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Verse 1

Zechariah 11:1. Open thy doors, O Lebanon The prophet, having signified in the foregoing prophecy that the Jewish nation should recover its prosperity, flourish for some time, and become considerable; and having announced to Zion the coming of Messiah her king, and congratulated her on the peaceable nature and great extent of his kingdom, with the blessed effects which his rule should produce, proceeds now to foretel the ruin which should come on the body of the Jewish nation for rejecting him, with the destruction of their temple and capital city. To this only can the first three verses of this chapter relate; for no calamities happened to that people, from the time of Zechariah till that event, of which the expressions here used can with propriety be understood. Lebanon itself cannot be here addressed, which had no doors or gates: but it is figuratively put, either for the temple, built of the cedars of Lebanon, as it is Ezekiel 17:3; and Habakkuk 2:17; or for the city of Jerusalem, whose lofty buildings resembled the stately ranks of trees in a forest: but the former is more probably intended. And, if the Jewish writers may be credited, such was the application made of this prophecy by the Rabbi Johanan, when the doors of the temple opened of their own accord, a little before the temple was burned, a circumstance attested by Josephus, Bell. Jud. lib. 6. cap. 5: “Then R. Johanan, a disciple of R. Hillel, directing his speech to the temple, said, ‘I know thy destruction is at hand, according to the prophecy of Zechariah:’ Open thy doors, O Lebanon, &c.” That the fire Either, figuratively, the wrath of God and the rage of the enemy, or, literally, fire kindled by the enemy; may devour thy cedars Thy palaces and other fabrics built with cedars.

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