Zechariah 9 meaning

Zechariah 9 meaning DEFAULT

Zechariah 9 – A Humble King Conquers

A. The burden against Hadrach.

1. () Judgment against the cities of Lebanon.

The burden of the word of the LORD–
Against the land of Hadrach,
And Damascus its resting place
(For the eyes of men
And all the tribes of Israel
Are on the LORD);
Also against Hamath, which borders on it,
And against Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
For Tyre built herself a tower,
Heaped up silver like the dust,
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, the LORD will cast her out;
He will destroy her power in the sea,
And she will be devoured by fire.

a. The burden of the word of the LORD: The two oracles that make up the remainder of Zechariah (chapters 9 through 14) are undated, but many scholars believe they came from Zechariah’s old age. Most see this burden… against the land of Hadrach as fulfilled by the armies of Alexander the Great when he conquered this region. The cities mentioned in Zechariah trace Alexander’s march through the Promised Land in B.C.

i. The eyes of men… are on the LORD in the sense that they were on God’s instrument of judgment, Alexander

b. Against Tyre and Sidon: These were the two major cities north of Israel, in the land of Lebanon. Tyre was an important commercial city that was thought to be impossible to conquer. The Assyrians laid siege against Tyre for five years but never conquered the city. Nebuchadnezzar tried for 13 years to conquer Tyre, but Alexander did it in seven months.

i. Alexander the Great conquered Tyre by laying siege for seven months, then using the rubble from the old city to make a causeway out to the island city. It was a spectacular achievement of both military and engineering strategy.

2. () Judgment against the cities of the Philistines.

Ashkelon shall see it and fear;
Gaza also shall be very sorrowful;
And Ekron, for He dried up her expectation.
The king shall perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.
“A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod,
And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
I will take away the blood from his mouth,
And the abominations from between his teeth.
But he who remains, even he shall be for our God,
And shall be like a leader in Judah,
And Ekron like a Jebusite.
I will camp around My house
Because of the army,
Because of him who passes by and him who returns.
No more shall an oppressor pass through them,
For now I have seen with My eyes.”

a. Ashkelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall be very sorrowful: The Philistine cities of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod are south of Tyre and Sidon, and were also conquered by Alexander the Great in B.C.

i. This passage “accurately foretells the conquest of the eastern Mediterranean coastlands by Greek armies under the command of Alexander the Great” (Boice).

b. He who remains… and Ekron like a Jebusite: The Jebusites inhabited Jerusalem when David conquered the city (Joshua , 2 Samuel , 2 Samuel ). David did not wipe out the Jebusites, but merely incorporated them into Israel. The same would happen to the people of Ekron.

c. I will camp around My house because of the army, because of him who passes by: When Alexander the Great marched through Lebanon and the Promised Land towards Egypt he did not conquer or attack Jerusalem. God promised to protect and spare His house during this time, and He did through a remarkable chain of events connected to Alexander the Great and the High Priest.

i. Josephus’ account of Alexander’s meeting with the High Priest is fascinating (Antiquities ):

Now Alexander, when he had taken Gaza, made haste to go up to Jerusalem; and Jaddua the high-priest, when he heard that, was in agony, and under terror, as not knowing how he should meet the Macedonians, since the king was displeased at his foregoing disobedience. He therefore ordained that the people should make supplications, and should join with him in offering sacrifices to God, whom he besought to protect that nation, and to deliver them from the perils that were coming upon them; whereupon God warned him in a dream, which came upon him after he had offered sacrifice, that he should take courage, adorn the city, and open the gates; that the rest appear in white garments, but that he and the priests should meet the king in habits proper to their order, without the dread of any ill consequences, which the providence of God would prevent. Upon which, when he rose from his sleep, he greatly rejoiced; and declared to all the warning he had received from God. According to the dream he acted entirely, and so waited for the coming of the king.

And when he understood that he was not far from the city, he went out in procession, with the priests and the multitude of the citizens. The procession was venerable, and the manner of it different from that of other nations. It reached to a place called Sapha; which name, translated in Greek, signifies a prospect, for you have thence a prospect both of Jerusalem and of the temple; and when the Phoenicians and the Chaldeans that followed him, thought they should have liberty to plunder the city, and torment the high-priest to death, which the king’s displeasure fairly promised them, the very reverse of it happened; for Alexander, when he saw the multitude at a distance, in white garments, while the priests stood clothed with fine linen, and the high-priest in purple and scarlet clothing, with his mitre on his head having the golden plate on which the name of God was engraved, he approached by himself, and adored that name, and first saluted the high-priest. The Jews also did all together, with one voice, salute Alexander, and encompass him about: whereupon the kings of Syria and the rest were surprised at what Alexander had done, and supposed him to be disordered in his mind. However, Parmenio [Alexander’s second-in-command] alone went up to him, and asked him how it came to pass, that when all others adored him, he should adore the high-priest of the Jews? To whom he replied, “I did not adore him, but that God who has honored him with that high-priesthood; for I saw this very person in a dream, in this very habit, when I was at Dios, in Macedonia, who, when I was considering with myself how I might obtain the dominion of Asia, exhorted me to make no delay, but boldly to pass over the sea thither, for that he would conduct my army, and would give me dominion over the Persians; whence it is, that having seen no other in that habit, and now seeing this person in it, and remembering my vision and the exhortation which I had in my dream, I believe that I bring this army under divine conduct, and shall therewith conquer Darius, and destroy the power of the Persians, and that all things will succeed according to what is in my own mind.” And when he had said this to Parmenio, and had given the high-priest his right hand, the priests ran along by him, and he came into the city; and when he went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high-priest’s direction, and magnificently treated both the high-priest and the priests. And when the book of Daniel was showed him, wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended; and as he was then glad, he dismissed the multitude for the present, but the next day he called them to him, and bade them ask what favors they pleased of him: whereupon the high-priest desired that they might enjoy the laws of their forefathers, and might pay no tribute on the seventh year. He granted all they desired: and when they entreated him that he would permit the Jews in Babylon and Media to enjoy their own laws also, he willingly promised to do hereafter what they desired: and when he said to the multitude, that if any of them would enlist themselves in his army on this condition, that they should continue under the laws of their forefathers, and live according to them, he was willing to take them with him, many were ready to accompany him in his wars.

B. The coming King and His deliverance.

1. (9) A lowly king comes into Jerusalem.

“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King is coming to you;
He is just and having salvation,
Lowly and riding on a donkey,
A colt, the foal of a donkey.

a. Behold your King is coming to you… lowly and riding on a donkey: This Messiah-King is lowly, but this wasn’t indicated by the animal he rode. He doesn’t ride the triumphant stallion of a conquering general, but the customary mount for royalty, coming in peace. This was quite a contrast to the conqueror Alexander the Great.

i. “Brethren, let us be lowly. Did I hear one say, ‘Well, I will try to be lowly’? You cannot do it in that way. We must not try to act the lowly part; we must be lowly, and then we shall naturally act in a humble manner. It is astonishing how much of pride there is in the most modest.” (Spurgeon)

ii. “How we condemn pride! We feel that it would be well if all were as humble as we are. We boast that we detest boasting. We flatter ourselves that we hate flattery. When we are told that we are singularly free from pride, we feel as proud as Lucifer himself at the consciousness that the compliment is right well deserved. We are so experienced, so solid, so discerning, so free from self-confidence, that we are the first to be caught in the net of self-satisfaction. Brethren, we must pray God to make us humble.” (Spurgeon)

b. A donkey, a colt, the foal of a donkey: This seems to be a Hebrew expression of speech emphasizing that the animal is purebred – a truly magnificent, royal mount.

ii. “God had commanded the kings of Israel not to multiply horses. The kings who broke this command were miserable themselves, and scourgers to their people. Jesus came to fulfill the law. Had he in his title of king rode upon a horse, it would have been a breach of a positive command of God; therefore he rode upon an ass.” (Clarke)

b. Rejoice greatly… Shout. Behold, your King is coming: This clearly prophesies what is known as the triumphal entry of Jesus (Matthew ), when He presented Himself as the Messiah to Jerusalem and the people of Israel.

i. Though the triumphal entry was a joyful celebration, a Roman spectator would wonder what was so triumphal about this entry. It didn’t compare at all to the kind of parade Julius Caesar had when he came back to Rome from Gaul. Then there was a parade that lasted three days as he displayed all the captives and booty he brought back. In contrast to this, the procession of Jesus must have seemed pretty humble, and this showed that Jesus was a different kind of King.

2. (10) The strength and the authority of the Messiah’s reign.

I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
The battle bow shall be cut off.
He shall speak peace to the nations;
His dominion shall be ‘from sea to sea,
And from the River to the ends of the earth.’

a. The battle bow shall be cut off: Zechariah belongs to the first coming of Jesus, but Zechariah is associated with the Second Coming of Jesus, when He comes in power and glory to reign over this earth for 1, years. In that day there will be an enforced righteousness, and He will no longer allow war (Isaiah ).

i. “Even though the Evangelists saw fulfillment of verse 9, they did not go on to quote verse 10, which may indicated that they were conscious of having only a partial fulfillment.” (Baldwin)

b. His dominion shall be “from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth”: When Jesus rules over this earth, His reign will be universal. The entire earth will be under His authority.

i. This speaks of the time many refer to as the millennium, the thousand-year reign of Jesus on this earth (Psalm 72, Isaiah , Isaiah , Jeremiah , Luke and , Matthew ).

3. () Judah’s liberation and blessing.

“As for you also,
Because of the blood of your covenant,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.
Return to the stronghold,
You prisoners of hope.
Even today I declare
That I will restore double to you.
For I have bent Judah, My bow,
Fitted the bow with Ephraim,

And raised up your sons, O Zion,
Against your sons, O Greece,
And made you like the sword of a mighty man.”
Then the LORD will be seen over them,
And His arrow will go forth like lightning.
The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet,
And go with whirlwinds from the south.
The LORD of hosts will defend them;
They shall devour and subdue with slingstones.
They shall drink and roar as if with wine;
They shall be filled with blood like basins,
Like the corners of the altar.
The LORD their God will save them in that day,
As the flock of His people.
For they shall be like the jewels of a crown,
Lifted like a banner over His land–
For how great is its goodness
And how great its beauty!
Grain shall make the young men thrive,
And new wine the young women.

a. Because of the blood of your covenant: This probably describes God acting towards Israel in light of the blood of the Covenant of Moses (Exodus ). As Israel turns to God, He will turn to them and rescue them as if they were trapped in a dry cistern (I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit).

b. Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope: Because of His faithful promise, even the prisoners are prisoners of hope. They should receive encouragement from His promise and return to the stronghold – both in the sense of a military fortress and a spiritual fortress in the LORD Himself.

c. For I have bent Judah, My bow, fitted the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece: This was partially fulfilled in the days of the Maccabees, when God raised up Jews to fight against the successors of Alexander’s Empire. Nevertheless, it seems that the ultimate fulfillment of this promise is yet to come.

d. The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet: The idea is that the LORD Himself leads the battle. Both the Bible and the Koran have the idea of the holy war – which Islam calls Jihad – but there is a huge difference between the idea of the holy war in the Bible and in Islam. Jesus alone carries out the Biblical holy war, and never His people. In Islam, the Jihad is the responsibility of every good Muslim.

i. Here, God makes it clear who does the fighting: The LORD their God will save them in that day. This is God’s battle, not the battle of men.

e. Grain shall make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women: As in other passages that speak of the millennium (Hosea , Joel ) here grain and new wine are pictures of prosperity and blessing.

© David Guzik – No distribution beyond personal use without permission

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Zechariah Exegesis



The background for this scripture is the Babylonian exile, which began in B.C. when Babylonia destroyed Jerusalem and forced the Jewish people into exile in Babylon.  In B.C., after Babylon fell to Cyrus of Persia, Cyrus issued an edict that made it possible for the exiles to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the temple.  A large group of exiles returned to Jerusalem under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua in B.C. (Ezra ; , 8; ; ), and were able to dedicate their rebuilt temple in B.C.

The exile had lasted seventy years (Jeremiah ; ; Daniel ; Zechariah ; ).  These were painful years for the Israelites, because their city had been destroyed and they were captives in a foreign land.

Three superscriptions (; ; ) tell us that God&#;s word came to Zechariah the prophet—the implication being that Zechariah was the author of this book.  However, chapters appear to have been written at one time by Zechariah, and chapters appear to have been written at a later date by someone else.  The later chapters deal with the problem of unfulfilled expectations and give the people cause for hope.

The opening verses of chapter 9 tell of Yahweh coming as a divine warrior to render judgment on Israel&#;s enemies () and to protect Jerusalem from harm ().


9Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King comes to you!
He is righteous  (Hebrew: saddiq), and having salvation;
lowly, and riding on a donkey,
even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

&#;Daughter of Zion&#; is a term of endearment.  Zion, of course, is the mountain upon which Jerusalem is built, so Zion and Jerusalem are virtually synonymous in this context.

This verse is reminiscent of , which says, &#;Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of you,&#; says Yahweh.&#;  It is also reminiscent of Zephaniah , which says, &#;Sing, daughter of Zion! Shout, Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, daughter of Jerusalem!&#;  Zephaniah goes on to assure the people of Yahweh&#;s forgiveness and his presence among them.

The cause for rejoicing is that their king will come to them &#;righteous and having salvation.&#;  These people have had seventy years of servitude and humble pie during their exile, followed by a return to Jerusalem that has been difficult and disappointing.

&#;Your King.&#;  The king in question here is the messianic king.  Both Matthew and John quote Zechariah in connection with Jesus&#; triumphal entry into Jerusalem.  In Matthew&#;s version, it sounds as if the messiah comes mounted on two animals, a donkey and &#;a colt, the foal of a donkey.&#;

Their king will be righteous and victorious.  They can depend on him to do the right thing (righteousness) and to save these people (victorious).

&#;riding on a donkey.&#;  Their king will come riding a donkey.  Donkeys are smaller than horses and are used both as beasts of burden and riding mounts.  It was quite common for people to ride donkeys, but a warrior would usually ride a horse.  To have the messiah-king come riding a donkey is a sign of peaceful intentions.


10I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,
and the horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow will be cut off;
and he will speak peace to the nations (Hebrew: goy):
and his dominion will be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.

Ephraim represents the Northern Kingdom (Israel), and Jerusalem represents the Southern Kingdom (Judah).  The Northern Kingdom was taken into captivity by Assyria long ago, and never emerged as a viable nation.  To mention both Ephraim and Jerusalem in this verse is to hold out the hope of a reunited kingdom.

Chariots, horses, and battle bows are instruments of war.  The coming messiah-king will do away with these instruments of war, and &#;will speak peace to the nations&#; (goy).  This word goy is often used to mean Gentiles, so this verse holds out the hope of peace not just for the Jews, but also for the Gentiles.

The messiah-king will reign &#;from sea to sea.&#;  We could say with some certainty that these people would think of the Mediterranean Sea as one of these seas, but the identity of the other is a mystery.  However, in this context, &#;sea to sea&#; is simply a way of saying that the messiah-king will reign over all the world.

The same is true of &#;from the River to the ends of the earth.&#; That is another way of saying that the messiah king will have dominion over all the world.  However, &#;the River&#; warrants comment.  There were three prominent rivers in Jewish history—the Nile (Egypt), the Jordan (Israel), and the Euphrates (Babylon).  Israelites involvement with the Nile ended centuries earlier when Yahweh freed them from their slavery in Egypt, so &#;the River&#; in this verse must refer either to the Jordan or the Euphrates.  Given the recent history of these people as exiles in Babylon, it seems likely that &#;the River&#; refers to the Euphrates.

If &#;the River&#; refers to the Euphrates, that phrase would remind these people of their exile—their captivity—their servitude—their shame.  It would be a source of joy to them, then, to hear that their messiah-king&#;s rule would begin in the place where they were so recently ruled by foreign kings.


11As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant,
I have set free your prisoners from the pit in which is no water.

12Turn (Hebrew: sub—return) to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope!
Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.

&#;As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant&#; (v. 11a).  The covenant that Yahweh had established with Israel began with Abram, long before there was an Israel (Genesis ; ).  Yahweh renewed this covenant with Moses (Exodus 24) and Joshua (Joshua 24) and Jehoiada (2 Kings 11) and Hezekiah (2 Chronicles and Josiah (2 Kings ) and David (2 Samuel ).  Covenants between Yahweh and Israel were routinely ratified by blood sacrifice (Genesis ; Exodus ; ; see also Matthew ; Hebrews ).  The covenant between Yahweh and Israel was many-faceted, but Yahweh summarized its essential provisions in his promise to Abram:

&#;Get out of your country, and from your relatives,
and from your father&#;s house,
to the land that I will show you.

I will make of you a great nation.
I will bless you and make your name great.
You will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
and I will curse him who curses you.

All of the families of the earth will be blessed in you.&#;
(Genesis ).

&#;I have set free your prisoners from the pit in which there is no water&#; (v. 11b).  This speaks to the hopelessness that these people have felt.  A &#;pit in which there is no water&#; is a place where the prospects of survival seem nil.  It is that kind of pit hopelessness that these people have been experiencing.  They have suffered through many decades of servitude in Babylon.  Even after Cyrus freed them, they have experienced one problem after another.  Their rebuilding of Jerusalem has been fraught with conflict with neighboring tribes, and progress has been painfully slow.  It is obvious that, even once the temple is completed, it will have little of the grandeur of Solomon&#;s Temple.  This is a people who need encouragement, and encouragement is the purpose of this discourse.

&#;Turn (sub—return) to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope&#; (v. 12).  The word, sub, is important in the writings of the prophets.  Isaiah earlier promised that &#;a remnant will return&#; (sub) (Isaiah )—and that has happened.  That return has, so far, proven to be far less satisfying that they had hoped, but Yahweh wants them to know that they have reason not to despair—reason to hope.  In fact, he calls them &#;prisoners of hope&#;—an odd phrase that invites our thoughtful consideration.  Does this mean that they are still prisoners, in some sense, even though they have been freed from their servitude in Babylon?  Does it mean that they have reason to hope even though they have not seen their dreams of freedom fully realized?  Or does it mean that they are somehow imprisoned by their hopes—suffering because of their unrealized and, perhaps, unrealistic expectations?  The text doesn&#;t make that clear, but those are all possibilities.

In any event, the word, sub, implies repentance.  To return will require changing their minds and the direction of their lives.  It will require letting go of the things that have separated them from Yahweh.  It will involve embracing Yahweh and Yahweh&#;s commandments wholeheartedly.

&#;Even today I declare that I will restore double to you&#; (v. 12).  Jewish law requires that a thief shall repay his victim double for whatever has been stolen (Exodus ).  It also requires that parents give their firstborn son a double portion of the inheritance (Deuteronomy ).  These people have already received &#;double for all her sins&#; (Isaiah ), so the prophet has promised, &#;Instead of your shame you shall have double; and instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess double; everlasting joy shall be to them&#; (Isaiah ).  Now Yahweh reaffirms that promise.

SCRIPTURE QUOTATIONS are from the World English Bible (WEB), a public domain (no copyright) modern English translation of the Holy Bible.  The World English Bible is based on the American Standard Version (ASV) of the Bible, the Biblia Hebraica Stutgartensa Old Testament, and the Greek Majority Text New Testament.  The ASV, which is also in the public domain due to expired copyrights, was a very good translation, but included many archaic words (hast, shineth, etc.), which the WEB has updated.


Achtemeier, Elizabeth, Interpretation Commentary:Nahum-Malachi (Atlanta: John Knox Press, )

Baldwin, Joyce G., Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries: Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Vol. 24 (Downers Grove, Illinois: Inter-Varsity Press, )

Brown, William P., Westminster Bible Companion: Obadiah through Malachi (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, )

Goldingay, John and Scalise, Pamela, New International Biblical Commentary: Minor Prophets II (Peabody, Massachusetts, )

Kaiser, Walter C., The Preacher&#;s Commentary: Micah-Malachi (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, )

Klein, George L., The New American Commentary: Zechariah, Vol. 21b (Nashville:  B&H Publishing Group, )

McComiskey, Thomas Edward, in McComiskey, Thomas Edward (ed.), The Minor Prophets: An Exegetical and Expository Commentary (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, , , )

O&#;Brien, Julia M., Abingdon Old Testament Commentaries: Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi (Nashville:  Abingdon Press, )

Ollenberger, Ben C., The New Interpreter&#;s Bible:  Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature, Daniel, the Twelve Prophets, Vol. VII (Nashville, Abingdon Press, )

Petersen, David L., The Old Testament Library: Zechariah and Malachi (Louisville: John Knox Press, )

Phillips, Richard D., Reformed Expository Commentary: Zechariah (P&R Publishing, )

Smith, Ralph L., The Word Biblical Commentary: Micah, Malachi, Vol. 32 (Dallas: Word Books, )

Tucker, Gene M. in Craddock, Fred B.; Hayes, John H.; Holladay, Carl R.; Tucker, Gene M., Preaching Through the Christian Year, A (Valley Forge: Trinity Press International, )

Copyright , Richard Niell Donovan

Sours: https://sermonwriter.com/biblical-commentary/old-testament-zechariahexegesis/
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Matthew Henry :: Commentary on Zechariah 9

Chapter 9

At this chapter begins another sermon, which is continued to the end of ch. It is called, "The burden of the word of the Lord," for every word of God has weight in it to those who regard it, and will be a heavy weight upon those who do not, a dead weight. Here is,

  • I. A prophecy against the Jews' unrighteous neighbours-the Syrians, Tyrians, Philistines, and others (v. ), with an intimation of mercy to some of them, in their conversion (v. 7), and a promise of mercy to God's people, in their protection (v. 8).
  • II. A prophecy of their righteous King, the Messiah, and his coming, with a description of him (v. 9) and of his kingdom, the nature and extent of it (v. 10).
  • III. An account of the obligation the Jews lay under to Christ for their deliverance out of their captivity in Babylon (v. 11, 12).
  • IV. A prophecy of the victories and successes God would grant to the Jews over their enemies, as typical of our great deliverance by Christ (v. ).
  • V. A promise of great plenty, and joy, and honour, which God had in reserve for his people (v. 16, 17), which was written for their encouragement.


After the precious promises we had in the foregoing chapter of favour to God's people, their persecutors, who hated them, come to be reckoned with, those particularly that bordered close upon them.

  • I. The Syrians had been bad neighbours to Israel, and God had a controversy with them. The word of the Lord shall be a burden in the land of Hadrach, that is, of Syria, but it does not appear why it was so called. That that kingdom is meant is plain, because Damascus, the metropolis of that kingdom, is said to be the rest of this burden; that is, the judgments here threatened shall light and lie upon that city. Those are miserable upon whom the burden of the word of the Lord rests, upon whom the wrath of God abides (Jn. ); for it is a weight that they can neither shake off nor bear up under. There are those whom God causes his fury to rest upon. Those whom the wrath of God makes its mark it will be sure to hit; those whom it makes its rest it will be sure to sink. And the reason of this burden's resting on Damascus is because the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel (or rather, even of all the tribes of Israel), are towards the Lord, because the people of God by faith and prayer look up to him for succour and relief and depend upon him to take their part against their enemies. Note, It is a sign that God is about to appear remarkably for his people when he raises their believing expectations from him and dependence upon him, and when by his grace he turns them from idols to himself. Is. , 8, At that day shall a man look to his Maker. It may be read thus, for the Lord has an eye upon man, and upon all the tribes of Israel; he is King of nations as well as King of saints; he governs the world as well as the church, and therefore will punish the sins of other people as well as those of his own people. God is Judge of all, and therefore all must give account of themselves to him. When St. Paul was converted at Damascus, and preached there, and disputed with the Jews, then the word of the Lord might be said to rest there, and then the eyes of men, of other men besides the tribes of Israel, began to be towards the Lord; see Acts Hamath, a country which lay north of Damascus, and which we often read of, shall border thereby (v. 2); it joins to Syria, and shall share in the burden of the word of the Lord that rests upon Damascus. The Jews have a proverb, Woe to the wicked man, and woe to his neighbour, who is in danger of partaking in his sins and in his plagues. Woe to the land of Hadrach, and woe to Hamath that borders thereby.
  • II. Tyre and Zidon come next to be called to an account here, as in other prophecies, v. Observe here,
    • 1. Tyrus flourishing, thinking herself very safe, and ready to set God's judgments, not only at a distance, but at defiance: for,
      • (1.) She is very wise. It is spoken ironically; she thinks herself very wise, and able to outwit even the wisdom of God. It is granted that her king is a great politician, and that her statesmen are so, Eze. But with all their wit and policy they shall not be able to evade the judgments of God when they come with commission; there is no wisdom nor counsel against the Lord; nay, it is his honour to take the wise in their own craftiness.
      • (2.) She is very strong, and well fortified both by nature and art: Tyrus did build herself a strong-hold, which she thought could never be brought down nor got over.
      • (3.) She is very rich; and money is a defence; it is the sinews of war, Eccl. By her vast trade she has heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets, that is, she has an abundance of them, heaps of silver as common as heaps of sand, Job Solomon made silver to be in Jerusalem as the stones of the streets; but Tyre went further, and made fine gold to be as the mire of the streets. It were well if we could all learn so to look upon it, in comparison with the merchandise of wisdom and grace and the gains thereof.
    • 2. Tyrus falling, after all. Her wisdom, and wealth, and strength, shall not be able to secure her (v. 4): The Lord will cast her out of that strong-hold wherein she has fortified herself, will make her poor (so some read it); there have been instances of those that have fallen from the height of plenty to the depth of poverty, and great riches have come to nothing. God will smite her power in the sea; her being surrounded by the water shall not secure her, but she shall be devoured with fire, and burnt down to the ground. Tyrus, being seated in the midst of the water, was, one would have thought, in danger of being some time or other overflowed or washed away by that; yet God chooses to destroy it by the contrary element. Sometimes he brings ruin upon his enemies by those means which they least suspect. Water enough was nigh at hand to quench the flames of Tyre, and yet by them she shall be devoured; for who can put out the fire which the breath of the Almighty blows up?
  • III. God next contends with the Philistines, with their great cities and great lords, that bordered southward upon Israel.
    • 1. They shall be alarmed and affrighted by the word of the Lord lighting and resting upon Damascus (v. 5); the disgraces of Israel had many a time been published in the streets of Ashkelon, and they had triumphed in them; but now Ashkelon shall see the ruin of her friends and allies, and shall fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron, concluding that their own turns come next, now that the cup of trembling goes round. What will become of their house when their neighbour's is on fire? They had looked upon Tyre and Zidon as a barrier to their country; but, when those strong cities were ruined, their expectations from them were ashamed, as our expectation from all creatures will be in the issue.
    • 2. They shall themselves be ruined and wasted.
      • (1.) The government shall be dissolved: The king shall perish from Gaza, not only the present king shall be cut off, but there shall be no succession, no successor,
      • (2.) The cities shall be dispeopled: Ashkelon shall not be inhabited; the rightful owners shall be expelled, either slain or carried into captivity.
      • (3.) Foreigners shall take possession of their land and become masters of all its wealth (v. 6): A bastard shall dwell in Ashdod; a spurious brood of strangers shall enter upon the inheritances of the natives, which they have no more right to than a bastard has to the estates of the legitimate children. And thus God will cut off the pride of the Philistines, all the strength and wealth which they prided themselves in, and which were the ground of their confidence in themselves and their contempt of the Israel of God. This prophecy of the destruction of the Philistines, and of Damascus, and Tyre, was accomplished, not long after this, by Alexander the Great, who ravaged all these countries with his victorious army, took the cities, and planted colonies in them, which Quintus Curtius gives a particular account of in the history of his conquests. And some think he is meant by the bastard that shall dwell in Ashdod, for his mother Olympia owned him begotten in adultery, but pretended it was by Jupiter. The Jews afterwards got ground of the Philistines, Syrians, and others of their neighbours, took some of their cities from them and possessed their countries, as appears by the histories of Josephus and the Maccabees, and this was foretold before, Zep. , etc.; Obad.
    • 3. Some among them shall be converted, and brought home to God, by his gospel and grace; so some understand v. 7, as a promise,
      • (1.) That God would take away the sins of these nations-their blood and their abominations, their cruelties and their idolatries. God will part between them and these sins which they have rolled under their tongue as a sweet morsel, and are as loth to part with as men are to part with the meat out of their mouths, and which they hold fast between their teeth. Nothing is too hard for the grace of God to do.
      • (2.) That he would accept of a remnant of them for his own: He that remains shall be for our God. God would preserve a remnant even of these nations, that should be the monuments of his mercy and grace and be set apart for him; and the disadvantages of their birth shall be no bar to their acceptance with God, but a Philistine shall be as acceptable to God, upon gospel-terms, as one of Judah, nay, as a governor, or chief one, in Judah, and a man of Ekron shall be as a Jebusite, or a man of Jerusalem, as a proselyted Jebusite, as Araunah the Jebusite, 2 Sa. In Christ Jesus there is no distinction of nations, but all are one in him, all alike welcome to him.
  • IV. In all this God intends mercy for Israel, and it is in kindness to them that God will deal thus with the neighbouring nations, to avenge their quarrel for what is past and to secure them for the future.
    • 1. Thus some understand the seventh verse, as intimating,
      • (1.) That thus God would deliver his people from their bloody adversaries, who hated them, and to whom they were an abomination, when they were just ready to devour them and make a prey of them: I will take away his blood (that is, the blood of Israel) out of the mouth of the Philistines and from between their teeth (Amos ), when, in their hatred of them and enmity to them, they were greedily devouring them.
      • (2.) That lie would thus give them victory and dominion over them: And he that remains (that is, the remnant of Israel) shall be for our God, shall be taken into his favour, shall own him and be owned by him, and he shall be as a governor in Judah; though the Jews have been long in servitude, they shall recover their ancient dignity, and be victorious, as David and other governors in Judah formerly were; and Ekron (that is, the Philistines) shall be as the Jebusites, and the rest of the devoted nations, who were brought into subjection under them.
    • 2. However, this is plainly the sense of v. 8, that God will take his people under his special protection, and therefore will weaken their neighbours, that it may not be in their power to do them a mischief: I will encamp about my house because of the army. Note, God's house lies in the midst of an enemy's country, and his church is as a lily among thorns; and therefore God's power and goodness are to be observed in the special preservation of it. The camp of the saints, being a little flock in comparison with the numerous armies of the powers of darkness that are set against it round about, would certainly be swallowed up if the angels of God did not encamp about it, as they did about Elisha, to deliver it, Rev. ; Ps. When the times are unusually perilous, when armies are marching and counter-marching, and all bearing ill-will to Zion, then Providence will as it were double its guards upon the church of God, because of him that passes by and because of him that returns, that whether he return a conqueror or conquered he may do it no harm. And, as none that pass by shall hurt them, so no oppressor shall pass through them any more; they shall have no enemy within themselves to rule them with rigour, and to make their lives bitter to them with sore bondage, as of old in Egypt. This was fulfilled when, for some time after the struggles of the Maccabees, Judea was a free and flourishing state, or perhaps when Alexander the Great, struck with an awe of Jaddus the high priest, favoured the Jews, and took them under his protection, at the same time when he wasted the neighbouring countries. And the reason given for all this is, "For now have I seen with my eyes, now have I carefully distinguished between my people and other people, with whom before they seemed to have their lot in common, and have made it to appear that I know those that are mine," This agrees with Ps. , The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous; now his eyes, which run to and fro through the earth, shall fix upon them, that he may show himself tender of them, and strong on their behalf,2 Chr.


That here begins a prophecy of the Messiah and his kingdom is plain from the literal accomplishment of the ninth verse in, and its express application to, Christ's riding in triumph into Jerusalem,Mt. ; Jn.

  • I. Here is notice given of the approach of the Messiah promised, as matter of great joy to the Old-Testament church: Behold, thy king cometh unto thee. Christ is a king, invested with regal powers and prerogatives, a sovereign prince, an absolute monarch, having all power both in heaven and on earth. He is Zion's king. God has set him upon his holy hill of Zion,Ps. In Zion his glory as a king shines; thence his law went forth, even the word of the Lord. In the gospel-church his spiritual kingdom is administered; it is by him that the ordinances of the church are instituted, and its officers commissioned; and it is taken under his protection; he fights the church's battles and secures its interests, as its king. "This King has been long in coming, but now, behold, he cometh; he is at the door. There are but a few ages more to run out, and he that shall come will come. He cometh unto thee; the Word will shortly be made flesh, and dwell within thy borders; he will come to his own. And therefore rejoice, rejoice greatly, and shout for joy; look upon it as good news, and be assured it is true; please thyself to think that he is coming, that he is on his way towards thee; and be ready to go forth to meet him with acclamations of joy, as one not able to conceal it, it is so great, nor ashamed to own it, it is so just; cry Hosanna to him." Christ's approaches ought to be the church's applauses.
  • II. Here is such a description of him as renders him very amiable in the eyes of all his loving subjects, and his coming to them very acceptable.
    • 1. He is a righteous ruler; all his acts of government will be exactly according to the rules of equity, for he is just.
    • 2. He is a powerful protector to all those that bear faith and true allegiance to him, for he has salvation; he has it in his power; he has it to bestow upon all his subjects. He is the God of salvation; treasures of salvation are in him. He is servatus-saving himself (so some read it), rising out of the grave by his own power and so qualifying himself to be our Saviour.
    • 3. He is a meek, humble, tender Father to all his subjects as his children; he is lowly; he is poor and afflicted (so the word signifies), so it denotes the meanness of his condition; having emptied himself, he was despised and rejected of men. But the evangelist translates it so as to express the temper of his spirit: he is meek, not taking state upon him, nor resenting injuries, but humbling himself from first to last, condescending to the mean, compassionate to the miserable; this was a bright and excellent character of him as a prophet (Mt. , Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in heart), and no less so as a king. It was a proof of this that, when he made his public entry into his own city (and it was the only passage of his life that had any thing in it magnificent in the eye of the world), he chose to ride, not upon a stately horse, or in a chariot, as great men used to ride, but upon an ass, a beast of service indeed, but a poor silly and contemptible one, low and slow, and in those days ridden only by the meaner sort of people; nor was it an ass fitted for use, but an ass's colt, a little foolish unmanageable thing, that would be more likely to disgrace his rider than be any credit to him; and that not his own neither, nor helped off, as sometimes a sorry horse is, by good furniture, for he had no saddle, no housings, no trappings, no equipage, but his disciples' clothes thrown upon the colt;' for he made himself of no reputation when he visited us in great humility.
  • III. His kingdom is here set forth in the glory of it. This king has, and will have, a kingdom, not of this world, but a spiritual kingdom, a kingdom of heaven.
    • 1. It shall not be set up and advanced by external force, by an arm of flesh or carnal weapons of warfare. No; he will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horses from Jerusalem (v. 10), for he shall have no occasion for them while he himself rides upon an ass. He will, in kindness to his people, cut off their horses and chariots, that they may not cut themselves off from God by putting that confidence in them which they should put in the power of God only. He will himself undertake their protection, will himself be a wall of fire about Jerusalem and give his angels charge concerning it (those chariots of fire and horses of fire), and then the chariots and horses they had in their service shall be discarded and cut off as altogether needless.
    • 2. It shall be propagated and established by the preaching of the gospel, the speaking of peace to the heathen; for Christ came and preached peace to those that were afar off and to those that were nigh; and so established his kingdom by proclaiming on earth peace, and good-will towards men.
    • 3. His kingdom, as far as it prevails in the minds of men and has the ascendant over them, will make them peaceable, and slay all enmities; it will cut off the battle-bow, and beat swords into plough-shares. It will not only command the peace, but will create the fruit of the lips, peace.
    • 4. It shall extend itself to all parts of the world, in defiance of the opposition given to it. "The chariot and horse that come against Ephraim and Jerusalem, to oppose the progress of Zion's King, shall be cut off; his gospel shall be preached to the world, and be received among the heathen, so that his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth, as was foretold by David," Ps. The preachers of the gospel shall carry it from one country, one island, to another, till some of the remotest corners of the world are enlightened and reduced by it.
  • IV. Here is an account of the great benefit procured for mankind by the Messiah, which is redemption from extreme misery, typified by the deliverance of the Jews out of their captivity in Babylon (v. 11): "As for thee also (thee, O daughter of Jerusalem! or thee, O Messiah the Prince!) by the blood of thy covenant, by force and virtue of the covenant made with Abraham, sealed with the blood of circumcision, and the covenant made with Israel at Mount Sinai, sealed with the blood of sacrifices, in pursuance and performance of that covenant, I have now of late sent forth thy prisoners, thy captives out of Babylon, which was to them a most uncomfortable place, as a pit in which was no water." It was part of the covenant that, if in the land of their captivity, they sought the Lord, he would be found of them, Lev. , 44, 45; Deu. It was by the blood of that covenant, typifying the blood of Christ, in whom all God's covenants with man are yea and amen, that they were released out of captivity; and this was but a shadow of the great salvation wrought out by thy King, O daughter of Zion! Note, A sinful state is a state of bondage; it is a spiritual prison; it is a pit, or a dungeon, in which there is no water, no comfort at all to be had. We are all by nature prisoners in this pit; the scripture has concluded us all under sin, and bound us over to the justice of God. God is pleased to deal upon new terms with these prisoners, to enter into another covenant with them; the blood of Christ is the blood of that covenant, purchased it for us and all the benefits of it; by that blood of the covenant effectual provision is made for the sending forth of these prisoners upon easy and honourable terms, and proclamation made of liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those that were bound, like Cyrus's proclamation to the Jews in Babylon, which all those whose spirits God stirs up will come and take the benefit of.


The prophet, having taught those that had returned out of captivity to attribute their deliverance to the blood of the covenant and to the promise of the Messiah (for they were so wonderfully helped because that blessing was in them, was yet in the womb of their nation), now comes to encourage them with the prospect of a joyful and happy settlement, and of glorious times before them; and such a happiness they did enjoy, in a great measure, for some time; but these promises have their full accomplishment in the spiritual blessings of the gospel which we enjoy by Jesus Christ.

  • I. They are invited to look unto Christ, and flee unto him as their city of refuge (v. 12): Turn you to the strong-hold, you prisoners of hope. The Jews that had returned out of captivity into their own land were yet, in effect, but prisoners (We are servants this day,Neh. ), yet prisoners of hope, or expectation, for God had given them a little reviving in their bondage,Ezra , 9. Those that yet continued in Babylon, detained by their affairs there, yet lived in hope some time or other to see their own land again. Now both these are directed to turn their eyes upon the Messiah, set before them in the promise as their strong-hold, to shelter themselves in him, and stay themselves upon him, for the perfecting of the mercy which by his grace, and for his sake, was so gloriously begun. Look unto him, and be you saved,Isa. The promise of the Messiah was the strong-hold of the faithful long before his coming; they saw his day at a distance and were glad, and the believing expectation of the redemption in Jerusalem was long the support and consolation of Israel,Lu. , They, in their dangers and distresses, were ready to turn towards this and the other creature for relief; but the prophets directed them still to turn to Christ, and to comfort themselves with the joy of their king coming to them with salvation. But, as their deliverance was typical of our redemption by Christ (v. 11), so this invitation to the strong-hold speaks the language of the gospel-call. Sinners are prisoners, but they are prisoners of hope; their case is sad, but it is not desperate; yet now there is hope in Israel concerning them. Christ is a strong-hold for them, a strong tower, in whom they may be safe and quiet from the fear of the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the assaults of their spiritual enemies. To him they must turn by a lively faith; to him they must flee, and trust in his name.
  • II. They are assured of God's favour to them: "Even to day do I declare, when things are at the worst, and you think your case deplorable to the last degree, yet I solemnly promise that I will render double unto thee, to thee, O Jerusalem! to every one of you prisoners of hope. I will give you comforts double to the sorrows you have experienced, or blessings double to what I ever bestowed upon your fathers, when their condition was at the best; the glory of your latter state, as well as of your latter house, shall be greater, shall be twice as great as that of your former." And so it was no otherwise than by the coming of the Messiah, the preaching of his gospel, and the setting up of his kingdom; these spiritual blessings in heavenly things were double to what they had ever enjoyed in their most prosperous state. As a pledge of this, in the fulness of time God here promises to the Jews victory, plenty, and joy, in their own land, which yet should be but a type and shadow of more glorious victories, riches, and joys, in the kingdom of Christ.
    • 1. They shall triumph over their enemies. The Jews, after their return, were surrounded with enemies on all sides. They were as a speckled bird; all the birds of the field were against them. Their land lay between the two potent kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, branches of the Grecian monarchy, and what frequent dangers they should be in between them was foretold, Dan. But it is here promised that out of them all the Lord would deliver them; and this promise had its primary accomplishment in the times of the Maccabees, when the Jews made head against their enemies, kept their head above water, and, after many struggles and difficulties, came to be head over them. It is promised,
      • (1.) That they shall be instruments in God's hand for the defeating and baffling of their persecutors: "I have bent Judah for me, as my bow of steel; that bow I have filled with Ephraim as my arrows, have drawn it up to its full bent, till the arrow be at the head;" for some think that this is signified by the phrase of filling the bow. The expressions here are very fine, and the figures lively. Judah had been taught the use of the bow (2 Sa. ), and Ephraim had been famous for it, Ps. But let them not think that they gain their successes by their own bow, for they themselves are no more than God's bow and his arrows, tools in his hands, which he makes use of and manages as he pleases, which he holds as his bow and directs to the mark as his arrows. The best and bravest of men are but what God makes them, and do no more service than he enables them to do. The preachers of the gospel were the bow in Christ's hand, with which he went forth, he went on, conquering and to conquer,Rev. The following words explain this: I have raised up and animated thy sons, O Zion! against thy sons, O Greece! This was fulfilled when against Antiochus, one of the kings of the Grecian monarchy, the people that knew their God were strong and did exploits,Dan. And they in the hand of an almighty God were made as the sword of a mighty man, which none can stand before. Wicked men are said to be God's sword (Ps. ), and sometimes good men are made so; for he employs both as he pleases.
      • (2.) That God will be captain, and commander-in-chief, over them, in every expedition and engagement (v. 14): The Lord shall be seen over them; he shall make it appear that he presides in their affairs, and that in all their motions they are under his direction, as apparently, though not as sensibly, as he was seen over Israel in the pillar of cloud and fire when he led them through the wilderness.
        • [1.] Is their army to be raised, or mustered, and brought into the field? The Lord shall blow the trumpet, to gather the forces together, to proclaim the war, to sound the alarm, and to give directions which way to march, which way to move; for, if God blow the trumpet, it shall not give an uncertain sound, nor a feeble ineffectual one.
        • [2.] Is the army taking the field, and entering upon action? Whatever enterprise the campaign is opened with, God shall go forth at the head of their forces, with whirlwinds of the south, which were of incredible swiftness and fierceness; and before these whirlwinds thy sons, O Greece! shall be as chaff.
        • [3.] Is the army actually engaged? God's arrows shall go forth as lightning, so strongly, so suddenly, so irresistibly; his lightnings shall go forth as arrows and scattered them, that is, he shot out his lightnings and discomfited them. This alludes to that which God had done for Israel of old when he brought them out of Egypt, and into Canaan, and had its accomplishment partly in the wonderful successes which the Jews had against their neighbours that attacked them in the time of the Maccabees, by the special appearances of the divine Providence for them, and perfectly in the glorious victories gained by the cross of Christ and the preaching of the cross over Satan and all the powers of darkness, whereby we are made more than conquerors.
        • [4.] Are they in danger of being overpowered by the enemy? The Lord of hosts shall defend them (v. 15); The Lord their God shall save them (v. 16); so that their enemies shall not prevail over them, nor prey upon them. God shall be unto them for defence as well as offence, the shield of their help as well as the sword of their excellency, and this as the Lord of hosts, who has power to defend them, and as their God, who is engaged by promise to defend them, and by the property he has in them. He shall save them in that day, that critical dangerous day, as the flock of his people, with the same care and tenderness that the shepherd protects his sheep with. Those are safe whom God saves.
        • [5.] Did their enemies hope to swallow them up? It shall be turned upon them, and they shall devour their enemies, and shall subdue with sling-stones, for want of better weapons, those that come forth against them. The stones of the brook, when God pleases, shall do as great execution as the best train of artillery; for the stars in their courses shall fight on the same side. Goliath was subdued with a sling-stone. Having subdued, they shall devour, shall drink the blood of their enemies, as it were, and, as conquerors are wont to do, they shall make a noise as through wine. It is usual for conquerors with loud huzzas and acclamations to glory in their victories and proclaim them. We read of those that shout for mastery, and of the shout of a king among God's people. They shall be filled with blood and spoil, as the bowls and basins of the temple, or the corners of the altar, were wont to be filled with the blood of the sacrifices; for their enemies shall fall as victims to divine justice.
    • 2. They shall triumph in their God. They shall take the comfort and give God the glory of their successes. So some read v. They shall eat (that is, they shall quietly enjoy) what they have got; God will give them power to eat it after they have subdued the sling-stones (that is, their enemies that slung stones at them), and they shall drink and make a noise, a joyful noise, before the Lord their maker and protector, as through wine, as men are merry at a banquet of wine. Being not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but filled with the Spirit, they shall speak to themselves and one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, as those that are drunk do with vain and foolish songs, Eph. , And, in the fulness of their joy, they shall offer abundance of sacrifices to the honour of God, so that they shall fill both the bowls and the corners of the altar with the fat and blood of their sacrifices. And, when they thus triumph in their successes, their joy shall terminate in God as their God, the God of their salvation. They shall triumph,
      • (1.) In the love he has for them, and the relation wherein they stand to him, that they are the flock of his people and he is their Shepherd, and that they are to him as the stones of a crown, which are very precious and of great value, and which are kept under a strong guard. Never was any king so pleased with the jewels of his crown as God is, and will be, with his people, who are near and dear unto him, and in whom he glories. They are a crown of glory and a royal diadem in his hand, Isa. , 3. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels,Mal. And they shall be lifted up as an ensign upon his land, as the royal standard is displayed in token of triumph and joy. God's people are his glory; so he is pleased to make them, so he is pleased to reckon them. He sets them up as a banner upon his own land, waging war against those who hate him, to whom it is a flag of defiance, while it is a centre of unity to all that love him, to all the children of God, that are scattered abroad, who are invited to come and enlist themselves under this banner, Isa. ,
      • (2.) In the provision he makes for them, v. This is the matter of their triumph (v. 17): For how great is his goodness and how great is his beauty! This is the substance, this the burden, of the songs wherewith they shall make a noise before the Lord. We are here taught,
        • [1.] To admire and praise the amiableness of God's being: How great is his beauty! All the perfections of God's nature conspire to make him infinitely lovely in the eyes of all that know him. They are to him as the stones of a crown; but what is he to them? Our business in the temple is to behold the beauty of the Lord (Ps. ), and how great is that beauty! How far does it transcend all other beauties, particularly the beauty of his holiness. This may refer to the Messiah, to Zion's King that cometh. See that king in his beauty (Isa. ), who is fairer than the children of men, the fairest of ten thousand, and altogether lovely. Though, in the eye of the world, he had no form or comeliness, in the eye of faith how great is his beauty!
        • [2.] To admire and give thanks for the gifts of God's favour and grace, his bounty as well as his beauty; for how great is his goodness! How rich in mercy is he! How deep, how full, are its springs! How various, how plenteous, how precious, are its streams! What a great deal of good does God do! How rich in mercy is he! Here is an instance of his goodness to his people: Corn shall make the young men cheerful and new wine the maids; that is, God will bless his people with an abundance of the fruits of the earth. Whereas they had been afflicted with scarcity to such a degree that the young men and the maidens were ready to swoon and faint away for hunger and thirst (Lam. , 21; , 8; ), now they shall have bread enough and to spare, not water only, but wine, new wine, which shall make the young people grow and be cheerful, and (which some have observed to be the effect of plenty and the cheapness of corn) the poor will be encouraged to marry, and re-people the land, when they shall have wherewithal to maintain their families. Note, What good gifts God bestows upon us we must serve him cheerfully with, and must race the streams up to the fountain, and, when we are refreshed with corn and wine, must say, How great is his goodness!

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Dr. Baruch Korman: Zechariah Chapter 9



Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of
By whom are meant, not the inhabitants of Jerusalem in common; nor the children in it, that said Hosannas to the son of David; but the church of God, and true believers in Christ, who are called upon to "rejoice" and "shout": not merely in an external way, by showing marks of outward joy, but in a spiritual manner, for which there was good reason, as follows: behold, thy King cometh unto thee;
Aben Ezra says that interpreters are divided about the sense of this prophecy; some say it is Messiah the son of David; and others, Messiah the son of Joseph. R. Moses, the priest, he observes, thinks that Nehemiah the Tirshathite is meant; and he himself is of opinion that Judas Maccabeus is intended; but Jarchi affirms that it is impossible to interpret it of any other than the King Messiah; and this is the sense of many of their writers, both ancient and modern. It is applied to him in the Talmud; they say F18, he that sees an ass in his dream, let him look for salvation, as it is said, behold, thy king cometh unto thee, "riding on an ass". R. Alexander relates that R. Joshua ben Levi opposed these two phrases to each other, "in its time", and "I will hasten it", ( Isaiah ) and gave this as the sense to reconcile them: if they (the Israelites) are worthy, i.e. of the coming of the Messiah, "I will hasten it"; if they are not worthy, it shall be "in its time"; and that he also put these Scriptures together, and compared them to that Scripture, "behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven", ( Daniel ) and also what is written, "poor, and riding on an ass"; if they are worthy, he will come with the clouds of heaven; if they are not worthy, he will come poor and riding on an ass F19. In an ancient book F20 of theirs, at least so reckoned, it is said the King Messiah shall prevail over them all (the nations of the world, and the Israelites); as it is said, "poor, and riding on an ass, and on a colt, the foal of an ass": and in several other places of that work, and other treatises in it F21, the text is applied to the Messiah; as it likewise is in their ancient Midrashes or expositions. In one F23 it is observed,

``the Rabbins say an ox; this is the anointed for war, as it is said, "his glory is like the firstling of his bullock", ( Deuteronomy ) an ass; this is the King Messiah, as it is said, "poor, and riding on an ass";''
and again F24, on these words, "binding his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine", ( Genesis ) , this remark is made; this shall be when that shall come to pass which is written of him, "poor, and riding on an ass". And in another F25 of their expositions, the two Redeemers, Moses and the Messiah, are compared together; and, among the several things in which they agree, this is one; as it is said of the former redeemer, "and Moses took his wife and his sons, and set them on an ass", ( Exodus ) so it is said of the latter Redeemer (the Messiah), "poor, and riding on an ass". And thus it is interpreted by many of their more modern writers F26. This is to be understood of Christ's coming, not merely to Jerusalem, when he rode on an ass, after mentioned; but of his coming in the flesh, when he came to Zion, and for her good; and which was wonderful, and therefore a "behold" is prefixed to it; and is matter of great joy, which she is called to show, because of the birth of him who is her Saviour; and because of the good things that come by him; and because of his appearing as a King, and her King; for, as he was prophesied of as such, as such he came, though his kingdom was not of this world; and as Zion's King, being placed there by his Father, and to which he has a right by virtue of redemption, and is owned as such by his people in the effectual calling, and to whom all the following characters belong. He [is] just:
not only essentially righteous as God, but just and upright in the whole course of, his life as man; and faithful in the administration of his office as Mediator; and the author and bringer in of righteousness to his people: and having salvation;
the salvation of his church and people; which he not only had at heart, but had it to execute, being appointed to that service by his Father, and having agreed unto it as the surety of his people, and was the business he was coming into the world to do, here prophesied of; yea, he is called salvation itself, as in a parallel text, ( Isaiah ) the purpose of it was purposed in him; God resolved to save his people by him, and by him only; he never intended to save any but in and through him; and the thing was not only consulted with him, but the scheme of it was drawn in him; God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself. The covenant of grace, in which salvation is a principal article, was made with him; and he, as the surety of that covenant, undertook it; and in the fulness of time being sent, came to effect it; for which he was abundantly qualified, being God and man in one person, and so had something to offer as a sacrifice for satisfaction to law and justice, in order to obtain it; and could put a sufficient virtue therein to answer the end, being the mighty God; and having as Mediator a commission from his divine Father, he is become, by his obedience, sufferings, and death, the author of eternal salvation to his people; and in him salvation is, and in no other; and in vain it is to expect it from any other, or in any other way, than by him, ( Acts ) ( Jeremiah ) . Some render the word "saved" {a}; as he was by his divine Father, when he was raised from the dead, and not suffered to see corruption; see ( Hebrews ) others, "saving himself" F2; when he raised himself from the dead, and thereby declared himself to be the Son of God; and when he brought salvation to his body, the church, which is himself, ( Isaiah ) lowly;
meek, and humble, as he appeared to be in the assumption of human nature; in his carriage to sinners, conversation with them, and reception of them; in his ministrations to his disciples; and in not seeking his own, but his Father's glory. Or "poor" F3; as Jesus the Messiah was; born of poor parents, had not where to lay his head, and was ministered unto by others; See ( 2 Corinthians ) and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass;
which was fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth, ( Matthew Matthew ) not that he rode upon them both, but on the foal only; for so it should be rendered, "upon an ass, that is, upon a colt, the foal of an ass" F4. The Jews have a fable, that the ass Abraham saddled, when he went to sacrifice his son Isaac, was the foal of the ass that was created on the evening of the sabbath, that is, at the creation; and that the same Moses set his wife and sons upon, when he came out of Midian; and the same ass, they say, Messiah the son of David was to ride upon at his coming F5; but one of such a prodigious age surely could not be called a colt, or a foal; however, this fable shows the conviction of their minds that this is a prophecy of the Messiah, and that they expected the Messiah to ride upon an ass, according to it, as our Messiah Jesus did. And the Greeks have another fable, which perhaps took its rise from this prophecy, that when Antiochus entered the temple at Jerusalem, he found in it an image of a man in wood, with a long beard, riding on an ass {f}. And a like falsehood is told by Tacitus F7, that the Jews consecrated the effigies of an ass in the inmost part of the temple; because a flock of wild asses, as he pretends, directed them to fountains of water, when in the wilderness, and ready to die with thirst; and yet he himself afterwards says, the Jews have no images, neither in their cities, nor in their temple: and from hence it may be arose the calumny cast upon the primitive Christians, who were sometimes confounded with the Jews, that they worshipped an ass's head; and which is refuted by Tertullian F8.
Sours: https://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/zechariahhtml

Meaning zechariah 9

Zechariah 9

Zechariah 9

The last five extant folios of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets in the Aleppo Codex (10th century), which include parts of Zephaniah and Zechariah, and the entire text of Malachi.

BookBook of Zechariah
Christian Bible partOld Testament
Order in the Christian part38

Zechariah 9 is the ninth of the total 14 chapters in the Book of Zechariah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the ChristianBible.[3] This book contains the prophecies attributed to the prophet Zechariah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets. This chapter is a part of a section (so-called "Second Zechariah") consisting of Zechariah 9– It concerns about the advance of an enemy (cf. oracles in Amos and Ezekiel), but God defends Jerusalem and his king will triumphantly enter the city to bring peace among all nations. This chapter also contains a continuation of the subject in the seventh chapter.[7] The part about the king's entry into Jerusalem (verses 9 and 10) is quoted in the New Testament, especially in the event of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21, John 12).


The original text was written in the Hebrew language. This chapter is divided into 17 verses.

Textual witnesses[edit]

Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter in Hebrew are of the Masoretic Text, which includes the Codex Cairensis (from year ), the Petersburg Codex of the Prophets (), Aleppo Codex (),[a] and Codex Leningradensis ().

There is also a translation into Koine Greek known as the Septuagint, made in the last few centuries BCE. Extant ancient manuscripts of the Septuagint version include Codex Vaticanus (B; {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {G}}}B; 4th century), Codex Sinaiticus (S; BHK: {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {G}}}S; 4th century), Codex Alexandrinus (A; {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {G}}}A; 5th century) and Codex Marchalianus (Q; {\displaystyle {\mathfrak {G}}}Q; 6th century). Fragments containing parts of this chapter (a revision of the Septuagint) were found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, i.e., Naḥal Ḥever 8Ḥev1 (8ḤevXIIgr); late 1st century BCE) with extant verses 1–5[13]

Foreign Nations Oracles ()[edit]

This section contains some 'wisdom influence', such as the 'eye' motif (cf. Job ), which 'binds the book together', in verses 1 and 8, as well as many allusions to earlier prophets including Amos, Ezekiel, and Isaiah. There is a geographic movement from north to south as the word of the Lord moves from Syria or Aram (verse 1) to Jerusalem ("my house"; verse 8).

Verse 1[edit]

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.
And Hamath also shall border thereby;
Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.
And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust,
and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea;
and she shall be devoured with fire.[17]

Verse 8[edit]

Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,
so that none shall march to and fro;
no oppressor shall again march over them,
for now I see with my own eyes.[19]
  • "As a guard" (ESV; KJV: "because of the army"): from Hebrew: מצבה, a hapax legomenon; it can be read as מִצָּבָה (mitsavah), following Masoretic text, from נָצַב, natsav, "take a stand", or מַצֵּבָה (matsevah, "pillar"); bearing 'the idea of the Lord as a protector'.[20]

King of peace (–10)[edit]

This section serves as a 'linking passage', the first of several passages (; ; ; and ) which 'bind chapters 9—14 together' with some distinct characteristics: 'compact, metrical, uses opening imperatives and vocatives, and links the material that precedes and follows it'. It describes "the king of peace", drawn partly from 'Jacob's blessing of Judah' (Genesis –11) and partly from Psalm

Verse 9[edit]

Zechariah is delivering the prophecy of the King coming to Jerusalem, with the background of Jesus riding on an ass entering into Jerusalem and people spreading their clothes before him, waving palm branches. Illustration by Christoffel van Sichem (–).
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.[21]
  • "Ass" (KJV; NRSV: "donkey") and "colt": point to one animal in the 'style of Hebrew parallelism' (cf. Genesis ; John –15), indicating 'peaceful intentions', in contrast to "horse" (or "war-horse") in verse

New Testament authors see this verse as a prophecy to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday as quoted in Matthew ; John ).[22]

Verse 10[edit]

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.[23]

God will save his people (–17)[edit]

This part pictures God as a warrior who brings 'ultimate victory to his oppressed people against the Greeks'.



The King James Version of verses 9–10 from this chapter are cited as texts in the English-language oratorio "Messiah" by George Frideric Handel (HWV 56).[25]

See also[edit]




  • Boda, Mark J. (). Harrison, R. K.; Hubbard, Jr, Robert L. (eds.). The Book of Zechariah. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing. ISBN&#;.
  • Collins, John J. (). Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures. Fortress Press. ISBN&#;.
  • Coogan, Michael David (). Coogan, Michael David; Brettler, Marc Zvi; Newsom, Carol Ann; Perkins, Pheme (eds.). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version, Issue 48 (Augmented 3rd&#;ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN&#;.
  • Fitzmyer, Joseph A. (). A Guide to the Dead Sea Scrolls and Related Literature. Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. ISBN&#;.
  • Hayes, Christine (). Introduction to the Bible. Yale University Press. ISBN&#;.
  • Larkin, Katrina J. A. (). " Zechariah". In Barton, John; Muddiman, John (eds.). The Oxford Bible Commentary (first (paperback)&#;ed.). Oxford University Press. pp.&#;– ISBN&#;. Retrieved February 6,
  • Mason, Rex (). "Zechariah, The Book of.". In Metzger, Bruce M; Coogan, Michael D (eds.). The Oxford Companion to the Bible. Oxford University Press. ISBN&#;.
  • Würthwein, Ernst (). The Text of the Old Testament. Translated by Rhodes, Erroll F. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans. ISBN&#;. Retrieved January 26,

External links[edit]



Sours: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zechariah_9
Zechariah 9-10 - Jon Courson

Bible Commentaries

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Verse 1


Syria, Phoenicia, and Palestine, were conquered by

Nebuchadnezzar, and afterwards by Alexander. Some apply the

beginning of this chapter () to the one event, and some to

the other. The close of the seventh verse relates to the number

of Philistines that should become proselytes to Judaism; (see

Joseph. Antiq. xiv. 15, 4;) and the eighth, to the watchful

providence of God over his temple in those troublesome times.

From this the prophet passes on to that most eminent instance

of God's goodness to his Church and people, the sending of the

Messiah, with an account of the peaceable tendency and great

extent of his kingdom, 9,

God then declares that he has ratified his covenant with his

people, delivered them from their captivity, and restored them

to favour, 11,

In consequence of this, victory over their enemies is promised

them in large and lofty terms, with every other kind of


Judas Maccabeus gained several advantages over the troops of

Antiochus, who was of Grecian or Macedonian descent. But

without excluding these events, it must be allowed that the

terms of this prophecy are much too strong to be confined to

them; their ultimate fulfilment must therefore be referred to

Gospel times.


Verse Zechariah The burden of the word of the Lord — The oracle contained in the word which Jehovah now speaks.

This is a prophecy against Syria, the Philistines, Tyre, and Sidon, which were to be subdued by Alexander the Great. After this the prophet speaks gloriously concerning the coming of Christ, and redemption by him.

Most learned men are of opinion that this and the succeeding chapters are not the work of Zechariah, but rather of Jeremiah;Hosea, or some one before the captivity. It is certain that Zechariah , is quoted Matthew , as the language of Jeremiah the prophet. The first eight chapters appear by the introductory parts to be the prophecies of Zechariah: they stand in connection with each other, are pertinent to the time when they were delivered, are uniform in style and manner, and constitute a regular whole; but the six last chapters are not expressly assigned to Zechariah, and are unconnected with those that precede:-the three first of them are unsuitable in many parts to the time when Zechariah lived; all of them have a more adorned and poetical turn of composition than the eight first chapters, and they manifestly break the unity of the prophetical book.

I conclude, from internal marks, that these three chapters, (Zechariah , Zechariah , Zechariah ) were written much earlier than the time of Jeremiah, and before the captivity of the ten tribes. They seem to suit Hosea's age and manner; but whoever wrote them, their Divine authority is established by the two quotations from them, Zechariah ; Zechariah See below.

The twelfth, thirteenth, and fourteenth chapters form a distinct prophecy, and were written after the death of Josiah, Zechariah ; but whether before or after the captivity, and by what prophet, is uncertain, although I incline to think that the author lived before the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians. See on Zechariah They are twice quoted in the New Testament, Zechariah ; Zechariah -Newcome.

My own opinion is, that these chapters form not only a distinct work, but belong to a different author. If they do not belong to Jeremiah, they form a thirteenth book in the minor prophets, but the inspired writer is unknown.

The land of Hadrach — The valley of Damascus, or a place near to Damascus. Alexander the Great gained possession of Damascus, and took all its treasures; but it was without blood; the city was betrayed to him.

Damascus shall be the rest thereof — The principal part of this calamity shall fall on this city. God's anger rests on those whom he punishes, Eze ; Eze ; Eze And his rod, or his arm, rests upon his enemies, Psalms ; Isaiah See Newcome.

When the eye of manNewcome translates thus:

"For the eye of Jehovah is over man,

And over all the tribes of Israel."

This is an easy sense, and is followed by the versions.

Verse 2

Verse Zechariah And Hamath also shall border therebyHamath on the river Orontes; and Tyre and Sidon, notwithstanding their political wisdom, address, and cunning, shall have a part in the punishment.

These prophecies are more suitable to the days of Jeremiah than to those of Zechariah; for there is no evidence - although Alexander did take Damascus, but without bloodshed - that it was destroyed from the times of Zechariah to the advent of our Lord. And as Tyre and Sidon were lately destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, it is not likely that they could soon undergo another devastation.

Verse 3

Verse Zechariah And Tyrus did build herself — The rock on which Tyre was built was strongly fortified; and that she had abundance of riches has been already seen, Ezekiel , &c.

Verse 4

Verse Zechariah Will smite her power in the sea — See Ezekiel Though Alexander did take Tyre, Sidon, Gaza, c. yet it seems that the prediction relative to their destruction was fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar. See Amos ; Zephaniah ; Zephaniah

Verse 5

Verse Zechariah Ashkelon shall see it, and fear — All these prophecies seem to have been fulfilled before the days of Zechariah; another evidence that these last chapters were not written by him.

Her expectation shalt be ashamed — The expectation of being succoured by Tyre.

Verse 6

Verse Zechariah A bastard shall dwell in Ashdod — This character would suit Alexander very well, who most certainly was a bastard; for his mother Olympia said that Jupiter Ammon entered her apartment in the shape of a dragon, and begat Alexander! Could her husband Philip believe this? The word signifies a stranger.

Verse 7

Verse Zechariah I will take away his blood out of his mouth — The Philistines, when incorporated with the Israelites, shall abstain from blood, and every thing that is abominable.

And Ekron as a Jebusite. — As an inhabitant of Jerusalem. Many of the Philistines became proselytes to Judiasm; and particularly the cities of Gaza, and Ashdod. See Joseph. Antiq. lib. xlii., c. 15, s. 4.

Verse 8

Verse Zechariah I will encamp about mine house — This may apply to the conquests in Palestine by Alexander, who, coming with great wrath against Jerusalem, was met by Jaddua the high priest and his fellows in their sacred robes, who made intercession for the city and the temple; and, in consequence, Alexander spared both, which he had previously purposed to destroy. He showed the Jews also much favour, and remitted the tax every seventh year, because the law on that year forbade them to cultivate their ground. See this extraordinary account in Joseph. Antiq. lib. xi., c. 8, s. 5. Bishop Newcome translates: "I will encamp about my house with an army, so that none shall pass through or return."

Verse 9

Verse Zechariah Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion — See this prophecy explained on Matthew

Behold, thy King cometh — Not Zerubbabel, for he was never king; nor have they had a king, except Jesus the Christ, from the days of Zedekiah to the present time.

He is just — The righteous One, and the Fountain of righteousness.

Having salvation — He alone can save from sin, Satan, death, and hell.

Lowly — Without worldly pomp or splendour; for neither his kingdom, nor that of his followers, is of this world.

Riding upon an ass — God had commanded the kings of Israel not to multiply horses. The kings who broke this command were miserable themselves, and scourgers to their people. Jesus came to fulfilthe law. Had he in his title of king rode upon a horse, it would have been a breach of a positive command of God; therefore, he rode upon an ass, and thus fulfilled the prophecy, and kept the precept unbroken. Hence it is immediately added-

Verse 10

Verse Zechariah I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horsefrom Jerusalem — No wars shall be employed to spread the kingdom of the Messiah; for it shall be founded and established, "not by might nor by power, but by the Spirit of the Lord of hosts," Zechariah

Verse 11

Verse Zechariah As for thee also (Jerusalem)by the blood of thycovenant — The covenant made with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the Israelites in general, and ratified by the blood of many victims; until the time should come in which the Messiah should shed his blood, as typified by the ancient sacrifices.

I have sent forth thy prisoners — Those who were under the arrest of God's judgments; the human race, fast bound in sin and misery, and who by the pitifulness of his tender mercy were loosed, he dying in their stead.

Verse 12

Verse Zechariah Turn you to the strong hold — Ye who feel your sins, and are shut up under a sense of your guilt, look up to him who was delivered for your offences, and rose again for your justification. Ye have hope; let that hope lead you to faith, and that faith to the blood of the covenant; and, through that blood, to GOD, the Father of all.

I will render double unto thee — Give thee an abundance of peace and salvation.

Verse 13

Verse Zechariah When I have bent Judah — Judah is the bow, and Ephraim is the arrows; and these are to be shot against the Greeks. I am inclined, with Bp. Newcome, to consider that the language of this prophecy is too strong to point out the only trifling advantage which the Maccabees gained over Antiochus, who was of Macedoniandescent; and it is probable that these prophecies remain to be fulfilled against the present possessors of Javan or Greece,Macedonia, and a part of Asia Minor.

Verse 14

Verse Zechariah The Lord shall be seen over them — Shadowing and refreshing them, as the cloud did the camp in the wilderness.

His arrow shall go forth as the lightning — They shall be conquered in a way that will show that God fights for his followers.

The description here is very sublime; we have a good imitation of it in Nonnus: -

&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;,

&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;

&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;.

NONN. DIONYS., lib. 6. ver.

"When heaven's dread trumpet, sounding from on high,

Breaks forth in thunders through the darken'd sky;

The pregnant clouds to floods of rain give birth.

And stormy Jove o'erwhelms the solid earth."

J. B. B. C.

In these two verses there is a fine image, and an allusion to a particular fact, which have escaped the notice of every commentator. I must repeat the verses:

Zechariah 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.

Zechariah And the LORD shall be seen over them, and hisarrows shall go forth like lightning.

The reader will consult what is said on Hosea , relative to the oriental bow, which resembles a [figure "C"] in its quiescent state, and must be recurved in order to be strung. Here, Judah is represented as the recurved bow; Ephraim, as an arrow placed on the string, and then discharged against the Javanites or Greeks with the momentum of lightning; the arrow kindling in its course through the air, and thus becoming the bolt of death to them against whom it was directed.

Volat illud, et incandescit eundo,

Et quos non habuit, sub nubibus invenit ignes.

"It flies apace; and, heating, mounts on high,

Glows in its course, and burns along the sky."

Verse 15

Verse Zechariah The Lord of hosts shall defend them — He alone is the sure trust of his Church.

Subdue with sling-stones — This was an ancient and powerful instrument in the hands of the Hebrews. Judges

They shall drink — After the victory gained as above, thy people shall hold a feast, and drink and be filled with wine. There is no intimation here that they shall drink the blood of their enemies, as some barbarous nations were accustomed to do. When they have gained the victory, they shall banquet abundantly on the spoils taken from the enemy.

As the corners of the altar. — They shall pour out libations of wine at the foot of the altar, as the priests were accustomed to pour out the blood of the victims.

Verse 16

Verse Zechariah Shall save them in that day — They are his flock, and he is their Shepherd; and, as his own, he shall save and defend them.

As the stones of a crown] &#;&#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#; &#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;&#;abney nezermithnosesoth, "crowned stones erecting themselves;" i.e., being set up by themselves, as monuments of some deliverance, they seem to be lifting themselves up; offering themselves to the attention of every passenger. It may however refer to stonesanointed with oil; a sort of temporary altars set up to the Lord for a victory gained. The same word is used, Leviticus "Because the crown, &#;&#;&#;nezer, of the anointing oil of his God is upon him." Perhaps most of those upright stones, standing in circles, which pass for druidical monuments, were erected to commemorate victories, or to grace the tomb of an illustrious chief. These verses may refer to some final victory over the enemies of God's people.

Verse 17

Verse Zechariah How great is his goodness — In himself and towards them.

And how great is his beauty! — His comeliness, holiness, and purity, put in and upon them.

Corn shall make the young men cheerful — They shall be gladdened and strengthened by plenty of food; and they shall speak aloud of God's mercies in their harvest home.

And new wine the maids. — Who shall prepare the wine from an abundant vintage.


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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/zechariahhtml.

Sours: https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/acc/zechariahhtml

Now discussing:

Zechariah 9 Commentary Verses : Let’s turn our attention to Zechariah 9. I’d like us to read the ninth chapter of Zechariah in its entirety.

[Read Zec 9…]

So, this chapter began with an acknowledgement that at some time in the future, the eyes of everyone would be toward the Lord.

And then in verse 8 the Lord ends that verse with this enigmatic statement, “For now have I seen with my eyes…”

Well, what has he seen? What has the Lord looked down the hallway of time to see as he’s giving Zechariah this prophecy?

It’s the very one whose eyes all will be turned toward in some future day. The Lord looks forward to the coming of… the Lord. Verse 9.

KJV Zechariah Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:

behold, thy King cometh unto thee:
he is [just/legitimate], and [having salvation/victorious];

[lowly/humble/gentle/meek], and [riding upon an/mounted on a] [ass/donkey],
and upon a [colt/young donkey] the foal of [an ass/a female donkey].

So, the inhabitants of Zion / Jerusalem are commanded to rejoice greatly and to shout for joy. Why?

Because their king is coming! And he’s coming to them.

We saw in the first 8 verses of this chapter that there was going to be a king of another nation – Greece – that was going to swoop down and destroy a number of other cities north of Israel and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

But what about poor Israel? What would they do as Alexander the Great was destroying all around them?

Well, the Lord promised in this chapter to protect his house – to encamp about it. And that eventually no oppressor would pass through their land anymore.

And that will happen someday. But it didn’t happen in Zechariah’s time. And it won’t happen until the Millennium. But something else had to happen first. Their king had to come to them the first time.

And we saw in this passage how he would come that first time. In some ways, the King of the Jews was prophesied to come as you would expect a king to come – “just” or “legitimate” even. And he has “salvation” or he’s “victorious” – he’s ready to deliver his oppressed people. And of course as this refers to Jesus Christ, he literally had salvation – not just military salvation or deliverance for his people – but spiritual salvation – his ability to save people from sin. There’s no other king like that!

And yet the coming of this king is also unique for its lowliness and unassuming nature. The King of the Jews is prophesied here to come lowly or humble or meek or gentle. Now, I think that you would recognize that this is not the typical posture of a king. No – earthly kings have something to prove. And so, they amass strength of every sort to themselves as they present themselves to their people.

Think of military marches where the entire strength of a ruler’s military is on display. Think of the gusto of our president as he speaks such large swelling words about America’s power. Think of the threats of one nation against another and the strength that those missives are aiming to portray. It’s all about strength. They all have something to prove.

But Jesus Christ has nothing to prove. He doesn’t need to impress people with appearance. He doesn’t need to make a show of his strength. He is strength. He is power. He’s almighty!

And remember that this verse is given in the context God protecting his house from invading armies – this army from Greece in particular that we’re going to hear about in a few verses.

But it’s interesting that Greece’s army under Alexander the Great and Jesus’ coming were several hundred years apart. And yet, this is how biblical prophecy sometimes works. You have a section of texts with no apparent break – but in that section you could have events hundreds or even thousands of years apart.

But the idea is that these people the Jews are going to be in danger until their king comes – and here’s the key – until they receive that king.

We see Jesus doing this very thing in the Gospels. He comes into Jerusalem on a donkey. The message to those people couldn’t have been clearer. This is your king! And in fact, the Jews understood this to be what Jesus was indicating. They cried “Hosanna to the Son of David!” They knew what Jesus was claiming and some of them rejoiced.

But overall, they rejected their king. Their leaders – just like Adam so long ago who was the head and leader of the human race – these folks sinned against the Lord. They rejected their humble, lowly savior. And that’s why to this day they are in danger.

But a time is coming – as we’re told later in this very book – where these folks who have pierced their saving king will look on him and mourn their actions.

And at that point, the activities of verse 10 will commence.

10 And I will [cut off/remove/take away/destroy] the chariot from Ephraim,
and the [horse/warhorse] from Jerusalem,
and the [battle bow/bow of war] shall be [cut off/removed/broken]:

[and/Then] he shall [speak/announce/proclaim] peace unto the [heathen/nations]:
and his [dominion/rule][shall be/will extend] from sea even to sea,
and from the [river/Euphrates River] even to the ends of the earth.

So, peace is what Jesus Christ will bring – not just to the Jews – but to everyone.

But do notice the peace he will bring to the Jews. Ephraim and Jerusalem are mentioned – Ephraim is north and Jerusalem is south. And how many war implements will be left in either of these places? None – he says he will get rid of chariots and war horses and bows from these places.

Why? Well, it’s because the Jews will not need to fight anymore.

But to this day these people are fighting. Most recently, there have been hundreds of rockets fired into southern Israel from Hamas which is funded by Iran. The Jews currently need to defend themselves. They need the modern-day equivalent of chariots and bows and horses to protect themselves.

But in the Millennium they won’t need that. Because they’ll have their king living in their midst.

And what that king will do is to speak peace to the heathen. He’s going to declare peace to the nations. The nations will be greatly desiring that peace. Because they know that they stand no chance against the Lord God Omnipotent who is also the king of their former enemy – Israel.

And as these nations accept the terms of King Jesus’ peace deal, they will come under his rule. And really, there will be no nation outside of this peace agreement. Every nation will be under the dominion of Jesus Christ. Sea to sea. From the River Euphrates to the ends of the earth. Everywhere. Everyone. Everything. It will all be ruled by Jesus Christ the King of the Jews.

And so, when Jesus comes and rules over the world from Jerusalem, those Jews who had been oppressed and even taken captive – they’ll be returned, according to verses 11 and

11 As for thee [also/moreover], [by/because of] [the blood of thy covenant/the blood of My covenant with you/our covenant relationship secured with blood] I [have/will] [sent forth/set free/release] thy prisoners [out of/from] the [pit wherein is no water/waterless pit].

So, when God made a covenant – a promise or an agreement – with Israel at Mount Sinai, there was some blood involved. So, you might think that this is the covenant that God is speaking of – the covenant made at Sinai – the Mosaic Covenant.

However, if we’re talking about the Millennium, we’re not talking about Sinai and the Mosaic Covenant anymore. We’re talking about the New Covenant. That’s the covenant that God promises in books like Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Under that New Covenant, God will write his commands on the hearts of those who have entered into that covenant – rather than writing them on stone tablets like he did at Sinai with Moses. God will forgive the sins of everyone who is in that covenant.

And so, when the Lord here in verse 11 promises to send forth or set free or release these prisoners because of the blood that inaugurated the New Covenant, I tend to see him referring to spiritual bondage and spiritual freedom.

The pit out of which these folks will be freed then is perhaps the depths of sin.

Otherwise, perhaps what the Lord has in mind here is people who had been taken captive during the Tribulation before the Millennium begins and that the Lord is going to physically free these people. And he’s going to do it based on the New Covenant.

I think either interpretation is not outside of the realm of possibility.

And so, in light of this freedom promised and declared to these prisoners, God turns to directly address these folks far into the future – in verse

12 [Turn you/Return] to [the strong hold/your fortress], [ye/O/you] prisoners [of/who have the/with] hope:

What hope? The hope of being released, like he was just talking about in verse 11!

[even to day/This very day/today/even now] [do I declare/I announce] that I will [render/restore/return] [double/twice as much] [unto thee/what was taken from you];

And so, this last statement here seems to indicate that God is being literal. These prisoners will have had things taken from them by their enemies. But at this point, their enemies will be subdued and their king will be ruling the whole world and they’re going to be – not just released – but they’ll have all that was stolen from them returned.

Alright, now, the Lord had said earlier in this text that there won’t be anymore weapons in his new world – the world of the Millennium. Right? Bows, war horses, and chariots will all be a thing of the past.

But that doesn’t stop the Lord from speaking of using humans as his weapons. Look at verse

13 [When I/For I/I] [have/will] [bent/bend] Judah [for me/as my bow/as I bend my bow],
[filled/I will fill/I will load] the bow with Ephraim [i.e., my arrow!],

[and raised up/And I will stir up/I will rouse] thy sons, O Zion,
against thy sons, O Greece,

and [made/I will make] [thee/you, Zion] [as/like] [the sword of a mighty man/a warrior’s sword].

So, this is – by the way – where we have some guidance as to whom the Lord is speaking of back in the first part of this chapter. I’ve mentioned that he’s talking about Greece coming down and attacking Hamath and Hadrach and then a few Philistine cities along the coast. But up until this point, we have no idea who that king there is who’s supposed to lead his army to do these things. But now we hear what nation this is that the Lord is speaking of – Greece.

And some of the references to Greece are historical – especially what we saw earlier in this chapter. Those things were going to happen after Zechariah’s time but yet from our vantage point had already happened – they’re history at this point.

But I’m not inclined to see verse 13 as having already happened. Why’s that? Well, it seems to me that Judah and Ephraim really never could be said to have been God’s bow and arrow against Greece. During and since the time of Zechariah, Zion has never really been like a sword.

Yes, the Jews did rise up against their Romans occupiers about 70 years after Jesus’ birth. But they were put down by Rome’s military might. And I can’t think of a time when Israel would have attacked and defeated Greece.

So, I see these things as happening at the end of the Tribulation right before the Millennium.

And so, this nation that had caused grief and fear to God’s people back in BC or so – at a time yet future to us will be defeated by the nation of Israel.

And how is that? How is it that Israel – who has been so relatively powerless for so many centuries – that they would be in the position to attack and destroy Greece?

That’s because of what we see in verse

14 [And/Then] the LORD [shall be seen/will appear] [over/above] them,
and his arrow shall [go forth/shoot forth/flash] [as the/like] lightning:

and the [Lord GOD/Sovereign LORD] shall blow the trumpet,
and shall [go/march/sally forth] [with/in/on] [whirlwinds/the storm winds] of the south.

So, the arrow that God had just described as being Ephraim – he’s going to shoot it. God is going to come from the south in Israel up north to Greece.

And it’s the fact that the Lord will be with and over his people that will cause them to be so mighty.

And we see some other exploits that the Jews will carry out when the Lord Jesus Christ is dwelling among them in those days.

15 The LORD [of hosts/who rules over all/Almighty] shall [defend/guard/shield/protect] them;
and they shall [devour/prevail/destroy], and [subdue/trample/overcome] [with/on the] sling stones;

[and/Then] they shall drink,
and [make a noise/be boisterous/will become noisy] [as/like] [through/with] [wine/drunkards]; [LXX: and they shall swallow them down as wine…]

and they shall be filled like [bowls/a sacrificial basin],
[and/drenched] as the corners of the altar.

So, you see here a fairly bloody scene. The Jews will destroy their enemies under the leadership of their King Messiah.

And I think he pictures it as if they’re drunk with blood. Now, of course, to drink the blood of anything would be an abomination to the Lord. And certainly literally drinking human blood would be even worse. And so, the Lord is being poetic here. The destruction that the Jews will bring about under Jesus’ leadership will be a blood bath. So much blood it’s as if the soldiers will be drunk with it and be making loud noises as if they were drunk.

And then the Lord says that they’ll be filled – again, with blood. As if they were the bowls that were on the sides of the altar in the Temple to catch the blood of the sacrificial animals.

And one more simile having to do with blood – the Jewish soldiers in those days right at the end of the Tribulation will be like the corners of the altar – just drenched with blood.

But enough of the violent bloody picture for now. At this point now, God wants to focus on the good that he’s going to do for his people Israel in those days.

16 [And/On that day] the LORD their God [shall/will] [save/deliver] them [in/on] that day as the flock of his people:

for they shall be as the [stones/precious stones] of a crown, [lifted up as an ensign/sparkling] [upon/in/over] his land.

And so, we see two metaphors here to describe God’s graciousness with his people in those days.

First, God is going to treat his people like a flock of sheep.

And second, the Lord is going to treat them as precious stones in a crown.

So, they will be near to God and cared for by him. And they will be prized and honored and placed on display for all the world to see his graciousness towards them.

And with all of this mercy and grace lavished upon these people, the Lord concludes this chapter this way.

17 [For how great is his goodness,
and how great is his beauty!/For what comeliness and beauty will be theirs!/How precious and fair!/How attractive and beautiful they will be!]

[corn/grain] [shall/will] make the young men [cheerful/flourish/thrive],
and new wine the [maids/virgins/young women].

So, the goodness and beauty or the comeliness and beauty or the preciousness and fairness is probably referring to these whom God will choose to lavish his grace upon.

And in a way, we who are saved by the blood of Jesus and have entered into the New Covenant already – we’re just as enviable in certain ways. And yet, for us, in this world there is oppression and there is indwelling sin and there is treachery that we are subjected to. And on and on.

But not in the world of the Millennium. Everything will be right and fair and just when Jesus rules the world.

And so, these people under Jesus’ rule are people to be envied. They’ll be provided for with grain and new wine. They will have everything they need.

What an encouragement to these Jews of Zechariah’s day who had so little. They lived amongst the ruins of a once great city. And what God wants them to be aware of is that they have a bright future. And it’s all dependent on their relationship to God’s king for them.

Praise the Lord that we have received this king and will reign with him some day and see all of these wonderful realities come to pass.

Sours: https://www.explainingthebook.com/zechariahcommentary-verses/

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