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Zechariah 10:4

4. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.

4. Ab eo angulus, ab eo clavus, ab eo arcus belli, ab eo egredietur omnis exactor pariter.


There is here a confirmation of the last verse, but the metaphors are different; for he says, that the Jews would be fortified by every defense necessary for their security; nor is he inconsistent with himself. In the last chapter he indeed taught us, that though exposed to all kinds of wrongs, they would yet be safe through aid from heaven; but now he promises that there would come from them the corner-stone, the nail, the bow, and the exactor; and this seems a different doctrine; but it is the same as though he had promised, that though they stood in need of many helps, they would yet be sufficiently furnished, as God would be ready to aid them whenever there was need.

By the corner-stone he means the firmness of the building; from the Jews then shall be the corner-stone; that is, there shall ever be among that people those capable of carrying on the public government: then, from thee the nail; beams, we know, and other parts of the building, are fastened by nails, and we know also, that the ceiling is thereby made secure. Zechariah then mentions here all the supports which sustain a building from its very foundation. He afterwards adds, the bow of war, that is, what is necessary to overcome enemies; and, lastly, the exactor, one who has power over bordering nations, and demands tribute or tax from them, as conquerors are wont to do from their subjects. 118118     As to “the corner-stone,” [פנה], the view given here is correct. The chiefs of the people are in several places called “the corner-stones of the people.” See [Judges 20:2; 1 Samuel 14:38; Isaiah 19:13. “The angle or corner,” says Blayney, “metaphorically denotes the chief personage in the community, on whom its strength and security principally depend.”
   With regard to the “nail,” rendered “peg,” by Henderson, the correct idea seems not to be given. The word [יתד], signifies two things — the hooked stake, fixed in the ground, by which tents were fastened — and the hooked nail or peg affixed to the sides of rooms, and put in the wall when built, so as to form a part of the building, and on which household stuff and instruments of war were suspended. The first is probably here intended, as it fastened and secured the tent, so the inferior officers of the state, next to the leaders or chiefs, were a strength to the community. See Lowth on Isaiah 22:23. See Ezra 9:8; Ezekiel 15:3

   “Exactor” is the most common meaning of [נגש]; but here, as in Isaiah 60:17, it seems to signify a ruler, a military chief, or a conqueror, as the “corner-stone” denotes the civil chief.

   In a series of sentences, which have only one verb, our mode is to put the verb in the first clause; but the Hebrew set it in the last, as we find to be the case here, as well in the last verse of the last chapter. This verse then ought to be rendered thus—

   From him shall come forth the corner-stone,
From him the stake,
From him the bow of war,
From him only every conqueror,


   From him every ruler altogether.

    — Ed.

We now see what the Prophet means — that when God would manifest his care for his people and openly show his favor, the Jews would be fortified by all kinds of help, so as to be well established, and that they would possess so much public authority as to have strength enough to resist all enemies; in short, that they would gain the fruit of conquest, and constrain all nations to be tributaries to them.

If any one asks when has this been fulfilled, my answer is, that some preludes of this were given when God raised up the Maccabees, and made the Jews again to live according to their own laws, and to enjoy their own rights; but no doubt the Prophet includes the whole course of redemption. As then God redeemed his people only to a small extent until Christ appeared, it is no wonder that Zechariah, in speaking of full and complete redemption, extends his words to the kingdom of Christ, and this was necessary. We hence learn, that the Church stands abundantly firm, and is also furnished with all needful things, while it continues under the protection of God, and that it is endued with sufficient power to resist all its enemies. It follows —

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