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by Thomas Coke
THE BOOK OF THE PROPHET ZECHARIAH.
ZECHARIAH returned from Babylon with Zerubbabel, and began to prophesy in the second year of the reign of Darius, son of Hystaspes; in the year of the world 3484, before the Vulgar AEra 520, in the eighth month of the holy year, and two months after Haggai had begun to prophesy. These two prophets, with united zeal, encouraged at the same time the people to go on with the work of the temple. Zechariah is the longest and most obscure of all the twelve lesser prophets. His style, says Bishop Lowth, is rather prosaic, unless towards the end, where it is elevated, poetical, and, considering his obscurity in other passages, sufficiently clear. His prophesies concerning the Messiah are more particular and express than those of many other prophets. See on chap. Zechariah 11:12. As the prophetic spirit was to cease in this and his contemporary prophets, till a greater prophet, the Messenger of the covenant, was to arise, it was highly becoming the mercy of our paternal Creator, to grant clearer and more explicit revelations of his Son than any which had yet preceded: and even the suspension of prophesy for so long a series of years is an argument both of the wisdom and goodness of God; as by that means he removed all doubt concerning him who was to come, and rendered him more conspicuously remarkable. See Calmet, and Bishop Lowth's 21st Prelection.
the First Week of Advent