And he answered me and said, Know you not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Zechariah 1:4.
Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord; See Gill on Zechariah 4:5.And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Verse 13. - Knowest thou not? (comp. ver. 5). The angel wishes to impress upon the prophet whence came the power of the theocracy and the Divine order manifested therein. Habakkuk 3:18. "But I, in Jehovah will I rejoice, will shout in the God of my salvation. Habakkuk 3:19. Jehovah the Lord is my strength, and makes my feet like the hinds, and causes me to walk along upon my high places." The turning-point is introduced with ואני ht, as is frequently the case in the Psalms. For this exaltation out of the sufferings of this life to believing joy in God, compare Psalm 5:8; Psalm 13:6; Psalm 31:15, etc. עלז, a softened form of עלץ, to rejoice in God (cf. Psalm 5:12), i.e., so that God is the inexhaustible source and infinite sphere of the joy, because He is the God of salvation, and rises up to judgment upon the nations, to procure the salvation of His people (Habakkuk 3:13). Elōhē yish‛ı̄ (the God of my salvation), as in Psalm 18:47; Psalm 25:5 (see at Micah 7:7). The thoughts of the 19th verse are also formed from reminiscences of Psalm 18:the first clause, "the Lord is my strength," from Psalm 18:33. "God, who girdeth me with strength," i.e., the Lord gives me strength to overcome all tribulation (cf. Psalm 27:1 and 2 Corinthians 12:9). The next two clauses are from Psalm 18:34, "He maketh my feet like hinds'," according to the contracted simile common in Hebrew for "hinds' feet;" and the reference is to the swiftness of foot, which was one of the qualifications of a thorough man of war (2 Samuel 1:23; 1 Chronicles 12:8), so as to enable him to make a sudden attack upon the enemy, and pursue him vigorously. Here it is a figurative expression for the fresh and joyous strength acquired in God, which Isaiah calls rising up with eagles' wings (Isaiah 40:29-31). Causing to walk upon the high places of the land, was originally a figure denoting the victorious possession and government of a land. It is so in Deuteronomy 32:13 and Deuteronomy 33:29, from which David has taken the figure in Psalm 18, though he has altered the high places of the earth into "my high places" (bâmōthai). They were the high places upon which the Lord had placed him, by giving him the victory over his enemies. And Habakkuk uses the figurative expression in the same sense, with the simple change of יעמידני into ידרכני after Deuteronomy 33:29, to substitute for the bestowment of victory the maintenance of victory corresponding to the blessing of Moses. We have therefore to understand bâmōthai neither as signifying the high places of the enemy, nor the high places at home, nor high places generally. The figure must be taken as a whole; and according to this, it simply denotes the ultimate triumph of the people of God over all oppression on the part of the power of the world, altogether apart from the local standing which the kingdom of God will have upon the earth, either by the side of or in antagonism to the kingdom of the world. The prophet prays and speaks throughout the entire ode in the name of the believing congregation. His pain is their pain; his joy their joy. Accordingly he closes his ode by appropriating to himself and all believers the promise which the Lord has given to His people and to David His anointed servant, to express the confident assurance that the God of salvation will keep it, and fulfil it in the approaching attack on the part of the power of the world upon the nation which has been refined by the judgment.
The last words, למנצּח בּנגינותי, do not form part of the contents of the supplicatory ode, but are a subscription answering to the heading in Habakkuk 3:1, and refer to the use of the ode in the worship of God, and simply differ from the headings למנצּח בּנגינות in Psalm 4:1-8; Psalm 6:1-10; Psalm 54:1-55:23; Psalm 67:1-7, and Psalm 76:1-12, through the use of the suffix in בּנגינותי. Through the words, "to the president (of the temple-music, or the conductor) in accompaniment of my stringed playing," the prophet appoints his psalm for use in the public worship of God accompanied by his stringed playing. Hitzig's rendering is grammatically false, "to the conductor of my pieces of music;" for ב cannot be used as a periphrasis for the genitive, but when connected with a musical expression, only means with or in the accompaniment of (ה instrumenti or concomitantiae). Moreover, נגינות does not mean pieces of music, but simply a song, and the playing upon stringed instruments, or the stringed instrument itself (see at Psalm 4:1-8). The first of these renderings gives no suitable sense here, so that there only remains the second, viz., "playing upon stringed instruments." But if the prophet, by using this formula, stipulates that the ode is to be used in the temple, accompanied by stringed instruments, the expression bingı̄nōthai, with my stringed playing, affirms that he himself will accompany it with his own playing, from which it has been justly inferred that he was qualified, according to the arrangements of the Israelitish worship, to take part in the public performance of such pieces of music as were suited for public worship, and therefore belonged to the Levites who were entrusted with the conduct of the musical performance of the temple.
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