[Zech 9:1] The burden of the word of Jehovah upon the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be its resting-place (for the eye of man and of all the tribes of Israel is toward Jehovah);
[Zech 9:2] and Hamath, also, which bordereth thereon; Tyre and Sidon, because they are very wise.
[Zech 9:3] And Tyre did build herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
[Zech 9:4] Behold, the Lord will dispossess her, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.
[Zech 9:5] Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also, and shall be sore pained; and Ekron, for her expectation shall be put to shame; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
[Zech 9:6] And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
[Zech 9:7] And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; and he also shall be a remnant for our God; and he shall be as a chieftain in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.
[Zech 9:8] And I will encamp about my house against the army, that none pass through or return; and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.
[Zech 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, even upon a colt the foal of an ass.
[Zech 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 nations: and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
[Zech 9:11] As for thee also, because of the blood of thy covenant I have set free thy prisoners from the pit wherein is no water.
[Zech 9:12] Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.
[Zech 9:13] For I have bent Judah for me, I have filled the bow with Ephraim; and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and will make thee as the sword of a mighty man.
[Zech 9:14] And Jehovah shall be seen over them; and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning; and the Lord Jehovah will blow the trumpet, and will go with whirlwinds of the south.
[Zech 9:15] Jehovah of hosts will defend them; and they shall devour, and shall tread down the sling-stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, like the corners of the altar.
[Zech 9:16] And Jehovah their God will save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted on high over his land.
[Zech 9:17] For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the virgins.
[Zech 10:1] Ask ye of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain, even of Jehovah that maketh lightnings; and he will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.
[Zech 10:2] For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie; and they have told false dreams, they comfort in vain: therefore they go their way like sheep, they are afflicted, because there is no shepherd.
[Zech 10:3] Mine anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the he-goats; for Jehovah of hosts hath visited his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as his goodly horse in the battle.
[Zech 10:4] From him shall come forth the corner-stone, from him the nail, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler together.
[Zech 10:5] And they shall be as mighty men, treading down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle; and they shall fight, because Jehovah is with them; and the riders on horses shall be confounded.
[Zech 10:6] And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them back; for I have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am Jehovah their God, and I will hear them.
[Zech 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 rejoice; their heart shall be glad in Jehovah.
[Zech 10:8] I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them; and they shall increase as they have increased.
[Zech 10:9] And I will sow them among the peoples; and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and shall return.
[Zech 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.
[Zech 10:11] And he will pass through the sea of affliction, and will smite the waves in the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall dry up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart.
[Zech 10:12] And I will strengthen them in Jehovah; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith Jehovah.
ISRAEL is the nation of destiny. As we have already learned, the Lord by a biological miracle created her (Isa. 43:1), and by His providence He has guided her course through the centuries. At the same time He has been protecting her, not-withstanding the fact that He has permitted her to be punished by the nations for her sins. She has been able to survive, only because of His providential care.
There is a great future for Israel, but, before that day dawns, she must enter into the darkness of the great Tribulation, which is called "the time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer. 30:7).
Zechariah gathered up the leading prophecies of his predecessors and brought them into the short compass of a small book. Chapters 9 and 10 constitute one great oracle. The entire text is found in the chart above, which I ask the reader to study before looking at the comments.
A prophecy of the conquest of Alexander the Great is found in 9:1-7. After the defeat of the Persian armies at the great battle of Arbela, Alexander turned south-westward into the land of Hadrach and from there went against Damascus. He then marched to Hamath; crossed the Lebanon mountains, and conquered Tyre and Sidon. From there he went down into the plains of the Philistines and conquered their leading cities. Turning swiftly toward Jerusalem, he began to march his phalanxes in that direction. The high priest, together with the Levites, went out to meet him. Alexander was touched with the appearance of the sight and instead of wreaking his vengeance against the Jews, he fell down before the high priest whom he claimed to have seen in a vision before leaving Macedonia. He then went to Jerusalem, made great gifts at the Temple, and favored the nation in every way possible. Thus the Lord providentially saved the Holy City on this occasion from the wrath of the conqueror.
Verse 8, as indicated in the second column on the chart, found a partial fulfillment in the days of Alexander, in that he did not march through the country as an enemy but as a friend. The latter part of the verse awaits its complete fulfillment which will materialize in the Millennial Age, as indicated by the arrow pointing in that direction.
The prophecy of the coming of Alexander as a world-conqueror to Jerusalem is followed by a prediction of the two comings of the one Messiah. In verse 9 is a forecast of His first appearance, which was literally fulfilled when Jesus appeared on earth nineteen hundred years ago. Verse 10 obviously refers to the second coming, because, when He appeared the first time, he did not play the role there presented. The two comings of the one Messiah are blended here into a single picture. Between verses 9 and 10, therefore, the entire Christian Dispensation is assumed but passed over.
Verses 11 and 12 are very important. Here the prophet, still speaking to Israel, says that, because of the blood of her covenant, her prisoners have been set free from the pit wherein is no water. The blood of the various sacrifices made in connection with the covenant was of a typical nature. For instance, Abraham cut a covenant with God (Gen. 15). The Book of the Covenant was given to Israel at Mount Sinai. Sacrifices were offered, and the blood was sprinkled both upon the altar and upon the people (Ex. 24). The blood of the passover was sprinkled upon the doorposts and lintel of the Hebrew houses. None of this blood could set free the Israelites, but all of it was typical of that of the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world (John 1:29). Thus the blood mentioned here is none other than that of the Lord Jesus Christ.
That blood was shed nineteen hundred years ago and has been offered to Israel. By the shedding of that blood her final redemption will be accomplished. The entire program of God waits upon her to accept it. The people of Israel here are spoken of in terms of the experience of Joseph. We know that he was put in a pit wherein was no water, but God providentially preserved him. Since Israel is not in a literal pit, we must understand that Zechariah was speaking of the experiences of the nation in terms of those of Joseph. They are, therefore, in the pit of the nations scattered throughout the world. All things are ready. Everything has been prepared. All Israel has to do is to repudiate her national sin and accept the atoning blood of the Lamb of God. Then she will be delivered from the pit wherein she is.
God appealed in verse 12 for her to return to the stronghold. Being in the pit of the nations, scattered in foreign lands, she is urged to return to the stronghold; that is, to her own homeland; for, according to the prophets, when she does (Ezek. 37), she will be given the truth of the gospel, and the Spirit will breathe life into her. She will then receive double as her portion in the land. This is a marvelous prediction and will be fulfilled when Israel accepts her Messiah.
In the fifth column of the present chart, we see one of the most graphic descriptions of the Messiah's fighting for Israel and bringing final deliverance. This prediction consists of verses 13 to 17. God speaks of himself as a warrior with His bow and arrow, fighting against her enemies. Judah is His bow and Ephraim is His arrow. While verse 13 received a partial fulfillment in the Maccabean struggle (between the Greco-Syrian forces and those of the Jews), it finds its complete fulfillment in Israel's final deliverance in the end-time when Jehovah will be seen over them and will protect them. This prediction is an echo of the one uttered by Isaiah (31:4,5). Through divine assistance Israel will be victorious.
In ancient times civil governments were thought of and frequently portrayed as vicious beasts. Victorious ones were therefore spoken of as eating the prey and drinking the blood. (Compare Numbers 23:24.) With that figure in mind, Israel is spoken of as drinking the blood of the vanquished and devouring the prey. She will tread down all opposition. The victory will be complete.
Jehovah God will save His people. Then saved Israel will be like a crown sparkling with jewels that is lifted high over her land. This is an echo of the promise in Isaiah 62:1-5.
In the last two columns of the chart, chapter 10 appears. Verse 1 is a promise that the Lord will give the latter rains in their seasons. According to verse 2, fortune-telling and necromancy shall pass away forever. Verse 3 takes up the prophecy found in Ezekiel 34 concerning the false shepherds and the he-goatsthe civil and religious leaders of the people who think of themselves and their selfish interests and not of the people.
In verse 4 we find the summary of the various messianic prophecies put in pictorial manner, as shown by the former prophets. Messiah is the cornerstone. He is the nail. He is the battle bow, and He is the exactor. It is from Judah that this one comes who fulfills all the prophecies spoken of under this figure.
Verses 5 and 6 again revert to the final struggle when Israel is delivered. The latter part of verse 6 and verse 7, however, speak of the regathering of Israel. Verse 8, likewise, refers to this return to the land during the Millennial Age. The marginal reading of one portion of verse 9 is the preferred one, which is as follows: "And though I sow them among the peoples; they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and shall return." This promise is followed in the last three verses by an extended description of the return of the children of Israel to their homeland. Israel is indeed the nation of destiny. There is a wonderful future for her. She is then to be the head of the nations (Deut. 28:13).