O U T L I N E
Zechariah ≈ Revelation. The book of Revelation is the main prophetic unfolding in the new Testament as it really takes up the failure of Christendom and God’s Judgment on the false system and people’s with the light of the Christian gospel, and at the same time it points on to the true bride of Christ in her millennial role. In a similar way Zechariah unfolds the failure of the Jewish people, and God’s purpose to bless them in the millennium under the administration of the Mechizadek priest. (see Kelly’s lectures).
1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of Jehovah unto Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, saying, 2 Jehovah hath been very wroth with your fathers. 3 And thou shalt say unto them, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Return unto me, saith Jehovah of hosts, and I will return unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts. 4 Be ye not as your fathers, unto whom the former prophets cried, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Turn ye now from your evil ways, and from your evil doings; but they did not hearken nor attend unto me, saith Jehovah. 5 Your fathers, where are they? and the prophets, do they live for ever? 6 But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? And they turned and said, Like as Jehovah of hosts thought to do unto us, according to our ways and according to our doings, so hath he dealt with us. 7 Upon the four and twentieth day of the eleventh month, which is the month Shebat, in the second year of Darius, came the word of Jehovah unto Zechariah the prophet, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, saying, 8 I saw by night, and behold, a man riding upon a red horse, and he stood among the myrtle-trees that were in the low valley; and behind him were red, bay, and white horses. 9 And I said, My lord, what are these? And the angel that talked with me said unto me, I will shew thee what these are. 10 And the man that stood among the myrtle-trees answered and said, These are they whom Jehovah hath sent to walk to and fro through the earth. 11 And they answered the angel of Jehovah that stood among the myrtle-trees, and said, We have walked to and fro through the earth, and behold, all the earth sitteth still and is at rest. 12 And the angel of Jehovah answered and said, Jehovah of hosts, how long wilt thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on the cities of Judah, against which thou hast had indignation these seventy years? 13 And Jehovah answered the angel that talked with me good words, comforting words. 14 And the angel that talked with me said unto me, Cry, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great jealousy, 15 and I am wroth exceedingly with the nations that are at ease; for I was but a little wroth, and they helped forward the affliction. 16 Therefore thus saith Jehovah: I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house shall be built in it, saith Jehovah of hosts, and the line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem. 17 Cry further, saying, Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: My cities shall yet overflow with prosperity, and Jehovah shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. 18 And I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold four horns. 19 And I said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these? And he said to me, These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem. 20 And Jehovah shewed me four craftsmen. 21 And I said, What come these to do? And he spoke, saying, Those are the horns which scattered Judah, so that no man lifted up his head; but these are come to affright them, to cast out the horns of the nations, which lifted up the horn against the land of Judah to scatter it.
1 And I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 And I said, Whither goest thou? And he said unto me, To measure Jerusalem, to see what is the breadth thereof, and what is the length thereof. 3 And behold, the angel that talked with me went forth; and another angel went forth to meet him, 4 and said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein; v.4 If we go to measure the testimony in a day of ruin, we might get discouraged. The Lord bids the angel to run to this young man to teach him God’s purpose… for blessing on the object of his grace in the end.
5 and I, saith Jehovah, I will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. 6 Ho, ho! flee from the land of the north, saith Jehovah; for I have scattered you abroad as the four winds of the heavens, saith Jehovah. 7 Ho! escape, Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. 8 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts: After the glory, hath he sent me unto the nations that made you a spoil; for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of his eye. 9 For behold, I will shake my hand upon them, and they shall become a spoil to those that served them: and ye shall know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me. 10 Sing aloud and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for behold, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith Jehovah. 11 And many nations shall join themselves to Jehovah in that day, and shall be unto me for a people; and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me unto thee. 12 And Jehovah shall inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and shall yet choose Jerusalem. 13 Let all flesh be silent before Jehovah; for he is risen up out of his holy habitation.
1 And he shewed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of Jehovah, and Satan standing at his right hand to resist him. 2 And Jehovah said unto Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan! Yea, Jehovah that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee! Is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? 3 And Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the Angel. 4 And he spoke and said unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from off him. And unto him he said, See, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I clothe thee with festival-robes. 5 And I said, Let them set a pure turban upon his head. And they set the pure turban upon his head, and clothed him with garments; and the Angel of Jehovah stood by. 6 And the Angel of Jehovah protested unto Joshua, saying, 7 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: If thou wilt walk in my ways, and if thou wilt keep my charge, then thou shalt also judge my house, and shalt also keep my courts; and I will give thee a place to walk among these that stand by. 8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before thee — for they are men of portent — for behold, I will bring forth my servant the Branch. 9 For behold, the stone that I have laid before Joshua — upon one stone are seven eyes; behold, I will engrave the graving thereof, saith Jehovah of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in one day. 10 In that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, shall ye invite every man his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree.
1 And the angel that talked with me came again, and waked me, as a man that is wakened out of his sleep. 2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I see, and behold, a lamp-stand all of gold, with a bowl upon the top of it, and its seven lamps thereon, seven lamps and seven pipes to the lamps, which are upon the top thereof; 3 and two olive-trees beside it, one on the right of the bowl, and the other on the left of it. 4 And I answered and spoke to the angel that talked with me, saying, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not what these are? And I said, No, my lord. 6 And he answered and spoke unto me, saying, This is the word of Jehovah unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of hosts. 7 Who art thou, O great mountain? before Zerubbabel thou dost become a plain; and he shall bring forth the head-stone with shoutings: Grace, grace unto it! 8 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; and his hands shall finish it: and thou shalt know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me unto you. 10 For who hath despised the day of small things? Yea, they shall rejoice even those seven — and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel: these are the eyes of Jehovah, which run to and fro in the whole earth. 11 And I answered and said unto him, What are these two olive-trees on the right of the lamp-stand and on its left? 12 And I answered the second time and said unto him, What are the two olive-branches which are beside the two golden tubes that empty the gold out of themselves? 13 And he spoke to me, saying, Knowest thou not what these are? And I said, No, my lord. 14 And he said, These are the two sons of oil, that stand before the Lord of the whole earth.
1 And I lifted up mine eyes again, and saw, and behold, a flying roll. 2 And he said unto me, What seest thou? And I said, I see a flying roll: the length thereof is twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof ten cubits. 3 And he said unto me, This is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the whole land: for every one that stealeth shall be cut off according to it on this side; and every one that sweareth shall be cut off according to it on that side. 4 I will cause it to go forth, saith Jehovah of hosts, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsely by my name; and it shall lodge in the midst of his house, and shall consume it with the timber thereof and the stones thereof. 5 And the angel that talked with me went forth, and said unto me, Lift up now thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth. 6 And I said, What is it? And he said, This is the ephah that goeth forth. And he said, This is their resemblance in all the land. 7 And behold, there was lifted up a round plate of lead; and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah. 8 And he said, This is Wickedness: and he cast her into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. 9 And I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and behold, there came out two women, and the wind was in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork; and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. 10 And I said to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these carry the ephah? 11 And he said unto me, To build it a house in the land of Shinar; and it shall be established, and set there upon its own base.
1 And I lifted up mine eyes again, and saw, and behold, there came four chariots out from between two mountains; and the mountains were mountains of brass. 2 In the first chariot were red horses; and in the second chariot black horses; 3 and in the third chariot white horses; and in the fourth chariot grisled, strong horses. 4 And I spoke and said unto the angel that talked with me, What are these, my lord? 5 And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. 6 That in which are the black horses goeth forth into the north country; and the white go forth after them; and the grisled go forth towards the south country; 7 and the strong go forth, and seek to go that they may walk to and fro through the earth. And he said, Go, walk to and fro through the earth. And they walked to and fro through the earth. 8 And he cried unto me, and spoke unto me, saying, See, these that go forth towards the north country have quieted my spirit in the north country. 9 And the word of Jehovah came unto me, saying, 10 Take gifts of them of the captivity, of Heldai, of Tobijah, and of Jedaiah, and come thou the same day, and enter into the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, whither they are come from Babylon; 11 yea, take silver and gold, and make crowns, and set them upon the head of Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest; 12 and speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying, Behold a man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up from his own place, and he shall build the temple of Jehovah: 13 even he shall build the temple of Jehovah; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. 14 And the crowns shall be for Helem, and for Tobijah, and for Jedaiah, and for Hen the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of Jehovah. 15 And they that are far off shall come and build at the temple of Jehovah: and ye shall know that Jehovah of hosts hath sent me unto you. And this shall come to pass, if ye will diligently hearken to the voice of Jehovah your God.
1 And it came to pass in the fourth year of king Darius, that the word of Jehovah came unto Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, even in Chislev, 2 when Bethel had sent Sherezer and Regem-melech, and his men, to supplicate Jehovah, 3 and to speak unto the priests that were in the house of Jehovah of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done now so many years? 4 And the word of Jehovah of hosts came unto me, saying, 5 Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and in the seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye really fast unto me, even unto me? 6 And when ye ate, and when ye drank, was it not you that were eating and drinking? 7 Are not these the words that Jehovah cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and at peace, and her cities round about her, when the south and the lowland were inhabited? 8 And the word of Jehovah came unto Zechariah, saying, 9 Thus speaketh Jehovah of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew loving-kindness and mercies one to another, 10 and oppress not the widow and the fatherless, the stranger and the afflicted; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. 11 But they refused to hearken, and turned a rebellious shoulder, and made their ears heavy, that they should not hear. 12 And they made their heart as an adamant, that they should not hear the law, and the words that Jehovah of hosts sent by his Spirit by the hand of the former prophets: therefore was there great wrath from Jehovah of hosts. 13 And it came to pass, like as he called, and they would not hear, so they called, and I would not hear, saith Jehovah of hosts; 14 and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations whom they knew not, and the land was desolate after them, so that no one passed through nor returned; and they laid the pleasant land desolate.
1 And the word of Jehovah of hosts came unto me, saying, 2 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great fury. 3 Thus saith Jehovah: I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem shall be called, The city of truth; and the mountain of Jehovah of hosts, The holy mountain. 4 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: There shall yet old men and old women sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand for multitude of days. 5 And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof. 6 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: If it be wonderful in the eyes of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also be wonderful in mine eyes? saith Jehovah of hosts. 7 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Behold, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country; 8 and I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God, in truth and in righteousness. 9 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, that were in the day that the foundation of the house of Jehovah of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; and there was no peace for him that went out or that came in, because of the distress: for I let loose all men, every one against his neighbour. 11 But now I will not be unto the remnant of this people as in the former days, saith Jehovah of hosts; 12 for the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things. 13 And it shall come to pass, like as ye were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and ye shall be a blessing: fear ye not, let your hands be strong. 14 For thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Like as I thought to do you evil when your fathers provoked me to wrath, saith Jehovah of hosts, and I repented not; 15 so again have I thought in these days to do good unto Jerusalem and to the house of Judah: fear ye not. 16 These are the things that ye shall do: Speak truth every one with his neighbour; execute truth and the judgment of peace in your gates; 17 and let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour; and love no false oath: for all these are things that I hate, saith Jehovah. 18 And the word of Jehovah of hosts came unto me, saying, 19 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful gatherings. Love ye then truth and peace. 20 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: Yet again shall there come peoples, and the inhabitants of many cities; 21 and the inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, Let us go speedily to supplicate Jehovah, and to seek Jehovah of hosts: I will go also. 22 And many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek Jehovah of hosts in Jerusalem, and to supplicate Jehovah. 23 Thus saith Jehovah of hosts: In those days shall ten men take hold, out of all languages of the nations, shall even take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you.
1 The burden of the word of Jehovah, in the land of Hadrach, and on Damascus shall it rest; (for Jehovah hath an eye upon men, and upon all the tribes of Israel;) vv.1-7 they distinctly apply to the march of Alexander’s army and the heavy blows struck north and south of Judea after the battle of Issus… (w. Kelly)
2 and also on Hamath which bordereth thereon; on Tyre and Zidon, though she be very wise. 3 And Tyre hath built herself a stronghold, and hath heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. 4 Behold, the Lord will take possession of her, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire. 5 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gazah also, and she shall be greatly pained; Ekron also, for her expectation shall be put to shame: and the king shall perish from Gazah, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. 6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines; 7 and I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; but he that remaineth, he also shall belong to our God, and shall be as a leader in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. 8 And I will encamp about my house because of the army, because of those that pass by and that return; and the exactor shall not pass through them any more: for now have I seen it with mine eyes. 9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion; shout, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh to thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly and rIding upon an ass, even upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off. And he shall speak peace unto the nations; and his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. 11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I will send forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. 12 Turn again to the stronghold, prisoners of hope! even to-day do I declare I will render double unto thee. 13 For I have bent Judah for me, I have filled the bow with Ephraim; and I will raise up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and make thee like the sword of a mighty man. 14 And Jehovah shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning; and the Lord Jehovah will blow the trumpet, and will march with whirlwinds of the south. 15 Jehovah of hosts will defend them; and they shall devour, and shall tread down the sling-stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as from wine; and they shall be filled like a bowl, like the corners of the altar. 16 And Jehovah their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up upon his land. 17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! Corn shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the maidens.
1 Ask of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain; Jehovah will make lightnings, and he will give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. 2 For the teraphim have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams: they comfort in vain. Therefore they have gone away as a flock, they are in distress, because there is no shepherd. 3 Mine anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the he-goats; for Jehovah of hosts visiteth his flock, the house of Judah, and maketh them as his majestic horse in the battle. 4 From him shall come forth the corner-stone, from him the nail, from him the battle bow, from him every exactor together. 5 And they shall be as mighty men, treading down the mire of the streets in the battle; and they shall fight, for Jehovah is with them, and the riders on horses shall be put to shame. 6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them back again; for I will have mercy upon them; and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am Jehovah their God, and I will answer them. 7 And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their hearts shall rejoice as through wine; and their children shall see it, and rejoice; their heart shall be joyful in Jehovah. 8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall multiply as they used to multiply. 9 And I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children and return. 10 And I will bring them again out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. 11 And he shall pass through the sea of affliction, and shall smite the billows in the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall dry up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. 12 And I will strengthen them in Jehovah; and they shall walk in his name, saith Jehovah.
1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. v.1 The King of the north will sweep down through Israel, starting at the nations north of the land (Lebanon, v.1) through to the nations to the south (Moab, or Jordan, v.3). The King of the north is pictured as a forest fire, racing through Lebanon as Jehovah pours out His indignation (Isa. 10:5; 26:20; Dan. 8:19; 11:36).
2 Howl, cypress, for the cedar is fallen; because the noble ones are spoiled. Howl, ye oaks of Bashan; for the strong forest is come down. v.2 The cypress tree may be a symbol of the nation of tyre (1 Kings 5:8), just to the south of Lebanon… note the progression south. Bashan is in the middle of the land, the Jordan valley is to the south. As one nation falls, the next one to the south will be struck with fear.
3 A voice of howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. v.3 The howling of the shepherds and young lions is coming from the Land of Moab. Their armies are involved with the King of the North (Psa. 83), but he betrays them.
Figures Applied to the King of the North
- A “Whirlwind” (Dan. 11:40b-42).
- The “Overflowing Scourge” (Isa. 28:15-18)
- The “Bee that is in the land of Assyria” (Isa. 7:18)
- The coming “Wolf” (John 10:12)
- The “wild boar” out of the woods (Psa. 80:8-16)
- A “Forest fire” (Zech. 11:1-3).
The parenthesis. The parenthesis (vv.4-14) is a flashback to the time of the Lord’s public ministry, when the nation of Israel rejected Him, and He consequently rejected them. This parenthesis comes in right at the time of the king of the north’s descent. The parenthesis shows us that this attack is the judgment of God on Apostate Israel for rejecting the true Messiah and receiving Antichrist. When the massive northern army sweeps through, the “foolish shepherd” will flee, leaving the “flock of slaughter” that he had vainly promised to protect (Dan. 9:27). The hireling flees when he sees the wolf coming. But the “poor of the flock” which wait on Jehovah, will be sheltered at this time.
4 Thus saith Jehovah my God: Feed the flock of slaughter, v.4 The Lord Jesus received a commission from God His Father to “feed the flock of slaughter” – the mass of the unbelieving Jews, destined to be slaughtered by the Roman general Titus. He did this for 3 ½ years.
5 whose possessors slay them without being held guilty; and they that sell them say, Blessed be Jehovah! for I am become rich; and their own shepherds pity them not. v.5 the “possessors” are the romans who controlled palestine at that time and had no qualms about shedding jewish blood (Luke 13:1) because of their rebelliousness. “without being held guilty” – the Romans were accountable to no earthly power. “they that sell them” – refers to a faithless, spineless element within the nation that compromised with the Romans to get rich (the “herodians”, see Mark 3:6). “Blessed be Jehovah!” – is was all false profession. “their own shepherds” – refers to the sanhedrin who didn’t want to rock the boat either. this was the state of the land due to unbelief.
6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah, and behold, I will deliver men, every one into his neighbour’s hand, and into the hand of his king; and they shall smite the land, and I will not deliver out of their hand. v.6 The Lord announcing that he would turn away from the nation of Israel. “his neighbour’s hand” – refers to the insurrection that characterize the period after Christ. “The hand of his king” – refers to the eventual destruction of jerusalem by the romans, at which time the Lord would stand back and let it burn!
7a So I fed the flock of slaughter, truly the poor of the flock. v.7a could be translated, “So i pastured the flock marked out for slaughter, particularly the poor of the flock”. so, the lord resolves to minister for 3 ½ years, to preach the gospel of the kingdom, to heal the sick, etc. if was public for the nation to see, but there is a little remnant that does have faith, gathered around him, called “the poor of the flock.” he had already “gone out of the house”, turned away from the nation, but his heart now turned toward this little remnant.
7b And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. v.7b the Lord had a twofold messianic ministry:
- Beauty (favor) – the way Messiah would work to beautify the nation and pour out the Millennial kingdom blessings
- Bands (union) – the way Messiah would heal the old division between Judah and Ephraim after 3000 years!
8 And I destroyed three shepherds in one month; and my soul was vexed with them, and their soul also loathed me. v.8 There is no record in history of these three shepherds. It could refer to the Lord silencing the three leading groups of opponents in Judaism; the Herodians, the Pharisees, and the Sadducees in Matt. 22. Or is could refer to the death of three prominent Jewish leaders during the siege of Jerusalem. Dennet says, “It is quite probable – nay, it would be consistent with God’s ways in government at that period – that these shepherds may have passed off the scene apparently in a natural way; but here it is revealed that they were cut off by the hand of Jehovah.”
9 And I said, I will not feed you: that which dieth, let it die; and that which perisheth let it perish; and let them which are left eat every one the flesh of another. v.9 once the Lord fulfilled his ministry, he wasn’t going to shepherd them any more. perhaps this goes on the stoning of stephen… the last straw for israel. “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Matt. 23:38). “let it die“, etc. refers to the apostate Jews who refused the gospel of the grace of god, refused the roman order to leave Jerusalem, and ended up dying for their rebellion. the last four years (66 – 70 A.D.) the city was under seiege, and the people turned to canibalism… “eat every one the flesh of another.”
10 And I took my staff, Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. v.10 when Israel failed the “official test” of his messianic office, the Lord broke “beauty” his promise to restore the kingdom to israel at that time (Acts 1:6). the times of refreshing would not come at that time, the kingdom would be postponed… symbolized by the breaking of the staff “beauty”.
11 And it was broken in that day; and so the poor of the flock that gave heed to me knew that it was the word of Jehovah. v.11 but the remnant (poor of the flock) has a special revelation from the Lord in the teaching of Jesus. the Lord spoke to them in parables (matt. 13:16) so that the apostates would not understand… but the remnant would understand.
12 And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my hire; and if not, forbear. And they weighed for my hire thirty silver-pieces. v.12 Previously, israel had rejected him officially, but now they go a step further and reject him personally. the Lord holds out a test to the apostate nation… “what am i worth to you?” israel showed that he was worth no more to them than the price of a good slave (Ex. 21:32). this was fulfilled to the letter in the greedy person of Judah iscariot (Matt. 26:15).
13 And Jehovah said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at by them. And I took the thirty silver-pieces, and cast them to the potter in the house of Jehovah. v.13 The expression “a goodly price” is spoken in holy sarcasm. Thirty pieces of silver was the price of a good slave; see Exodus 21:32. Judas brought he money back (Matt. 27:3) but the priests would not take it. he threw the coins down, when out, and hanged himself. But the priests swept up the money, and gave it to the potter for a cheap place of burial for the son of perdition. But the son of man… “was with the rich in his death.”
14 And I cut asunder mine other staff, Bands, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. v.14 Now having rejected Christ personally (as well as officially), Zechariah breaks the other staff “bands”. God will not allow Israel to be a “big happy family” again until this bloodguiltiness is repented of.
15 And Jehovah said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. v.15 having rejected the “good shepherd“, god will judge israel by allowing them to receive the “foolish shepherd” (John 5:43). “instruments of a foolish shepherd” – the jewish method of prophesying. zecharaih was to get some props and act out what a foolish shepherd would look like, TO show the people, then put it down and say “that is what it means, thus saith the Lord.”
16 For behold, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, who shall not visit those that are about to perish, neither shall seek that which is strayed away, nor heal that which is wounded, nor feed that which is sound; but he will eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their hoofs in pieces. v.16 this is what israel will get for rejecting the true messiah. they will get a “hireling”… one who has no care for the flock (john 10).
17 Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye; his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye utterly darkened. v.17 When the king of the north reaches the land in is south-moving attack (vv.1-3), antichrist will flee… presumably to Rome, only to return with the beast to meet the Lord (surprise!) on the battlefields of Meggido.
in that day. in Zech. 12 – 14 a number of events are foretold, marked out by that expression, “in that day”.
1 The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus saith Jehovah, who stretcheth out the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him: 2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of bewilderment unto all the peoples round about, and also against Judah shall it be in the siege against Jerusalem. 3 And it shall come to pass in that day that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone unto all peoples: all that burden themselves with it shall certainly be wounded, and all the nations of the earth shall be assembled together against it. 4 In that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness; but I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the peoples with blindness. 5 And the leaders of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength through Jehovah of hosts their God. 6 In that day will I make the leaders of Judah like a hearth of fire among wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the peoples round about, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem shall dwell again in her own place, in Jerusalem. 7 And Jehovah shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem be not magnified over Judah. 8 In that day will Jehovah defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that stumbleth among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David as God, as the Angel of Jehovah before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look on me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for an only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart: the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; 13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; 14 all the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. v.1 this is a figurative way of saying that the two tribes will appropriate to themselves the work of the cross.
False-Prophets Exposed and Judged (13:2-4)
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith Jehovah of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. 3 And it shall come to pass, if any shall yet prophesy, that his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of Jehovah; and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. 4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he prophesieth; neither shall they wear a hairy mantle to deceive.
Christ’s Character Contrasted with False Prophets (13:5-7)
vv.5-7 These verses are some of the most difficult in scripture to interpret. For more help, I would refer you to the exposition of William Kelly on Zechariah. In ch.11, there is a similar shift as with what we have here. There were have the true Shepherd before us up to v.14, then a sudden change to speak of Antichrist, the foolish shepherd, whose qualities are totally opposite to those of Christ. Here we have the false prophets before us in vv.2-4, and then Christ’s opposite qualities in vv.5-7. Some of the expressions might seem questionable to us, but we must see them in their context.
5 And he shall say, I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for man acquired me as bondman from my youth. v.5 It is hard for us to picture Christ saying “I am no prophet”. Wasn’t He the true Prophet of whom Moses wrote? Yes, but what is being brought out here is the humility and lowliness of Christ at His first coming. He didn’t take a prominent place when He was here; He did not take a place of leadership in Judaism. Instead, He took the place of a servant from His youth (Exodus 21:1-6). He tilled the ground; i.e. He willingly took a place in a world under the curse. How different from the false-prophets of Israel!
6 And one shall say unto him, What are those wounds in thy hands? And he will say, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. v.6 This refers to the Messiah’s rejection by the Jews; the “house of His friends”. The question is being raised, as if to ask, “If you claim to be so different than the false prophets, why then do you have marks of punishment in your hands? Surely, those marks must be justified.” The answer is solemn. “I didn’t get these marks as a result of my own sins, but was unjustly wounded by those who ought to have loved me”. His wounds are not proof of His own guilt, but rather of the Jews’ own guilt. It has been suggested that these words will be spoken by the ten tribes when they are restored to the Lord; words which reveal their ignorance, because they were absent from Palestine when Christ came the first time. This could be an application, but it doesn’t really seem to flow with the chapter. It actually applies better to the Jews, who esteemed Christ “stricken, smitten of God and afflicted” (Isa. 53:4). The Jews will need to recognize that Christ’s wounds were because of their sins, not His.
7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, even against the man that is my fellow, saith Jehovah of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn my hand upon the little ones. v.7 Jesus quoted this verse in Matt. 26:31, which shows beyond a doubt that the Shepherd here is Christ. He is called Jehovah’s fellow. Who else is God’s fellow but God’s Son? The sword is the symbol of God’s judgment; compare with ch.11, v.17 where the false shepherd (Antichrist) is foretold to come under the sword of Jehovah. The sheep would be scattered when Christ with crucified, but after His resurrection Jehovah’s hand would be on the “little ones” for blessing. The scattering of the sheep refers to the nation of Israel being scattered from the first century A.D. until the present as the government of God for the crucifixion of Messiah, but the Lord applies it to the scattering of the disciples. The blessing of the “little ones” is future. Note: there is a disagreement between the expositors on the meaning of this verse. They both agree that “the little ones” are the faithful remnant. However, J.N. Darby suggests that “I will turn my hand” is for judgment, and W. Kelly suggest it is for blessing. Darby’s reasoning is that during the tribulation God will pass the faithful remnant through judgments that make them feel Israel’s sin; and he cites similar uses of the expression, Isaiah 1:25, Amos 1:8, and Psalm 81:14. However, in his Synopsis, Darby appears to take a different view, that the turning of Jehovah’s hand is for blessing. Kelly’s reasoning is that out of Christ’s sufferings has come blessing for those who belong to Him. I tend to agree with the latter position, but could really see it either way.
The Nation of Israel Purged by Judgment (13:8-9)
8 And it shall come to pass in all the land, saith Jehovah, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 9 And I will bring the third part into the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried. They shall call on my name, and I will answer them: I will say, It is my people; and they shall say, Jehovah is my God.
1 Behold, the day cometh for Jehovah, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 And I will assemble all the nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity; and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 And Jehovah will go forth and fight with those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem toward the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, — a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. 5 And ye shall flee by the valley of my mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: ye shall even flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. And Jehovah my God shall come, and all the holy ones with thee. 6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that there shall not be light; the shining shall be obscured. 7 And it shall be one day which is known to Jehovah, not day, and not night; and it shall come to pass, at eventide it shall be light. 8 And it shall come to pass in that day that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the eastern sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9 And Jehovah shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Jehovah, and his name one. 10 All the land from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem shall be turned as the Arabah; and Jerusalem shall be lifted up, and shall dwell in her own place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner-gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; and Jerusalem shall dwell safely. 12 And this shall be the plague wherewith Jehovah will smite all the peoples that have warred against Jerusalem: their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day that a great panic from Jehovah shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the nations round about shall be gathered together — gold, and silver, and garments, in great abundance. 15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in those camps, as this plague. 16 And it shall come to pass, that all that are left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso goeth not up of the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of hosts, upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, neither shall it be upon them; there shall be the plague, wherewith Jehovah will smite the nations that go not up to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations that go not up to celebrate the feast of tabernacles. 20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO JEHOVAH; and the pots in Jehovah’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21 And every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto Jehovah of hosts; and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein. And in that day there shall be no more a Canaanite in the house of Jehovah of hosts.