Zechariah 6:12
And speak to him, saying, Thus speaks 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:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Zechariah 6:12. And speak unto him, saying — Bishop Chandler justly observes, that the prophet’s speech is directed to Joshua only; the two crowns are put only on the head of Joshua; to him only it is said, Behold the man whose name is The Branch — As much as to say, “Behold the sign of the BRANCH, the person whom I promised to David in Solomon, and by the prophets after David to the Jews, by the name of the BRANCH.” “There cannot be a doubt,” says Blayney, “that the same person is meant by the BRANCH here, who is so called chap. Zechariah 3:8, and this has been already shown to be, not Zerubbabel, but the Messiah himself; of whom Joshua is made the type, or representative, by the crown placed on his head. For to what end should he have been called in to represent Zerubbabel, who was his cotemporary, and altogether as ready at hand as himself. Nor will the passage, strictly and literally translated, answer to any other but him who was at once both king and priest, and, by uniting both characters in himself, was completely qualified to bring about the counsel of peace, or reconciliation between God and man.” It must be observed, however, that the human nature of our Lord is here chiefly intended by the expression, The man, the BRANCH. For, considered in his divine nature, he is not the branch out of the stem of Jesse, or David, but their root, as he is termed Isaiah 11:10; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 22:16. In this his human nature, he was small in his beginning, even as to his kingdom as well as his person; and mean in his appearance, as a mere bud or sprout, but gradually flourishing and becoming great and fruitful. As a branch, he was to be cut off, but would produce sprouts, branches, and trees of righteousness innumerable. He shall grow up out of his place — Out of the tribe and family, and in the place foretold; as if he had said, Though you may suspect the root to be dry and dead, yet assuredly it is not: the branch will spring up, the Messiah, who shall be both priest and king, will make his appearance in due time. The Hebrew, מתחתיו יצמח, is literally, He shall spring up, or flourish, from under himself; by his own power, or by the power of his own Spirit, he shall be both stock and stem to himself. The words seem evidently to express his miraculous conception. He shall build the temple of the Lord — As the preceding clause speaks of his person, his conception, and birth, so this describes his work; as if he had said, He it is that stands by you, though unseen, and enables you to build this material temple; which neither Zerubbabel, nor Joshua, nor all the Jews uniting with them, would be able to complete without him. This, however, is a temple far inferior to that spiritual building, the gospel church, which the Messiah will in due time raise, beautify, preserve, and honour; the spiritual house, in which he will dwell, 1 Peter 2:4; the temple built on the foundations laid in Zion, where he will manifest his grace and glory, and be worshipped in Spirit and in truth, 1 Corinthians 3:9-16; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Ephesians 2:19-22.6:9-15 Some Jews from Babylon brought an offering to the house of God. Those who cannot forward a good work by their persons, must, as they are able, forward it by their purses: if some find hands, let others fill them. Crowns are to be made, and put upon the head of Joshua. The sign was used, to make the promise more noticed, that God will, in the fulness of time, raise up a great High Priest, like Joshua, who is but the figure of one that is to come. Christ is not only the Foundation, but the Founder of this temple, by his Spirit and grace. Glory is a burden, but not too heavy for Him to bear who upholds all things. The cross was His glory, and he bore that; so is the crown an exceeding weight of glory, and he bears that. The counsel of peace should be between the priest and the throne, between the priestly and kingly offices of Jesus Christ. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, and of all believers, shall be wrought, though not by two several persons, yet by two several offices meeting in one; Christ, purchasing all peace by his priesthood, maintaining and defending it by his kingdom. The crowns used in this solemnity must be kept in the temple, as evidence of this promise of the Messiah. Let us not think of separating what God has joined in his counsel of peace. We cannot come to God by Christ as our Priest, if we refuse to have him rule over us as our King. We have no real ground to think our peace is made with God, unless we try to keep his commandments.The prophet is taught to explain his own symbolic act. "Behold the Man whose name is the Branch" . "Not for himself, but for Christ, whose name Joshua bare, and whose Priesthood and Princedom he represented," was the crown given him. The prophet had already foretold the Messiah, under the name of the Branch. Here he adds,

And he shall grow up out of His place - Lowly and of no seeming account, as God foretold by Jeremiah, "I will cause the Branch of righteousness to grow up unto David" Jeremiah 33:15; and Jesus Himself said, "Except a grain of wheat fall into the earth and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit" John 12:24. Alone He grew up before God, as a tender plant Isaiah 53:2, unknown of man, known to God. It is that still, Divine Life at Nazareth, of which we see only that one bright flash in the temple, the deep saying, not understood even by Joseph and Mary, and then, "He went down with them and came to Nazareth and was subject unto them" (see Luke 2:49-51).

And he shall build the temple of the Lord - The material temple was soon to be finished, and that by Zerubbabel, to whom this had been promised, Zechariah 4:10, not by Joshua. It was then a new temple, to be built from the foundation, of which He Himself was to be "the foundation" Isaiah 28:16; 1 Corinthians 3:11; Ephesians 2:20-21, as He said, "On this rock I will build My Church" Matthew 16:18; and in Him "all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple to the Lord" Ephesians 2:21. Osorius: "He it is, who built the house; for neither Solomon nor Zerubbabel nor Joshua son of Josedech could build a house worthy of the majesty of God. For "the Most High" Acts 7:48-49, Stephen says, "dwelleth not in temples made with hands, as saith the prophet; Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool; what house will ye build Me, saith the Lord?" For if they could have built a house for God, He would not have allowed His house to be burned and overthrown. What then is the house of God which Christ built? The Church, founded on faith in Him, dedicated by His Blood, stablished by the stayedness of divine virtue, adorned with divine and eternal riches, wherein the Lord ever dwelleth."

12. Behold, the man—namely, shall arise. Pilate unconsciously spake God's will concerning Him, "Behold the man" (Joh 19:5). The sense here is, "Behold in Joshua a remarkable shadowing forth of Messiah." It is not for his own sake that the crown is placed on him, but as type of Messiah about to be at once king and priest. Joshua could not individually be crowned king, not being of the royal line of David, but only in his representative character.

Branch—(See on [1180]Zec 3:8; Isa 4:2; Jer 23:5; 33:15).

he shall grow up out of his place—retaining the image of a "Branch"; "He shall sprout up from His place," that is, the place peculiar to Him: not merely from Beth-lehem or Nazareth, but by His own power, without man's aid, in His miraculous conception [Henderson]; a sense brought out in the original, "from under Himself," or "from (of) Himself" [Calvin]. Moore makes it refer to His growing lowly in His place of obscurity, "as a tender plant and a root out of a dry ground" (Isa 53:2), for thirty years unknown except as the son of a carpenter. Maurer translates, "Under Him there shall be growth (in the Church)." English Version accords better with the Hebrew (compare Ex 10:23). The idea in a Branch is that Christ's glory is growing, not yet fully manifested as a full-grown tree. Therefore men reject Him now.

build the temple—The promise of the future true building of the spiritual temple by Messiah (Mt 16:18; 1Co 3:17; 2Co 6:16; Eph 2:20-22; Heb 3:3) is an earnest to assure the Jews, that the material temple will be built by Joshua and Zerubbabel, in spite of all seeming obstacles. It also raises their thoughts beyond the material to the spiritual temple, and also to the future glorious temple, to be reared in Israel under Messiah's superintendence (Eze 40:1-43:27). The repetition of the same clause (Zec 6:13) gives emphasis to the statement as to Messiah's work.

Speak unto him; Joshua, but in hearing of others, and in the name of the Lord.

Behold; consider thoroughly the import and meaning of this unusual ceremony.

The man; thou, Joshua, art the type or figure, but he that is the man signified by thee, is that great person God hath promised, and you do expect, and who shall come.

Whose name is the Branch; whom you know by the name of the Branch, who was called so long since, Messiah Ben David; this wonderful person is the man that is crowned, as King and Priest, by proxy, or in effigy: thou, O Joshua, art the portrait; he is the Branch itself, Zechariah 3:8.

He shall grow up; though you may perhaps suspect the root dry or dead, yet assuredly it is not, the Branch will spring up, Messiah, King and Priest, shall be born in due time.

Out of his place; of the same tribe and family, and in the same place, foretold.

He shall build the temple; he it is, though unseen, that stands by you, that builds the material temple: neither Zerubbabel nor Joshua, nor all the Jews, could do any thing without Christ in the present building, which is yet far inferior to the spiritual temple, which Christ will build, beautify, and preserve, and dwell in for ever.

Speak unto him; Joshua, but in hearing of others, and in the name of the Lord.

Behold; consider thoroughly the import and meaning of this unusual ceremony.

The man; thou, Joshua, art the type or figure, but he that is the man signified by thee, is that great person God hath promised, and you do expect, and who shall come.

Whose name is the Branch; whom you know by the name of the Branch, who was called so long since, Messiah Ben David; this wonderful person is the man that is crowned, as King and Priest, by proxy, or in effigy: thou, O Joshua, art the portrait; he is the Branch itself, Zechariah 3:8.

He shall grow up; though you may perhaps suspect the root dry or dead, yet assuredly it is not, the Branch will spring up, Messiah, King and Priest, shall be born in due time.

Out of his place; of the same tribe and family, and in the same place, foretold.

He shall build the temple; he it is, though unseen, that stands by you, that builds the material temple: neither Zerubbabel nor Joshua, nor all the Jews, could do any thing without Christ in the present building, which is yet far inferior to the spiritual temple, which Christ will build, beautify, and preserve, and dwell in for ever. 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 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 (k), and in other Jewish writings. It is asked (l), 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 (m) 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 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", &c.; Philo the Jew (n) 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 (o), 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, 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" (p); 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" (q); 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 or it is same as 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.

(k) T. Hieros. Beracot, fol. 5. 1.((l) Echa Rabbati, fol. 50. 1.((m) Pirke Eliezer, c. 48. fol. 58. 1. Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 18. fol. 223. 2.((n) De Confus. Ling. p. 329. (o) Not. in Miclol Yophi in loc. (p) "subter eum", V. L. Pagninus; "ad verbum, de sub se", Calvin, Drusius; "de subter se", Cocceius; "ex sub eo", Burkius. (q) "Ex inferiore loco", Vitringa in Jesaiam, c. iv. 2. "E leco suo humili", Hiller. Onomastic. Sacr. p. 47.

And speak to him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The {n} BRANCH; and he shall grow {o} up out of his place, and he shall {p} build the temple of the LORD:

(n) Meaning Christ, of whom Joshua was the figure: for in Greek they were both called Jesus.

(o) That is, of himself without the help of man.

(p) Which declares that no one could build this temple of which Haggai speaks, but only Christ: and therefore it was spiritual, and not material; Ha 2:9.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. the Branch] See chap. Zechariah 3:8 and note.

out of his place] Lit. from under him. Comp. for the expression Exodus 10:23; and for the meaning Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2. Other less satisfactory renderings are, it shall grow up under Him, i.e. all things fair and good shall spring up and flourish under Him. Cf. Pers. Sat. 2, 38: “quidquid calcaverit hic, rosa fiat” (Maurer); or, “He shall sprout forth from under Himself, i.e. send forth shoots as from a parent stem.” (Speaker’s Comment.)Verse 12. - Speak unto him, saying. The prophet is to explain to Joshua the meaning of this public act. Behold the Man whose name is The BRANCH; literally, behold the man, BRANCH is his name (see note on Zechariah 3:8). The Targum has, "Behold the Man, Messiah is his name." It is plain that the term "Branch" or "Shoot" (LXX., Ἀνατολή: Vulgate, Oriens) could not be addressed to Joshua; indeed, the very form of the sentence, "his name," not "thy name," shows this. All who saw the transaction and heard the words must have understood that they had reference to the "Shoot" of David, the Messiah that was to come, to whom was committed the regal and priestly dignity. And he shall grow up out of his place; Septuagint, Καὶ ὑποκάτωθεν αὐτοῦ ἀνατελεῖ, "And item beneath him he shall spring up;" Vulgate, Et subter eum orietur; Drake, "He shall sprout forth from under himself;" Revised Version margin, "And it (or they) shall bud forth under him;" Hitzig, Ewald, "From under him there shall be sprouting." But them is no need to alter the rendering of the Authorized Version, which indicates that the shoot shall grow from its own soil, that Messiah shall arise in his own country and nation, and shall spring from a lowly origin to the highest glory (see Isaiah 11:1; Isaiah 53:2). He shall build the temple of the Lord. He should build, not the material temple whose foundations Zerubbabel had laid, but the spiritual temple of which the tabernacle and the temple of Jerusalem were only the type and shadow - that new sanctuary which Ezekiel beheld (41), a house not made with hands, the Church of the living God (Ephesians 2:20, etc.; 1 Peter 2:5). Destruction of the Philistines. - Zephaniah 2:4. "For Gaza will be forgotten, and Ashkelon become a desert; Ashdod, they drive it out in broad day, and Ekron will be ploughed out. Zephaniah 2:5. Woe upon the inhabitants of the tract by the sea, the nation of the Cretans! The word of Jehovah upon you, O Canaan, land of the Philistines! I destroy thee, so that not an inhabitant remains. Zephaniah 2:6. And the tract by the sea becomes pastures for shepherds' caves, and for folds of sheep. Zephaniah 2:7. And a tract will be for the remnant of the house of Judah; upon them will they feed: in the houses of Ashkelon they encamp in the evening; for Jehovah their God will visit them, and turn their captivity." The fourth verse, which is closely connected by kı̄ (for) with the exhortation to repentance, serves as an introduction to the threat of judgment commencing with hōi in Zephaniah 2:5. As the mentioning of the names of the four Philistian capitals (see at Joshua 13:3) is simply an individualizing periphrasis for the Philistian territory and people, so the land and people of Philistia are mentioned primarily for the purpose of individualizing, as being the representatives of the heathen world by which Judah was surrounded; and it is not till afterwards, in the further development of the threat, that the enumeration of certain near and remote heathen nations is appended, to express more clearly the idea of the heathen world as a whole. Of the names of the Philistian cities Zephaniah makes use of two, ‛Azzâh and ‛Eqrōn, as a play upon words, to express by means of paronomasia the fate awaiting them. ‛azzâh, Gaza, will be ‛azûbhâh, forsaken, desolate. ‛Eqrōn, Ekron, will be tē‛âqēr, rooted up, torn out of its soil, destroyed. To the other two he announces their fate in literal terms, the shemâmâh threatened against Ashkelon corresponding to the ‛ăzūbhâh, and the gârēsh predicated of Ashdod preparing the way for Ekron's tē‛âqēr. בּצּהרים at noon, i.e., in broad day, might signify, when used as an antithesis to night, "with open violence" (Jerome, Kimchi); but inasmuch as the expulsion of inhabitants is not effected by thieves in the night, the time of noon is more probably to be understood, as v. Clln and Rosenmller suppose, as denoting the time of day at which men generally rest in hot countries (2 Samuel 4:5), in the sense of unexpected, unsuspected expulsion; and this is favoured by Jeremiah 15:8, where the devastation at noon is described as a sudden invasion. The omission of Gath may be explained in the same manner as in Amos 1:6-8, from the fact that the parallelism of the clauses only allowed the names of four cities to be given; and this number was amply sufficient to individualize the whole, just as Zephaniah, when enumerating the heathen nations, restricts the number to four, according to the four quarters of the globe: viz., the Philistines in the west (Zephaniah 2:5-7); the Moabites and Ammonites comprised in one in the east (Zephaniah 2:8-10); the Cushites in the south (Zephaniah 2:11, Zephaniah 2:12); and Asshur, with Nineveh, in the north (north-east), (Zephaniah 2:13-15). The woe with which the threat is commenced in Zephaniah 2:5 applies to the whole land and people of the Philistines. Chebhel, the measure, then the tract of land measured out or apportioned (see at Deuteronomy 3:4; Deuteronomy 32:9, etc.). The tract of the sea is the tract of land by the Mediterranean Sea which was occupied by the Philistines (chebhel hayyâm equals 'erets Pelishtı̄m). Zephaniah calls the inhabitants gōi Kerēthı̄m, nation of the Cretans, from the name of one branch of the Philistian people which was settled in the south-west of Philistia, for the purpose of representing them as a people devoted to kârath, or extermination. The origin of this name, which is selected both here and in Ezekiel 25:16 with a play upon the appellative signification, is involved in obscurity; for, as we have already observed at 1 Samuel 30:14, there is no valid authority for the derivation which is now current, viz., from the island of Crete (see Stark, Gaza, pp. 66 and 99ff.). דּבר יי עליכם forms an independent sentence: The word of the Lord cometh over you. The nature of that word is described in the next sentence: I will destroy thee. The name Kena‛an is used in the more limited sense of Philistia, and is chosen to indicate that Philistia is to share the lot of Canaan, and lose its inhabitants by extermination.
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