Zechariah 14:10
All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate to the place of the first gate, to the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Zechariah 14:10-11. All the land — The whole land of Judea, a type of the whole earth, the seat of the universal church, filled with the knowledge of God, and abounding with multitudes of converts: shall be turned as a plain — All high, uneven places, all rocky and barren grounds, shall be changed into fruitful vineyards. So the church of Christ shall be fruitful, humble, and lovely. From Geba — The north boundary of the land; to Rimmon — The south boundary. And it — That is, Jerusalem; shall be lifted up — Raised out of the dust, to which its enemies had brought it, through God’s permission. Jerusalem, taken mystically, is the church of Christ in gospel days; and by the repair of all parts of this Jerusalem, as here described, is shadowed out the complete building of the church on all sides, north, south, east, west. From Benjamin’s gate — That is, this gate was probably to the north of Jerusalem; unto the place of the first gate — Or, as Newcome reads it, the former gate, supposed to be that called the old gate, Nehemiah 3:6; Nehemiah 12:39, placed by Lightfoot toward the south- west. Unto the corner-gate — See 2 Kings 14:13. And from the tower of Hananeel — Placed by Cocceius eastward; who observes, that the tower and corner-gate seem mentioned as two extremities of the city. Unto the king’s wine-presses — Near the king’s garden southward. So Cocceius. “These points are given, no doubt, to signify that Jerusalem shall again occupy as much space as ever it did in its most flourishing times. The same intention appears Jeremiah 31:38-40. Both these places may derive some illustration from comparing them together, and at the same time inspecting the plan of Jerusalem in the Ancient Universal History, vol. 1. b. 1., which seems to have been laid down pretty accurately, according to the circuit of the walls made by the two companies, Nehemiah 12:40, and the information collected from other parts of Scripture.” — Blayney. And men shall dwell in it — Many, for number; eminent, for worth. And there shall be no more utter destruction — They that dwell in it shall dwell securely, and there shall be none to make them afraid. There may be afflictions, but there shall be no more of that utter destruction that formerly laid both town and country waste. There shall be no more curse, as the latter part of the sentence may be translated. In the new state of things, here foretold, the curse which sin brought into the world shall be, at least in a great measure, if not entirely, removed. Similar words, recorded Revelation 22:3, seem to be taken from this place. But Jerusalem shall safely be inhabited — A promise often repeated by the prophets. See Jeremiah 23:6, and the note there.14:8-15 Some consider that the progress of the gospel, beginning from Jerusalem, is referred to by the living waters flowing from that city. Neither shall the gospel and means of grace, nor the graces of the Spirit wrought in the hearts of believers by those means, ever fail, by reason either of the heat of persecution, or storms of temptation, or the blasts of any other affliction. Tremendous judgments appear to be foretold, to be sent upon those who should oppose the settlement of the Jews in their own land. How far they are to be understood literally, events alone can determine. The furious rage and malice which stir up men against each other, are faint shadows of the enmity which reigns among those who have perished in their sins. Even the inferior creatures often suffer for the sin of man, and in his plagues. Thus God will show his displeasure against sin.All the land shall be turned as a plain from Rimmon to Gebah - Kimchi: "All the land, which is round about Jerusalem, which is now mountains, as is said, "The mountains are round about Jerusalem" Psalm 125:2, shall be level as a plain, but Jerusalem itself shall be exalted, and high above all the earth." The dignity of the Church, as "a city set upon a hill, which cannot be hid" Matthew 5:14, is symbolized here by the sinking of all around and its own uprising; as in Micah and Isaiah, "The mountain of the Lord's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills" Isaiah 2:2; Micah 4:1. Gebah, literally, hill," now, "Jeva," was a frontier-garrison, held once by the Philistines 1 Samuel 14:5, and fortified by Asa 1 Kings 15:22, in the northern boundary of Benjamin , together with Michmash (1 Sam. c. cit.) (now Mukhmas), commanding an important pass, by which Jerusalem was approached Isaiah 10:28-29. "Rimmon, south of Jerusalem" is mentioned in Joshua among the southern towns of Judah Joshua 15:32, given to Simeon Joshua 19:7; 1 Chronicles 4:32. Both survived the Captivity . They mark then the north and south of the kingdom of Judah, a long mountain chain, which is pictured as sinking down into a plain, that Jerusalem alone might be exalted.

From Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate - Benjamin's gate must obviously be a gate to the north, and doubtless the same as "the gate of Ephraim" , the way to Ephraim lying through Benjamin. This too has probably reference to the prophecy of Jeremiah, that "the city shall be built to the Lord from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner" Jeremiah 31:38. "Jehoash, king of Israel, broke down the wall of Jerusalem from the gate of Ephraim to the corner-gate, four hundred cubits" 2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 25:23, after the war with Amaziah. Zechariah seems to speak of Jerusalem, as it existed in his time. For the tower of Hananeel Nehemiah 3:1 still existed; the "first gate" was probably destroyed, since he speaks not of it, but of its "place;" the gate of Benjamin and the corner-gate probably still existed, since Nehemiah Neh 3:1, Nehemiah 3:3, Nehemiah 3:6, Nehemiah 3:13-15 mentions the building of the sheep-gate, the fish-gate, the old gate, or gate of the old city, the valley-gate, the dung-gate, the gate of the fountain; but not these.

10. turned—or, "changed round about": literally, "to make a circuit." The whole hilly land round Jerusalem, which would prevent the free passage of the living waters, shall be changed so as to be "as a (or the) plain" (Isa 40:4).

from Geba to Rimmon—Geba (2Ki 23:8) in Benjamin, the north border of Judah. Rimmon, in Simeon (Jos 15:32), the south border of Judah; not the Rimmon northeast of Michmash. "The plain from Geba to Rimmon" (that is, from one boundary to the other) is the Arabah or plain of the Jordan, extending from the Sea of Tiberias to the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea.

it shall be lifted up—namely, Jerusalem shall be exalted, the hills all round being lowered (Mic 4:1).

inhabited in her place—(Zec 12:6).

from Benjamin's gate—leading to the territory of Benjamin. The same as Ephraim's gate, the north boundary of the city (2Ki 14:13).

the first gate—west of the city [Grotius]. "The place of," &c. implies that the gate itself was then not in existence. "The old gate" (Ne 3:6).

the corner gate—east of the city [Grotius]. Or the "corner" joining the north and west parts of the wall [Villalpandus]. Grotius thinks "corners" refers to the towers there built (compare Zep 3:6, Margin).

tower of Hananeel—south of the city, near the sheep gate (Ne 3:1; 12:39; Jer 31:38) [Grotius].

king's wine-presses—(So 8:11). In the interior of the city, at Zion [Grotius].

All the land; the whole land of Judea, here, is type of the whole earth, seat of the catholic church, filled with the knowledge of God. and abounding in multitudes of converts.

Shall be turned as a plain; all high, uneven places, all high thoughts and imaginations, all rocky and barren ground, changed into fruitful vineyards. So the church of Christ shall be fruitful, humble, and lovely. as pastures rich in sheep, and rich for sheep.

From Geba, the north boundary of the land, to Rimmon, the south boundary of Judea.

Jerusalem; which taken here not literally, but mystically, is the church of Christ in gospel days; and by the repair of all parts of this Jerusalem, as were described, is shadowed out the full and complete building of the church on all sides, north, south, west, and east.

It shall be lifted up; raised out of the dust and rubbish to which enemies had brought her, through God’s permission; but never should be able to keep her in that low state, since God was resolved to raise her.

And inhabited in her place: still it is emblematical of the Christian church.

Benjamin’s gate north-east,

corner-gate north-west,

Hananeel’s tower south, wine-presses north; that is, in brief, completely round the city. All the land shall be turned as a plain,.... That is, all the land of Israel round about Jerusalem, which was encompassed with mountains, Psalm 125:2 but now these mountains shall become a plain, that that may be seen; since it follows,

from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; Geba was a city in the tribe of Benjamin, on the northern border of the land, Joshua 21:17 and Rimmon was in the tribe of Judah, given to Simeon on the southern part, Joshua 15:32 so that from Geba to Rimmon was the same as from Geba to Beersheba, which was in the same tribe, 2 Kings 23:8 and, according to the Jewish writers, the south of Jerusalem was a plain; wherefore the meaning seems to be, that the whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, should be like that. Jerom makes mention of a village called Remmon in his time, fifteen miles to the north of Jerusalem, which cannot be the place here meant, and yet speaks of it as in the tribe of Simeon or Judah; and afterwards takes notice of another village called Remmus in Daroma, or the south (m); to me it seems that Geba and Rimmon were places near one to another, and both in the tribe of Benjamin; see 1 Samuel 14:2 where the word rendered "pomegranate" is Rimmon, and is the proper name of a place, according to some; the same with that in Judges 20:47 where was a rock called the rock Rimmon; and Jonathan ben Uzziel, on 1 Samuel 14:2 renders it, "the plain of the pomegranate"; or rather the plain of Rimmon: and the Jews make mention in their Talmud (n) of the valley of Rimmon, where seven elders met to intercalate the year; and here, they say, was a marble rock, in which everyone fastened a nail, and therefore it is called the rock of nails. Now the sense seems to be, that all the land of Israel should become a plain, like the valley that was between Geba and Rimmon. Jarchi interprets it of the whole world. And this will be literally true of the new earth, in the thousand years' reign, which will be without hills mountains, and seas, Revelation 21:1. It may be mystically understood of the spiritual reign of Christ, when the whole world will become Christian; when Jews and Gentiles, and even the kings of the earth, shall bow the knee to Christ, and be subject to him.

And it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place; that is, Jerusalem, which shall appear very high, all the land round about being a plain; and, being rebuilt, shall be inhabited on the same spot of ground it formerly was: or the church may be meant, which in the latter day will be greatly exalted, and will be filled with, and inhabited by, some of all the nations of the world, Isaiah 2:2,

from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate; not that called the high gate of Benjamin, and which was near the temple, Jeremiah 20:2 and seems to be one of its gates; and such an one there was, which in Arabic was called "Bab Alasbat", the gate of the tribes, where was the pool of the blood of the sacrifices; and is said to be not far from another gate, called the gate of mercy (o); but this is that which led out of the city, and was one of its gates towards the land of Benjamin, from whence it had its name, and through which Jeremiah attempted to go when he was stopped by the captain of the ward, Jeremiah 37:13 this, according to Grotius, was on the north of Jerusalem: Mr. Fuller (p) places it more rightly in the northeast part of it, as does Adrichomius (q), who wrongly confounds it with the corner gate later mentioned, which is here manifestly distinguished from it; and which mistake also Schindler (r) gives into, and likewise Arias Montanus (s) and others. "The first gate" is the same with "the old gate" in Nehemiah 3:6.

Unto the corner gate; the gate of Benjamin, and the gate of Ephraim, are the same, as is thought by Grotius; the distance between that gate and the corner gate was four hundred cubits, 2 Kings 14:13,

and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses; mention is made of the tower of Hananeel in Nehemiah 3:1 it was to the south of Jerusalem; and is called in the Targum the tower of Pikkus: "the king's winepresses" doubtless were where his vineyards were; King Solomon had a vineyard at Baalhamon, Sol 8:11. Grotius says the place where these winepresses were was at Sion, in the inmost part of the city; and so Adrichomius (t) places them in Mount Sion; though Kimchi speaks of them as without the city; and Jarchi makes mention of an Agadah, or exposition, which interprets them of the great ocean, which reaches from Jerusalem to the end of the world, the lakes which the King of kings has made. Very probably these places lay east, west, north, and south; and so denote the amplitude of the city, and the largeness and extensiveness of the church of Christ, signified thereby; see Ezekiel 48:1.

(m) De locis Heb. fol. 94. A. C. (n) T. Hieros. Chagiga, fol. 78. 4. (o) Cippi Hebr. p. 22. Geograph. Nub. p. 114. (p) Pisgah-Sight of Palestine, B. 3. c. 3. sect. 15. p. 322. (q) Theatrum Terrae Sanct. p. 167. (r) Lexic. Pentaglott. col. 1912. (s) Nehemias, sive de Antiqu. Jerus. situ. (t) Theatrum Terrae Sanct. Jerusalem, No. 25. p. 152.

All the land shall be turned {l} as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate to the place of the first gate, to the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel to the king's winepresses.

(l) This new Jerusalem will be seen through all the world, and will excel the first in excellency, wealth, and greatness.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. turned as a plain] i.e. changed so as to become as, or like, a plain. Some would render, as the Arabah (R. V.) or Jordan valley, a meaning which the word will bear. Dean Stanley writes, “As a general rule, Palestine is not merely a mountainous country, but a mass of mountains, rising from a level sea-coast on the west, and from a level desert on the east, only cut asunder by the valley of the Jordan from north to south, and by the valley of Jezreel from east to west. The result of this peculiarity is, that not merely the hill-tops, but the valleys and plains of the interior of Palestine, both east and west, are themselves so high above the level of the sea as to partake of all the main characteristics of mountainous history and scenery. Jerusalem is of nearly the same elevation as the highest ground in England, and most of the chief cities of Palestine are several hundred feet above the Mediterranean Sea.” (Sinai and Palestine, p. 129; see also p. 170.) The “plain,” therefore, which the prophet here pictures to himself, may be a table-mountain or elevated platform, all other hills and mountains sinking down to the present level of the “valleys and plains” of Palestine, and leaving Jerusalem standing aloft on this elevated base, the queen-like city and mistress of the world.

“See Salem built, the labour of a God!

Bright as a sun the Sacred City shines;

All kingdoms and all princes of the earth

Flock to that light; the glory of all lands

Flows into her; unbounded is her joy,

And endless her increase.”

Geba] A town of Benjamin, Joshua 21:17; 1 Chronicles 6:60; Nehemiah 11:31. It is spoken of, as it is here, as the northern boundary of the kingdom of Judah, in 2 Kings 23:8. “Exactly in accordance with this (the mention of the position of Geba in 1 Samuel 13:3) is the position of the modern village of Jeba, which stands picturesquely on the top of its steep-terraced hill, on the very edge of the great Wady Suweinit.… Standing as it does on the south bank of this important wady—one of the most striking natural features of this part of the country—the mention of Geba as the northern boundary of the lower kingdom is very significant.” Bible Dict. Art. “Geba.”

Rimmon] A town in the south of Palestine, Joshua 15:21; Joshua 15:32, allotted to Simeon, Ib. Joshua 19:1; Joshua 19:7. Its site is now unknown.

it shall be lifted up] she shall be lifted up, R.V., i.e. Jerusalem, which has just been mentioned, shall retain its former elevation, when all the country round has sunk into a plain. “Humiliatis omnibus circumquaque montibus collibusque, urbs primaria Judæ totiusque orbis terrarum (Zechariah 14:9, cf. Micah 4:1), immota suo loco, elata et conspicua mansura dicitur.” Maurer.

from Benjamin’s gate] These limits cannot be defined with certainty; but it seems probable that “the gate of Benjamin” is identical with “the gate of Ephraim” (2 Kings 14:13; Nehemiah 8:16; Nehemiah 12:39), a gate, that is, in the N. wall of the city, which led to the territory of Benjamin and then to that of Ephraim beyond, and which was therefore called indifferently by either name. If we suppose that this gate stood in the middle of the N. wall, we have the breadth of the restored city, measured from it, first westward to “the corner gate” (2 Kings 14:13; 2 Chronicles 25:23; Jeremiah 31:38), which was at the N. W. corner of the wall, and then eastward to “the first gate” (the same perhaps as that called “the old gate,” Nehemiah 12:39), which was at the N. E. corner. The length of the city is given, from the tower of Hananeel (Nehemiah 3:1; Nehemiah 12:39; Jeremiah 31:38) in the N. to “the king’s winepresses” in the S. The site of these winepresses has not been discovered, but it is not improbable that they were in or near “the king’s garden” (Nehemiah 3:15), at the S. E. extremity of the city.Verse 10. - All the land shall be turned as a plain. To indicate the exaltation and stability of the centre of the new theocracy, the prophet announces that all the country round Jerusalem shall be turned into a plain, dominated by the metropolis, which stands sublime on a lofty mountain. The Revised Version renders, "shall be turned as the Arabah," i.e. as the Jordan ghor, a valley of abnormal fertility. From Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; i.e. from the north of Judah to its southern boundary. Geba was a town and district on the edge of the great Wady Suweinit, five miles north of Jerusalem. It is identified with Jeba (1 Samuel 13:3), and it formed the northern boundary of the kingdom of Judah (Joshua 18:24). Rimmon is described as "south of Jerusalem," to distinguish it from a town of the same name in Galilee (Joshua 19:13), and from the famous rock Rimmon, to which the Benjamites fled (Judges 20:45, 47). It was situated in the territory of Simeon (Joshua 15:32; Joshua 19:7), and has been identified with Umm-er-Rummamin, a town ten miles north of Beersheba. It shall be lifted up. Jerusalem shall remain exalted on its hill, while all the country around sinks into a plain - a figure representing the spiritual exaltation of the new theocracy. Inhabited in her place; or, shall dwell in her place. Shall occupy her ancient limits, and abide there safely without fear (comp. Jeremiah 31:38-40; Ezekiel 48:15, etc.). From Benjamin's gate, etc. (Jeremiah 37:13). It is difficult to define the given boundaries with certainty in every particular. Benjamin's gate is the same as the gate of Ephraim (2 Kings 14:13; Nehemiah 8:16), so called as leading to the territory of Benjamin, and beyond again to that of Ephraim. It was situated in the north or second wall. From this point the course of the wall is followed, first to the west, and then to the east. The first gate. This was in the eastern part at this wall, and is the same as "the old gate," or "gate of the old town," of Nehemiah 12:39. The corner gate (2 Kings 14:13; Jeremiah 31:38) was at the northwest corner, west of the gate of Benjamin, at the angle where the first and second walls approached each other. These dimensions would give the breadth of the city from east to west. The tower of Hananeel (Nehemiah 3:l) was at the northeast corner of the north wall, where the citadel Basis or Antonia afterwards stood. The king's wine presses were probably near "the king's garden" (Nehemiah 3:15), at the southeast extremity of the city. They may have been cut out of the rock, as was often the case. This description gives the extent of the city from north to south. Thus Zechariah illustrates the growth and stability of the Church of God by the figure of the earthly city Jerusalem, firmly and orderly built, and inhabited by a teeming population, as the following verse shows. There is no ground for expecting the literal fulfilment of this prediction. In these verses there follows a prophetic address, in which the angel of the Lord describes the symbolical action of the re-clothing of the high priest, according to its typical significance in relation to the continuance and the future of the kingdom of God. Zechariah 3:6. "And the angel of the Lord testified to Joshua, and said, Zechariah 3:7. Thus saith Jehovah of hosts, If thou shalt walk in my ways, and keep my charge, thou shalt both judge my house and keep my courts, and I will give thee ways among these standing here. Zechariah 3:8. Hear then, thou high priest Joshua, thou, and thy comrades who sit before thee: yea, men of wonder are they: for, behold, I bring my servant Zemach (Sprout). Zechariah 3:9. For behold the stone which I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone are seven eyes: behold I engrave its carving, is the saying of Jehovah of hosts, and I clear away the iniquity of this land in one day. Zechariah 3:10. In that day, is the saying of Jehovah of hosts, ye will invite one another under the vine and under the fig-tree." In Zechariah 3:7 not only is the high priest confirmed in his office, but the perpetuation and glorification of his official labours are promised. As Joshua appears in this vision as the supporter of the office, this promise does not apply to Joshua himself so much as to the office, the continuance of which is indeed bound up with the fidelity of those who sustain it. The promise in Zechariah 3:7 therefore begins by giving prominence to this condition: If thou wilt walk in my ways, etc. Walking in the ways of the Lord refers to the personal attitude of the priests towards the Lord, or to fidelity in their personal relation to God; and keeping the charge of Jehovah, to the faithful performance of their official duties (shâmar mishmartı̄, noticing what has to be observed in relation to Jehovah; see at Leviticus 8:35). The apodosis begins with וגם אתּה, and not with ונתתּי. This is required not only by the emphatic 'attâh, but also by the clauses commencing with vegam; whereas the circumstance, that the tense only changes with venâthattı̄, and that tâdı̄n and tishmōr are still imperfects, has its simple explanation in the fact, that on account of the gam, the verbs could not be linked together with Vav, and placed at the head of the clauses. Taken by themselves, the clauses vegam tâdı̄n and vegam tishmōr might express a duty of the high priest quite as well as a privilege. If they were taken as apodoses, they would express an obligation; but in that case they would appear somewhat superfluous, because the obligations of the high priest are fully explained in the two previous clauses. If, on the other hand, the apodosis commences with them, they contain, in the form of a promise, a privilege which is set before the high priest as awaiting him in the future - namely, the privilege of still further attending to the service of the house of God, which had been called in question by Satan's accusation. דּין את־בּיתי, to judge the house of God, i.e., to administer right in relation to the house of God, namely, in relation to the duties devolving upon the high priest in the sanctuary as such; hence the right administration of the service in the holy place and the holy of holies. This limitation is obvious from the parallel clause, to keep the courts, in which the care of the ordinary performance of worship in the courts, and the keeping of everything of an idolatrous nature from the house of God, are transferred to him. And to this a new and important promise is added in the last clause (ונהתּי וגו). The meaning of this depends upon the explanation given to the word מהלכים. Many commentators regard his as a Chaldaic form of the hiphil participle (after Daniel 3:25; Daniel 4:34), and take it either in the intransitive sense of "those walking" (lxx, Pesh., Vulg., Luth., Hofm., etc.), or in the transitive sense of those conducting the leaders (Ges., Hengst., etc.). But apart from the fact that the hiphil of הלך in Hebrew is always written either הוליך or היליך, and has never anything but a transitive meaning, this view is precluded by the בּין, for which we should expect מבּין or מן, since the meaning could only be, "I give thee walkers or leaders between those standing here," i.e., such as walk to and fro between those standing here (Hofmann), or, "I will give thee leaders among (from) these angels who are standing here" (Hengstenberg). In the former case, the high priest would receive a promise that he should always have angels to go to and fro between himself and Jehovah, to carry up his prayers, and bring down revelations from God, and supplies of help (John 1:51; Hofmann). This thought would be quite a suitable one; but it is not contained in the words, "since the angels, even if they walk between the standing angels and in the midst of them, do not go to and fro between Jehovah and Joshua" (Kliefoth). In the latter case the high priest would merely receive a general assurance of the assistance of superior angels; and for such a thought as this the expression would be an extremely marvellous one, and theבּין would be used incorrectly. We must therefore follow Calvin and others, who take מהלכין as a substantive, from a singular מהלך, formed after מחצב, מסמר, מזלג, or else as a plural of מהלך, to be pointed מהלכים (Ros., Hitzig, Kliefoth). The words then add to the promise, which ensured to the people the continuance of the priesthood and of the blessings which it conveyed, this new feature, that the high priest would also receive a free access to God, which had not yet been conferred upon him by his office. This points to a time when the restrictions of the Old Testament will be swept away. The further address, in Zechariah 3:8 and Zechariah 3:9, announces how God will bring about this new time or future.

To show the importance of what follows, Joshua is called upon to "hear." It is doubtful where what he is to hear commences; for the idea, that after the summons to attend, the successive, chain-like explanation of the reason for this summons passes imperceptibly into that to which he is to give heed, is hardly admissible, and has only been adopted because it was found difficult to discover the true commencement of the address. The earlier theologians (Chald., Jerome, Theod. Mops., Theodoret, and Calvin), and even Hitzig and Ewald, take כּי הנני מביא (for behold I will bring forth). But these words are evidently explanatory of אנשׁי מופת המּה (men of wonder, etc.). Nor can it commence with ūmashtı̄ (and I remove), as Hofmann supposes (Weiss. u. Erfll. i. 339), or with Zechariah 3:9, "for behold the stone," as he also maintains in his Schriftbeweis (ii. 1, pp. 292-3, 508-9). The first of these is precluded not only by the fact that the address would be cut far too short, but also by the cop. Vav before mashtı̄; and the second by the fact that the words, "for behold the stone," etc., in Zechariah 3:9, are unmistakeably a continuation and further explanation of the words, "for behold I will bring forth my servant Zemach," in Zechariah 3:9. The address begins with "thou and thy fellows," since the priests could not be called upon to hear, inasmuch as they were not present. Joshua's comrades who sit before him are the priests who sat in the priestly meetings in front of the high priest, the president of the assembly, so that yōshēbh liphnē corresponds to our "assessors." The following kı̄ introduces the substance of the address; and when the subject is placed at the head absolutely, it is used in the sense of an asseveration, "yea, truly" (cf. Genesis 18:20; Psalm 118:10-12; Psalm 128:2; and Ewald, 330, b). 'Anshē mōphēth, men of miracle, or of a miraculous sign, as mōphēth, τὸ τέρας, portentum, miraculum, embraces the idea of אות, σημεῖον (cf. Isaiah 8:18), are men who attract attention to themselves by something striking, and are types of what is to come, so that mōphēth really corresponds to τύπος τῶν μελλόντων (see at Exodus 4:21; Isaiah 8:18). המּה stands for אתּם, the words passing over from the second person to the third on the resuming of the subject, which is placed at the head absolutely, just as in Zephaniah 2:12, and refers not only to רעיך, but to Joshua and his comrades. They are men of typical sign, but not simply on account of the office which they hold, viz., because their mediatorial priesthood points to the mediatorial office and atoning work of the Messiah, as most of the commentators assume. For "this applies, in the first place, not only to Joshua and his priests, but to the Old Testament priesthood generally; and secondly, there was nothing miraculous in this mediatorial work of the priesthood, which must have been the case if they were to be mōphēth. The miracle, which is to be seen in Joshua and his priests, consists rather in the fact that the priesthood of Israel is laden with guilt, but by the grace of God it has been absolved, and accepted by God again, as the deliverance from exile shows," and Joshua and his priests are therefore brands plucked by the omnipotence of grace from the fire of merited judgment (Kliefoth). This miracle of grace which has been wrought for them, points beyond itself to an incomparably greater and better act of the sin-absolving grace of God, which is still in the future.

This is the way in which the next clause, "for I bring my servant Zemach," which is explanatory of 'anshē mōphēth (men of miracle), attaches itself. The word Tsemach is used by Zechariah simply as a proper name of the Messiah; and the combination ‛abhdı̄ Tsemach (my servant Tsemach) is precisely the same as ‛abhdı̄ Dâvid (my servant David) in Ezekiel 34:23-24; Ezekiel 37:24, or "my servant Job" in Job 1:8; Job 2:3, etc. The objection raised by Koehler - namely, that if tsemach, as a more precise definition of ‛abhdı̄ (my servant), or as an announcement what servant of Jehovah is intended, were used as a proper name, it would either be construed with the article (הצּמח), or else we should have עבדּי צמח שׁמו as in Zechariah 6:12 - is quite groundless. For "if poets or prophets form new proper names at pleasure, such names, even when deprived of the article, easily assume the distinguishing sign of most proper names, like bâgōdâh and meshūbhâh in Jeremiah 3" (Ewald, 277, c). It is different with שׁמו in Zechariah 6:12; there shemō is needed for the sake of the sense, as in 1 Samuel 1:1 and Job 1:1, and does not serve to designate the preceding word as a proper name, but simply to define the person spoken of more precisely by mentioning his name. Zechariah has formed the name Tsemach, Sprout, or Shoot, primarily from Jeremiah 23:5 and Jeremiah 33:15, where the promise is given that a righteous Sprout (tsemach tsaddı̄q), or a Sprout of righteousness, shall be raised up to Jacob. And Jeremiah took the figurative description of the great descendant of David, who will create righteousness upon the earth, as a tsemach which Jehovah will raise up, or cause to shoot up to David, from Isaiah 11:1-2; Isaiah 53:2, according to which the Messiah is to spring up as a rod out of the stem of Jesse that has been hewn down, or as a root-shoot out of dry ground. Tsemach, therefore, denotes the Messiah in His origin from the family of David that has fallen into humiliation, as a sprout which will grow up from its original state of humiliation to exaltation and glory, and answers therefore to the train of thought in this passage, in which the deeply humiliated priesthood is exalted by the grace of the Lord into a type of the Messiah. Whether the designation of the sprout as "my servant" is taken from Isaiah 52:13 and Isaiah 53:11 (cf. Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 49:3), or formed after "my servant David" in Ezekiel 34:24; Ezekiel 37:24, is a point which cannot be decided, and is of no importance to the matter in hand. The circumstance that the removal of iniquity, which is the peculiar work of the Messiah, is mentioned in Ezekiel 37:9, furnishes no satisfactory reason for deducing ‛abhdı̄ tsemach pre-eminently from Isaiah 53:1-12. For in Zechariah 3:9 the removal of iniquity is only mentioned in the second rank, in the explanation of Jehovah's purpose to bring His servant Tsemach. The first rank is assigned to the stone, which Jehovah has laid before Joshua, etc.

The answer to the question, what this stone signifies, or who is to be understood by it, depends upon the view we take of the words עינים ... על אבן. Most of the commentators admit that these words do not form a parenthesis (Hitzig, Ewald), but introduce a statement concerning הנּה האבן. Accordingly, הנּה האבן וגו is placed at the head absolutely, and resumed in על אבן אחת. This statement may mean, either upon one stone are seven eyes (visible or to be found), or seven eyes are directed upon one stone. For although, in the latter case, we should expect אל instead of על (according to Psalm 33:18; Psalm 34:16), שׂים עין על does occur in the sense of the exercise of loving care (Genesis 44:21; Jeremiah 39:12; Jeremiah 40:4). But if the seven eyes were to be seen upon the stone, they could only be engraved or drawn upon it. And what follows, הנני מפתּח וגו, does not agree with this, inasmuch as, according to this, the engraving upon the stone had now first to take place instead of having been done already, since hinnēh followed by a participle never expresses what has already occurred, but always what is to take place in the future. For this reason we must decide that the seven eyes are directed towards the stone, or watch over it with protecting care. But this overthrows the view held by the expositors of the early church, and defended by Kliefoth, namely, that the stone signifies the Messiah, after Isaiah 28:16 and Psalm 118:2, - a view with which the expression nâthattı̄, "given, laid before Joshua," can hardly be reconciled, even if this meant that Joshua was to see with his own eyes, as something actually present, that God was laying the foundation-stone. Still less can we think of the foundation-stone of the temple (Ros., Hitz.), since this had been laid long ago, and we cannot see for what purpose it was to be engraved; or of the stone which, according to the Rabbins, occupied the empty place of the ark of the covenant in the most holy place of the second temple (Hofmann); or of a precious stone in the breastplate of the high priest. The stone is the symbol of the kingdom of God, and is laid by Jehovah before Joshua, by God's transferring to him the regulation of His house and the keeping of His courts (before, liphnē, in a spiritual sense, as in 1 Kings 9:6, for example). The seven eyes, which watch with protecting care over this stone, are not a figurative representation of the all-embracing providence of God; but, in harmony with the seven eyes of the Lamb, which are the seven Spirits of God (Revelation 5:6), and with the seven eyes of Jehovah (Zechariah 4:10), they are the sevenfold radiations of the Spirit of Jehovah (after Isaiah 11:2), which show themselves in vigorous action upon this stone, to prepare it for its destination. This preparation is called pittēăch pittuchâh in harmony with the figure of the stone (cf. Ezekiel 28:9, Ezekiel 28:11). "I will engrave the engraving thereof," i.e., engrave it so as to prepare it for a beautiful and costly stone. The preparation of this stone, i.e., the preparation of the kingdom of God established in Israel, by the powers of the Spirit of the Lord, is one feature in which the bringing of the tsemach will show itself. The other consists in the wiping away of the iniquity of this land. Mūsh is used here in a transitive sense, to cause to depart, to wipe away. הארץ ההיא (that land) is the land of Canaan or Judah, which will extend in the Messianic times over the whole earth. The definition of the time, beyōm 'echâd, cannot of course mean "on one and the same day," so as to affirm that the communication of the true nature to Israel, namely, of one well pleasing to God, and the removal of guilt from the land, would take place simultaneously (Hofmann, Koehler); but the expression "in one day" is substantially the same as ἐφάπαξ in Hebrews 7:27; Hebrews 9:12; Hebrews 10:10, and affirms that the wiping away of sin to be effected by the Messiah (tsemach) will not resemble that effected by the typical priesthood, which had to be continually repeated, but will be all finished at once. This one day is the day of Golgotha. Accordingly, the thought of this verse is the following: Jehovah will cause His servant Tsemach to come, because He will prepare His kingdom gloriously, and exterminate all the sins of His people and land at once. By the wiping away of all guilt and iniquity, not only of that which rests upon the land (Koehler), but also of that of the inhabitants of the land, i.e., of the whole nation, all the discontent and all the misery which flow from sin will be swept away, and a state of blessed peace will ensue for the purified church of God. This is the thought of the tenth verse, which is formed after Micah 4:4 and 1 Kings 5:5, and with which the vision closes. The next vision shows the glory of the purified church.

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