Make crowns - עטרות ataroth ; but seven MSS. of Kennicott's and De Rossi's, and one ancient of my own, with the Syriac and Chaldee, have עטרת atereth, a crown, or tiara. And as Joshua the high priest is alone concerned here, I think one crown only is intended.
And make crowns - Or a “crown”, as in Job, “I would bind it as a crown unto me,” and our Lord is seen in the Revelation, “on His Head were many crowns”. The singular is used of “a royal crown”, apparently of a festive crown; and figuratively; (Job 19:9, (plur. Job 31:36) Proverbs 4:9; Proverbs 12:4; Proverbs 14:24; Proverbs 16:31. Proverbs 17:6); even of Almighty God Himself as a crown; but no where of the mitre of the high priest.
The characteristic of the act is, that “the crown” or crowns (it is not in the context said, which) were placed on the head of the one high priest, Joshua; “and thou shall place” (it or them, it is not said which) “upon the head of Joshua son of Josedech the high priest, and shalt say unto him.” If crowns were made of each material, there were two crowns. But this is not said, and the silver might have formed a circlet in the crown of gold, as, in modern times, the iron crown of Lombardy, was called iron, because it had “a plate of iron in its summit, being else of gold and most precious”. In any case the symbolical act was completed by the placing of a royal crown upon the head of the high priest. This, in itself, represented that He, whom he and all other priests represented, would be also our King. It is all one then, whether the word designate one single crown, so entitled for its greatness, or one united royal crown, that is, one crown uniting many crowns, symbolizing the many kingdoms of the earth, over which our High Priest and King should rule.
Either symbol, of separate crowns “the golden at Rome.” Du Cang. Otto of Frisingen said that Frederic received 5 crowns; the first at Aix for the kingdom of the Franks; a second at Ratisban for that of Germany; a third at Pavia for the kingdom of Lombardy; the fourth at Rome for the Roman empire from Adrian iv; the fifth of Monza for the kingdom of Italy.” In our own memory, Napoleon I. having been crowned in France, was crowned with the iron crown at Monza), or an united crown, has been used in the same meaning, to symbolize as many empires, as there were crowns.
On Zerubbabel no crown was placed. It would have been confusing; a seeming restoration of the kingdom, when it was not to be restored; an encouragement of the temporal hopes, which were the bane of Israel. God had foretold, that none of the race of Jehoiakim should prosper, “sitting on the throne of David, or ruling any more in Israel.” Nehemiah rejects the imputation of Sanballat, “Thou hast also appointed prophets to preach of thee at Jerusalem,” There is “a king in Judah.” He answers, “There are no such things done as thou sayest; and thou feignest them out of thine own heart” Nehemiah 6:6-8. But Isaiah had foretold much of the king who should reign: Zechariah, by placing the royal crown on the head of Joshua, foreshowed that the kingdom was not to be of this world. The royal crown had been taken away in the time of Zedekiah, “Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem and take away the crown; this shall not be this; exalt the low and abase the high; an overthrow, overthrow, overthrow will I make it; this too is not; until he come whose the right is, and I will give it” (Ezekiel 21:31-32 (Ezekiel 21:26-27 in English)).
But the Messiah, it was foretold, was to be both priest and king; “a priest after the order of Melchizedec” Psalm 110:4, and a king, set by the Lord “upon His holy hill of Zion” Psalm 2:6. The act of placing the crown on the head of Joshua the high priest, pictured not only the union of the offices of priest and king in the person of Christ, but that He should be King, being first our High Priest. Joshua was already high priest; being such, the kingly crown was added to him. It says in act, what Paul says, that “Christ Jesus, being found in fashion as a man, humbled Himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him” Philemon 2:8-9.