For thus saith the Lord of hosts;
&c.] For the further encouragement of the builders of the temple, they are told, from the Lord of hosts, that in a little time, when such circumstances should meet as are here pointed at, the Messiah should come, and appear in this house, and give it a greater glory than ever Solomon's temple had; for that this passage is to be understood of the Messiah and his times is clear from the apostle's application of it, ( Hebrews 12:25 Hebrews 12:26 ) and even the ancient Jews themselves understood it of the Messiah, particularly R. Aquiba F9, who lived in the times of Bar Cozbi, the false Messiah; though the more modern ones, perceiving how they are embarrassed with it; to support their hypothesis, shift it off from him: Yet once, it [is] a little while:
or, "once more", as the apostle in the above place quotes it; which suggests that the Lord had before done something of the kind, that follows, shaking the heavens as at the giving of the law on Mount Sinai; and would do the same again, and more abundantly in the times of the Gospel, or of the Messiah. Jarchi interprets this of one trouble by the Grecian monarchy after the Persian, which would not last long: his note is,
``yet once after that this kingdom of Persia that rules over you is ended, yet one shall rise up to rule over you, to distress you, the kingdom of Greece; but its government shall be but a little time;''and not very foreign from this sense does Bishop Chandler F11 render the words, "after one [kingdom] (the Grecian) it is a little while; (or after that) I will shake all the heavens"; and though it was five hundred years from this prophecy to the incarnation of Christ: yet this was but a little while with God, with whom a thousand years are as one day; and indeed with men it was but a short time, when compared with the first promise of his coming at the beginning of the world; or with the shaking of the earth at the giving of the law, soon after Israel came out of Egypt: and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the
which either intends the changes and revolutions made in the several kingdoms and nations of the world, between this prophecy and the coming of Christ, and which soon began to take place; for the Persian monarchy, now flourishing, was quickly shook and subdued by the Grecians; and in a little time the Grecian monarchy was destroyed by the Romans; and what changes they made in each of the nations of the world is well known: or else this designs the wonderful things that were done in the heavens, earth, and sea, at the birth of Christ, during his life, and at his death: at his birth a new star appeared in the heavens, which brought the wise men from the east to visit him; the angels of heaven descended, and sung Glory to God in the highest; Herod and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem were shaken, moved, and troubled at the tidings of his birth; yea, people in all parts of Judea were in motion to be taxed in their respective cities at this time: stormy winds were raised, which agitated the waters of the sea in his lifetime; on which he walked, and which he rebuked; and this showed him to be the mighty God: at his death the heavens were darkened, the earth quaked, and rocks were rent asunder: if any particular earthquake about this time should be thought to be intended, the most terrible one was that which happened A. D. 17, when Coelius Rufus and Pomponius Flaccus were consuls, which destroyed twelve cities of Asia F12; and these being near the sea, caused a motion there also. The apostle applies these words to the change made in the worship of God by the coming of Christ, when the carnal ordinances of the law were removed, and evangelical ordinances instituted, which shall remain until his second coming, ( Hebrews 12:26 ) .
F9 T. Bab Sanhedrin, fol. 97. 2. & Gloss. in ib.
F11 Defence of Christianity, p. 88. "adhue unum modicum est, [sc.] regni venturi." Akiba apud Lyram in loc.
F12 Taciti Annales, l. 2. c. 47.