Zechariah 9-10:1 | The King Will Come
The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrak
and will come to rest on Damascus—
for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord
- The last line is better translated “for the eye of the Lord is on all mankind, as well as on the tribes of Israel”
- God is not just concerned with correcting and blessing his people, but all of humanity, and in this passage we see a glimpse that God is correcting and blessing those that are not his people too
- The hand of his judgment will begin to rest on the surrounding peoples who were oppressive to the Israelites and had their own idolatry
2and on Hamath too, which borders on it,
and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful.
3Tyre has built herself a stronghold;
she has heaped up silver like dust,
and gold like the dirt of the streets.
4But the Lord will take away her possessions
and destroy her power on the sea,
and she will be consumed by fire.
5Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in agony,
and Ekron too, for her hope will wither.
Gaza will lose her king
and Ashkelon will be deserted.
6A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod,
and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines.
- It does not matter the skill, power, wealth or leadership of nations, nothing can stand against the word and hand of God
- All nations rise and fall on God’s sovereign decree, and humanity’s pride against God will be exposed
- God will take away the things that we place our hope in and prove them to be finite and inferior. Our greatest achievements are nothing but a mist that appears for a short time, but then is quickly blown away
7I will take the blood from their mouths,
the forbidden food from between their teeth.
Those who are left will belong to our God
and become a clan [chiefs] in Judah,
and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.
- ‘Take the blood from their mouths/forbidden food from between their teeth’ – God is going to sanctify and purify even the Gentiles (Philistines) because as we have already seen, his ‘eyes are on all humanity’
- The Gentiles (Philistines) will also belong to God and become a clan/leaders as part of God’s people
- The Jebusites were absorbed into God’s people during the reign of David and this is how it will be for the surrounding nations, God will draw them in and sanctify them to be his very own
8But I will encamp at my temple
to guard it against marauding forces.
Never again will an oppressor overrun my people,
for now I am keeping watch.
- God will come to defend and secure the house of his people, and never again will they be overrun
- We know this is speaking of the return of Christ and not the immediate context as the Romans did overrun Jerusalem in 70 AD
- God is talking as if there is still the possibility of God’s people being overrun, but that he will protect them from that. This could either be figurative of the protection and safety of the eternal kingdom or more literal in terms of an earthly reign of Christ when enemies of God and his people are still present on the earth
9Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion!
Shout, Daughter Jerusalem!
See, your king comes to you,
righteous and victorious,
lowly and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
- The King will come!
- ‘Rejoice and shout’ – this is exactly what the people did when Jesus entered Jerusalem, shouting ‘Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’. The church continues to rejoice that our King has come once, and we will rejoice and shout even more so when He comes again
- We see the contrast here of a righteous and victorious King but one who is humble and lowly – the Messiah is predicted to come not even riding on a donkey but a colt, the foal of a donkey!
- This is very clearly fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem. and both donkey and colt are mentioned (Matthew 21)
- The donkey is also a symbol of peace, whereas riding on a horse is more a symbol of war (Rev 19) – the King is coming to bring peace to his people
10I will take away the chariots from Ephraim
and the warhorses from Jerusalem,
and the battle bow will be broken.
He will proclaim peace to the nations.
His rule will extend from sea to sea
and from the River to the ends of the earth.
- Christ is coming to establish peace, not a time of war, for his people – he is going to remove the chariots, warhorses and weapons, he will proclaim peace to the nations
- ‘from sea to sea’ – from the Mediterranean to the furthest East
- ‘from River to the ends of the earth’ – from the Euphrates to the furthest West
- The natural boundaries of the promised land were from the Mediterranean on the East to the Euphrates on the West. But here it is pictured as those boundaries being pushed out over the whole earth, with the epicentre of Christ’s earthly rule still being the promised land
- His rule will extend over the whole earth and under his reign there will be total peace – Isaiah 9 “the government will be on his shoulders and he will be called…Prince of Peace”.
11As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit.
12Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope;
even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.
- ‘As for you’ – God now addresses his own people as before he was talking about the surrounding peoples
- ‘Blood of my covenant’ – God is faithful to the covenant he made with his people, a covenant that stretches as far back as Abraham
- God is going to free his people from their captors, from the cisterns they are held in and bring them back
- They will return to the fortress of their God and will no longer be prisoners of the pit, but prisoners of hope – as Christians we are slaves to righteousness and prisoners of hope when we have God as our fortress.
- God is going to bless and restore prosperity to his people, even greater than that which was before
13I will bend Judah as I bend my bow
and fill it with Ephraim.
I will rouse your sons, Zion,
against your sons, Greece,
and make you like a warrior’s sword.
- God will fight for and with his people
- Greece speaks of the rise of Alexander the Great (known as the ‘king of Greece’ although not from there), as prophesied about in Daniel 8. His empire was one of lasting influence and significance which gave way to further empires to be established.
- This could either be figurative in speaking of God’s future judgment on a world influenced by ‘Greek thinking and practises’ or it has a place in history (Maccabees).
- If figurative of the future return of Christ then this section (13-17) is likely speaking of Christ’s second coming and the final battle
14Then the Lord will appear over them;
his arrow will flash like lightning.
The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet;
he will march in the storms of the south,
15and the Lord Almighty will shield them.
- The sound of the trumpet as when Christ will return
- When Christ returns it will not be a quiet event as he did when he first came, reading just before that he came lowly riding on a colt. At his second advent (coming) it will be more likeable to a storm with flashes of lightning.
They will destroy
and overcome with slingstones.
They will drink and roar as with wine;
they will be full like a bowl
used for sprinkling the corners of the altar.
- Overcome with slingstones – reminiscent of David and Goliath, that a small and lowly people will overcome against a larger enemy, because God is fighting for them
- God will bring about a great victory for his people and his people will enjoy and celebrate that victory
- These verses could be speaking of the future assault on Jerusalem as pictured in chapters 12 and 14.
16The Lord their God will save his people on that day
as a shepherd saves his flock.
They will sparkle in his land
like jewels in a crown.
17How attractive and beautiful they will be!
Grain will make the young men thrive,
and new wine the young women.
10:1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
and plants of the field to everyone.
- ‘As a shepherd saves flock’ – just as the good shepherd, Jesus Christ, protects and cares for his sheep
- Sparkle in his land/jewels – we will be God’s treasured possession and his special inheritance for he has redeemed us and purified us to be his very own
- The beauty and perfection of God will rest on his people and he will continually supply and prosper them
The true king is going to come to bring peace and justice. He will defend his people, humble the mighty and purify the nations when he comes. This passage pictures both the first and second coming of Jesus and how ultimately his rule will extend over the whole earth.