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Lecture One Hundred and Fifty-fourth

In yesterday’s lecture the Prophet exhorted the Jews to assemble into that stronghold of which God was to be the guardian. And we have said that Jerusalem was then to the godly an impregnable fortress, though for the most part without walls, because the place was as it were sacred to God, and as under his care and protection. He now adds a confirmation of this truth, that they would be doubly more blessed who had resorted to Jerusalem than their fathers before their exile: for a comparison is no doubt made between them and their fathers. From the reign of David until the exile, God had proved by many tokens that he had a care for that people; he afterwards raised up, as it were, a new Church, that is, when a liberty to return was granted to the Jews. The meaning then here is, that if the fathers before they were driven from their country had experienced God kind and bountiful, those who had now returned to their country would find God much more bountiful towards his new Church. We now then understand what he means by double, even double happiness; for God would increase his blessings to the Jews, though their condition was then by no means desirable; nay, very hard according to the estimation of the world. But he says, that he declared from that day, intimating, that though the effect of this prophecy was not immediately apparent, yet he spoke with confidence; for they would in course of time find that nothing had been said to them in vain or rashly. The Prophet then shows — here, that he spoke with perfect confidence, and this in order to gain credit to the promise, lest the Jews should doubt that what they heard from the mouth of Zechariah should at length be made evident to them. 110110     The words may with more propriety be regarded as spoken by God. The construction of the last clause has been differently given. M‘Caul in his observation on Kimchi has rendered it thus — “The announcer of double will I cause to return to thee.” The “announcer of double” in his view is the Messiah: but to cause the Messiah to “return,” is a language that cannot be admitted; and his remark on [נגד] in Hiphil is not correct: that is, that it has ever an accusative or a dative, or both, after it. See 1 Samuel 24:18; 2 Samuel 19:6. It is better to connect “double,” or a double blessing, with the verb “restore,” —
   Even this day I declare,
A double
blessing will I restore to thee.

   This is essentially the rendering of Drusius, Grotius, Newcome, and Henderson. There is a correspondence between the verb “restore,” or cause to return, and the verb “return” at the beginning of the verse. “Return, etc., and I will cause to return to thee a double blessing.” — Ed.
Let us now proceed —

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