Zechariah 14:6, 7
6. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
6. Et erit, die illo non erit lumen pretiosum et coagulatum (ad verbum est, non erit lumen pretiositatum et coagulationum.)
7. But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
7. Et erit, die uno (ille notus est Iehovae) non dies, neque nox; et erit (aut, accidet) ad tempus vespertinum, ut sit lumen.
The Prophet confirms what we have already observed that the Church would be subject to many troubles and commotions, so that the faithful should not enjoy the common light, but be more miserable than men in general. And he has ever the same object in view, to prepare the faithful to exercise patience, and to remind them that they are not to promise themselves such enjoyments in the holy land, as though they were to be free from the trials of the cross. Lest then they should deceive themselves with vain hopes, he sets before them many evils and many calamities, that they might confidently wait for the aid, of which he had spoken, while immersed in thick darkness, and hardly able to distinguish between day and night. But the rest shall be considered tomorrow.
Grant, Almighty God, that since thou hast deigned to separate us to be thy peculiar treasure, and leadest us daily under thy banner, and invites us so kindly and gently by the voice of thy gospel, -- O grant, that we may not reject so great a kindness, nor render ourselves unworthy of our holy calling; and whatever evils must be borne by us, may we sustain them with resigned minds, until having at length finished the contests by which thou wouldst now exercise and prove our faith, we shall be received into that blessed rest, which is laid up for us in heaven, and has been purchased for us by the blood of thine only-begotten Son. Amen.
Lecture One Hundred and Sixty-sixth
We explained shortly yesterday why the Prophet says, that there would be for some time no difference between day and night; it was to prepare the faithful for all changes, and to show that they are not to promise themselves anything certain or sure in this world. Days and nights revolve throughout all seasons of the year, but the Prophet shows that there would be an uncertain time, as though it were twilight, or that there would not be constant light, but light mixed with darkness. The two verses ought to be connected together, when he says,
But with regard to the words,
As to the subject itself, it is sufficiently apparent what the Prophet meant; for as I said yesterday, and have again reminded you, it was to be a perilous time, so that the miserable Jews would hourly and every moment be filled with fear, as they should see many dangers around them; and there would ever be some appearance of a sudden change. As when we find the south wind blowing, and the heavens covered with clouds, a shower is expected, and every one keeps within floors, and they who travel dare not proceed lest a storm overtakes them; so also the Prophet says, that this time would be like cloudy and dark days.
The same is the meaning of what he adds,
"Shine to thee shall not the sun by day nor the moon by night; but to thee shall Jehovah be an eternal light." (Isaiah 60:19.)
But these are mere refinements. The real meaning of the Prophet, I doubt not, is, -- that men would be in continual trepidation, as wile the air is in various ways agitated, when clouds arise, when the thunder is heard, and when the light of the sun disappears. When such is the state of the sky, men we know fear, for there is hardly a distinction between day and night. Thus our Prophet warns the faithful as to future events, and prepares them for patience, lest any storm should overwhelm them, and they should despond when overtaken by it, but that they might look for what had been foretold, even for darkness mixed with light, which would be a continual twilight: and the word, twilight, the ancients have said, is derived from one signifying what is doubtful (crepusculum a crepero.)
But we must also notice what he afterwards says, that
This is the subject which the Prophet now handles; as though he had said, -- "There is no reason for the faithful to be disheartened by adversities, when darkness on all sides surrounds them; for the Lord will at length restore light to them, of which it was needful for them to be deprived for a time." But Zechariah speaks not here of one day, but of a period which would be like a dark day, even until Christ by his coming restored the full light, as the Sun of Righteousness, according to what he is called by Malachi.
Then he says, that
We hence see how useful a doctrine this clause contains, where the Prophet sets God as the judge and the arbitrator of all events, so that he afflicts the Church as long as it pleases him, sets bounds to adversities, and regulates all things as it seemeth good to him; and he also covers the heavens with thick clouds, and takes away the sight of the sun. All this then is what the Prophet would have us to know is in God's power, and directed by his counsel. It now follows-
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6. And it shall be in that day, That there will be no clear light nor thick darkness:
7. But one day will that be, known to Jehovah, No day, and no night; But it shall be, at the time of the evening, That there will be light.
By "one day" we are to understand a peculiar day, distinguished from every other. To separate the two verses, as is done by Henderson, seems not at all right: and his rendering of the second line, "That there shall not be the light of the precious orbs," bears on it hardly any trace of the Original.--Ed.
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