Commentary on Zechariah by W.H. Lowe

The following biblical commentary is now available for free download in PDF:

William Henry Lowe [1848-1947], The Hebrew Student’s Commentary on Zechariah. London: MacMillian & Co., 1882. Hbk. pp.155.

Commentary on Zechariah

Prolegomena to Chapters I.-VIII.

Personal to the Prophet

Of the personal history of the Prophet Zechariah hardly anything is recorded. He styles himself “Zechariah, son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, the prophet,” which certainly implies that he was the grandson of Iddo. But in Ezra v. 1, vi. 14 he is spoken of as “son of Iddo.” This, however, presents no difficulty, for similarly Jehu is mentioned as son of Jehoshaphat son of Nimshi (2 Kings ix. 14), while(ver. 20) he is called merely son of Nimshi. The father of Zechariah, and the father of Jehu, seem to have been (to use an illustration from modern times) somewhat in the position of Abraham Mendelssohn, they could both boast of being the father and the son of a man of reputation. Knobel’s supposition, then, that “son of Berechiah” (Zech. i. 1, 7) is an interpolation from Is. viii. 2, where Zechariah son of Jeberechiah is mentioned, is unnecessary. In Ezra v. 1, 2 “Zechariah son of lddo” is mentioned as prophesying in conjunction with “Haggai the prophet,” and being instrumental in bringing about the resumption of the work of rebuilding the Temple. We know nothing further for certain about him, except that he prophesied up to the month of Cislev in the 4th year of Darius. Something may, however, be deduced from circumstantial evidence.

Among the Priests and Levites who came up with Zerubbabel is mentioned “Iddo” (Neh. xii. 4), as one of heads of the priestly families (rashe haccohenim) in the days of Jeshua (see p. 32) the High Priest.Again in the days of Joiakim, the son of Jeshua (the High Priest), a Zechariah son of Iddo is mentioned (ver. 10, 12, 16) as one of the heads of families (rashe ha’abhoth), and that evidently among the Priests. From these facts it is deduced by many (and not unreasonably), that Zechariah (like Jeremiah and Ezekiel) was a priest as well as a prophet:and that (supposing the Iddo of Neh. xii. 4, 16 to be the same person that is mentioned in Zech. i. 1), while Zechariah began his ministry during the High-priesthood of Joshua, he was head of his family in the days of Joiakim the son of Joshua. Thus Zechariah’s father, probably died early and never became the head of his family, and Zechariah a young man at the time of the return from the Captivity.

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John Calvin on the Pastorals and Philemon

John Calvin, author of Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles and Philemon
John Calvin [1509-1564]
The following commentaries by John Calvin are now available on-line in PDF:

John Calvin, (Translated from the Original Latin by the Rev. William Pringle). Commentaries on the Epistles to Timothy, Titus and Philemon. Edinburgh: Calvin Translation Society, 1856. Hbk. pp.398.

John Calvin’s Commentaries on the Pastoral Epistles and Philemon

The Argument of the First Epistle of Timothy

This Epistle appears to me to have been written more for the sake of others than for the sake of Timothy, and that opinion will receive the assent of those who shall carefully consider the whole matter. I do not, indeed, deny that Paul intended also to teach and admonish him but my view of the Epistle is, that it contains many things which it would have been superfluous to write, if he had had to deal with Timothy alone. He was a young man, not yet clothed with that authority which would have been, sufficient for restraining the headstrong men that rose up against him. It is manifest, from the words used by Paul, that there were at that time some who were prodigiously inclined o ostentation, and for that reason would not willingly yield to any person, and who likewise burned with such ardent ambition, that they would never have ceased to disturb the Church, had not a greater than Timothy interposed. It is likewise manifest, that there were many things to be adjusted at Ephesus, and that needed the approbation of Paul, and the sanction of his name. Raving therefore intended to give advice to Timothy on many subjects, he resolved at the same time to advise others under the name of Timothy. In the first chapter, he attacks some ambitious persons who made their boast of discussing idle questions. It may readily be concluded that they were Jews, who, while they pretended to have zeal for the law, disregarded edification, and attended only to frivolous disputes.

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St Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen

The following public domain book is now available for free download in PDF:

William M. Ramsay, St Paul the Traveller and Roman Citizen. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1895. Hbk. pp.394.

St Paul

Chapter I.

The Acts of the Apostles

I. Trustworthiness. The aim of our work is to treat its subject as a department of history and of literature. Christianity was not merely a religion, but also a system of life and action; and its introduction by Paul amid the society of the Roman Empire produced changes of momentous consequence, which the historian must study. What does the student of Roman history find in the subject of our investigation? How would an observant, educated, and unprejudiced citizen of the Roman Empire have regarded that new social force, that new philosophical system, if he had studied it with the eyes and the temper of a nineteenth century investigator?
As a preliminary the historian of Rome must make up his mind about the trustworthiness of the authorities. Those which we shall use are: (1) a work of history commonly entitled the Acts of the Apostles (the title does not originate from the author), (2) certain Epistles purporting to be written by Paul. Of the latter we make only slight and incidental use; and probably even those who dispute their authenticity would admit that the facts we use are trustworthy, as being the settled belief of the Church at a very early period. It is, therefore, unnecessary to touch on the authenticity of the Epistles; but the question as to the date the composition, and the author of the Acts must be discussed. If the main position of this book is admitted, it will furnish a secure basis for the Epistles to rest on.

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