to have its full accomplishment in Christ: now the house of David looked little and mean, and its glory was eclipsed, but in Christ the house of David was to shine more bright than ever. In him it was to become more blessed, and more a blessing than ever it had been. And l will seek to destroy all the nations, &c. — See notes on Zechariah 12:3-6.

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.In that day the Lord shall defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble, rather, he theft stumbleth among them, shall be as David - The result of the care and the defense of God is here wholly spiritual, "the strengthening of such as do stand, and the raising up of such as fall." It is not simply one feeble, but one "stumbling" and ready to fall, who becomes as David, the great instance of one who fell, yet was raised. Daniel says of a like trial-time, "And some of those of understanding shall stumble, to try them and to purge and to make them white, to the time of the end" Daniel 11:35. Ribera: "Such care will God have of protecting the sons of the Church, when it shall be infested with persecutions, that he who shall have fallen through human infirmity, either deceived by heretics or overcome by fear of tortures, shall arise the more fervent and cautious, and with many tears shall make amends for his sins to God, as did David. "He who stumbled shall be as David," because the sinner returneth' to repentance. This is not said of all times, nor of all (for many have stumbled, who never rose) but chiefly of the first times of the Church and of people of great sanctity, such as were many then."

And the house of David shall be as God - They who stumbled became really like David; but he, though mighty and a great saint of God, though he once fell, was man. How then could the house of David be really like God? Only fully in Him, who, "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God" Philippians 2:6; who said, "He who hath seen Me, hath seen My Father also" John 14:9; "I and the Father are one" John 10:30. And this the prophet brings out by adding, "as the Angel of the Lord before them," that is, that one Angel of the Lord, in whom His very Presence and His Name was; who went before them, to guide them (see "Daniel the prophet" pp. 519-523). Else, having said, "like God," it had been to lessen what he had just said, to add, "like the Angel of the Lord." Our Lord prayed for those who are truly His, "As Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they may be one in Us; that they may be one as We are one, I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfect in one" John 17:21-23; and Paul saith, "Christ is formed in us" Galatians 4:19; "Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith" Ephesians 3:17; "Christ liveth in me" Galatians 2:20; "Christ is in you" Romans 8:10; "Christ is our life" Colossians 3:4; "Christ is all and in all" Colossians 3:11; "we grow into Him which is the Head, even Christ" Ephesians 4:15; "we are in Christ" Romans 16:7; 2 Corinthians 5:17; Galatians 1:22; and Peter, we are "partakers of the divine nature" 2 Peter 1:4; and John, "As He is, so are we in this world" 1 John 4:17. Then in a degree the glory of Christ passeth over to those who dwell in Him, and in whom He dwells by the Spirit, as Paul says; "Ye received me, as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus" Galatians 4:14.

8. Jerusalem, however, also shall be specially strengthened against the foe.

feeble … shall be as David—to the Jew, the highest type of strength and glory on earth (2Sa 17:8; 18:3; Joe 3:10).

angel of the Lord before them—the divine angel that went "before them" through the desert, the highest type of strength and glory in heaven (Ex 23:20; 32:34). "The house of David" is the "prince," and his family sprung from David (Eze 45:7, 9). David's house was then in a comparatively weak state.

In that day: see Zechariah 12:3.

Shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: as he had defended and saved Judah, anti the tents thereof, so will he also defend Jerusalem and its inhabitants against all their enemies, during the Persian, Grecian, and beginnings of the Roman empire, during which days many wars were raised against the Jews; but most visible was this, when the Maccabees succeeded so far, as to restore religion, and cleanse the temple.

He that is feeble, reeleth through weakness,

shall be as David: a mighty man of valour was David; so these, through faith, of weak became strong, as Hebrews 11:34.

The house of David shall be as God; those of the royal line shall be, for prudence and prowess in the conduct of the armies of Israel, most excellent, expressed here in a hyperbole.

As God; or, as angels, so Elohim is translated Psalm 8:3; and so I find the French reads it, cornme des anges. Nay, like the Angel of the Lord, which is head of principalities; like Christ, who is Captain of our salvation. In these exploits and in this deliverance of the church they were types, and so must have somewhat in them which may be sufficient to resemble them to him.

Before them: these excellent ones of the royal line were to be leaders and commanders in these wars, and in their conduct they should show prudence and valour like that of an angel, rather than that of an ordinary man.

In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem,.... As with a shield against their enemies; and such is the Lord to all his people; he is their shield to protect them; he keeps and guards them by his power; he encompasses them about with his favour, as with a shield; and gives unto them the shield of salvation; all which will eminently appear to be the case of the Jews at this time:

and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; they that have the most fearful hearts, and feeble minds, shall be as courageous, as valiant, and as victorious as David; and they that are the weakest, in a spiritual sense, in the grace and in the doctrine of faith, and in that part of it, respecting the use of things indifferent, who are ready to be "offended, stumble, and fall" (d); for the spiritual reign, which will at this time take place, will not be a state of perfection; even those will be like David, beloved of the Lord, kings as well as priests unto God, and as strong in faith as he:

and the house of David shall be as God; the stronger sort of believers among them, such as are strong in the Lord, in the grace of faith, and in the doctrines of the Gospel; they shall have much of God with them, great grace upon them, and be like unto him in goodness, truth, and holiness: or they shall be like "Elohim", the angels, as this word is rendered, Psalm 8:5 for knowledge, purity, and readiness to do the will of God; and it follows:

as the Angel of the Lord before them; that is, as Christ, who is the Angel of the covenant, and of the divine Presence; and in whom the name of the Lord is; who is at the head of his people, and goes before them, as their Leader and Commander, and the Captain of salvation, Micah 2:13 whose image they bear, and into which they are changed from glory to glory by the spirit of God; and which will now be very clearly discerned upon the saints in the latter day glory. Kimchi and Ben Melech, by "the house of David", understand the King Messiah (e), who was to be of the seed of David; and so does Cocceius, who takes the "as" to be a note, not of similitude, but of truth, he being truly God, and the Angel of Jehovah. The Targum is,

"the house of David shall be like great men or princes that shall prosper, as the Angel of God before them.''

(d) "lapsabundus, ad lapsum propensus, proprie qui facile offendit", Drusius; "corruens", Montanus; "collapsus", Burkius. (e) R. Isaac Chizzuk Emunah, par. 1. c. 36. p. 307.

In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
8. he that is feeble … as David] But this foremost action on the part of Judah shall not argue any pusillanimity on the part of the inhabitants of Jerusalem. To them too shall the protection of Jehovah extend. Even the weak among them (comp. 1 Samuel 2:4, where the word here rendered “feeble” is put in contrast to a hero or mighty man) shall be valiant as David.

the house of David] While the inhabitants of Jerusalem at large shall be thus strengthened and ennobled, the royal house (comp. Isaiah 7:13) shall maintain its supremacy.

as the angel, &c.] Comp. Exodus 14:19; Exodus 23:20; Acts 7:38.

Verse 8. - He that is feeble (literally, that stumbleth) among them ... shall be as David. God shall endue the inhabitants of Jerusalem with marvellous strength and courage, so that the weakest among them shall be a hero such as David, who killed the lion and bear and overcame the giant (comp. Psalm 18:32). The house of David shall be as God (Elohim). The chiefs of the theocracy shall be endowed with supernatural might, the expression, "as God," being explained in the next clause. Septuagint, ὡς οϊκος Θεοῦ, "as the house of God," as if it were of the heavenly family. The translators seem to have thought the genuine expression too unqualified. As the angel of the Lord before them. Even as the angel of the Lord, who led the Israelites in all their wanderings (comp. Exodus 14:19; Exodus 23:20; Exodus 32:34; Joshua 5:13). We see in this description an intimation of the graces and endowments bestowed upon every faithful member of the Church of Christ. Zechariah 12:8Zechariah 12:8. "On that day Jehovah will shelter the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that stumbleth among them will be as David on that day; and the house of David as God, as the angel of Jehovah before them. Zechariah 12:9. And it will come to pass on that day, I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem." In the conflict with the heathen nations, the Lord will endow the inhabitants of Jerusalem with marvellous strength with which to overcome all their foes. The population of Jerusalem is divided into two classes, the weak and the strong. The weak are designated as hannikhshâl, the stumbling one, who cannot stand firmly upon his feet (1 Samuel 2:4). These are to become like David, the bravest hero of Israel (cf. 1 Samuel 17:34., 2 Samuel 17:8). The strong ones, designated as the house, i.e., the household or family of David, are to be like Elohim, i.e., not angels, but God, the Deity, i.e., a superhuman being (cf. Psalm 8:6), yea, like the angel of Jehovah, who goes before Israel (לפניהם), or the revealer of the invisible God, who is essentially the equal of Jehovah (see at Zechariah 1:8). The point of comparison lies in the power and strength, not in moral resemblance to God, as Kliefoth supposes, who takes Elohim as equivalent to Jehovah, and identifies it with the angel of Jehovah, as some of the earlier commentators have done, and places the graduation of Elohim into the angel of Jehovah in the appearance of God in human form, in which case, however, לפניהם has no meaning. This shows rather that the "angel of Jehovah" is simply referred to here in connection with his appearance in the history of Israel, when he went at the head of Israel and smote the Egyptians and all the enemies of Israel (Exodus 23:20.; Joshua 5:13.). This is evident from the antithesis in Zechariah 12:9. Whilst Jehovah endows the inhabitants of Jerusalem with supernatural strength, He will seek to destroy all the nations which attack Jerusalem. Biqqēsh, followed by an infinitive with Lamed, to strive after anything, as in Zechariah 6:7. בּוא על applied to the advance of the enemy against a city ( equals עלה על, Isaiah 7:1).
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