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Commentary On Zechariah Malachi by Jean Calvin

Zechariah 6:8

8. Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country.

8. Et vocavit me et locutus est mecum, dicendo, Vide, qui egrediuntur ad terram Aquilonis quiescere fecerunt spiritum meum in terra Aquilonis.

From this verse we learn that the chief object of the vision was -- that the Jews might know that the dreadful tumults in Chaldea, which had in part happened, and were yet to take place, were not excited without a design, but that all things were regulated by God's hidden counsel, and also that God had so disturbed and embarrassed the state of that empire, that the end of it might be looked for. There is therefore no reason for any one too anxiously to labor to understand the import of every part of the prophecy, since its general meaning is evident. But why does the angel expressly speak of the land of the south rather than of the land of the north, or of the whole world? Even because the eyes of all were fixed on that quarter; for Chaldea, we know, had been as it were the grave of the Church, whence the remnant had emerged, that there might be some people by whom God might be worshipped. The angel then invites the Jews here to consider the providence of God, so that they might know that whatever changes had taken place in that country, had proceeded from the hidden counsel of God.

The words, they have quieted my spirit, are understood by interpreters in two ways. Some think that God's favor towards his people is here designated, as though he had said, that he was already pacified; but others, by the word spirit, understand the vengeance of God, because he had sufficiently poured forth his wrath on the Chaldeans; and both meanings are well adapted to the context. For it was no common solace to the Jews, that God had poured forth his wrath on the Babylonians until it was satiated, as when one ceases not to be angry until he has fulfilled his desire, and this mode of speaking often occurs in Scripture. I am therefore disposed to embrace the second explanation -- that God began to be quieted after the second chariot had gone forth; for he was then reconciled to his chosen people, and their deliverance immediately followed. That the Jews might know that God would be propitious to them, he bids them to continue quiet and undisturbed in their minds, until these chariots had run their course through the whole of Chaldea; for what the angel now says would be fulfilled, even that the Spirit of God would be quieted, who seemed before to be disturbed, when he involved all things in darkness, even in Judea itself.

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