Saturday, June 3rd, 2023
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
Trapp's Complete Commentary Trapp's Commentary
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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 3". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ jtc/ zechariah-3.html. 1865-1868.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 3". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
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Zec 3:1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him.
Ver. 1. And he showed me Joshua the high priest ] In a vision doubtless; and that for this end, that both the prophet, and by him the people also, might be advertised that they wrestle not against flesh and blood, men like themselves, but against spiritual wickednesses, or wicked spirits, who did act them and agitate them against the Church; ride them and spur them to do mischief; as he did that bloody Farnesius, one of the Pope’s champions, who, coming with an army into Germany, swore that he would ride his horse up to the spurs in the blood of Protestants, Scito persecutorem tuum ab ascensore daemone pernrgeri (Bern.). It was the devil that stirred up the spirit of Tatnai, Shether-Boznai, Sanballat, &c., to hinder the good work now in hand; like as he did Eckius, Cajetan, Cochlaeus, Catharinus, and many other great scholars (besides the two kings of England and Hungary), to write against the Reformation begun by Luther, and Charles V with all the strength of the empire to withstand and hinder it. But all in vain. Here he bends his accusation chiefly against the chief priest; but, through his sides, he strikes at the welfare of the whole Church. Ministers are the main object of his malice; a special spite he bears to such; singling them out and sifting them to the bran, as he desired to do Peter; stirring up unreasonable and wicked men against them, as he dealt by Paul when he fought with beasts at Ephesus, with breathing devils wherever he came, being in deaths often. When the viper hung upon his hand, Acts 28:3 , the devil doubtless thought to have dispatched him, but he was deceived. So he is ever; when he attempts as an accuser of the brethren, he is sure to be non-suited, and his plea to be cast out of the court by our advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who appears for us (as he did here for Joshua) to put away sin, Hebrews 9:24 ; Hebrews 9:26 , and to take away the iniquities of their most holy things.
Standing before the angel of the Lord ] i.e. Before Christ, his best friend, and doing his office as a high priest. Such is Satan’s malice and impudence (saith an interpreter here) to hurt and hinder us most in our best employments; and to accuse the saints even to their best friend, Christ Jesus. He knows well, that as Samson’s strength lay in his hair, so doth a Christian’s strength lie in his holy performances: perfumed and presented by Christ. Hence his restlessness in seeking to set a difference, and to breed hate. Hence also, as the fowls seized upon Abraham’s sacrifice, and as the Pythoness interrupted Paul and his company when they were praying and well-doing, Acts 16:16-17 , so deals he still by God’s best servants and that sometimes so, that if, after duty, they should put that question to their own heart, as God did to Satan, Unde venis? Whence comes thou? it would return Satan’s answer, From compassing the earth.
And Satan ] That adversary, the devil, as St. Peter calleth him; the accuser of the brethren Revelation 12:9 , that trots between heaven and earth as a teaser, and makes a trade of it. Once the name Satan is applied to a holy angel going forth as an adversary to wicked Balaam, Satan spelman, as one calleth him.
Standing at his right hand ] Why there? Be cause, say some, the accusation was as true: vehement; and so Satan had the upper hand For Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, Zechariah 3:3 , and there was cause enough why his own clothes should abhor him, as Job hath it, Job 9:31 ; what his particular sin objected to him by Satan was is hard to say. Some will have it to be one thing, some another. It is plain by Ezra 10:18 , that some of his sons and allies had taken strange wives, which he might have hindered; but that himself had taken a harlot to wife, as Justin Martyr affirmeth, is no way likely. I should sooner believe, with Theodoret and Sanchez, that the sins here alleged by Satan against Joshua and laid to his charge were, not so much his own personal sins as the sins of the whole people: quodammodo enim totus populus est in sacerdote, et in sacerdote peccat: for the whole people is, after a sort, in the priest.
To resist him ] Heb. To Satan yet against him, to do his kind, by frustrating his prayers and intercessions for the people, by laying his and their sins in his dish, and by laying claim to them for his. Carried on still by like hellish hatred of God and his people, he sins that sin against the Holy Ghost every moment: as Pliny speaks of the scorpion, that there is not one minute wherein it doth not put forth the sting. Our comfort is, that, 1. "We have an Advocate with the Father," &c., and "he is the propitiation for our sins," the patron as well as judge of his saints. 2. That as Satan stands at our right hand to molest us in holy duties, so do the holy angels stand there to withstand him, Luke 1:11 , whence it was that the curtains of the tabernacle were wrought full of cherubins within and without. 3. That if we resist the devil, steadfast in the faith, and strong in the Lord, he will flee from us, James 4:7 . For this old serpent, having his head already bruised and crushed by Christ, cannot so easily thrust in his mortal sting, unless we daily with him; and so lay open ourselves unto him. He shall in vain strike fire if we deny tinder. He may knock at the door, but if we answer him not at the window he cannot get in.
Zec 3:2 And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
Ver. 2. And the Lord said unto Satan ] The Lord Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hard of God, who also maketh intercessionfor us. Who, then, shall condemn us? who shall lay aught to our charge? who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Romans 8:33-35 . Satan may attempt it, but can never effect it. "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not," sc. unto death; "but he that is begotten of God keepeth himself" ( sc. "in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life," Jdg 1:21 ), "and that wicked one," or that troubler of the saints, "toucheth him not," viz. with a deadly touch, so as to poison him and undo him, 1 John 5:18 . Christus nobiscum, state. Christ, stand with us. The Prince of Persia cannot stand before Michael, the King of saints, Daniel 10:13 ; Daniel 10:21 .
The Lord rebuke thee, O Satan, even the Lord ] Christ argueth not the case with Satan, but cuts him off short with a vehement check and reproof; turns him over to his Father, to give him his due, Inhonestum enim est (saith Chrysostom), honestam matronam cum meretrice litigare, It is not fit for a matron to scold with a strumpet. Admit the accusation were true, yet it was maliciously and unreasonably urged. Doeg spoke nothing but truth against David and Ahimelech; yet he heareth, "What shall be given unto thee? or what shall be done unto thee, thou false tongue? Sharp arrows of the mighty," that pierce deep, wound deadly; "with coals of juniper," that shall burn fierce in respect of thyself, and sweet in regard of others; for men are wondrous well pleased when such ill members are punished, Psalms 120:3-4 .
Even the Lord that hath chosen Jerusalem ] He chose her for his loves; and now loves her for his choice. He loveth her and washeth her with his blood, that he may present her to himself holy and without blemish, Ephesians 5:26-27 . The Persian maids were first purified and perfumed before Ahasuerus made his choice, Est 2:12-14 Not so here: A fountain of free grace is opened for sin and for uncleanness to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem Zechariah 13:1 . And Uranople, or the New Jerusalem, hath its foundation garnished with all manner of precious stones, Rev 21:19-21 Now the foundation of God standeth sure, so that the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. Satan must know that God hath chosen Jerusalem and will not cast away his people which he foreknew, Romans 11:2 .
Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? ] Titio ex igne ereptus? newly snatched out of the Babylonish furnace: where they have long lain among the pots, where they have been not only sullied, but scorched and half burnt, Psalms 68:13 : should they then be cruelly cast again into the flames, which they have strangely escaped, like as the barbarous persecutors ran Polycarp through the bowels with a sword when the beasts would not devour him, nor the fire burn him. Or as the bloody Papists, in Queen Mary’s days, cast the woman of Guernsey’s babe again into the fire, that sprang and sprawled out of his mother’s womb as she was in burning. This was clean contrary to that apostolical precept, "Of some have compassion, pulling them out of the fire," Judges 1:22 . And far short of Nebuchadnezzar’s practices, who taking the three worthies out of the burning fiery furnace, promoted them to great honour and offices, Daniel 3:30 .
Zec 3:3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.
Ver. 3. Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments ] The tattered rags of the old Adam, the nasty filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness that yet remained in him (though in part regenerate), and intermingled with his best works. Sin is the devil’s excrement; it defiles the soul worse than any jakes can do the body (as the Hebrew word here signifieth, and as our Saviour shows, Mar 7:20 ), or than the sanies of plague sore doth a garment. Hence that of the Church, "We are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags," Isaiah 64:6 . And that of Job, "If I wash myself with snow water, and make my hands never so clean, shalt thou plunge me in the ditch, and mine own clothes shall make me to be abhorred," Job 9:30-31 . This is the same in effect with that of Paul, "I know nothing by myself, yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord," 1 Corinthians 4:5 ; who, when he comes to turn up the bottom of the bag, as the steward did Benjamin’s ( Sacco solute apparuit argentum. Ambr.), he will manifest the hidden things of darkness, find out our thefts that we dream not of, open all fardles on that great fair day, the day of judgment. As in the mean while, should the Lord but break open that filthy sink of sin that is in the very best of us, we should not only be loathsome to God, Zechariah 11:8 , and to good men, Proverbs 29:27 , but even to our own selves also, as Job was, Job 42:6 . Judas was not able to abide his own stench, Matthew 27:4-5 . Yea, and some holy men (as Mr Lever, for one), when they have desired to see their utmost uncleanness, their corruptions in the most ugly colours, God hath heard them. But yet his hand therewith was so heavy upon them, that they went always mourning to their graves; and thought it fitter to leave it to God’s wisdom to give them a sight of their sins, and to mingle the potion of sorrow, than to be their own choosers. See that excellent text, Job 15:14-16 , and then stand aloof with the leper and say, I am unclean, I am unclean: yet, Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean.
And stood before the angel ] His filthy garments notwithstanding: though we cannot say our hearts are pure, and our performances perfect; yet if we wallow not in sin, allow it not; if, with the daughters of Zion, we look upon our former neatness as nastiness, and fineness as filthiness; if we be in any measure purged from the love and liking of sin by the "spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning," Isaiah 4:4 , Christ will neither abhor our presence nor reject our services. Aaron was to bear the iniquity of the holy offerings, Exodus 28:38 . Christ is this Aaron. And though there be an inequality of expressions in duty, quoad nos, in us; yet there is a constancy of intercession by Christ, propter nos, for us.
Zec 3:4 And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment.
Ver. 4. And he answered and spake to those that stood before him ] i.e. To the angels that waited upon him. Est autem hoc humanitus dictum, saith Junius. This is spoken after the manner of men; for properly men are washed, justified, and sanctified by the merit and Spirit of Christ alone, 1 Corinthians 6:11 . But the Lord Christ speaketh thus to the created angels, his ministers; to show that he who only hath power to forgive sins doth yet therein employ the holy ministry for an instrument. See 1Co 9:18 Job 33:23-24 .
Take away the filthy garments ] Those symbols of his sinfulness, See Trapp on " Zec 3:8 " so his sins were pardoned in heaven. But because it is small comfort to a condemned person to have a pardon granted him unless he know it, and be assured of it, thereof it followeth,
And unto him he said, Behold ] By what thou hast seen in the angel’s stripping of thee,
I have caused thine iniquities to pass from thee ] Transtuli peccatum, as he once said to David, I have taken away thy sin, I have transferred it upon myself: speaking to my Father for thee, as once Paul did to Philemon for his son Onesimus, "if he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account, I will repay it," Philemon 1:18-19 . This is the greatest happiness that can befall a man in this world, Psalms 32:1-2 , and could not but be a singular comfort to these poor Jews, priest and people, amidst their manifold afflictions. A man that hath gotten his pardon is not troubled though he lose his glove, or handkerchief, nor though it should prove a rainy day. "Being justified by faith we glory in tribulation," Romans 5:1 ; Romans 5:3 . Feri, Domino, feri nam a peccatis absolutus sum, saith Luther: Strike, Lord, strike, while thou wilt; my sins are pardoned. I thank thee, O Lord (said another, in his great extremity), for all my pain; and I beseech thee, if thou think good, to add to it a hundred fold. But behold a further honour; as mercies seldom come single.
And I will clothe thee with change of raiment ] i.e. I will change thy rags into robes, thy stained clouts into clean clothing. Thou shalt be arrayed with the righteousness of the saints, Revelation 19:8 , that twofold righteousness, imputed and imparted; that of justification, and this other of sanctification; that as an undercoat, this as an upper; that clean and pure, this white and bright: both must be had from Christ, who is made unto us of God not only wisdom, but righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, 1 Corinthians 1:30 2 Corinthians 5:19 . Surely as our apparel is not bred of us, neither grows out of our bodies, so neither does this change of raiment in the text. But the blessed Lamb of God clotheth us with his own fleece, which is long enough and large enough to cover all our defects and deformities, and to set us forth to the admiration of angels. As he taketh upon him our sins, so he putteth upon us his righteousness. This is a blessed exchange indeed, a sure pledge of our peace with him, and with God by him. We read in our own chronicles that Edward, surnamed Ironside (in whom England was lost), and Canute, the first Danish king, after many encounters and equal fights, at length embraced a present agreement; which was made by parting England between them two, and confirmed by oath and sacrament, putting on each other’s apparel and arms, as a ceremony to express the atonement of their minds, as if they had made transaction of their persons each to other; Canute became Edmund, and Edmund Canute. Even such an exchange I may say of apparel is between Christ and the pardoned sinner, &c. Christ puts upon his Church his own comeliness, decks his spouse with his own jewels, as Isaac did Rebecca; clothes her with needlework, and makes her more glorious within than Esther ever was in all her beauty and bravery.; rejoiceth over her, as the bridegroom over his bride; yea, is ravished in his love to her, with one of her eyes lifted up to him in prayer or meditation, with one chain of her neck, that chain of his own graces in her, Song of Solomon 4:9 .
Zec 3:5 And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by.
Ver. 5. And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head ] Who said this? The prophet, grounding his speech on the last precious words of the angel, taketh the boldness to interpose his request for the bestowing of the priestly ornaments upon Joshua, and accordingly it is done. This the prophet knew would be a comfort to the whole people, and a confirmation to Joshua’s faith, for the pardon of his sins; like as it was to Peter and the rest of the apostles, that Christ after his resurrection restored them to their office, after they had all shamefully forsaken him, Mat 28:19 John 20:21 .
Let them set a fair mitre upon his head ] Not a diadem, as the old translation hath it (that is for a king’s head), much less a triple crown with the word Mystery (Babylon’s motto, Rev 17:5 ) engraven in it, as Brocard and many other eyewitnesses affirm of the Pope’s crown, but a mitre or tiara. It hath its name from compassing about, because it environed the high priest’s head. It had a holy crown with it, Exodus 29:6 , signifying the Deity and dignity of Christ. It had also upon the forefront of it a plate of pure gold with this caelature, Holiness to the Lord. Hence it was not lawful for the high priest (say the Jews) to put off his mitre to whomsoever he met, were he never so great a man; lest the name and glory of God (whose person he sustained) should seem to submit to any living. With this mysterious mitre upon his head, with other priestly ornaments and vestments, it was that Alexander the Great met the high priest Jaddus (nephew and successor to Joshua in the text) as he was marching against Jerusalem with hostile intent; and adoring that God whose name was seen written on the golden plate of his mitre, he entered the city peaceably, offered sacrifice in the temple, as the priests directed him, and having seen there the prophecy of Daniel concerning himself, he granted the Jews many immunities and privileges, and so departed, Daniel 8:7 ; Daniel 8:20-21 ; Daniel 11:13 . Parmenion, one of his favourites, asked him the reason of his friendly dealing with the Jews, who, by denying him help and tribute, had highly displeased him. He answered, that while he was yet in Macedonia, and but thinking of the conquest of Asia a certain man appeared unto him in the clothes of that high priest, encouraging him to set upon the work, and assuring him of good success therein.
And the angel of the Lord ] That is, Christ, the master of these ceremonies, the effect of this Levitical office.
Zec 3:6 And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,
Ver. 6. And the angel of the Lord protested ] Either with an oath or some deep asseveration, or both as 1 Samuel 25:26 "As the Lord liveth, and as thy soul liveth," &c. The former is an oath, the latter an asseveration or obtestation only, conjoined with that oath. Among the heathens Ex animo seu sententia was instead of an oath; and, rather than swear or say more, in a matter of no great moment, Chinias, the Pythagorean, would undergo a mulet of three talents. Others render it testified, or called witness upon his words, the angels and the prophet there present, for the more assurance. Thus, though Christ’s word be sufficient (for he is Amen, the faithful and true witness, Rev 3:14 ), yet, for his servants’ better settlement, he hath bound his promises to them with an oath, and taken heaven and earth to witness; which is dignatio stupenda, a wonderful condescension.
Zec 3:7 Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.
Ver. 7. If thou wilt walk in my ways, and keep my charge ] That is, if thou wilt walk in all the commandments (moral) and ordinances (Levitical) blameless, as holy Zacharias did, Luke 1:6 , and so approve thyself righteous before God, by taking heed to thyself first, and then to all thy flock, which is thy charge, the Holy Ghost’s depositum, and the purchase of Christ’s own blood, Acts 20:28 . Godliness is the highway to happiness; the good old way that hath been ever beaten by all those saints that now find rest to their souls. The very first steps in this way are repentance from dead works, and faith toward God in Christ Jesus. By these, men return to God from whom they have departed; are brought near to him, and set in the way of his steps, Psalms 85:13 "We are his workmanship," saith the apostle, "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them," Ephesians 2:10 , not without good advice and due direction, Ephesians 5:15 . Walk circumspectly, walk by rule and by line, Galatians 6:16 . Lift not up one foot till you find sure footing for the other, as those, Psalms 35:6 . Christians (and especially ministers) are funambulones, saith Tertullian; if they tread but one step awry they are gone, and may draw many with them.
Then thou shalt judge mine house, and shalt also keep my courts ] i.e. Thou shalt rule in my temple, and wait at mine altar. The Pope and his prelates catch at the former, but let go the latter; where Christ saith, "feed my sheep," Bellarmine saith the meaning is, Rule like a king; Barenius, Take to thyself the supreme government of the Church. But a preaching bishop is a just wonder among them, a Vir portenti, as those priests in the next verse are called.
And I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by ] i.e. Among the seraphims (as the Chaldee here interprets it), thou shalt walk arm in arm (as it were) with angels, Mat 22:30 Hebrews 12:22 . He seems to allude to the walks and galleries that were about the temple. Heaven is the reward of walking in the way that is called holy; the end of men’s faith, the salvation of their souls. Christ tells us that in his Father’s house are many mansions for us, John 14:2 (such as have far better gardens and galleries than Mahomet fondly promiseth his sword-men in his fool’s-paradise), and it is a part of his joy that we shall be one day where he is, attended with innumerable angels, John 17:24 , who will be glad of our company. How much better cause have we than that heathen to cry out, O praeclarum diem, cum ad illud animorum concilium coetumque proficisear: et eum ex hac turba et colluvione discedam (Cic. de Senectute). Oh what a brave and bright day will be that day when we shall go to that congregation house of blessed spirits; and walk no longer in the way of this world, which is (like the land of Chabul) dirty and dangerous, like the vale of Siddim, Genesis 14:10 , slimy and slippery, full of lime pits and pitfalls, snares and stumblingblocks, laid by Satan to maim or mischieve us! Oh happy they that walk humbly with God, who keepeth the feet of his saints, and hath charged his angels to bear them up in their hands, lest they dash their feet against a stone! Psalms 90:12 . This while they are here; and when they go hence, to convey them through the air, whereof the devil is the prince, as through the enemies’ country, into the heavenly habitations; and there to entertain and welcome them with sweetest varieties, felicities, eternities, fitter to be believed than possible to be expressed.
Zec 3:8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they [are] men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH.
Ver. 8. Hear now, O Joshua, the high priest ] Hear a sermon of Christ, the fountain of all this mercy bestowed upon thee, and yet further promised unto thee. Hear for thyself, hear for thy whole society. Thou and thy fellows, thy fellow friends, the rest of the priests, thy fellows in service, though inferior in office (for there was a subordination of priests, both before the temple, Numbers 3:6-10 1 Chronicles 23:4-5 , and under the temple, 2Ch 35:8-9 ), types also of Christ, and partakers of the benefit, 1 Timothy 6:2 .
For they are men wondered at ] Erant omnibus probrosi, saith Calvin, They departed from evil, and thereby made themselves a prey, Isaiah 59:15 , they were for signs and for wonders in Israel, Isaiah 8:18 , hissed and hooted at, Psalms 71:7 , as those that affected to be singular and seraphical. They think it strange, saith St. Peter, to his holy converts, that you run not with them to the same excess of riot, 1 Peter 4:4 ; speaking evil of you, as if you were no better than madmen, Isaiah 59:15 , robbed of your right minds, as the word signifieth. It is a French proverb, He that would have his neighbour’s dog hanged gives out that he is mad. The primitive persecutors used to put Christians into bears’ and dogs’ skins, or ugly creatures, and then bait them; so graceless persons put the saints of God into ugly conceits, look upon them as strange creatures, and then speak and act against them. In our wretched days, as the Turks count all fools to be saints, so people account all saints to be fools; and the more zealous among them monsters and miscreants. As for Athanasius and Marcellus, who have impiously blasphemed against God, and have lived as wicked miscreants, and are thereupon cast out of the Church, and condemned, we cannot receive them to the honour of episcopacy, said those fourscore bishops in the mock synod of Sardis. And Bede testifieth of the ancient Britons immediately before their destruction by the Saxons, that they were come to that height of wickedness, as to cast reproach upon the professors of religion, as upon the worst of men. Doth not St Paul say as much, 1 Corinthians 4:9 , We are made a theatre, or are set upon the stage for a laughing stock unto the world, and to angels, and to men?
For behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH ] The same that grew out of the root of Jesse, when that goodly family was sunk so low, as from David the king to Joseph the carpenter. See Isaiah 4:2 ; Isaiah 11:1 ; Isaiah 45:8 ; Isa 53:1 Jeremiah 33:15 , where the Chaldee for Branch rendereth it Messiah, as here also he doth; and some have observed that themagh, a branch, is, by transposition of letters, the same with Masciach, Messias; Samech and tsadde being near akin, and of the same sound almost. A servant Christ is called by reason of his mediatorship, taking upon him the form of a servant; yea, of a faulty servant that was to be beaten; yea, that being cruelly beaten, was brought forth to the people with an Ecce homo, "Behold the man," John 19:5 "Behold," saith God here, "I will bring forth my servant the Branch"; bring him forth out of the bosom of his Father, out of the womb of his mother, out of the types of the law.
Zec 3:9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone [shall be] seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.
Ver. 9. For behold the stone, &c. ] Another title given to Christ, who is the foundation and chief corner stone of his Church; and another "behold," prefixed as a starry note, or a hand pointing to a remarkable matter. All the prophets pointed to Christ, who is therefore called the branch, the stone, that in these creatures (everywhere obvious), as in so many opticglasses, we may see him, and be put in continual remembrance of him: It being as necessary to remember Christ as to breathe, saith a father. See Psalms 118:22 Isaiah 28:16 1 Peter 2:6-8 .
That I have laid, and that I will engrave ] The Church is God’s building, and we are his workmanship, ποιημα , Eph 2:10 his artificial manufacture, created in Christ Jesus unto good works; there being not so much of the glory of God in all his works of creation and providence, as in one gracious action that a Christian performeth. As for the glorious work of our redemption by Christ, it was a plot of God’s own contriving, a fabric of God’s own erecting; it was the Lord’s own doing, and it is justly marvellous in our eyes.
Upon one stone shall be seven eyes ] That is, Christ shall draw all eyes and hearts to him; as the stones of the temple did the disciples’ eyes, Mat 24:2 Mark 13:1 "Master," say they to Christ, "see what manner of stones and what buildings are here." Thus some sense it. I should rather by these seven eyes understand the Spirit in his various operations upon Christ, as Isaiah 11:2 , for he received not the Spirit by measure, as others; but had as much of it as a creature could possibly have. See Trapp on " Rev 1:4 " where the Holy Ghost, for his manifold good gifts and perfect givings, is called The seven Spirits; like as he is also styled the seven golden pipes, Zechariah 4:2-3 . There are those who by these seven eyes upon one stone understand the providence and wisdom of Christ in the government of his Church. He is indeed, as one saith, πλοφθαλμος , All-eye. Sic spectat universos quasi singulos; sic singules quasi solos: like a well drawn picture he eyeth all. Christ as he is a living, so he is also a looking stone; he looketh at the miseries and matters of his Church, and saith, as once, I have seen, I have seen the afflictions of my people ia Egypt, Exodus 3:7 .
Behold, I will engrave the graving thereof ] Hae coelaturae dona et stigmata Christi repraesentaut, saith a Lapide. These gravings represent the gifts and wounds of Christ, in allusion to the polished corners of the temple. Caelum dictum eat quod caelatum, id est signatum sideribus, saith Varro. Heaven hath its name in Latin from its being enamelled and bespangled with glistering stars, as with curious workmanship, or costly furniture. Of the third heaven, the habitation of saints and angels, God is said to be by a specialty the builder and maker, or (as the Greek hath it) the cunning artificer, and public architect, Hebrews 11:10 . A great deal of skill and workmanship he laid out upon it; but nothing so much as upon the human nature of Christ, wherein, as in a temple, dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, that is, personally, by virtue of the hypostatical union, Colossians 2:9 "For the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth," John 1:14 ; full, full to the very brim, full with a double fulness, vasis et fontis, of the vessel, and of the fountain. Hence, he was fairer, much fairer, double fairer (as the original importeth) than the sons of men, sc. with the beauty of wisdom and holiness: grace was poured into his lips, God had anointed him with the oil of gladness above his fellows, Psalms 45:2 ; Psalms 45:7 . The priests in the law were consecrated first with oil, compounded and confected of divers precious spices; so was Christ with gifts and graces of the Spirit, Acts 10:38 ; Act 4:27 Isaiah 61:1 ; not by measure, as we are, Ephesians 4:7 , but without measure, as much as a finite nature was capable of; particularly, he was furnished and polished with wisdom, as a prophet, against our ignorance; with holiness, as a priest, against our guilt; and with power, as a king, against our corruptions; these and all other endowments, he had, well heaped, pressed down, and running over, poured into his bosom. Next, as the priests under the law were also consecrated with blood, so was the Lord Christ with his own blood, when his Father engraved him with graving; or, as the Hebrew hath it here, opened him with opening in his bloody passion, baptized him in his own blood, stewed him in his own broth, as it were; when in a cold winter’s night he sweat great clots of blood, which through clothes and all fell to the very ground. When after this they digged his hands and his feet, Psalms 22:16 , and made his heart melt in the midst of his bowels, Psalms 22:14 . Wounded he was in the head, to cure our vile imaginations; in the hands, to expiate our evil actions; in the heart and feet, for our base affections and unworthy walkings. Tormented he was for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him, tanquam pulcherrima corporis caelatura, and by his stripes, or bloody weals, we were healed, Isaiah 53:5 . Adam signifieth man red-earth, or bloody. Christ was man in his incarnation, and bloody all over in his passion. This death of Christ, therefore, look on (saith Master Bradford, martyr) as the very pledge of God’s dear love towards thee; see the very heart of it as in an anatomy. See, God’s hands are nailed, they cannot strike thee; his feet also, he cannot run from thee; his arms are wide open to embrace thee; his head hangs down to kiss thee; his very heart is open, so that therein look, nay, even spy, and thou shalt see nothing therein but love, love, love to thee, &c.
“ Cernis ut in toto corpore sculptus amor. ”
And I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day ] "I will remove," i.e. remit and pardon the iniquity, both guilt and punishment. "O that land," i.e. of the Church, that pleasant land, more dear to God than all the earth besides. "In one day," i.e. together and at once suddenly and in an instant. See Isaiah 66:8 .
Zec 3:10 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig tree.
Ver. 10. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, shall ye call, &c. ] i.e. Ye shall have peace regionis et religionis, of country and of conscience. Christus auferet iniquitatem, affere pacem. Christ, as he saveth his people fron their sins, so from the hands of them that hate them. When this Prince of peace was born, in the days of Augustus, Universa gentium era aut pax, aut pactio; there was a general either peace or truce among all nations. "And this man shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come into the land … thus shall he deliver us from the Assyrian," Micah 5:5-6 . But behold a better thing. This Shiloh, this Tranquillator, Pacificator, by removing iniquity createth peace of conscience; like as after Jonah was cast overboard the sea became calm. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, Isaiah 9:7 . Where Christ ruleth there is peace, peace, Isa 26:3 that is, perfect, sheer, pure peace, with God, ourselves, and others; and the more Christ’s government increaseth in the soul the more is peace renewed, continued, multiplied. "Great peace have all they that love thy law, and nothing shall offend them," saith David, Psalms 119:165 "And thou hast been a strength to the poor, a refuge from the storm, a shadow from the heat," &c., Isaiah 25:4 , better than that of the broad leaved vine and fig tree, very cooling and comfortable in those hot countries. See this in righteous Noah; who being justified by faith, had peace with God, and therefore was mediis tranquillus in undis, in the midst of a calm in the waves. How securely doth he ride out that uproar of heaven, earth, and waters! He hears the pouring down of rain above his head, the shrieking of men, the bellowing of beasts on both sides him, the raging and threats of the waves under him. He saw the miserable shifts of distressed unbelievers, and in the mean time sits quietly in his dry cabin, not feeling nor fearing evil. How happy a thing is pardon of sin and peace with God! what a quiet safety, what a heavenly calm doth it lodge in the soul! what earnest pantings and strong affections to the salvation of others! "Ye shall call," &c.