on Zechariah 11 :1
Open thy doors, O Lebanon - I will give Mr. Joseph Mede's note upon this verse: -
"That which moveth me more than the rest, is in chap. 11, which contains a prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, and a description of the wickedness of the inhabitants, for which God would give them to the sword, and have no more pity upon them. It is expounded of the destruction by Titus; but methinks such a prophecy was nothing seasonable for Zachary's time, (when the city yet for a great part lay in her ruins, and the temple had not yet recovered hers), nor agreeable to the scope. Zachary's commission, who, together with his colleague Haggai, was sent to encourage the people, lately returned from captivity, to build their temple, and to instaurate their commonwealth. Was this a fit time to foretell the destruction of both, while they were yet but a-building? And by Zachary too, who was to encourage them? Would not this better befit the desolation by Nebuchadnezzar?" I really think so. See Mr. J. Mede's 61. Epistle.
Lebanon signifies the temple, because built of materials principally brought from that place.
on Zechariah 11 :1
Open thy doors, O Lebanon - Lebanon, whose cedars had stood, its glory, for centuries, yet could offer no resistance to him who felled them and were carried off to adorn the palaces of its conquerors (see above at Zephaniah 2:14, and note 2. p. 276), was in Isaiah Isa 14:8; Isaiah 37:24 and Jeremiah Jer 22:6-7 the emblem of the glory of the Jewish state; and in Ezekiel, of Jerusalem, as the prophet himself explains it Ezekiel 17:3, Ezekiel 17:12; glorious, beauteous, inaccessible, so long as it was defended by God; a ready prey, when abandoned by Him. The center and source of her strength was the worship of God; and so Lebanon has of old been understood to be the temple, which was built with cedars of Lebanon, towering aloft upon a strong. summit; the spiritual glory and the eminence of Jerusalem, as Lebanon was of the whole country, and , "to strangers who came to it, it appeared from afar like a mountain full of snow; for, where it was not gilded, it was exceeding white, being built of marble." But at the time of destruction it was "a den of thieves" Matthew 21:13, as Lebanon, amidst its beauty, was of wild beasts.
Rup.: "I suppose Lebanon itself, that is, "the temple," felt the command of the prophet's words, since, as its destruction approached, its doors opened without the hand of man. Josephus relates how , "at the passover, the eastern gate of the inner temple, being of brass and very firm, and with difficulty shut at eventide by twenty men; moreover with bars strengthened with iron, and having very deep bolts, which went down into the threshold, itself of one stone, was seen at six o'clock at night to open of its own accord. The guards of the temple running told it to the officer, and he, going up, with difficulty closed it. This the uninstructed thought a very favorable sign, that God opened to them the gate of all goods. But those taught in the divine words, understood that the safety of the temple was removed of itself, and that the gate opened."
A saying of this sort is still exstant. : "Our fathers have handed down, forty years before the destruction of the house, the lot of the Lord did not come up on the right hand, and the tongue of splendor did not become white, nor did the light from the evening burn, and the doors of the temple opened of their own accord, until Rabbi Johanan ben Zaccai rebuked them, and said, 'O temple, why dost thou affright thyself? I know of thee that thy end is to be destroyed, and of this Zechariah prophesied, "Open thy doors, O Lebanon, and let the fire devour thy cedars.'" The "forty years" mentioned in this tradition carry back the event exactly to the Death of Christ, the temple having been burned 73 a.d. . Josephus adds that they opened at the passover, the season of His Crucifixion. On the other hand, the shutting of the gates of the temple, when they had "seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple" Acts 21:30, seems miraculous and significant, that, having thus violently refused the preaching of the Gospel, and cast Paul out, they themselves were also shut out, denoting that an entrance was afterward to be refused them.
And let afire devour thy cedars - Jerusalem, or the temple, were, after those times, burned by the Romans only. The destruction of pride, opposed to Christ, was prophesied by Isaiah in connection with His Coming Isaiah 10:34; Isaiah 11:1.
on Zechariah 11 :1
11:1 Open thy doors - That destruction of the Jewish church and nation, is here foretold in dark and figurative expressions, which our Lord, when the time was at hand, prophesied of very plainly. Lebanon - Lebanon, a great mountain boundary between Judea and its neighbours on the north, is here commanded to open its gates, its fortifications raised to secure the passages, which lead into Judea. That the fire - Fire kindled by the enemy in the houses and buildings in Judea, and in Lebanon itself. The cedars - Palaces built with cedars.