Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Zechariah 4:6  Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.

I’ve put the text below…since as one reads it the imagery brings to mind the Book of Revelation, I looked up how many time Old John Gill’s commentary on Zechariah cross references Revelation….. 83 times.

Including this one from this chapter..

Which refers to a verse we read earlier to today’s M’Cheyne readings.

Revelation 8:8  And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

Zechariah 4:7 Gill

Who art thou, O great mountain?…. This is said in reference to those who opposed the building of the temple, as Sanballat, and others; or the Persian monarchy, and Babylon the capital of it; a mountain being a symbol of a kingdom, or capital city; so Babylon is called, Jer 51:25 hence the Targum paraphrases the words thus,

“how art thou accounted a foolish kingdom before Zerubbabel!”

and may denote the opposition made to Christ, and to the building of his church, both by Rome Pagan and Rome Papal; Rome is signified by a burning mountain cast into the sea, Rev 8:8 and may include all the enemies of the church and people of God, as sin, Satan, and the world; who, though they may look like high and great mountains, and make much opposition, and throw many difficulties in their way, yet in the issue will he of no avail; See Gill on Isa 49:11. Some Jewish writers (p), by “the great mountain”, understand the Messiah, but very wrongly; for he is designed by Zerubbabel in the next clause; but not by the “headstone”, as the Targum interprets it:

Btw for his comment on Revelation 8:8 (Gill)

And the second angel sounded,…. His trumpet:

and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea; by which is meant not the devil, as some think; called a “mountain” from his height of pride, a great one from his might and power, and a “burning” one from his great wrath and malice against Christ, his Gospel, and his people; and who may be said to be “cast into the sea” of this world, and the men of it, whom he instigates against the saints, and who are like a troubled sea that cannot rest: but rather some heresy, and, as some have thought, the Macedonian heresy, which was levelled against the deity of the Holy Spirit, as was the Arian heresy against the deity of the Son; the abettors of which looked big, and were supported by power, and showed great zeal for religion, and pretended to great light and knowledge; and which heresy much affected the sea of pure doctrine, particularly the third part of doctrine, in which the third Person, the Spirit of God, is more especially concerned; and was of so pernicious a nature, as to kill many that professed the Gospel, and had a name to live, and destroy many particular churches, comparable to ships; but, as before, it is best to understand this of another incursion of the Goths into the Roman empire, and of the effects of it; and it seems to have respect to the taking and sacking of Rome by Alaricus, king of the West Goths, in the year 410, or 412 (m). Rome is very fitly represented by a great mountain, as kingdoms and cities sometimes are; see Zec 4:7; seeing it was built on seven mountains; and its being taken and burnt by Alaricus is aptly expressed by a burning mountain, as the destruction of Babylon, which is another name for Rome, is by a burnt mountain in Jer 51:25; the “sea” into which this was cast may signify the great number of people and nations within its jurisdiction which suffered, and were thrown into confusion at this time; so distresses and calamities in nations are expressed by a like figure in Psa 46:2;

and the third part of the sea became blood; that is, a third part of the jurisdiction of Rome, signified by the sea, see Jer 51:36; was afflicted with wars and bloodshed by this same sort of people; for while these things were done in Italy, a like calamity fell on France and Spain; the Alans, Vandals, and Sueves, having depopulated France, passed over the Pyraenean mountains, and seized on Spain; the Vandals and Sueves on Gallaecia; the Alans on Portugal; and the Silingi, which was another sort of Vandals, invaded Andalusia (n); the Goths under Ataulphus entered France, and the Burgundians seized that part of it next the Rhine (o): see Exo 7:20.

(m) Cassiodor Chronicon in Honor. & Theodos. 43. Petav. ib. p. 276. Hist. Eccl. Magdeburg. cent. ib. p. 872. Vid. Hieron. ad Gaudentium, fol. 34. M. (n) Cassiodor. ib. Petav. ib. (o) Cassiodor. Chronicon. ib.

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