Commentary on Zechariah (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 111)

Commentary on Zechariah (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 111)

Translated by ROBERT C. HILL
Copyright Date: 2006
DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm
Pages: 384
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  • Book Info
    Commentary on Zechariah (The Fathers of the Church, Volume 111)
    Book Description:

    A disciple of Origen, whose work on Zechariah reached only to chapter five and is no longer extant, Didymus's commentary on this apocalyptic book illustrates the typically allegorical approach to the biblical text that we associate with Alexandria

    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1211-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.1
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.2
    (pp. vii-viii)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.3
    (pp. ix-xii)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.4
    (pp. 1-24)
    DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.5

    We have Jerome to thank for the Commentary on the prophet Zechariah by Didymus, composed at his request by the illustrious Alexandrian scholar a decade before his death in 398.¹ Despite the loss of his sight in early childhood, Didymus not only became a monk² but also attained such eminence as a scholar, adversary of heretics, and spiritual director as to win the admiration of a prelate like Athanasius and a hermit like Antony. The Zechariah commentary carries allusions to this early disability, and betrays as well his championing of orthodoxy and his remarkable familiarity with Holy Writ. Born in...

      (pp. 28-48)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.6

      In the eighth month of the second year of the reign of Darius, a word of the Lord came to Zechariah the prophet, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, in these terms (Zec 1.1). In the second year of the kingship of Darius, king of the Persians, in the eighth month of the second year of the ruler’s reign, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah, declaring that an awful wrath had come upon the ancestors of those who were under accusation; God was angry with those under censure. The one to whom the word of God...

      (pp. 49-65)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.7

      I lifted up my eyes and saw, and, lo, a man with a measuring cord in his hand. I said to him, Where are you going? He replied to me, To measure Jerusalem to see what are its breadth and its length (Zec 2.1–2). It has often been mentioned before that people raise the eyes within them to understand the visions affecting them. In the same way as referred to, the prophet in this case also raised his eyes and saw a man holding a measuring cord in his hand with which, like a good architect, to measure the...

      (pp. 66-83)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.8

      The lord showed me Joshua the high priest standing before an angel of the Lord, and the devil standing at his right hand to oppose him (Zec 3.1–2). What God reveals is wonderful and extraordinary, and beyond human powers to perceive. This being so, God shows the prophet the high priest Joshua, not in a human manner but standing in a godly way before an angel of the Lord. It was not so much the son of Jozadak as the one suggested by him,¹ the truly great high priest descended from heaven, made a priest “according to the order...

      (pp. 84-99)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.9

      The angel speaking in me approached and woke me in the way a person is woken from sleep, and said to me, What do you see? I replied, I see and, lo, a lampstand all of gold, on top of it a lamp, seven lights on top of it, seven spouts of the lights on top of it, and two olive trees above it, one on the right of its lamp and one on its left (Zec 4.1–3). The angel speaking in me moved from one revelation to another vision, waking me up to see it by raising me...

      (pp. 100-111)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.10

      I turned around, lifted up my eyes, and looked, and, lo, a scythe flying. He said to me, What do you see? I replied, I see a scythe flying, twenty cubits in length and ten cubits in breadth. He said to me, This is the curse that issues forth on the face of all the earth, because every thief will be punished from this point to the moment of death, and every perjurer will be punished from this point to the moment of death. I shall bring it forth, says the Lord almighty, and it will enter the house of...

      (pp. 112-132)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.11

      I turned around, lifted up my eyes, and saw, and, lo, four chariots coming out between two mountains, and the mountains were mountains of bronze. In the first chariot were red horses, in the second chariot black horses, in the third chariot white horses, and in the fourth chariot piebald horses of dapple-grey. I asked in reply to the angel speaking in me, What are they, Lord? In reply the angel speaking in me said, They are the four winds of heaven issuing forth to attend on the Lord of all the earth. The chariot with the black horses issued...

      (pp. 133-154)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.12

      In the fourth year of King Darius the word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. The king sent Sharezer and Arbeseer to Bethel, and his men with him, to placate the Lord, telling the priests in the house of the Lord almighty and the prophets, Sanctification was initiated here in the fifth month, as I have already done for enough years now (Zec 7.1–3)....¹

      The word of the Lord of hosts came to me: Say to all the people of the land and to the priests, If you...

      (pp. 155-201)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.13

      The word of the lord almighty came to me saying, The Lord almighty says this: I am jealous for Jerusalem and Sion with a great jealousy, and am jealous for it with a great anger. The Lord says this: I shall turn back to Sion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; Jerusalem will be called a true city, and the mountain of the Lord almighty a holy mountain (Zec 8.1–3). The text cited is explained in this way: The word of the Lord almighty came saying what is indicated in what follows: The Lord almighty says this: I...

      (pp. 202-230)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.14

      An oracle of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach and Damascus,¹ because the Lord surveys human beings and all the tribes of Israel, and Hamath in its borders (Zec 9.1–2). In their role as ministers of the divine word, the saints receive it from the God who gives it as though they are divinely possessed so as to proclaim knowledge of the future, according to the [apostle] speaking in Christ.² This is the manner in which Habakkuk gains access to a divine oracle and has a vision, the text about him saying, “The prophet Habakkuk...

      (pp. 231-252)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.15

      Ask from the lord timely rain, early and late. The Lord caused visions and winter rain, and will give to each one a plant in the field.¹ Because the diviners spoke of trouble and the seers spoke of false visions and false dreams, they offered empty consolation. Hence they dried up like sheep, and were abused because there was no healing. My anger is roused against the shepherds, and I shall have regard for the lambs (Zec 10.1–3). Owing to the prevalence of wickedness, drought often occurs at God’s decision. Hence in such circumstances there is need for the...

      (pp. 253-285)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.16

      The godly sage who has an intellect that is developed and very focused “understands a proverb, obscure discourse, sayings of clever men, and riddles.” Words that make announcements in a hidden manner are riddles. The text of the prophet before us, for example, is phrased in the manner of a riddle and proposes an obscure teaching ... There is a riddle in the phrase Open your doors, Lebanon (Zec 11.1): it is not to the material mountain, lifeless as it is, or the trees on it, removed from sense and imagination, ... that the command is given for the doors...

      (pp. 286-306)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.17

      An oracle of the word of the Lord on Israel. Thus says the Lord, who stretches out heaven, lays the foundation of earth, and forms a spirit of a human being in it: Lo, I am making Jerusalem like a shaken threshold for all the peoples round about and in Judah; there will be a siege against Jerusalem. On that day I shall make Jerusalem a stone trodden on by all the nations; everyone who treads on it will mockingly mock it, and all the nations of the earth will gather against it (Zec 12.1–3). The prophet Zechariah prophesies...

      (pp. 307-318)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.18

      On that day every place will be open in the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem for transformation and aspersion (Zec 13.1). On that day—a term already frequently commented on—this is what will happen in addition to the other events: every place will be opened in the house of David in Jerusalem, a transformation occurring with a view to a godly aspersion. Now, the place opened to the house of David is the divinely inspired Scripture, in particular the Scripture before the coming of the savior; and the place opened to Jerusalem is the Jerusalem on...

      (pp. 319-358)
      DOI: 10.2307/j.ctt284vsm.19

      Lo, days of the lord are coming, when your plunder will be divided in your midst. I shall assemble all the nations against Jerusalem to battle; the city will be taken, the houses ransacked, and the women defiled; half of the city will go off in captivity, but the remainder of my people will not perish from the city (Zec 14.1–2). There is reference to days of the Lord when harsh and punitive actions are taken on the guilty, a sense you can find confirmed in many places. In Isaiah, for instance, the moment of retribution is called the...