Zechariah 4:10

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the LORD, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

For who hath despised the day of small things?.... This literally refers to the building of the second temple, which was contemptible to the enemies of Judah, Sanballat, and others; and little in the eyes of many of the Jews themselves, who had seen the former temple; yet not in the eyes of the Lord of hosts, Ezra 3:12 and so the Targum paraphrases the words,

"for who is he that despiseth this day, because the building is small?''

but in the spiritual sense, to the building up of the church by conversion: the first work of conversion may be called day "of small things" to men; it may be called a "day", because a time of light into themselves, their sin and danger, and the way from it; the day of Christ's power upon the soul, in making it willing to quit all, and be saved by him; a season in which there is a display of the love, grace, and mercy of God unto it; and is the day of its espousals to Christ; and the day of salvation, of the knowledge and application of it; and of good tidings, of peace, pardons, and life, by Christ; and yet a day of "small things": not that what is done or made known are small things in themselves; but the light and knowledge which young converts have of themselves, of Christ, and of the doctrines of the Gospel, is but small; and so is their faith in Christ, but a mere venture on him, or a peradventure there may be salvation in him for them also; and their spiritual strength to exercise grace, do their duty, comfort from Christ, and in the promises and experience of the everlasting love of God, are but small at first; yet this day of small things is not to be "despised": it is not by Jehovah the Father, who regards their prayers, and does not despise them, though like the chatterings of a crane or swallow; he takes them by the hand, leads them, and teaches them to walk by faith, and proportions their duty to their strength, and their strength to their day: nor by Jesus Christ, who delights in their applications to him, and never rejects them; regards his buds in his vineyards, the beginnings of grace; the lambs in his flock, the weak and feeble; and the bruised reed, and smoking flax, who have but little light and grace: nor by the Holy Spirit, who helps their infirmities, makes intercession for them with groans unutterable; carries on the good work in them, and performs it till the day of Christ: nor should it be despised by men of greater light, faith, and experience; though it is no wonder they should be despised by carnal men; but even for them to despise one of the little ones that believe in him is resented by him. The interest of Christ in general is sometimes "a day of small things": it was so among the Jews at the time of Christ's ascension; and among the Gentiles, at the first preaching of the Gospel to them; and so it was at the time of the Reformation, and is so now: Jacob is small, but there is a day coming, called the great day of Jezreel, Hosea 1:11.

for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven: which may literally respect the building of the second temple; and that was expressed not only at the laying of the foundation, Ezra 3:11 but at the carrying of it on, and especially at the finishing of it, Ezra 6:14 when they saw the building rise under, the direction and encouragement of Zerubbabel, who is represented here as a master builder, with a "plummet" in his hand; which is an instrument used by masons and carpenters, to draw perpendicular lines with, in order to judge whether the building is upright; and is so called from a piece of lead fastened at the end of a cord or thread. In the Hebrew text it is called a "stone of tin" {r}; it may be, in those times, they used a stone for this purpose, cased with tin or lead. And, "those seven" with him may mean seven principal persons that joined with him, and assisted him in this work: though some interpret them of the seven lamps, and the seven pipes to them, in the candlestick; and the Targum explains them of "seven rows of stone", measured by the plummet: but rather they are to be understood of the eyes of the Lord, after mentioned, which were upon the Jews, in favour of the building, that it might not be caused to cease by their enemies, Ezra 5:5 though Cocceius chooses to render the words thus, "and those seven shall rejoice, and see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel"; and applies them to the seven churches of Asia, representatives of the whole church of Christ, in successive periods, rejoicing at the growing interest of Christ; and doubtless the mystical and spiritual sense of the words is, that it is matter of rejoicing to gracious souls when the spiritual building goes forward, under the direction and encouragement of Christ. The carrying on of the work of grace in particular believers affords joy and pleasure. This work is in the hands and under the care of Christ; it is curiously wrought and framed by line and rule, and goes on to perfection; which being observed by others, though it is the nature of grace to desire more, yet it does not envy the gifts and graces of others, but rejoices at them. The carrying on of the work of God in the church in general is an occasion of great joy to the saints; they rejoice that it is in such hands; not in the hands of ministers or magistrates, or even angels, but in the hands of Christ; who is so great, and has condescended to engage in it; has so much wisdom to manage and conduct it; is so faithful in everything he is concerned, and is so able to go through with it: they rejoice that it is carried on with so much exactness; that the whole building is so fitly framed and compacted together; everything in the church being done according to the plummet of God's everlasting love and eternal purposes, which plummet is with Christ, Romans 8:39 according to which persons are called by grace; the blessings of grace are bestowed on them; and they are put in such an office or place in the church: and as this building goes on by an increase of persons, or an addition of such as shall be saved; and by an increase of grace, gifts, and spiritual knowledge in them; it is matter of joy to angels and men, and especially to the ministers of the Gospel.

they are the eyes of the LORD, or "the eyes of the Lord are they" {s},

which run to and fro through the whole earth; these design not the angels, who walk to and fro through the earth, Zechariah 6:7 nor the various gifts and graces of the Spirit, Revelation 5:6 but rather the infinite providence of God, signified by an "eye"; it being intuitive, omniscient, approbative of that which is good, and vindictive of that which is evil; loving to, and careful of, the saints, making them prosperous and successful: and by "seven eyes", to denote the perfection and fulness of it; and these being said to run to and fro throughout the earth, expresses the large compass of persons and things it reaches to: and it may he observed, that the carrying on of the work of God, both in particular persons, and in the church of God in general, is attended with and owing to his special providence, as well as grace.

{r} lydbh Nbah "lapidem stanni", Montanus, Drusius, Cocceius; "lapidem stanneum", V. L. Vatablus, Calvin; "lapidem stannum", i. e. "cum stanno", so Burkius.
{s} hmh hwhy ynye "oculi Jehovae sunt illi".