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Zechariah Explained

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Book of Zechariah Explained

Title: The universal tradition of both Jews and Christians endorses the prophet Zechariah as author. His name, common to more than 29 Old Testament men, means "The Lord remembers". This book is second only to Isaiah in the breadth of the prophet's writings about Messiah.

Author - Date: The prophet identifies himself as "Zechariah ("Yahweh Remembers"), the son of Berechiah ("Yahweh Blesses"), the son of Iddo ("The Appointed Time"). He is not to be confused with the Zechariah mentioned (in Matthew 23:35), "Zechariah son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar." That Zechariah lived much earlier (825 B.C.), and his death is recorded (in 2 Chron. 24:20-22). Nor should Zechariah the prophet be confused with any of the 28 other men in the Old Testament who bore this name.

Zechariah the prophet was probably born in Babylon during the 70-year Babylonian captivity. His coming to Jerusalem is recorded (in Nehemiah 11:4; 12:16), and his ministry is mentioned (in Ezra 5:1; 6:14). These historical citations confirm that Zechariah was a priest as well as a prophet. The Talmud indicates that he was a member of the Great Synagogue, a council of 120 originated by Nehemiah and presided over by Ezra. This council later developed into the ruling elders of the nation, called the Sanhedrin.

Zechariah was a younger contemporary of Haggai and continued the ministry that Haggai began. Both Zechariah and Haggai ministered to the same people, but from different perspectives. Haggai reproved the people for their failure to rebuild the temple, while Zechariah encouraged the people by presenting to them the coming glory of the Lord.

Because of the abrupt change in style (in chapters 9 to 14 from chapters 1 to 8), some have proposed a "second Zechariah" theory. Such an extreme view is not necessary because the difference in subject matter is ample reason to account for the difference in style. In addition, the prophet may have recorded that part of his prophecy (chapters 9 to 14), at a much later time in his life. Moreover, all parts of Zechariah are quoted in the New Testament without any indication of a diversity of authorship. There is no manuscript evidence to support any division of the book.

Zechariah's opening words are dated from 520 B.C., the second year of Darius I (1:1). The Persian emperor Cyrus had died and was succeeded by Cambyses (ca. 530-521 B.C.) who conquered Egypt. He had no son, he killed himself, and Darius rose to the throne by quelling a revolution. He was a contemporary of Haggai, and began his prophesying 2 months after him (compare Haggai Introduction). He is called a young man (in 2:4), suggesting that Zechariah was younger that Haggai;. The length of his ministry is uncertain; the last dated prophecy (7:1), came approximately two years after the first, making them identical in time making them identical in time with Haggai's prophecy (520 - 518 B.C.).

Chapters 9 to 14 are generally thought to come from a later period of his ministry. Differences in style and references to Greece indicate a date of (ca. 480 - 470 B.C.), after Darius 1 (ca. 521 - 486 B.C.), and during Xerxes' reign (ca. 486 - 464 B.C.), the king who made Esther queen of Persia. According (to Matt. 23:35), he was murdered between the temple and the altar, a fate similar to an earlier Zechariah (compare 2 Chron. 24:20-21), who had been stoned to death.

Historical Setting: Various scholars have estimated that Zechariah began his ministry sometime between 520 and 508 B.C. Comparing (Zechariah 1:1; with Haggai 2:1, 10), reveals that Zechariah's first message was delivered between Haggai's second and third messages and came two months after Haggai began his ministry (Hag. 1:1). The message of Zechariah (7:1 - 14:21), came between two and three years later. Chapters 9 to 14 are undated but include material indicating that Zechariah's prophetic activity may well have extended into the mid-fifth century B.C.

The tone of the prophecy is one of encouragement. It was given to a people who were discouraged, and it cures that discouragement by focusing their attention on the glory of God. Zechariah had primary and secondary purposes in delivering his prophecy. The primary purpose was to encourage the people to continue to rebuild the temple and to see that task through to its completion. His secondary purposes, which serve as motivators behind the primary purpose, are to announce God's prophetic program as it concerned the Gentiles. To predict the blessings of the millennial age for Israel, and to outline the events leading up to it.

Background - Setting: The historical background and setting of Zechariah are the same as that of his contemporary, Haggai. (In 538 B.C.), Cyrus the Persian freed the captives from Israel to resettle their homeland (Ezra 1:1-4), and about 45,000 to 50,000 returned from Babylon. They immediately began to rebuild the temple (Ezra 3:1-4:5), but opposition from neighbors, followed by indifference from within, caused the work to be abandoned (Ezra 4:24). Sixteen years later (Ezra 5:1-2), Zechariah and Haggai were commissioned by the Lord to stir up the people to rebuild the temple. As a result, the temple was completed 4 years later (in 516 B.C.; Ezra 6:15).

Zechariah has more messianic prophecies than any other "minor" prophet and makes frequent mention of both the first and second advents of Messiah. The Angel of the Lord is more prominent in Zechariah than in any other of the prophetical writings. Zechariah is also one of the most devotional of the prophetic books, dwelling more completely on the person and work of Christ than any other of the prophetic writings. Except for the apocalyptic sections (the eight night visions), its basic language and style are simple and direct.

Historical - Theological Themes: The theme of Zechariah is the glory of the Lord (Yahweh). The theme is set forth as being the motivation for completing the task of rebuilding the temple, and for showing that the people of the prophet's day are an important part of God's ultimate program of displaying His glory through the nation in the future.

Zechariah joined Haggai in rousing the people from their indifference, challenging them to resume the building of the temple. Haggai's primary purpose was to rebuild the temple. His preaching has a tone of rebuke for the people's indifference, sin, and lack of trust in God. He was used to start the revival, while Zechariah was used to keep it going strong with a more positive emphasis, calling the people to repentance and reassuring them regarding future blessings. Zechariah sought to encourage the people to build the temple in view of the promise that someday Messiah would come to inhabit it. The people were not just building for the present, but with the future hope of Messiah in mind. He encouraged the people, still downtrodden by the Gentile powers (1:8-12), with the reality that the Lord remembers His covenant promises to them and that He would restore and bless them. Thus, the name of the book (which means "The Lord remembers"), contains in seed form the theme of the prophecy.

This "apocalypse of the Old Testament" as it is often called, relates both to Zechariah's immediate audience as well as to the future. This is borne out in the structure of the prophecy itself, since in each of the 3 major sections (chapters 1 to 6, 7, 8, 9 to 14), the prophet begins historically and then moves forward to the time of the Second Advent, when Messiah returns to His temple to set up His earthly kingdom. The prophet reminded the people that Messiah had both an immediate and long-term commitment to His people. Thus the prophet's words were "gracious words, comforting words" (1:13), both to the exiles of Zechariah's day as well as to the remnant of God's chosen people in that future day.


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Zechariah 1 Zechariah 8
Zechariah 2 Zechariah 9
Zechariah 3 Zechariah 10
Zechariah 4 Zechariah 11
Zechariah 5 Zechariah 12
Zechariah 6 Zechariah 13
Zechariah 7 Zechariah 14

Zechariah 1

Zechariah 1

The prophet Zechariah ministered at the same time as Haggai. They both had been captives in Babylon, and returned to Judah when Cyrus released the prisoners. The building of the temple had been delayed 16 years, after the first people released had built the foundation. There was much opposition to its being built, and the people had been busy building their own homes.

They planted their crops again, also. Zechariah and Haggai preached, that the reason for their poor crops was the fact they had not rebuilt the temple. The same neglect of God's work was still in the land. They had spent 70 years in captivity to cause them to repent of this complacency toward God.

The opening 6 verses provide an introduction to the entire prophecy in which the prophet calls upon the people to repent and never again repeat the past sins of their fathers (1 Cor. 10:11).

Zechariah 1:1 "In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,"

The message is dated in the eighth month, in the second year of Darius. This would be (November, 520 B.C.), two months after the prophet Haggai began his ministry. By his lineage "Zechariah" identifies himself as a priest, and by his reception of this prophecy he is established as a prophet.

Most Old Testament prophets who dated their prophecies did so according to the reign of a king in Israel, Judah or both. Haggai and Zechariah date their prophecies according to the reign of the Gentile king, indicating that the times of the Gentiles (Luke 21:24), had begun.

It is very interesting, to me, that this message came to Zechariah the month between the 7th and 9th month that God gave Haggai messages. It seemed, the message was the same from both. Perhaps, this was to confirm the messages. The Scriptures say, by two a thing shall be established. We see that Zechariah was the grandson of the prophet Iddo.

Zechariah 1:2 "The LORD hath been sore displeased with your fathers."

"The Lord hath been sore displeased": This actually means "to break out in long-controlled indignation," reminding the people of the severity of God's wrath and the necessity of His judgment on their past sins in pre-Exilic times.

The fathers this is speaking of, are those who committed spiritual adultery, and caused God to send them into captivity for 70 years. The land was destroyed, and so was the temple.

Zechariah 1:3 "Therefore say thou unto them, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye unto me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you, saith the LORD of hosts."

"The Lord of hosts": This frequently used name for God shows His might as the commander of the hosts, whether they are the armies of Israel (2 Chron. 26:11), the armies of the heathen nations (Judges 4:2), or the heavenly inhabitants (1 Kings 22:19).

"Turn ye unto me": Though primarily a book of consolation, the prophet begins with a call to repentance, to preclude any false security on the part of Israel: i.e., thinking that God would bless His chosen people regardless of their spiritual condition.

This expresses the ongoing desire of God (Gen. 17:7; Lev. 26:12; Ezek. 37:27; 2 Cor. 6:16; James 4:8; Rev. 21:3), and the constant condition for blessing.

God wanted their love and their faithfulness. The captivity had been to teach them to obey God, and to turn from false gods. When they reach out to God, He is always there to reach out to them. God loves them, and wants to bless them, but He will not force Himself upon them.

Zechariah 1:4 "Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets have cried, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Turn ye now from your evil ways, and [from] your evil doings: but they did not hear, nor hearken unto me, saith the LORD."

"Be ye not as your fathers": The disobedient, obstinate behavior of their fathers was not so much directed toward the prophets, but at God Himself. The people were well aware of their fathers' sins (Ezra 9:7), and could look around them and see the results. History should have taught them to repent.

"The former prophets" is a reference primarily to the prophets who ministered prior to the Babylonian captivity. To the pre-Exilic prophets who all preached the same message of repentance before the Exile, e.g., Isaiah and Jeremiah (see My servants in verse 6).

We remember that they chose to believe the false prophets which were prophesying good times. They did not heed the warning that God had sent them by the true prophets. God had to prove to them, that what He warned of, He would do.

Now, they should remember the chastisement that God sent on them before. It should not be so difficult to get them to listen to the warnings from God. Their captivity was still fresh on their minds.

Zechariah 1:5 "Your fathers, where [are] they? and the prophets, do they live for ever?"

While both their fathers and the former prophets were dead, the legacy of their fathers' failure to heed the prophets' warnings was vividly before them. Exemplified by the city of Jerusalem and the temple lying in ruins, needing to be rebuilt.

We discussed before, that the unfaithful generation died while they were in captivity. The answer is no, they do not live forever. They not only died, but died in a foreign land under terrible circumstances. This should encourage these people to respond more quickly to God's warning.

Zechariah 1:6 "But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not take hold of your fathers? And they returned and said, Like as the LORD of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways, and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us."

God's word accomplishes all which He designs (Isa. 55:10-11), in blessing and in judgment. His warnings, so precisely fulfilled, overtook and destroyed their fathers, who recognized God's hand in the judgment (Lam. 2:17; Ezra 9:6). The Exile was positive proof that God punishes those who sin and reject His warnings. "They repented" (Dan. 9:1-19).

This is proclaiming to them, that the warnings the prophets brought to them came to pass. The chastisement promised, perhaps, was a while in coming, but it did come. The true prophets spoke with inspiration of God. Their Words were actually God's Words in the prophets' mouths.

The fathers and grandfathers had told their children why they were in captivity, so they would not disobey God and wind up in the same predicament.

Verses 1:7 - 6:8: The eight night visions: All eight night visions occurred on one night and constitute a unity of revelation. The first is most important because it provides a key for understanding the other seven. The night visions were not presented to the prophet in the form of a dream, but rather with the prophet in some form of a trance (Acts 10:10; 11:5; Rev. 1:10).

The overall message of these visions for the nation of Zechariah's day was "The Lord is with you; therefore, build the temple." For the Israel of the future, the visions outline the prophetic program for Israel from the time of restoration from the Babylonian captivity to the institution of the millennial kingdom.

Zechariah 1:7 "Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which [is] the month Sebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,"

"The four and twentieth day of the eleventh month" (Jan./Feb. 519 B.C.). Approximately 3 months after Zechariah's opening call to repentance.

This message comes 3 months after the first message. Haggai's last message had been spoken about two months prior to this message of Zechariah's. This month is approximately February on our calendar.

Zechariah 1:8 "I saw by night, and behold a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle trees that [were] in the bottom; and behind him [were there] red horses, speckled, and white."

"I saw by night": This is the first vision revealing God's plan for Jerusalem, which begins with the sight of "a man ... riding on a red horse." The man is identified as the Angel of the Lord (verse 11). The other riders report to Him, indicating His authority over them. Because of the strength of horses, they became symbols of war. Red is often the symbol of blood, hence judgment (Isa. 63:1-4; Rev. 6:3).

The "bottom" (Hebrew metsulah, "depth," "hollow," "place of shadows," or "a shady place"), has been suggested to be the valley of Hinnom outside the temple precinct. If so, the prophet could look down from the foundations of the temple and see the Rider and His army coming.

The contribution of this first and all-inclusive night vision, the man among the myrtle trees, is twofold: The Israel of Zechariah's day was assured that the Lord was with them and that the world was at peace. Therefore, they should continue the task of building the temple until it was completed.

"Red horses, speckled, and white": Presumably these other horses had riders as well. The colors may speak of the work of the riders: red speaking of bloodshed and judgment (Isa. 63:1-2), white speaking of victory (Rev. 19:11), and speckled or a brownish color is possible a combination of the others.

A similar picture is found (in Rev. 6:1-8). These horses are about to gain a victorious judgment. Since they are messengers of vengeance, they likely represent angels, so frequently employed as God's instruments of judgment.

Zechariah 1:9 "Then said I, O my lord, what [are] these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will show thee what these [be]."

"The angel that talked with me" This interpreting angel (1:13-14, 19; 2:3; 3:1; 4:1), is to be distinguished from the Angel of the Lord (verses 11-12).

The key word in this is "what". We know from this, that whatever they are is symbolic. Notice, also, this is not the LORD, but the one he is speaking to is an angel.

Zechariah 1:10 "And the man that stood among the myrtle trees answered and said, These [are they] whom the LORD hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth."

"Walk to and fro": A symbolic military description of angelic movement patrolling and reconnoitering on a global scale. The purpose is to ascertain the state of the enemy and to respond to God's will in engaging that enemy triumphantly.

Zechariah 1:11 "And they answered the angel of the LORD that stood among the myrtle trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and, behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest."

The "angel of the Lord" is a Christophany. a preincarnate appearance of the second person of the Trinity, the Son of God.

"Behold, all the earth sitteth still, and is at rest": In contrast to the difficulties facing the exiles, without temple or city walls, the heathen nations were superficially at rest, occupied with their own selfish interests (verse 15).

This was generally the condition in the second year of Darius. The contrast makes the plight of Israel all the more distressing and the hope for the fulfillment (of Hag. 2:7; 2:22), more intense.

They have searched the earth, and found a time when there is relative peace upon the earth.

1 Thess. 5:3 "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."

Zechariah 1:12 "Then the angel of the LORD answered and said, O LORD of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these threescore and ten years?"

"The angel of the Lord": The Angel of the Lord interceded to God the Father on behalf of Israel, pleading for the withdrawal of God's chastening hand. The "seventy years" refers to God's words to Jeremiah concerning the length of Judah's exile (Jer. 25:11-12; 29:10).

This one Scripture makes us think this is speaking of the immediate time of Zechariah. The 70 years are for the 70 years in Babylon captivity. Babylon symbolizes the world. This is a cry similar to the saints that cry in heaven.

Rev. 6:10 "And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?"

Even just before the coming of the Lord Jesus as King, this will still be the cry. The Lord is our intercessor. He pleads the believer's case continually before the Father.

Zechariah 1:13 "And the LORD answered the angel that talked with me [with] good words [and] comfortable words."

"Good words and comfortable words": The content of these words is given in verses 14-17): God still loved Jerusalem (verse 14), He was angry with the nations who afflicted them (verse 15), and He will bring prosperity to Jerusalem (verses 16-17).

The LORD answers with reassuring Words, that He is concerned about His people. God does care. His time is not the same as our time.

Zechariah 1:14 "So the angel that communed with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy."

"I am jealous for Jerusalem": God first described Himself as jealous when making His covenant with Israel (Exodus 20:5; 34:14). This same jealousy had been experienced by Israel in punishment (Deut. 29:18-28; Ezek. 5:13). That same jealous love is expressed emphatically in the city's defense.

This is speaking of the holy city, and is also speaking of the church. The jealousy here, is love to the extreme. God loves His people.

Zechariah 1:15 "And I am very sore displeased with the heathen [that are] at ease: for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction."

Moved by His great love for His people, the Lord acted in anger (verse 2), against the nations which mistreated His people. Although they were His instrument of judgment against Israel, they had exceeded God's instructions in meting out punishment. They did not understand that God's intention was to punish for a time and then show compassion (Isa. 54:7-8).

God was displeased with the heathen that lived around Jerusalem. I believe He is also displeased today with the heathen world that has no desire to come to Him and be saved.

Babylon, and the other nations, that attacked God's people in such cruel manner were some that He was displeased with. Even in our society, there are nations who do not accept God. These are heathen nations, as well.

Zechariah 1:16 "Therefore thus saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem."

Not only would the temple be rebuilt which at that time had only foundations (Hag. 2:18), but the city itself would again expand due to the prosperity (Isa. 40:9-10). The wall was completed 75 years later.

This is speaking of the temple being rebuilt in Jerusalem. Jesus will set up His kingdom headquartered in Jerusalem. Jerusalem will be the measure that all will be measured by. We saw in one of the other prophetic books, this same line which measured the city of Jerusalem and the temple area.

Zechariah 1:17 "Cry yet, saying, Thus saith the LORD of hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad; and the LORD shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem."

The walls were completed 75 years later. God would again comfort Jerusalem (Isa. 40:1-2; 51:3, 12), and would again choose it as the place of His earthly throne (Psalm 132:13). This will be fulfilled in the millennial kingdom of Messiah (Rev. 20). Given the fact that the returning Jews lost sight of their priorities (Hag. 1:1-12), this message reaffirmed God's plan.

It should be noted that the millennial kingdom will provide the presence of God in Jerusalem (Ezek. 48:35), a glorious temple (Ezek. chapters 40 thru 48), a rebuilt Jerusalem (Jer. 31:38-40), the nations punished (Matt. 25:31-46), the prosperity of Judah's cities (Isa. 60:4-9), the blessedness of the people (Zech. 9:17), and the comfort of Zion (Isa. 14:1).

This is speaking of Jerusalem as the capital of the world, when Jesus reigns. The church (Zion), will be comforted. The prosperity of Jerusalem has begun. Jews from all over the world are returning to Israel now. They shall prosper greatly, because the blessing of God is upon them.

Verses 18-21: The second of 8 night visions adds details to the judgment of the nations who persecuted His Israel, building upon God's promise to comfort His people (1:13, 17).

Zechariah 1:18 "Then lifted I up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns."

The "four horns" (the second vision, verses 18-21), are representative of the four Gentile world powers, earlier introduced by Daniel (Dan. 2, 7 and 8). Metaphorically, the "horn" was applied to the strength of governments, and was used representatively of nations (Dan. 8:3-4; Mica 4:13).

"Horns" symbolize power, and the number "four" symbolizes universal. This then, is speaking of universal power.

Zechariah 1:19 "And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What [be] these? And he answered me, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem."

"The four horns which scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem, are four nations, Babylonians, Medes and Persians, Macedonians and Romans; as the Lord, on the prophet's enquiry, explains here. And Daniel unfolds most fully (in Daniel 2); who in the vision of the image with golden head, silver breast, belly and thighs of brass, feet of iron and clay, explained it of these four nations.

And again, in another vision of four beasts (in Daniel 7); lion, bear, leopard and another unnamed dreadful beast. He pointed out the same nations under another figure. But that the Medes and Persians, after the victory of Cyrus, were one kingdom, no one will doubt, who reads secular and sacred literature.

When this vision was beheld, the kingdom of the Babylonians had now passed away, that of the Medes and Persians was instant. That of Greeks and Macedonians and of the Romans was yet to come.

Some see here an allusion to the prophecy of Daniel concerning the Babylonians, Medo-Persians, Macedonians, and Romans. Against this view it is urged that the prophet is speaking of past events, not of a far distant future.

Others take the four horns to represent Assyria, Egypt, Babylon, and Medo-Persia, all of which had scattered Israel. But it is well to lay no special stress on such explanations of symbolical language, which are at best mere conjectures, liable to be overthrown by a new theory.

This could be speaking of the Babylonians, Assyria, Medio- Persians, and the Egyptians. I believe it speaks of the nations of the world against Israel. There are not just 4 nations that have done harm to Israel. There are many.

I believe the number 4 is symbolic of the nations of the world who are Jerusalem, Judah, and Israel's enemies. These are nations opposed to God, and all His people.

Zechariah 1:20 "And the LORD showed me four carpenters."

"Four carpenters": The word is literally the term for stone workers, metal workers, and wood workers, those who shape material with hammers and chisels. These "Hammers" represent the nations which overthrow the 4 horns (verse 18).

As with the 4 beasts (of verse 7), each empire is overthrown by the subsequent one, the last being replaced by Messiah's kingdom (Dan. 2:44; 7:9-14, 21-22). Babylon was hammered in a night attack by the Medo-Persians (539 B.C.). The Roman Empire, revived in the last days, according to Daniel, will be hammered by the returning Messiah (Dan. 2:34-35, 45).

Zechariah 1:21 "Then said I, What come these to do? And he spake, saying, These [are] the horns which have scattered Judah, so that no man did lift up his head: but these are come to fray them, to cast out the horns of the Gentiles, which lifted up [their] horn over the land of Judah to scatter it."

The several instrumentalities employed, or to be employed, in crushing the "Gentile" powers which "scattered" Judah, are hereby referred to. For every one of the four horns there was a cleaving "artificer" to beat it down (four carpenters). For every enemy of God's people, God has provided a counteracting power adequate to destroy it.

The angel is speaking here. The horns are they that scattered Judah, and lay them helpless. They frayed (whipped) them. The enemies of Judah had not only defeated them, but scattered them to the winds.

Luke 21:24 "And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."

Zechariah 1 Questions

1. Zechariah ministered at the same time as ________.

2. They both had been captives in Babylon, until ________ released them.

3. The building of the temple had been delayed _____ years.

4. What had the people been doing during that time?

5. What was the message of Zechariah?

6. When was the first message Zechariah received?

7. Who was Zechariah's father?

8. What did Iddo and Zechariah have in common?

9. The LORD hath been sore displeased with your ___________.

10. What will happen, if they turn to God?

11. Who had their fathers believed?

12. Do prophets live forever?

13. What is verse 6 saying to them?

14. What month on our calendar is Sebat?

15. How does Zechariah receive the second message?

16. The "red horse" is symbolic of _______.

17. Who talked with Zechariah?

18. Who did the angel say they were?

19. How did they find the earth?

20. Which Scripture would cause us to believe this is in Zechariah's time?

21. The LORD is jealous for whom?

22. Who was He sore displeased with?

23. What is verse 16 speaking of?

24. What is verse 17 speaking of Jerusalem as?

25. What do "horns" symbolize?

26. What does "4" symbolize?

27. Who are the 4 horns?

28. Who were the carpenters?

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Zechariah 2

Zechariah 2

Verses 2:1-13: The third vision reveals a man with a measuring line. Like the second vision, it also builds on God's promise to comfort His people (1:13, 17).

The restoration of Jerusalem after the return from Babylon is only a foretaste of the future messianic kingdom, for the language of the vision cannot be fulfilled historically. Its scope extends beyond the time of Zechariah to the rule of the Messiah on earth.

Zechariah 2:1 "I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand."

Verses 1-13: The third vision is that of the "Man with" the "measuring line." The restoration and rebuilding of Jerusalem is symbolized. It is very possible that the surveyor is the Angel of the Lord (1:11; 6:12; Ezek. 40:2-3), who is laying out the future dimensions of the city.

Its message is that the future Jerusalem will overspread its boundaries, and that God will be its Protector.

Jer. 31:39 "And the measuring line shall yet go forth over against it upon the hill Gareb, and shall compass about to Goath."

Ezekiel 40:3 "And he brought me thither, and, behold, [there was] a man, whose appearance [was] like the appearance of brass, with a line of flax in his hand, and a measuring reed; and he stood in the gate."

Zechariah 2:2 "Then said I, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what [is] the breadth thereof, and what [is] the length thereof."

"Then said I, Whither goest thou?" As it showed great freedom and boldness in the prophet to put such a question to the man with the measuring reed, it was great condescension in him to return him an answer, as follows:

"And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem": Not literally understood, which was not yet completely built; but the Gospel church, often so called (see Heb. 12:22). And this measuring of it denotes the conformity of it to the rule of God's word; a profession of the true doctrines of it, and an observance of the ordinances of it.

As delivered in it; and an agreement of the walk, life, and conversation of its members with it.

"To see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof": The length of the New Jerusalem is as large as the breadth; its length, breadth, and height, are equal (Rev. 21:16).

This measuring is to see what the dimensions of Jerusalem are. We must remember at this point, that this is a vision, and is not necessarily the Jerusalem at the time of Zechariah.

Zechariah 2:3 "And, behold, the angel that talked with me went forth, and another angel went out to meet him,"

"Angel ... that talked with me": This is the instructing angel (of 1:9).

This last angel seems to be directly from God, and goes to meet the angel which had been explaining Zechariah's vision for him.

Zechariah 2:4 "And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited [as] towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein:"

The news was so wonderful that it was to be heralded immediately. An angel arrived to explain that Jerusalem will become so large that it will extend beyond any wall (Isa. 49:19-20; Ezek. 38:11).

The conditions here described have at no time been true historically (Neh. 7:4; 11:1-2); full realization must be assigned to a future earthly kingdom (Isa. 49:19-20). A counterfeit of this unwalled safety will exist under Antichrist in the time of tribulation (see notes on Ezek. 38:8-12).

This is a key to when this Jerusalem is speaking of. Even today, there are walls which surround Jerusalem. This is speaking of a future Jerusalem, when there will be no walls. The young man here, is probably the prophet Zechariah. The second angel has brought a message to be delivered to Zechariah.

This is speaking of a time, when there will be so many people and cattle in Jerusalem that they could not fit in the walled city. Possibly, the reason the statement "young man" was used was to show that Zechariah was not old.

Zechariah 2:5 "For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her."

"A wall of fire round about": Though without walls, Jerusalem will dwell securely because of divine protection. The phrase is reminiscent of the pillar of fire at the Exodus (Exodus 13:21; 2 Kings 6:15-17; Isa. 4:5-6).

"And will be the glory in the midst of her": More than protection, the glory depicts the Messiah's blessing and personal presence in His earthly kingdom (Isa. 4:2-6; 40:5; 60:17-18; Ezek. 42:1-7).

What a promise! The presence of God was always seen in a fire or a smoke from that fire. Just as the wall of fire held off the Egyptians, this wall of fire will hold off all enemies of Jerusalem. The "glory in the midst of her" is the presence of God.

Verses 6-9: The prophet turned from the distant future (verses 4-5), to the present. Summoning those Israelites still in Babylon (referred to as the land of the north (verse 7), because of the direction from which it invaded Israel), to flee before God poured out His judgment on it. This also implied a future call to leave a future Babylon (Rev. 17:3-5; 18:1-8).

Zechariah 2:6 "Ho, ho, [come forth], and flee from the land of the north, saith the LORD: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the LORD."

"I have spread you": According (to 2 Kings 17:6), they were scattered from the Gozan River, 200 miles west of Nineveh, to Media, 300 miles east. Some had even taken refuge in Moab, Ammon, Edom, and Egypt (Jer. 40:11-12; 43:7).

This is calling all of the Israelites to come home. God wants them inside this wall of fire He has placed to protect them. This is like the hedge of fire He builds around each of us who are His followers. When protection is the fire of God, Satan cannot enter in.

Zechariah 2:7 "Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest [with] the daughter of Babylon."

"Deliver thyself, O Zion": Or make thy escape, you that belong to Mount Zion, the city of the living God. And ought to have your abode there, and not in Babylon: flee from thence.

"That dwelleth with the daughter of Babylon": In any of the antichristian states, who are the daughters of Babylon, the mother of harlots (Rev. 17:5).

This has a double meaning. Those left in Babylon from their captivity should come home, and be under the protection of God. There is a spiritual Babylon that symbolizes the sinful world. Zion, as we have said, symbolizes the church. This is saying, you believers, separate yourselves from the sinful world.

Rev. 18:4 "And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."

Whether physical Jews, or the church coming out of Babylon, they have to make some effort upon their own part to leave Babylon. God does not force His protection on anyone. It must be the person's will to be saved, before he is saved.

Zechariah 2:8 "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; After the glory hath he sent me unto the nations which spoiled you: for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye."

"After the glory hath he sent me": The Messiah is sent by the "Lord of hosts" (verse 9), to procure His glory and to vindicate Him in the nations who have spoiled Israel.

"The apple of his eye" (see note on Deut. 32:10). Harming God's chosen people is like striking the pupil of God's eye.

Israel is spoken of as the "apple of His eye". The LORD of hosts will destroy the enemy of Israel. Those opposed to Israel are opposed to God. Spiritual Israel is the church, so that means God is opposed to those who are opposed to the church. God loves physical Israel and spiritual Israel. God fights for them.

Zechariah 2:9 "For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them, and they shall be a spoil to their servants: and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me."

"For, behold, I will shake mine hand upon them": The nations; either the Babylonian, or the antichristian states. Meaning, that he would exert his power, and inflict punishment on them, and utterly destroy them; which would be done by the bare shaking of his hand.

"And they shall be a spoil to their servants": As the Babylonians were to the Persians. Not through Cyrus, which had been done; but through Darius, who took Babylon, after a siege of twenty months, and put great numbers to death. And all became a spoil to the Persians, who had been their servants.

Or the ten kings, that gave their kingdoms to the beast, and were subject to him; but now shall hate the whore, and eat her flesh. And all her riches and revenues shall be a spoil unto them, and be divided among them (Rev. 17:12).

"And ye shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me": Either the Prophet Zechariah, that he was a true prophet, and had his mission from the Lord of hosts, as will appear by the accomplishment of these prophecies.

Or rather Christ, sent by God the Father; and who will be known and owned by the Jews, as well as by the Gentiles, to be the "sent" of God, when they shall be converted, and antichrist shall be destroyed. Kimchi refers this, and the following verse (Zech. 2:10), to the times of the Messiah.

When God stretches out His hand and shakes the nations, it is in wrath. The only time that the worldly will serve God's people, is when Jesus reigns as King, and we reign as His subordinates.

Verses 10-13: The language is once again messianic, describing the personal presence of the Messiah, dwelling on the throne of David in Jerusalem during the Millennium.

Zechariah 2:10 "Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD."

"Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion": Or, "congregation of Zion", as the Targum paraphrases it. The Jewish church, great numbers of that people being converted, and in a church state.

Or the whole Christian church at this time, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, who are called upon to rejoice and sing at the destruction of antichrist (see Rev. 18:20). And because of the presence of God in the midst of them, as follows:

"For, lo, I come": Not in the flesh: this is not to be understood of the incarnation of Christ; or of his coming in human nature to dwell in the land of Judea. But of his spiritual coming in the latter day, to set up his kingdom in the world, in a more visible and glorious manner.

"And I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord": The presence of Christ in his churches, and with his people, in attendance on his word and ordinances, will be very manifest and constant in the latter day.

This is speaking to the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jerusalem is rebuilt, Jesus will reign, and we will have perfect peace. The Light of Jesus is in His church. It is not just on occasion that He is there, but all the time.

Verses 11-12: Echoing the promise to Abraham (Gen. 12:3), many nations will join themselves to the Lord (6:15; 8:20-23; Isa. 2:2-4; 56:6-7; 60:3). But this will not alter God's choice of His people, they will still be "His portion in the holy land" (Deut. 32:9).

Zechariah 2:11 "And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee."

"And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day": The Gospel will be preached in all nations, and multitudes will be converted, and embrace and profess the Christian religion, and join themselves to the churches of Christ. Which, in the New Testament, is expressed by being joined to the Lord (Acts 5:13; see Jer. 50:5).

"And shall be my people": Shall appear to be so, who before were not the people of God; did not profess themselves, and were not known to be, the people of God. Though they secretly were in the counsel and covenant of God; but now, being called by grace, they become openly and manifestly his people (1 Pet. 2:10).

"And I will dwell in the midst of thee": In the church, consisting of people of many nations, as well as of Jews.

"And thou shall know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee": To the Jews, as well as to the Gentiles (See Zech. 2:9).

This is not speaking of just physical Israel, but all nations whose people come to Christ as their Savior and Lord. This speaks of a time when whole nations will seek out the Lord.

Rev. 21:24 "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it."

God's people are made up of all nations.

Heb. 2:12 "Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee."

Zechariah 2:12 "And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again."

"Holy land": Used only here, the expression is made not because it is the Promised Land but because it will be the site of Messiah's earthly throne when the land has been cleansed. A holy land is appropriate and expected for its holy Lord (Isa. 6:1-5).

This is saying that the headquarters of salvation for the whole world is in Judah. Christianity began in Judah with the Jews, and spread to the whole world. We must remember the two sticks in Ezekiel. They are the physical house of Israel and the spiritual house of Israel. They come together in Jesus.

Zechariah 2:13 "Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation."

"His holy habitation": God's dwelling in heaven (Psalms 15:1; 24:3).

I love the following Scripture which is saying the same thing.

Psalm 46:10 "Be still, and know that I [am] God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth."

Notice, this is for all the earth. The LORD brought salvation to whosoever will of all flesh, when He left heaven and came to earth to save us. He bought us all with His precious shed blood on the cross.

1 Tim. 4:10 "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."

Zechariah 2 Questions

1. When Zechariah looked again, what did he see?

2. Who is the man, probably?

3. What was he going to measure?

4. The second angel seems to be directly from _______.

5. Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without _________.

6. Why will they be like this?

7. What does the statement "young man" mean to Zechariah?

8. What will hold off all the enemies from Jerusalem?

9. What is the "glory in the midst of her"?

10. What is this wall of fire like?

11. What are the 2 meanings in verse 7?

12. What does God call His people in verse 8?

13. Those opposed to Israel are opposed to ______.

14. When God stretches out His hand and shakes the nations it is in __________.

15. Who reigns with Jesus?

16. Sing and rejoice, O __________ of _______.

17. Who is this speaking of?

18. Why are they rejoicing?

19. Who are the many nations in verse 11?

20. Where is the headquarters of salvation?

21. We must remember the __ sticks in Ezekiel.

22. They come together in __________.

23. Who is to be silent before the LORD?

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Zechariah 3

Zechariah Chapter 3

Zechariah 3:1 "And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him."

Verses 1-13: The fourth vision is of "Joshua the High Priest standing before the angel of the Lord."

The scene is invested with a judicial character as Joshua, the High Priest of the restoration who came back in the first group with Zerubbabel (Ezra 3:2; 5:2; Hag. 1:1), was accused by Satan, who was standing at the right side, the place of accusation under the law (Psalm 109:6). That Joshua was representative of the nation is evident from:

1. The emphasis on the nation in these visions;

2. The fact that the rebuke (in verse 2), is based on God's choice of Jerusalem, not Joshua;

3. The identification (in verse 8), of Joshua and his fellow priests as symbolic of future Israel; and

4. Its application to the land (in verse 9).

"Satan": This could also be translated "adversary" and thus the person's identity would be unknown. However, because the activity of accusation is so in keeping with Satan (Job, chapters 1 and 2; Rev. 12:10), his identification is preferable. The malicious adversary stands in the presence of the Lord to proclaim Israel's sins and their unworthiness of God's favor.

The situation is crucial: If Joshua is vindicated, Israel is accepted; if Joshua is rejected, Israel is rejected. The entire plan of God for the nation was revealed in the outcome. Israel's hopes would either be destroyed or confirmed.

For the Israel of Zechariah's day, the significance of the vision is that sin is not a hindrance to the realization of God's program.

Because God has dealt with sin, Joshua and the priests indicate the restoration of the priesthood and stand representatively for the work that God will accomplish ultimately when the sin of the nation is permanently put away by the "Branch," the coming Messiah.

In this, Joshua represents the priesthood, and he also, represents the people. Standing indicates a judgment. The angel of the LORD has to do with the Judge of all the world, Jesus. Satan, the accuser, was standing at the right hand of Joshua. Satan was there to accuse Joshua to the Judge.

Notice, I said that Joshua represented all the people. It would have probably, been more accurate to say all the believers. We too, will stand before the Judge of all the world and give account. Satan accuses us constantly to the Father. Jesus is our intercessor. He pleads for us. He is our counsel.

Zechariah 3:2 "And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: [is] not this a brand plucked out of the fire?"

"The Lord said": The Angel of the Lord is identified as the Lord thus verifying this "messenger" as deity (see notes on 1:11; Judges 6:11). And the message was crucial in confirming that;

1. God had not cast off the Jews, but was consistent with His covenants with them in Abraham and David; and

2. His election takes their side against Satan's accusations.

God will do this rebuking (as reported in Rev. 20:10; see note on Jude 9).

"Chosen Jerusalem": God's favor rested on Israel above any nation on earth (Deut. 7:6-11). He snatched them from potential disappearance in their captivity, like pulling a stick out of the fire just before it is torched (Amos 4:11). Thus, God confirmed His purposes for Israel, sweeping from Zechariah's time to the consummation of human history (Rev. 12:3-17).

The LORD is over Satan. When we stand against Satan, it is the name of Jesus that actually rebukes Satan. He would not listen to any rebuke that we might bring, but he must bow to the name of Jesus. God has not turned from His people, just because they have sinned. They are still His people.

Rom. 8:33-34 "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [It is] God that justifieth." "Who [is] he that condemneth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us."

God had plucked Israel out of the fire of captivity in Babylon. Satan tries to remind God of their sins. Jesus paid the price in full for their sins, and for ours. God had a plan of salvation.

Zechariah 3:3 "Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel."

"Filthy garments": Employing the most loathsome, vile term for filth. The phrase pictures the habitual condition of defilement of the priesthood and the people (Isa. 4:4; 64:6). Which became the basis of Satan's accusation that the nation is morally impure and unworthy of God's protection and blessing.

These filthy garments symbolize being clothed in sins.

Isaiah 64:6 "But we are all as an unclean [thing], and all our righteousnesses [are] as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away."

The filthy garments are speaking of the sin of the priesthood, but it also speaks of the sins of the people. Any of us that stand before Jesus in the garments we have provided for ourselves, would be just like this Joshua.

Zechariah 3:4 "And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment."

The removal of filthy garments by the angels ("who were standing before him"), depicted the promised future forensic justification, the salvation of the nation (verse 9; 12:10 - 13:1; Rom. 11:25-27).

The High Priest was symbolically clothed with rich robes, which spoke of righteousness imputed (Isa. 61:10), and the restoration of Israel to her original calling (Exodus 19:6; Isa. 61:6; Romans 11:1-2).

The raiment here is Jesus' raiment.

Rev. 1:5 "And from Jesus Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,"

Rev. 7:14 "And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."

In a sense, Joshua is just like the believers in Christ. We gave Him our sins (filthy garments), and He gave us His righteousness (robe washed in His blood). The garment that the LORD provided made him worthy. It is a robe of righteousness. He took the priest's sins, when he took the stained garment. He robed him in His garment of righteousness.

Zechariah 3:5 "And I said, Let them set a fair mitre upon his head. So they set a fair mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the LORD stood by."

The "fair mitre" was the High Priest's turban, to which a golden plate was attached, engraved with "Holiness to the Lord" (Exodus 28:36-38).

The mitre, part of the High Priests dress (Exodus 39:30-31). Zechariah joined the scene, calling for this because it strongly symbolized that Israel's priestly place with God was restored.

The "head" symbolizes the mind. In receiving this fair mitre, he symbolically took on the mind of Christ. The LORD re-instated him to his authority and power.

Verses 6-7: Although God will keep His promise to justify Israel, reinstate the nation as His priestly people to serve in His house, keep his courts, and have complete access to His presence. All based on His sovereign, electing love and not by merit or works of man, that will not be fulfilled until Israel is faithful to the Lord. It awaits the fulfillment (of 12:10 - 13:1).

Zechariah 3:6 "And the angel of the LORD protested unto Joshua, saying,"

"Protested": Proceeded solemnly to declare. This is a forensic term for an affirmation on oath (Heb. 6:17-18). God thus solemnly states the end for which the priesthood is restored to the people, His own glory in their obedience and pure worship, and their consequent promotion to heavenly honor.

This is saying that Joshua must walk in the salvation he has received.

Zechariah 3:7 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts, and I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by."

For this Angel was no other than the Lord of armies in heaven and in earth.

"If thou wilt walk in my ways": Prescribed in the word of God, moral, ceremonial, and evangelical.

In Christ, the grand way and indeed the only way of salvation. And in the paths of faith, truth, righteousness, and holiness. In the ways of God's commandments, which are pleasant, and attended with peace. Such a walk and conversation, and such obedience, the grace of God teaches, and obliges to:

"And if thou wilt keep my charge": The things he gave in charge, all his commands and ordinances, particularly such as belonged to the priestly office and Levitical service (see Num. 3:7). All which might be expected after so many favors granted.

"Then thou shall also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts": Preside in the temple, be governor in it, and have the care of all the courts belonging to the people and the priests, and the advantages arising from there.

The meaning is that whereas the office of the priesthood was in disuse through the captivity, and was become contemptible through the sins of the priests, it should now be restored to its former honor and glory.

To have a place in the house of God, the church, is a great honor, and still more to be a governor and ruler in it.

"And I will give thee places to walk among those that stand by": Either among fellow priests, or fellow saints. Or rather among the angels that stood before the Angel of the Lord, and ministered to him. Signifying that he should enjoy their company, be like unto then, and join in service with them in heaven, in a future state.

And "walking places" among them denote the pleasures of the heavenly state, as well as the safety and glory of it (see Isa. 57:2).

The Targum very agreeably paraphrases the words thus: "and in the resurrection or quickening of the dead, I will raise or quicken thee; and I will give thee feet walking among these seraphim."

The allusion is to those walks that were in the temple, such as Christ walked in (John 10:23), and the pavement in Ezekiel's temple (Ezek. 40:17).

This is possibly, one of the most important things for Joshua to remember, and for all believers to remember as well. Salvation is a daily walk with Jesus. The conditions of his power to judge depend on his steadfastness in Jesus.

Matt. 19:28 "And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Rev. 3:21 "To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne."

The key word (in verse 7 above), is "if". All of his ability to judge depends on whether he stays in God's path and keeps His commandments.

Zechariah 3:8 "Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, thou, and thy fellows that sit before thee: for they [are] men wondered at: for, behold, I will bring forth my servant the BRANCH."

"Thy fellows that sit before thee": The companion priests sitting before Joshua were symbols of future Israel, foreshadowing the coming Messiah.

"My servant the Branch": Two messianic phrases are here combined. "My Servant" is used by earlier prophets to depict the Messiah (Isa. 42:1; 49:3, 5; 52:13; 53:11; Ezek. 34:23-24), and speaks of His complete obedience and His humble estate.

"Branch" also points to the Messiah (6:12-13; Isa. 4:2; Jer. 23:5; 33:15). And denotes His rise from humble beginnings (Isa. 11:1; Jer. 23:5-6), and His fruitfulness (6:12; Isa. 11:1).

"The BRANCH" (Hebrew tsemach, literally, "a sprout"), is a proper name description of the Messiah, of whom it is used in prophecy (6:12; Isa. 4:2; 11:1; Jer. 23:5; 33:15), to indicate that genealogically He is a descendant of David, and He is the fulfillment of the Davidic covenant (2 Sam. 7:8-14).

"My servant" (Hebrew ebed, "servant", "doer," "tiller," "slave"), sets forth His function (Isa. 42:1; 49:3; 10:10; 52:13; 53:11; Ezek. 34:23-24).

The "BRANCH" is Jesus Christ. The High Priest always had priests who worked under him. This is the promise of the coming Messiah. Joshua is to begin telling the priests, that the coming of Messiah is near. Not only is Joshua to give his attention to this, but he is to spread the news to the priests, as well.

Isaiah 11:1 "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:"

Rom. 1:3 "Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;"

Zechariah 3:9 "For behold the stone that I have laid before Joshua; upon one stone [shall be] Seven eyes: behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day."

"The stone": Here is another reference to Messiah. (In Psalm 118:22-23; Isa. 8:13-15; 28:16; Dan. 2:35, 45; Matt. 21:42; Eph. 2:19-22; 1 Pet. 2:6-8), He is a rejected stone, a stone of stumbling, a stone of refuge, a destroying stone, and a foundation stone. Here He is the precious foundation stone, with "seven eyes" symbolic of His omniscience and infinite intelligence (4:10; Isa. 11:2; Col. 2:3; Rev. 5:6).

The engraving may be a reference to the cornerstone of the temple building, on which will be engraved an inscription attesting to the Divine Builder and the purpose for which the building was erected. As such, it is closely tied to the removal of "the iniquity of that land in one day," symbolized by the removal of filthy garments (in verse 4).

The phrase looks to the future day when there will be cleansing and forgiveness for the nation as a whole (12:10-13:1; Rom. 11:25-27), made possible through Christ's redemptive provision at Calvary.

The "stone" (Hebrew eben) is frequently used throughout the Old Testament to refer to the Messiah (Gen. 49:24; Psalm 118:22; Isa. 28:16), and is so interpreted in the New Testament (Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11; 1 Pet. 2:6).

The church of the Lord Jesus Christ is to be established through this BRANCH. All sin will be abolished, when washed in the blood of the Lamb (Jesus).

"Eyes" denote wisdom, and "seven" means spiritually complete. This wisdom is so great, it is perfection. The iniquity is removed on the day when Jesus shed His blood for the sins of the world. Jesus actually took the sin of the world upon His body, and sin died on the cross. Jesus became our substitute. This stone is that Corner Stone (Jesus Christ).

Col. 2:9 "For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily."

Zechariah 3:10 "In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall ye call every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree."

"Shall ye call every man his neighbor": A common expression in Israel for peace and prosperity (1 Kings 4:25; Mica 4:4), here depicting the peace during the millennial rule of Messiah.

There will be peace in that day when Jesus reigns as King. He is the God of Peace. There will be prosperity, as well. He will provide all our needs. Satan will be bound, and there will be no jealousy among neighbors. There will be plenty of everything for the physical man and for the spirit of man. The "vine" symbolizes Jesus.

John 15:5 "I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

The fig tree symbolizes Israel. We see in this, that salvation is offered to all of mankind in that day.

Zechariah Chapter 3 Questions

1. Who was standing before the angel of the LORD.

2. Who was standing at Joshua's right hand.

3. Who does Joshua represent?

4. What does the fact that he is standing indicate?

5. Who is the Judge of all the world?

6. Who is the accuser?

7. Who is the Christian's intercessor?

8. Who rebuked Satan?

9. The _________ is over Satan.

10. How can we rebuke Satan?

11. Where were they plucked from?

12. What does Satan accuse us of?

13. What do Joshua's filthy garments symbolize?

14. What is Joshua's new raiment?

15. Those who came out of great tribulation had washed their robes in what?

16. How are we Christians like Joshua?

17. The "head" symbolizes the ______.

18. In receiving this fair mitre, he symbolically took on the ________ of _________.

19. What is verse 6 saying?

20. The key word in verse 7 is what?

21. The "BRANCH" is _________ _______.

22. What is Joshua to tell the priests?

23. The church is established through _______ ________.

24. "Eyes" symbolize __________.

25. "Seven" is symbolic of __________.

26. The "vine" symbolizes _________.

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Zechariah 4

Zechariah 4

Verses 4:1-14: The fifth vision, the golden "candlestick" and the "two olive trees:" The work of God (the rebuilding of the temple), would be accomplished through God's leaders, Joshua and Zerubbabel, who would be enabled to perform their tasks by the Spirit of God.

The vision indicates that future Israel will be a blessing to all the nations of the world through an abundant supply of the Spirit of God as the result of the coming of the Messiah, who will unite the offices of priest and king in Himself.

Zechariah 4:1 "And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep,"

"As a man that is wakened": Once again the interpreting angel comes to awaken the prophet out of spiritual exhaustion from the holy trauma of the previous vision (Dan. 10:9).

It appears that Zechariah had gone to sleep, after his last vision, and the angel comes and awakens him. Zechariah is about to have his fifth vision.

Zechariah 4:2 "And said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I have looked, and behold a candlestick all [of] gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and his seven lamps thereon, and seven pipes to the seven lamps, which [are] upon the top thereof:"

"Seven pipes to the seven lamps": The lampstand is the 7 branched kind used in the tabernacle, with the addition of a bowl on the top of it in order to maintain an abundant supply of oil and spouts to carry the oil to keep the 7 lamps burning. The picture is of an abundant supply.

Zechariah's lampstand differed from modern menorahs in four ways, because it had:

(1) A bowl;

(2) Pipes;

(3) Olive trees; and

(4) Two golden spouts.

The Hebrew text is explicit: there were seven pipes leading from the bowl to each of the seven lamps, a total of 49 pipes. The thought conveyed is that there was an abundant channel to convey the abundant supply of oil stored in the "bowl" to each of the "seven lamps."

This "candlestick of gold" symbolizes the container for the Light of the world. It was made of pure gold, because it was in the presence of God. The church shines the Light to the world. Jesus is the Light.

Rev. 1:20 "The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches."

We have already mentioned that seven means complete. We must note, from the Scripture in Revelation above, there was a candlestick in each church. The Light of Jesus is in all the churches who believe Jesus to be the Light of the world.

The seven is speaking of perfection. There is nothing wrong with the Light. The "seven pipes" speak of a perpetual burning of the Light.

Rev. 4:5 "And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and [there were] seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God."

All of this about the candlesticks and the lamps has to do with the Light of God and the Spirit of God in the churches.

Zechariah 4:3 "And two olive trees by it, one upon the right [side] of the bowl, and the other upon the left [side] thereof."

"Two olive trees": Olive oil was used in those days to fuel the lamps. The two olive trees supply oil to the bowl. The graphic picture is of limitless oil, supplied automatically without human agency, flowing from the trees down to the bowl, down to the lamps.

We will see from the following Scriptures, that the "two olive trees" are the natural branch (physical Israel), and the grafted in branch (spiritual Israel), the church.

Rom. 11:24 "For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural [branches], be graffed into their own olive tree?"

Rev. 11:4 "These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth."

Zechariah 4:4 "So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me, saying, What [are] these, my lord?"

"What are these": Zechariah wanted to know the meaning of the two olive trees. Because of Zechariah's priestly background, his query surprised the interpreting angel (verse 5). His question goes unanswered until later (verse 14).

He is saying, "What are the two olive trees"?

Zechariah 4:5 "Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these be? And I said, No, my lord."

"Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me": Either to upbraid him with his ignorance and stupidity; or rather to quicken his attention, and that of others, to the interpretation of it he was about to give him.

"Knowest thou not what these be?" Art thou ignorant of the design of them? or knoweth thou not what is meant by them?

"And I said, No, my lord": He made an ingenuous confession of his ignorance, joined with great respect unto, and veneration of, the angel that conversed with him.

It is as if the angel thought that Zechariah should have known who they were.

Zechariah 4:6 "Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."

"This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel": The purpose of the vision was to encourage Zerubbabel to complete the temple rebuilding, to assure him of divine enablement for that venture and the endless supply for the future glory of Messiah's kingdom and temple.

The lampstand pictured Israel fully supplied by God to be His light then and in the future. It must be noted that the church has temporarily taken this role presently (Eph. 5:8-9; Rev. 1:12-13, 20), until Israel's salvation and restoration to covenant blessing and usefulness (Rom. 11:11-24).

"Not by might ... power, but by my Spirit": Neither human might, wealth, or physical stamina would be sufficient to complete the work. Only an abundant supply of the power of the Holy Spirit, pictured by the "bowl" (verse 2), would enable him to carry out the task. And enable Israel in the Messiah's kingdom to be a light again to the world by the operation of the Spirit (Ezek. 36:24).

The power is in the Spirit of God. Zerubbabel will not be able to win by worldly power or might, but by the Spirit of God within him. The work of Zerubbabel (whom we discovered was a type and shadow of Jesus), is through grace, not through personal effort.

Zechariah 4:7 "Who [art] thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel [thou shalt become] a plain: and he shall bring forth the headstone [thereof with] shoutings, [crying], Grace, grace unto it."

"Who art thou, O great mountain": Because the outcome is guaranteed (verses 6, 9), any mountain like opposition will be leveled by God to become like a flat surface. No obstacle will be able to stop the completion of the temple in Zerubbabel's time or in the final kingdom of Messiah (Ezek. Chapters 40 to 48).

"The headstone": The final stone of the building will be put into place, signifying its completion.

"Grace unto it": This blessing signifying shouts of joy and thanksgiving came to pass (Ezra 3:11-13), over the completion of the temple. Contrast this attitude with that of the people seeing the unfinished temple (Hag. 2:3).

The problems that faced Zerubbabel looked as high as a mountain, but with the help of the Spirit of God working through him, they could be flattened out as a plain.

Matt. 21:21 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."

Jesus is the head of the church. He is the stone that the builders rejected, that became the chief corner stone. I believe this headstone is speaking of Jesus. It is by grace you are saved.

Matt. 21:42 "Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?"

Eph. 1:7 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"

Zechariah 4:8 "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

"Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me, saying": As follows, which is a confirmation of the angel's interpretation of the vision.

This is a break in the previous message.

Zechariah 4:9 "The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you."

"Me": This is the Angel of the Lord (see note on 1:11), the Protector, Deliverer, Defender of Israel, sent to bring this to fulfillment in the future. He will come as Messiah to set up worship in the temple in His kingdom.

The temple being built under such adverse circumstances symbolizes the establishment of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. God promises Zerubbabel he will see it finished. It is several years in the building. This encourages me. God will see us through to the finish on the things we have started for Him.

The Spirit that God places within us seems a little thing, and our talent to do the job seems even smaller, but God can, and will, make great things of that small beginning. The church, that we know today, began with just Jesus and 12 apostles.

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."

"The day of small things": Though the rebuilding of a temple smaller than Solomon's may have been discouraging to some (Ezra 3:12; Hag. 2:3), the Lord announced that His pleasure was upon this work, and that His omniscient care was watching over and taking pleasure in its completion.

He said in effect, "Don't despise what God is pleased with." This was only a picture of the glorious restoration when Messiah comes to reign. That temple will make all others pale by comparison (Ezek. Chapters 40 to 48).

God is the all-seeing eye. There is not one thing on this earth that happens that He is not aware of. Zerubbabel and these people thought they could not finish the temple nice enough to please God. They did not realize that God was not so interested in the expensive things of the temple, as He was in their faithfulness to build it.

Little is much when God is in it. God made something very beautiful out of their humble beginnings.

Zechariah 4:11 "Then answered I, and said unto him, What [are] these two olive trees upon the right [side] of the candlestick and upon the left [side] thereof?"

"Then answered I, and said unto him": To the angel that talked with him (Zech. 4:1).

"What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick, and upon the left side thereof?" (In Zech. 4:2), they are said to be on each side of the bowl. The mystery of the candlestick being explained to Zechariah by the angel, the prophet desires to know the meaning of the two olive trees that were on the right and left of it. One on one side, and the other on the other side.

Zechariah 4:12 "And I answered again, and said unto him, What [be these] two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden [oil] out of themselves?"

Zechariah desires to know what are the two olive trees. Zerubbabel and Joshua, this prince and this priest, were endued with the gifts and graces of God's Spirit. They lived at the same time, and both were instruments in the work and service of God.

Christ's offices of King and Priest were shadowed forth by them. From the union of these two offices in his person, both God and man, the fullness of grace is received and imparted. They built the temple, the church of God. So does Christ spiritually.

Christ is not only the Messiah, the Anointed One himself, but he is the Good Olive to his church; and from his fullness we receive. And the Holy Spirit is the unction or anointing which we have received. From Christ the Olive Tree, by the Spirit the Olive Branch, all the golden oil of grace flows to believers, which keeps their lamps burning.

Let us seek, through the intercession and bounty of the Savior, supplies from that fullness which has hitherto sufficed for all his saints, according to their trials and employments. Let us wait on him in his ordinances, desiring to be sanctified wholly in body, soul, and spirit.

The "golden oil" symbolizes the Holy Spirit, which is distributed to those churches we mentioned earlier. The church carries the Holy Spirit of God to the unsaved world.

Zechariah 4:13 "And he answered me and said, Knowest thou not what these [be]? And I said, No, my lord."

"And he answered me, and said": That is, the angel answered to the prophet's questions.

"Knowest thou not what these be?" And I said, No, my lord (See Zech. 4:5).

The purpose in this question is to show that wisdom, and the ability to interpret parables, comes from God.

Zechariah 4:14 Then said he, These [are] the two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth.

"The two anointed ones, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth":

The context clearly favors identifying them as Joshua, the High Priest (a descendant of Eleazar), and Zerubbabel (a descendant of David), the governor, who will be the channels through whom God will manifest His light.

Together, they foreshadow the Messiah, in whom these two offices are combined (6:13; Psalm 110), and who is the true source of blessing to make Israel the light to the nations (Isa. 60:1-3). They had positions of responsibility in service to "the Lord of the whole earth," a millennial term that points to the final kingdom (Mica 5:4).

Zechariah 4 Questions

1. What had Zechariah done after his last vision?

2. What did Zechariah see?

3. What does the "candlestick of gold" symbolize?

4. Why was it made of pure gold?

5. ___________ is the Light.

6. There was a candlestick in _________ church.

7. Which churches have the Light of Jesus?

8. The "seven pipes" speak of the perpetual __________ of the Light.

9. What were the 7 lamps of fire burning before the throne?

10. What were the "two olive trees"?

11. What question did the angel ask him in verse 5?

12. The power is in the ________ of God.

13. Who is a type and shadow of Jesus?

14. His victory is through _________, not through _________ ______.

15. ________ is the head of the church.

16. Whose hands had started the foundation of the house?

17. What does the temple being built in such adverse circumstances symbolize?

18. The Spirit that God places within us seems such a little ______.

19. Our own _________ seems even a smaller thing.

20. The church that we know today, began with whom?

21. Who is the all-seeing eye?

22. Little is ________ when God is in it.

23. What were the "two olive trees"?

24. The "golden oil" symbolizes the _________ ________.

25. What is the purpose in the question in verse 13?

26. Who, or what, could the "two anointed ones" be?

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Zechariah 5

Zechariah 5

Verses 1-4: The sixth vision, of the "flying roll" (or scroll), is to show that those who sin openly will not hinder God's work, because God's judgment is upon them and they will not escape. For the Israel of the future the vision indicates that at the coming of the Messiah God is going to pour out His judgment on all the world and will remove every sinner from the land.

It calls for God's righteous judgment of the sinner according to His standard clearly set forth in His Word.

Zechariah 5:1 "Then I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and behold a flying roll."

"Then I turned, and lift up mine eyes, and looked": The prophet turned himself from looking upon the candlestick and olive branches, having had a full and clear understanding of them, and looked another way, and saw another vision.

"And behold a flying roll, a volume or book flying in the air": It being usual for books, which were written on parchment, to be rolled up in the form of a cylinder; whence they were called rolls or volumes.

In the previous vision, we saw God and His church. In this it seems, there is a somber message to those who are still actively sinning. This is a vision, possibly seen in the heavens. This flying roll was like a scroll. Whatever is written upon it is from heaven and God.

Zechariah 5:2 "And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I answered, I see a flying roll; the length thereof [is] twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits."

This flying scroll, unfurled for all to read both sides, exactly the size of the Holy Place in the tabernacle. The scroll represents a divine standard by which man is to be measured.

This scroll was 30 feet long and 15 feet wide. This is the very same dimension of the porch of Solomon's temple. This is the angel speaking to Zechariah.

Rev. 18:5 "For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities."

Zechariah 5:3 "Then said he unto me, This [is] the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off [as] on this side according to it; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off [as] on that side according to it."

"Curse": The scroll, symbolizing the law of God, is a figure for a curse or punishment on all who disobeyed it and for blessing on all who obeyed it (Deut. 27:26; 28:15-68). A similar picture is presented (in Rev. 5:1-9; 10:1-11).

"Every one that stealeth ... every one that sweareth": Written on both sides, the scroll probably contained the Ten Commandments, not just two. The two singled out, the third and eight, are most likely representative of all commands of God's law, for which Israel was guilty of violations (James 2:10).

It has an immediate message to those of Zechariah's time that God will root out and destroy the sinners who reject His Word. But it also has a future message for Israel and the world prior to Messiah's kingdom (Ezek. 20:33-38; Matt. 25:31-46).

This is very much like the handwriting on the wall (of Daniel chapter 5). This speaks of the sins being written down in heaven. The curse for stealing was written on one side of the scroll. The curse for swearing was written on the other side. Swearing a lie was a very serious offence in the sight of God. In a court of law today, it is called perjury, and can carry a sentence of imprisonment.

To swear, you violate God's reverence. Stealing was and is, another very serious offence. Stealing violates your neighbor's rights. These two sins were possibly, very active with the Jews that returned from captivity, and that may be why they are separated out from the other Ten Commandments.

This judgment was not just against those returned from captivity, but everyone everywhere who commits these sins.

Zechariah 5:4 "I will bring it forth, saith the LORD of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name: and it shall remain in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof."

There is no escape from the judgment of God. His Word will enter the place of sinners and remain there until it has accomplished its purpose (Isa. 55:10-11), which will be particularly true in the kingdom. The promise of the land (in Deut. 30:1-10), will be fulfilled in the future day, as will consuming judgment (Rev. chapters 6 to 19).

The curse will not just automatically go away. They must repent and change their ways, for the curse to be removed. This is very similar to the plague of leprosy that comes into the house. "Leprosy" symbolizes sin.

Verses 5-11: The seventh vision is of the "woman" in the "ephah." The significance of the vision for the Israel of Zechariah's day is that wickedness must be removed entirely from the land. This is an impossible task from man's viewpoint, but from Gods viewpoint it is simply and efficiently accomplished.

So the people should not let any form of wickedness deter them from their task of bringing the temple to completion. For the future Israel, the vision looks toward the seventieth week of Daniel, when God will remove every system and form of wickedness that manifests itself against Him.

The previous vision dealt with the purging of sinners from the land. This seventh vision of a woman in a basket continues the theme, focusing on the removal of the whole sinful system from Israel, which will happen before the kingdom comes (Ezek. 20:38).

Zechariah 5:5 "Then the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what [is] this that goeth forth."

"Then the angel that talked with me went forth": From the place where he was, and had been interpreting the vision of the flying roll, unto another more convenient for showing and explaining the following one. And, as it should seem, took the prophet along with him.

"And said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth": Either out of the temple or out of heaven, into some open place, where it might be seen.

This is the seventh vision.

Zechariah 5:6 "And I said, What [is] it? And he said, This [is] an ephah that goeth forth. He said moreover, This [is] their resemblance through all the earth."

"And I said, What is it?" After he had lifted up his eyes and seen it, he desires to know both what it was, and what was the meaning of it.

"And he said, This is an ephah that goeth forth": Which was a measure much in use with the Jews (Exodus 16:36). It is the same with the "bath", and held above seven wine gallons.

It designs the measure of iniquity filling up, either in Judea, particularly in the times of Christ (Matt. 23:32), or in the whole world, and especially in the antichristian states (Rev. 18:5).

"He said moreover, this is their resemblance through all the earth": Or "this is their eye"; what they are looking at, and intent upon, namely, this ephah. That is, to fill up the measure of their iniquity. Or, as Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret it, this ephah, which thou seest, shows that there is an eye upon them which sees their works.

And this is the eye of the Lord, which sees and takes notice of all the evil actions of men, not as approving them, but as observing them, and avenging them.

Zechariah did not understand what he saw. He asks the angel to tell him what it is. An "ephah" is a dry measurement of about 6 or 7 gallons. They have been measured and found wanting. This symbolizes the sin of the world.

Verses 7-8: Inside the basket was sitting a woman, personifying this final wickedness (Revelation 17:3-5), which is not dormant, since the lead cover is required to restrain it in the basket (2 Thess. 2:6-8).

Zechariah 5:7 "And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this [is] a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah."

The woman in the ephah is supposed to represent Judea, which shall be visited for its sins. The talent of lead on the ephah, within which the woman was enclosed, the wrath of God, bending down this culprit nation, in the measure of its sins. For the angel said, "This is wickedness;" that is, the woman represents the mass of iniquity of this nation.

The woman sitting in the midst of the ephah represents the sinful church and nation of the Jews, in their latter and corrupt age.

Guilt is upon the sinner as a weight of lead, to sink him to the lowest hell. This seems to mean the condemnation of the Jews, after they filled the measure of their iniquities by crucifying Christ and rejecting his gospel. Zechariah sees the ephah, with the woman thus pressed in it, carried away to some far country.

This intimates that the Jews should be hurried out of their own land, and forced to dwell in far countries, as they had been in Babylon. There the ephah shall be firmly placed, and their sufferings shall continue far longer than in their late captivity.

Blindness is happened unto Israel, and they are settled upon their own unbelief. Let sinners fear to treasure up wrath against the day of wrath; for the more they multiply crimes, the faster the measure fills.

Speaking of the lead here, might indicate the sin was heavy as lead. Lead is a deceiving metal, it is sometimes mistaken for silver. Lead is poison, as well. The woman, in this case, probably, symbolizes the Israelites who are caught up in sin. This woman actually symbolizes all sinners and all sin. It is not speaking of women, but of a woman.

It seems as if there is some kind of container and this talent of lead is the lid. The woman is down in the container. This is speaking of the combined sins of the world.

Zechariah 5:8 "And he said, This [is] wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof."

"And he cast it into the midst of the Ephah": As yet then, the measure was not full.

Ribera: "She had the lower part within the Ephah, but the upper, especially the head, without.

Though the Jews had slain the prophets and done many grievous things, the greatest sin of all remained to be done. But when they had crucified Christ and persecuted the Apostles and the Gospel, the measure was full. She was wholly within the Ephah, no part remained without, so that the measure was filled.

"And he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof": That is, doubtless of the Ephah. As in Genesis, "a great stone was on the mouth of the well" (Genesis 29:2), so that there should be no access to it.

The woman in this is not a woman at all, but the personification of evil, like mystery Babylon in Revelation. When the sin tried to leave the ephah, it appears there was a seal of lead put on the lid to keep it down.

Zechariah 5:9-10 "Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women, and the wind [was] in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven." "Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah?"

"Two women ... wind was in their wings": Since storks are unclean birds (Lev. 11:19; Deut. 14:18), these must be agents of evil. Demonic forces, protective of the wicked secularism, who set up the final system of evil. God allows them to set up the world system that the Lord destroys when He returns (Rev. 19:11-16).

This is a carrying away of this sin. The two women mentioned here, are strong because of the wind under their wings, and because of the comparison to a stork which is very strong. This is most assuredly a departure of sin from Zion and Jerusalem. Women generally symbolize a country or a city, as the two did in the following Scripture.

Ezek. 23:2 "Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother:"

In this case, they symbolized Samaria and Jerusalem. These two women could symbolize the apostate church and mystery Babylon.

"There came out two women". As the one woman represented the lack of reverence of the Jewish nation; so these two women who were to carry the ephah. In which the woman, iniquity was shut up. Under the weight of a talent of lead, may mean the desperate unbelief of the Jews in rejecting the Messiah.

And that lack of reverence, or universal corruption of manners, which was the consequence of their unbelief, and brought down the wrath of God upon them.

The strong wings, like those of a stork, may point out the power and swiftness with which Judea was carried on to fill up the measure of her iniquity, and to meet the punishment which she deserved.

"Between the earth and the heaven". Sins against God and Man. Sins which heaven and earth contemplated with horror.

Or the Babylonians and Romans may be intended by the two women who carried the Jewish ephah to its final punishment. The Chaldeans ruined Judea before the advent of our Lord. The Romans, shortly after.

I believe they were carried away to some evil city.

Zechariah 5:11 "And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base."

The destination of the women bearing the basket was Shinar, an older word designating Babylon (Gen. 10:10). The older word is used possibly to recall the Tower of Babel as a symbol of opposition against God (Gen. 11:2).

There it will be placed in a "temple" and set on a base or pedestal as an idol. Again, the vision is unmistakably looking forward to the final Babylon (of Rev. chapters 17 and 18), at the second coming of Christ (Mal. 4:1-3).

This Shinar was an idolatrous land. Shinar and Babylon are the same area.

Gen. 10:10 "And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar."

This seems to be speaking of carrying this ephah to Babylon, and setting up some place to worship a sensual false god there. The sins of Zion are gone, and gathered in this evil place, where the enemies of God dwell.

This could be a warning for all of God's people to get out of physical Babylon then, and a warning to all believers in Christ to get out of spiritual Babylon now. Christians are supposed to be a separated people. We are in the world, but we must not be of the world. We must walk holy before our God. Babel (Babylon), is a symbol of the evil world.

Zechariah 5 Questions

1. When Zechariah looked up, what did he see?

2. What kind of message does God have Hezekiah bring in this vision?

3. What was the flying roll like?

4. How big was the roll?

5. What else had these very same dimensions?

6. This is the ________ that goeth forth over the face of the whole earth.

7. What two specific sins were mentioned?

8. In a court of law today, swearing a lie is called _________.

9. To swear a lie, you violate God's ____________.

10. Stealing violates your _____________ rights.

11. How can they get rid of the curse?

12. This is very similar to the plague of __________.

13. The second time he looked up, in this lesson, what did he see?

14. What is an "ephah"?

15. What does this ephah symbolize?

16. What are some things we know about lead?

17. Who does the woman, in this lesson, symbolize?

18. This woman is not a woman at all, but the ________________ of evil.

19. How was the sin kept in the ephah?

20. How do we know the symbolic two women were strong?

21. This is most assuredly a departure of _______ from Jerusalem.

22. Who do the 2 women symbolize?

23. Shinar and ___________ are the same.

24. What does this lesson warn all of God's people to do, when they are caught in a sinful place?

25. We are in the world, not _____ the world.

26. Babel (Babylon) is a symbol of what?

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Zechariah 6

Zechariah 6

Verses 6:1-8: The eighth and final vision completes the cycle and connects with the first vision. It pictures 4 chariots with the horses introduced in the first vision (1:8), symbolizing God's angelic agents (verse 5), swiftly carrying out His judgment on the nations just prior to the establishment of the messianic kingdom.

The eight vision, the vision of the "four chariots," shows that God's judgment has finally and fully rested on Babylon. Even though there might be a flare-up, which was realized in the fifth year of Darius's reign (just three years later). They need not let that deter them from building the temple, which was not competed until the sixth year of Darius's reign.

God has all things under complete control. The chariots reveal to future Israel why the Messiah can reign universally over all the world, all enemies are judged and none can rise up against the authority of the King.

Zechariah 6:1 "And I turned, and lifted up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains [were] mountains of brass."

"Two mountains ... brass": Representing the reality of God's judgment on the nations who attack Israel. The two mountains are probably Mt. Zion and the Mt. of Olives, where the Lord will return and judge (Joel 3:2, 12, 14; Zech. 14:4). This valley, called Jehoshaphat ("Jehovah judges"), could refer to the Kidron Valley between these two mountains.

Jews, Christians, and even Muslims have long taught that the last judgment will be there. The bronze has a symbolic relationship to judgment as in the case of the bronze serpent (Num. 21:9), and/or the bronze altar (Exodus 27:2), where sin was dealt with by God.

This is the eighth vision of Zechariah. "Brass" symbolizes judgment and the number "4" symbolizes universal. This then, speaks of universal judgment of the sinners. The chariots speak of war.

We saw in the last lesson, how the sins were carried out of Zion (church), and were carried into Babylon (sinful world). This is God's judgment on the sinful world. They cannot hide from God. He will find them out.

Verses 2-3: The judgment scene is further dramatized by these chariots and horses. For the significance of the horses' colors (see note on 1:8). The addition of "black" horses may represent famine and death.

The "grisled and bay" (i.e. spotted) horses. A similar picture if found (in Rev. 6:1-8), where the horsemen of the apocalypse appear in judgment imagery, riding forth in vengeance on the nations.

Zechariah 6:2 "In the first chariot [were] red horses; and in the second chariot black horses;"

In the first vision (Zech. 1:8), there were horses only, with their riders, to go to and fro to enquire. Here they are war-chariots with their horses, to execute God's judgments, each in their turn.

This vision may represent the ways of Providence in the government of this lower world. Whatever the providences of God about us are, as to public or private affairs, we should see them all as coming from between the mountains of brass. The immoveable counsels and decrees of God.

Therefore, reckon it as much our folly to quarrel with them, as it is our duty to submit to them. His providences move swiftly and strongly as chariots, but all are directed and governed by his infinite wisdom and sovereign will. The red horses signify war and bloodshed. The black, signify the dismal consequences of war, famines, pestilences, and desolations.

Rev. 6:4 "And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword."

The "black horses" speak of troublesome times and mourning.

Rev. 6:5-6 "And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand." "And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and [see] thou hurt not the oil and the wine."

This is the time of God's wrath upon the sinful of the earth. It is just before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Zechariah 6:3 "And in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled and bay horses."

The white horses signify the return of comfort, peace, and prosperity. The mixed color, signify events of different complexions, a day of prosperity and a day of adversity. The angels go forth as messengers of God's counsels, and ministers of his justice and mercy.

And the secret motions and impulses upon the spirits of men, by which the designs of Providence are carried on, are these four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from God, and fulfil what the God of the spirits of all flesh appoints.

All the events which take place in the world spring from the unchangeable counsels of the Lord. Which are formed in unerring wisdom, perfect justice, truth, and goodness. And from history it is found that events happened about the period when this vision was sent to the prophet, which seems referred to therein.

Zechariah 6:4 "Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me, What [are] these, my lord?"

"Then I answered and said unto the angel that talked with me": After he had seen the chariots come out, and had observed the different colors of the horses in them.

"What are these, my lord?" That is, what do they signify? What is the meaning of this vision?

This is Zechariah asking the angel to explain this to him.

Zechariah 6:5 "And the angel answered and said unto me, These [are] the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth."

"Four spirits of the heavens": This imagery represents divine angelic agents sent out to execute judgment on behalf of the "Lord of all the earth," a millennial title designating the universal rule of the Messiah in the kingdom age (4:14; Mica 4:13).

The four spirits here, possibly, mean the 4 angels. They do whatever God commands them to do. These spirits are ministering spirits.

Hebrews 1:7 "And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire."

They stand before God, waiting to do His wishes upon the earth.

Zechariah 6:6 "The black horses which [are] therein go forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth toward the south country."

The black horses referring to the second chariot; of the first the angel makes no mention, because the empire designed by it had ceased to exist. They had red horses, to show the cruelty of the Chaldeans towards the Jews, and the carnage they committed in the land of Judea.

The black, Cyrus, at the head of the Persians and Medes, bringing devastation and death among the Chaldeans, called the north in many parts of Scripture.

The white, Alexander who was splendid in his victories, and mild towards all that he conquered.

The grisled, The Lagidae or Ptolemies, who founded an empire in Egypt. Of these some were good, some bad, some despotic, some moderate, some cruel, and some mild, represented by the partly colored horses.

The North Country was Babylon. This is possibly, symbolic of the sinful world. The black horse was the horse that brought mourning and problems. The white horse is victorious over them. The south country symbolizes Egypt, Ethiopia, and Edom.

Verses 6-7: "Went forth ... through the earth": These angelic judgment carriers unleash catastrophic judgment on the earth (Rev. 6:1-19:16 for similarities). Nothing is said about going east and west because of the sea and the desert.

Israel's enemies came from the north (Assyria, Babylon, Seleucids, and Romans), and the south (Egyptians). This north, south exit leads to a worldwide unleashing of judgment on the nations all over the earth (Matt. 25:31-46).

Zechariah 6:7 "And the bay went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth: and he said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro through the earth."

"And the bay went forth, and sought to go": Without leave: these design either the Romans; or, since distinct from the grisled, the Huns, Goths, and Vandals; who sought to go out of their own places into other countries: and were desirous:

"That they might walk to and fro through the earth": Without control; overrunning as they did the Roman Empire, and set up ten kingdoms in it. Unless this is to be understood of the land of Judea only, through which the Romans walked to and fro at pleasure, and subdued it.

"And he said": That is, the Lord of the whole earth, before whom they stood.

"Get ye hence, walk to and fro through the earth": As being filled with indignation at them, and yet suffered them to have their will. And so Kimchi interprets the phrase "he gave them power to go and subdue lands. And to the same purpose Jarchi, "he gave them power to rule with great authority. And this is the kingdom of Edom or Rome.

"So they walked to and fro through the earth": Either the land of Judea, as the Romans did, and made it a Roman province. And these may represent Rome Papal, set up and supported by the above people, even the beast of Rome, which has reigned over the kings of the earth. To whom the ten kings gave their kingdom and power.

This horse speaks of famine and pestilence. This is walking to and fro today in many lands.

Zechariah 6:8 "Then cried he upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country."

"Quieted my spirit": As a result of God's judgment of His enemies, His wrath can rest. God has been avenged by this action; particularly in regard to the power from the north being judged finally.

This likely refers to the final Babylon (Rev. 17 and 18). Until this judgment is done and God's wrath rests, the kingdom can't be established (see Rev. chapters 19 and 20), with the Messiah on His throne.

Verses 9-15: Joshua served as an illustration of the Messiah in this passage in that Zechariah's crowning of Joshua, the High Priest, was a miniature, advance illustration of the future coronation of Messiah, the Branch. Who will unite the two offices of priest and king (verse 13).

This appendix supplements visions (4 and 5; 3:1-10; 4:1-14), and culminates the series of eight visions with the climax of history, the coronation of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Zechariah 6:9 "And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,"

"And the word of the Lord came to me". The visions being closed, Zechariah marks the change by adopting the usual formula, with which the prophets authenticated, that they spake not of themselves, but by the Spirit of God.

The act enjoined is a symbolic act, pointing and summing up and interpreting the visions, as some of the visions had been already expanded by fresh revelations following immediately upon them.

This is a break in the vision. A new subject begins. The Word of the LORD comes to Zechariah.

Zechariah 6:10 "Take of [them of] the captivity, [even] of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon, and come thou the same day, and go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah;"

"Take of them of the captivity": Jewish exiles who remained in Babylon, but who had come bearing gifts for the building of the temple are identified. Zechariah was told to meet them that same day and receive their gifts. Some of them that were returned from the captivity of Babylon, and who are mentioned by name.

"Even of Heldai, of Tobijah, and Jedaiah, which are come from Babylon": Either with Zerubbabel and Joshua, when they came from there; or who were now just come from those that remained there.

"And come thou the same day": This very day in which they were come from there.

"And go into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah": Where the above persons were; or where they were to go along with him. This Josiah might be either a goldsmith, and therefore the prophet is sent to him to make the crowns later mentioned.

Or else he might be a treasurer belonging to the temple, who had gold and silver in his hands, which had been put there for the use of it.

Take of those who had been in Babylon (sinful world). This is calling them out of this sinful place. "Heldai" means worldly. Tobijah means "the Lord is good. "Jedaiah" means Jehovah knows. "Josiah" means Jesus saves. It appears they had been left in Babylon. Now, they are called out of Babylon.

Zechariah 6:11 "Then take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set [them] upon the head of Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest;"

"Make crowns": Zechariah was to make not a High Priest's crown or turban, but an ornate crown, one constructed of many circlets. A majestic crown (like the one on the returning Messiah in Rev. 19:12). This crown was to be set on the head of the High Priest, Joshua. In the Old Testament, the kingly and priestly offices were kept rigidly distinct.

The office of king belonged only to the house of David, while the office of priest was only for the house of Levi. Uzziah's mingling of the two brought about his death (2 Chron. 26:16-23). But here this act is ordered by God to depict the coming King/Priest Messiah.

The name Joshua is the same word as Jesus. Jesus is the High Priest that all the others are a type and shadow of. He will wear a crown of Gold, when He reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords.

Revelation 19:12 "His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself."

Verses 12-15: In this brief section, 8 facts are given about Messiah, the Branch:

1. He will come from Israel (verse 12);

2. He will build the millennial temple (verses 12b, 13a);

3. He will be glorious (verse 13);

4. He will be king and priest (verse 13);

5. He makes peace (verse 13);

6. He opens the kingdom to Gentiles (verse 15a);

7. He will corroborate God's Words (verse 15b); and

8. He demands obedience (verse 15c).

This as always, is the essential matter. After Israel believes, the Messiah will come to set up His kingdom (12:10 - 13:1; 14:9-21). Faith and cleansing must come first.

"He shall build the temple of the Lord": The building of the restoration temple was promised to Zerubbabel (4:9-10). The building of this temple, promised to Messiah, points to the construction of the millennial temple (Isa. 2:2-4; Ezek. Chapters 40 - 43; Hag. 2:6-9).

Zechariah 6:12 "And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name [is] The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:"

"Name is The Branch": Though the crown was placed on the head of Joshua, the High Priest (verse 11), the act was a symbol of that future crowning of Messiah, the Branch (3:8). In Messiah, the offices of king and priest will be united.

This BRANCH is the One we know as Jesus.

Mark 14:58 "We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands."

John 2:21 "But he spake of the temple of his body."

1 Corinthians 3:9 "For we are laborers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building."

Ephesians 2:20-22 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];" "In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord:" "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

Zechariah 6:13 "Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both."

"Even he shall build the temple of the Lord": Which is repeated, as Kimchi observes, for confirmation sake.

"And he shall bear the glory": That is, of building the temple. And the phrase denotes that the glory of it shall be upon him, shall be hung upon him (as in Isaiah 22:24). And so shall be visible; that it would be weighty and heavy, he having many crowns on his head, put there by all the saints, who every one of them ascribe glory to him.

That it would continue, and not pass away like the glory of this world. And that he, and he alone, should bear it; not Joshua, nor Zerubbabel, nor the ministers of the word, nor members of churches, nor any other, but himself. He, and He alone, shall be exalted.

"And shall sit and rule upon his throne": In heaven, having done his work on earth, where he is at ease and rest, and exercises power and authority. He rules over the whole world and the kings of it in general and in particular over his saints, by his Spirit, word, and ordinates, feeding, protecting, and defending them.

"And he shall be a Prince upon his throne": He is both Priest and King, and exercises both offices at one and the same time, and even now in heaven. Having offered himself as a sacrifice on earth, by which he has put away sin forever, and perfected his people.

He is set down upon his throne, as a King crowned with glory and honor. And ever lives as a Priest on the throne, to make intercession for them; by appearing in the presence of God for them. By presenting his blood, sacrifice, and righteousness, to his divine Father.

By offering up the prayers and praises of his people; by declaring it as his will that such and such blessings be bestowed upon them. And by applying the benefits of his death unto them.

"And the counsel of peace shall be between them both": Not between Joshua and Zerubbabel, who should agree together, as they did, in the administration of government belonging to their distinct offices.

Rather between the priestly and kingly offices of Christ. Not by the council of peace between the Father and the Son, concerning the salvation of the elect; for that was past in eternity.

But better the Gospel of peace, called the whole counsel of God. Which, in consequence of Christ being a Priest on his throne, was preached to both Jews and Gentiles. Which brought the glad tidings of peace and salvation by Christ to both, and was the means of making peace between them both.

The temple of the LORD is made up of all the believers in Christ. He is the High Priest forever. All believers are priests, subordinate to Him. Jesus Christ will be both High Priest and King. He brings peace to all the earth. He is the King of Peace.

Col. 1:18-20 "And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence." "For it pleased [the Father] that in him should all fulness dwell;" "And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, [I say], whether [they be] things in earth, or things in heaven."

Zechariah 6:14 "And the crowns shall be to Helem, and to Tobijah, and to Jedaiah, and to Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of the LORD."

The crown was not to be kept by Joshua, but was to serve as both a memorial to the devotion of the men who came from Babylon and, more importantly, as a reminder of the coming of Messiah and the ultimate hope of Israel.

"Helem ... Hen": Helem is apparently another name of Heldai, and Hen another name for Josiah the son of Zephaniah (see verse 10).

This is speaking of those faithful, who remain unto the end. They shall receive a crown of glory.

Zechariah 6:15 And they [that are] far off shall come and build in the temple of the LORD, and ye shall know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto you. And [this] shall come to pass, if ye will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.

Those that come from afar off are speaking of the Gentiles who come to Christ. They, along with the Jews that believe in Christ, make up the temple of God. His church is the temple of God. Jesus is the chief Corner Stone and we are the lively stones.

1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

John 17:21 "That they all may be one; as thou, Father, [art] in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."

Look with me, at the following verses that speak of both Jew and Gentile being one in Christ.

Ephesians 2:13-22 "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];" "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;" "And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:" "And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh." "For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father." "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God;" "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];" "In whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto a holy temple in the Lord:" "In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."

Zechariah 6 Questions

1. In verse 1, what did Zechariah see?

2. "Brass" symbolizes ____________.

3. "Four" symbolizes _____________.

4. Then, what is this speaking of?

5. The chariots speak of ______.

6. The first chariot has ________ horses.

7. The second has _________ horses.

8. The "red horses" speak of ________ and ________________.

9. The "black horses" speak of what?

10. When do these things happen?

11. The third chariot has _________ horses.

12. What color horses does the 4th chariot have.

13. What do the "white horses" symbolize?

14. What does the author believe the 4 spirits to be?

15. The North Country was ____________.

16. What were the crowns to be made of?

17. Joshua is the same name as _________.

18. Jesus is the _________ _______.

19. Who is the BRANCH?

20. Who is the chief corner stone?

21. What is the temple of the LORD?

22. Who are those that dwell afar off?

23. What kind of House is all of this speaking of?

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Zechariah 7

Zechariah 7

Verses 7:1 - 8:23: The four messages: All four messages came "in the fourth year of king Darius", two years after the "word" came to Zechariah (1:1, 7). The precise date is "the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chisleu", the Babylonian name for the month, the last part of November and first part of December.

As a result of the night visions which described the future of Israel. Including the subjugation of her enemies, the final re-gathering to the Land, her cleansing, restoration, and the coming of Messiah and His kingdom, the Jews were greatly encouraged and comforted.

The temple was more than half done. All obstacles to the construction were removed by the decree of Darius confirming the decree of Cyrus (Ezra 6:1-14). Now that the temple was being finished, they were sent to inquire of the Lord and the priests whether they needed to continue the fast.

The question is answered negatively (in chapter 7), with two messages and positively (in chapter 8), with two messages. Each of the 4 messages was given to impress upon the people the need to live righteously. As (with chapters 1 to 6), the prophet began historically and then moved prophetically to the time of the Second Advent of Christ.

Zechariah 7:1 "And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, [that] the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah in the fourth [day] of the ninth month, [even] in Chisleu;"

"The fourth year of king Darius" (Nov./Dec. 518 B.C.), two years after Zechariah's first message (1:1), and the night visions (1:7), and two years before the temple was completed.

The ninth month would be about December on our calendar. This is about 2 years after Zechariah had his visions. This is a Word from God.

Zechariah 7:2 "When they had sent unto the house of God Sherezer and Regem-melech, and their men, to pray before the LORD,"

"When they" (Beth-el): The town of Beth-el was 12 miles north of Jerusalem. Since the return from Babylon, the Jews had rebuilt and re-inhabited Beth-el (Ezra 2:28; Neh. 7:32).

"Sherezer and Regem-melech" bear Babylonian names showing that they were exiles returned from Babylon.

It appears that Sherezer and Regem-melech came to Jerusalem to the house of God to pray before the LORD. They had retained their Assyrian names, when they came back from captivity. They seemed to be the leaders and were accompanied by other men. They thought of Jerusalem as being the center of worship.

Zechariah 7:3 "[And] to speak unto the priests which [were] in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years?"

"Weep in the fifth month, separating": The Day of Atonement was the only annual fast required by God's law (Lev. 23:27), and other occasional fasts were called for by God (Joel 1:12, 14). The fall of Jerusalem was remembered by 4 fasts (2 Kings 25; Jer. 39:1-4, 41; 52:13), in the fourth, fifth, seventh, and tenth months (see note on 8:19).

Because the temple was burned in the fifth month (July - August), that fast was considered the most serious and thus the delegation uses it as the test case (2 Kings 25:8; Jer. 52:12). They had kept this wailing and fasting for "many years," but it seemed only a wearisome ritual in light of the present prosperity.

It seemed, they had set aside the 5th month to mourn their captivity. This was a time of fasting and praying. They were inquiring if they should continue with this, now that they are no longer captives. The priests in the house of the LORD could give them answers from God, because God spoke through the priests and the prophets to the people.

Zechariah 7:4 "Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying,"

Upon the sending of this embassy, and upon putting this question.

This is saying, that God answered them through words that came from Zechariah's mouth.

Verses 5-6: "Did ye at all fast unto me": Zechariah pointed out that they were not fasting out of genuine sorrow and repentance, but out of self-pity (Isa. 1:10-15; 58:3-9).

Zechariah 7:5 "Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh [month], even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, [even] to me?"

"Seventh month": This fast mourned the death of Gedaliah, the governor appointed by Nebuchadnezzar (2 Kings 25:22-26; Jer. chapter 41), after the fall of Jerusalem (in 586 B.C.).

Why had they fasted? Notice, God added the fast of the seventh month, which had been done because of the murder of Gedaliah, a Jewish governor of Mizpeh. Certainly, the 7th month fast was not for God. The fifth month fast was also, for themselves, and not for God.

They fasted and prayed that God would take them out of captivity. They should have been repenting and fasting, because of the sorrow they had brought to God. These fasts were not for God at all.

Zechariah 7:6 "And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink, did not ye eat [for yourselves], and drink [for yourselves]?"

"And when ye did eat, and when ye did drink": Either at common meals, or at their festivals.

"Did not ye eat for yourselves, and drink for yourselves?" Only for their own refreshment and pleasure, and not for the glory of God; though that ought to be the principal end in eating and drinking (1 Cor. 10:31).

Even their eating and drinking was for themselves. They did not observe God's dietary laws. They ate the food of the heathen nation. This food was for self.

Verses 7-14: This is the second of the 4 messages in answer to the question (verse 3). Harkening back to his opening call (1:4), and to the warnings of earlier prophets (Isa. 1:11-17; Isa. 58:1-7; Amos 5:10-15). The prophet alerts the delegation to produce the fruits of righteousness that demonstrate obedience to God's Word (verses 9-10).

And to revisit the actions of their fathers who deliberately rejected God's Word (11-12a), which activated the fury of God against them (verse 12b; Deut. 28:15-68; 2 Chron. 36:14-16).

Zechariah 7:7 "[Should ye] not [hear] the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when [men] inhabited the south and the plain?"

"Words which the Lord hath cried": The important matter is not ritual, but obedience. It is obedience to God's Word that brought in the past great joy, peace, and prosperity to Israel, and that covered the Land during the time of David and Solomon.

If the present generation in Zechariah's time substitutes ritual for obedience, they too will lose the joy, peace and prosperity they were enjoying.

"The south and the plain": A reference to the area south of Beersheba and the Mediterranean coastal plain, encompassing the land from south to west.

God never would accept ceremonies that were ritualistic in nature without their hearts being in it. God would not accept sacrifices that were done of obligation. If their hearts were not in it, God did not want their sacrifices. God wanted their love and obedience, not a formal carrying out of the law.

1 Sam. 15:22 "And Samuel said, Hath the LORD [as great] delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey [is] better than sacrifice, [and] to hearken than the fat of rams."

Zechariah 7:8 "And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying,"

Giving him orders to repeat what the former prophets had said, and to urge the same things on the people which they had before rejected. The rejection of which had issued in their ruin.

This is a break from the past Word of God.

Zechariah 7:9 "Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and show mercy and compassions every man to his brother:"

"Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying": The same things as he had before. For the things following are ever in force, and always to be attended to, and to be regarded and preferred before anything merely ritual and ceremonial. And especially before the traditions and commandments of men, of which nature the above fasts were.

"Execute true judgment": Or, "judge judgment of truth". This is addressed to the judges of the people, that when any cause came before them between man and man, that they would judge righteously, according to the law of God. And, without respect to persons, pass sentence as the truth of the case required.

"And show mercy and compassion every man to his brother": Whether in want of food, raiment, or in whatsoever distress, whether of body or mind. Which is much more acceptable to God than any legal sacrifices, or outward abstinences and humiliations (Hosea 6:6).

This is saying that God's commandments have never changed. Most of the Ten Commandments are speaking of doing what is right to your neighbors. Jesus gave a good explanation of this in the following.

Matt. 22:39 "And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

Zechariah 7:10 "And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart."

"And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor": Such as those who have no husband to provide for them. Nor father and mother to care for them. And are in a strange land, where they have no friends or acquaintance, and are poor, and cannot help themselves. Laws of this kind were frequently inculcated among the Jews (see Deut. 24:14).

"And let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart": Thoughts of evil are sinful and forbidden by the law of God. As well as actions, which agrees with our Lord's sense of the law (Matt. 5:22; see Lev. 19:17).

The one thing that separates God's people from the rest of the world is the law of God. God teaches compassion for others. He helped everyone, when He was on the earth. He expects all Christians to do the same things He did, when He was here. A Christian is a follower of, and a believer in, the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is telling these Israelites, if they are to be counted as His, they must treat others as God treats them. He especially wants them to help the widows and the orphans.

Zechariah 7:11 "But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear."

"But they refused to hearken": That is, the Jews before the captivity, refusal to give heed to the above exhortations, and obey the voice of God in them.

"And pulled away the shoulder": From serving the Lord, and supporting his interest. Or "they gave", or presented, "a rebellious shoulder". A stubborn one, that slides back, like a backsliding or stubborn heifer, that will not take of the yoke (Hosea 4:16).

So these could not bear the yoke of the law, nor the burden of duty; nor suffer the words of exhortation, or receive the admonitions given them.

"And stopped their ears, that they should not hear": Like the deaf adder (Psalm 58:4), they would not hear, and pretended they could not; which was an instance of contempt to the speakers.

These were rebellious people who did not want to be instructed of God, and that was what was always getting them into trouble. The pulling away the shoulders is like a horse that does not want to be harnessed. They did not want God to have control of them.

Zechariah 7:12 "Yea, they made their hearts [as] an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts."

"In His Spirit": The Holy Spirit served a vital function in the revelation and inspiration of God's Word through human authors (1 Cor. 2:10; 2 Peter 1:21).

"Adamant" means diamond. This is saying their hearts were so hard it was like a diamond. Their hearts could not be touched by God. If they would soften their hearts, and listen to the law of God, they could have been saved from the wrath of God. They did not listen, and the wrath of the LORD of hosts came upon them.

He sent judges and prophets to them with warnings from Him, but they did not listen.

Zechariah 7:13 "Therefore it is come to pass, [that] as he cried, and they would not hear; so they cried, and I would not hear, saith the LORD of hosts:"

"They would not hear": This reflects a severe form of God's wrath by which He abandons disobedient sinners (see note on 11:9; Judges 10:13-14; 16:18-21; Prov. 1:24-31; Hosea 4:17; Matt. 15:14; Romans 1:18-32).

If they would not hearken to the voice of God, He would not hearken unto them. You reap what you sow. God listens to those of His own who listen to Him.

James 5:16 "Confess [your] faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much."

Zechariah 7:14 "But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not. Thus the land was desolate after them, that no man passed through nor returned: for they laid the pleasant land desolate."

"I scattered them": This refers to the captivity and dispersion of the people and the desolation of the land in their absence (Deut. 30:3-10).

The chastisement of God came upon them to teach them to reach out to God. They were scattered to foreign countries, until they realized their need for God.

Jer. 9:16 "I will scatter them also among the heathen, whom neither they nor their fathers have known: and I will send a sword after them, till I have consumed them."

The wrath of God scattered them.

Zechariah 7 Questions

1. The ninth month would be about __________ on our calendar.

2. This message comes to Zechariah about ____ years after the visions.

3. Sherezer came to Jerusalem for what reason?

4. Is his name Hebrew?

5. They thought of Jerusalem as being the center of __________.

6. What question did they want answered?

7. Why had they asked the priests and prophets?

8. What months had they fasted, while they were in captivity?

9. Why did they fast in the seventh month?

10. What was wrong with their fasting?

11. Besides their fasts, what other complaint did God have?

12. What kind of food had they eaten?

13. God would not accept sacrifice that was done out of _____________.

14. What did God tell them to do in verse 9?

15. What do most of the Ten Commandments deal with?

16. Oppress not the __________.

17. What separated God's people from the rest of the world?

18. What is a Christian?

19. Verse 11 tells us they reacted how?

20. What were their hearts like?

21. What does "adamant" mean?

22. Who had God sent to warn them?

23. Did they listen to them?

24. Why would God not listen to them?

25. Where had God scattered them to?

26. What did you learn from this lesson?

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Zechariah 8

Zechariah 8

Verses 1-23: Continuation of the Subject in the Seventh Chapter. After urging them to obedience by the fate of their fathers, he urges them to it by promises of coming prosperity.

Continuing his response to the delegation from Beth-el, Zechariah contrasted Israel's past judgment with the promised future restoration. In light of past captivity, the nation was to repent and live righteously. In light of promised future blessings, Israel is to repent and live righteously.

The last two messages (verses 1-17 and 18-23), look positively to the future, when Israel will be brought to a place of special blessing and fasts will become feasts.

Zechariah 8:1 "Again the word of the LORD of hosts came [to me], saying,"

This is a new message coming from the LORD.

Zechariah 8:2 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury."

"Jealous" (see note on 1:14). This very strong language expresses the idea that God can't bear the estrangement from His chosen people brought about by their sin, nor can He always tolerate the enemies of Israel.

His love for Israel is so great that He will come in full presence to Israel again and dwell with His people. Ezekiel had the vision of God leaving Jerusalem (Ezek. 8-11), and of His presence returning (Ezek. 43:1-5).

"Zion": The mountain on which ancient Jerusalem was built, which became a name for the city.

"Thus saith the LORD" occurs 10 times in this chapter of Zechariah. This is to stress the promises God made to His people. God loved Zion, as a husband would a wife. He was jealous of her, and did not want anyone attacking her.

Anyone who harmed Zion would feel the wrath of God. "Zion" is sometimes speaking of the physical house of Israel, and sometimes is speaking of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whichever this is speaking of, it is all the same. God is jealous for His church, the same as He is for physical Zion.

Eph. 5:6 "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."

Notice, those who are faithful to God are saved from wrath.

Rom. 5:9 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."

Zechariah 8:3 "Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain."

"City of truth": A city which is characterized by truth, both in word and in deed (verses 8, 16), because it is ruled over by Messiah who is characterized by truth (John 14:6).

"The holy mountain": Zion is holy because the King who lives there is holy (Isa. 6:3).

We remember in another prophetic book, that God left the temple just before the Babylonians came and destroyed it. He left through the eastern gate, and He will return the same way.

To some extent, this was fulfilled when this temple was built in Jerusalem. It had a further fulfillment, when Jesus came as Savior. The true fulfillment is when Jesus walks through that eastern gate, and sets up His kingdom of Truth.

2 Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Rev. 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God."

Verses 4-5: The most defenseless of society will live in tranquility, peace, and security (Isa. 65:20-22).

Zechariah 8:4 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age."

Though their enemies did greatly molest and trouble them, yet God would come and dwell among them, and so preserve them as long as nature would allow them to live, and increase their children in great abundance.

Isa. 65:20-22 "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner [being] a hundred years old shall be accursed." "And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." "They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands."

Zechariah 8:5 "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof."

"And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls": Denoting a large increase of inhabitants, in a literal sense; and may spiritually signify the large numbers of converts, of new born babes, who are regenerated by the grace and Spirit of God, and are accounted of by the Lord for a generation.

"Playing in the streets thereof": Being in health and rigor, and in great security. The Targum renders it, "singing" or "praising in the spacious places thereof"; singing the praises of God in Gospel strains.

Saying their Hosannas to the Son of David; rejoicing in the great salvation by Christ. And magnifying the grace of God, and setting forth the glories of it in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (See Matt. 11:16).

In Jerusalem, literally taken, there were various streets, besides the street of the temple, which led to it (Ezra 10:9). Mention is made of others in Jewish writings, as of the upper street, and of the street of the butchers, and of the street of those that dealt in wool.

This shows a time of great peace and joy. Children were thought to be a blessing from God. The children playing in the streets show they have nothing to fear.

Zechariah 8:6 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts."

Men tend to limit God (Psalm 78:19-20, 41), but nothing is too hard for the Lord (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17, 27). "Just because they seem too difficult for you," the Lords asks, in effect, "must they be too hard for Me?"

The things that make God's people happy, also, make Him happy. The people had been in such destitute condition, they could do nothing but marvel at the wonders God performed for them.

Verses 7-8: "East ... west": The context assures that this return speaks of a worldwide regathering at the Second Advent of Christ. The return from Babylon cannot be in view also, since Israel had not been scattered to the west until the diaspora engineered by the Romans in the first century A.D.

Zechariah 8:7 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;"

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold": As being something wonderful, of great importance, and deserving attention.

"I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country": This cannot be understood of bringing those Jews that remained in Babylon, and other places, to their own land, for Babylon lay north of Judea (see Zech. 6:6). And as yet there were no Jews in the western part of the world.

But now they are chiefly in the east and west, from whence they will be gathered at the time of their general conversion. Though this may refer to the times of the apostles of Christ, and to their ministry in the several parts of the world.

Who went forth, east, west, north, and south, and were the means and instruments of saving the Lord's people, both Jews and Gentiles, wherever they came, from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same (see Mal. 1:11).

This really has two meanings. The "east and the west" covers the entire world. In the physical, God's people had been scattered and would be brought back to Israel.

Deut. 30:3 "That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee."

In the spiritual sense, this is speaking of God offering salvation to whosoever will of the whole earth.

1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."

Zechariah 8:8 "And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness."

(See note on Zech. 1:3). This refers to Israel's national conversion, spoken of in (12:10-13:1), and by Jeremiah (32:28-41), and Paul (Rom. 11:25-27).

Notice first in this, they must be His people, and then, He will be their God. This is the act of the free will of man. They must want to be His people, and then, He will want to be their God.

Heb. 8:10 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:"

Verses 9-17: The practical results of verses 1-8 were laid out for the people. In view of such a glorious future, the people were exhorted to renew their energy toward the building of the temple and toward righteous living.

Zechariah 8:9 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which [were] in the day [that] the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built."

"The prophets": This refers to Haggai and Zechariah for sure. Possibly there were non-writing prophets also.

This suddenly jumps back to the physical building of the temple in the days of Zechariah. Those who heard the Words of God from the prophet and believed should be strengthened in the knowledge of the promises God had made. They should work hard on the temple to get it built, knowing of these blessings of God.

Eph. 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

Verses 10-11: Zechariah recalled the immediate years prior to (520 B.C.; described in Hag. 1:6-11), when their hassles and intrigues with the Samaritans and their love of ease and comfort developed indifference toward building the temple, resulting in divine punishment.

But, since they had begun again to build the temple, God would not treat the people as He had those described (in verse 10).

Zechariah 8:10 "For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither [was there any] peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbor."

"For before these days": That the temple began to be built.

"There was no hire for men, nor any hire for beasts": That turned to any account; the wages earned by the one, and with the other, were as if they were put into a bag with holes, did not prosper with them, or do them any service (Hag. 1:6).

"Neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in, because of the affliction": There was no safety in passing to and fro, nor any peaceable enjoyment of what a man had, because of affliction and oppression by the enemy on every side, and from every quarter.

"For I set all men everyone against his neighbor": Expressive of the internal divisions and contentions among themselves, which are said to be of the Lord, because he permitted them as a chastisement upon them for their sins.

He is reminding them of the terrible situation He has just brought them out of. Their crops would not even produce enough for their own labor, much less enough to hire someone to work for them. They have only begun to be blessed, since they began the construction of the temple.

Zechariah 8:11 "But now I [will] not [be] unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts."

"But now I will not be unto the residue of this people": The remnant brought out of captivity, settled in the land, and now rebuilding the temple.

"As in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts": When they neglected the house of the Lord, caring only for their own ceiled houses (Hag. 1:2).

God will bless them mightily. God removed the curse the minute they began to build the temple. There was just enough to barely get by on before. Now, there is abundance.

Verses 12-13: The richness and comprehensiveness of these promises of prosperity look beyond the historical moment to the time when Messiah reigns in His millennial kingdom. This will be a reversal of (Deut. 28:15-68 and Jer. 24:9; 25:18; 29:22).

Zechariah 8:12 "For the seed [shall be] prosperous; the vine shall give her fruit, and the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these [things]."

"For the seed shall be prosperous": Being cast into the earth, it shall spring up again, and produce a large increase. Whereas before, though they sowed much, it came to little (Hag. 1:6).

"The vine shall give her fruit": Be loaded with clusters, and produce large quantities of wine; whereas before there was a drought upon the new wine. And where they were accustomed to have fifty vessels out of the press, there were but twenty (Hag. 1:11).

"And the ground shall give her increase": As usual, meaning of wheat and barley. Whereas before there was a drought upon the corn, and where there used to be a heap of twenty measures, there were but ten (Hag. 1:11).

"And the heavens shall give their dew": Which makes the earth fruitful. Whereas before the heaven over them was stayed from dew, and instead of it were blasting, mildew, and hail (Haggai 1:10).

"And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things": As a symbol of better things inherited by the remnant according to the election of grace. And who have the promise both of this life and that to come. And who, seeking in the first place spiritual things, have all others added to them, convenient for them.

Every seed that is planted will produce now, that the blessings of God are upon them. It will rain at just the right time, and they will have just the right amount of sunshine too. It is God that causes all of these things to happen. He makes the crop produce abundantly.

Zechariah 8:13 "And it shall come to pass, [that] as ye were a curse among the heathen, O house of Judah, and house of Israel; so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear not, [but] let your hands be strong."

"As ye were a curse": Instead of being execrated among the people, ye shall be blessed. Instead of being reproached, ye shall be commended. Ye shall be a blessing to all the nations round about. All these promises we may expect to be completely fulfilled when the Jews acknowledge their Messiah.

"O house of Judah, and house of Israel": The restoration shall be complete, when both Israel and Judah are brought back.

As long as they are obedient to God, they will be tremendously blessed, and will be a blessing to others. When the curse was upon them, the heathen doubted that they even had a God. They must remain strong in the Lord for these things to take place.

Gen. 12:2 "And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:"

Gal. 3:28-29 "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Verses 14-15: The sorrows of past judgment became the pledges of future blessings (Jer. 32:42).

Zechariah 8:14 "For thus saith the LORD of hosts; As I thought to punish you, when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the LORD of hosts, and I repented not:"

"For thus saith the Lord of hosts": In order to assure them of the truth of what he promised, he observes the fulfilment of what he had threatened, he being as true and faithful in the one as in the other.

"As I thought to punish you": Determined to do it, by suffering them to be carried captive.

"When your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith the Lord of hosts": By their immorality, idolatry, and contempt of his prophets.

"And I repented not": The Targum adds, "of my word"; of the resolution he had taken up in his heart, and of the declaration of it by his prophets, that he would punish them. This he did not repent of, revoke, change, and alter, but steadily abode by it, and executed it.

God punished them for their unfaithfulness to Him. He did not completely cut them off, because they were His family. They provoked Him to wrath with their idols and false gods. He did not repent of His anger toward them for this serious sin, but punished them.

Zechariah 8:15 "So again have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not."

"So again": Or "so I am returned" (as in Zech. 8:3).

"Have I thought in these days to do well unto Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah": By bestowing the above mentioned blessings on them; and as Jehovah has thought, so it comes to pass, and as he has purposed, so it stands. Whatever he determines shall be, as for evil, so for good (Isa. 14:24).

"Fear ye not": (as in Zech. 8:13).

He finished with their chastisement; He forgave them, and started all over with them again. His blessings are upon them. They must not fear, but have faith.

Verses 16-17: As always, the promised blessings are connected with obedience to God's righteous standards. Such obedience can only be brought about by the power of the Spirit in the life of one who has been transformed by God's grace through faith. These standards are reminiscent of (Psalms 15:1-5; 24:4; Prov. 6:20-22).

Zechariah 8:16 "These [are] the things that ye shall do; Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor; execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates:"

"These are the things that ye shall do": Which were duties incumbent on them, and which it became them to perform. Under a sense of the favors bestowed on them, to show their gratitude to God, and that they might glorify him.

"Speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor": Not using deceit, prevarication, and lying (Eph. 4:25). And it becomes every man under the Gospel dispensation, according to the gift he has received, to speak, publish, and declare the truth of the Gospel, to the edification of others.

"Execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates": That is, execute true judgment (as in Zech. 7:9). Do justice between man and man, without respect of persons. The issue of which will be peace between the contending parties. And this was to be done in their "gates", because there their courts of judicature were kept.

If they are to stay in the good graces of God, they are to deal fairly with their neighbor. In everything they do, they must deal truthfully. If they expect blessings from God, they must bless their neighbor.

Matt. 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."

Eph. 4:25 "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another."

Zechariah 8:17 "And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor; and love no false oath: for all these [are things] that I hate, saith the LORD."

"And let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor" (see Zech. 7:10). Hatred without a cause was a governing vice under the second temple, and Jarchi says was the cause of the destruction of it (see John 15:25).

"And love no false oath": Whereby the character and property of a fellow creature are hurt; nor any vain one, which the Jews were addicted to (Matt. 5:34).

"For all these are things that I hate, saith the Lord": As being contrary to his nature and to his law; and is a reason why they should be hated and avoided by men.

We are what is in our heart.

Matthew 12:35 "A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things."

2 Corinthians 10:5 "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

We discovered in an earlier lesson, that false oaths are perjury. They damage the name of God.

Zechariah 8:18 "And the word of the LORD of hosts came unto me, saying,"

The word of prophecy, as the Targum paraphrases it. Here begins a new prophecy, respecting the abrogation of Jewish fasts, and the calling of the Gentiles.

The LORD brings something else up, that He wants to remind them of. Zechariah keeps reminding them, that these are not his Words, but the Words of the LORD.

Zechariah 8:19 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; The fast of the fourth [month], and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and peace."

In addition to the fasts of the fifth and seventh months (see notes on 7:3, 5), two additional fasts were held. In the fourth month they commemorated the breaching of the wall of Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:3; Jer. 39:2-4), and the tenth month they remembered the beginning of the final siege of Jerusalem which began (in 588 B.C.; 2 Kings 25;1; Jer. 39:1).

Their fasts in the past had been for others. They had not been happy times with the LORD. The feasts were a time of fellowship with God. It should be a time of joy, not mourning.

2 John 1:3 "Grace be with you, mercy, [and] peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love."

Verses 20-22: Israel restored in millennial glory will be the means of blessing to all the world (Isa. 2:2-4; Mica 4:1-5). Gentiles from around the world will make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to entreat the Lord. This signifies salvation of people from all over the world during the kingdom (fulfilling Psalm 122).

Zechariah 8:20 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; [It shall] yet [come to pass], that there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities:"

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, It shall yet come to pass": This is another thing that shall certainly be accomplished.

"That there shall come people, and the inhabitants of many cities": In the Gentile world; they shall come and hear the word, believe in Christ, and join together in a Gospel church state; as they did at Antioch, Thessalonica, Corinth, and many other places.

Ben Melech says this shall be in the days of the Messiah. And so it has been in the days of the true Messiah Jesus, and will be again in the latter day.

These are people from many countries coming to Jerusalem.

Zechariah 8:21 "And the inhabitants of one [city] shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts: I will go also."

"And the inhabitants of one city shall go to another": Which shows their concern for the spiritual welfare of each other, their zeal for the honor and glory of God, and their readiness to attend divine worship.

"Saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord": For pardoning, justifying, and sanctifying grace which shows their sense of need of these things, and that they are only to be had of the Lord. And that their case required haste, and would admit of no delay.

"And to seek the Lord of hosts": By prayer and supplication, as before. The Chaldee paraphrase is, "to seek doctrine from the Lord of hosts"; to learn the truths of his Gospel; to know his will, and be informed of the right way of worshipping him, as well as to seek to Christ for life and salvation.

"I will go also": That is, "this shall say to that", as the Targum supplies it. One shall say to another, and express himself in such language, by way of example and encouragement.

This is a time, when the Gentiles will seek the LORD. This could be the time, when salvation through Jesus Christ is offered to the whole world. The Gentiles actually received His message more easily, than did the Jews.

Rev. 22:17 "And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely."

Zechariah 8:22 "Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD."

"Yea, many people, and strong nations": Or, "mighty kingdoms", as the Targum renders it. Even such have embraced the Gospel, and professed the Christian religion. Of which there has been abundant proof since the downfall of Paganism under Constantine.

"Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem": That is, shall attend the public worship of God in the church.

"And to pray before the Lord": Join in public prayer, and other ordinances of the Gospel. This phrase, which is used also in the preceding verse (Zech. 8:21), signifies that the Lord, and He only, is the object of prayer. It is not to be made to a creature, or to an idol made with hands, they had been used to pray to before. But to the one only living and true God, Father, Son, and Spirit.

And that this is to be done as in the presence of God, who is omniscient. Who knows all persons and their cases, and what are their ends and views in their petitions to him. And whether these come from a true heart and unfeigned lips. For all things are naked and open unto him, with whom we have to do.

That, under the Gospel dispensation especially, men may come into the presence of God with great freedom and liberty. And pour out their souls before him, and with great boldness and confidence, through the blood of Christ being shed. And a new and living way opened by it, in which they may come and ask in faith whatever they want.

This should always be performed with reverence and godly fear and with all humility and submission to the will of God. And though it may take in all sorts of prayer, and wherever and by whomsoever performed. Either mental or vocal, in the closet or in the family, which is always to be done in like manner before God.

Yet it seems chiefly to design social and public prayer. Which being put up to God in the church, may be said to be before the Lord. It being in the assembly of his saints, where He more especially grants his presence, and shows himself to be a God hearing and answering prayer (see Psalm 65:1).

Galatians 3:8 "And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, [saying], In thee shall all nations be blessed."

Rev. 15:4 "Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest."

Zechariah 8:23 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days [it shall come to pass], that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard [that] God [is] with you."

"In those days": In the days in which the messianic kingdom on earth is inaugurated (see note on Joel 3:18), the Jews will truly be God's messengers as originally intended, and will bring multitudes to Christ. The 10 to 1 ratio represents a vast number of Gentiles who will come (Gen. 3:13; Lev. 26:26; Num. 14:22; 1 Sam. 1:8; Neh. 4:12).

Even Jesus came to the Jew first, and then to the Gentile. "Ten" symbolizes world government. The world will seek God in the land of the Jew. Jesus started Christianity in the land of the Jew. Jesus was of the tribe of Judah in the flesh. The apostles also were Jews. The following Scriptures let us know that God has saved people from all nations of the world.

Rev. 7:9-10 "After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;" "And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb."

Rev. 21:24 "And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it."

The Messiah, in the midst of millennial Israel, will be the attraction of the world. People, seeing the Jews so blessed in their kingdom, will demand to go and meet the Savior King.

Zechariah 8 Questions

1. "Thus saith the LORD" occurs _______ times in this chapter.

2. What does that stress?

3. God loved Zion, as a __________ would a ________.

4. Anyone who harmed Zion would feel the _________ of God.

5. Who is "Zion"?

6. Who are saved from wrath?

7. When God dwells in Jerusalem, Jerusalem will be called a city of _________.

8. When had God left the temple in Jerusalem?

9. When is the true fulfillment of The LORD coming back into Jerusalem?

10. The tabernacle of God is with ________.

11. The streets of the city shall be full of ________ and ________.

12. What does this show us?

13. What does from the east country to the west country mean?

14. What must man do, before God will be his God?

15. What should these people, who were brought back from captivity, do?

16. Why had their crops failed to produce?

17. When did God remove the curse from their crops?

18. What natural things will God do to help their crops grow?

19. If ye be __________, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

20. Why had God punished them?

21. Jesus was of the tribe of ________ in the flesh.

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Zechariah 9

Zechariah 9

Verses 9:1 - 14:21: Employing the phrase "in that day," Zechariah places primary focus in his final two undated oracles on:

1. The downfall of the nation;

2. The salvation of Israel; and

3. The establishment of the Messiah as king.

The first oracle (9:1 - 11:17) deals with the first and third features and ends with prophecies of the rejection of Christ at His first coming. The second oracle (12:1 - 14:21), deals with the second and third culminating with the kingdom of Messiah Christ.

Verses 9:1-8: This oracle features a series of judgments announced against the nations surrounding Israel (verses 1-7), with deliverance promised for His people (verse 8). Most understand this to be a prophecy of the famous Greek conqueror, Alexander the Great's victories, given approximately 200 years before he marched through Palestine.

He provides an analogy of Christ returning to judge the nations and save Israel at the end of the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:21).

Zechariah 9:1 "The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus [shall be] the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, [shall be] toward the LORD."

"Burden": A heavy, burdensome message (i.e., oracle). The prediction of a threatening event, in this case the judgment of the nations.

"Hadrach": The location is uncertain. Possibly it is ancient Hatarika, a city mentioned in the annals of Assyrian Kings, in the vicinity of Hamath. The old Jewish tradition made it a compound name, "Had" meaning sharp and "rach" meaning soft. The sharp/soft land could be a reference to the dual Medo-Persian kingdom.

Media was thought to be the sharp side because of its powerful conquerors like Cyrus, and Persia the soft side because of it debauchery. The cities (in verses 1 and 2), were major cities under Medo-Persian power.

"Damascus": This city was to be the main target of the judgment of God through Alexander upon the capital of Syria, one of Israel's worst enemies (from ca. 900 - 722 B.C.).

"The eyes of man ... shall be toward the Lord": These Phoenician cities on the Mediterranean coast were known for their skill and wisdom (Ezek. 28:12-15), and Satanic influence (Ezek. 28:11-19).

There is no other mention, in the Bible of Hadrach, but Assyrian inscriptions tell us there was just such a city near Damascus. This is speaking of the wrath of God coming on Hadrach and Damascus. It seems at the time it comes; the believing world have their eyes on the LORD.

Zechariah 9:2 "And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise."

"And Hamath also shall border thereby": By the land of Hadrach, or by Damascus; and that it was near Damascus is clear (from Isaiah 10:9), it is called Hamath the great (in Amos 6:2), and according to Jerom, is the same with Antioch, which he says was so called by some.

And the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel (on Numbers 13:21), renders Hamath by Antioch: and, if so, here was the Lord's rest likewise. Here the Gospel was preached, and many converted, and a church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, was formed. And here the disciples were first called Christians (Acts 11:26).

"Tyrus and Zidon": These were famous cities of Phoenicia; upon the borders of these our Lord himself was (Matthew 15:21). Of the conversion of the inhabitants of these places the psalmist prophecies (Psalm 45:12). Here likewise the Lord had his resting place; we read of the disciples here (Acts 21:3).

"Though it be very wise": Particularly Tyre (Tyrus), which was famous for wisdom (Ezekiel 28:3), which the Lord confounded by the preaching of the Gospel, and by the foolishness of that saved them that believe. Kimchi refers this to the times of the Messiah. His note is, she shall not trust in her wisdom in the time of the Messiah: so Ben Melech.

This Hamath was very near Damascus. It would be punished along with Damascus and Hadrach. Tyre was under siege 7 months by Alexander the Great. It really never was rebuilt. There were tens of thousands killed in the siege, and the women and children were carried into slavery. Zidon was destroyed too. They were known as being very wise.

Verses 3-4: "Tyrus" (Known as Tyre). This city was occupying an island one-half mile off-shore, and thought itself to be invincible (Isa. 23:1-4). With walls 150 foot high in some places, it was such an impregnable city that the Assyrian Shalmaneser besieged it for 5 years and failed to conquer it.

Nebuchadnezzar tried for 13 years unsuccessfully. But Alexander, God's judgment instrument, using the rubble of the mainland city destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, built a causeway out to the island and destroyed it in 7 months.

Zechariah 9:3 "And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets."

Tyre was built upon a rock, and was a strong fortress itself, from whence it had its name. And, besides its natural defense, it had a wall one hundred and fifty feet high, and its breadth was answerable to its height.

But yet, as it could not defend itself against Alexander the great, who took it. So neither against the Gospel of Christ, which found its way into it, and was mighty to pull down strong holds in a spiritual sense.

The riches of these cities, especially Tyre, are often made mention of. They were famous for their wealth, being places of great trade and merchandise (see Isa. 23:2). All which were to be holiness to the Lord. And for the sufficient feeding and durable clothing of them that dwell before him (Isaiah 23:18).

Tyre was extended out into the water from the mainland. They built a land bridge to the mainland and it grew to be a half mile in width, by debris and sand sticking to it. They had built a fortification wall 150 feet high. All of this did not save them. They were eventually taken. They had been very wealthy from their trade, and they even hired soldiers to fight for them.

Zechariah 9:4 "Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire."

Or "inherit her", or "them", as the Septuagint render the words. When, being converted, she would become the Lord's inheritance and possession, and her riches should be devoted to his service.

"And he will smite her power in the sea": For Tyre was situated in the sea, at the entry of it, and was strong in it (Ezek. 26:17).

Kimchi interprets this of her humiliation and subjection in the days of the Messiah. And in a spiritual sense it has been verified in such who have been spoiled of their carnal strength, in which they trusted, and have laid down their weapons, and have submitted to the scepter of Christ.

"And she shall be devoured with fire": With the spirit of judgment, and of burning, which purges and removes the filth of sin. And with the fire of the word, which burns up and consumes its lusts. And with the flames of divine love, which make souls as a whole burnt offering to the Lord.

This was literally accomplished in the burning of Tyre by Alexander, who injected fear and dread in cities near it.

There is no fortification strong enough, when the judgment of God is upon you. She had a vast fleet that were trade vessels. These are destroyed, as well as the city being destroyed. Alexander burned the city to the ground. She would never be the great city of trade again. We dealt more fully with this in the book of Ezekiel.

Shalmaneser sieged Tyre for 5 years unsuccessfully. Nebuchadnezzar for 13 years. In only 7 months Alexander made a giant mound from the main inland to the island of Tyre, breached the walls and killed thousands of defenders. The rest such as women and children were sold into slavery.

Verses 5-6: The cities of Philistia were terrified at the swiftness with which Alexander the Great's army was able to conquer Tyre. Then Alexander marched south, conquering all these Philistine cities and killing their national pride.

Zechariah 9:5 "Ashkelon shall see [it], and fear; Gaza also [shall see it], and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited."

As Kimchi explains it, when Ashkelon shall see that Tyre humbles herself and submits, she shall humble herself and submit also. And the sense may be, that the inhabitants of Ashkelon, seeing that Tyre, with all her wisdom and strong reasoning, could not stand before the power of the Gospel, but submitted and embraced the Christian religion, were induced, through the efficacy of divine grace, to do the same. And certain it is that this place became Christian.

"Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful": This was a city of Palestine, near to Ashkelon. They are mentioned together (Judges 1:18). The Gentile inhabitants of this place, when they saw the progress the Gospel made in Tyre, Zidon, and Ashkelon, were grieved at it, but many among them submitted to it.

Very likely Philip the evangelist first preached the Gospel here (see Acts 8:26). There was a Christian bishop of this place in the Nicene council and others after.

"And Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed": This was also one of the five lordships of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3). Which, being near to Tyre, had its dependence on that, expecting it could never be taken. But when they saw that it was taken by Alexander, it was ashamed of its vain expectation, hope, and confidence.

And so the inhabitants of this place, when the Gospel came to it, were "ashamed of the house of their confidence". As the Targum paraphrases the words; the confidence they had in their idols, and in the works of their own hands; and were also "ashamed because of their iniquities", as the Arabic version renders them.

Being convinced of them, and humbled for them, and to go themselves to Christ for salvation from them. It is probable, that Philip preached the Gospel here, seeing it was not far from Azotus or Ashdod, next mentioned. Where Philip is heard of after the baptism of the eunuch.

And if Ekron is the same with Caesarea, that was called Strato's tower, as say the Jews. And which also Jerom observes. Some say are the same it is certain that Philip was there (Acts 8:40).

There were several Christian bishops of this place in later times.

"And the king shall perish from Gaza": Some understand this of Batis, who was governor of Gaza, when it was taken by Alexander. Who was fastened to a chariot, and dragged about the city, as Curtius relates. But this man was not a king, but governor of the city under one.

I rather think the idol Marnes, which signifies "the lord of man", and was worshipped in this place, is here meant. Which when it became Christian was destroyed, and a Christian church built in the room of it, as is reported by Jerom.

"And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited": By Heathens, but by Christians.

Tyre was such a great city; it was hard for the neighboring people to believe it had been destroyed. The fact that so great a city and could not withstand the forces against it, struck fear in the hearts of their neighbors. They knew they were not anything like as strong as Tyre. They knew they would be totally destroyed, and they were.

Alexander did not leave one of the natives to serve as king under him in this region. They were destroyed along with their people. In fact, one of the governors, Batis, was drug to death behind a chariot. They thrust thongs (A narrow strip, as of leather, used for binding or lashing), through the soles of his feet and drug him through the city.

Zechariah 9:6 "And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines."

"And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod": The "mamzer" was one born unlawfully, whether out of marriage, or in forbidden marriage, or in adultery. Here it is probably, like our "spurious brood"; whether it was so itself or in the eyes of the Ashdodites; whence he adds.

"I will cut off the pride of the Philistines": Pride would survive the ruin of their country, the capture of their cities, the less of independence. It would not survive the loss of their nationality; for they themselves would not be the same people, who were proud of their long descent and their victories over Israel.

The breaking down of nationalities, which was the policy of Alexander, was an instrument in God's hands in cutting off their pride.

A "bastard" is considered to be a person who is a product of sex outside marriage. Sometimes in the Scriptures, it can mean a stranger. In the particular use above, it possibly means a race of people with no morals. The Philistines were always against Israel. They were a people who were very proud, but God removed that pride.

The ancient versions such as the LXX, Syriac, Targum and Vulgate render the word in this passage as meaning a "foreigner". This is describing one whose birth has some blemish connected to it, so that he is "not equal by birth" with the citizens of a city or the inhabitants of a land.

Zechariah 9:7 "And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, [shall be] for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite."

This judgment put an end to idolatry for many Philistines who turned to the God of Israel. In the imagery of this verse, the nation is seen as a man with blood in his mouth (from eating sacrifices to idols), and abominations (the other defiled food of idol worship), which are removed. The picture is of conversion to worship the true God.

"As a Jebusite": These ancient inhabitants of Jerusalem were conquered by David (2 Sam. 5:6-11), and amalgamated into Israel. So it will be with these Philistines.

They drank blood as part of their heathen worship. The "abominations between his teeth" means that they had been eating things sacrificed to false gods. This speaks of a time, when they will leave this idolatrous lifestyle, and will seek God. Those who do not die in battle, turn to God. They join in with the Israelites, instead of being at odds with them.

A governor in those days, was a ruler over a small group, perhaps, around a thousand. The Jebusites had been the possessors of Zion. Actually, they will become part of Judah, and they will accept the God of Judah. When the apostles went into this area to bring the message of Jesus, many were converted to Christianity.

This Jebusite refers to the Jebusite Araunah, who lived in the midst of the covenant nation (see 2 Sam. 24 and 1 Chron. 21). He sold his threshing floor to David as a site on which to build the future temple, then offered the oxen along with the plow for a burnt offering.

Note: The more immediate reference of the prophecy in this chapter was to Alexander's march and conquests. But it looked on and merges into a more distant future.

Zechariah 9:8 "And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes."

This is the pledge of God's protection of Jerusalem from Alexander. It came true when, on his way south, Alexander treated Jerusalem with kindness. After having subjugated Egypt, he returned through Palestine again without doing Israel harm.

"No oppressor shall pass through them any more": The supernatural and lasting protection here promised must anticipate the Second Advent of Messiah, whose coming is the subject through the rest of this message.

The transition from Alexander to Christ can be understood in this way: If God can use a pagan king to judge the nations and save Israel, how much more will He use His righteous Messiah? So verse 8 bridges to the final judgment and deliverance of Messiah.

Psalms 34:7 "The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."

Psalms 46:1 "God [is] our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble."

Isaiah 4:5 "And the LORD will create upon every dwelling place of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory [shall be] a defense."

God will protect those who are living for Him. It matters not, if the army comes through. God is our protection.

Psalms 91:7 "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; [but] it shall not come nigh thee."

"Mine House" is the temple. Jaddua the High Priest of Israel prayed to God when he heard that Alexander was coming. God told him to open the gates and welcome him which is what he did.

When Alexander saw the High Priest dressed in purple and scarlet with a mitre on his head and the golden plate engraved with the name of God on it, he changed his mind about plundering the city. God have given him a vision while sleeping of this priest. He also knew then God would give him victory over the Persians.

"With Mine eyes". God has seen the affliction of His people and is moved with compassion. He will deliver them from their oppressor, as He did temporarily now, but that will be fully fulfilled in the national deliverance of Israel during the Millennium.

Verses 9-10: The two advents of Christ are here compressed as though they were one as (in Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16, 21). Actually (verse 9), refers to His first coming and (verse 10), is His second. Old Testament prophets didn't see the great time period between the two comings. The church age was a "mystery" hidden from them (Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:27).

Zechariah 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

"King ... riding upon an ass": Unlike Alexander the Great, this King comes riding on a donkey (Jer. 17:25). This was fulfilled at Christ's triumphal entry (Matt. 21:1-5; John 12:12-16). The Jews should have been looking for someone from the line of David (2 Sam. 7; 1 Chron. 17). Four elements in this verse describe Messiah's character:

1. He is king;

2. He is just;

3. He brings salvation; and

4. He is humble.

The "ass" (donkey), was an animal of "peace." The kings of the earth come to bring destruction and devastation. Israel's "King" comes to bring peace. The prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:4-7; Mark 11:7; Luke 19:38; John 12:14-14).

This is speaking of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. At this time, Jesus did not come as conquering King, but as King of Peace. This is their Messiah. Not only should the natural Jew shout at this, but the coming church as well. The fact He was riding on a donkey, spoke of His humbleness.

The fact the donkey was a colt which had never been sat upon, symbolizes the peaceable character of His mission. He was, and is, King of the Jews, as well as Savior of the lost. His name, Jesus, means Savior.

Verses 10-15: Zechariah moves to the Second Advent of Christ and the establishment of His universal kingdom (see notes on 9:9-10; 11:15-16).

Not characterized by bloodshed, Messiah's rule will be a kingdom of peace in which weapons of warfare will be destroyed or converted to peaceful uses (Isa. 2:4; 9:5-7; 11:1-10; Mica 45:2, 10-15), and peace spreads from the Euphrates River (the terminus of civilization), to the world.

Zechariah 9:10 "And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion [shall be] from sea [even] to sea, and from the river [even] to the ends of the earth."

"Ephraim": This is another name for Israel, used often in the Old Testament for the northern kingdom and occasionally for the whole nation.

"The river" is referring to the Euphrates.

"Cutting off of the chariot" speaks of no more war. Ephraim, in this particular instance, speaks of the ten tribes of Israel. Jesus is not just King of the Jews but of the entire world.

Rom. 15:12 "And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust."

Ephesians 2:13-15 "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];" "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;".

In short, from the holy land, which will then be extended to the limits originally promised to the fathers, and which will be the center of Messiah's blessed rule, His dominion will extend even "unto the ends of the earth".

Verses 9:11-10:2: "The blood of thy covenant:" God's covenants are ratified by blood sacrifice, hence, binding (Gen. 15:9-18; Exodus 24:6-8 with Matthew 26:28; 1 Cor. 11:25-26; Hebrews 9:18-22; 1 John 1:7).

Zechariah 9:11 "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein [is] no water."

"Blood of thy covenant": Why is Israel to be so blessed? It is not because of her faithfulness through the centuries, but because of God's unfailing devotion to His covenant of blood made with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-10), which is in force as long as God lives.

"The pit wherein is no water": Prisoners in ancient times were often kept in dry wells or pits, like Joseph was (Gen. 37:24, 28; Jer. 38:6). The exiles of Israel, pictured as being in a dry well of captivity, suffering, and despair, will be freed because of His unbreakable covenant with them.

They are thus called "prisoners who have the hope" (verse 12), who are to receive "double" blessing (Isa. 61:7).

This is spoken to the natural house of Israel, and is speaking of a blessing in addition to the promise of Messiah. In the 24th chapter of Isaiah, their captivity was spoken of as a pit. This, probably, has to do with them being freed from captivity. It also speaks of a time when they are gathered home to Israel. They have the seal of the everlasting covenant, sealed with the blood of Jesus.

Like Joseph who was thrown into a pit without water, Israel will also live. Eventually, at the Word of God, Israel, like Joseph, shall be freed from the pit and lifted up from a position of humiliation and suffering to become a nation of princes on the earth.

Zechariah 9:12 "Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;"

These promises have accomplishment in the spiritual blessings of the gospel which we enjoy by Jesus Christ. As the deliverance of the Jews was typical of redemption by Christ, so this invitation speaks to all the language of the gospel call.

Sinners are prisoners, but prisoners of hope. Their case is sad, but not desperate; for there is hope in Israel concerning them. Christ is a Strong-hold, a strong Tower, in whom believers are safe from the fear of the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the assaults of spiritual enemies.

To him we must turn with lively faith; to him we must flee, and trust in his name under all trials and sufferings. It is here promised that the Lord would deliver his people. This passage also refers to the apostles and the preachers of the gospel in the early ages. God was evidently with them; his words from their lips pierced the hearts and consciences of the hearers.

They were wondrously defended in persecution, and were filled with the influences of the Holy Spirit. They were saved by the Good Shepherd as his flock, and honored as jewels of his crown. The gifts, graces, and consolations of the Spirit, poured forth on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), and in succeeding times, are represented.

Sharp have been, and still will be, the conflicts of Zion's sons, but their God will give them success. The more we are employed, and satisfied with his goodness, the more we shall admire the beauty revealed in the Redeemer. Whatever gifts God bestows on us, we must serve him cheerfully with them. And, when refreshed with blessings, we must say, How great is his goodness!

"I will render double unto thee": A double measure of blessing in compensation for past suffering (Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 61:7).

This is very much like what happened to Job. After his great trial was over, God poured out a blessing that was twice what he had before the trial.

Job 42:10 "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."

This is saying their blessings from God will be a double portion, as Job's were.

Verses 13-15: Reminiscent of the Exodus (Exodus 19:16-19; Hab. 3:3-15), the Lord will protect and empower them (Isa. 1:11-16; Zech. 12:6, 8). The initial historical fulfillment of this prophecy came when the Maccabees defeated the Greeks (ca. 167 B.C.). The final, complete fulfillment will occur at His Second Advent.

The Maccabean triumph is only a pledge and a preview of final triumph over all enemies.

Judah is the drawn bow, Ephraim is the arrow and Zion the sword in the Hand of Jehovah, by means of which the foe is thoroughly subjugated.

Zechariah 9:13 "When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man."

"When I have bent Judah for me": By whom are meant the apostles, who were mostly Jews, and whose ministrations were made use of as a bow with arrows, to strike the hearts of men, and bring them into subjection to Christ. They were a bow of the Lord's bending and preparing, and which abode in strength, being made strong and effectual through the hands of the mighty God of Jacob:

"Filled the bow with Ephraim": or rather, "filled Ephraim with the bow". Filled his hand with it; meaning, that some out of the ten tribes, as were the apostles, should be employed in drawing the bow of the Gospel, and shooting its arrows, the doctrines of it. Which are comparable to them for swiftness, suddenness, and secrecy, and for their piercing and penetrating nature.

"And raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece": That is, persons of the land of Judea, as such the apostles were, and who belonged to Zion the church of Christ. Who were raised up, qualified, and sent forth by him into the Gentile world, with weapons of warfare, not carnal, but spiritual.

Against the Gentiles in general, and the wise men of Greece, as at Athens. In particular, to confound some, and to conquer others, and bring them to the obedience of Christ. Some understand this of the Maccabees raised up against Antiochus, and the Greeks that possessed the kingdom of Syria.

"And made thee as the sword of a mighty man": That is, made the Gospel in the hands of the church, and of her sons, as a sword in the hand of a mighty man, by whom execution is done with it. This is the sword of the Spirit, even the word of God; and is sharp and cutting, and is the power of God unto salvation. As it is girt upon the thigh, and is in the hands of Christ the most Mighty.

And as it is accompanied with the Spirit of God, and of power.

This is showing that Jesus Christ is victorious over Satan, sin and death. The world is defeated by the king of peace, Jesus Christ. They are a powerful nation because they have God on their side.

The wars of the Jews against Greece, under the heroic leadership of the Maccabees, were occasioned by the attempt to overturn the Jewish religion and substitute in its place Grecian customs. Those wars were essentially religious in their character.

The Maccabean heroes went forth to the contest with the full conviction that the cause in which they were engaged was the cause of God, and that the Lord was with them in all their various difficulties and trials.

In the glowing language of the prophet (in verse 14), Jehovah was seen over them, and His arrow went forth as the lightning. Yea, the Lord Jehovah blew with the trumpet, for He was the real Captain of His host, and the war waged by the Jews was in defense of His truth.

The defeat of Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 B.C.), and his successors at the hands of a comparative few Jews to which this passage may primarily refer, foreshadows the final conflict with world power.

And the judgments to be inflicted on the confederated armies who shall be gathered against Jerusalem, not only directly by the hand of God, but also in the hand of Israel, who shall be made strong in Jehovah.

Zechariah 9:14 "And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south."

His apostles and ministers: or, "shall appear to them"; and be seen by them, as he was in the days of his flesh. They saw his person, his miracles, his sorrows, and sufferings. They saw him after his resurrection, and some have seen him since his ascension, with the eyes of their bodies, as well as with the eyes of their understandings.

And so were fit to be witnesses of him: or, "the Lord shall appear over them", or "upon them". He was seen over, and above them, when he ascended up to heaven; and upon them, by the descent of his Spirit on them at the day of Pentecost, and in other miraculous gifts bestowed upon them.

"And his arrow shall go forth as the lightning": Meaning the Gospel, and the swift progress of it, as well as the light it communicates, and the glory that goes along with it, and the efficacy of it.

"And the Lord God shall blow the trumpet": Of the Gospel, so called. In allusion to the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty to servants, and restoration of inheritances.

Or to the trumpets made for the congregation of Israel to gather them together, and to express their joy at feasts. Or to the trumpet used to proclaim war, and as an alarm for it. And this was blown by the Lord himself in person when here on earth, and by his ministers in his name.

"And shall go with whirlwinds of the south": That is, the Lord in the ministration of the Gospel shall go forth with the efficacy and energy of the Spirit. The Spirit is compared to "wind", because he works in a sovereign way where he listeth, and oftentimes imperceptibly, and ever powerfully.

And to the "south" wind, because that brings warmth, serenity, and calmness, produces rain, and makes fruitful. And he it is which makes the Gospel efficacious (see SOS 4:16).

"The LORD being seen over them" is His presence that is with them. The "lightning that goes forth" speaks of God's swift judgment. The trumpet is blown of the Lord to gather His people.

Matthew 24:27 "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

1 Thess. 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:"

The "whirlwinds of the south" is speaking of the wrath of God coming against those who have refused His salvation.

Zechariah 9:15 "The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, [and] make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, [and] as the corners of the altar."

"Subdue ... sling stones": This may mean the Jews will easily subdue their enemies as David did Goliath (Judges 20:16).

Or better, it could mean they will contemptuously tread on the harmless missiles cast at them by their enemies. This could depict the futility of Armageddon when the armies of the God-hating world gather in Israel and are destroyed by the Messiah (Rev. 16:12-16; 19:11-16).

The bloodshed of the godless will be visible in that day, from one end of the land of Palestine to the other, like blood splattered on the corners of the altar of sacrifice from basins which caught it when the animal was slain (Rev. 14:20).

"Drink ... make a noise": This describes Israel's excitement and exuberance over their victory.

God's people will be protected by the LORD. The sling stones seem to be the helpless enemy who is trampled under their feet like stones. They will be like drunken men. This is almost as if they are a sacrifice to God.

The prophet describes the victorious Jews as being filled, like the sacrificial bowls in which the priests were used to, (an established custom or habit), to catch the blood of the victims which were slain. And they would sprinkle with it in the corners of the altar, which expression includes the horns of the altar, that they would sprinkle with the sacrificial blood.

Verses 16-17: Abundant prosperity, such as the world has never seen, results in excessive rejoicing and praise, results for God "saving" His people, Israel (Deut. 33:28; Psalm 4:7-8).

Zechariah 9:16 "And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land."

"And the Lord their God shall save them in that day": Still all should be God's doing; they themselves were but as a flock, as sheep among wolves, ready for the slaughter. But they were "the flock, His people," as He says, "I will increase them like the flock", men, as the flock of holy things, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts.

So shall the waste cities be filled with flocks, "men".

Ezek. 36:37-38. "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock." "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD."

As in, "Thou leddest Thy people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron" (Psalm 77:20).

"They shall be as the stones of a crown": While God's enemies shall be trampled underfoot, as a common thing which has failed its end, these shall be precious stones. A consecrated jeweled crown or headband of king or priest, "raised aloft," so that all can see.

"Upon His land": It was laid down, as the title deed to its whole tenure, "the land is Mine" (Leviticus 25:23), and much more our Christian land, bought and purified by the blood of Christ.

The picture in the 16th verse changes from war and bloodshed to that of the Shepherd and His flock.

In contrast to their enemies who are likened to "sling stones", which shall then be contemptuously trodden under foot, saved Israel shall be "stones of a crown" lifted on high over His land which reminds us of:

Isa. 62:1-3. "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns." "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name." "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

Zechariah 9:17 "For how great [is] his goodness, and how great [is] his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids."

"For how great is his goodness?": Not of the land of Judea, as Kimchi; nor of the doctrine of the law, as the Targum; nor of the people of the Jews; but of the Messiah. And designs not his essential nor his providential goodness; but his goodness as Mediator. Which he has in his heart, and has shown unto his people, in being their surety, and becoming their Savior.

In assuming their nature; bearing their sins, and obeying and suffering in their room and stead. And also that which he has in his hands for them, and communicates to them; his fullness of grace. All those spiritual blessings that are in him; the large measures of grace given at conversion; and the numerous instances of his goodness afterwards. Yea, it includes glory, as well as grace.

"And how great is his beauty?" not as God, nor as man, but as Mediator. As beheld in the covenant and promises in the Gospel and in the truths and in the ordinances of it.

"Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids": By "young men" are meant the same as in (1 John 2:14), believers in Christ. Who are lively, warm, and zealous for Christ, his cause and interest. Who are active, diligent, and industrious in the discharge of duty; and are strong in Christ, and in his grace. And particularly in the grace of faith, and quit themselves like men.

And by "maids" or "virgins" are meant the same. So called because of their chaste adherence to Christ; for their beauty, comeliness, and attire; and for their purity of divine worship and conversation. And the Gospel is intended by "corn" and "new wine"; which is compared to "corn", in opposition to the chaff of human doctrines.

And because it contains Christ the bread of life, and is nourishing and comfortable. And to "new wine", not because it is a novel doctrine, for it is the everlasting Gospel ordained before the world was. But because, under the Gospel dispensation, to which this prophecy refers, it is newly and more clearly revealed (see Zech. 9:15).

The effect of which is, that it makes saints "cheerful", fills them with joy and spiritual mirth, for it is a joyful sound. Or, "shall make fruitful"; it causes them to grow and increase, and makes them fruitful in every good word and work.

Or, "shall make them speak" eloquently; or cause them to put forth the fruit of their lips, in giving thanks to God for the abundance of grace bestowed upon them. Or, "shall" make "them sing", as others; in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

This new wine may be interpreted of the gifts and graces bestowed in great plenty on the day of Pentecost. Both on sons and daughters, on servants and handmaids, whereby they prophesied, and saw visions (Acts 2:16 see Ephesians 5:18).

Psalms 31:19 "[Oh] how great [is] thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; [which] thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!"

"Corn and wine" symbolize plenty.

The mention of young men and maidens heighten the picture of prosperity given by the prophet. And is in some respects a parallel to the prophetic description of the prosperity of the land and people, where the streets of Jerusalem are spoken of as being again "full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof" (chapter 8 verse 5).

Zechariah 9 Questions

1. Where was Hadrach located?

2. What happens to them and Damascus?

3. At this time, the believing world have their eyes on __________.

4. Tyre was under siege ____ months by Alexander the Great.

5. What happened to the women and children of Tyre?

6. How was Tyre connected to the mainland?

7. How tall was the wall fortification they had built?

8. Where had they gotten their wealth from?

9. They had a vast fleet of ________ _________.

10. How did Alexander destroy Tyre?

11. What did the fall of Tyre do to her neighbors?

12. How did Alexander treat the governors of this land?

13. What is a "bastard"?

14. What is meant, in this particular Scripture, by this statement?

15. As part of their heathen worship, they _________ _____.

16. What did the "abominations between his teeth" mean?

17. Verse 7 speaks of what time?

18. How many did a governor rule over?

19. Where had the Jebusites possessed?

20. What Scripture shows supernatural protection in the midst of war?

21. Who is verse 9 speaking of?

22. What did Him riding on a donkey tell us?

23. What did the fact that the donkey was a colt tell us of?

24. "Cutting off the chariot" means what?

25. In Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were afar off are made nigh by the ________ of ________.

26. Where, in Isaiah, was their captivity spoken of as a pit?

27. What and whom was Jesus victorious over?

28. What does the "lightning that goes forth" speak of?

29. Who defends God's people?

30. Who are the flock of His people?

31. What is the "ensign" of verse 16?

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Zechariah 10

Zechariah 10

The blessed and prosperous condition of restored and converted Israel under the care and leadership of their true Shepherd King, may be given as the summary of the chapter to which we have now come. The first verses are linked on and are a continuation of the promises contained (in verses 7-11), of the ninth chapter.

Zechariah 10:1 "Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; [so] the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field."

"Ask ye of the Lord rain": In light of the promised blessings (of 9:17), the prophet encourages the people to request these blessings from the Lord, with confidence. There will be literal rain and spring rain (Apr./May), in the kingdom (Isa. 35:1-7), making the land flourish. But the promise here extends to refer to spiritual blessings (Hosea 6:1-3).

The "spring rain" of spiritual grace and goodness from God will bring refreshment to people's souls (Isa. 44:3).

"The latter rain" is the spring rain of late April or early May.

This has a double meaning. In the physical, they should pray and ask God for the rain the last time before the crop matures. This rain would provide an abundant crop.

Deut. 11:13-14 "And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul," "That I will give [you] the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil."

To Israel, rain in due season so that the land should yield her increase, was promised as a direct reward of national obedience.

The other meaning is the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh. It is the latter rain, because Day of Pentecost was the former rain.

As a message to us which is a symbol of spiritual gifts and blessings, consider the scripture that tells us "Ask and ye shall receive".

Zechariah 10:2 "For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because [there was] no shepherd."

"Idols ... diviners": In contrast to God who provides abundance, idols or household gods (Gen. 31:19, 34), and demonic fortunetellers left Israel as sheep without a shepherd (Ezek. 34:6-10).

God will judge them all for that false leadership (verse 3). The implication of these words is that a similar deception will occur in the end times. The New Testament confirms this (Matt. 24:5, 11, 22-28; 2 Thess. 1:8-12).

It is the Teraphim or "speaking oracles" (prophecies), of the heathen and their consulters or diviners that the prophet speaks of in the verse. Teraphim means: Images connected with the magical rites used by those Israelites who added corrupt practices to the patriarchal religion. Teraphim were consulted by the Israelites for oracular answers.

The primary reference in this verse is probably their wandering in the Babylonian captivity, but the picture is true also of the much longer exile and greater affliction which commenced with the destruction of the second temple by the Roman general and emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (39-81 A.D.). Who was responsible for the conquest of Jerusalem (in 70 A.D.).

The only thing that brings results is prayer to God. Idols cannot help in time of trouble. Diviners bring false messages of hope. They will all vanish away. Our hope and help is in Christ Jesus.

Matt. 9:36 "But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd."

Jesus is the great Shepherd.

A parallelism, in its spiritual significance, is to be found today in Christendom. What the ephod or the prophet was in olden times, Holy Scripture is now. The oracles of God, themselves speaking with voices which carry their own conviction to hearts honestly seeking for truth and ever confirming themselves in the world's history and in the Christian's experience.

Zechariah 10:3 "Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle."

The "shepherds" and "goats" refer to the leaders of the foreign nations who persecute Israel and set themselves against the Lord (Psalm 2; Isa. 14:9).

"Goodly horse": Though like sheep, Israel will become like an invincible majestic war horse when strengthened by the Lord to conquer His foes (12:8).

The entire chapter (of Ezekiel 34), is all about what God does to the shepherd who destroys the sheep. Read the whole chapter. I will give a few verses here.

Ezek. 34:2 "Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe [be] to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?"

Ezek. 34:5 "And they were scattered, because [there is] no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered."

Ezek. 34:7 "Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;"

Ezek. 34:10 "Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them."

Ezek. 34:23 "And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, [even] my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd."

That last scripture was interesting. When was this written by Ezekiel? (Sometime after he was taken captive in 597 B.C.). And who was just mentioned? The one shepherd over them is the Messiah who shall be Israel's King over the Millennium Kingdom written almost 600 years before His birth.

Because their appointed shepherds have proven false, Jehovah Himself, in the person of the Messiah is going to act the part of the good Shepherd to them (beginning in verse 4).

He goats are the false prophets, elders and leaders who deceived the people. Think about the separation of the goats and the sheep right before the Millennium begins (read Matthew 25:31-46).

Goodly horse is God's flock the sheep, which shall be made strong in Jehovah and in the power of His might. He shall make them, or set them, as his goodly horse, or "the horse of His Majesty. That is, the horse fit and equipped for the God of Majesty to ride forth on "in battle" to execute His judgments upon the nations.

Zechariah 10:4 "Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together."

"Corner": (cornerstone), portrays the Messiah as the foundation of God's new kingdom (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8).

A frequently used messianic title (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). Christ is the foundation on which His kingdom rests.

"Nail" refers either to a large tent peg, or to a peg by which valuables were hung on walls. It portrays the fact that all of Israel's value will depend on Him.

"Battle bow ... every oppressor": Another reference to the Messiah (9:13; Rev. 19:11-16), under whose authority every ruler will be sanctioned.

This is speaking of out of Judah. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.

Gen. 49:24 "But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)"

Mark 12:10 "And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:"

Ephesians 2:20 "And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];"

Corner, the Rock of Ages, a fit emblem of our Lord Jesus.

Nail is defined as a tent pin or stake or a strong peg inside the wall of the eastern building on which is hung most of its valuable furniture.

Isa. 22:20-25 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:" "And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah." "And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open." "And I will fasten him [as] a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father's house." "And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father's house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons." "In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that [was] upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken [it].

The primary allusion is to a son of David, Eliakim, who is being a type and shadow of the Messiah.

The nail or peg when secured in a sure place was used to hang burdens on. We can easily see the applicability and preciousness of this as applied to the Messiah.

The last 2 terms give us an aspect of the Messiah's character, which will be made manifest at his 2nd coming. "The Battle Bow" and "every oppressor". The enemies of God from whom He will exact submission and will rule with a rod of iron.

Zechariah 10:5 "And they shall be as mighty [men], which tread down [their enemies] in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD [is] with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded."

"The Lord is with them": The prophet pictured foot soldiers overpowering the cavalry (12:1-9), in battle. This analogy was to illustrate the power of God's people when He is "with them."

The flock of the Messiah shall suddenly be transformed into the "Horse of His Majesty" in battle and shall become as "Mighty Men" who will tread on their enemies.

Thus, this scripture pictures those trampled upon as what they had become, "the mire of the streets". Something that is worthless and foul.

They shall not prevail in their own strength, but because Jehovah is with them.

The riders on horses, or the enemies' cavalry, the most formidable of the hostile forces, shall be put to shame or confounded.

Zechariah 10:6 "And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I [am] the LORD their God, and will hear them."

"House of Judah ... Joseph": Both the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel will be restored to a position of blessing, as the whole nation is restored in millennial blessing (Jer. 32:37).

"I am the Lord their God": The reason for Israel's restoration was because of God, the covenant keeper, who gave a strong reiteration of His continuing, unconditional commitment to them. The curses of (Deut. 28:15-68), expressed in the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations did not abrogate God's promised blessings to Israel or transfer them to another people.

Even after they had crucified the Messiah, Peter told them they were still able to receive the promise (Acts 2:39), because the Abrahamic Covenant was still in place and they were the people of God's promise (Acts 3:25).

Both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel will be restored to a position of blessing, as the whole nation is restored in Millennium blessing.

Zechariah 10:7 "And [they of] Ephraim shall be like a mighty [man], and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see [it], and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD."

The joy of the restored nation of Israel at the beginning of the Millennium is likened to those who have been drinking wine (Isa. 66:10-14; Zeph. 3:14-20).

This scripture is speaking of the Northern Kingdom which had gone into captivity approximately 136 years earlier (in 722 B.C.), by the Assyrians.

They see that they too will share in the blessings promised to the House of Judah (Southern Kingdom).

Both they and their children's hearts shall rejoice in Jehovah until that day.

Note: From here and forward, the scripture is referring to both houses of Israel.

Zechariah 10:8 "I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased."

"I will hiss for them": The prophecy summarized what had been said, namely the Messiah's call for Israel to be redeemed and for them to regather in His land (Isa. 5:26).

As in Egypt (Exodus 1:8-22), those of Israel who are protected by God because of their faith in Messiah will survive the Tribulation and enter the Millennium to multiply greatly (Zechariah 2:4; Isa. 54:1-3).

"I have redeemed them:" This will be the realization of the national regeneration promised in the new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34).

Look who they are, the redeemed. They are God's people scattered all over the world.

Matt. 13:38 "The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];"

1 Tim. 2:4-6 "Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth." "For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;" "Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time."

Hiss for them means to whistle or pipe (meaning call), together nations or people to accomplish His purposes.

First it was Egypt, then Assyria, but now it is God calling His people together from the four corners of the earth.

"Increased and they have increased". Meaning when God gathers the remnant back together, they will increase as they once did while in the land of Egypt.

Verses 9-10: Another summary is given stating that, as God had previously scattered them all over the world (A.D. 70), He would bring them back to populate His messianic kingdom (Isa. 11:11-12; 49:20-22).

Zechariah 10:9 "And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again."

God's family was sown to the far countries of the world. We must remember that the Word of God had been entrusted to them to bring to the unsaved world. This is speaking of the sowing of the Word of God which brought great increase.

It is the Word of God which turns the people back to God.

Those who escaped death and went into captivity shall remember God and they shall loathe themselves for the evil that they have committed.

Read (Ezekiel chapter 37), for the prophecy of the dry bones.

Zechariah 10:10 "I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and [place] shall not be found for them."

"I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt": The Targum paraphrases it, "and as I brought them out of the land of Egypt, so will gather their captivity out of Assyria, suggesting there would be a likeness between the one and the other.

Egypt may denote the state of distance and bondage in which all men are by nature. And the Jews, at their conversion, will be brought out of it, into the glorious liberty of the children of God, by the mighty arm of the Lord, according to his purposes and promises.

Moreover, as Cocceius observes, Egypt may signify Rome, or the Romish jurisdiction. Which is spiritually called Egypt and Sodom (Rev. 11:8), for darkness, idolatry, tyranny, and cruelty. And out of which the Jews, as many of them as are there, will be brought at the time of their conversion.

"And gather them out of Assyria": Which may design the Turkish or Persian dominions, or both, as the above commentator suggests. From where the Jews, as many as are in those parts, will be brought into their own land, as follows (see Isa. 11:11).

"And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon": Gilead was a land of pasture, and signifies "a heap of testimonies". And may mystically intend the Scriptures, which testify of Christ, and direct to green pastures, beside the still waters.

And Lebanon, that goodly mountain, and hill of frankincense. And where cedars grew, may design the church, whither the converted Jews will be brought, and worship before it (Rev. 3:9). Or both may literally be understood, which they shall return unto. Gilead, being as Kimchi observes, beyond Jordan eastward; and Lebanon, comprehending the whole land of Israel, on this side of it.

"And place shall not be found for them": They will be so numerous (see Isaiah 49:20). The Targum is, "and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and the sanctuary, and it shall not be sufficient for them. That is, to hold them. The Septuagint renders it, "and not one of them shall be left": all Israel shall now be converted and saved, though their number will be as the sand of the sea (Hosea 1:10).

All of the lands mentioned here, are thought of as the unsaved world. "Egypt" symbolizes the world. God will bring His people home from all the heathen lands, and they will live in His land.

There are many Jews scattered in the regions which formed the Assyrian and Babylonian empires as well as Egypt and elsewhere. There numbers in those countries will be greatly increased. The land of Gilead and Lebanon probably represents the whole of the Promised Land East and West of the Jordan.

Note: The land God promised them is about 50 times as large as the part which hitherto the Jews actually possessed. "Place not be found for them", means that even with all the land, it will not suffice to hold all of Israel in the Millennium due to the increase of the saved remnant.

Zechariah 10:11 "And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away."

Similar to Israel crossing the Red Sea, God will remove both geographical and political obstacles to Israel's return for the kingdom of Messiah. Assyria and Egypt, traditional enemies of Israel, symbolize any nation that would try to withstand God from fulfilling His will (Isa. 11:11-12).

The judgment of God comes upon the lands that have been opposed to God's people. God will do whatever is necessary to bring His people out. He caused the Red Sea to part then, and He will again, if He has to, to bring His people to the Promised Land. The world power will be destroyed by God, Himself.

God's works on behalf of His people in the past are again alluded to as the basis and illustration of what He will do for them in the yet greater deliverance of the future. No obstacle shall be allowed to hinder the progress of His people on their way back to Zion.

These two empires mentioned also represent gentile world power in general which will then give way to the Kingdom of the Messiah which the God of Heaven will set up. Whose blessed rule shall extend from Mt. Zion to even the ends of the earth.

Zechariah 10:12 "And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD."

"They shall walk up and down in his name": The people of Israel will be the messengers of their Messiah in the millennial kingdom. This is the complete spiritual restoration spoken of by Ezekiel (Ezek. 36:21-38; 37:1-14, 22-28).

God did do wonders to save His people. Jesus won the victory over Satan on the cross. He defeated sin's hold over the believers at that time also. He defeated death, when He rose from the grave. All Christians walk up and down in the name of Christ. The first part of the name Christians is Christ.

Eph. 3:16 "That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;"

Eph. 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

Phil. 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

There are more Scriptures, but you get the idea.

"Strengthen them in the Lord" is speaking of the Jews walk and conversion, which shall all be rooted in God and be in full accord with His name, which stands for His revealed character. Which shall then be fully and gloriously manifested in their midst in the person of their Messiah, the Image of the invisible God.

"Shall walk up and down in His name". As His messengers and representatives, dispensing the blessing of Messiah's Gospel among the nations. By whom they shall be known as "the Priests of Jehovah", and be welcomed as "the Ministers of our God".

Zechariah 10 Questions

1. What are the two meanings of the latter rain?

2. When was the former rain?

3. What is the only thing that brings results?

4. What kind of messages did the diviners bring?

5. ________ is the great Shepherd.

6. Who was God's anger kindled against in verse 3?

7. What chapter, in Ezekiel, is about this subject?

8. Jesus is the _________ of the tribe of Judah.

9. _________ ________ Himself being the chief ________ ______.

10. The "mire" symbolizes ______.

11. He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the _______ ___ _______.

12. What is verse 6 speaking of?

13. Who is verse 8 speaking to?

14. Who is the mediator between God and man?

15. What was one of the reasons God's people were sown to foreign Countries?

16. What does "Egypt" symbolize?

17. What is verse 11 speaking of?

18. All Christians walk up and down in the name of _______.

19. How are we strengthened in our inner man?

20. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His _________.

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Zechariah 11

Zechariah 11

Verses 11:1-3: As a fire sweeping down to ravage the whole land of Israel, Zechariah described a fire of judgment that would consume the ungodly as a conflagration consumes trees. The devastation is not limited to spiritual judgment only, but includes the death of people as the land of Israel is judged. The language is the book's most poetic, "Lebanon," "Bashan" and "Jordan" represent the whole land as judgment sweeps from top to bottom covering the entire nation from the north, inland, and down the Jordan Valley to the southern border.

In stark contrast to chapters 9 and 10, in which Messiah is pictured as a wonderful Shepherd, this passage presents an ugly picture of the rejection of the Messiah, the true Shepherd. The prophet turns from the glories of the accepted Messiah at His second coming to the national apostasy and rejection of Messiah at His first coming.

Zechariah 11:1 "Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars."

"Open thy doors, O Lebanon": By which may be meant, either the temple of Jerusalem, which was built of the cedars of Lebanon.

"The gates of which are said to open of themselves forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, when Jochanan ben Zaccai, who lived at the same time, rebuked them, saying, O temple, temple, wherefore dost thou frighten thyself? I know thine end is to be destroyed; for so prophesied Zechariah, the son of Iddo, concerning thee, "open thy doors, O Lebanon".

So Lebanon (in Zechariah 10:10), is interpreted of the sanctuary, both by the Targum and by Jarchi. Or else it may be understood of Jerusalem, and of the whole land of Judea, because it was situated by it. It was the border of it on the north side.

"That the fire may devour thy cedars": Of which the temple was built, and the houses of Jerusalem, which were consumed by fire. Unless the fortresses of the land are meant. So the Targum paraphrases it, "and the fire shall consume your fortresses.

The cedars of Lebanon were famous for their beauty and strength.

Most Jewish and Christian interpreters regard the language as figurative. Thus the "cedars" are taken to mean the highest and noblest in the land while the cypress or firs represent the common people who are commanded to "howl". Because since the "cedars" have fallen there is no hope of their being spared.

As a fire sweeping down to ravage the whole land of Israel, Zechariah described a fire of judgment that would consume the ungodly as a consuming fire consumes trees.

The devastation is not limited to spiritual judgment only, but includes the death of people as the land of Israel is judged. The language is the book's most poetic.

"Lebanon", "Bashan" and "Jordan" (in verses 1-3), represent the whole land as judgment sweeps from top to bottom covering the entire nation from the north, inland, and down the Jordan Valley to the southern border.

Zechariah 11:2 "Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down."

"Howl ... fir tree": If the mighty cedars have fallen, surely the more vulnerable smaller trees will be unable to stand.

"Oaks of Bashan": The poem moves from Lebanon, on the northern border of Israel, to Bashan, east of the Sea of Galilee, known for its oaks and lush pastures (Amos 4:1; Mica 7:14).

This is a judgment coming upon God's people, because they have rejected the Lord of glory. They have refused their Messiah.

Zechariah 11:3 "[There is] a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled."

"Howling of the shepherds": The shepherds lament the loss of their pastures, and the young lions their homes and food. Both are poetic figures of the misery that will occur in the land under the ravaging judgment.

From the heights of Lebanon, the destructive storm sweeps down on the land of Bashan, and the oaks, the pride of the land are likewise felled by the enemy to meet the wants of the invading army, and to construct his means of offence and defense. Thus, the wood hitherto practically inaccessible is brought low.

The desolating storm sweeps from the high lands to the low lands. The shepherds are forced to howl, because their splendor is laid waste. Namely, the pasture lands in which they were accustomed to for feeding and tending their flocks in the day of peace and quiet. The extensive fire extends even to the south of the land. Judah is wrapped in flames.

The thickets fringing the Jordan River which shut in that stream so closely that its waters could not be seen till the traveler was close on its banks are consumed by fire. That was the area which was the abode of lions and other beasts of prey in those days and they were destroyed. The pride of Jordan is rendered desolate and hence the voice of roaring of lions is heard wailing over the general ruin.

As the chapter unfolds, it becomes clear that this most likely prophesies the destruction of Jerusalem (in A.D. 70), and the subsequent devastation of the whole land, causing the death of one and a half million Jews, resulting in the dissolution of the Jewish state.

Verses 4-14: The cause for the calamity (of verses 1-3), is here given: the rejection of the true Shepherd. God used the prophet Zechariah as an actor playing the part of a shepherd to illustrate the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, and the rejection He encountered. Instructions given (in verses 4-6), are enacted (in verses 7-14).

Verses 4-6: The Lord God said that His people were to be treated like sheep fattened for the slaughter, whose shepherds have no pity, but are only interested in money for the meat. Thus God will serve up His sheep for slaughter without pity.

With God's pity (Hosea 1:6), and protection withdrawn, they will be given over to their Roman "neighbors" and to the King", Caesar (John 19:14-15), who will ultimately lead them to their destruction (in A.D. 70), by the Roman army (John 11:47-50).

Zechariah 11:4 "Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;"

The prophet here proceeds to show the cause of the destruction just foretold, namely, the rejection of Messiah.

"Flock of ... slaughter" (Psalm 44:22). God's people doomed to slaughter by the Romans. Zechariah here represents typically Messiah, and performs in vision the actions enjoined. Hence the language is in part appropriate to him, but mainly to the Messiah that will come.

A million and a half perished in the Jewish war and one million one hundred thousand at the fall of Jerusalem. "Feed" implies that the Jews could not plead ignorance of God's will to execute their sin. Zechariah and the other prophets had by God's appointment "fed" them (Acts 20:28), with the word of God.

Teaching and warning them to escape from coming wrath by repentance: the type of Messiah, the chief Shepherd, who receives the commission of the Father, with whom He is one (Zech. 11:4). And Himself says (Zech. 11:7), "I will feed the flock of slaughter."

Zechariah did not live to "feed" literally the "flock of slaughter". Messiah alone "fed" those who, because of their rejection of Him, were condemned to slaughter. Jehovah Messiah is the speaker. It is He who threatens to inflict the punishments (Zech. 11:6, 8).

The typical breaking of the staff, performed in vision by Zechariah (Zech. 11:10), is fulfilled in His breaking the covenant with Judah. It is He who was sold for thirty pieces of silver (Zech. 11:12-13).

Zechariah is told by God in this Scripture to do the job of those who had misused their authority.

As a manifestation of God's mercy, an effort is made to save them. The prophet, representing the Lord as the true Shepherd of Israel, is commanded to feed them, and he, in obedience to the command, takes upon himself the office of the shepherd and endeavors to rescue them from the wicked shepherds who are leading them to certain destruction.

The obstinacy of the majority of those whom he seeks to save, compels him to give up the office and leave the flock to their utter misery and ruin.

The Lord God said that His people were to be treated like sheep fattened for the slaughter, whose shepherds have no pity, but are only interested in money for the meat. But because they would not take heed or listen, God will serve up His sheep for slaughter without pity.

Zechariah 11:5 "Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed [be] the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not."

Not the Romans after Christ came, into whose hands they were delivered, and by whom they were slain in great numbers, not accounting it any sin to put them to death. But the priests, Scribes, Pharisees, and doctors, among the Jews, who ruined and destroyed their souls, by feeding them with poisonous doctrines.

Teaching them the commandments of men, and to observe the traditions of the elders. And to seek for life and salvation by the works of the law, which was a ministration of condemnation and death to them. And yet thought they did God and the souls of men good service.

"And they that sell them": As false teachers make merchandise of the souls of men.

"Say, Blessed be the Lord; for I am rich": Having devoured widows' houses and substances, under a pretense of long prayers. And enriched themselves through tithes of everything, and by other methods; as the Scribes and Pharisees did.

"And their own shepherds pity them not": Those who should have been concerned for the welfare of their souls had no compassion on them. Aben Ezra, Kimchi, and Ben Melech, interpret this of God, the Shepherd of Israel. The verb being singular, though the noun is plural. So God is called Makers, Creators (Psalm 149:2), and in this sense agree with the words (in verse 6).

The fifth verse illustrates the truth of the designation in the fourth verse. They may indeed, be described as sheep of slaughter, for "their possessors, meaning buyers, slay or strangle them, and hold themselves not guilty. And they that sell them say, Blessed by Jehovah, "for I am rich."

The buyers and sellers are those into whose hands the nation is delivered and who do with them as they please, namely, the Gentile powers. They are represented as thinking themselves "not guilty" in all their cruel actions in relation to the Jewish people.

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray: all that found them have devoured them. And their adversaries say we offend not, because they have sinned against Jehovah, the habitation of justice, Jehovah, the hope of their fathers.

Zechariah 11:6 "For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver [them]."

"For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the Lord": Or spare them; but cause his wrath to come upon them to the uttermost. As it did at the time of Jerusalem's destruction by the Romans.

"But, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor's hand": This seems to refer to the factions and divisions among themselves during the siege of Jerusalem, when multitudes fell into the hands of the zealots, and heads of parties, and perished by them.

"And into the hand of his king": Vespasian the Roman emperor. The Jews having declared, long before this time, that they had no king but Caesar (John 19:15), and now into his hands they were delivered up.

"And they shall smite the land": That is, the Romans shall lay waste the land of Judea.

"And out of their hand I will not deliver them": As formerly out of the hands of their neighbors, the Philistines, Ammonites, etc. and out of the captivity of Babylon. It denotes that their destruction would be an utter one; nor have they been delivered yet, though it has been almost 2000 years since.

"But, lo": This is God's way of calling attention to something great which He is going to do either with nations or individuals. In the solemn and awful words which follow that phrase, describes in advance the confusion, strife, hatred, and mutual destruction, which followed soon after the rejection of our Lord Jesus, their true Messiah and Shepherd. The detailed accounts which can be read in Josephus and even in the Talmud.

Hand of the king: This phrase must be understood as referring to the king of Judah's own choosing, that of a foreign oppressor and not of a native ruler.

With God's pity and protection withdrawn, they will be given over to their Roman "neighbors" and to their "King" Caesar who will ultimately lead them to their destruction (in A.D. 70), by the Roman army led by General Titus.

The First Jewish Roman War was fought between (67 and 70 A.D.). The campaign came to a brief halt with the death of Emperor Nero (on June 9, 68), launching his father's bid for the imperial power during the Year of the Four Emperors.

When his father, Vespasian, was declared emperor (on December 21, 69), Titus was left in charge of ending the Jewish rebellion, which he did in 70 A.D., successfully besieging and destroying the city and the Temple of Jerusalem. Over one million Jews were slaughtered in that assault, and almost half a million in subsequent Roman attacks in Palestine.

Titus (December 30, 39 - September 13, 81), was also a Roman Emperor who briefly reigned from 79 until his death in 81.

In the solemn words of the sixth verse, we have a foretaste of what would take place after the rejection of the good shepherd, and the care and protection of God over His people would be withdrawn.

Verses 7-14: Here is a record of Zechariah playing a dramatic role to act out the rejection of Christ that will lead to the judgment of Israel outlined (in verses 1-3).

Zechariah 11:7 "And I will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock."

"I will feed the flock": The prophet did feed the truth of God to his people as a picture of what Messiah would do when He came.

"Poor of the flock": Only the poor responded when Jesus came to feed the flock (Matt. 11:5; 1 Cor. 1:26). They were the lowly who would not follow the pride of the priest, scribes, and Pharisees, but believed on Jesus.

"Beauty ... bands": The prophet's symbolic act called for him to take "two staffs." Eastern shepherds often carried two sticks, a rod to ward off wild beasts and a staff to guide and retrieve wayward sheep (Psalm 23:4).

The staff speaks of Christ the Good Shepherd who expressed the love and grace of God by tenderly leading and protecting His people (Mark 6:34). While the rod speaks of His unifying ministry, binding together the scattered house of Israel into one fold (verse 14; Matt. 15:24).

The original shepherd took "two staves:" one to protect the sheep from wild beasts, and the other to assist the sheep in difficult and dangerous places. The names "Beauty" and Bands" symbolize God's favor on the reunited Israel and Judah.

We proceed to what may be said to constitute the heart of the remarkable prophecy. Namely the actual feeding or shepherding of the flock, which, through their own obstinacy, became the flock of slaughter.

Beauty had reference, as we see (from verse 10), to the grace and loving kindness of God in keeping off their enemies from destroying them.

Bands (as we see from the 14th verse), that part of the Shepherd's rule by which the sheep were kept united among themselves as one flock.

And so, because they were so equipped, He says again at the end of the seventh verse, "I fed the flock".

Zechariah 11:8 "Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me."

"Three shepherds also I cut off": Though difficult to identify, one of the oldest interpretations is that this refers to the priests, elders and scribes of Israel.

Jesus bestowed grace and unity upon the populace, but confronted the hypocrisy of these religious leaders, and because they rejected Him all 3 offices were obliterated in a short time.

God ended the traditional offices of the mediators and in their place brought a new priesthood of believers (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 1:6; 5:10; 20:6).

"My soul loathed them": Literally it means "My soul was short with them," referring to the limits of God's patience toward the unrepentant.

Commentators generally view the cutting off of the three shepherds "as an act of God's loving kindness toward the sheep of His pasture," and as part of the beneficent care of the Good Shepherd for the flock.

So it might have been, if delivered from their false shepherds, the people as a whole had turned to Him. Who was sent to them of God to seek and to save, and Who in His one person combined the offices of Prophet, Priest, and King.

But as not only the leaders, both civil and religious, but the people in general, took up more and more an attitude of opposition and hostility toward Him, the "cutting off" of the three "shepherds." Or the abolition of the three mediatorial offices, which is the outward sign of the suspension of God's covenant relationship with them, must certainly be regarded also as an act of judgment on the nation as a whole.

1 Peter 2:5 "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ."

1 Peter 2:9 "But ye [are] a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should show forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light":

My Soul loathed them: means "My soul was short with them," referring to the limits of God's patience toward the unrepentant.

Zechariah 11:9 "Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another."

"Eat every one the flesh of another" (see note on 7:13). In this drama, Zechariah played the unnatural role of a shepherd who abandons his sheep and stops teaching and protecting them.

Those who refused to believe were to be given over to pursue their own desires and left exposed to deadly enemies. In the roman siege (of A.D. 70), some of the starving inhabitants did resort to cannibalism (Jer. 19:9).

(In Chapter 7), God said that He would not listen, reflecting a severe form of God's wrath by which He abandons disobedient sinners.

These things became terribly and literally true when, after the rejection of the "Good Shepherd", the terrible calamites of war, famine, pestilence, internal strife, and mutual destruction overtook the poor deluded people.

Zechariah 11:10 "And I took my staff, [even] Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people."

"Break my covenant": Apparently this refers to God's promise to restrain the nations from decimating Israel if she would consistently obey (Deut. 28:1-14). God set aside His kind and gracious protection and His providential care for His people, allowing Rome to invade and destroy Israel (Luke 19:41-44; 21:24).

Zechariah 11:11 "And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD."

The believing remnant of Christ's day knew God's Word was being fulfilled. They knew judgment was coming, but avoided the long-term consequences by faith in Christ.

This staff called Beauty (or pleasantness or favor), was the symbol of God's protection over them in keeping off the nations from attacking them from without. When Israel was in God's favor and under His gracious protection, then he caused even their enemies to be at peace with them.

When the Gentile nations gathered against them to devour, the Shepherd of Israel soon broke the arm of their strength and prevented them from doing harm to His people. But when He ceased to be their defense, then they became a ready prey to the Gentile world powers, which are well symbolized in the bible as "Wild Beasts".

The manifest proof that the covenant which the Shepherd of Israel had made with the nations on Israel's behalf was broken, served as a demonstration to the poor of the flock that which had been foretold was indeed the Word of God.

Zechariah 11:12 "And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver."

"Thirty pieces of silver," According to (Exodus 21:32), was the price paid to the master whose slave had been gored by an ox. A sound slave was considered to be worth twice that amount. This insult would ultimately be ascribed to the Messiah Himself (Matt. 27:9-10). This is the supreme insult, the Messiah, God's Son, worth only the price of an incapacitated, gored slave!

Zechariah carried on the drama by symbolically picturing Jesus asking those He came to shepherd what they felt He was worth to them. In a mocking response, the leaders offered 30 silver pieces which was the amount of compensation paid for a slave gored by an ox.

This is exactly what Judas Iscariot was paid to betray the Great Shepherd (Matt. 26:14-16). The Jews of Jesus' day who offered that amount were saying He was worth no more than a common slave.

Zechariah 11:13 "And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."

The prophet received further instruction in acting out the drama that pictures the rejection of Christ, namely to throw the 30 pieces into the temple. This was fulfilled when Judas Iscariot, laden with guilt, went back and threw the blood money on the temple floor. The priests gathered the money and used it to buy a field from a potter (Matt. 27:3-10).

"Goodly price": This ultimate sarcasm from God greeted the ultimate insult from humanity.

Zechariah 11:14 "Then I cut asunder mine other staff, [even] Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel."

The breaking of the first staff (verse 10), preceded the Jew's rejection of the Shepherd, while the breaking of this rod once symbolizing the nation's unity (verse 7), followed His rejection, being fulfilled in the Roman breakup of the Jewish commonwealth.

Josephus recorded that in the Roman conquering, the internal dissension among the people in their conflicting parties set Jew against Jew so that they struck each other as cruelly as the Romans struck them.

The retention of this second staff for some time after the first had been broken is probably meant to indicate His reluctance to give up the flock which had been so dear to Him by His waiting until the very end to be gracious to them.

God has broken His relationship with those who have rejected Jesus.

Romans 9:6 "Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they [are] not all Israel, which are of Israel:"

God had not broken His covenant with Abraham. He just will not keep covenant with them, because of blood lines. He recognizes Abraham's seed, now, as those who accepted His Son.

Galatians 3:29 "And if ye [be] Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise."

Verses 15-16: With the removal of the true Shepherd, the drama called for the prophet to play a foolish shepherd, who depicted the Antichrist of Daniel's 70th week (2 Thess. 2:3; John 5:43; Dan. 9:27).

Zechariah 11:15-16 "And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd." "For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, [which] shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces."

With the removal of the true Shepherd, the drama called for the prophet to play a foolish shepherd, who depicted the Antichrist of Daniel's 70 th week.

Zechariah's prophecy jumped from the first century A.D. to the last days before the second coming, omitting the present mystery of the church age (see notes on 9:9-15).

This foolish (wicked), shepherd had a broken staff or club which he used to beat stubborn sheep into submission, something clearly inappropriate for a shepherd who thoughtfully and tenderly cared for this sheep.

God permitted this wicked shepherd to arise, to destroy the sheep. Because they did not choose the Good Shepherd, Israel will receive a foolish one who will do absolutely the opposite of what is expected for shepherds; he will destroy the sheep (verse 16). This is exactly what the Antichrist will do. (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15-22).

Zechariah 11:17 "Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword [shall be] upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened."

"His arm ... right eye": Zechariah condemned the worthless shepherd, noting that his strength ("arm"), and his intelligence ("eye"), would be taken away from him (Dan. 7:9-14; 24:27; 8:23-25; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:20; 20:10).

The arm is the emblem of might and the eye of intelligence. These are the two things in which the evil shepherd will sum up in himself, anti-christian world-power will trust, and in which he will boast himself.

The career of this evil shepherd shall be short, and his end will be sudden destruction.

And this shall be the end of him who shall be slain with the breath of messiah's mouth, and be destroyed by the brightness of His appearing.

Zechariah 11 Questions

1. Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy _________.

2. What were the cedars of Lebanon famous for?

3. What is verse 2 speaking of?

4. Why are the shepherds howling?

5. There will be no authority in the _________ anymore.

6. Who is verse 4 telling to feed the sheep?

7. What is verse 5 speaking of?

8. Beauty means _______.

9. Who are the three shepherds, possibly?

10. What does verse 9 speak of?

11. What caused God to break His staff (Beauty)?

12. Who realized this was the Word of the LORD, that Zechariah spoke?

13. What is verse 12 speaking of?

14. Explain the symbolism in the thirty pieces of silver.

15. Why does verse 14 say, He broke the other staff (Bands)?

16. Who are Abraham's seed?

17. Who are some of the possibilities the foolish shepherd could be?

18. Woe to the idol __________ that leaveth the flock!

19. What kind of shepherd is this, then?

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Zechariah 12

Zechariah 12

From Zechariah 12:1 - 14:21, the second and final burden of Zechariah presents the familiar theme of Israel's ultimate deliverance and salvation. In contrast to initial judgment, he now encourages God's covenant people with a description of their restoration and blessing in the millennial kingdom, as true to His character and Zechariah's name, "the Lord remembers".

Zechariah 12:1 "The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him."

Burden" ... for Israel (see note on 9:1). The prophecy described a future siege against the nation, indicating that there would be significant devastation before there was repentance and conversion in Israel (14:1-2).

Stretcheth ... layeth ... formeth": The God who performed the work of creation will ultimately do the work of consummation.

But though it will be a time of unspeakable anguish for Israel, the climax of all their sufferings and tribulations through all the centuries since the commencement of the times of the Gentiles, they shall be saved out of it.

Verses 2-9: "A cup" was a symbol of the wrath of God (Isa. 51:17, 22; Jer. 13:13; 25:15-17, 27-28; 51:7). The expression "in that day" occurs 16 times in the remainder of this prophecy. The phrase is often employed by the prophets to refer to the eschatological era (14:2, 6, 8-9, 13, 20-21 with Joel 3:1).

The events prophesied in this section deal largely with the ultimate consummation of Israel's history and are, therefore, most important.

Zechariah 12:2 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem."

"Cup of trembling": Jerusalem is pictured as a large basin from which the nations will figuratively drink with eagerness only to find themselves becoming intoxicated, disoriented, and thus easy prey for divine judgment at the end of Daniel's 70th week in the battle of Armageddon when nations gather to attack Jerusalem (Ezek. 38:1-6,14-16; Dan. 11:40-44; Rev. 9:13-16; 14:20; 16:12-16).

Jerusalem will be protected of Almighty God. The heathen nations that come against Jerusalem are fighting against God. The heathen nations will fear Jerusalem, because they actually fear Jerusalem's God.

Zechariah 12:3 "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it."

"Shall be cut in pieces": Like lifting a heavy weight, Jerusalem will "seriously injure" (literally), any people that try to gain victory over it. This is due to divine intervention (verses 4-5).

This is speaking of the great armies of the heathen who come against God's people and Jerusalem in particular. They will gather around to destroy, and will be destroyed themselves by God. It will appear the whole world is against them, but God's people will win the victory. Their battle is fought by God against those who oppose His people.

Zechariah 12:4 "In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness."

Horses, ancient symbols of strength, emphasize God's superior power over Israel's enemies. Confusion, madness, and blindness are noted as curses on Israel (in Deut. 28:28); here they are promised to Israel's enemies.

This supernatural act against the forces of evil will be maddening. They will not know where to run, or who to fight. They will in fact, begin fighting each other.

"I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah" will be a look of love and pity, not unmixed with tender reproach. This will have somewhat the same effect on stubborn Israel as the look that was given to Peter by Jesus in the hall of Caiaphas the High Priest after Peter had denied Him three times. It will at last soften and melt their hard hearts to true repentance, and cause them to weep bitterly.

Zechariah 12:5 "And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem [shall be] my strength in the LORD of hosts their God."

Knowing that God had chosen Jerusalem as the city of His special affection will give confidence to the "clan" (leaders), all over the land (Psalm 46:5). This verse has overtones indicating the saving faith of the Jews in that day, since they are claiming to have trust in God.

Suddenly, the governors of Judah realize that God is fighting for them. This is supernatural protection from God on His people. When they see these enemies being confused and killing each other, they will know that the God of Jerusalem is their very present help.

The governors or princes of Judah realize that the inhabitants of Jerusalem are strong through Jehovah their God, through the fact that Jehovah has chosen Jerusalem and by virtue of this election will save the city of His Sanctuary. It is the fact that Jehovah hath chosen Jerusalem, and has returned to her with mercies, which makes the princes of Judah confident in her invincibility.

Zechariah 12:6 "In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem."

Two similes describe the operation of God's power: a "firepot" used to carry hot coals to start a wood fire and a "torch" used to light dry grain. Thus, will the power of God devour the armies that attack Israel in the latter days.

That this great deliverance will be all of grace and by the power of God is brought out in the verse that follow:

Zechariah 12:7 "The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves] against Judah."

"Judah first": God will first deliver the defenseless country people before the well-fortified capital, demonstrating that the battle was not won by military might or strategy.

We see in this, that no one will have any way to brag about this victory over another. It is God that fights for His people, and destroys their enemies. The tents of Judah will be nearer the battle, but they do not have to fight. God fights for them.

Zechariah 12:8 "In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them."

The Lord will make the feeble like David, the greatest soldier in Israel's history (1 Sam. 18:7). And the "house of David," like the "angel of the Lord," are most likely references to the Messiah Himself, who will be the strength of His people.

Not only shall Jehovah Himself go forth and fight against those nations, but when once the weak and broken remnant of the people recognize their Divine Savior and hears the shout of the King in their midst, they are suddenly filled with superhuman strength.

The feeblest of them, he that stumbleth or the one so weak that he could not stand much less fight, shall in the day be as David when he fought Goliath.

I Samuel 17:45 "Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied." David's strength, and theirs, was actually the strength of the Lord in them.

1 Corinthians 1:25 "Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men."

Zechariah 12:9 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem."

(See note on 12:2 for important cross references).

This is possibly, speaking of the time when the armies of many nations come against Jerusalem in the battle of Armageddon. God, Himself, destroys these nations.

The expression "seek to do" is always used in the bible "of seeking to do what it is a person's set purpose to do if he can." Man may seek to do a thing and fail, but "woe indeed to those who Almighty God shall seek to destroy". For that on which His Heart is once set He will surely accomplish, whether it be in blessing on His people or in vengeance on His enemies.

Verses 12:10 - 13:1: John applies (verse 10), to the smitten Christ (John 19:37). These verses contrast Israel's treatment of the Messiah at His first advent, when He was rejected and slain, and their treatment of Him at His second advent, when He will be received and exalted.

Zechariah 12:10 "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn."

"I will pour": God, in His own perfect time and by His own power, will sovereignly act to save Israel. This was prophesied by other prophets (Ezek. 39:29; Joel 2:28-32), and by the Apostle Paul (Rom. 11:25-27).

"Spirit of grace and of supplications": The Holy Spirit is so identified because He brings saving grace and because that grace produces sorrow that will result in repentant prayer to God for forgiveness (Matt. 5:4; Heb. 10:29).

"Look upon me whom they have pierced": Israel's repentance will come because they look to Jesus, the One whom they rejected and crucified (Isa. 53:5; John 19:37), in faith at the Second Advent (Rom. 11:25-27). When God says they pierced "Me," He is certainly affirming the incarnation of deity, Jesus was God (see note on John 10:30).

This will be the same effect to the Jews as it was to Saul of Tarsus when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus whose experience and history are in many ways of a foreshadow of the history of his people in relation to Christ.

Zechariah 12:11 "In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon."

"Hadadrimmon ... Megiddo": The bitter mourning of that day is likened to the death of righteous king Josiah at Hadadrimmon in the Megiddo plain (2 Chron. 35:20-24), located northwest of Jerusalem.

His death was the greatest sorrow which had till then befallen Judah, inasmuch as he was "the last hope of the declining Jewish Kingdom, and in his death the last gleam of the sunset of Judah faded into night.

It compares that to the mourning that went on in Jerusalem over the crucifixion of Christ. All Christians will remember that forever. The sad thing is the fact, that those who asked for His crucifixion will never forget it either. Their mourning over their sins is great. They crucified the Lord of all the earth.

Verses 12-14: The royal (David and his son Nathan), and priestly (Levi and his grandson Shimei), lines, which in the past had set an evil example, were foremost in their contrition and mourning (Num. 3:17-21; 2 Sam. 5:14). It is possible that (Isaiah 53:1-9), comprises the content of their confession.

This mourning and deep penitence is not some corporate emotion, but each person individually is brought to sorrow and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (see note on Rev. 11:13).

Zechariah 12:12 "And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;"

"And the land shall mourn": That is, the inhabitants of it. Not only Jerusalem, but the land of Judea, and the people in it everywhere. In the Talmud it is said, this is the mourning of the Messiah, that is, on his account.

"Every family apart": Though the mourning will be general and public, yet it will be not in a body of the whole people together, but separate and distinct.

"The family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart": The men by themselves, and the women by themselves, which is according to the custom of the Jews in public worship. Those that belong to the family of David shall mourn because of the Jews' long rejection of the King Messiah, Jesus the son of David, the Savior, whom God raised up of his seed.

Not of Nathan the son of David, the brother of Solomon, as some think; for, as Aben Ezra observes, he and his family are comprehended in the family of David.

But of Nathan the prophet, who will mourn because the Jews have so much slighted Jesus the great Prophet, the Lord raised up in Israel, his doctrines and ordinances.

The mourning spoken of in these last 3 scriptures will pervade every family from the royal and the priestly lines to the lowest of families.

Zechariah 12:13 "The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;"

"The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart": Because of the contempt of the priestly office of Christ, which theirs prefigured, and was abolished by him; because of their trampling upon his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice.

"The family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart": The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions read "the family of Simeon"; mentioned together with Levi, as brethren in iniquity, and now mourn for the common concern they had in the crucifixion of Christ, and their refusal of him.

The two aristocratic and privileged lines, the ruler and the priests, who in times past often set an evil example to the whole nation, will now be foremost in their self contrition and mourning over the great national sin. Their example for good will now also be followed by all the rest of the people.

Zechariah 12:14 "All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart."

"All the families that remain": That will be in being in those times.

"Every family apart, and their wives apart": For the whole nation shall be born at once, and converted, and all Israel shall be saved (Isa. 66:8).

Not only are families spoken of as mourning apart from families, but individuals compelled by the deep sorrow which shall overwhelm them shall weep apart by themselves.

Even husbands shall mourn apart from their wives and wives apart from their husbands because each individual will be overwhelmed with their own individual share in the guilt of having slain their Messiah.

As it is with the individual Jew, so it is with the individual Gentile. We all share in the guilt of Christ's crucifixion because of our common sin, so also may all have their share in the salvation which comes through a penitent look of faith on Him whom we have pierced.

Zechariah 12 Questions

1. Who will protect Jerusalem?

2. What causes their enemies to tremble?

3. Who is verse 3 speaking of?

4. What supernatural thing is done, in verse 4, to confuse them?

5. What does it cause them to do?

6. What does the governor of Judah suddenly realize?

7. The gates of ____ shall not prevail against the church (Zion).

8. The LORD of hosts shall save the tents of ___________ first.

9. He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as __________.

10. What is this speaking of?

11. The foolishness of God is _________ than men.

12. What is verse 10 speaking of?

13. What was the mourning of Hadadrimmon for?

14. What are all the people mourning for?

15. How high in government does the mourning go?

16. Why is the priestly family mourning?

17. Who is really responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus?

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Zechariah 13

Zechariah 13

The prophet depicts in the last six verses (of chapter 12), of the great national repentance and sorrow of Israel over Him "whom they have pierced," as the result of the pouring out upon them of the spirit of grace and supplication.

Here we see how that same blessed Spirit, who shall have wrought in them this godly penitential sorrow on account of their great national sin, shall bring them into the experience of forgiveness, and open their eyes to the provision God has made for their justification and cleansing.

Zechariah 13:1 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness."

"House of David ... inhabitants of Jerusalem": The totality of cleansing is noted by its effect on both royalty and commoners.

"A fountain ... for sin and for uncleanness": A symbolic reference to the means of cleansing and purification through the atoning death of the pierced One (1 John 1:7). This had direct reference to the New Covenant of (Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 36:25-32; Rom. 11:26-29).

So the storm that broke upon Israel for the crime of Calvary and has raged with unmitigated fury for long, tragic centuries; will suddenly end and salvation will turn sin into righteousness in the gladness and glory of the kingdom of Messiah Jesus.

"In that day", is the great day of Israel's national atonement when the iniquity of that land shall be removed in one day when the whole nation shall as it were, "to be born at once".

Suddenly the storm that came upon Israel for so many long tragic centuries for the crime of Calvary will end and salvation will turn sin into righteousness in the glory of the kingdom of the Messiah Jesus.

The fountain will be opened to the nation because "then the eyes of the blind shall be opened". For the first time to behold the Lamb of God, and to perceive the atoning value and efficacy of the offering which He once made for the sins of many.

Chapter 12:10b: "and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn."

The fountain is introduced as a means of purification from sin and moral uncleanness which is for the whole nation. This is not for bodily or ceremonial uncleanness but for purification from the guilt and the moral defilement of sin of which bodily uncleanness is often used in the Bible as a figure.

In Ezekiel 36:25 we read: "Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols."

Verses 2-6: When Christ returns and cleanses Israel from her defilement, He is also going to cleanse the nation from the deception of false prophets and their demonic religion.

Zechariah 13:2 "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, [that] I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land."

"Unclean spirit": The agents of idolatry are false prophets, but the spiritual power behind it is demonic. The wicked spirits who energize false prophets are unclean because they hate God and holiness and drive their victims into moral impurities and false religion (Deut. 32:17; 1 Kings 22:19:23; Psalm 106:34-39; 1 Cor. 10:20).

The agents of idolatry are false prophets, but the spiritual power behind it is demonic. The wicked spirits who energize false prophets are unclean because they hate God and holiness and drive their victims into moral impurities and false religion.

This scripture can be taken literally so we will concentrate on the phrase "In that day".

The range of the prophetic vision in the last six chapters of Zechariah does not end in the near immediate future but finds its goal in the time of the end. This is when the great sins of idolatry and false prophecy shall reach their climax with the worship of the beast and his image, and in the "unclean spirits" which shall go forth upon the earth to deceive the anti-Christian nations.

Zechariah 13:3 "And it shall come to pass, [that] when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth."

Because of the salvation of God which has cleansed God's people and made them love Him and His truth, hatred of false prophecy will overrule normal human feeling, causing even a father and mother to put their own apostate child to death (Deut. 13:6-9; 12-15; Deut. 18:18-22).

This is a stern reminder of how God feels about and will eventually treat those preachers who misrepresent the truth.

Even if it should be their own son who should presumptuously "prophesy", either to entice them from their allegiance to Jehovah or to spread error in His Name, his own parents will not spare or pity him. But his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through (pierced).

Zeal for Jehovah and His law will be so strong as to overmaster even parental affection; the people themselves would stop short at nothing in order utterly to exterminate the evil, should it be possible once again to assert itself.

Verses 4-5: "A rough garment": Because of these stern measures, false prophets will cease wearing the traditional clothing of a prophet (2 Kings 1:8; Matt. 3:4). They will adopt a clandestine approach to propagating their demon inspired lies (Jer. 22:22; Mica 3:7), and lie if they are asked whether they are prophets, claiming to be farmers.

Zechariah 13:4 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:"

He shall be ashamed of the doctrines he has delivered, they will appear to all men so ridiculous and absurd. As the doctrines of merit, and the works of supererogation (the performance of more work than duty requires). And purgatory (in Roman Catholic doctrine), a place or state of suffering inhabited by the souls of sinners who are expiating their sins before going to heaven. Of pardons (the action of forgiving or being forgiven for an error or offense). Penance (voluntary self-punishment inflicted as an outward expression of repentance for having done wrong), etc.

"Neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive": Or, "a hairy garment"; such as the first and ancient inhabitants of the earth wore, who used the skins of beasts for covering, as Diodorus Siculus observes.

And Pausanias says of the first natives of Locris, not knowing how to weave and make garments, used to cover their bodies, to preserve them from the cold, with the undressed skins of beasts, turning the hair outward, as more becoming.

And such a hairy garment, or much like it, Elijah wore. Hence, he is called a hairy man (2 Kings 1:8), and John the Baptist, who came in the power and spirit of that prophet, appeared in a like habit, clothed with camel's hair (Matt. 3:4).

And in like manner good men, especially in times of distress and trouble, used to wander about in sheepskins and goatskins (Heb. 11:37), which seem to be the same sort of raiment.

And now, in imitation of such like good men, and true prophets of the Lord, particularly Elijah. The false prophets, as Jarchi and Kimchi observe, in order to deceive the people, and pass for true prophets, put on such rough and hairy garments, as if they were very humble and self-denying men.

Braunius thinks the prophet may have respect to a custom among the idolatrous prophets, who used to clothe themselves with the skins of the sacrifices. And lie on them in their temples, in order to obtain dreams, and be able to foretell future things (of which see Amos 2:8).

But it seems to have respect to the habits of the monks and friars, and of the different orders by which they are distinguished as religious persons, and gain respect and reverence among men. And under the guise of sanctity and devotion, and of a strict and embarrassed life, impose their lies and deceptions upon them. But now will lay their habits aside, as being ashamed of their profession and principles.

The rough garment may have been camel's hair or possibly had been made of un-tanned skins. This had been an outward show in olden days that he was a prophet.

This was not only the outward sign of "the strict course of life and abstinence from worldly pleasures". "The thriftiness alike in food and attire", which marked the true prophets of Jehovah. But also it was the symbol of grief and mourning for the sins of the nation, and the consequent judgments which they were commissioned to announce.

This is speaking of a time, when men will be afraid and ashamed to give a prophecy for fear the people would ridicule them. It also appears, they do not want to be recognized as a prophet, so they cease to wear the prophet's garment.

Zechariah having shown the opposition which would be exhibited by the Jewish nation to the false prophets. Who were the chief cause of Israel's national undoing in the past, is showing why the prophets will be ashamed.

First, by the hypothetical instance of a son who should venture to prophecy falsely, then being slain by his own parents (in verse 3).

Secondly by the general statement the pretended prophets would themselves be ashamed of their evil profession and seek in every way to avert suspicion that they ever had to do with such evil practices with a view to deceive the people. He then proceeds in the next two verses still more fully to illustrate the condition of the time.

Zechariah 13:5 "But he shall say, I [am] no prophet, I [am] a husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth."

"But he shall say, I am no prophet": That he is not of the Romish clergy, (relating to the Roman Catholic Church), or of any of their religious orders, having laid aside his habit.

"I am a husbandman": He shall put on the habit of a husbandman, and work for his bread. For he will not be able to support himself, as before, with the sale of pardons and indulgences, and by praying souls out of purgatory. For no man hereafter will buy of his merchandise (Rev. 18:11).

And he will be ashamed of his former calling and traffic, and will not own that he was ever concerned therein. But will affirm that he was never of the Romish clergy, but always a layman, and employed in husbandry.

"For man taught me to keep cattle from my youth": He will say he was brought up to husbandry, or in some mechanic business, from his youth. And never was in any convent or monastery, or of any religious order. It may be rendered, "for man made me to work from my youth"; and is not to be restrained to keeping cattle, or any particular employment.

Now the false prophet, when accused with exercising the functions of a prophet, utterly denies the charge by stating that he is not at all likely to have performed the functions of a prophet seeing that he is only a simple farmer from his youth.

Zechariah 13:6 "And [one] shall say unto him, What [are] these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, [Those] with which I was wounded [in] the house of my friends."

"Wounds in thine hands": The phrase cannot refer to Messiah, but is a continuation of the false prophet's behavior (in verses 4-5). When the false prophet denies any association with pagan practices, others will challenge him to explain the suspicious wounds on his body.

False prophets would cut themselves to arouse prophetic ecstasy in idolatrous rites (Lev. 19:28; Deut. 14:1; 1 King 18:28; Jer. 16:6; 48:37), but they will claim the scars represent some attack they suffered from friends. When the false prophet denies any association with pagan practices, others will challenge him to explain the suspicious wounds on his body.

Such rites were sometimes observed even where Jehovah was acknowledged to be the highest object of adoration.

In the idolatrous court of Ahab there were hundreds of false prophets whose established custom was prophesying in the Name of Jehovah. Yet at the same court priests and prophets of Baal cut themselves with knives and lancets until blood gushed out upon them, in order to procure answers from the god."

Verses 13:7-9: Zechariah turned from the false prophets wounded in "friends" houses to the true prophet wounded in the house of His friends, Israel. He compressed events of both the First (13:7), and Second (13:8-9), Advents into this brief section. It spoke of Christ's crucifixion (verse 7), and the Jewish remnant at His second coming (verses 8-9).

Zechariah 13:7 "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones."

The "sword" is the symbol of judicial power (Rom. 13:4), and indicates the power that God has entrusted to human government.

"My shepherd" is a reference to Jesus, the Messiah. He is the true Shepherd, unlike the false shepherds on who God's wrath fell (11:8). In (11:17), it was the worthless shepherd who was to be struck; now it is the Good Shepherd (12:10), whose death was designed by God from before the foundation of the world (Isa. 53:10; Acts 2:23; 1 Peter 18:20).

"Sheep ... scattered" (see notes on Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27), where Jesus applies this prophecy to the disciples who defected from Him after His arrest (Matt. 26:56; Mark 14:50), including Peter's denial (Matt. 26:33-35; 69-75).

"The little ones": The same as the "afflicted of the flock" (11:7). The reference is to the remnant of believers, among the Jews, who were faithful to the Messiah after His crucifixion.

Turning God's hand "against" them could mean they would suffer persecution, which they did (John 18:18, 20; 16:2; James 1:1), or it could be translated "upon" and refer to God's protection of the faithful.

The Shepherd of Jehovah, whom the sword is to smite, is no other than the Messiah, who is also identified with Jehovah (in chapter 10:10). Or the Good Shepherd, who says of Himself, "I and My Father are One" (John 10:30).

The term "my fellow" means "my nearest one" implies much more than mere appointment to this office. God is speaking of the True Shepherd, that mighty Man who is His intimate associate, thus He identified Christ as His co-equal, affirming the deity of Christ.

"Smite the Shepherd" took place at Calvary at Christ's crucifixion. The immediate smiting of the Shepherd caused the sheep to be scattered. The flock that was scattered is not the human race nor the Christian Church as some would have us think, but it is the Jewish nation.

Those people which the Good Shepherd was appointed to feed, (according to chapter 11 verses 1-14), but who because of their willful adamancy, (meaning resoluteness by virtue of being unyielding and inflexible), are designated "sheep of slaughter".

"The little ones": The same as the "poor of the flock" (in chapter 11:7). The reference is to the remnant of believers, among the Jews, who were faithful to the Messiah after His crucifixion. Turning God's hand "against" them could mean they would suffer persecution, which they did, or it could be translated "upon" and refer to God's protection of the faithful.

Zechariah 13:8 "And it shall come to pass, [that] in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off [and] die; but the third shall be left therein."

"Two parts ... third": Only a portion of the people of Israel will remain faithful to Christ and be alive in the end. The spiritual survivors will be the remnant who look upon Christ in repentance at His return (12:10 - 13:1). Which will include those who make up the 144,000 (Rev. 7:4).

The third will be the sheep of the sheep-goat judgment after Christ's return who enter the kingdom alive (Isa. 35:10; Jer. 30:11; Matt. 25:31-46).

"Two parts ... one part": Only a portion of the people of Israel will remain faithful to Christ and be alive in the end. The spiritual survivors will be the remnant who looks upon Christ in repentance at His return. These will be the sheep of the sheep-goat judgment after Christ's return that enters the kingdom alive.

The sad part of this is the fact that the two parts are speaking of the ones who do not accept Jesus as their Savior. The third would be speaking of those who are not depending on their birthright to save them. They could be Jew or Gentile who accept Jesus as their Savior.

Zechariah 13:9 "And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God."

"They shall say": From the midst of their fiery refinement, the elect remnant of Israel will see Jesus Christ, their messiah and call on Him as their Savior and Lord. Israel will thus be saved and restored to covenant relationship with the Lord.

The "refining" and "trying," or "testing" of even "the third part" or little remnant refers to the remnant in the land at the time of the very end, immediately before their final glorious deliverance. God will refine them as silver is refined and will try them as gold is tried and shall purge and purify them that they may offer unto Jehovah offerings in righteousness.

From the midst of this fiery furnace of tribulation "they shall call on My Name and I will hear them. The covenant relationship between God and His people, so long interrupted though never broken, is restored again.

The national vow of Israel by which they had made a vow to Jehovah to be their God, to walk in His ways, and ever to hearken to His voice, is now renewed, never to be broken again.

Zechariah 13 Questions

1. What is the day spoken of in verse 1?

2. What is the fountain, in verse 1, really?

3. What does God do away with, besides the idols?

4. What is the unclean spirit?

5. What do parents do to false prophets?

6. Why did the prophets wear a rough garment?

7. What is verse 5 speaking of?

8. Who is verse 6 speaking of?

9. ________ is the good Shepherd.

10. When was it planned that Jesus would be the substitute for our sins?

11. Who are the two parts speaking of in verse 8?

12. I will bring the third part through the _______.

13. "Silver" symbolizes ___________.

14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the ______ of God.

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Zechariah 14

Zechariah 14

It seems from Scripture that in relation to Israel and the land there will be a restoration, before the second Advent of our Lord. But that restoration will be of very much the same state of things as those which existed at the time of His First Advent. When the threats of God's dealing with them nationally were finally dropped, not to be taken up again "until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled.

Chapter 14 is an amplification of (13:8-9). Prior to Israel's national conversion (seen in chapters 12:10-13:1), the Jews will make a pact with a false messiah known as the foolish shepherd or Antichrist. In the middle of the seven year covenant, Antichrist will break his treaty with Israel and require the worship of him alone (Dan. 9:24-27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3-4).

When Israel refuses, the armies of the world will gather to do battle. Climaxing in a great siege of Jerusalem and the Battle of Armageddon (Rev. 19:11-16), will come the full restoration of Israel as anticipated (in Hos. 14:4-7, Joel 3:18-21, Amos 9:13-15, Mic. 4:1-3 and Zeph. 3:14-20).

Zechariah 14:1 "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee."

A day of the Lord cometh: (The "Day of the Lord)" is a technical term for God's wrath unleashed against sinners. Here, Zechariah is looking at the Day of the Lord when His wrath is unleashed against the whole world of sinners, which results in the establishment of the Lord's millennial reign on earth.

(See note on Isa. 2:12 and introduction to Joel).

"Spoil ... divided in the midst of thee": Jerusalem will be so overcome by the enemy that the spoil will be leisurely divided in the midst of the city, illustrating how completely Jerusalem will be overthrown. This atrocity then triggers the wrath of God against the world in "the Day of the Lord".

Israel's enemies march in triumph through the land and they easily tread down all opposition. And then the enemy in overwhelming force and irresistible fury attacks Jerusalem, which is soon at his mercy.

The city is taken, and the "spoil" or booty leisurely "divided in the midst" of her, without any fear on the part of the enemy of interruption or molestation. This illustrates how completely Jerusalem will be overthrown. This atrocity then triggers the wrath of God against the world in the "Day of the Lord".

Zechariah 14:2 "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city."

"I will gather all nations": God Himself will gather the nations, using them to purge, refine, and judge (Rev. 16:13-14, 16). Their presence results in an unprecedented time of national calamity. This is the climax of "the time of Jacob's distress" (Jer. 30:5-7).

As the nations gather against Israel there are many scenes of cruel brutality, lust and horrors, which usually accompany the sack of cities by enraged enemies. In this case, they are only intensified by the accumulated hatred of these confederated hosts against this land and people.

Half of the remaining population in the city is dragged forth into captivity, and there is but a small and wretched remnant left, which probably, in the intention of the enemy, are also devoted to destruction.

Verses 3-4: "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives": To prevent the eradication of His remnant, the Lord will personally intervene to fight against the gathered nations.

Just as He fought for His people in the past, so He will do in the future as the ultimate Warrior-King. Jesus will literally return to the Mt. of Olives, located east of the Kidron Valley, just as the angels announced at His ascension (Acts 1:11).

Zechariah 14:3 "Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle."

"Then shall the Lord go forth": Out of his place in heaven, either in person, or by the display of his power; that is, the Lord Jesus Christ. Whose name is called the Word of God, and is the King of kings, and Lord of lords, described as a mighty warrior (Rev. 19:11).

"And fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle": The Targum adds, "at the Red Sea"; when the Lord fought for Israel against the Egyptians (Exodus 14:25). Afterwards against the Canaanites, when they entered the land of Canaan under Joshua.

Thus Christ shall judge, and make war in righteousness, and overcome those that shall make war with him. And with the sharp sword that goeth out of his mouth shall smite nations, and with a rod of iron rule them, and cause them to tremble with fear (Rev. 14:14; see Ezek. 38:21).

Though it is a day which begins with calamity and judgment to Israel, this will be the day of Jehovah, the day set apart and appointed by Him.

Not only for the display of His majesty and the vindication of the righteousness of His character and way, but it is the day of the manifestation of His Divine might and glory in the destruction of Israel's enemies, and the salvation of His own people.

To prevent the eradication of His remnant, the Lord will personally intervene to fight against the gathered nations. Just as He fought for His people in the past, so He will do in the future as the ultimate Warrior King.

The Jewish Targum and many commentators who regard the reference: "as when he fought in the day of battle" as being the conflict between Jehovah and the Egyptians at the Red Sea."

Verses 4-5: The violent topographical changes predicted here will afford a haven of escape for God's people. It the splitting of the mountain will be caused by an "earthquake," it is interesting to note that a recent geological survey in the area has verified the presence of a prominent fault running "east" to "west" through the southern section of the "Mount of Olives.

Zechariah 14:4 "And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

"The Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst": A valley running east and west will be created as the mountain is pulled northward and southward (Mica 1:2-4; Nahum 1:5; Rev. 16:18-19).

Our Lord returned to heaven from "the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:11-12), and He will return precisely to the same location.

When the feet of Jesus touches the Mount of Olives, there will be a tremendous topographical upheaval, perhaps an earthquake. A phenomenon which is not uncommon when God announces His coming in judgment (Mica 1:2-4; Nahum 1:5; Rev. 16:18-21).

This mountain that has been so clearly defined and located in this prophecy is already associated with many events and crises in Israel's history. It was from this mountain that Ezekiel saw the glory of Jehovah finally taking its departure. (Ezek. 11:23).

It was from this mountain that He, the living personal revelation of the glory of Jehovah, took His departure from the land, after He had been rejected by the nation of Israel.

And it was on the foot of this mountain at the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus shed tears of sorrow over Jerusalem. The mountain which witnessed His agony and bloody sweat as He talked with the Father and asked if "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will" (Matt. 26:39).

It was from this mountain that Jesus ascended and it will be the same place where "Jesus will return in the same manner as he was taken."

Zechariah 14:5 "And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee."

"Azal": It is best understood as a place east of Jerusalem, marking the eastern end of the newly created valley. Though exact identification is unknown, it is possibly the Valley of Jehoshaphat or Valley of Decision (Joel 3:12, 14), which will be for judgment of the nations and for the escape of the half who were not captured (verse 2).

"All the saints with thee": This term could refer to angels, Jewish believers or Gentile Christians together (Rev. 19:14).

This same mountain (in verse 4), shall be split in two from east to west where half of it will move to the north and the other half to the south, thus forming "a very great valley". This is done by an earthquake similar to the one found in the book of Amos more than two centuries before this prophecy and was still fresh in the minds of the people.

"Ye shall flee" (The Hebrew text reads: into My mountains). The lofty precipitous sides of this newly formed chasm or valley and are being called His mountains, because they were formed by an act of His power.

This may, in a sense be regarded as a parallel to the passage through the Red Sea after it was divided by the power of God. And "the waters were a wall unto them on their right hand and on the left."

They flee partly because of the fear of the destroying enemy and the terror inspired by the earthquake, but most of all "for fear of Jehovah and the glory of His majesty, when suddenly and unexpectedly "the Lord my God shall come", in the person of their long rejected Messiah, "and all the holy ones with thee".

This means not only the myriads of His holy angels, but His saints, who are also called holy "ones", and who shall have been caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

Zechariah 14:6-7 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the light shall not be clear, [nor] dark:" "But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light."

As these Jews are fleeing through this newly created valley, the lights in the world will go out (Isa. 13:9-10; 24:23; Joel 2:10; 3:14-16; Matt. 24:29-30; Rev. 6:12-14), and be replaced by the light of Christ's glory (Isa. 60:19-20). Only the Lord knows the fullness of the plan for that day when the lights go out and are lit again in the millennial kingdom (Isa. 30:26; Mal. 4:2).

"In that day", is when Jesus returns to earth the second time with all of His holy ones. That day shall be an extraordinary day beyond the normal course of nature that differs from the natural. This is the day spoken of as "no one knoweth the day nor the hour except the Father."

Joel 3:15 "The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining."

Isa. 24:23 "Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."

Isa.13:9-10 "Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it." "For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine."

Mark 13:24-26 "But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light," "And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken." "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."

It shall not be day, for the natural sources of light will be withdrawn. But it cannot be like the darkness of night, for there will be the light of the glory of the Lord, and the myriads of His holy angels, and of the glorified saints reflected on the earth.

The blessed issues of the solemn events of "that day," as set forth in the first seven verses, are described in the verses that follow.

Zechariah 14:8 "And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be."

The highest elevation of the temple mount in Jerusalem is more than 300 feet lower that the Mt. of Olives, but the topographical alterations described (in verses 4, and 10), will allow the spring to flow toward the Dead Sea (east), and the Mediterranean Sea (west) (see notes on Ezek. 47:1-12).

It will not dry up in summer, as most Palestinian streams do, but will flow all year, making the desert "blossom like the crocus" (Isa. 35:1).

Because of the great earthquake spoken of (in verses 4-5), and other convulsions of nature which are immediately to precede and accompany the visible appearing of the Messiah, when His feet shall stand in the day upon the Mount of Olives. Great physical changes will take place in Palestine and the whole land, but particularly the position of Jerusalem will be greatly altered and transformed.

A stream of water flows up from underneath the temple (Joel 3:18), going East to the Jordan, then curving South through the Dead Sea area. Its origin coincides with Christ's Second Advent arrival on the Mount of Olives, which will trigger a massive earthquake. Thus creating a vast East to West valley running through Jerusalem and allowing for the water flow (see Ezekiel 47:1-12).

The former sea is the Dead Sea which shall then be healed by the streams of fresh or living water which will flow through it. The hinder sea is the Mediterranean Sea. These waters will never run dry as the streams in the south are apt to do now. Neither summer drought shall lessen them nor winter cold bind them, but they shall ceaselessly flow in both summer and winter.

To these perennial waters flowing from the "river of God" (see Psalm 46:4), primarily so called because it is formed as it were, by a direct act of His power.

There are many references in the prophetic Scriptures regarding this.

Isa. 30:25-26 "And there shall be upon every high mountain, and upon every high hill, rivers [and] streams of waters in the day of the great slaughter, when the towers fall." "Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven days, in the day that the LORD bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.

Joel speaks of the time when Jehovah shall manifestly dwell in Zion, and "Jerusalem shall be holy," into which nothing that defileth shall enter, says:

Joel 3:18 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

(In Numbers 25:1), Shittim was the last encampment of the Israelites before crossing the Jordan into Canaan, the barren valley of the Jordan above the Dead Sea. Shittim means acacias, which grow only in arid regions, and the words of the prophecy imply that even the arid desert shall be fertilized by the waters issuing from this fountain.

The Psalmist beholds in vision: Psalm 46:4: "There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy [place] of the tabernacles of the most High."

Jerusalem during the millennial period shall emerge from the catastrophe described in the first verses, when the earth shall "be removed", or "changed," and the "mountains shaken into the heart of the seas, and the waters roar and be troubled.

The allusion in all these scriptures, which speak of the river of living waters dividing themselves into streams flowing in different directions, is probably (Genesis 2:10), which reads:

"And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads." Which are: Pison is in the land of Havilah; Gihon is in the land of Ethiopia; Hiddekel is it which goeth toward the east of Assyria and the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Since for beauty and fertility, and as the earthly center of God's dwelling and worship, point to, as it were, to the garden of Eden. There is again the River, the streams whereof make glad the city of God, and flowing thence fertilize other parts of the earth.

Consider for a moment this "river of God". Its source is God Himself.

Isaiah 33:21 "But there the glorious LORD [will be] unto us a place of broad rivers [and] streams; wherein shall go no galley with oars, neither shall gallant ship pass thereby."

And John puts it this way in Revelation.

Rev. 22:1 "And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb."

Yes, and of the Lamb, for though God is the Source, the Eternal Fountain of this pure Water of Life, the Lamb slain is the channel through which it flows.

As the "living water" is abundant in quantity, so also is the healing life giving of the living waters wonderful. The very desert shall be transformed by them, and the stagnant waters of the Dead Sea healed.

Zechariah 14:9 "And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one."

"There be one Lord ... and his name one" (Rev. 11:15). There will be only one religion in the entire world during the millennial reign of Christ. Ruling with a rod of iron (Rev. 19:15), Christ will have done away with all false religions spawned by Satan.

This will be the ultimate fulfillment of the Abrahamic Covenant providing a Jewish people, the nation of Israel, and the land given to Abraham; the Davidic Covenant which promised a king from the tribe of Judah and the line of David. And the New Covenant which held out the hope of spiritual redemption for Jew and Gentile.

All of this will be fulfilled in and by the Lord Jesus Christ.

Here is the answer to the "Lord's Prayer", "Thy Kingdom Come". The Lord here is referring to Jehovah. Jehovah shall be King, but according to the united and harmonious testimony of the prophetic scriptures it will be Jehovah in the person of the Messiah.

Jehovah Jesus, Immanuel, He whose feet shall in that day stand on the Mount of Olives which is before Jerusalem on the East, who will thus set up His Kingdom and rule on this earth.

While the holy hill of Zion shall be the seat of His throne, and Palestine, with restored and converted Israel, the center of His blessed rule, "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth".

All kings shall fall down before Him, all nations shall serve Him, for all the kingdoms of this world shall then become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign for ever and ever.

"In that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one." Jehovah will be recognized and acknowledged as the "God of the whole earth," and the false gods of the nations, to whom even Israel was tempted in former days of apostasy to render worship, shall be "cut off", and all idols utterly abolished (terminated with prejudice).

Zechariah 14:10 "All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and [from] the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses."

"All the land ... turned as a plain": The term "plain" pictures the Jordan Valley, extending from Mt. Hermon (elevation 9,100 feet), to the Gulf of Arabah.

Here the entire land, from Geba 6 miles to the north to Rimmon in the south, would be leveled to become like the well watered and fertile lowlands of the Jordan Valley (Gen. 13:10), causing Jerusalem to be exalted above like a solitaire diamond on a ring.

Jerusalem, having been rebuilt according to these dimensions, will be exalted in both place and purpose, the prominent royal city containing the temple of God and the throne of Jesus Christ (Ezek. chapters 40 to 48). The locations of these landmarks would be the equivalent of meaning "all Jerusalem, east to west and north to south."

The area to be transformed is more closely defined, namely, "from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem".

This entire district "from Geba to Rimmon" is to be changed and become "as the Arabah". This word, translated "plain" in the American Standard Version bible, is the proper name of the Jordan valley, that remarkable depression which runs from the slopes of Hermon to the Red Sea, known as the deepest depression in the surface of the globe.

The Sea of Galilee situated within it being 652 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, while the Dead Sea, which is also included in its course, is 1316 feet below that level, or the level of the Red Sea.

Parts of this valley were distinguished for their luxurious vegetation, but the reference here is not to its fertility nor to its deep depression, which probably will itself undergo modification in that day of great physical as well as moral upheavals, but to the fact of its being a plain.

The whole hill country specified shall be leveled or become a plain "and she" (meaning Jerusalem), shall be lifted up (or exalted), and shall dwell (or become settled), "in her place." Literally, upon that which was under her, upon her own rubble or mound, as Jeremiah expresses it.

The prophet Zechariah gives us also, a terse summary of the longer predictions of the former prophets. For already Isaiah and Micah, as well as Ezekiel announced that "it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of Jehovah's house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted about the hills.

Here, as in the case of the "living waters" in the 8th verse, the literal fact will at the same time be emblematic of a great spiritual truth.

Zion in the millennial age will be the city of truth, the habitation of righteousness and mountain of holiness, and therefore will be raised conspicuously aloft in the view of all the nations. It will be the source whence the living waters of God's grace and salvation are to issue in all directions, and therefore every obstacle which might hinder their flow shall be changed and turned into a plain.

It will be the center of God's governmental rule of the world, and the place to which "all nations shall flow" for instruction and guidance, and therefore it must be lifted high, and approach to it rendered easy.

The second half (of verse 10), concerns the bounds of the restored and enlarged city, which shall thus be "lifted up" and settled down to dwell safely in her own place.

The gates and towers named here cannot with any certainty be identified. Benjamin's gate is probably the same as "the gate of Ephraim" (mentioned in 2 Kings 14:13), and was in the north wall of the city through which the road to Benjamin, and thence to Ephraim ran.

The first or former gate, which no longer existed in Zechariah's time is supposed to have been at the north eastern corner, and the "corner gate" at the north western corner.

If these suppositions are correct, this line would describe the whole breadth of the city from east to west, while the town of Hananeel, which stood at the north or north east corner, and the king's winepresses, which all are agreed were in the king's gardens south of the city, would indicate the northern and southern boundaries.

The chief importance of these local and topographical details in this great prophecy is the proof which they afford that it must be literally understood, and that it is of Jerusalem and Palestine that the prophet primarily speaks.

Zechariah 14 Questions

1. The nations are gathered against ___________ in this battle.

2. What percentage of the people goes into captivity?

3. Where are the Christians, when this battle takes place?

4. Who fights against those nations?

5. Where do Jesus' feet stand in that day?

6. What happens to the place where His feet rest?

7. What is this, really?

8. What does the author find interesting about this area?

9. What do the seismologists tell us about this fault?

10. Why did God send earthquakes?

11. What will this earthquake do, to make an entrance into Jerusalem for the Lord?

12. Where do the people flee?

13. How many years will the Christians reign with Jesus, on the earth?

14. What will cause it to be neither night, nor day?

15. Who provides the Light?

16. What are the "living waters" speaking of?

Zechariah 14 Continued

Zechariah 14:11 "And [men] shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited."

"Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited": Jerusalem, the city of peace, has been fought over more frequently than any other city on earth, and prayed for over the millennia (Psalm 122:6-9). As promised by God (2 Sam. 7:10-17; Psalm 2:6; Ezek. 37:24-28; Joel 3:16-17), she will know permanent righteousness and with it peace, rest and safety.

Verse 11 gives us in these three brief sentences, a glimpse of the blessed condition of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, which shall be thus renewed and established.

Jacob then "shall be quite and at ease, and none shall make him afraid." (Jer. 30:10).

"And there shall be no more utter destruction", because the causes which previously provoked the Holy One to inflict desolating and destructive judgments upon the land and people shall be no more.

Nothing shall hurt or destroy throughout God's holy mountain. Not only are these things blessed, but are living symbols, speaking of higher blessings. For they indicate the peace and harmony and love that shall pervade all hearts and all peoples whom the power of Zion shall effectually reach.

"And Jerusalem shall dwell (or 'shall be inhabited') safely, or literally, in conscious security". Or "in confidence"; though it shall be surrounded neither by walls, nor fortifications, it shall have nothing to fear. "For I, saith Jehovah, will be unto her a wall of fire round about and the glory in the midst of her" (Zech. 2:4-5).

This picture of the blessed condition of restored and purified Jerusalem, which in the millennial period will be, so to say, the earthly vestibule and the refection of the glory of the new or heavenly Jerusalem, which shall come down from God out of heaven, is filled in by the inspired utterances of the "former" prophets (read Isa. 65:17-20).

Verses 12-15: The prophet, one final time, cycles back over the judgment that precedes the kingdom.

God will strike the heathen forces gathered against Israel (verses 1-3), with a supernatural plague similar to His judgment of the Assyrian army (Isa. 37: 36). Causing a panic so great that they begin to attack one another (Judges 7:22; 1 Sam. 14:15-20; 2 Chron. 20:23), aiding in the escape of the half (verses 2, 5).

God will enable His people to fight (Isa. 11:13-14). Then He will send a wide spread plague that even extends to their animals, preventing their use for military endeavors or escape. This depicts the thwarting of their efforts as God ultimately destroys them by the Messiah (Rev. 19:11-16).

Zechariah 14:12 "And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth."

"And this shall be the plagues": This respects one or more, or all, of the seven plagues, which will be inflicted on the antichristian states, mentioned in (Revelation 15:1).

"Wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem": Who have been the enemies and persecutors of his church; and with which plague or plagues they shall be utterly consumed and destroyed.

"Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet": Antichrist will be consumed with the breath of Christ's mouth; the flesh of the whore of Rome, which is her substance, shall be eaten and devoured by the kings of the earth. And her destruction will be in a moment, suddenly, and at unawares, as is here suggested (see 2 Thess. 2:8).

"And their eyes shall consume away in their holes": The right eye of the idol shepherd shall be utterly dried up, and the kingdom of the beast will be full of darkness (Zech. 11:17).

"And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth": With which antichrist and his followers have blasphemed the name of God, his tabernacle, and his saints. And which they will gnaw for pain, when the plagues of God are inflicted on them (Rev. 13:5).

The glorious picture of salvation has its obverse side, namely the judgments which will be inflicted on the enemies of God and His people.

Chronologically (verses 12-15 should follow verse 3), for the terrible punishment of the confederated anti-Christian hosts which they describe are the immediate consequence of the manifest interposition of Jehovah in the person of the Messiah as the Deliverer of His people, when He shall "go forth and fight against those nations as when He fought in the day of battle".

The prophet, one final time, cycles back over the judgment that precedes the kingdom. God will strike the heathen forces gathered against Israel with a supernatural plaque similar to His judgment of the Assyrian army, casing a panic so great that they begin to attack one another.

Three weapons will be used by God for the destruction of the enemies of His Kingdom:

(1) The fearful plaque described (in verse 12);

(2) Mutual destruction in consequence of a great panic of terror "from Jehovah".

These first two are spoken of as being inflicted by God's own hand. The Hebrew word maggepha, rendered is used for infliction, slaughter, plague or pestilence, always denoting a plague or judgment sent direct by God.

The description of the "plague" is terribly realistic. Literally, "He (Jehovah), makes his flesh to rot (or consume away), "while they stand upon their feet", which is perhaps intended to express the suddenness with which God's stroke will alight upon him.

"And his eye (singular), shall consume away in their sockets (plural); and his tongue (singular), shall consume away in their mouth (Plural).

The thought which the prophet probably intends to express, by the use of the singular suffix, is that this terrible catastrophe shall overtake each one and the whole company.

The superhuman strength of the saved remnant of Judah, who shall suddenly become like "a pan of fire" among wood, and like "a flaming torch among sheaves"

They shall devour their enemies round about, on their right hand and on their left (see verse 12:6).

Zechariah 14:13 "And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor."

"And it shall come to pass in that day": When the vials are pouring out.

"That a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them": The Targum renders it, a great tumult, or noise of killing. And the Septuagint, an ecstasy: it refers to the earthquake, and the slaughter of seven thousand men of name, and the fright upon that (Rev. 11:13).

"And they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor": There will be a revolution, upon this tumult, in several of the antichristian states; and the kings of them shall hate the whore, make her desolate, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire (Rev. 17:16).

Or, "his hand shall be cut off by the hand of his neighbor" (see Zechariah 11:17), the power of antichrist shall be destroyed by neighboring Christian princes.

"A great tumult from the Lord" with which the gathered hosts shall also be seized in that day, is the supernatural panic and "confusion" which Jehovah sends among His enemies, with a view to their utter self destruction.

It is the same as the "astonishment" and "madness" with which the horses and riders of these same hosts are spoken of as smitten (in chapter 12:4), and as a consequence "they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor).

Each one in that panic stricken throng shall seize the other's hand, "mastering him powerfully," with a view to his destruction. And each man's hand shall be lifted up against the hand of his neighbor with a view to deliver a deadly blow.

This will be like when the hosts of Midian were discomfited before Gideon and his little band of 300 or the multitude of Philistines at Michmash "melted away" before Jonathan and his armor bearer (in Judges 7:22).

Zechariah 14:14 "And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance."

"And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem": These are the professing people of Christ, the armies in heaven, the chosen, called, and faithful, who will follow the Lamb, and attend him when he goes forth to make war with the antichristian princes, and shall overcome them (Rev. 17:14).

"And the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance": By which are meant the riches of the Papists (Papist is a "usually disparaging" term or an anti-Catholic slur, referring to the Roman Catholic Church, its teachings, practices, or adherents). Called Gentiles or Heathens (Rev. 11:2), which will fall into the hands of the followers of Christ at the time of Rome's destruction.

And which are signified by the flesh of the whore, and by the flesh of kings, captains, and mighty men, which will then be eaten. They will be stripped and spoiled of all their substance (Rev. 17:16).

Judah isn't fighting against Jerusalem, contrarily, this means "and Judah also," which stands here as meaning the whole remnant of the people shall fight at or in Jerusalem.

It indicates the third weapon mentioned (in verse 12 above), which in addition to the plague and tumult, that'll be used by God for the destruction of the confederated hosts. Which had all but succeeded in utterly exterminating the remnant of His people.

While their foes are consumed by the "plague" and engaged in fighting with one another in consequence of the "confusion" or tumult sent among them by the Lord, the remnant of Judah, "also" conscious now that the Captain of the Lord's host is with them, and the Almighty power is now on their side, are suddenly stirred up to do valiantly and have a share in utterly destroying them.

"Gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance" is again an allusion by the prophet to historical incidents in the past history of the nation as a foreshadow of the future, as seen in 2 Chronicles:

2 Chronicles 20:25 "And when Jehoshaphat and his people came to take away the spoil of them, they found among them in abundance both riches with the dead bodies, and precious jewels, which they stripped off for themselves, more than they could carry away: and they were three days in gathering of the spoil, it was so much."

Zechariah 14:15 "And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague."

"And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass": The flesh of the horse is said to be eaten (Revelation 19:18).

"And of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague": Their beasts shall perish in like manner as themselves.

Inasmuch as these hosts, by their enmity against God and His people, have brought themselves under His ban for utter destruction. The animals which they have brought with them for this campaign against the holy land and city will also be overtaken with the same fate as their masters.

God sends a widespread plaque that even extends to their animals, preventing their use for military endeavors or escape. This depicts the thwarting of their efforts as God ultimately destroys them by the Messiah.

Verses 16-19: Reveal that Gentiles will go into the millennial kingdom alive along with the redeemed Jews. A converted remnant from those heathen nations will make annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem to worship the lord and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles during the Millennium.

In the Millennium, they will celebrate Messiah's presence again dwelling among His people and the joyful restoration of Israel, including the ingathering of the nations. Those who refuse to go will experience drought and plaque.

"The feast of tabernacles" is the joyous feast of ingathering, rest, and thanksgiving. Israel celebrated it when they returned from the Exile (Nehemiah. 8:14-18). The millennial reign of the Messiah is the realization of the Feast of Tabernacles. No other feast will be observed because the realities they foreshadowed will have been realized.

Commemorating the time when God "tabernacled" with Israel in the wilderness, the feast represented the last of the 3 major pilgrimage festivals (Lev. 23:34-36, marked the final harvest of the year's crops, and provided a time of rejoicing.

Tragically, as the world who will reject Christ as Savior and King, joining in a final war against Him, only to be destroyed and cast into hell forever (Rev. 20:7-15).

Zechariah 14:16 "And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles."

"Feast of tabernacles": The historical background can be found (in Lev. 23:33-36; Num. 29:12-38; Deut. 16:13-17). In addition to the Feast of Booths, or Tabernacles, two other feasts will be celebrated in the Millennium, i.e.

1. Feast of the New Year (Ezek. 45:18-20); and

2. Passover (Ezek. 45:21-25).

These feasts are no more efficacious than were the feasts of the Mosaic era or the Lord's Supper in the church age. They all provided a symbolic anticipation or remembrance of Christ's unique and one-for-all sacrifice at Calvary.

There is a beneficial end in the very judgments of God, for through them the nations will at last learn righteousness, and the fruit will be "universal homage to the Universal Ruler," Jehovah of Hosts, and in the person of the Messiah, under whose sway all nations shall then be blessed.

Zechariah 14:17 "And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain."

"No rain": Drought is a dreaded punishment (1 Kings 17:1-7; 2 Chron. 7:13-14; James 5:17-18), since it deprives the people of life-sustaining water.

It's known from prophetic Scripture that the hearts of multitudes among the Gentile nations will not be fully subdued to God and His truth, even in the Millennium. And that many of them will render only a feigned submission to the Divine King, whose throne shall be on Mount Zion.

There follows therefore the warning to the nations against disobedience to His command to come up to Jerusalem to render homage to the King, Jehovah of hosts.

Commentators take to mean the "early rain," which generally falls in Palestine about the end of October and the beginning of November soon after Tabernacles and usually stands simply for heavy, torrential rain. This is a threat uttered, not against Israel and Palestine, but the Gentile nations, whose seasons and climates may be altogether different.

The withholding of rain was one of the ways by which God would punish the apostasy of His own people in the days of the theocracy (this is a form of government in which a 'god' or 'deity' is recognized as the supreme civil ruler). He now threatens to inflict it on the Gentile nations in case of disobedience.

Zechariah 14:18 "And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that [have] no [rain]; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."

"And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not": To Jerusalem, the church of God; do not go there to worship the Lord, attend his ordinances, and keep them in their purity; nor walk as becomes the people of God. By "the family of Egypt" are meant the Papists, so called for their tyranny, cruelty, and idolatry (Rev. 11:8).

"That have no rain": Have not the pure word of God, and the ordinances thereof, only the traditions of men. Yea, the doctrines of devils, and lies in hypocrisy. The allusion is to the land of Egypt, which was watered, not so much by rain as by the overflowing of the river Nile. Or it may be rendered, "and upon them there shall be no rain"; or that which is equivalent to it.

The sense is, as they are without the pure Gospel of Christ, they shall continue so, and be punished with, that sore judgment of a famine of hearing the word of the Lord.

There shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles": They shall have the same plague of want of water, a famine. For it is a vulgar mistake that there is no rain in Egypt; it rains indeed but seldom, and only in some places, but it does rain.

Meaning of the feast of Tabernacles: The seventh (and final), feast given to Israel is called Sukkot or the "Feast of Tabernacles." Sukkot is observed in the fall, from the 15th to the 22nd of Tishri. During this time many Jewish families construct a sukkah, a small hastily built hut in which meals are eaten throughout the festival.

The sukkah is used to remember the huts Israel lived in during their 40 year sojourn in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Later, after Israel entered the land of promise, Sukkot was associated with the fall harvest and came to be known as Chag ha-Asif, the "Festival of Ingathering" (of the harvest), at the end of the year.

Because we are commanded to rejoice during the holiday of Sukkot for the blessing of God's provision and care for our lives (Deut. 16:14-15), it is considered especially important to give tzedakah (charity), during this time of year.

For this punishment, in case of disobedience, there will be no exception and escape. This is the thought expressed in this and the following verse.

Egypt is especially named because of its peculiar conditions and climate, for however it ultimately depended on the equatorial rains, which overfilled the lakes which supply the Nile. It did not need that fine arrangement of the rains of autumn and spring which were essential to the fruitfulness of Palestine.

Hence it may perhaps encourage itself in the thought that the threatened infliction in case of disobedience would be no punishment to them. The prophet therefore emphasizes the fact that, notwithstanding Egypt's apparent independence of rain, it would suffer the consequences that follow the withholding of rain, as much as the other nations that are dependent on it.

Zechariah 14:19 "This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles."

"This shall be the punishment of Egypt": Or "sin", as in the original text: rightly is the word rendered "punishment", as it is by the Targum.

"And the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles": Which will be one and the same; they shall have no rain, or what answers to it. They shall all have a famine; or it will be different, Egypt shall be punished with a consumption of their flesh, and the other nations with want of rain: the former sense seems best.

As it is impossible for all nations literally to come to Jerusalem once a year, to keep a feast, it is evident that a figurative meaning must here be applied. Gospel worship is represented by the keeping of the feast of tabernacles.

Every day of a Christian's life is a day of the feast of tabernacles; every Lord's Day especially is the great day of the feast. Therefore, every day let us worship the Lord of hosts, and keep every Lord's Day with peculiar solemnity. It is just for God to withhold the blessings of grace from those who do not attend the means of grace.

It is a sin that is its own punishment. Those who forsake the duty, forfeit the privilege of communion with God. A time of complete peace and purity of the church will arrive. Men will carry on their common affairs, and their sacred services, upon the same holy principles of faith, love and obedience.

Real holiness shall be more diffused, because there shall be a more plentiful pouring forth of the Spirit of holiness than ever before. There shall be holiness even in common things. Every action and every enjoyment of the believer should be so regulated according to the will of God, that it may be directed to his glory.

Our whole lives should be as one constant sacrifice, or act of devotion. No selfish motive should prevail in any of our actions. But how far is the Christian church from this state of purity! Other times, however, are at hand, and the Lord will reform and enlarge his church, as he has promised. Yet in heaven alone will perfect holiness and happiness be found.

The thought that Egypt if disobedient will be overtaken in the same judgment is solemnly repeated in the 19th verse. The Hebrew word punishment used here primarily means sin. But it signifies also sin in its effects, as bringing punishment.

Verses 20-21: Just as the High Priest, whose turban was engraved with the phrase "HOLY TO THE LORD", was set apart for the service of the Lord (Zech. 3:5; also, Exodus 28:36; 39:30).

There will be no need for distinctions between holy and secular. Everything will be set apart to the service of the Lord in the Messiah's glorious kingdom.

Zechariah 14:20 "In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD'S house shall be like the bowls before the altar."

"In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses": He does not say only, that they should be consecrated to God, as Isaiah says of Tyre, "Her merchandise and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord" (Isa. 23:18). He says that, "the bells of the horses," things simply secular, should bear the same inscription as the plate on the high priest's forehead.

Perhaps the comparison was suggested by the bells on the high priest's dress. Not the thin layer only on his forehead, but bells (not as his, which were part of his sacred dress), bells, altogether secular, should be inscribed with the self-same title, whereby he himself was dedicated to God.

"Holiness unto the Lord": He does not bring down what is sacred to a level with common things, but he uplifts ordinary things, that they too, should be sacred. As Paul says, "whether ye eat or drink or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).

"And the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar": The pots are mentioned, together with other vessels of the Lord's house (Ezek. 38:3; 1 Kings 7:45; 2 Kings 25:14; 2 Chron. 4:11; 4:16; Jer. 52:18-19).

But not in regard to any sacred use as they were used with other vessels, for the dressing the victims; (2 Chron. 35:13), that were the partakers of the sacrifices. These were to be sacred, like those made for the most sacred use of all, "the bowls for sprinkling," whence, that sacrificial blood was taken, which was to make the typical atonement.

The last two verses reach the glorious goal and climax of vision and prophecy. God's original purpose in the calling and election of Israel, "Ye shall be unto Me a Kingdom of priests, and holy nation", shall at last be realized.

The aim and purpose of the whole law, namely, that His people might learn the meaning of holiness and become holy because Jehovah their God is holy. But to which, so long as they were in bondage to the law, they could not attain.

This shall at last be fulfilled when they are brought into a condition of grace, and when God shall put His law into their inward parts and write it on their hearts. Not only shall "Holiness (or holy), unto the Lord" be written on their persons, and on all the outward and inward life of the whole community, but on everything they possess.

This will be a time that even mundane and ordinary things like the bells that decorate horse and common pots and pans will be as holy as the High Priest and the altar bowls used in sacrifices. There will be no need for distinctions between holy and secular. Everything will be set apart to the service of the Lord in the Messiah's glorious kingdom.

Zechariah 14:21 "Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts."

"Canaanite": This identification is used as a figure for the morally and spiritually unclean persons who will be excluded from entering the millennial temple. Before Israel conquered the Promised Land, the vile Canaanites inhabited it. Thus the term became proverbial in Israel for a morally degenerate, ceremonially unclean person.

Private and domestic life shall be hallowed too, for everything alike shall be holy. And all such distinctions as "profane", "holy," and "most holy" shall completely cease "in that day".

Zechariah 14 Continued Questions

1. What was the root cause of all the destruction?

2. What type of plague is this?

3. Who is affected by this plague?

4. How often shall everyone go to Jerusalem to worship?

5. What is this feast?

6. What shall be on the bells of the horses?

7. Where had this same inscription been before?

8. What are the Canaanites, in verse 21, speaking of?

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