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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 6

Simeon's Horae HomileticaeHorae Homileticae

Verses 12-13


Zechariah 6:12-13. Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch: and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.

MANY of the most important prophecies were introduced with remarkable and appropriate signs. When God foretold to Moses the deliverance of his people from their bondage in Egypt, he appeared to him in a burning bush, which represented the state of his Church as persecuted on every side, but preserved from injury by his presence in it. Thus was Joshua the high-priest now made to receive an honour which described in a very significant manner the glory and dignity of the promised Messiah. Some of the Jews who had chosen to remain in Babylon after that their brethren had returned to their own land, shewed that they were not altogether unmindful of their brethren or their God, by bringing a present of gold and silver for the use of the newly erected temple: and God instantly commanded that two crowns should be made of the gold and silver, and that these crowns should, in the presence of the donors, be put upon the head of Joshua: then, in explanation of this sign, the prophet was ordered to direct their attention to the promised Messiah, in whom all honour and power, whether regal or priestly, should be combined [Note: ver. 9–11.].

This prophecy will lead us to consider,


The name and work of the Messiah—

Christ is here referred to as “the man whose name is The Branch”—
[Frequently is he characterized by the prophets under this appellation [Note: Zechariah 3:8. Isaiah 4:2.]. Its import is, that he was to be a scion or shoot springing out of the stem of Jesse, that is, to be born of the house of David, when it was cut down and reduced to the lowest state [Note: Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2.]. But though he was to appear in such a weak and mean condition, yet he was to “sit upon the throne of his father David and to reign for ever.” Nor can we err in applying this prophecy to Christ, since another prophet, speaking of him by the very same name, expatiates in exalted terms upon the glory of his majesty, and declares that the name whereby he should be still more eminently distinguished, should be, Jehovah our Righteousness [Note: Jeremiah 23:5-6.]. In due time he “grew up out of his place,” both out of Bethlehem, where he was born, and out of Nazareth, where he was brought up. We do not indeed find him called “The Branch” by any of the New Testament writers; but, as the place where this branch was to grow up seems to be so particularly specified, it is not impossible but that this prophecy received its accomplishment in that contemptuous appellation given to him, “The Nazarene [Note: Matthew 2:23. The Hebrew word Netzer signifies a Branch.]:” at all events it was fulfilled in that title so often ascribed to him, “The Son of David [Note: Matthew 20:30-31; Matthew 21:9.].”]

The work to which he was appointed was, to build the temple—
[The material temple was now rebuilding under the auspices of Zerubbabel and Joshua. In reference to that, the prophet speaks of another temple (of which that which was now erecting was but a type or shadow,) which should in due time be raised by the Messiah himself; and he repeats his declaration both to denote the great importance of it, and the certainty of its accomplishment. This temple is no other than the Church of God, which Jesus Christ has founded on the earth, and against which neither the power nor the policy of hell shall ever prevail [Note: Matthew 16:18. Ephesians 2:20-21.].]

To him also, as the only builder, was to be given all “the glory”—
[Whatever instruments he uses, they can effect nothing but through the agency of his Spirit. Whether Paul plant or Apollos water, it is Christ alone that can give the increase [Note: 1 Corinthians 3:7.]. The workmen in the material temple might say of the carved work, This and that was the work of my hands; it was formed by my skill, and is a monument of my power: but, in the Church of God, there is not one stone laid in the whole building, which was not dug from the quarry, fitted for its place, and fixed in its station by the hand of Jesus: and the chisel has as much right to boast against him who worketh with it, as any instrument, which the Lord may use, has to arrogate to himself any part of his honour [Note: Isaiah 10:15.]. When “the top-stone shall be brought forth with shoutings,” there shall not be one in heaven or earth, who will not ascribe the glory to the Divine Architect, crying, “Grace, grace unto it [Note: Zechariah 4:7.]!”]

As his work was to be glorious, so were also,


The offices whereby he was to execute that work—

Mean as his appearance was, he was appointed to bear the highest offices:


He was to rule both as a King and as a Priest—

[As “King of kings and Lord of lords,” he erects his throne over all in heaven and earth. But he exercises also a government which the Father has committed to him in his mediatorial capacity. This relates more immediately to the Church, the minutest concerns of which are all subject to his controul [Note: Ephesians 1:22.]. But though a King, he executes also the office of a Priest; and appeared to the beloved Apostle arrayed in priestly vestments, in token that he still carries on the work which he began on earth [Note: Revelation 1:13.]. In him the kingly power of Zerubbabel, and the priestly office of Joshua, were to be united: and it was for this reason that both the crowns were put upon the head of Joshua, who in so remarkable a manner represented him. Being “a priest upon his throne,” his government was to be mild, like that of a compassionate Priest; and his intercession effectual, like that of an Almighty King.]


By these united offices he was to perform the work assigned him—

[The salvation of men has been contrived by infinite wisdom, and is effected only in that way which God has appointed. It is not accomplished either by power alone or by price alone; but by price and by power. Christ in his priestly office atones; and in his kingly office imparts the benefit of that atonement: “the counsel of peace is between them both.” However meritorious the death of Christ might be as a sacrifice, we can receive no salvation by it, unless he exert his almighty power to renew and sanctify our nature; nor, on the other hand, would his grace be sufficient to bring us unto God, unless he had offered a sacrifice for our sins, and continued in heaven to make intercession for us. But by making satisfaction to the injured Majesty of heaven, and delivering us out of the hands of all our spiritual enemies, he both effects our reconciliation with God, and renders us meet for our heavenly inheritance.]


What abundant provision has God made for our peace!

[A guilty conscience is not easily pacified: in the midst of all its endeavours to divert its attention from the state of the soul, it will feel many fears and secret misgivings: it will always suspect, either that something which they do not possess, is necessary for the securing of pardon, or that the exertions used for the attainment of holiness, are inadequate to the end proposed. But God has given us a Saviour, who equally bears the sacerdotal censer, and the regal diadem; and unites in himself the compassion of a Priest, with the power and authority of a King. What then can be wanting to satisfy our minds? Surely we need only believe; and “according to our faith so shall it be done unto us.” If our minds be but “stayed on Christ” as a willing and all-sufficient Saviour, we shall, according to his word, be “kept in perfect peace.”]


How evidently must all the glory of our salvation be given to Christ!

[We always wish to ascribe some of the glory to ourselves: but the whole work is his from the foundation to the top-stone: He is “the author and the finisher of our faith.”Are we reconciled to God? it is through the blood of his cross. Is our peace maintained with God? it is through his prevailing intercession. Are we freed from the bondage of sin and Satan? it is through his mighty power, and victorious grace. Let him then “bear the glory:” on him “let us hang all the glory of his Father’s house [Note: Isaiah 22:24.]:” and let us now sing, as we hope to do to all eternity, “To him that loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood, be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen [Note: Revelation 1:5-6.].]

Bibliographical Information
Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Zechariah 6". Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/shh/zechariah-6.html. 1832.
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