Lecture One Hundred and Forty-fifth
9. And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
9. Et fuit sermo Iehovae ad me, dicendo,
10. Take of them of the captivity, even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;
10. Sume ex transmigratione, nempe ab Heldai, et a Tobia, et a Jedaia; et vade tu die illo, inquam, ad domum Josiae filii Zephaniae, qui venerunt e Babylone;
11. Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;
11. Et sume argentum et aurum, et fac coronas, et ponc super caput Iehosuae filii Iozedec, sacerdotis magni.
This vision was given to Zechariah that he might inspire weak minds with better hope; for the Jews found that they were hardly pressed on every side by their neighbors, inasmuch as enemies rose up against them before and behind, so that there was no end to their troubles. Hence they who had returned from exile thought themselves wretched in such a state of things. They might indeed have lived in quietness among the Babylonians, and they had become accustomed to that kind of life, so that exile was not so very grievous to them. Thus then the favor of God was turned unto loathing, and was almost hated by them; for they thought it better to be deprived of their country, than to be daily exposed to new assaults. And further, the possession of the land was not of itself desirable, except with reference to the hope given them; that is, because God had promised by his Prophets that the kingdom of David would again be made glorious, and also that the grandeur and glory of the temple would be greater than ever before. When the Jews found themselves continually harassed by their enemies, they thought that all that had been promised was in vain. There is therefore no doubt but that many complaints and many clamors were everywhere raised. Hence that they might cease thus to murmur against God, this vision was given to the Prophet, in which he is bid to take
We hence see that by the two crowns is set forth the restoration of the Church: but we must also observe that the two crowns are placed on the head of Joshua, which was new and unusual. A mitre, we know, was given to the priests; and we know also that kings were adorned with a diadem; but no one individual was to wear a royal diadem and a sacerdotal mitre. Here then we find a union of royalty and priesthood in the same person, which had never before been the case; for God had in his law made a distinction between the two offices. We hence see that something unknown before is set forth by this prophecy, even this, that the same person would be both a king and a priest. For what Jerome says, among other things, that there might have been many crowns, is weak and frivolous; and further, he contradicts the words of the Prophet; for shortly after he subjoins, that there would be a counsel of peace between the two; that is, between royalty and priesthood. As to what the same author thinks, that there was one crown given to the high priest, it is also false; besides, he subverts as far as he can the whole doctrine of the Prophet. But I leave these trifles; for there is no ambiguity in Zechariah's words when he says, that God commanded him to take silver and gold, that he might make two crowns to set on the head of the high priest. We now perceive the design of the Prophet as to the object of the prophecy, and also the meaning of the words.
Let us now inquire, why the Prophet was bid to take gold from four men; for he says,
The Prophet is bid to
Zechariah being ordered to
"Take away the diadem;. set it aside, set it aside, set it aside, until he shall come, whose it is." (Ezekiel 21:26,27.)
We here see that the Prophet points out a length of time, during which the royal diadem was to be trodden as it were under foot. Though the royal crown had not yet laid in the dust sufficiently long, yet the Prophet did nothing presumptuously; for the Jews could not have conceived in their mind what is here promised, had not the typical priest come forth, wearing the two crowns. Nor could this have been so suitable to the person of Zerubbabel; for though he was of the family of David, and was a type of Christ, he had not yet the name of a king, nor had he any regal power: he could not therefore have been so suitable a person. It is then no wonder that God brought forth the high priest Joshua, who was a type and representative of Christ; and he brought him forth with a double crown, because he who was to come would unite, according to what follows, the priesthood with the kingly office.
1 It is better to take the following words as a paranthesis, "and go thou on that day, go even into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;" then the whole paragraph might be thus rendered,--
10. Take from the exiles from Heldai, from Tobiah, and from Jedaiah, (and go thou on that day, go even into the house for Josiah the son of Zephaniah,) who have come from Babylon;
11. Yea, take from them silver and gold, and make a large (or, a double) crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Josedech, the high priest.
The first part is rendered by Henderson as above, and according to Calvin's translation; but Newcome and Blayney follow our version, which does not seem to be correct; for the first "Take" is repeated, an dthen what the Prophet was to take is mentioned, having previously named the persons from whom the silver and the gold was to be taken.
As to the crown or crowns, various opinions have been entertained. The most consistent with the whole passage is that of Marckius, adopted by Hengstenberg and M'Caul. He thinks that the plural here is used, as it is often in Hebrew, to express what is large, splended, great, or extraordinary, according to the following examples: [
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