Commentary on the Twelve Prophets

Commentary on the Twelve Prophets

Translated by ROBERT C. HILL
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 369
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt31nkk1
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  • Book Info
    Commentary on the Twelve Prophets
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    eISBN: 978-0-8132-1985-1
    Subjects: Religion

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. COMMENTARY ON THE TWELVE PROPHETS
    • Commentary on the Prophet Zephaniah
      • COMMENTARY ON ZEPHANIAH, CHAPTER ONE
        (pp. 5-21)

        Blessed zephaniah prophesied in Jerusalem; he was from a distinguished lineage, and did not belong to those given to false prophecy and to concocting the divine words for the listeners, of whom the divinely inspired Ezekiel said, “Woe to those who prophesy from their heart and see nothing at all,” and as well the God of all himself said in Jeremiah, “I did not (168)¹ send the prophets, yet they ran; I did not speak to them, yet they prophesied.”² Rather, he was truly a prophet, transmitting the words from the Lord’s mouth, filled with the Holy Spirit, and gushing...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZEPHANIAH, CHAPTER TWO
        (pp. 22-35)

        After very clearly bringing out the ferocity of war and the magnitude of the coming disaster, he once again duly shifts attention to the call to repentance when it was an easy matter to convince them, probably because they were in fear. After all, sometimes when the mind is set firm in its perverse tendency to vile and profane behavior, we do not easily proceed to an option for repentance, whereas fear frequently forces people even against their will to do so. Accordingly, he urges them to relationship (192) with him. In other words, just as we claim that those...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZEPHANIAH, CHAPTER THREE
        (pp. 36-58)

        He immediately moves to remember the land of the Jews—Jerusalem, in fact—for the capture of which the Assyrians paid the penalty. The other nations were also punished for railing against the glory of God; but he grieves for its suffering a fate beyond expectations, as it were, and instead of attributing the cause of its unbearable misfortunes to anyone else, he says that it was rather the source of them. So he complains bitterly in the words, O famous and redeemed city, the dove.¹ (211) In other words, he is saying, why did you come to be completely...

    • Commentary on the Prophet Haggai
      • PREFACE TO THE COMMENTARY ON HAGGAI
        (pp. 61-62)

        The purpose of the prophecy of Haggai we would take as different from some others’, nor would you regard his words as similar to those from the others. The divinely inspired Hosea and those after him up to Zephaniah, remember, foretold what would befall the Jews in due course, and with the time of the captivity still in the future they endeavored to frighten Israel, mentioning here and there the columns of the enemy, the overthrow of cities, the burnings, the plundering, and helpfully predicting the devastation of the whole country to those inclined to be contemptuous. Their conviction was,...

      • COMMENTARY ON HAGGAI, CHAPTER ONE
        (pp. 63-74)

        I said above that the lack of enthusiasm of the people of Israel for building the Temple was excusable for the reason that the authority for it had been removed owing to the envy in its regard by the people in Samaria and their extreme criticism of Jerusalem to (244) those in power in Persia. In the second year of his reign, however, Darius gave them full authority and free rein for the work, ordered them to do as they wished and to continue with their holy endeavors, and assigned them resources for doing so. Far from lack of enthusiasm...

      • COMMENTARY ON HAGGAI, CHAPTER TWO
        (pp. 75-90)

        Whereas they had entered the house of God and set to work on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month, directly afterwards on the twenty-first day of the next month, the seventh, the word of the Lord came to the blessed prophet Haggai. So what we are to think of it in this case, too, and what the occasion was, there is need to explain. On beginning to feel weariness, and undertaking responsibility for the divine Temple, they kept going till the twenty-seventh day, when they were found to have lost heart, grumbling among themselves or to one another that...

    • Commentary on the Prophet Zechariah
      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER ONE
        (pp. 93-107)

        Blessed zechariah was prophesying in Jerusalem at the same time, in my view, as Zephaniah. After the return from captivity, in actual fact, Israel no longer lived in divided fashion, some in Judea and some in Samaria; instead, they all gathered in one city—namely, Jerusalem—and throughout Judea. Zerubbabel of the tribe of Judah reigned over them, and Joshua son of Jehozadak was the leader of the priesthood as chief priest.¹ Now, he framed (283) the delivery of his prophecy very artfully. The majority of the people who had been taken off into captivity from Judea or Samaria, remember,...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER TWO
        (pp. 108-115)

        The fact that the sharpened horns were not against Israel but rather against those who captured and plundered Jerusalem and Judea the above vision would indicate, and rightly so. The prophet, note, raises his eyes again, not at all those of the body—the kinds of things in the vision are not visible to eyes of the flesh—but the interior and spiritual eyes, namely, those in the heart and mind.¹ He then says he saw someone in the form of a man holding a measuring cord, and in turn he asked him where he was going and what he...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER THREE
        (pp. 116-126)

        On the one hand, the report is a vision, though having an historical basis; it makes obscure references, and depicts Joshua as though in an image again. On the other hand, it should be understood that since the happenings in the visions have already come to pass, the prophet is delivering his statement in reference to them. It is not without purpose, however, nor does it come after the event and assemble a heap of stories of no use to us. Instead, as I said in the beginning, he makes a point of conveying what was seen before the event...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER FOUR
        (pp. 127-141)

        The phrase turned back here we shall interpret not in a local sense, which would be very naïve; rather, we shall take it as an immediate movement from the present vision to another one related to it, namely, a spiritual one. Since there was need of unimpaired attention surpassing human understanding, however, in these matters in particular, God instills in the prophet a keen state of alertness, with the angel speaking in him as the means, so that he had the impression of waking from sleep. Such is our state of mind, in fact, far inferior to that (329) of...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER FIVE
        (pp. 142-148)

        Again in this case, in my view, you would not take the phrase I turned around in reference to place, but rather to a change to another vision. After identifying the first vision, remember, and when his sight turned to the next, he used the term turned around to suggest what took place. So he lifts the eyes of his mind on high, and then sees a scythe like a bird raised on high and, as it were, darting across the whole earth. It was very long and broad, twenty cubits long and half that number in breadth. Now, when...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER SIX
        (pp. 149-157)

        He previously showed that, snared in their own nets and constrained by the cords of their own sins, as Scripture puts it, they were deported to a foreign land and dwelt among the foe, bearing the unfamiliar yoke of slavery. It was necessary, however, to mention also the time of release, and he actually does suggest it, interweaving other things; the prophet had been given overall instruction in everything that would happen to the nation in due course.

        The four chariots between two mountains, then, we claim again to be the kingdoms that were more famous than the others and...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER SEVEN
        (pp. 158-164)

        After the occurrence of the visions, other words came from God at short intervals. Before the visions, for instance, the text says, “On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to Zechariah son of Berechiah son of Iddo the prophet in these terms,”¹ whereas in the visions before us a different (371) time is specified after that: In the fourth year on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev—a Hebrew term, obviously—some kind of apparition came to the prophet....

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER EIGHT
        (pp. 165-181)

        After sufficiently deploring the people’s former disobedience and recalcitrance and what resulted from it, and revealing that it was the source of all their troubles, he shifts his focus to the good that emerges from mildness. He then makes it his business to promise them times of prosperity and shower them abundantly with the good things they prayed for, now that they had paid the penalty for their unholy provocation, and were cleansed, as it were, from the charges of the former depravity through (378) punishment by foes and suffering the yoke of slavery. He decries, as it were, the...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER NINE
        (pp. 182-198)

        While the text is not without problems, and the actual series of expressions very difficult to grasp, it will receive comment by us as far as possible. (404) There is naturally need to explain the references we think we find,¹ this being the way the sense of the prophecy should be understood.

        When in due course, therefore, Israel emerged from the bonds of captivity and was set at liberty, and they finally returned to Judea and tried to fortify Jerusalem, then it was that the neighboring nations that inhabited Samaria and occupied the cities of Palestine and even Phoenicia were...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER TEN
        (pp. 199-209)

        That is to say, just as without labor there would be no grain in the fields or a fruitful vineyard producing wine, so too there would be no spiritual fertility in us unless God shed the revelation of his own sayings like rain on mind and heart, and, as it were, bedewed us with knowledge of the old and new Scriptures, namely, the Law and the Gospels, such being early and late rain. Now, the fact that knowledge and spiritual appreciation of the Law is not without benefit the Savior himself confirms by saying to the Jewish crowds, “Do not...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER ELEVEN
        (pp. 210-230)

        He shifts the drift of his words, then, to another line of thinking. Having delivered in excellent fashion an adequate account of the calling of the nations in Christ through faith, he clearly forecasts the future disbelief in him by the people of Israel, that is, at the time of the Incarnation, and the fact that this was the reason for the burning of the Temple and the city of (446) Jerusalem, the taking of the other cities of Israel, and the extermination of their inhabitants. This was done by the hand of the Romans at the time when Vespasian...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER TWELVE
        (pp. 231-247)

        He had given quite adequate comment on the good shepherd—namely, Christ—and also on the unskilled one who was cruel and fed off the sheep, whom we claim to be the Antichrist. (475) So now he makes useful mention also of the persecutions that would in time come upon Israel, not at all bodily but rather spiritual, and directed at the truly holy Jerusalem, “which is the Church of the living God.” You see, just as we use the term “Jew” in a spiritual sense as the person who has circumcision of the heart, which comes through the spirit,...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER THIRTEEN
        (pp. 248-256)

        He moves on to describe what will in turn happen after this to “those (498) who loved the manifestation” of Christ:¹ some in the arrogance of their unbelief will find themselves besieged, he is saying, and will lament the troubles befalling them. In the spiritual and truly holy Jerusalem, on the other hand, and in the house of David—that is, the Church of Christ, who sprang from the line of David according to the flesh—every place will be open, that is, there will be much space and a relaxed way of living that is very desirable and free...

      • COMMENTARY ON ZECHARIAH, CHAPTER FOURTEEN
        (pp. 257-280)

        In mentioning the august and saving Passion on the cross, he said above, “Sword, rise up against my shepherd and against his fellow citizen, says the Lord almighty. I shall strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.”¹ Now, the fact that the mass of the Jews would be subjected to extreme punishment—and rightly so, since their extreme audacity led to the Lord’s death—he conveyed, and proceeded to say, and I shall raise my hand against the shepherds. On that day, says the Lord, two parts will perish and fail, while I shall pass the third through...

    • Commentary on the Prophet Malachi
      • PREFACE TO THE COMMENTARY ON MALACHI
        (pp. 283-285)

        It is necessary also to give a short introduction to the prophecy of Malachi in view of the readers’ readiness to learn, and for the purpose of grasping all its contents. At the conclusion of the period of the captivity, Israel returned from Babylon to Judea and once again occupied the holy city, having cast off the yoke of slavery. The divine Temple was also rebuilt, governance of the work being by Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel of the tribe of Judah and Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest. At the time of the captivity Haggai and Zechariah were prophesying...

      • COMMENTARY ON MALACHI, CHAPTER ONE
        (pp. 286-302)

        By speaking of an oracle of the word he implies reception of the prophecy from God. The blessed prophets, you see, received through the Holy Spirit knowledge of future events; to some people they directed advice and correction, not singling out on their own initiative whatever they chose nor giving false information to individuals, but interpreting what came from God and sincerely and irreproachably conveying to others the words from on high.¹ So he is saying that the prophecy he received came from the Lord, thus suggesting that the prophetic word did not convey what kind of harsh and calamitous...

      • COMMENTARY ON MALACHI, CHAPTER TWO
        (pp. 303-319)

        He lovingly passes over the faults in what had preceded, and accords mercy, restoring, as it were, the sinners to their former probity—the meaning, in my view, of his saying in kindly fashion, And now this command is for you, O priests: He then makes the threat, on the other hand, that if they do not choose to do what they should be seen doing, and to interiorize in their mind and heart a sense of the divine oracles, and to become better than they were before by seeking out God’s glory and not continuing to belittle the altar...

      • COMMENTARY ON MALACHI, CHAPTER THREE
        (pp. 320-337)

        With them asking, Where is God? (595) the text before us appropriately moves to the mystery of Christ. Emmanuel came from the God and Father, remember, as our “righteousness and sanctification and redemption,”¹ a cleansing of every stain, removal of sin, abolition of shame, a way to better and more fitting things, a door, as it were, and introduction to eternal life. Through him came complete reform, overthrow of oppression, and emergence of righteousness—infact, with which marvelous things have we not been enriched through him? Accordingly, Lo, I am sending my messenger, and he will have an eye to...

      • COMMENTARY ON MALACHI, CHAPTER FOUR
        (pp. 338-344)

        In other words, it follows that the day of judgment will involve fire, when “the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be incinerated. We wait for a new heaven and a new earth in keeping with his promises,”¹ these being the terms in which one of the holy disciples spoke. He is saying, therefore, that the day of the Lord will come like a pan, and will set alight all the foreigners and in addition to them those doing wrong,...

  6. INDICES
  7. Back Matter
    (pp. 362-362)