Introduction

\\INTRODUCTION TO ZECHARIAH\\

This book is in the Hebrew copies called "the Book of Zechariah"; in
the Vulgate Latin version, "the Prophecy of Zechariah"; and, in the
Syriac and Arabic versions, the Prophecy of the Prophet Zechariah. His
name, according to Jerom, signifies "the memory of the Lord": but,
according to Hillerus {a}, "the Lord remembers": either us, or his
covenant; his promises of grace, and concerning the Messiah, of which
there are many in this book. The writer of this prophecy could not be,
as some have imagined, Zacharias the father of John the Baptist; since
there must be some hundreds of years difference between them; nor the
Zacharias, the son of Barachias, slain between the temple and the
altar, our Lord speaks of in \\#Mt 23:35\\ for though their names
agree, yet it does not appear that this prophet was slain by the Jews;
indeed the Jewish Targumist, on \\#La 2:20\\, speaks of a Zechariah,
the son of Iddo, a high priest, slain in the temple; but it could not
be this Zechariah, since he was no high priest; Joshua was high priest
in his time; nor could he be slain in such a place, seeing the temple
and altar were not yet built; nor was this prophet Zechariah the son of
Jehoiada, slain in the court of the Lord's house, \\#2Ch 24:20,21\\
for, as their names do not agree, so neither their office, he being a
high priest, this a prophet; nor the times in which they lived,
Zechariah the son of Jehoiada lived in the times of Joash king of
Judah, two or three hundred years before this; but this was one of the
captivity of Babylon, and who came up from thence with Zerubbabel,
\\#Ne 12:16\\ and was contemporary with the Prophet Haggai; so that the
time of his prophecy was after the Babylonish captivity, and was
delivered to the Jews that were returned from thence; and the design of
it is to stir them up to build the temple, and restore the pure worship
of God; and to encourage their faith and hope in the expectation of the
Messiah; for the book consists of various visions and prophecies
relating to him, and to the times of the Gospel; and the visions are,
as some Jewish writers {b} observe, very obscure, and like the visions
of Daniel, and difficult of interpretation. There are several passages
cited out of this book in the New Testament, as

\\#Zec 8:16\\ in \\#Eph 4:25\\
\\#Zec 9:9\\ in \\#Mt 21:5 Joh 12:14,15\\
\\#Zec 11:12,13\\ in \\#Mt 27:9\\
\\#Zec 12:10\\ in \\#Joh 19:37 Re 1:7\\
\\#Zec 13:7\\ in \\#Mt 26:31 Mr 14:27\\

which abundantly confirm the authenticity of it. This prophet seems to
have lived and died in Jerusalem; and, according to Pseudo-Epiphanius
{c}, was buried near Haggai the prophet; and with which agree the
Cippi Hebraici {d}, which inform us that Haggai was buried in a cave
in the downward slope of the mount of Olives; and at the bottom of that
mount was a large statue called the hand of Absalom, near to which was
the grave of Zechariah the prophet, in a cave shut up, and over it a
beautiful monument of one stone: and Monsieur Thevenot {e} tells us,
that now is shown, near the sepulchres of Absalom and Jehoshaphat, on
the descent of the mount of Olives, the sepulchre of the Prophet
Zacharias.---It is cut in a diamond point upon the rock, with many
pillars about it. Sozomen {f} the historian, indeed, makes mention of
Caphar Zechariah, a village on the borders of Eleutheropolis, a city
in Palestine, where it is pretended the body of this prophet was found
in the times of Theodosius, to which no credit is to be given; nor is
there any dependence to be had on the former accounts.

{a} Onomastic. Sacr. p. 508, 957, 958.
{b} Aben Ezra & Jarchi in loc. & R. Abendana in Miclol Yophi in loc. &
Kimchi in ver. 8.
{c} De Prophet. Vita & Interitu, c. 21.
{d} P. 29. Ed. Hottinger.
{e} Travels, par. 1. B. 2. ch. 37. p. 184.
{f} Hist. Eccles. l. 9. c. 17.

\\INTRODUCTION TO ZECHARIAH 1\\

In this chapter, after the account of the prophet, and the time of the
prophecy by him, are an exhortation of the people of the Jews to
repentance; the vision of a rider upon a red horse, and the intercession
of the angel of the Lord for Jerusalem; and another vision of the
enemies of the Jews, and of their deliverers. In \\#Zec 1:1\\ is the general
inscription of the book; in which an account is given of the time of its
writing, and of the writer of it: then follows the exhortation to
repentance, enforced from the wrath of God, which came upon their
fathers for not hearkening to the Lord, and turning from their evil
ways; and from the advantage that would be received thereby, the Lord
would return to them; and from the certain accomplishment of the divine
word; for, though both their fathers and prophets died, the word of the
Lord had its sure effect, \\#Zec 1:2-6\\ and next the vision of the rider on
the red horse is presented; the year, month, day, and night, in which it
was seen, are mentioned, \\#Zec 1:7\\ and the rider is described by his
form, a man; by the horse he rode upon, a red one; by the place he stood
in among the myrtle trees in the bottom; and by his attendants behind,
red horses, speckled and white, \\#Zec 1:8\\. The interpretation of which
last is given to the prophet by the angel, by the man among the myrtle
trees, and by the answer of them to the angel of the Lord themselves,
\\#Zec 1:9-11\\. After which the angel is represented as making intercession
for Jerusalem, who is answered by good and comfortable words,
\\#Zec 1:12,13\\ upon which the prophet is bid to publish the jealousy of
the Lord for Jerusalem; his displeasure at the heathens for afflicting
them; his promise to return to the Jews, that the temple and city of
Jerusalem should be rebuilt, and other cities of Judea, which should
enjoy great prosperity, \\#Zec 1:14-17\\ and the chapter is concluded with a
vision of four horns, signifying the enemies of Judah, Israel, and
Jerusalem; and of four carpenters that should destroy them,
\\#Zec 1:18-21\\.