the Week of Proper 4 / Ordinary 9
Calvin's Commentary on the Bible Calvin's Commentary
by John Calvin
calvin’s preface to zechariah
The Prophecies of Zechariah come next. He was a fellow-helper and colleague Of Haggai, and also of Malachi, as it will presently appear. These three, then, were sent by God nearly at the same time, that they might assist one another, and that they might thus by one consent and one mouth confirm what God had committed to them. It was indeed of great service that several bore their testimony: their prophecies gained thus greater authority; and this was needful, for the people had to contend with various and most grievous trials. Satan had already raised up great opposition to them; but there were still greater evils at hand. Hence, to prevent them from despairing, it was necessary to encourage them; by many testimonies.
But what our Prophet had especially in view was, to remind the Jews why it was that God dealt so severely with their fathers, and also to animate them with hope, provided they really repented, and elevated their minds to the hope of true and complete deliverance. He at the same time severely reproves them; for there was need of much cleansing, as they still continued in their filth. For though the recollection of their exile ought to have restrained them, and to have made them careful to fear and obey God, yet it seemed to have been otherwise; and it will appear more fully as we proceed, that being not conscious of having been punished for their sins, they were so secure, that there was among them hardly and fear of God, or hardly any religion. It was therefore needful to blend strong and sharp reproofs with promises of favor, that they might thus be prepared to receive Christ. This is the substance of the whole (6) I shall now proceed to the words.
(6) The following is taken from The Assembly’s Annotations, slightly altered: —