Zechariah 6:14
And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD.
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Zechariah 6:14-15. And the crowns — The two crowns before mentioned, made of the gold and silver brought from Babylon, Zechariah 6:11; shall be to Helem and to Tobijah, &c. — Of these persons we know no more, with any certainty, than their names. For a memorial in the temple of the Lord — Namely, of this transaction, of the pious liberality of those men, who had presented the gold and silver of which they were made, and especially of the Messiah’s certain and speedy coming. And they that are far off shall come and build, &c. — Though this verse, in its literal sense, may refer to the Jews who lived in distant parts, and other artificers, coming to Jerusalem to assist in building the material temple, yet, in its mystical and ultimate meaning, it refers to the conversion of the Gentiles to Christ, and to that true temple, the Christian Church, in helping to erect, enlarge, and beautify which, thousands and myriads of the Gentiles have co-operated, and still more, in ages to come, will co-operate. And ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you — And the event of things, which, if not prevented by your disobedience, will be agreeable to my predictions, shall prove to you, beyond all doubt, that I was divinely inspired, and commissioned to declare these things to you: that is, the prediction, as far as it was intended to be understood literally, shall be accomplished in your days; and, in its mystical sense also, it shall be fulfilled in its season: the Gentiles shall come in and be united with you as brethren, and will help you to build the spiritual temple; if ye will diligently obey the voice of the Lord — For I must again desire you to observe, that the accomplishment of these promises depends on the condition of your obedience: for if you rebel and obey not, you shall even be cast out of God’s church, shall be deprived of his protection and care, and the Gentiles shall be taken to be his peculiar people in your place.

6:9-15 Some Jews from Babylon brought an offering to the house of God. Those who cannot forward a good work by their persons, must, as they are able, forward it by their purses: if some find hands, let others fill them. Crowns are to be made, and put upon the head of Joshua. The sign was used, to make the promise more noticed, that God will, in the fulness of time, raise up a great High Priest, like Joshua, who is but the figure of one that is to come. Christ is not only the Foundation, but the Founder of this temple, by his Spirit and grace. Glory is a burden, but not too heavy for Him to bear who upholds all things. The cross was His glory, and he bore that; so is the crown an exceeding weight of glory, and he bears that. The counsel of peace should be between the priest and the throne, between the priestly and kingly offices of Jesus Christ. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, and of all believers, shall be wrought, though not by two several persons, yet by two several offices meeting in one; Christ, purchasing all peace by his priesthood, maintaining and defending it by his kingdom. The crowns used in this solemnity must be kept in the temple, as evidence of this promise of the Messiah. Let us not think of separating what God has joined in his counsel of peace. We cannot come to God by Christ as our Priest, if we refuse to have him rule over us as our King. We have no real ground to think our peace is made with God, unless we try to keep his commandments.And the crowns shall be to Helem - There is no ground apparent to us, why the name "Helem" appears instead of "Holdai" , or "Hen" for "Josiah:" yet the same person must have been called both Hen and Josiah, since the father's name is the same in both places. They cannot both be intended as explanations of the former names, since Helem stands insulated in Hebrew, its meaning conjectural. Perhaps then they were the own names of the individuals, and the names compounded with the name of God, honorable names which they had taken.

For a memorial in the temple of the Lord - They brought a passing gift, but it should be for a lasting memorial in their behalf. It is a renewal of the well-known term of the law. The two stones, engraven with the names of the children of Israel, upon the shoulders of the Ephod, were to the end, that Aaron should "bear their names before the Lord upon his two shoulders for a memorial" Exodus 28:12, Exodus 28:22; Exodus 39:7; continually, it is added of the "breastplate with its twelve precious stones Exodus 28:29; the atonement money of the children of Israel was to be appointed for the service of the tabernacle of the congregation, that it may be a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord, to make atonement for their souls; "to make an atonement for their souls before the Lord" Exodus 30:16. They were to "blow with the trumpets over their burnt-offerings, and over the sacrifice of their peace-offerings, that they may be to you for a memorial before your God" Numbers 10:10.

When Midian had been smitten before Israel, and not one of Israel had been slain, they brought all the gold which had accrued to them, and "Moses and Eleazar took the gold, and brought it into the tabernacle, a memorial for the children of Israel before the Lord" Numbers 31:50, Numbers 31:54. So the angel said to Cornelius, "thy prayers and thy alms are come up for a memorial before God" Acts 10:4, Acts 10:31. Rup.: "This is what we look for, that to all the saints and friends of God, whom these signify, those crowns which they made of their gold and silver for the Lord Jesus, shall be an everlasting memorial in that heavenly temple of the Lord." The tradition of the Jews, that this was literally, observed , can hardly be without foundation. Cyril: "These their offerings shall be for grace to those who dedicated them and an occasion of doxology. For the piety of princes becomes to the rest a path to the love of God. But when Christ is crowned by us, then shall also the multitude of the Gentiles haste to the knowledge of Him."

14. the crowns shall be to Helem … a memorial—deposited in the temple, to the honor of the donors; a memorial, too, of the coronation of Joshua, to remind all of Messiah, the promised antitypical king-priest, soon to come. Helem, the same as Heldai [1181]above. So Hen (that is, "favor") is another name for Josiah (that is, "God founds") above. The same person often had two names. The crowns; those two crowns before mentioned, made of the gold and silver brought from Babylon, Zechariah 6:11.

Shall be to Helem, & c.: these persons we know no more of with any certainty but their names.

For a memorial, of their incredulity, say some, of their liberality, say others; but these crowns were certainly to be memorials of the Messiah’s certain and speedy coming, and to be reserved in the temple as a memorial of this solemn typical inauguration of Joshua, or Messiah in him.

And the crowns shall be to Helem,.... The same with Heldai, Zechariah 6:10,

and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah; the same with Josiah, Zechariah 6:10,

for a memorial in the temple of the Lord; the crowns, after they had been put upon the head of Joshua, were taken off, and laid up in some part of the temple, of which the Jews make mention in their Misna (r); and say there were golden chains fixed to the beams of the porch (of the temple), by which the young priests went up, and saw the crowns; as it is said, Zechariah 6:14 "and the crowns shall be to Helem", &c.; these were laid up for a memorial of the liberality and generosity of those men, as Jarchi interprets it; who had so freely and largely offered towards the building of the temple; or rather, as Alshec (s), another Jewish commentator, observes, they were for a memorial of something future, even of the Messiah, who was typified by Joshua; when he had those crowns upon him; for those crowns respected the glory of Christ's government in future times; and being made both of silver and gold, and put upon the head of the high priest Joshua, denoted the union of the kingly and priestly offices in the Messiah.

(r) Massech. Middot, c. 3. sect. 8. (s) Apud L'Empereur. Not. in ib.

And the crowns shall be to {s} Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to {t} Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a {u} memorial in the temple of the LORD.

(s) Who was also called Heldai.

(t) He was also called Joshias.

(u) That they may acknowledge their infirmity, who thought that all things would be restored immediately: and of this their infidelity these two crowns will remain as tokens; Ac 1:6.

14. Helem] This may of course be another name borne by the person who in Zechariah 6:10 is called Heldai. The conjecture, however, that Helem is a copyist’s error for Heldai, the difference between the two Hebrew words being slight, is not improbable.

to Hen] Rather (as in R. V. margin), to the favour, or kindness of the son of Zephaniah, i.e. the crown suspended in the Temple shall be a lasting memorial, not only of the zeal and piety of these offerers of gifts from a far off land, but also of the kindness shewn them by Josiah the son of Zephaniah, who had received them into his house, Zechariah 6:10. “He that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.” Matthew 10:41.

Verse 14. - The crowns shall be... for a memorial. The crown was to be taken from Joshua's head and deposited in the temple as a memorial of this prophecy, and of the zeal of those who had come from far to bring offerings to the Lord, and likewise of the hospitality of Josiah, who had received them into his house. That such "gifts" were dedicated in the temple is well known (see Judith 16:19; 2 Macc. 5:16 2Macc. 9:16; Josephus, 'Bell. Jud.,' 2:17. 3; 'Ant.,' 17:06. 3; 19:6. 1; Philo, 'Legat. ad Cal.,' § 40, 2 p. 592). Helem is the same as Heldai (ver. 10), whether he bore both names, or whether, as is probable, this is a mere mistake of a copyist. To Hen. The Authorized Version considers this as a proper name. In this case it would be another name for Josiah. But it is really an appellative, and the rendering should be, "for the kindness of the son of Zephaniah." The crown would be also a memorial of his kindness in receiving and entertaining these exiles (comp. Matthew 10:41). The LXX. explains the names as in ver. 10, though not quite in the same way, Ασται τοῖς ὑπομένουσι καὶ τοῖς χρησίμοις αὐτῆς καὶ τοῖς ἐπεγνωκόσιν αὐτὴν καὶ εἰς χάριτα υἱοῦ Σοφονίον καὶ εἰς ψαλμὸν ἐν οἴκῳ Κυρίου, "The crown shall be to them that endure, and to its good men, and to those that have understood it, both for a favour to the son of Sophonias, and for a psalm in the house of the Lord." Zechariah 6:14The meaning of this is explained in Zechariah 6:12-15. Zechariah 6:12. "And speak to him, saying, Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying, Behold a man, His name is Tsemach (Sprout), and from His place will He sprout up, and build the temple of Jehovah. Zechariah 6:13. And He will build the temple of Jehovah, and He will carry loftiness, and will sit and rule upon His throne, and will be a priest upon His throne, and the counsel of peace will be between them both. Zechariah 6:14. And the crown will be to Chelem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedahjah, and the favour of the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of Jehovah. Zechariah 6:15. And they that are far off will come and build at the temple of Jehovah; then will ye know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me to you; and it will come to pass, if ye hearken to the voice of Jehovah your God." Two things are stated in these verses concerning the crown: (1) In Zechariah 6:12 and Zechariah 6:13 the meaning is explained of the setting of the crown upon the head of Joshua the high priest; and (2) in Zechariah 6:14, Zechariah 6:15, an explanation is given of the circumstance, that the crown had been made of silver and gold presented by men of the captivity. The crowning of Joshua the high priest with a royal crown, which did not properly belong to the high priest as such, as his headdress is neither called a crown (‛ătârâh) nor formed part of the insignia of royal dignity and glory, had a typical significance. It pointed to a man who would sit upon his throne as both ruler and priest, that is to say, would combine both royalty and priesthood in his own person and rank. The expression "Speak thou to him" shows that the words of Jehovah are addressed to Joshua, and to him alone (אליו is singular), and therefore that Zerubbabel must not be interpolated into Zechariah 6:11 along with Joshua. The man whom Joshua is to represent or typify, by having a crown placed upon his head, is designated as the Messiah, by the name Tsemach (see at Zechariah 3:8); and this name is explained by the expression מתּחתּיו יצמח. These words must not be taken impersonally, in the sense of "under him will it sprout" (lxx, Luth., Calov., Hitzig, Maurer, and others); for this thought cannot be justified from the usage of the language, to say nothing of its being quite remote from the context, since we have מתּחתּיו, and not תּחתּיו (under him); and moreover, the change of subject in יצמח and וּבנה would be intolerably harsh. In addition to this, according to Jeremiah 33:15, the Messiah is called Tsemach, because Jehovah causes a righteous growth to spring up to David, so that Tsemach is the sprouting one, and not he who makes others or something else to sprout. מתּחתּיו, "from under himself," is equivalent to "from his place" (Exodus 10:23), i.e., from his soil; and is correctly explained by Alting in Hengstenberg thus: "both as to his nation and as to his country, of the house of David, Judah, and Abraham, to whom the promises were made." It also contains an allusion to the fact that He will grow from below upwards, from lowliness to eminence.

This Sprout will build the temple of the Lord. That these words do not refer to the building of the earthly temple of stone and wood, as Ros. and Hitzig with the Rabbins suppose, is so obvious, that even Koehler has given up this view here, and understands the words, as Hengstenberg, Tholuck, and others do, as relating to the spiritual temple, of which the tabernacle and the temples of both Solomon and Zerubbabel were only symbols, the temple which is the church of God itself (Hosea 8:1; 1 Peter 2:5; Hebrews 3:6; and Ephesians 2:21-22). Zechariah not only speaks of this temple here, but also in Zechariah 4:9, as Haggai had done before him, in Haggai 2:6-9, which puts the correctness of our explanation of these passages beyond the reach of doubt. The repetition of this statement in Zechariah 6:13 is not useless, but serves, as the emphatic והוּא before this and the following sentence shows, to bring the work of the Tsemach into connection with the place He will occupy, in other words, to show the glory of the temple to be built. The two clauses are to be linked together thus: "He who will build the temple, the same will carry eminence." There is no "antithesis to the building of the temple by Joshua and Zerubbabel" (Koehler) in והוּא; but this is quite as foreign to the context as another view of the same commentator, viz., that Zechariah 6:13 interrupts the explanation of what the shoot is to be. הוד, eminence, is the true word for regal majesty (cf. Jeremiah 22:18; 1 Chronicles 29:25; Daniel 11:21). In this majesty He will sit upon His throne and rule, also using His regal dignity and power for the good of His people, and will be a Priest upon His throne, i.e., will be at once both Priest and King upon the throne which He assumes. The rendering, "And there will be a priest upon His throne" (Ewald and Hitzig), is precluded by the simple structure of the sentences, and still more by the strangeness of the thought which it expresses; for the calling of a priest in relation to God and the people is not to sit upon a throne, but to stand before Jehovah (cf. Judges 20:28; Deuteronomy 17:12). Even the closing words of this verse, "And a counsel of peace will be between them both," do not compel us to introduce a priest sitting upon the throne into the text by the side of the Tsemach ruling upon His throne. שׁניהם cannot be taken as a neuter in the sense of "between the regal dignity of the Messiah and His priesthood" (Capp., Ros.), and does not even refer to the Tsemach and Jehovah, but to the Mōshēl and Kōhēn, who sit upon the throne, united in one person, in the Tsemach. Between these two there will be ‛ătsath shâlōm. This does not merely mean, "the most perfect harmony will exist" (Hofmann, Umbreit), for that is a matter of course, and does not exhaust the meaning of the words. ‛Atsath shâlōm, counsel of peace, is not merely peaceful, harmonious consultation, but consultation which has peace for its object; and the thought is the following: The Messiah, who unites in Himself royalty and priesthood, will counsel and promote the peace of His people.

This is the typical meaning of the crowning of the high priest Joshua. But another feature is added to this. The crown, which has been placed upon the head of Joshua, to designate him as the type of the Messiah, is to be kept in the temple of the Lord after the performance of this act, as a memorial for those who bring the silver and gold from the exiles in Babel, and לחן בּן־צ, i.e., for the favour or grace of the son of Zephaniah. Chēn is not a proper name, or another name for Josiah, but an appellative in the sense of favour, or a favourable disposition, and refers to the favour which the son of Zephaniah has shown to the emigrants who have come from Babylon, by receiving them hospitably into his house. For a memorial of these men, the crown is to be kept in the temple of Jehovah. The object of this is not merely "to guard it against profanation, and perpetuate the remembrance of the givers" (Kliefoth); but this action has also a symbolical and prophetic meaning, which is given in Zechariah 6:15 in the words, "Strangers will come and build at the temple of the Lord." Those who have come from the far distant Babylon are types of the distant nations who will help to build the temple of the Lord with their possessions and treasures. This symbolical proceeding therefore furnishes a confirmation of the promise in Haggai 2:7, that the Lord will fill His temple with the treasures of all nations. By the realization of what is indicated in this symbolical proceeding, Israel will perceive that the speaker has been sent to them by the Lord of hosts; that is to say, not that Zechariah has spoken by the command of God, but that the Lord has sent the angel of Jehovah. For although in what precedes, only the prophet, and not the angel of Jehovah, has appeared as acting and speaking, we must not change the "sending" into "speaking" here, or take the formula וידעתּם כּי וגו in any other sense here than in Zechariah 2:13, Zechariah 3:2, and Zechariah 4:9. We must therefore assume, that just as the words of the prophet pass imperceptibly into words of Jehovah, so here they pass into the words of the angel of Jehovah, who says concerning himself that Jehovah has sent him. The words conclude with the earnest admonition to the hearers, that they are only to become partakers of the predicted good when they hearken to the voice of their God. The sentence commencing with והיה does not contain any aposiopesis; there is no valid ground for such an assumption as this in the simple announcement, which shows no trace of excitement; but vehâhâh may be connected with the preceding thought, "ye will know," etc., and affirms that they will only discern that the angel of Jehovah has been sent to them when they pay attention to the voice of their God. Now, although the recognition of the sending of the angel of the Lord involves participation in the Messianic salvation, the fact that this recognition is made to depend upon their giving heed to the word of God, by no means implies that the coming of the Messiah, or the participation of the Gentiles in His kingdom, will be bound up with the fidelity of the covenant nation, as Hengstenberg supposes; but the words simply declare that Israel will not come to the knowledge of the Messiah or to His salvation, unless it hearkens to the voice of the Lord. Whoever intentionally closes his eyes, will be unable to see the salvation of God.

The question whether the prophet really carried out the symbolical action enjoined upon him in Zechariah 6:10., externally or not, can neither be answered in the affirmative nor with a decided negative. The statement in Zechariah 6:11, that the prophet who was hardly a goldsmith, was to make the crown, is no more a proof that it was not actually done, than the talmudic notice in Middoth iii., concerning the place where the crown was hung up in the temple, is a proof that it was. For עשׂית in Zechariah 6:11 may also express causing to be made; and the talmudic notice referred to does not affirm that this crown was kept in the temple, but simply states that in the porch of the temple there were beams stretching from one wall to the other, and that golden chains were fastened to them, upon which the priestly candidates climbed up and saw crowns; and the verse before us is then quoted, with the formula שׁנאמר as a confirmation of this.

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