Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. Jesus, or Josue, the son of Josedec, the high priest of that time. (Challoner) — To him this literally refers. (Worthington) — As high priest, he represented the nation, whom several calumniated to Darius, 1 Esdras iv., &c. God represses the adversary and adorns his people. It seems something has been done amiss, ver. 4. (Calmet) — The high priest, (St. Jerome) or rather his sons, have married strangers. (Chaldean) (1 Esdras x. 18.) Many Fathers take Jesus for a figure of the Messias, covered with the sins of mankind. (Calmet) — But the Orient (ver. 8) would not thus be promised unto him, (St. Jerome) unless we consider him also as high priest. — Satan. Septuagint, “the devil;” the accuser and calumniator, Apocalypse xii. 10.
Ver. 2. The Lord said. This may refer to the angel, or to the Father and the Son, Psalm cix. Both are styled Jehovah. — Bread, alluding to the nation, or to Jesus. Have not the suffered enough? (Amos iv. 11.) (Calmet)
Ver. 3. Garments. Negligences and sins. (Challoner) — Jesus had neglected to urge the building of the temple, or to repress unlawful marriages, 1 Esdras viii. (Worthington)
Ver. 4. Change, such as were worn on festivals. This shewed that the people should exchange adversity for joy.
Ver. 5. Mitre, (cydarim) the pontiff’s tiara, of byssus, Exodus xxviii. 4.
Ver. 7. Judge. The high priests were at the head till the Machabees. (Josephus, Antiquities xi. 4., and xx. 8.) — Yet the nation was, (Calmet) till Simon, (Haydock) always dependent; and the judges were under foreign kings or governors. (Calmet) — Give thee, &c. Angels to attend and assist thee. (Challoner) — They are promised to help the pastors of the Church. (Worthington) — They shall give information, ver. 9., and Exodus xxiii. 20. (Calmet) — Of them. Septuagint, “who shall converse in the midst of these who stand:” (Haydock) thy children shall succeed in the pontificate. (Theod.[Theodotion or Theodoret])
Ver. 8. Portending men. That is, men who by words and actions are to foreshew wonders that are to come; (Challoner) or rather they require prodigies before they will take courage to build the temple; or they understand how to explain such things. (Calmet) — Orient; Christ, who according to his humanity is the servant of God, is called the Orient, from his rising like the sun in the east to enlighten the world. (Challoner) — St. Luke explains this of Christ, (Worthington) recording the words of Zacharias. [Luke i. 78.] (Haydock) — Christ’s birth was most pure. He gave light to the world. Some would explain this of Zorobabel; but as he was already present, it would seem more applicable to Nehemias. Yet both were only figures of Christ, and could not efface the iniquity of Juda, &c. The Messias is styled the Bud, chap. vi. 12., and Isaias iv. 2., &c. (Calmet) — Tsemach signifies either “the bud or the orient.” (Haydock)
Ver. 9. The stone. Another emblem of Christ, the rock, foundation, and corner-stone of his Church. — Eyes. The manifold providence of Christ over his Church, or the seven gifts of the Spirit of God. (Challoner) — The Jews were lately returned from a country where seven chief officers were styled “the king’s eyes,” having to inform him of the conduct of governors, &c. Zorobabel shall build the temple, as a figure of Christ establishing his Church, chap. iv. 10. — Grave. Septuagint, “dig a pit.” The rest agree with us. Christ adorns and instructs his Church. (Calmet) — Day. The day of the passion of Christ, the source of all our good: when this precious stone shall be graved, that is cut and pierced with whips, thorns, nails, and spear. (Challoner)
Ver. 10. Tree. All shall be peace and concord. (Haydock) — They shall communicate to each other spiritual goods, abounding in the Church. (Menochius)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
In a vision satan appeareth, accusing the high priest. He is cleansed from his sins. Christ is promised, and great fruit from his passion.
1 And the Lord shewed me Jesus, the high priest, standing before the angel of the Lord: and satan stood on his right hand, to be his adversary.
2 And the Lord said to satan: The Lord rebuke thee, O satan: and the Lord, that chose Jerusalem, rebuke thee: Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire?
3 And Jesus was clothed with filthy garments: and he stood before the face of the angel.
4 Who answered, and said to them that stood before him, saying: Take away the filthy garments from him. And he said to him: Behold, I have taken away thy iniquity, and have clothed thee with a change of garments.
5 And he said: Put a clean mitre upon his head: and they put a clean mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments: and the angel of the Lord stood.
6 And the angel of the Lord protested to Jesus, saying:
7 Thus saith the Lord of hosts: If thou wilt walk in my ways, and keep my charge, thou also shalt judge my house, and shalt keep my courts, and I will give thee some of them that are now present here to walk with thee.
8 Hear, O Jesus, thou high priest, thou and thy friends that dwell before thee, for they are portending men: for behold, *I will bring my servant, the Orient.
9 For behold the stone that I have laid before Jesus: upon one stone there are seven eyes: behold, I will grave the graving thereof, saith the Lord of hosts: and I will take away the iniquity of that land in one day.
10 In that day, saith the Lord of hosts, every man shall call his friend under the vine, and under the fig-tree.
8: Luke i. 78.