Zechariah 14:15
And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.And so shall be the plague of the Lord ... - Dionysius: "So, when God sendeth the plague, all the irrational animals of antichrist and his satellites shall perish as the aforesaid men, who used them, perished. For, for the sins of men, God, to their greater confusion, sometimes slays their beasts, sometimes also for their loving correction." "The imagery is from the Mosaic law of the ban. If a whole city became guilty of idolatry, not the inhabitants only, but the beasts were to be destroyed Deuteronomy 13:15, so that here, in miniature, should be repeated the relation of the irrational to the rational part of the creation, according to which, for the sins of men, 'the creature is,' against its will, 'made subject to vanity.' Analogous is it also, that on the offence of Achan Joshua 7:24-25, beside him and his children, his oxen, asses and sheep were (stoned and) burned with him." 15. The plague shall affect the very beasts belonging to the foe. A typical foretaste of all this befell Antiochus Epiphanes and his host at Jerusalem (1 Maccabees 13:49; 2 Maccabees 9:5). Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of against the church, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely either destroyed or made useless, neither fit to annoy the church nor to benefit their owners. As God destroyed much of the cattle of the Egyptians by hail, and murrain, &c.; so now shall it be with the cattle of these persecutors, they shall perish with their masters. The horses, as the horsemen, were drowned in the Red Sea.

Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of against the church, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely either destroyed or made useless, neither fit to annoy the church nor to benefit their owners. As God destroyed much of the cattle of the Egyptians by hail, and murrain, &c.; so now shall it be with the cattle of these persecutors, they shall perish with their masters. The horses, as the horsemen, were drowned in the Red Sea. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass,.... The flesh of the horse is said to be eaten, Revelation 19:18,

and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague, their beasts shall perish in like manner as themselves.

And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the donkey, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this {p} plague.

(p) As the men would be destroyed, Zec 14:12.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. tents] camps, R.V.

as this plague] viz. that described in Zechariah 14:13. Comp. for this including the cattle in the curse, Deuteronomy 13:15; Joshua 7:24.Verse 15. - So shall be the plague of the horse, etc. As was the plague that came on men (ver. 12), so shall be tide plague that falls on their beasts and cattle. The brute animals suffer for their owners' sin according to the ban under the old Law (Deuteronomy 13:15; comp. Numbers 16:32, 33; Joshua 7:24, 25). Tents; camps; Septuagint, παρεμβολαῖς. The verse illustrates the utter destruction which shall befall the enemies of God's Church. Zechariah 4:1. "And the angel that talked with me returned and waked me, like a man who is waked out of his sleep." After the prophet has seen four visions one after another, probably with very short intervals, and has heard the marvellous interpretation of them, he is so overpowered by the impression produced by what he has seen and heard, that he falls into a state of spiritual exhaustion resembling sleep, just as Peter and his companions were unable to keep awake at the transfiguration of Christ (Luke 9:32). He has not only fallen back into the state of ordinary human consciousness, but his ordinary spiritual consciousness was so depressed that he resembled a man asleep, and had to be waked out of this sleep-like state by the mediating angel, in order to be qualified for further seeing. It is evident from the expression ויּשׁב (and he returned) that the angelus interpres had left the prophet after the termination of the previous visions, and now came back to him again. The fresh vision which presents itself to his spiritual intuition, is described according to its principal features in Zechariah 4:2 and Zechariah 4:3. Zechariah 4:2. "And he said to me, What seest thou? And I said, I see, and behold a candlestick all of gold, and its oil-vessel up above it, and its seven lamps upon it, seven pipes each for the lamps upon the top of it. Zechariah 4:3. And two olive trees (oil trees) by it, one to the right of the oil-vessel, and one to the left of it." The second ויאמר (chethib) in Zechariah 4:2 might, if necessary, be explained in the way proposed by L. de Dieu, Gusset., and Hofmann, viz., by supposing that the mediating angel had no sooner asked the prophet what he saw, than he proceeded, without waiting for his answer, to give a description himself of what was seen. But this is at variance with the analogy of all the rest of the visions, where the visions seen by the prophet are always introduced with ראיתי or ואראה followed by והנּה (cf. Zechariah 1:8; Zechariah 2:1, Zechariah 2:5; Zechariah 5:1; Zechariah 6:1), and it remains quite inflexible; so that we must accept the keri ואמר, which is adopted by the early translators, and found in many codd., as being the true reading, and pronounce ויאמר a copyist's error. On the combination מנורת זהב כּלּהּ, in which the last two words are construed as a relative clause in subordination to menōrath, see Ewald, 332, c.

The visionary candlestick, all of gold, with its seven lamps, is unquestionably a figurative representation of the seven-branched golden candlestick in the tabernacle, and differs from this only in the three following additions which are peculiar to itself: (1) That is has its gullâh (גּלּהּ for גּלּתה, with the feminine termination resolved; cf. Hosea 13:2, and Ewald, 257, d), i.e., a can or round vessel for the oil, which was omitted altogether from the candlestick of the holy place, when the lamps were filled with oil by the priests, "at the top of it" (על־ראשׁהּ); (2) That it had seven mūtsâqōth (pipes) each for the lamps, that is to say, tubes through which the oil poured from the gullâh into the lamps, or was conducted to them, whereas the candlestick of the tabernacle had no pipes, but only seven arms (qânı̄m), for the purpose of holding the lamps, which of course could not be wanting in the case of the visionary candlestick, and are merely omitted from the description as being self-evident. The number of the pipes is also a disputed point, viz., whether שׁבעה ושׁבעה means seven and seven, i.e., fourteen, or whether it is to be taken distributively, seven each for the lamps, i.e., seven for each lamp, and therefore forty-nine for the seven. The distributive view is disputed by Hitzig and Koehler as at variance with the usage of the language: the former proposing to alter the text, so as to obtain seven pipes, i.e., one for each lamp; and the latter, on the other hand, assuming that there were fourteen pipes, and inferring from the statement "seven and seven," instead of fourteen, that the second seven are to be sought in a different place from the first, that is to say, that the first seven led from the oil-vessel to the seven different lamps, whilst the second seven connected the seven lamps with one another, which would have been a very strange and perfectly useless provision. But there is no foundation whatever for the assertion that it is at variance with the usage of the language. For although a distributive relation is certainly expressed as a rule by the simple repetition of the number without any connecting Vav, such passages as 2 Samuel 21:20 and 1 Chronicles 20:6 show quite indisputably that the repetition of the same number with the Vav cop. between is also to be taken distributively. When, for example, it is stated in 2 Samuel 21:20, with regard to the hero of Gath, that the fingers of his hands and the fingers (toes) of his feet were "shēsh vâshēsh, four-and-twenty in number," it is evident that shēsh vâshēsh cannot mean "six and six," because six and six do not make twenty-four; and a division of the shēsh between the hands and feet is also untenable, because his two hands had not six fingers on them, but twelve, and so his two feet had not six toes on them, but twelve. Consequently shēsh vâshēsh must be taken distributively: the fingers of his (two) hands and the toes of his (two) feet were six each; for it is only 2 + 2(( equals 4) x 6 that can give 24. This is shown still more clearly in 1 Chronicles 20:6 : "and his fingers were shēsh vâshēsh, four-and-twenty." It is in this distributive sense, which is thus thoroughly established, so far as the usage of the language is concerned, that שׁבעה ושׁבעה מוּץ is to be taken: seven pipes each for the lamps, i.e., forty-nine for the seven lamps; inasmuch as if fourteen pipes were meant, it would be impossible to imagine any reason why "seven and seven" should be written instead of fourteen. And we cannot be shaken in this conviction, either by the objection "that if there was any proportion between the pipes and the size of the oil-vessel, such a number of pipes could not possibly (?) spring from one oil-can" (Koehler), or by the statement that "forty-nine would be quite as much at variance with the original as fourteen, since that had only one pipe for every lamp" (Hitzig). For the supposed original for the pipes had no existence, inasmuch as the Mosaic candlestick had no pipes at all; and we can form no opinion as to the possibility of forty-nine pipes issuing from one oil-vessel, because we have no information as to the size either of the oil-vessel or of the pipes. (3) The third peculiarity in the visionary candlestick consists in the olive trees on the right and left of the oil-vessel, which supplied it with oil, and whose connection with the candlestick is first described in Zechariah 4:12. These three additions which were made to the golden candlestick seen by Zechariah, as contrasted with the golden candlestick of the tabernacle, formed the apparatus through which it was supplied with the oil required to light it continually without the intervention of man.

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