By Edward Dennett
While this chapter contains a distinct prophecy, it flows from, and is connected with, that which precedes. It is divided into two parts — the first, from verse 1 to verse 17, and the second, from verse 18 to the end. The first part is characterised by a seven-fold "Thus saith the Lord of hosts" — one of these, "Thus saith the Lord" only. The second has, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts" three times. This to the human ear might seem to be useless repetition, but by those taught of the Spirit it will be regarded as a solemn affirmation of the truth of the prophetic message, and that, from the number of the times the words are repeated, in a very especial way. There is indeed no variation, even in the form of the divine communications, that does not contain instruction for the devout mind.
The subject of this chapter, in contrast with Zech. 7, reveals the whole truth of God's ways with Jerusalem and the house of Judah, and indeed with man. In the latter part of chapter 7 we have seen the failure of Jehovah's people under responsibility and their consequent judgment. In this chapter we find the revelation of God's purposes, immutable purposes of blessing, according to His counsels of grace. In like manner Adam was tested in the garden, placed under the responsibility of obedience as the condition of blessing. By his transgression he lost all, and then, on his failure, the Man of God's counsels, the seed of the woman, was introduced as the One in and by whom God would accomplish all the thoughts of His heart. Thus it was with Israel. They accepted the law in responsibility, and their blessing was dependent upon their keeping the commandments. Their history is but the record of their transgressions, and chapter 7 brings before those to whom the prophet was sent the conduct of their fathers, and shows them how the land had been forfeited through their disobedience and sin. But the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, and thus, in grace triumphing over His people's sin through Him who was to die for that nation, He can announce His unalterable love for Zion, and His purpose to effect her restoration. It is necessary for the reader to comprehend these principles of God's ways with Israel, if he would read the prophets with intelligence.
The chapter opens then with a real gospel, not the gospel of the grace of God, but the gospel of blessing to Zion. "Again the word of the Lord of hosts came to me, saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury." (vv. 1, 2.) In these words we have the revelation of the ground of God's intervention on behalf of His people; it is His unchanging love for Zion. He says, I "am," not I "was," jealous for Zion.1 Her present mournful condition moved Him, as it were, to compassion, excited His jealousy2 on her behalf, and constrained Him to step in for her restoration. The intensity of Jehovah's feelings for this beloved city may be gathered from many scriptures. In Isaiah, for example, we read, "Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me. Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." (Isa. 49:14-16.) It is this same unchanging affection for Zion that finds expression through Zechariah, and, if the words may be reverently used, stirs up Jehovah to interpose for her deliverance and restoration. She may still have to wait, centuries may have to roll by, owing to her yet greater sin in the crucifixion of the Messiah; but the eyes and heart of Jehovah will perpetually rest upon her, and He will infallibly fulfil the word that has gone out of His mouth, and make her yet once more, and in a more perfect way, the perfection of beauty, the joy of the whole earth. (Lam. 2:15.)
The prophet then proceeds to point out the way in which Jehovah will accomplish His purposes. "Thus saith the Lord; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain." (v. 3.) Jehovah had departed from His dwelling-place at Jerusalem, because of His people's sins (see Ezekiel 11:23), and He had given up the land for "a desolation and an astonishment" for seventy years (Jer. 25:11); but now that this period had been fulfilled He had, according to that same word, visited His people, and performed His good word toward them in causing them to return. (Jeremiah 29:10) Hence it is that He says, by the mouth of the prophet, "I am returned unto Zion"; for in truth, as He spake through Haggai, He was with His people, and His spirit remained among them. (Haggai 2) It is true that they were but a poor feeble few, yet it was on them the Lord's eyes and heart were set. He had been with them in their journey from the land of their exile, and He was now with them in their laborious work in the erection of the temple; for it was His work in which they were engaged. He was thus "returned" to Zion.
He also says," I will dwell at Jerusalem." He does not say, I do, but I will dwell at Jerusalem; for though His people were building a temple to His name, and it was according to His mind that they should do so, and He delighted in their work, He would not yet dwell in Zion — not indeed until many weary years should have passed, not until the establishment of Messiah's kingdom. But, as we have before seen in Haggai, and in the former parts of this book, the work which the children of the captivity, were at this moment doing, contained in itself the promise and the guarantee, of the fulfilment of all that God had spoken concerning the future glory of Jerusalem. A long interval of centuries, therefore, must be interposed between the words, "I am returned unto Zion" and I "will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem," though the two are linked together as a cause and effect in the divine mind.
Then the consequence follows, "And Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the Lord of hosts the holy mountain." Formerly Jerusalem had been full of iniquity. Isaiah thus speaks, "How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers"; and then, denouncing judgment upon her, and describing how it should be executed, he says, "Afterward thou shalt be called, The city of righteousness, the faithful city." (Isaiah 1:21-26.) So here. When the Lord shall have once more taken up His abode in Jerusalem, when there shall have come out of Zion the Deliverer, and have turned away ungodliness from Jacob the city will be, a city of truth, and Zion, God's holy mountain, sanctified by His own glory (compare Exodus 29:43), and undefiled by His worshippers, shall be preserved in holiness. Wherever God condescends to dwell, whether in the tabernacle, temple, or in the church, truth and holiness must be maintained.
We have, in the next place, the presentation of the prosperity and happiness of the inhabitants of the city. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof." (vv. 4, 5.) It must be remembered that the fulfilment of this promise will take place under the sway of Messiah in the thousand years, when "there shall be no more thence an infant of days" (i.e. death in infancy, a child who shall live but for a few days), nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for health and strength will be possessed by all who are subject to Christ as King. Even under the law this would have been so, had the people been obedient. They would have escaped the diseases of Egypt, and prolonged their days in the land (see Exodus 15:26; Deut. 4:10, Deut. 5:16, 33, Deut. 6:2, Deut. 11:9, etc.); but they forfeited all by their disobedience and sin.3 But in the future God will cause His people to realize all, and more than all, the blessings which He had promised of old under the condition of keeping the law. Hence this beautiful picture of temporal prosperity, old men and women enjoying in tranquility a peaceful old age, and able still to be in the streets, though bending under the weight of "the multitude of days," supported by their staff, while the streets should, at the same time, resound with the jocund cries of boys and girls in the merriment of their play. It is a scene of perfect natural happiness, and one that reveals the interest, the pleasure, God takes in the temporal prosperity of His people, and the more, it should not be forgotten, because it is one of the blessings consequent on Messiah's righteous reign.
The accomplishment of this promise would be a source of astonishment to those who should witness it. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; If it be marvellous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these4 days, should it also be marvellous in mine eyes? saith the Lord of hosts." (v. 6.) Nothing is too hard for the Lord, and it was always His thought to bless His people abundantly. We are too apt to forget this, and to accept a low, enfeebled condition as our normal state, instead of perceiving that it is only we ourselves who limit, by our unbelief and disobedience, our blessing. So when the Jews emerge at length from their down-trodden and oppressed condition into the full light and blessing of the kingdom, they will be astounded at the display of God's power and grace on their behalf, and at the character of the wealthy place into which they have been brought. But with God it will only be His long-looked and waited-for opportunity for the execution of all His gracious designs, when He will rejoice over His people with joy, rest in His love, and joy over them with singing. (Zephaniah 3:17.)
The next two verses explain the accomplishment of His purposes. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Behold, I will save my, people from the east country, and from the west country, and I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness." (vv. 7, 8.) Such is the way in which Jehovah will effect the prosperity and blessing of His people. The details are not found here, but we know from other scriptures that the gathering of the Jews from other lands will be after the appearing of the Son of man (see, for example, Matthew 24:29-31), and after therefore He shall have taken to Himself His rightful power and throne. Sought out and brought back by the intervention of their glorious Messiah, they shall dwell in "the city of the great King," and shall be introduced into relationship with Him as their God. It is of great moment to observe that all the happiness and prosperity above described will flow from their established relationship with God. They shall be His people, and He will be their God in truth — in the truth of what He is as revealed in His covenant relationship with Israel — and in righteousness, this characterizing the government under which they will be placed. The blessings of Christians are, in like manner, determined by the character of their relationship with God. He is their God and Father, because the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; and, as the epistle to the Ephesians shows, all the spiritual blessings which are ours in heavenly places in Christ are connected with this twofold relationship. Jehovah is the name of relationship which God has been pleased to take in reference to Israel, and it is this name — this name in all that it involves as expressive of what God is as thus revealed — which will give character to their millennial blessing; hence the words, we doubt not, of "truth and righteousness" — terms which could hardly be applied to the God of grace in His relationship to Christians as their God and Father. It will be profitable for the reader to mark these distinctions, which are significant of the different dispensations in the course of God's revelations of Himself at different epochs, and thus of the relationships on which He has been pleased to enter with the objects of His grace. To confound these is to miss the key to the interpretation of Scripture.
Having disclosed by the word of the Lord the future restoration, prosperity, and blessing of Jerusalem and Judah, the prophet returns to their present circumstances, as connected with the building of the house of the Lord; and this part of Zechariah's message, though divided into two parts, extends to verse 17. From verse 9 to verse 13 we have the message; in verses 14, 15 the ground is stated — viz., the change in the Lord's attitude towards His people; and then in verses 16, 17 the responsibility of the people is given, showing, as everywhere under the old dispensation, that their blessing was dependent upon their walking according to Jehovah's commandments.
First then we have the message — "Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house, of the Lord of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built." The prophet's meaning is not at first sight apprehended. It would seem that he is recalling to the minds of his hearers the words that had been spoken by the prophets on the day when the foundation of the temple was laid. Thus, "Ye that hear in these days," would refer to his present audience, and, "These words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day," etc., will relate to the special messages given at the time when the foundation was laid for the encouragement of the builders in their work. It is this of which Zechariah reminds the people as he appeals to present facts in confirmation of the word then spoken. What then were the words spoken at that time by the prophets? There is little doubt, from what follows in this chapter, that the reference is to Haggai. We read there, after a description of the state of things that existed, because the people had neglected building the Lord's house, "Consider now from this day and upward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month, even from the day that the foundation of the Lord's temple was laid, consider it. Is the seed yet in the barn? Yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive-tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you." (Haggai 2:18-19) It is to "these words" that Zechariah doubtless refers; for he also points back to the sorrowful condition of the people before they commenced the work of the house. He says, "Before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast, neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbour." (v. 10) The people, as we learn from Haggai, had all been seeking their own things, had been building their own houses, while saying that it was not the proper moment to build the Lord's house. But the Lord saw, and He loved the people too well to allow them to prosper while forgetting Him and His claims. He thus came in, stirred up "affliction" for them on every hand, brought in trial and adversity, and exposed them to the enmity of their neighbours. But when, aroused by the prophets, and thus recalled to the object and purpose of their restoration from exile, they commenced to lay the foundation of the temple, God began to bless them in all the work of their hands. Seeking first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, they found that all other things — things which before they sought to obtain without God — were now added to them. Hence the Lord says, "But now" (the "now" dating, as we judge, as in Haggai, from the laying of the foundation of the temple) "I will not be unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts. For the seed shall be prosperous" (see margin); "the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things." (vv. 11, 12.)
It were well for the people of God in every age to remember this principle. How often is it that they are tempted, for the sake of temporal advantage, or even, as they think, from the necessity of daily duties, to give their own things the first place, a superior place to the Lord's things. Whenever this temptation is yielded to, nothing but sorrow can be the result. It may not be now as with the Jew, to whom temporal prosperity was a sign of Jehovah's favour, that there will be no success in worldly things; but there will be certainly trials and afflictions of one kind or another for every believer whose mind is on earthly things. The only path of blessing, whether in the past or in the present, lies in devotedness to the Lord's service. If in our several measures we follow, however feebly, in the Lord's footsteps, and find it our meat to do His will, we shall assuredly find it a path in which we shall walk in the enjoyment of His favour and blessing.
There was still more: "And it shall come to pass, that as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing; fear not, but let your hands, be strong." (v. 13.) They had been scattered, in the Lord's anger, among all the nations (7:14), and, though they alone of all the nations of the earth had known Jehovah's name, and should therefore have been His witnesses (compare Acts 8:1-4), they had been a curse through their idolatrous practices. As indeed God spake through Ezekiel, "I had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the heathen, whither they went." (Ezekiel 36:21) It was on this ground, "For mine holy name's sake" (Ezekiel 36:22), that God would act, and save His people, according to His word through Zechariah, a promise that embraces, in its entire fulfilment, the restoration of the people according to verses 7, 8, when "the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the Lord, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men." (Micah 5:7.) It is for the accomplishment of this promise that Jehovah will sprinkle clean water upon His people, "and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them." (Ezekiel 36:25-27.) It is then, and then alone, that Israel will blossom and bud and fill the face of the world with fruit, and thus be a blessing.
Together with this divine and glorious encouragement there is the exhortation, "Fear not, but let your hands be strong." The latter part of it is repeated from verse 9. God was now for them, and they were thus not to be afraid, and their hands were to be strong for the work on which they were engaged. This is explained in the following verses. "For thus saith the Lord of hosts, As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts, and I repented not: So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not." (vv. 14, 15.) His chastisements had been irrevocable, and so should be His blessings; and He would have His people therefore to rest in Him, to count upon all that He was on their behalf, and thus not to fear. Once indeed realise that God is for His people, and all fear is dispelled. As the apostle writes, "We may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me." (Hebrews 13:6; compare Psalm 27) And not only so in this case, but the prophet also pledges the word of the Lord that it was now His purpose to "do well" both to Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. They were therefore not to fear, and they were confidently to count on His favour and blessing.
Together with the announcement of His gracious purposes towards His people, Jehovah once more sets forth His requirements. "These are the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbour; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates; and let none of you imagine evil in hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath for all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord." (vv. 16, 17.) The reader's especial attention may be drawn to the principle involved in this divine requirement from the people. God had announced His purpose, as we have seen, to bless both them and Jerusalem, and what He thus announced was altogether independent of the state and conduct of the remnant. All had been forfeited by the nation under responsibility, but God, on the ground of the death of Christ, will accomplish, and righteously accomplish, all the good which He had spoken concerning His people.5 But the remnant in the land are reminded that for their enjoyment of the promise given in verses 11-13, for their realization of the favour of God, connected with His change of attitude towards them, they were dependent on their walk; that, in other words, they would never themselves receive their promised blessings unless their walk were governed by the word of God. It is so with the Christian, also if in another way. Once really a believer, salvation is assured, and he will be infallibly put in possession of the inheritance, with all the saints of God, at the return of the Lord. While, however, this is certain, yet as long as the believer is in this world, there is no possible enjoyment for him of the favour and blessing of God if he be not walking in God's ways according to His word. All is of grace, all that he has received, or will yet receive; but the practical possession and enjoyment of the blessings secured in Christ, while down here, must depend on his own condition. This is the principle proclaimed by the prophet to the children of the captivity; and he says, as it were, God is now intent on blessing you, but you, if you would enter into and enjoy what he has promised, must be careful of your walk and ways. And remark how practical these injunctions are — all affecting their mutual relationships. They were to speak the truth one to another (compare Ephesians 4:25); they were to "judge" the judgment of truth and peace in their gates; for the effect of righteous judgment is always peace (see Isaiah 32:17); they were not to meditate6 evil in their hearts against their neighbour, and they would not if they loved their neighbour as themselves, and they were to abstain from false oaths. They were to be in communion with the mind of the Lord as to these things, hating them because they were abhorrent to Him.7
Having thus revealed His counsels respecting Jerusalem and Judah, the Lord now gives another message to the prophet, and first of all concerning the feasts about which Bethel had sent men to the house of the Lord to enquire. "And the word of the Lord of hosts came unto me saying, Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The fast of the fourth month, and the last of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace." (vv. 18, 19) All the feasts named would seem to have been connected with the siege and destruction of Jerusalem, and what followed thereon. Allusion has been made in the previous chapter, on verse 5, to those of the fifth and seventh month; that of the fourth month sprung probably from the date of the opening of the gates of Jerusalem to the princes of Nebuchadnezzar (see Jeremiah 39:2-3); and it was in the tenth month that the siege was formally opened. (Jeremiah 52:4.)8 All these days therefore brought mournful recollections to the Jew, reminding him not only of national disasters, but also of the anger of Jehovah and it was their humiliation and sorrow which they profess to express in the institution of their fasts. But, as we have seen, there were many who were wearied of their continual observance, and thus they desired to know if, now that they had been restored to the land, they were to be continued. The full answer is now returned. In the previous chapter Jehovah had made them see what it was that led to the terrible chastisements that had fallen upon their nation, and at the same time had put before them the condition of blessing. Now He sends Zechariah to tell them that the time is coming — not yet come, but coming — when all these fasts should become joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts. Until that time therefore fasting would be the proper expression of their feeble state and condition; but then He would "give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness." (Isaiah 61:3.) In the time of our Lord the Pharisees complained that His disciples did not fast. He answered that they could not fast while they had the Bridegroom with them; but, He said, when the Bridegroom should be taken from them, in those days they would fast. (See Matt. 9:14-15.) So with the Jews. Fasting was the true expression of their condition as long as Jehovah had not returned in glory to dwell once more in Jerusalem; but that time was coming, and then, and not till then, their fasts would be turned into festal celebrations of praise. Therefore (such is the exhortation) love the truth and peace, not peace and the truth, but the truth and peace; and herein lies the condition, for all times, of real and abiding blessing. These Jews would not live to see their fasts superseded by feasts, but the path of blessing in the abiding favour of God is here indicated for them in loving the truth and peace.
The rest of the chapter is taken up with a declaration of universal blessing, as resulting from the return of the Lord to His people. Israel, once more restored and blessed under their Messiah, should become the means of blessing to all the earth; and the temple in which Jehovah would again dwell should become the point of attraction for all nations. "Thus saith the Lord of hosts. It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities: and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another saying, Let us go speedily9 to pray before the Lord, and to seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord." (vv. 20-22.) Bethel — one small city — had sent men to pray before the Lord (Zech. 7:2); and this incident is taken up to shadow out the time when the house of God should be the house of prayer for all people (see Isa. 56:7; also Isa. 2:1-3; Ps. 65: -7; and Zech. 14:16); when such embassies as that which had been sent from Bethel should proceed from many cities to the house of the Lord in Jerusalem, for in that day all nations will own the Messiah as their King and be His servants.
Moreover, "Thus saith the Lord of hosts. In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." (v. 23.) In the time of their captivity and dispersion through the nations the Jews have ever been a despised if not a hated race; but when the Lord shall bring them back to Zion, "the sons of them that afflicted thee," as we read in Isaiah, "shall come bending unto thee; and all they that despised thee shall bow themselves down at the soles of thy feet; and they shall call thee" (Zion), "The city of the Lord, The Zion of the Holy, One of Israel." (Isa. 60:14.) So in our passage the Jew, once more blessed with the favour of Jehovah becomes an object of admiration to the Gentiles, who desire to share in the blessing of which they have heard, and who are represented here by the ten men10 as taking hold of the skirt of the Jew, thus assuming a place of subjection and entreaty, as they say, "We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you." The news, the testimony, going forth that Jehovah hath appeared for, and was dwelling with, His people becomes a mighty power to attract others to the place of His manifested presence. (Compare 2 Chr. 15:9) The same thing is often seen now in another way in the assembly. Whenever there is a real action of the Holy Spirit, whenever the presence of the Lord is demonstrated in power in the midst of His people, others are drawn in through the desire thus begotten in their hearts to participate in the blessing. ( See 1 Cor. 14:25.) There is no testimony indeed so powerful as that which declares, and declares with unmistakable proofs, that the Lord is with His people.11
1) Thus in the French version of J. N. D. it is given, "Je suis jaloux pour Sion," and Dr. Pusey translates, "I have been and am jealous for Sion."
2) Compare as to the word jealousy Canticles 8:6.
3) Faith-healing in all its varieties, confounding the dispensations — that is, transferring the promises given to the earthly people to Christians — bases its teaching on such scriptures as are quoted above; and hence maintains that health of soul will be inevitably followed by health of body. But as soon as the distinction is perceived between Israel (the earthly people) and the Church (the heavenly people) the error is at once detected. That God answers the prayer of faith, as in James 5, all admit; but there is not the shadow of a foundation for the thought that sickness is an indication of a bad spiritual condition. On the other hand, John desires that Gaius might prosper and be in health, even as his soul prospered (3 John 2); and there is not a single instance in the New Testament of any of the apostles healing Christians "by faith." Paul thus says, "Trophimus have I left at Miletum sick" (2 Tim. 4:20) and he directs Timothy to use a remedy for his "often infirmities" (1 Tim. 5:23); and he himself had a thorn in the flesh (whatever it may signify), not because he was in, but to prevent his falling into, a bad condition.
4) This should rather be "those," referring as given above, to the remnant in Messiah's day.
5) It is very interesting to observe in this connection the language of the apostle Peter in his second epistle. He says, "To them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ." (2 Peter 1:1) These words, we apprehend, could not have been written to Gentile believers.
6) See the French translation in loco by J. N. D.
7) Compare on these requirements Psalm 15.
8) It is said that the Jews in more modern times added that it was in the fourth month Moses brake the tables of the law; and that in the fifth month the rebellion of the people took place, when the spies brought an evil report of the land. But this is conjectural, and there can be little doubt that the fasts originated as above.
9) This word is translated in different ways, The margin says, "Or, continually"; another version renders, "Let us go on and on" (i.e. perseveringly); while J. N. D.'s French version has, "Allons, allons," i.e., "Let us go, let us go."
10) The number ten is evidently a representative number, standing, we judge, for all the nations. (Compare Lev. 26:26; Matt. 25:1)
11) The Rabbis, as also the patristic theology of a later date, claim that the Jew in this scripture was the Messiah, an evidence, we judge, rather of their intellectual subtlety than of their spiritual perception. The former not possessing the key of the interpretation of their own scriptures, and the so-called church "fathers" being ignorant of all dispensational truth, and also of the true character of the church, could not but, both alike, be liable to be led astray by their own imaginations.}