Zechariah 10:1-12:9

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Zechariah 10

 

 IV.     The Oracles Concerning the Future (continued), 9:1 - 14:21

            A.  The First Oracle (continued), 9:1 - 11:17

                        4.   The blessings from Messiah, 10:1-12

 

(BKC) Messiah will destroy the false shepherds at His coming – 10:1-5.

 

Zechariah 10:1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain [i.e. March and April]; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

 

Zechariah 10:2 For the idols [i.e. particularly teraphim. Household gods frequently associated with divination. . . .] have spoken vanity [i.e. delusion], and the diviners have seen a lie [i.e. envision lies], and have told false dreams; they [i.e. the diviners] comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock [i.e. therefore the people wander like sheep], they [i.e. the people] were troubled [i.e. afflicted, oppressed, attacked], because there was no shepherd.

 

Zechariah 10:3 Mine anger was [i.e. is] kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats [i.e. I will punish the goats]: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them [i.e. He will make them] as his goodly horse [i.e. as His royal or majestic horse] in the battle.

 

10:3 – (RSB) shepherds ... goats. Foreign overlords who would be destroyed (v. 11).

 

Zechariah 10:4 Out of him [i.e. out from Judah] came forth the corner [i.e. the cornerstone], out of him the nail [i.e. the tent peg], out of him the battle bow [i.e. the bow for battle], out of him every oppressor together [i.e. every ruler together].

 

(BKC) These terms emphasize the strong, stable, victorious, and trustworthy nature of Messiah’s rule. The Lord will not do all the fighting but will empower His people to conquer like mighty men. His presence (He will be with them) will enable them to be victorious.

 

Zechariah 10:5 And they [i.e. Israel] 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 [i.e. shall be put to shame].

 

(BKC) Messiah will regather all Israel – 10:6-12.

 

(BKC) The worldwide scope of this prophecy relating to both Israel and Judah and God’s activity on behalf of His Chosen People indicate that the final regathering of Israel just before the Second Advent of the Messiah is in view.

 

Zechariah 10:6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph [i.e. Israel, the Northern kingdom], and I will bring them again to place them [i.e. I will bring them back, I will restore them]; for I have mercy [i.e. compassion] upon them: and they [i.e. Judah and Israel] shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them [i.e. and will answer them].

 

(BKC) Because of His compassion they will be restored and reunited. . ., with their sins forgiven and forgotten – as though I had not rejected them, enjoying communion with God (I will answer them).

 

Zechariah 10:7 And they of Ephraim [i.e. the Northern Kingdom] 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.

 

Zechariah 10:8 I will hiss [i.e. whistle] for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased [i.e. they will be as numerous as they were before].

 

Zechariah 10:9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me [i.e. God] in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again [i.e. and shall return].

 

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 [i.e. the eastern and northern extents of Israel’s occupancy of the land as promised to Abraham]; and place shall not be found for them [i.e. until no more room is found for them].

 

10:10 – (RSB) Egypt and Assyria represent all the lands of Israel’s present worldwide dispersion (cf. Matt. 24:31).

 

Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

 

Zechariah 10:11 And he [i.e. the LORD] shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite [i.e. strike] the waves in the sea [i.e. like when they passed through the Red Sea], and all the deeps of the river shall dry up [i.e. God will remove every obstacle to their restoration]: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away [i.e. Egypt’s rule will end].

 

Zechariah 10:12 And I will strengthen them [i.e. the Israelites – the LORD’s people] in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.

Zechariah 11

 

 IV.     The Oracles Concerning the Future (continued), 9:1 - 14:21

            A.  The First Oracle (continued), 9:1 - 11:17

                        5.   The rejection of the Shepherd, 11:1-17

 

Zechariah 11:1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars.

 

Zechariah 11:2 Howl, fir tree [i.e. O Cypress]; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage [i.e. the dense forest, the thick forest] is come down.

 

Zechariah 11:3 There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds [i.e. a voice of wailing shepherds]; for their glory is spoiled [i.e. because of the devastation of their pastures]: a voice of the roaring of young lions [i.e. as the result of the destruction of their living areas in the thick woods around the Jordan River]; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

 

11:1-3 – (RSB) Either a continuation of the mock lamentation over the fall of unidentified powers (cedars ... oaks; cf. Isa. 2:13) who attack Israel, or a prediction of the devastation of the land of Israel, including the Roman conquest in A.D. 70.

 

11:1-3. – (BKC) This lamentation portrays the impending devastation that will result from the people rejecting the Messiah as the True and Good Shepherd (vv. 4-14). The language obviously involves personification, but the references to the cedars of Lebanon . . . oaks of Bashan, and lush thicket of the Jordan suggest devastation of the entire land of Israel from the north to the south, including of course its inhabitants. All three areas – Lebanon, Bashan, and the Jordan – were heavily forested. Shepherds would wail because their pastures would be devastated. Even lions who lived in the thick woods around the Jordan River would roar because of the destruction of their living area.

 

(BKC) The general description of the devastation is to be taken literally.

 

(BKC) Verses 4-14 focus attention on Israel’s spiritual condition at the time of Christ’s ministry and the consequences of her rejection of Christ, the True Shepherd.

 

Zechariah 11:4 Thus saith the LORD my God [i.e. this was said to Zechariah]; Feed the flock of the slaughter [i.e. the flock doomed to slaughter, the flock for slaughter, or the flock marked for slaughter];

 

(BKC) The “flock” was the nation Israel which God had designated for slaughter by the Romans.

 

Zechariah 11:5 Whose possessors [i.e. whose owners] slay them [i.e. picturing Israel as sheep], 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.

 

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 neighbour’s hand, and into the hand of his king [i.e. apparently the Roman emperor]: and they [i.e. the Roman armies] shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them [i.e. Israel].

 

Zechariah 11:7 And I will feed [i.e. shepherd] the flock of slaughter [i.e. Zechariah, portraying the work of the shepherd, tending the flock marked for slaughter], even you, O poor of the flock. And I [i.e. Zechariah] took unto me two staves [i.e. staffs]; the one I called Beauty [i.e. Favor, Grace, Pleasantness], and the other I called Bands [i.e. Union or “ties”]; and I fed the flock.

 

11:7 – (RSB) The two staffs symbolized the good intentions of Zechariah acting the part of a good shepherd; i.e., in bringing Beauty and Bands (Union) to Israel and Judah.

 

(BKC) They depicted God’s gracious benefits toward His people . . . and the internal union of Israel and Judah as a nation . . . .

 

Zechariah 11:8 Three shepherds also I [i.e. Messiah, the True Shepherd] cut off in one month; and my soul lothed [i.e. detested] them, and their soul also abhorred me.

 

11:8 – (RSB) Three shepherds. Unidentified, though possibly representing unfit prophets, priests, and kings of Israel.

 

(BKC) Closely linked to the disowning of the three shepherds is the flock’s disowning of their True Shepherd whom they detested, a word . . . that means to loathe to the point of nausea.

 

(BKC) The Messiah (portrayed by Zechariah) repudiated His role as Shepherd (I will not be your Shepherd), and He relegated the flock to their doom, involving foreign oppression

 

Zechariah 11:9 Then said I [i.e. the Messiah, portrayed by Zechariah], 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.

 

Zechariah 11:10 And I [i.e. Messiah, portrayed by Zechariah] took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder [i.e. cut it in two], that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.

 

Zechariah 11:11 And it [i.e. the covenant which the Lord made with all the people] 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.

 

11:10-11. (BKC) The revoked covenant (symbolized by breaking the staff called Favor) had been made with all the nations, apparently to secure God’s providential protection of Israel. The divine disfavor on Israel because of her rejection of the True Shepherd resulted in spiritual blindness . . . and national destruction and dispersion. Only the believing remnant (the afflicted of the flock) who recognized Jesus as the true Messiah understood His true origin in God.

 

Zechariah 11:12 And I [i.e. Messiah, portrayed by Zechariah] said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price [i.e. pay, wages]; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price [i.e. pay, wages] thirty pieces of silver.

 

11:12 – (RSB) Because the people rejected the good Shepherd’s ministry, they insulted him by giving as his wages only the price of a slave (cf. Ex. 21:32; Matt. 27:3-7). Zechariah was acting the role of the coming Messiah.

 

Exodus 21:32 If the ox shall push a manservant or a maidservant; he shall give unto their master thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

 

Matthew 27:3-73 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, 4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. 5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. 6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. 7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.

 

Zechariah 11:13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them [i.e. at which I was being valued by them – this is being stated sarcastically]. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD [i.e. cast them into the house of the LORD for the potter].

 

11:12-13. Israel’s appraisal of the True Shepherd’s worth was 30 pieces of silver, the compensation price for a slave gored by an ox. . . . The choice of the slave price was probably intended as an insult to the Shepherd, worse than a direct refusal to pay Him any wage. Throwing this handsome price (an obvious use of irony) to the potter shows its trifling worth (the potter was one of the lowest of the laboring class). This prophecy was fulfilled in Judas’ betrayal of Christ. . . .

 

11:13 – (RSB) goodly price. Sarcasm, since the price was so trifling.

 

Zechariah 11:14 Then I [i.e. Messiah, portrayed by Zechariah] cut asunder [i.e. cut in two] mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

 

(BKC) This pictures the dissolving of the national solidarity of Judah and Israel. Discord within the nation was one of the factors that led to the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and a new wave of worldwide dispersion.

 

11:15-17 – (RSB) Having been rejected as the true shepherd, God commands Zechariah to play the role of a false shepherd, depicting the coming Antichrist.

 

Zechariah 11:15 And the LORD said unto me [i.e. to Zechariah], Take unto thee yet the instruments [i.e. equipment, implements] of a foolish shepherd [i.e. Zechariah was to portray the false shepherd, depicting the coming antichrist].

 

Zechariah 11:16 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 [i.e. their hooves] in pieces.

 

Zechariah 11:17 Woe to the idol shepherd [i.e. the worthless shepherd = the antichrist] that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon [i.e. against] his arm, and upon [i.e. against] his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up [i.e. completely withered], and his right eye shall be utterly darkened [i.e. completely blind].

 

(BKC) The arm indicates his strength and the eye his intelligence. The foolish plottings of the worthless shepherd will be annulled when the True Shepherd returns . . . .

Zechariah 12

 

 IV.     The Oracles Concerning the Future (continued), 9:1 - 14:21

            B.  The Second Oracle, 12:1 - 14:21

                        1.   The Lord’s care for Jerusalem, 12:1-14

 

(BKC) God will deliver Israel physically from her enemies – 12:1-9.

 

Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for [i.e. concerning] Israel, saith the LORD, which [i.e. Who] stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

 

Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about [i.e. a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples], when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

 

12:2-3 – (RSB) cup of trembling. God’s wrath will send those who attack Jerusalem reeling.

 

Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone [i.e. a heavy stone, an immoveable rock] for all people: all that burden themselves with it [i.e. with Jerusalem] shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it [i.e. against Jerusalem].

 

(RSB) in that day occurs 16 times in these last three chapters [i.e. chapters 12-14] and refers to the future campaign of Armageddon.

 

(RSB) burdensome stone. The attackers will find that Jerusalem cannot be moved.

 

all the people of the earth. A reference to all the nations.

 

Zechariah 12:4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment [i.e. with bewilderment, with confusion], 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 [i.e. I will blind every horse of the nations].

 

12:4 – (RSB) astonishment. Supernatural confusion and panic (madness) will overtake the armies attacking Jerusalem.

 

Zechariah 12:5 And the governors [i.e. chiefs, leaders] of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in [i.e. through] the LORD of hosts their God.

 

Zechariah 12:6 In that day will I make the governors [i.e. chiefs, leaders] of Judah like an hearth of fire [i.e. like a firepan] among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf [i.e. among sheaves (of grain)]; and they shall devour all the people round about [i.e. all the surrounding peoples], on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

 

12:6 – (RSB) The governors (chiefs, leaders) of Judah will be like a hearth on which their enemies are consumed.

 

Zechariah 12:7 The LORD also shall save the tents [i.e. dwellings, homes] of Judah first [i.e. before Jerusalem], that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah [i.e. the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem shall not become greater than the glory of Judah].

 

12:6-7. (BKC) Judah’s future military triumph is described in two similes: like a firepot in a wood pile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. The armies of the nations will be devastated quickly and thoroughly as Jerusalem watches (intact in her place).

 

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.

 

12:8 – (RSB) Even the most feeble Jerusalemite will be empowered to fight like King David, and the leaders (house of David) will be as powerful as God.

 

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.