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Zech. 8:1-8; 9:9-12 NOTES

I.  Zech. 8:1-8 - T. Constable Exposition

Israel's restoration to God's favor 8:1-17

Chapter 8 not only contains two major messages from the Lord (Zechariah 8:1-23) but 10 minor messages, "a decalogue of divine words," [Note: Leupold, p. 141.] that make up the two major ones. Another writer believed there were seven oracles in this section. [Note: Waltke, p. 846.] "Thus says the Lord" introduces each of these minor messages (Zechariah 8:2-23) each of which contains a promise of future blessing for Israel. These short sayings may have been the texts of different sermons that Zechariah had preached and later wove together because of their similar content. [Note: Baldwin, p. 148.]

"In the preceding section [ch. 7] Israel was to repent and live righteously after the punishment of her captivity; here [in ch. 8] she is to repent and live righteously because of the promise of her future restoration." [Note: Barker, pp. 649-50.]

The whole chapter presents Israel's eventual restoration and participation in full millennial blessing. [Note: Unger, p. 132.] The restoration from exile in Zechariah's day was only a precursor of greater future blessing and prosperity.

"Of a total of 36 occurrences of 'YHWH of hosts' in Zechariah, 15 are in this one oracle [ch. 8], the highest concentration of the phrase in the OT with the possible exception of Malachi. Even more remarkable, it occurs six times in the present passage alone [Zechariah 8:1-8], a passage that focuses narrowly on eschatological restoration. So humanly impossible will that be, it can come to pass only by the resources of the Almighty One." [Note: Merrill, p. 220.]

v. 1: Then the word of the LORD of armies came, saying. "The introductory formula lacks the words to me in the original, a fact which suggests that Zechariah was repeating words he had often spoken rather than expressing a new revelation." [Note: Baldwin, p. 149.]

v. 2: "The LORD of armies says this: 'I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.' - Amighty Yahweh had revealed that He was very jealous for the exclusive love and commitment of His people (cf. Zechariah 1:14). His loving jealousy burned within Him.

   ▪ ". . . YHWH is a 'jealous God' (Exodus 20:5), one who tolerates no rivals real or imaginary and who is zealous to protect His uniqueness and maintain the allegiance of His people to Himself alone. He is also jealous for His people, that is, He is protective of them against all who would challenge them or claim to be elect alongside them. Therefore, He is zealous to safeguard their interests and come to their defense." [Merrill]

   ▪ The English word "jealous" derives from the Latin zelus, "zeal."

   ▪ "The zeal with which God had carried through His chastisement of Israel and then of the nations (Zechariah 1:15; Zechariah 1:21) was now burning to restore the covenant bond." [Note: Baldwin, p. 149.]


v. 3: The LORD says this: 'I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of armies will be called the Holy Mountain.'Yahweh announced that He would return to Zion and reside among His people in Jerusalem again (cf. Zechariah 1:16; Zechariah 2:10). When He did, people would call Jerusalem the City of Truth, and they would refer to the temple mount as the Holy Mountain (cf. Zechariah 14:20-21). Finally the recurring cycle of apostasy followed by punishment would end.

   ▪ "Jerusalem did not acquire this character in the period after the captivity, in which, though not defiled by gross idolatry, as in the times before the captivity, it was polluted by other moral abominations no less than it had been before. Jerusalem becomes a faithful city for the first time through the Messiah, and it is through Him that the temple mountain first really becomes the holy mountain." [Note: Keil, 2:312.]


v. 4-5: The LORD of armies says this: 'Old men and old women will again sit in the public squares of Jerusalem, each person with his staff in his hand because of age. 5 And the public squares of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its squares.'- Then the elderly would feel secure enough to sit in the open streets again, and children would again play in the streets because they would be safe. During the destruction of Jerusalem both of these groups of Israelites had suffered greatly (Lamentations 2:21). In other words, Jerusalem would become a place of tranquillity, long life, peace, prosperity, and security for even the most defenseless of her citizens (cf. Isaiah 65:20-25). These conditions await the return of Jesus Christ at His second coming.

   ▪ "In one of the most amazing and challenging statements about measurement of the health of society, Zechariah suggests that we look at the place the old and the young have in that society." [Note: Smith, p. 233.]

v. 6: The LORD of armies says this: 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of armies. Even though these blessings seemed impossible to the people of Zechariah's day, they were not to assume that they would be impossible for the Lord. His promises of blessing were as hard for the returned exiles to believe as His threats of judgment had been for their ancestors previously.

v. 7-8: The LORD of armies says this: 'Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; 8 and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness - Sovereign Yahweh promised to deliver His people from the distant places in the world where He had scattered them and to bring them back to live in Jerusalem (cf. Isaiah 11:11-12; Jeremiah 30:7-11; Jeremiah 31:7-8). Jerusalem stands for the whole land here (by metonymy), not "the true church of God." It identifies the place where people would come to worship the Lord. There they would enjoy intimacy with Him, a relationship marked by truth and righteous-ness. This future Exodus depended on Yahweh's electing grace and His covenant faithfulness just as much as the original Exodus did.

   ▪ "'They will be my people, and I will be . . . their God' is covenant terminology, pertaining to intimate fellowship in a covenant relationship (cf. Genesis 17:7-8; Exodus 6:7; Exodus 19:5-6; Exodus 29:45-46; Leviticus 11:45; Leviticus 22:33; Leviticus 25:38; Leviticus 26:12; Leviticus 26:44-45; Numbers 15:41; Deuteronomy 4:20; Deuteronomy 29:12-13; Jeremiah 31:33; Jeremiah 32:38; Ezekiel 37:27; 2 Corinthians 6:16; Revelation 21:3)." [Note: Barker, p. 651.]

   ▪ "This is one of the greatest and most comprehensive promises in reference to Israel's restoration and conversion to be found in the prophetic Scriptures." [Note: Baron, p. 237.]


Zech. 9:9-12 - Constable Exposition 

v. 9:  Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is righteous and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. - The Israelites should rejoice greatly because their King was coming to them (cf. Zephaniah 3:15). The first part of this verse contains three figures of speech. Zechariah personified Zion and Jerusalem as rejoicing and shouting, he named the city in place of its inhabitants (metonymy), and he used the city to represent the whole nation (synecdoche). Israel's King would be a just ruler who would bring salvation with Him.

  • "He is victorious, not in himself or anything that he personally commands, but by the grace, and in the might, of the God of Israel. . . . His triumph, therefore, is the triumph of the faith of the Servant of Yahweh." [Note: H. G. Mitchell, "Haggai and Zechariah," in A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and Jonah, p. 273.]
  • ""The world's peace depends upon a Savior and His salvation." [Note: Feinberg, God Remembers, p. 165.]

The king would, therefore, be humble, not proud and boastful. Zechariah pictured this humble king riding on a gentle donkey colt (cf. Genesis 49:11; Matthew 21:1-9; Mark 11:1-10; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:12-15). A donkey's colt was a purebred donkey, one born of a female donkey rather than of a mule.

  • ""It thus qualified to be a royal mount." [Note: Baldwin, p. 166.]

In the ancient Near East rulers commonly rode donkeys if they came in peace (Judges 5:10; Judges 10:4; Judges 12:14; 2 Samuel 16:2; 1 Kings 1:33), but they rode horses into war. This verse gives one reason the Israelites should rejoice: the coming of the King. Alexander the Great's coming inspired fear, but Messiah's coming would inspire joy.

The advent of Zion's King 9:9-10:  "This text is one of the most messianically significant passages of all the Bible, in both the Jewish and Christian traditions. Judaism sees in it a basis for a royal messianic expectation, whereas the NT and Christianity see a prophecy of the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His crucifixion (Matthew 25:5; John 12:15). Thus, though the fulfillment may be in dispute, there is unanimous conviction that a descendant of David is depicted here, one who, though humble, rides as a victor into his capital city Jerusalem. The way will have been prepared by the imposition of universal peace, following which the king will exercise dominion over the whole world." [Note: Merrill, pp. 249-50. For further explanation of the Jewish view, see Joseph Klausner, The Messianic Idea in Israel, pp. 203-40.]   "We have pictured for us: (1) the Agent of peace, (2) the method of peace, and (3) the kingdom of peace." [Note: Feinberg, God Remembers, p. 163.]

v. 10: And I will eliminate the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be eliminated. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. - The entire age of the church fits between Zechariah 9:9-10, just as it does between Isaiah 9:6-7 and after the comma in Isaiah 61:2." [Note: Wiersbe, p. 467.]  This verse gives a second reason for rejoicing: the establishment of the King's kingdom. The Gospel writers believed Jesus was the coming King, but they said He fulfilled only Zechariah 9:9, not Zechariah 9:10, during His past earthly ministry (Matthew 21:5; John 12:15; cf. Revelation 19:11-16). The Lord would end war in Israel and would establish peace in the world with His sovereign proclamation (cf. Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 9:5-7; Isaiah 11:1-10; Micah 5:10-15). Note the worldwide extent of Messiah's kingdom predicted here.

  • "The chariot, the war-horse, and the battle bow represent the whole arsenal used in ancient warfare; so the passage implies the destruction of this whole arsenal." [Note: Barker, p. 663.]
  • Yahweh would rule through this King over Israel, and His dominion would be worldwide, from the Euphrates River in the East to the ends of the earth (a merism; cf. Psalms 72:8-11; Isaiah 66:18). In both of these verses, Messiah contrasts with Alexander the Great, the king who initially fulfilled Zechariah 9:1-8.
  • "One clue to the anticipation of a twofold event-a Palm Sunday as well as eschatological procession-lies in the clear difference in tone or emphasis between Zechariah 9:9 and Zechariah 9:10. In Zechariah 9:9 the coming one, designated king to be sure, nevertheless is described as 'humble' or 'lowly,' a most inappropriate way to speak of one whose triumph is complete in every respect. Only in Zechariah 9:10 is that triumph translated into universal dominion. The lowly one of Zechariah 9:9, though victorious in some sense, does not achieve the fruits of that victory until Zechariah 9:10.
  • "Admittedly, exegesis of the passage apart from NT considerations would never uncover the distinction just suggested between the verses." [Note: Merrill, p. 250.]

This ambiguity resulted in some pre-Christian sects of Judaism, including the Qumran community, expecting two Messiahs. [Note: See Klausner, p. 394.]

v. 11: As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. - As for the Israelites (Zion), the Lord promised to set free those of them whom their enemies would hold prisoner. He pictured this as taking them out of a dry cistern where they were captives, like Joseph and Jeremiah (Genesis 37:24; Jeremiah 38:6-9).

  • "God's people had been in the 'pit' of Babylonian exile, but they would find themselves in a worse predicament in the end of the age. From that pit God would again retrieve them according to His faithfulness to His covenant promises." [Note: Merrill, p. 258.]
  • Blood sacrifices ratified the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 15:9-11) and the Mosaic Covenant (Exodus 24:3-8; Exodus 29:38-46; cf. Mark 14:24).

v. 12: Return to the stronghold, you prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you. - Before Messiah can reign in peace, He must destroy all enemies and deliver and restore His people (cf. Psalms 110). The Lord called these former Israelite prisoners of the nations who were now free to return to their Stronghold, namely, Himself (cf. Psalms 18:2; Psalms 31:3; Psalms 71:3; Psalms 91:2; Psalms 144:2; Jeremiah 16:19; Nahum 1:7). He Himself promised to restore to them double of what He had allowed their enemy to take from them (cf. Job 42:10). A double restoration of joy pictures a complete restoration (by metonymy; cf. Job 42:12-13; Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 51:19; Isaiah 61:7).


II.  Zech. 9:9-12 - Donovan Exposition


CONTEXT:  The background for this scripture is the Babylonian exile, which began in 587 B.C. when Babylonia destroyed Jerusalem and forced the Jewish people into exile in Babylon. In 538 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 520 B.C. (Ezra 2:2; 3:2, 8; 4:3; 5:2), and were able to dedicate their rebuilt temple in 516 B.C.

The exile had lasted seventy years (Jeremiah 25:11-12; 29:10; Dan. 9:2; Zech. 1:12; 7:5). These were painful years for the Israelites, because their city had been destroyed and they were captives in a foreign land. Three superscriptions (1:1; 1:7; 7:1) tell us that God's word came to Zechariah the prophet-the implication being that Zechariah was the author of this book. However, chapters 1-8 appear to have been written at one time by Zechariah, and chapters 9-14 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 (9:1-7) and to protect Jerusalem from harm (9:8).


9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!  Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your king is coming to you;  He is righteous and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted 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 2:10, 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 3:14, 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 endowed with 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 21:5 and John 12:15 quote Zechariah 9:9 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.


10 And I will eliminate the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be eliminated.  And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the Euphrates 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.


11 As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring 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 12:1-3; 15:18-20). Yahweh renewed this covenant with Moses (Exodus 24) and Joshua (Joshua 24) and Jehoiada (2 Kings 11) and Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 29:10 and Josiah (2 Kings 23:3) and David (2 Samuel 7:12-17). Covenants between Yahweh and Israel were routinely ratified by blood sacrifice (Genesis 15:9-11; Exodus 24:5-8; 29:38-46; see also Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:15-22). 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."  (Gen. 12:1-3).

"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.

"Return to the stronghold, you prisoners who have hope" (v. 12). The word, sub (return), is important in the writings of the prophets. Isaiah earlier promised that "a remnant will return" (sub) (Isaiah 10:21)-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 22:4-9). It also requires that parents give their firstborn son a double portion of the inheritance (Deuteronomy 21:17). These people have already received "double for all her sins" (Isaiah 40:2), 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 61:7). Now Yahweh reaffirms that promise.



I. EW Commentary-Zech. 8:1-8

1. (8:1-2) The LORD says: My passionate love for Israel has not diminished.

Then the word of the Lord of armies came, saying, 2 "The Lord of armies says this: 'I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.'

a. Thus says the LORD of hosts: God introduced Himself with a title declaring His power and majesty. He is the LORD of hosts, with hosts referring to the armies of heaven. The title itself is a wake-up call.

b. I am zealous for Zion with great zeal: The word for zealous in the ancient Hebrew comes from the idea "to become intensely red." It has the thought of a face becoming flushed with deep emotion. This shows that God is passionately concerned for His people.

2. (8:3) The LORD says: Jerusalem will be restored.

The LORD says this: 'I will return to Zion and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. Then Jerusalem will be called the City of Truth, and the mountain of the LORD of armies will be called the Holy Mountain.'

a. I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: God's people and city would be transformed by the presence of the LORD.

b. Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth... The Holy Mountain: Because of God's presence the city will be transformed into a place of truth and holiness. When God's presence is real and embraced in our life, we become peopleof Truth and Holypeople.

i. In 2 Corinthians 3:18 Paul describes this process of transformation: But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

3. (8:4-5) The LORD says: Jerusalem will be a thriving, safe place.

The LORD of armies says this: 'Old men and old women will again sit in the public squares of Jerusalem, each person with his staff in his hand because of age. 5 And the public squares of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its squares.'

a. Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem: Because of the difficulty and hardship of returning to Jerusalem, there were probably few old people in the city, and their absence was felt. But the LORD promised that all that would change one day and young and old together would enjoy the city in safety. This was a significant promise because in Zechariah's time Jerusalem's walls were ruined and the city was not safe and secure for old men and old women or for boys and girls playing in its streets.

b. The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets: Dr. J. Vernon McGee took this as meaning that there would be no cars in the millennial Jerusalem.

4. (8:6) The LORD says: Even if it is too amazing for you, is it too hard for Me?

The LORD of armies says this: 'If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?' declares the LORD of armies.

a. If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of the people: The promise of a transformed, prosperous, safe Jerusalem seemed a little too fantastic to believe when the city was half-built and the walls wouldn't be completed for another 60 years.

b. Will it also be marvelous in My eyes? Just because it seemed too big in the eyes of man, it was not too marvelous for the LORD. As Jesus said, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible" (Matthew 19:26).

i. "I remember when a boy being taken to see the residence of one of our nobility, and the good friend who took me noticed my astonishment at the largeness of the house. I was amazed at it, having never seen anything like it, and so I said, 'What a house for a man to live in!' 'Bless you, boy,' said he, 'this is only the kitchen!' I was only looking at the servants' apartments, and was astonished at the grandeur thereof; but the mansion itself was a far nobler affair. Oftentimes when you see what the Lord has done, you are ready to cry out, 'How can all this be? His goodness, his mercy, is it as great as this?' Rest assured that you have only seen a little of his goodness, as it were the kitchen of his great house: you have not seen the palace of the Most High, where he reveals his full power and splendor." (Spurgeon)

5. (7-8) The LORD says: Israel will be gathered, far more than the few who have returned thus far.

The LORD of armies says this: 'Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; 8 and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.'

a. I will save My people from the land of the east and from the land of the west: Proportionately, few among the exiles returned to the Promised Land. God promised a gathering from exile to come that would far surpass the present gathering.

b. They shall be My people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness: The gathering God promised would not just be a geographic gathering, but also a spiritual gathering. It won't just be that their address changes, but their heart also.

ll. EW Commentary Zech. 9:9-12

B. The coming King and His deliverance.

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

Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is righteous and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on 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 21:5), 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.

10 And I will eliminate the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; And the bow of war will be eliminated.  And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, And from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.

a. The battle bow shall be cut off: Zechariah 9:9 belongs to the first coming of Jesus, but Zechariah 9:10 is associated with the Second Coming of Jesus, when He comes in power and glory to reign over this earth for 1,000 years. In that day there will be an enforced righteousness, and He will no longer allow war (Isaiah 2:4).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. This speaks of the time many refer to as the millennium, the thousand-year reign of Jesus on this earth (Psalm 72, Isaiah 2:2-4, Isaiah 11:4-9, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Luke 1:32-33 and 19:12-27, Matthew 5:18).

3. (9:11-12) Judah's liberation and blessing.

11 As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you, I have set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  12 Return to the [h]stronghold, you prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.

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 24:1-8). 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.


Zechariah Chapter 8 - Extra Commentary

I. vv. 8:1-8  

Verses 1-23: Continuation of the Subject in the Seventh Chapter. After urging them to obedience by the fate of their fathers, he urges them to it by promises of coming prosperity.

Continuing his response to the delegation from Beth-el, Zechariah contrasted Israel's past judgment with the promised future restoration. In light of past captivity, the nation was to repent and live righteously. In light of promised future blessings, Israel is to repent and live righteously.

The last two messages (verses 1-17 and 18-23), look positively to the future, when Israel will be brought to a place of special blessing and fasts will become feasts.

Zechariah 8:1 "Again the word of the LORD of hosts came [to me], saying,"

This is a new message coming from the LORD.

Zechariah 8:2 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; I was jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I was jealous for her with great fury."

"Jealous" (see note on 1:14). This very strong language expresses the idea that God can't bear the estrangement from His chosen people brought about by their sin, nor can He always tolerate the enemies of Israel.

His love for Israel is so great that He will come in full presence to Israel again and dwell with His people. Ezekiel had the vision of God leaving Jerusalem (Ezek. 8-11), and of His presence returning (Ezek. 43:1-5).

"Zion": The mountain on which ancient Jerusalem was built, which became a name for the city.

"Thus saith the LORD" occurs 10 times in this chapter of Zechariah. This is to stress the promises God made to His people. God loved Zion, as a husband would a wife. He was jealous of her, and did not want anyone attacking her.

Anyone who harmed Zion would feel the wrath of God. "Zion" is sometimes speaking of the physical house of Israel, and sometimes is speaking of the church of the Lord Jesus Christ. Whichever this is speaking of, it is all the same. God is jealous for His church, the same as He is for physical Zion.

Eph. 5:6 "Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience."

Notice, those who are faithful to God are saved from wrath.

Rom. 5:9 "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."

Zechariah 8:3 "Thus saith the LORD; I am returned unto Zion, and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem: and Jerusalem shall be called a city of truth; and the mountain of the LORD of hosts the holy mountain."

"City of truth": A city which is characterized by truth, both in word and in deed (verses 8, 16), because it is ruled over by Messiah who is characterized by truth (John 14:6).

"The holy mountain": Zion is holy because the King who lives there is holy (Isa. 6:3).

We remember in another prophetic book, that God left the temple just before the Babylonians came and destroyed it. He left through the eastern gate, and He will return the same way.

To some extent, this was fulfilled when this temple was built in Jerusalem. It had a further fulfillment, when Jesus came as Savior. The true fulfillment is when Jesus walks through that eastern gate, and sets up His kingdom of Truth.

2 Corinthians 6:16 "And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people."

Rev. 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God." 

Verses 4-5: The most defenseless of society will live in tranquility, peace, and security (Isa. 65:20-22).

Zechariah 8:4 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age."

Though their enemies did greatly molest and trouble them, yet God would come and dwell among them, and so preserve them as long as nature would allow them to live, and increase their children in great abundance.

Isa. 65:20-22 "There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die a hundred years old; but the sinner [being] a hundred years old shall be accursed." "And they shall build houses, and inhabit [them]; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them." "They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree [are] the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands."

Zechariah 8:5 "And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof."

"And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls": Denoting a large increase of inhabitants, in a literal sense; and may spiritually signify the large numbers of converts, of new born babes, who are regenerated by the grace and Spirit of God, and are accounted of by the Lord for a generation.

"Playing in the streets thereof": Being in health and rigor, and in great security. The Targum renders it, "singing" or "praising in the spacious places thereof"; singing the praises of God in Gospel strains.

Saying their Hosannas to the Son of David; rejoicing in the great salvation by Christ. And magnifying the grace of God, and setting forth the glories of it in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs (See Matt. 11:16).

In Jerusalem, literally taken, there were various streets, besides the street of the temple, which led to it (Ezra 10:9). Mention is made of others in Jewish writings, as of the upper street, and of the street of the butchers, and of the street of those that dealt in wool.

This shows a time of great peace and joy. Children were thought to be a blessing from God. The children playing in the streets show they have nothing to fear.

Zechariah 8:6 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; If it be marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, should it also be marvelous in mine eyes? saith the LORD of hosts."

Men tend to limit God (Psalm 78:19-20, 41), but nothing is too hard for the Lord (Gen. 18:14; Jer. 32:17, 27). "Just because they seem too difficult for you," the Lords asks, in effect, "must they be too hard for Me?"

The things that make God's people happy, also, make Him happy. The people had been in such destitute condition, they could do nothing but marvel at the wonders God performed for them. 

Verses 7-8: "East ... west": The context assures that this return speaks of a worldwide regathering at the Second Advent of Christ. The return from Babylon cannot be in view also, since Israel had not been scattered to the west until the diaspora engineered by the Romans in the first century A.D.

Zechariah 8:7 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Behold, I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country;"

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold": As being something wonderful, of great importance, and deserving attention.

"I will save my people from the east country, and from the west country": This cannot be understood of bringing those Jews that remained in Babylon, and other places, to their own land, for Babylon lay north of Judea (see Zech. 6:6). And as yet there were no Jews in the western part of the world.

But now they are chiefly in the east and west, from whence they will be gathered at the time of their general conversion. Though this may refer to the times of the apostles of Christ, and to their ministry in the several parts of the world.

Who went forth, east, west, north, and south, and were the means and instruments of saving the Lord's people, both Jews and Gentiles, wherever they came, from the rising of the sun, to the setting of the same (see Mal. 1:11).

This really has two meanings. The "east and the west" covers the entire world. In the physical, God's people had been scattered and would be brought back to Israel.

Deut. 30:3 "That then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee."

In the spiritual sense, this is speaking of God offering salvation to whosoever will of the whole earth.

1 Timothy 4:10 "For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe."

Zechariah 8:8 "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."

(See note on Zech. 1:3). This refers to Israel's national conversion, spoken of in (12:10-13:1), and by Jeremiah (32:28-41), and Paul (Rom. 11:25-27).

Notice first in this, they must be His people, and then, He will be their God. This is the act of the free will of a free people.  They must want to be His people, and then, He will want to be their God.

Heb. 8:10 "For this [is] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:" 

Verses 9-17: The practical results of verses 1-8 were laid out for the people. In view of such a glorious future, the people were exhorted to renew their energy toward the building of the temple and toward righteous living.

Zechariah 8:9 "Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which [were] in the day [that] the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built."

"The prophets": This refers to Haggai and Zechariah for sure. Possibly there were non-writing prophets also.

This suddenly jumps back to the physical building of the temple in the days of Zechariah. Those who heard the Words of God from the prophet and believed should be strengthened in the knowledge of the promises God had made. They should work hard on the temple to get it built, knowing of these blessings of God.

Eph. 6:10 "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might."

Verses 10-11: Zechariah recalled the immediate years prior to (520 B.C.; described in Hag. 1:6-11), when their hassles and intrigues with the Samaritans and their love of ease and comfort developed indifference toward building the temple, resulting in divine punishment.

But, since they had begun again to build the temple, God would not treat the people as He had those described (in verse 10).

Zechariah 8:10 "For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire for beast; neither [was there any] peace to him that went out or came in because of the affliction: for I set all men every one against his neighbor."


"For before these days": That the temple began to be built.

"There was no hire for men, nor any hire for beasts": That turned to any account; the wages earned by the one, and with the other, were as if they were put into a bag with holes, did not prosper with them, or do them any service (Hag. 1:6).

"Neither was there any peace to him that went out or came in, because of the affliction": There was no safety in passing to and fro, nor any peaceable enjoyment of what a man had, because of affliction and oppression by the enemy on every side, and from every quarter.

"For I set all men everyone against his neighbor": Expressive of the internal divisions and contentions among themselves, which are said to be of the Lord, because he permitted them as a chastisement upon them for their sins.

He is reminding them of the terrible situation He has just brought them out of. Their crops would not even produce enough for their own labor, much less enough to hire someone to work for them. They have only begun to be blessed, since they began the construction of the temple.

Zechariah 8:11 "But now I [will] not [be] unto the residue of this people as in the former days, saith the LORD of hosts."

"But now I will not be unto the residue of this people": The remnant brought out of captivity, settled in the land, and now rebuilding the temple.

"As in the former days, saith the Lord of hosts": When they neglected the house of the Lord, caring only for their own ceiled houses (Hag. 1:2).

God will bless them mightily. God removed the curse the minute they began to build the temple. There was just enough to barely get by on before. Now, there is abundance.

  Zechariah Chapter 9

Verses 9:1 - 14:21: Employing the phrase "in that day," Zechariah places primary focus in his final two undated oracles on:

  1. The downfall of the nation;
  2. The salvation of Israel; and
  3. The establishment of the Messiah as king.

ll. vv. 9:9-12

Verses 9-10: The two advents of Christ are here compressed as though they were one as (in Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:16, 21). Actually (verse 9), refers to His first coming and (verse 10), is His second. Old Testament prophets didn't see the great time period between the two comings. The church age was a "mystery" hidden from them (Eph. 3:1-9; Col. 1:27).

Zechariah 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."

"King ... riding upon an ass": Unlike Alexander the Great, this King comes riding on a donkey (Jer. 17:25). This was fulfilled at Christ's triumphal entry (Matt. 21:1-5; John 12:12-16). The Jews should have been looking for someone from the line of David (2 Sam. 7; 1 Chron. 17). Four elements in this verse describe Messiah's character:

  1. He is king;
  2. He is just;
  3. He brings salvation; and
  4. He is humble.

The "ass" (donkey), was an animal of "peace." The kings of the earth come to bring destruction and devastation. Israel's "King" comes to bring peace. The prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:4-7; Mark 11:7; Luke 19:38; John 12:14-14).

This is speaking of the triumphant entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. At this time, Jesus did not come as conquering King, but as King of Peace. This is their Messiah. Not only should the natural Jew shout at this, but the coming church as well. The fact He was riding on a donkey, spoke of His humbleness.

The fact the donkey was a colt which had never been sat upon, symbolizes the peaceable character of His mission. He was, and is, King of the Jews, as well as Savior of the lost. His name, Jesus, means Savior.

Verses 10-15: Zechariah moves to the Second Advent of Christ and the establishment of His universal kingdom (see notes on 9:9-10; 11:15-16).

Not characterized by bloodshed, Messiah's rule will be a kingdom of peace in which weapons of warfare will be destroyed or converted to peaceful uses (Isa. 2:4; 9:5-7; 11:1-10; Mica 45:2, 10-15), and peace spreads from the Euphrates River (the terminus of civilization), to the world.

Zechariah 9:10 "And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion [shall be] from sea [even] to sea, and from the river [even] to the ends of the earth."

"Ephraim": This is another name for Israel, used often in the Old Testament for the northern kingdom and occasionally for the whole nation.

"The river" is referring to the Euphrates.

"Cutting off of the chariot" speaks of no more war. Ephraim, in this particular instance, speaks of the ten tribes of Israel. Jesus is not just King of the Jews but of the entire world.

Rom. 15:12 "And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust."

Ephesians 2:13-15 "But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." "For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition [between us];" "Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace;".

In short, from the holy land, which will then be extended to the limits originally promised to the fathers, and which will be the center of Messiah's blessed rule, His dominion will extend even "unto the ends of the earth".

Verses 9:11-10:2: "The blood of thy covenant:" God's covenants are ratified by blood sacrifice, hence, binding (Gen. 15:9-18; Exodus 24:6-8 with Matthew 26:28; 1 Cor. 11:25-26; Hebrews 9:18-22; 1 John 1:7).

Zechariah 9:11 "As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein [is] no water."

"Blood of thy covenant": Why is Israel to be so blessed? It is not because of her faithfulness through the centuries, but because of God's unfailing devotion to His covenant of blood made with Abraham (Gen. 15:1-10), which is in force as long as God lives.

"The pit wherein is no water": Prisoners in ancient times were often kept in dry wells or pits, like Joseph was (Gen. 37:24, 28; Jer. 38:6). The exiles of Israel, pictured as being in a dry well of captivity, suffering, and despair, will be freed because of His unbreakable covenant with them.

They are thus called "prisoners who have the hope" (verse 12), who are to receive "double" blessing (Isa. 61:7).

This is spoken to the natural house of Israel, and is speaking of a blessing in addition to the promise of Messiah. In the 24th chapter of Isaiah, their captivity was spoken of as a pit. This, probably, has to do with them being freed from captivity. It also speaks of a time when they are gathered home to Israel. They have the seal of the everlasting covenant, sealed with the blood of Jesus.

Like Joseph who was thrown into a pit without water, Israel will also live. Eventually, at the Word of God, Israel, like Joseph, shall be freed from the pit and lifted up from a position of humiliation and suffering to become a nation of princes on the earth.

Zechariah 9:12 "Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;"

These promises have accomplishment in the spiritual blessings of the gospel which we enjoy by Jesus Christ. As the deliverance of the Jews was typical of redemption by Christ, so this invitation speaks to all the language of the gospel call.

Sinners are prisoners, but prisoners of hope. Their case is sad, but not desperate; for there is hope in Israel concerning them. Christ is a Strong-hold, a strong Tower, in whom believers are safe from the fear of the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the assaults of spiritual enemies.

To him we must turn with lively faith; to him we must flee, and trust in his name under all trials and sufferings. It is here promised that the Lord would deliver his people. This passage also refers to the apostles and the preachers of the gospel in the early ages. God was evidently with them; his words from their lips pierced the hearts and consciences of the hearers.

They were wondrously defended in persecution, and were filled with the influences of the Holy Spirit. They were saved by the Good Shepherd as his flock, and honored as jewels of his crown. The gifts, graces, and consolations of the Spirit, poured forth on the day of Pentecost (Acts chapter 2), and in succeeding times, are represented.

Sharp have been, and still will be, the conflicts of Zion's sons, but their God will give them success. The more we are employed, and satisfied with his goodness, the more we shall admire the beauty revealed in the Redeemer. Whatever gifts God bestows on us, we must serve him cheerfully with them. And, when refreshed with blessings, we must say, How great is his goodness!

"I will render double unto thee": A double measure of blessing in compensation for past suffering (Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 61:7).

This is very much like what happened to Job. After his great trial was over, God poured out a blessing that was twice what he had before the trial.

Job 42:10 "And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before."

This is saying their blessings from God will be a double portion, as Job's were.

Verses 13-15: Reminiscent of the Exodus (Exodus 19:16-19; Hab. 3:3-15), the Lord will protect and empower them (Isa. 1:11-16; Zech. 12:6, 8). The initial historical fulfillment of this prophecy came when the Maccabees defeated the Greeks (ca. 167 B.C.). The final, complete fulfillment will occur at His Second Advent.

The Maccabean triumph is only a pledge and a preview of final triumph over all enemies.

Judah is the drawn bow, Ephraim is the arrow and Zion the sword in the Hand of Jehovah, by means of which the foe is thoroughly subjugated.

Zechariah 9:13 "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."

"When I have bent Judah for me": By whom are meant the apostles, who were mostly Jews, and whose ministrations were made use of as a bow with arrows, to strike the hearts of men, and bring them into subjection to Christ. They were a bow of the Lord's bending and preparing, and which abode in strength, being made strong and effectual through the hands of the mighty God of Jacob:

"Filled the bow with Ephraim": or rather, "filled Ephraim with the bow". Filled his hand with it; meaning, that some out of the ten tribes, as were the apostles, should be employed in drawing the bow of the Gospel, and shooting its arrows, the doctrines of it. Which are comparable to them for swiftness, suddenness, and secrecy, and for their piercing and penetrating nature.

"And raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece": That is, persons of the land of Judea, as such the apostles were, and who belonged to Zion the church of Christ. Who were raised up, qualified, and sent forth by him into the Gentile world, with weapons of warfare, not carnal, but spiritual.

Against the Gentiles in general, and the wise men of Greece, as at Athens. In particular, to confound some, and to conquer others, and bring them to the obedience of Christ. Some understand this of the Maccabees raised up against Antiochus, and the Greeks that possessed the kingdom of Syria.

"And made thee as the sword of a mighty man": That is, made the Gospel in the hands of the church, and of her sons, as a sword in the hand of a mighty man, by whom execution is done with it. This is the sword of the Spirit, even the word of God; and is sharp and cutting, and is the power of God unto salvation. As it is girt upon the thigh, and is in the hands of Christ the most Mighty.

And as it is accompanied with the Spirit of God, and of power.

This is showing that Jesus Christ is victorious over Satan, sin and death. The world is defeated by the king of peace, Jesus Christ. They are a powerful nation because they have God on their side.

The wars of the Jews against Greece, under the heroic leadership of the Maccabees, were occasioned by the attempt to overturn the Jewish religion and substitute in its place Grecian customs. Those wars were essentially religious in their character.

The Maccabean heroes went forth to the contest with the full conviction that the cause in which they were engaged was the cause of God, and that the Lord was with them in all their various difficulties and trials.

In the glowing language of the prophet (in verse 14), Jehovah was seen over them, and His arrow went forth as the lightning. Yea, the Lord Jehovah blew with the trumpet, for He was the real Captain of His host, and the war waged by the Jews was in defense of His truth.

The defeat of Antiochus Epiphanes (Antiochus Epiphanes was a Greek king of the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 B.C.), and his successors at the hands of a comparative few Jews to which this passage may primarily refer, foreshadows the final conflict with world power.

And the judgments to be inflicted on the confederated armies who shall be gathered against Jerusalem, not only directly by the hand of God, but also in the hand of Israel, who shall be made strong in Jehovah.

Zechariah 9:14 "And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south."

His apostles and ministers: or, "shall appear to them"; and be seen by them, as he was in the days of his flesh. They saw his person, his miracles, his sorrows, and sufferings. They saw him after his resurrection, and some have seen him since his ascension, with the eyes of their bodies, as well as with the eyes of their understandings.

And so were fit to be witnesses of him: or, "the Lord shall appear over them", or "upon them". He was seen over, and above them, when he ascended up to heaven; and upon them, by the descent of his Spirit on them at the day of Pentecost, and in other miraculous gifts bestowed upon them.

"And his arrow shall go forth as the lightning": Meaning the Gospel, and the swift progress of it, as well as the light it communicates, and the glory that goes along with it, and the efficacy of it.

"And the Lord God shall blow the trumpet": Of the Gospel, so called. In allusion to the jubilee trumpet, which proclaimed liberty to servants, and restoration of inheritances.

Or to the trumpets made for the congregation of Israel to gather them together, and to express their joy at feasts. Or to the trumpet used to proclaim war, and as an alarm for it. And this was blown by the Lord himself in person when here on earth, and by his ministers in his name.

"And shall go with whirlwinds of the south": That is, the Lord in the ministration of the Gospel shall go forth with the efficacy and energy of the Spirit. The Spirit is compared to "wind", because he works in a sovereign way where he listeth, and oftentimes imperceptibly, and ever powerfully.

And to the "south" wind, because that brings warmth, serenity, and calmness, produces rain, and makes fruitful. And he it is which makes the Gospel efficacious (see SOS 4:16).

"The LORD being seen over them" is His presence that is with them. The "lightning that goes forth" speaks of God's swift judgment. The trumpet is blown of the Lord to gather His people.

Matthew 24:27 "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."

1 Thess. 4:16 "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:"

The "whirlwinds of the south" is speaking of the wrath of God coming against those who have refused His salvation.

Zechariah 9:15 "The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, [and] make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, [and] as the corners of the altar."

"Subdue ... sling stones": This may mean the Jews will easily subdue their enemies as David did Goliath (Judges 20:16).

Or better, it could mean they will contemptuously tread on the harmless missiles cast at them by their enemies. This could depict the futility of Armageddon when the armies of the God-hating world gather in Israel and are destroyed by the Messiah (Rev. 16:12-16; 19:11-16).

The bloodshed of the godless will be visible in that day, from one end of the land of Palestine to the other, like blood splattered on the corners of the altar of sacrifice from basins which caught it when the animal was slain (Rev. 14:20).

"Drink ... make a noise": This describes Israel's excitement and exuberance over their victory.

God's people will be protected by the LORD. The sling stones seem to be the helpless enemy who is trampled under their feet like stones. They will be like drunken men. This is almost as if they are a sacrifice to God.

The prophet describes the victorious Jews as being filled, like the sacrificial bowls in which the priests were used to, (an established custom or habit), to catch the blood of the victims which were slain. And they would sprinkle with it in the corners of the altar, which expression includes the horns of the altar, that they would sprinkle with the sacrificial blood.

Verses 16-17: Abundant prosperity, such as the world has never seen, results in excessive rejoicing and praise, results for God "saving" His people, Israel (Deut. 33:28; Psalm 4:7-8).

Zechariah 9:16 "And the LORD 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 as an ensign upon his land."

"And the Lord their God shall save them in that day": Still all should be God's doing; they themselves were but as a flock, as sheep among wolves, ready for the slaughter. But they were "the flock, His people," as He says, "I will increase them like the flock", men, as the flock of holy things, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts.

So shall the waste cities be filled with flocks, "men".

Ezek. 36:37-38. "Thus saith the Lord GOD; I will yet [for] this be inquired of by the house of Israel, to do [it] for them; I will increase them with men like a flock." "As the holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I [am] the LORD."

As in, "Thou leddest Thy people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron" (Psalm 77:20).

"They shall be as the stones of a crown": While God's enemies shall be trampled underfoot, as a common thing which has failed its end, these shall be precious stones. A consecrated jeweled crown or headband of king or priest, "raised aloft," so that all can see.

"Upon His land": It was laid down, as the title deed to its whole tenure, "the land is Mine" (Leviticus 25:23), and much more our Christian land, bought and purified by the blood of Christ.

The picture in the 16th verse changes from war and bloodshed to that of the Shepherd and His flock.

In contrast to their enemies who are likened to "sling stones", which shall then be contemptuously trodden under foot, saved Israel shall be "stones of a crown" lifted on high over His land which reminds us of:

Isa. 62:1-3. "For Zion's sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burns." "And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name." "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God."

Zechariah 9:17 "For how great [is] his goodness, and how great [is] his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids."

"For how great is his goodness?": Not of the land of Judea, as Kimchi; nor of the doctrine of the law, as the Targum; nor of the people of the Jews; but of the Messiah. And designs not his essential nor his providential goodness; but his goodness as Mediator. Which he has in his heart, and has shown unto his people, in being their surety, and becoming their Savior.

In assuming their nature; bearing their sins, and obeying and suffering in their room and stead. And also that which he has in his hands for them, and communicates to them; his fullness of grace. All those spiritual blessings that are in him; the large measures of grace given at conversion; and the numerous instances of his goodness afterwards. Yea, it includes glory, as well as grace.

"And how great is his beauty?" not as God, nor as man, but as Mediator. As beheld in the covenant and promises in the Gospel and in the truths and in the ordinances of it.

"Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids": By "young men" are meant the same as in (1 John 2:14), believers in Christ. Who are lively, warm, and zealous for Christ, his cause and interest. Who are active, diligent, and industrious in the discharge of duty; and are strong in Christ, and in his grace. And particularly in the grace of faith, and quit themselves like men.

And by "maids" or "virgins" are meant the same. So called because of their chaste adherence to Christ; for their beauty, comeliness, and attire; and for their purity of divine worship and conversation. And the Gospel is intended by "corn" and "new wine"; which is compared to "corn", in opposition to the chaff of human doctrines.

And because it contains Christ the bread of life, and is nourishing and comfortable. And to "new wine", not because it is a novel doctrine, for it is the everlasting Gospel ordained before the world was. But because, under the Gospel dispensation, to which this prophecy refers, it is newly and more clearly revealed (see Zech. 9:15).

The effect of which is, that it makes saints "cheerful", fills them with joy and spiritual mirth, for it is a joyful sound. Or, "shall make fruitful"; it causes them to grow and increase, and makes them fruitful in every good word and work.

Or, "shall make them speak" eloquently; or cause them to put forth the fruit of their lips, in giving thanks to God for the abundance of grace bestowed upon them. Or, "shall" make "them sing", as others; in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.

This new wine may be interpreted of the gifts and graces bestowed in great plenty on the day of Pentecost. Both on sons and daughters, on servants and handmaids, whereby they prophesied, and saw visions (Acts 2:16 see Ephesians 5:18).



Zech. 8:1-8;9:9-12 - Richison Exposition

Chapter eight speaks of future blessings in the Millennial Age. It is a mighty shift from the judgment of chapter 7. Justice and peace will prevail on earth. This is conditioned upon Israel's repentance (chapter 7).

8:1: Again the word of the Lord of hosts came, saying,

Direct revelation from the LORD came to Zechariah about the following vision.

8:2a:  "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'I am zealous [very emphatic] for Zion [Jerusalem] with great zeal;

The words above are extremely emphatic: "I am jealous with great jealousy." He makes further emphasis in the following phrase "with great fervor I am zealous for her."  The phrase "Thus says the LORD of hosts" repeatedly occurs in verses 2-14, marking divisions in the prophecy. The phrase occurs 17 times in chapter eight: (Zech 8:2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 14, 19, 20, 23). The emphasis is on God's might and power. The LORD's mighty zeal for Israel will protect her. The name Jehovah or LORD occurs twenty-two times. The emphasis is on God's assurance of the predictions in this chapter.

8:2b: With great fervor I am zealous for her.' Jehovah is fiercely protective of Israel. God's jealousy is not envy but His zeal for downtrodden Israel.

8:3a:  "Thus says the Lord: 'I will return to Zion,  The "return to Zion" or Jerusalem is the Second Coming of Christ when He will set up His Millennial Kingdom (Ps 2:6). It is the presence of the LORD that will assure the nation of blessing. They will experience His glory as in the tabernacle and temple. Ezekiel showed how His glory departed from the nation (Ezek 8:3,4; 10:4, 18; 11:22, 23). Israel is now in a state of Ichabod, but she will be the recipient of great grace. It will be the time when Christ will reign in great glory with His presence on earth (Ezek 43:2-5).

8:3b: And dwell [settled down] in the midst of Jerusalem. The Messiah will rule over the entire earth from Jerusalem during His reign on earth. This is the personal reign of Christ on earth, fulfilling the throne of David promise. David conquered the Jebusites on Mount Zion to initially gain control of the city. The Messiah will "dwell" in Jerusalem as He did in the tabernacle and temple in a settled sense. This is the assurance of His permanent presence with Israel.

8:3c:  Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, There will be no deception in Jerusalem during the reign of Christ. The city will be characterized by "Truth." It will be a city where people can count on things with certainty. The perfect tenses of the Hebrew in this section indicate the events indicated are sure to occur. Even the city residents will speak the "truth" to one another (Zech 8:16). The residents of Jerusalem will be in line with God's Word and character as never before. There will be fidelity to truth.

8:3d:  The Mountain of the Lord of hosts, The Holy Mountain.' Jerusalem is situated on Mount Zion (Isa 2:2-3; Ps 48:1). It is "Holy" because God will dwell there.

8:4a:  "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Old men and old women shall again sit In the streets of Jerusalem, People of all ages will be secure during the Millennial reign of Christ.

8:4b:  Each one with his staff in his hand Because of great age.  The idea here refers to older people in a peaceful city.

8:5:  The streets of the city Shall be full of boys and girls Playing in its streets.'  This verse contrasts older people with boys and girls playing in the streets in peace.

PRINCIPLE:  God will secure peace in the world through the Messiah.

APPLICATION:   The only peace for the world will be when Jesus comes to reign.

8:6a:  "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days,  Zechariah's audience may be skeptical of a future millennial reign of Christ where peace is the state of things. In the days of the prophet, Jerusalem was in a state of ruins and in the process of being rebuilt (Neh 7:4). The promises of his chapter are so outstanding that it is difficult for Israel to accept them.

8:6b:  Will it also be marvelous in My eyes?' Says the Lord of hosts.  Fulfillment of God's promises is no surprise in His eyes as it is in that of Israel. His promises are certain from His viewpoint.

8:7:  "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'Behold, I will save [deliver] My people from the land of the east And from the land of the west; "My people" here is Israel. The "land of the east" is Egypt, and "the land of the west" refers to Babylon. These two phrases probably have reference metaphorically to the entire world; it is a merism for countries from all directions on earth. It is a worldwide regathering.

8:8a:  I will bring them back, And they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem. The Messiah will restore Israel as a nation in the Millennium. This is the future national conversion of Israel to God.

8:8b:  They shall be My people. God will restore Israel to good standing with Him personally. He will claim them as His own again (Jer 11:4). God did not claim Israel as His own for a time because they were in apostasy (Hos 1:9). He sent them into captivity to Babylon.

8c:  And I will be their God, God becoming Israel's God indicates their conversion as a national entity.

8d:  In truth [reality] and righteousness.' Israel's national conversion is a reality, as indicated by the word "truth." They had rejected "the Truth" when He came (Jn 14:6). Religion will exchange for salvation.

PRINCIPLE: There will be a national restoration of Israel to Jerusalem and the land in the future.

APPLICATION: People will be skeptical of a future millennial reign of Christ, especially after seven years of Tribulation on earth (Mt 24:15-25). Yet Christ will reign personally on earth in time (Ro 11:25-27).

Zech, 9:9-12 Exposition

These two verses introduce Judah's King/Messiah. Verse 9 describes His character and verse 10 what He will accomplish. These two verses present the two advents of Christ, verse 9 the first advent and verse 10 the Second Advent. Having depicted Alexander's march to defeat Israel's enemies in the previous sections, Zechariah now presents the ultimate conqueror, the Lord Jesus Christ, in His Second Coming. This time it will not be a foreign king, but the King of Israel who will come to bring peace on earth.

9:9a:  "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!  The above sentence contains personified phrases that refer to the people of Jerusalem. Jerusalem surrounded mount Zion (Isa 1:8). The people were to welcome the coming Messiah/King with joy. The theocratic people will welcome their theocratic King.

9:9b:  Behold [note with great attention], your King is coming to you [first coming]; - "King" in this context refers to the Messiah (Jer 23:5) coming to Israel (Isa 9:5-7; Micah 5:2-4; Luke 1:32-33). Just as Alexander, the Greek conqueror, defended Israel, so Jesus will come as King to ultimately defend Israel. The Messiah's coming will carry great significance.

9:9c:  He is just and having salvation, The Messiah will come with both justice and victorious deliverance. "Salvation" will deliver Israel from all her foes. He will be "just" or righteous both in His person and reign (Ps 45:6-7; Isa 11:1-5; 32:17; Jer 23:5-6; 33:15-16). He will fully establish His universal kingdom when He comes the second time. His reign will be "just" among the nations of the world.

9:9d:  Lowly [humble] and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal [untamed] of a donkey.  The donkey was a beast of burden, a common means of transportation in biblical times. The entrance to Jerusalem will be peaceful by riding on a donkey in the Triumphal Entry (Mt 21:1-5). In the Messiah's first coming, He will come on an untamed donkey in peace (Mt 21:2; compare Ge 49:10-11); in His Second Coming, He will ride on a white horse for war.  All four Gospels refer to the Triumphal Entry (Matt. 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:29-44; and John 12:12-19).

9:10a:  I will cut off the chariot [the battle chariot] from Ephraim [Israel] And the horse [battle horse] from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off.  When the Messiah comes, He will battle His enemies to accomplish His goals. The "battle bow" was a very significant weapon of war in ancient Israel. Zechariah links both Ephraim (the northern tribes) and Jerusalem (representing the southern tribes) together. The nation Israel will be united one day again, and the Messiah will use them in the final battle.

9:10b:  He shall speak peace to the nations;  The Messiah will establish universal peace among the nations of the world during the Millennium. It will be an epic peace in the world.

9:10c:  His dominion shall be 'from sea to sea, And from the River [Euphrates River] to the ends of the earth.' The extent of the Messiah's rule will be vast, running "to the ends of the earth;" it will be a worldwide kingdom. The "River" here is the Euphrates, the longest river in Mesopotamia. This river extends today from Turkey to the Persian Gulf. It also flows through Babylon. The Euphrates River was the easternmost boundary of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen 15:18). The point here is that the Euphrates was the starting point of a worldwide kingdom.

PRINCIPLE: The first coming of Christ is a pledge of His Second Coming.

APPLICATION:  Zechariah called upon Israel to rejoice because her King was coming. The King is the promised Messiah who was to establish a kingdom for Israel. He would redeem the nation in doing this. He will bring salvation (v.9).  Jesus will reign one day as the Prince of Peace. He will do this by destroying instruments of war. We call this period the Millennial Kingdom of Christ.  All the Gospels show that Jesus fulfilled Zechariah 9:9. Only Matthew alludes to Zechariah directly (Mt 21:1-5). The nation of Israel rejected the Messiah in His first coming when He presented Himself as King but will embrace Him as King Jesus in His Second Coming.  The Gospels did not quote verse 10 because they knew the so-called Triumphal Entry was only partially fulfilled in our Lord's first coming. The original Triumphal Entry on Palm Sunday was not triumphal; it ended in disaster-Jesus' death on the cross. His true triumph will occur with His Second Coming. In His first coming, He came on a donkey, an animal of peace. In His Second Coming, He will come on a white horse, an animal of war by which He will conquer the world.  The centuries of the church economy lie between verses 9 and 10.

Verses 11-17 hark back to Jehovah's protection of the nation Israel. The Messiah will bring peace to the world.

9:11a:  "As for you [Israel] also,  Zechariah address both the Jews who returned from exile in Babylon and all Jews who will exist in the future.

9:11b:  Because of the blood of your covenant, "Blood" is the means of ratifying a covenant with animal sacrifice. God is faithful to His covenants with Israel, and he will be faithful to His promises to the nation Israel. The ultimate fulfillment of the Mosaic and Abrahamic covenants is when the Messiah returns to set up His kingdom for the Jews (Gen 15-18; Ex 24:8). He confirmed His covenants with a blood sacrifice (Gen 15:8-21).

9:11c:  I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  Waterless pits were a means of confining prisoners in the ancient world (Jer 38:6).

9:12a:  Return to the stronghold [fortress], You prisoners of hope.  "Return" carries the idea of repentance (Jer 3:12, 14; 4:1-2).  The "stronghold," or fortress here, is Jehovah Himself dwelling in Jerusalem. These Jewish prisoners had "hope" because of God's promise in the Abrahamic and Mosaic covenants. Despite raging antisemitism throughout the years, the Jews had "hope" that the Messiah would come (Jer 31:17).

9:12b:  Even today I declare That I will restore double to you.  The Messiah's reign in the Millennium will bring prosperity to Israel; they will know twice as many blessings as ever before in their history. Even when there seemed to be no hope, God promised Israel a future for the returning exiles. He will double bless Israel when He brings the Millennial kingdom (Isa 61:7).

PRINCIPLE:  The Messiah has a dual role on earth.

APPLICATION:  Jesus reintroduced the idea of the "blood of the covenant when He came to earth (Mark 14:24).  The abrupt shift of emphasis from the King who brings universal peace in verses 9 and 10 to one who brandishes a sword against the world shows us the dual role of the Messiah/King in His relationship to the world. In His first coming, the Messiah offered peace and His kingdom. In His Second Coming, He will exercise judgment against the world.