Charles H.H. (Charles Henry Hamilton) Wright.

Zechariah and his prophecies considered in relation to modern criticism; with a critical and grammatical commentary and new translation : eight lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1878 .. online

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Online LibraryCharles H.H. (Charles Henry Hamilton) WrightZechariah and his prophecies considered in relation to modern criticism; with a critical and grammatical commentary and new translation : eight lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1878 .. → online text (page 1 of 60)
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BR 45 .B35 1878
Bampton lectures





Critkal m^ (Srammatkal C0mmenlariT







Of Trinity College, Dublin; M.A. of Exeter College, Oxford ;

Phil.D. of the University of Leipzig ; and Incumbent

of St. Mary's, Belfast.

ITonbuit :




Buih>"&' Tnn::er,

TJie Sel-djood Printing Worlds,

Frame, and London.






" I give and bequeath my Lands and Estates to the

" Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars, of the University of Oxford
" for ever, to have and to hold all and singular the said Lands
" or Estates upon trust, and to the intents and purposes here-
" inafter mentioned ; that is to say, I will and appoint that
"the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford for the
" time being shall take and receive all the rents, issues, and
" profits thereof, and (after all taxes, reparations, and necessary
" deductions made) that he pay all the remainder to the en-
" dowment of eight Divinity Lecture Sermons, to be estab-
" lished for ever in the said University, and to be performed
" in th,e manner following : —

"I direct and appoint, that upon the First Tuesday in
" Easter Term, a Lecturer may be yearly chosen by the Heads
"of Colleges only, and by no others, in the room adjoining to
" the Printing-house, between the hours of ten in the morning
" and two in the afternoon, to preach eight Divinity Lecture
" Sermons, the year following, at St. Mary's in Oxford, between
" the commencement of the last month in Lent Term, and the
" end of the third week in Act Term. ^


" Also I direct and appoint, that the eight Divinity Lecture
" Sermons shall be preached upon either of the following
" subjects — To confirm and establish the Christian faith, and
"to. confute all heretics and schismatics — Upon the Divine
" authority of the Holy Scriptures — Upon the authority of
" the writings of the primitive Fathers, as to the faith and
"practice of the primitive Church — Upon the Divinity of our
" Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ — Upon the Divinity of the
" Holy Ghost — Upon the Articles of the Christian Faith, as
" comprehended in the Apostles' and Nicene creeds.

"Also I direct, that thirty copies of the eight Divinity
" Lecture Sermons shall be always printed,'within two months
" after they are preached ; and one copy shall be given to the
" Chancellor of the University, and one copy to the Head of
" every College, and one copy to the Mayor of the City of
" Oxford, and one copy to be put into the Bodleian Library ;
" and the expense of printing them shall be paid out of the
" revenue of the Land or Estates given for establishing the
" Divinity Lecture Sermons, and the Preacher shall not be
" paid, nor be entitled to the revenue, before they are
" printed.

" Also I direct and appoint, that no person shall be quali-
" fied to preach the Divinity Lecture Sermons, unless he hath
" taken the degree of Master of Arts at least, in one of the two
" Universities of Oxford or Cambridge ; and that the same
"person shall never preach the Divinity Lecture Sermons
" twice."

The Very Rev. ROBERT PAYNE SMITH, D.D., Dean of Canterbury,
formerly Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Oxford and
Canon of Christ's Church; Bampton Lecturer, 1859; Editor of the
" Thesaurus Syriacus," and of other Syriac and Theological works ;
A sound theologian, an eminent Orientalist, and a constant friend :

WILLIAM WRIGHT, Esq., M.A., LL.D., D.D., Ph.D., Fellow of Queens'
College, Professor of Arabic in the University of Cambridge, formerly
Professor of Arabic in the University of Dublin ; Author of " A Gram-
mar of the Arabic Language," and Editor of many works in Arabic,
Syriac, etc. ;

A Shemitic scholar of the highest class, whose personal friendship
the Author has enjoyed for many years, having had the honour
and advantage of studying Oriental Languages under him at
Trinity College, Dublin :

The Rev. FRANZ DELITZSCH, D.D., Ph.D., Professor of Theology in the
University of Leipzig, formerly Professor in the Universities of Rostock
and Erlangen ; one of the foremost Hebraists of the day, a distinguished
theologian, and an eminent commentator ;

In acknowledgment of many personal kindnesses, and of Christian
regard and esteem for the Lutheran Churches of Germany, especially
that of Saxony, and of deep obligations to the scholars of the great
"Fatherland " :

This attempt to follow in their footsteps, " hand paribus gressibus," and to
promote the study of the Old Testament on a philological and grammatical




In sending forth this volume it may be well to state that,
in the treatment of my subject, I considered it best to avoid
altogether the form of sermons. So far as delivered, how-
ever, the Lectures now published appear in the form in
which they were actually preached from the University
pulpit, although it was absolutely necessary (as is usual on
such occasions) to read only a portion of each Lecture. In
order to make the work complete as a commentary on the
entire book of Zechariah, chapters have been added on those
portions which had to be wholly passed over in the course
of the Lectures. In the note below I have mentioned what
portions of the work is embraced by these additions.^

A work written amid the necessary duties and cares
connected with the sole pastoral charge of a large and

1 Chapter I. formed the first Lecture, delivered on St. Patrick's Day, March
17th, 1878, Chapter II. was preached on March 24th, Chapters III. and IV. as
one Lecture on April 28th, and Chapters V. and VI. together on May 5th.
Chapter VII. was not delivered before the University. Chapter VIII. was the
Lecture delivered on May 12th. Chapter IX. was not preached. Chapter X.
was delivered on May 19th, Chapter XL on May 26th, and Chapter XII., being
the eighth and concluding Lecture, on Juno 2ndT Chapter XIII. was added to
complete the work.


populous town parish, may be expected to exhibit some
traces of its having been so composed. At no time, ex-
cept during the short period of my residence at Oxford,
have I had that leisure which is generally desirable in such
cases. I trust, notwithstanding, that the work, such as it
is, may help some to a better understanding of one of the
books of the Minor Prophets which has always been con-
sidered among the most obscure and difficult portions of
Holy Scripture.

In accordance with the object of the pious founder of the
Bampton Lecture, this work has naturally an apologetic
character, and has been written with the view of taking a
calm survey of the results of modern criticism as affecting the
most important book of the Minor Prophets. I was, how-
ever, fully prepared to have altogether abandoned the tradi-
tional view as to the authorship of the second part of the
book of Zechariah, had the arguments against its integrity
appeared to me to demand such a course. I have honestly
endeavoured to weigh, as carefully as possible, the evidence
presented by eminent modern critics on this point, although
I have felt constrained to differ from their conclusions.

In the treatment of other questions of even greater import-
ance, namely, the Messianic prophecies, I have endeavoured
fairly to state the opinions on both sides. If, in the judg-
ment of any one, I appear to have failed in doing so, I trust
my failure will not be ascribed to an improper cause.

I have held aloof from the condemnable practice of abus-
ing those critics from whose views I conscientiously dissent,


and I have, therefore, abstained from characterizing such
scholars as " Rationalists " or " unbelievers," some of them
being very unfairly regarded as such. I hope I have
profited by the study of writers of all the various schools
of thought. Even the works of the few modern Roman
Catholic divines who have written on Zechariah, such as
Reinke, Theiner, and Schegg, have afforded me much assis-
tance, and I rejoice to be able to acknowledge the un-
sectarian spirit and scholarlike manner in which they have
treated the subject. Of the works of scholars of the other
schools of criticism I need not here speak particularly, as a
list of the books which have been consulted is given in the
Introduction, § 8.

The critical and grammatical commentary appended to
the Lectures, though fuller on such points than anything
which has yet appeared in England, is not as complete as
I would have wished to have made it, had time and space
permitted. A large number of the notes given under the text
of the Lectures properly belong to that part of the work.

The new translation will, I hope, help to a better under-
standing of the meaning of the original. As regards such
translations, I fully agree with the remarks of Dr. Perowne,
in the Preface to the Second Edition of his valuable work
on the Psalms ; and as I expect to be accused, as he has
been, of "needlessly departing" from our Authorised English
Version, I cannot do better than refer to what he has said
on that subject. As the translation, here given is not in-
tended to supersede our A.V., or to be viewed as a revision


thereof, I have felt myself free to act without constant
reference to that version. In any revision of a National
Version for general use, I should advocate as few altera-
tions as possible, but the object of the translation accom-
panying this work is very different. Words necessary to
complete the sense, or to express it more fully, have been
added within brackets, as well as occasional explanations,
and in some cases alternative ways of translating a passage.
The paragraphs adopted are those of the Hebrew text,
except in chapters iii. and v. Under the text will be
found a number of various readings, but the critical com-
mentary must be generally consulted for such, as many
other readings are there given. I have endeavoured, espe-
cially in the poetical portions, by a freer use of commas
than usual to express some of the peculiarities of the
Hebrew accentuation.

Throughout this work the form Jahaveh (to be pronounced
Yahaveh) has been adopted for the sacred name, instead of
Jehovah, though the latter is almost consecrated by use in
this country. The latter form has been indeed recently de-
fended by Hoelemann, but is certainly erroneous. The name
is properly speaking an imperfect kal of the verb mn or HTJ
as explained in Exod. iii. 14. From the form H JH all the
other forms of the sacred name, used in composition, or
otherwise (such as iT, ^rT\ or iiT|, T), can be explained, as
well as the 'la^e of Theodoret and Epiphanius. • The form
"Jahaveh" is better suited to the rhythm than "Jahve,"
adopted by Ewald and most Germao scholars. Had this


work been designed for the masses, I would scarcely have
ventured on this change, which will be regarded as an in-
novation in England. But as the work is intended for an
intelligent class of Biblical students, I do so with less
reluctance. I may note that there is nothing in the
Lectures themselves which cannot be understood by an
intelligent English reader, even though unacquainted with
Hebrew. The want of uniformity in expressing Hebrew
proper names in English will, I hope, be excused as it has
in great measure arisen from a desire to use forms familiar
to the English reader.

It may be well to observe that in some of my remarks
I have had in view a class of prophetical interpreters, who
have, indeed, produced no work of learning which could
be referred to, but whose views, put forth in pamphlets
and popular discourses have obtained currency in certain

In order to enable the work to be published with as little
delay as possible, it was sent to the press in sections before
the whole manuscript was completed. Its publication would
necessarily have been delayed for more than a twelvemonth,
had any other course been adopted. This plan, how-
ever, has been attended with peculiar difficulties. Some cor-
rections will be found in the translation, and especially in
the critical and grammatical commentary, e.g. on ch. iii. 3,
iv. 7, X. II, xi. 8, II. In the crit. comm. on ch. iv. 7,
I have corrected a mistake wrongly imputed by me to
Wiinsche in his treatise on Die Leiden des Messias. Con-


siderable additions on various points have been made in
that part of the work.

i desire to return my warmest thanks to Prof. William
Wright of Cambridge, and Prof. Dr. Franz Delitzsch of
Leipzig, for their great kindness in revising the proof-sheets
of this book while passing through the press, and for the
valuable suggestions made by them which have been in-
corporated in the work. Dr. Delitzsch has also very kindly
verified for me the references to the old Jewish literature.
These scholars are, however, by no means to be held respon-
sible for any of the views adopted, or for any critical
errors which the work may contain. My old friend, the
Rev. Wm. Macllwaine, D.D., Incumbent of St. George's,
Belfast, and Canon of St. Patrick's Cathedral, Dublin, has
also kindly revised the proof-sheets.

Belfast, Jan. 25 //^, 1879.

8^^ Ml



Introduction : —

§ I. Notices of the Prophet Zechariah . . xv.
§ 2. The Name of the Prophet . . . . xx.
§ 3. The Date of his earlier Predictions . . xxi.
§ 4. External Evidence as to the Unity of the

Book xxii.

§ 5. Sketch of the Rise and Progress of Critical^

Opinion on the Question of its Integrity xxv.
§ 6. The Differences between the First and Second

Portions of the Book xxviii.

§ 7. Considerations in favour of its Integrity and

Genuineness xxxv.

§ 8. Apparatus Criticus xlii.

New Translation of the Book of Zechariah . . xlix.

The First Three Visions (Zecli. i. ii.) .... 3


The Fourth Vision (Zech. iii.) — Joshua before the Angel. 45

The Fifth Vision — The Golden Candlestick (Zech. iv.) 8r


The Sixth Vision — The Flying Roll, and the Woman

in the Ephah (Zech. v.) . . . . . .105




The Seventh Vision — The Four Chariots (Zech, vi. i-8) 122


The Crowning of the High Priest (Zech, vi. 9-15). . 145


The Deputation from Bethel. — Addresses of Zech-

ARiAH to the People (Zech. vii. viii.) . . . .161


The Preparation of the Land. — The Coming of the

King (Zech. ix.) 199


The War of the Sons of Zion. — The "Lost Tribes"

(Zech. X.) 265


The Good Shepherd and his Rejection — The Evil Shep-
herd and his Doom (Zech. xi.) 299


The Trials and Victory of Israel. — The Great Mourn-
ing (Zech. xii.) 355


The Reaction against False Prophets. — The Great

Transgression (Zech. xiii.) 409


The Eschatology of Zechariah, or " The Last Things "
AS seen in the light of the Old Dispensation
(Zech. xiv.) 449

Critical and Grammatical Commentary . . '. -525

Index of Texts Illustrated 599

General Index 603


§ I. Notices of the Prophet ZecJiariah.
According to the statement in chap. i. i, Zechariah was the
son of Berechiah and the grandson of Iddo (see crit. comm.).
He was called the son of Iddo as well as the son of Berechiah,
probably because the latter died at a comparatively early age,
or was a man of little note. We assume in this statement that
the Iddo alluded to in the book of Zechariah, and whose son
the prophet Zechariah is called in Ezra v. i and vi. 14, is to
be identified with the Iddo mentioned in Neh. xii. 4, who was
one of the priests that went up from Babylon with Zerubbabel
and Joshua, and whose son Zechariah is also spoken of in
Neh. xii. 16. It is unnecessary, with Jerome and Cyrill, to
have recourse to conjecture in order to explain the simple
fact that the same person is styled both " son of Berechiah "
and " son of Iddo." For the Hebrew word for " son " is
frequently used in the sense of "grandson," for which latter
idea there is no special term in Hebrew. There is, there-
fore, no cause to regard the words "son of Berechiah " as an
interpolation. The conjecture of Knobel and von Ortenberg,
approved of by Bleek and Wellhausen, namely, that the
book of Zechariah is made up of the writings of three
distinct prophets, one of them Zechariah the son of Iddo,
who lived after the captivity, and another Zechariah the son
of Berechiah or Jeberechiah, a contemporary of Isaiah, se-
lected by that prophet to act with Uriah the high priest as


a witness (Isaiah viii. 2), is ingenious, but is entirely based
on a denial of the unity of the book,

Zechariah appears to have been still young when called
to fulfil the office of a prophet. It is, indeed, a mistake to
suppose him to be specially referred to in chap. ii. 8 (E. V.
chap, ii, 4) as "this young man," though that view has
been taken by many commentators Although, however,
that passage ought to be explained otherwise, the youth of
Zechariah may be fairly inferred from the fact that his
grandfather, Iddo, is mentioned as a person of some im-
portance in the days of Joshua the high priest, having been
one of the priests who returned with Zerubbabel and Joshua
from Babylon, and that Zechariah, is spoken of as having
prophesied during the high priesthood of Joshua, most
probably in the lifetime of his grandfather Iddo ; while in
the days of Joiakim, the successor of Joshua in the high
priest's office (Neh. xii. 10), Zechariah is mentioned as being
then the head of the family. His father Berechiah must,
therefore, have been already dead. But if Zechariah en-
tered on his prophetic work during the lifetime of his grand-
father, he must have been young at the time ; and his
grandfather being at that period the head of the family,
Zechariah was naturally termed " the son of Iddo."

Nothing is really known regarding the length of time
during which he acted as prophet. The common tradition
that he lived to a good old age had probably some historical
basis of which we now know nothing. According to Jewish
tradition, mentioned by Rashi and Abarbanel, Haggai and
Zechariah were members of the Great Synagogue, to whose
labours the Jews ascribe the reorganization of the Jewish
Church and the arrangement of the Canon of Scripture.
The line of succession from the time of Moses is said in the
Aboth of R, Nathan, to have been Joshua, the Elders, Judges
and Prophets, Haggai and Zechariah, and, lastly, the men


of the Great Synagogue, which the Mishnah regards as having
consisted of those teachers who received the tradition from the
prophets, and preserved it down to the time of Simon the Just.^
The accounts given of the prophet in the early Christian
writers of the 4th and 5th centuries cannot be regarded as
probable, being too plainly legendary in their character, and
contradicting, as they do, clear deductions from the notices in
the canonical books. The Pseudo-Epiphanius {De Proph. 21)
says that Zechariah was a very old man when he came from
Babylon, in which place he confirmed the prophecies which
he delivered by many signs. He is said to have prophesied
to Jozadak the birth of his son Joshua, and to have predicted
that that son would discharge the office of priest in Jerusa-
lem. He is also said to have foretold to Salathiel the birth
of Zerubbabel, and to have informed him of his son's future
career. He predicted to Cyrus the victory which he after-
wards obtained over Croesus, as well as what Cyrus accom-
plished at Jerusalem. He died in Judaea in extreme old age,
and was buried in a tomb near that of Haggai. Such is the
account given by Epiphanius. That given by Dorotheus is
almost identical. The latter adds that the place of the pro-
phet's sepulture was near Eleutheropolis, and ,states that he
was the Zechariah the son of Berechiah mentioned by Isaiah
in chap. viii. This seems to have been the view of the Jews,
though it involved a gross anachronism as they understood it.
For according to some traditions the same Zechariah pro-
phesied in the second temple (see Fiirst's Kanon des A. T. nach
den Ueberlieferungen in Talmud u. Midrasch, pp. 44, 45).
The same tradition is found in Hesychius, whose words are in
several clauses identical with those of Epiphanius. Hesy-
chius states in addition that the prophet was of the tribe of

' On the men of the Great Synagogue, see Buxtorfs Tiberias, cap. x. ; Jost's
Geschichte des Isr. Volkes ; and Taylor's Sayings of the Jmvish Fathers (Cambridge
University Press, 1877).



Levi, and was born in Gilead. The name Zechariah is ex-
plained by him as signifying fMvrjfiv 'T^^lo-rov, which is pos-
sible, or NcKTiTT]^ Xeovro^, which is impossible. Isidore of
Spain (7th century) says of Haggai, "Aggaeus natus in
Babylonia, juveniculus Hierusalem venit, aedificationem tem-
pli ex parte conspexit. Hie juxta sacerdotum monumenta
gloriose sepultus quiescit." Of Zechariah he adds briefly,
"Zacharias, filius Barachiae, cum eodem Aggaeo et eodem
tempore prophetavit."

Kohler observes that a further addition to the story is
found in the Codex Augustanus of Epiphanius, the prophet
being therein identified with Zechariah the son of Jehoiada
the priest (called Zacharias the son of Barachias in Matt,
•xxiii. 35), who was slain at the command of Joash between
the temple and the altar (2 Chron. xxiv. 20-22), who was
buried by his fellow-priests in the tomb of his father Jehoi-
ada ; " and from that time," states the codex, " there were
many wonderful appearances in the sanctuary (repara ev
Tw vaw iroWa (pavTao-LcoBrj), and the priests were not able
to behold the sight of the angels of God [the cherubim
over the mercy-seat?], nor to give responses from the oracle
(oure Sovvai xpv^-f^ov^ eK rov Sa/Srjp, Heb. 1^1^), nor answers
to the people as formerly by means of the visible things,"
Bia rSiv hrfktov, the Urim and Thummim.

Though Chrysostom and Jerome have identified Zechariah
the prophet with the martyr Zechariah mentioned by our
Lord, it is certain that the identification cannot be correct.
Had such a murder taken place after the Restoration from
the captivity, some allusion would no doubt have been made to
it in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, or in the prophecies of
Malachi, or the writings of Josephus. It is unlikely that two
prophets of the same name should have perished in the same
manner and place, one before the exile and the other after it.
It is, indeed, a curious fact that Josephus {Bell. Jud. iv. 5, ^^ 4),


relates the murder of a Zechariah the son of Baruch which
took place in the temple, shortly before the destruction of the
city by the Romans. But it is, however, far easier to explain
the insertion of the words "son of Barachias" in St. Matthew's
Gospel as an interpolation, or even as an inaccuracy (on the
part of the evangelist or his copyist, not on the part of our
Lord). Berechiah may also have been a second name of
Jehoiada. It must not be forgotten that Jerome in his Comm.
on Matt, xxiii. 35, mentions that in the Gospel of the Naza-
renes " son of Jehoiada " was found instead of "son of Bara-
chiah." There is little doubt, however, that our Lord in his
solemn words alludes first to the cry of Abel's blood from
the ground, mentioned in Genesis iv. 10, and secondly to the
dying prayer for vengeance of the martyr Zechariah the son
of Jehoiada, recorded in 2 Chron. xxiv. 22. In the Targum on
Lamentations (chap. ii. 20), Zechariah the son of Jehoiada is
called "Zechariah the son of Iddo, the high priest and faithful
prophet," and his death is said to have taken place on the
great Day of Atonement. The Targum regards the slaughter
of the priests and prophets in the sanctuary by the Chal-
daeans as a punishment for that great sin. To the same
effect are the stories related in the Talm-ud Yerushalmi
(Taanith, 69, col. i, 2) and in the Talmud Babli (Sanhedrin,
96, 2), quoted by Lightfoot in his Horce Heb. on Matt. 1. c.

Haggai and Zechariah are mentioned in the LXX. version
along with David in the superscription of Ps. cxxxviii. (LXX.

Online LibraryCharles H.H. (Charles Henry Hamilton) WrightZechariah and his prophecies considered in relation to modern criticism; with a critical and grammatical commentary and new translation : eight lectures delivered before the University of Oxford in the year 1878 .. → online text (page 1 of 60)