And speak unto him, saying
That is, to Joshua the high priest, having the crowns on his head: thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, behold the man whose name
[is] The BRANCH;
which is not to be understood of Zerubbabel, as some Jewish writers interpret it; for he was not "the Branch", by way of eminency, much less that righteous Branch of David, called the Lord our righteousness, ( Jeremiah 23:5 Jeremiah 23:6 ) the same that is here meant; besides, he was already grown up out of his place; nor did he build a temple, from which he had great glory; nor was he either king or priest, only governor of Judah; and, however, not both, as this person is represented to be; and who is no other than the Messiah; and so the Targum paraphrases the words,
``behold the man Messiah is his name;''and Jarchi owns that some of their Rabbins interpret the words of the King Messiah. The "Branch" is a name by which the Messiah goes in the Talmud F11, and in other Jewish writings. It is asked F12, what is the name of the King Messiah? it is answered, among others, his name is the "Branch"; as it is said, "behold the man whose name is the Branch; he shall grow up out of his place": elsewhere F13 they speak of five letters doubled, which are the foundation of deliverance to certain persons, or point thereat. The first four, they observe, were accomplished in the deliverance of Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees, of Isaac from the Philistines, of Jacob from Esau, and of the Israelites from Egypt; and the fifth, which is the letter (u) , the first letter of "Tzemach", the Branch, by it they say the holy blessed God will redeem Israel at the end of the four monarchies; as it is said, "behold the man whose name is the Branch"; Philo the Jew F14 interprets this passage of a divine Person, the Son of God, by whom no other than the Messiah is meant,
``we have heard (says he) one of the friends of Moses, i. e. Zechariah, saying thus, behold the man "whose name is the east", or rising sun (so the Greek version renders the words); a new appellation, if you can think it said of one consisting of soul and body; but if of that incorporeal one, bearing the divine image, you will own that the name is fitly given him, the ancient Sun, the Father of beings will cause to arise; whom otherwise he names the first begotten, and who, being begotten, imitates the ways of his Father; and looking at his archetypal exemplars, forms the same.''Abendana F15, a modern Jew, observes, that
``it is right that the Targum interprets it of the Messiah, for of him it is spoken; therefore it is written, "and he shall grow up out of his place"; for he shall go forth from him, and shall be of the seed of Zerubbabel,--and the King Messiah shall bear the glory of the kingdom, and he shall rule upon the throne of his kingdom;''and when he is called a man, the meaning is not that he is a mere man, nor was he really man before his incarnation; but as he was to be man, and his incarnation was drawing near, he is so called: of his name the "Branch", see ( Isaiah 4:2 ) ( 11:1 ) ( Jeremiah 23:5 ) ( Zechariah 3:8 ) , and Joshua, he is directed to look upon himself, with the crowns on his head, as a type of him; and so were the prophet, and those that were with him; and he is to be beheld, as before in type, so now in truth, by faith, with love and affection, with diligent attention, and great admiration: and he shall grow up out of his place:
or, "from under him" F16; which may regard his natural descent as man, and the persons or person from whom he sprung; as from Abraham, Jacob, Judah, Jesse, and particularly from David, from the royal seed, as Jarchi interprets it: or else the place from whence this Branch arose, the land of Judea, the tribe of Judah, the city of Bethlehem, where he was born; or Galilee, and particularly Nazareth, where he was brought up, and grew, and increased in the stature of his body, and in the wisdom of his mind: or it may be rendered, "from his inferior place" F17; his superior, place, as the Son of God, is heaven; his inferior place, as the Son of man, is the earth; from whence he may be said to be, being born of a woman; and so this Branch is called "the fruit of the earth", and said to spring out of it, ( Isaiah 4:2 ) ( Psalms 85:11 ) or it is same as (wylam) , from himself, as Aben Ezra observes; and so Calvin; for this Branch did not grow up through any sowing and planting of man, but without any hand or concern of his in it; Christ was born of a virgin, through the power of the Highest, and through his own power, as God: and he shall build the temple of the Lord;
not a material temple, but the spiritual temple, the Church; called so in allusion to the temple of Jerusalem, built by Solomon; which was typical of the church, in the builder of it, Solomon, the church being built by Christ the antitypical Solomon, the true Peace, and Peacemaker; in the situation of it on a mount, which denotes the safety, visibility, and exalted state of the church; in the matter of it, being made of choice stones, and excellent timber, to which believers in Christ, who as lively stones are built up a spiritual house, are fitly compared; in the magnificence and stateliness of it, especially as the church will be in the latter day, when the glorious things spoken of it will be fulfilled; and in its strength and firmness, as well as in its holiness: and it is called "the temple of the Lord", because it is of his building, where he dwells, and where he is worshipped; and in the building of it Christ has a great concern; he is not only the foundation and cornerstone of it, but he is the chief, the master builder of it; he builds it on himself, and builds it up by his Spirit, his ministers, his word and ordinances, making thereby continually an increase of it, and additions to it; see ( Matthew 16:18 ) .
F11 T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 1.
F12 Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 1.
F13 Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. fol. 58. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 18. fol. 223. 2.
F14 De Confus. Ling. p. 329.
F15 Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc.
F16 (wytxtm) "subter eum", V. L. Pagninus; "[ad verbum], de sub se", Calvin, Drusius; "de subter se", Cocceius; "ex sub eo", Burkius.
F17 "Ex inferiore loco", Vitringa in Jesaiam, c. iv. 2. "E leco suo humili", Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 47.