8. Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
8. Et factus est sermo Iehovae ad me dicendo,
9. The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you.
9. Manus Zerubbabel fundarunt domum hanc, et manus ejus perficient eam; et congnosces quia Iehova exercituum miserit me ad vos.
He confirms in this passage what I lately stated -- That there was no reason for the faithful to entertain doubts or to feel anxious, because they saw that the beginning of the building was mean and despised by the world; for the Lord would at length show that it was built by his sanction and command, and that it would succeed far better than all of them had thought.
But he says that the word of Jehovah came to him; and yet at the end of the next verse he shows that this address came from the mouth of the angel. But it is a well-known and a common mode of speaking, that God himself is said to speak, when he employs either angels or men as his agents; for the person of the messenger lessens in no degree the reverence due to the word: the majesty, then, of God ought to remain inviolable in his word, whether brought to us by men or by angels. Now the Prophet felt assured that nothing was adduced by the angel, but what he conveyed as the minister of God.
The sum of the whole is, that the temple, though some interruptions happened, was yet so begun that its completion was at length to be expected; as God had made use of the labors of Zerubbabel, so he would not forsake the work of his hands. Since, then, God was the chief founder of the building, it could not be but that the temple would at length be completed.
This is what the angel had in view in these words, The hands of Zerubbabel have founded this house. Of the foundation there was indeed no doubt; but many believed that the building would ever remain unfinished, for Satan had already by means of the most powerful enemies impeded its progress. As then despair had laid hold on the minds of almost all, the angel declares that Zerubbabel would gain his object in finishing the temple which he had begun.
He afterwards adds, Thou shalt know that God has sent me to you. Of this knowledge we have spoken elsewhere. The meaning is, that the event would be a sure and suitable proof, that nothing had been rashly undertaken by them, but that the temple was built by God's command, for his power would be evident in its completion. And he addresses the Prophet, who though he was fully persuaded of the event and of the fulfillment of this prophecy, yet learnt by what took place that the angel who gave the promise was sent from above. We have said elsewhere that there are two kinds of knowledge; one is of faith, which we derive from the word, though the thing itself does not appear; the other is of experience, when God adds accomplishment to the promise, and proves that he had not spoken in vain and this is the knowledge which the angel means when he says, Thou shalt know that I have been sent from above to you.
Now if this be applied to Christ, it may, as I have said, be justly done; for it is certain that angels were then sent in such a manner that Christ was the chief. Since, then, nothing was undertaken as to the building of the temple without Christ being the leader, he rightly says here that he was sent by the Father. It afterwards follows --