The Prophet Zechariah, part 3.

The third part of the prophecy; The destruction of the enemy and the deliverance of Israel.

Chapter 9.

A) The first burden; 9,1-21.

Before we enter the text itself I would like to draw a small parallel. We are talking about the destruction of the enemy and the deliverance of Israel in this chapter, and the final destruction of the enemy and deliverance occurs only at the second coming of Christ. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5,4-6: But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as [do] others; but let us watch and be sober.

I am of the opinion that all that lies ahead of us we have examples of in the Bible. When Israel was in Egypt and was to leave the country for the benefit of the earthly Kanaan then this is the type of an end time event. The antitype in the end time is when God’s people will go out of our times Egypt and into the Heavenly Canaan. When Israel was to leave Egypt It happened the following way: And thus shall ye eat it; [with] your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it in haste: it [is] the LORD’s Passover, Exodus 12,11.

Question: Why should Israel hurry to eat the Passover lamb, with shoes on their feet, their loins girded, and their staff in their hands?

They could not know when they got the sign to leave Egypt. The only thing they knew was that they would soon leave Egypt, not when. It’s about being prepared, and Israel at that time could not wait until the message came before they got ready. They had to be ready to go out at the very moment that message was given. Therefore, they should eat the Passover lamb ready-dressed and ready to go at a moment’s notice. The same goes for us in the end time. We must be ready and prepared for the return of Jesus every second, for the whole thing will happen in haste we shall believe the prophecies Jesus himself gave the disciples in Matt chapter 24.

In Matthew chapter 24 Jesus gives us many signs that we should be aware of, and he says in verse 25: Behold, I have told you before. In John 14,29 He says this: And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.

Through the events that happened to God’s people in Old Testament times, we can find out what will happen to God’s people in the end times. In addition, the Saviour Himself has given us many clues that we can use to see where we are on the timeline. We know what happened to Israel in connection with the captivity and the exodus from Egypt, and we know what happened to the Jewish people in their Babylonian captivity and when they left Babylon. We therefore need to familiarize ourselves well with these events and look at the signs Jesus has given us to know approximately where on the timeline we are. Exactly where we cannot know. We can see what have happened, and what prophecies have been fulfilled, and then we have a good pointer.

So while we wait for the Lord’s return, let us make all our preparations well in advance. Let us gird our loins, have shoes on our feet, and take our staff in hand, and eat our food standing so that we are ready to move out at short notice.

1) Judgment on Israel’s enemies; 9,1-8.

Verse 1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus [shall be] the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, [shall be] toward the LORD. Verse 2 And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.

The word the burden, or technically, the load is here used as a solemn, majestic message which often was used for prophecies given about various powers or authorities, (see also Isaiah 15,1; 17,1; 19,1; 21,1; 22,1; 23,1). In other words, God declares a judgment on Israel’s enemies.

Verse 3 And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. Verse 4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.

Nebuchadnezzar besieged old Tyrus between 586 and 573 BC. And leave the city to gravel, but it was re-built on an island just off the coast. About 250 years later Alexander the Great came and fulfilled this prophecy literally, by destroying Tyrus ́ power when he conquered the city.

Verse 5 Ashkelon shall see [it], and fear; Gaza also [shall see it], and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. Verse 6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. Verse 7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, [shall be] for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. Verse 8 But I will defend my house against marauding forces. Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch (NIV 1984).

A mixed people as Basic English 1964 uses is an inaccurate translation. A mixed people can consist of Jews and Gentiles, and historically we know that many of God’s people married Gentiles, and these Gentiles through their marriage gained access among God’s people. King James uses a bastard in the sense of being born out of wedlock or being of unknown origin and refers to a person who is not allowed to enter among God’s people. Of unknown origin implies that it is a stranger in question. German Luther translates with Fremde (stranger) and Reina Valera uses un extranjero (a stranger). In Deuteronomy 23,2 we find the following law: A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the LORD. This applies to someone called a bastard, because a bastard is explained as someone of unknown origin or born out of wedlock. One can be a mixture of Jew and Gentile and be accepted by the congregation when he is born within the framework of a marriage.

I will take away his blood out of his mouth is undoubtedly a reference to the pagan traditions of drinking blood from their victims or eating the sacrificed meat with blood. It was strictly forbidden for Israel to do so, and it followed a death penalty for them if they did so (Leviticus 17,10-14), and that is why it is called an abomination. This leads us to he that remaineth who shall belong to God and shall be as a governor in Judah. This has clear parallels in Revelation. In chapter 1 verses 5 and 6 it is said that Jesu Christ, [who is] the faithful witness, [and] the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth hath made us kings… … and in chapter 5 verses 9 and 10 it says that for thou wast slain hast redeemed us and hast made us unto our God kings.

I would claim that verse 8 belongs to the absolute end time when the prophecy says: Never again will an oppressor overrun my people, for now I am keeping watch. Once again, we find both the contemporary perspective and the end-time perspective in the same section. When the Jews returned home after the Babylonian captivity, their oppression continued. Even in our day, there is oppression of God’s people all over the world. In many places, people are refused to worship God as God should be worshiped by not being allowed to worship. But the worst thing is that many are killed because they are faithful to God and God’s commandments. In Norway, too, God’s faithful remnant is put to the test after trial, even though the trials are not of the same nature as elsewhere in the world. As individuals, we have little to show against secular authorities and the influence that the fallen denominations have. We are no longer allowed to preach in such a way that we ‘steal’ members from other denominations. We cannot emphasize God’s pure and clear words in the homosexuality debate or other questions of doctrines that are not based on the Bible without risking imprisonment for ‘hate speech’. As we understand it, there is still oppression in every country in the world. God’s people will not have peace from their oppressors until God has eradicated sin and death and destroyed Satan.

2) A righteous king over a united Israel; 9,9-17.

a) The Messiah, the Kong, is coming!

Verse 9Rejoice 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.

A wonderful Messiah prophecy. This is the verse Jesus refers to in Matthew 21,5 and John 12,15 just before he rides into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday year 31, five days before he was crucified. (See also Jeremiah 23,5-6.)

Verse 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.

Here we see the salvation in Christ. Through His death on the cross, He won an eternal victory,

therefore the battle bow is cut off – and this is a prophecy that tells us that one day all wars shall cease, and the people of God will have peace throughout eternity. Jesus comforted, healed, and raised people from the dead, and gave all mankind a blessed hope for the future. The whole earth shall hear of salvation in Christ. (See also Joel 3,1-17, which discusses the promised outpouring of the spirit and the judgement of Judah´s enemies)

b) God shall save his people.

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

Thee also is a reference to the people that God calls His people — no matter ethnicity. The Blood of thy covenant is likely to be understood in an extended sense as the Covenant God made with Adam in the Garden of Eden, Genesis 3,15, and which he renewed with Abraham in Genesis 22,18 — also known as ‘the New Covenant’. There are many opinions about who the prisoners are and what the pit wherein [is] no water represents, but here, as otherwise in Zechariah, there may be a double meaning of prophecy. This can be understood to apply to the Jews´ captivity in Babylon, but it can also be understood to be the living water that comes to those who are thirsting after making peace with God. Jesus set prisoners free and gave them living water. The word translated into the the pit in English is the Hebrew bor, which, in addition to a pit (in the meaning of bottomless pit), has been translated with; abyss, dungeon; death; quarrying. There is reason to believe that it is captivity we are talking about here.

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

Who is the hope for us who are prisoners or the remnant of God, or in who can seek refuge? Daniel 11,38 speaks about the God of forces (= strong hold), and this phrase must be read in the light of Nimrod who was the founder of Babel and that Babel the forces. In other words, Nimrod was the God of forces (fortresses), which is an image of Satan. But when God calls on the prisoners and beg them to return to the strong hold (fortress) it cannot possibly be Babel He means with the strong hold, but it must be Jesus Christ. Christ is not only our protection and our refuge, he is our only hope, and it is he who will fight for us. Our only contribution is to commit ourselves into the Lord’s hands, and unconditionally, my thoughts are drawn to Revelation. In Revelation 6,2 we see Christ sitting on a white best, with a bow. Verse 14 in Zechariah chapter 9 then also refers to Revelation 6,2: And I saw and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

The title of the paragraph, God shall save His people indicates that we have with events to do that lie far into the future of Zechariah, when the first Seal of the Revelation 6 is opened after Jesus died on the cross, and one can put both the year 31 when Jesus died and year 34 when the Gospel was given to the Gentiles after Stephen was stoned as the start of this seal.

Verse 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. Verse 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. Verse 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.

Many believe that this passage was explicitly given to the Jews when they still were in Babylon, showing how God liberated them, through acts of war (verses 13-14), but is it true?

I believe that this shows a completely different salvation, for the return from Babylon took place without any acts of war. On the contrary, it was a peaceful exodus from Babylon after King Cyrus issued a royal decree authorizing the Jews to rebuild Jerusalem and the temple. Verse 16 points to Revelation 12 called ‘the dragon, the mother with child‘ and to Revelation 19,11-16 in the passage called ‘Christ on a White Horse’.

Chapter 10.

3) God, not idols, is the source to Victory; 10,1-7.

Verse 1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; [so] the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. Verse 2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because [there was] no shepherd. Verse 3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Verse 4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. Verse 5 And they shall be as mighty [men], which tread down [their enemies] in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD [is] with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. Verse 6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I [am] the LORD their God and will hear them. Verse 7 And [they of] Ephraim shall be like a mighty [man], and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see [it], and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.

Zechariah says that if God’s people are to receive the blessings promised by God, they must turn to him, not to idols who are not able to do anything. It says that the only things idols have done is to speak vanity, and the false prophets (the diviners) have only seen lies. When it comes to verse 4 there are a few considerations that I think are important. Him in this verse refers back to the Lord of hosts – God the Father. It is from the Father everything goes out, also the nail. Before we go further, we need to explain the phrase the nail. So what or who is the nail and why is this phrase used?

The heading of this section says: the source to Victory. Then the following questions arise: Who is our source to victory? It is Jesus Christ. He is also our nail. And then we come to that point again where we have a selected translation that can be defended, but that still is not entirely correct. Let us first look at Ezra 9,8: But now, for a brief moment, the LORD our God has been gracious in leaving us a remnant and giving us a firm place* in his sanctuary, and so our God gives light to our eyes and a little relief in our bondage, (NIV 1984).

The word that in Zechariah 10,4 is translated into the nail is the same word that in Ezra 9,8 is translated into a firm place. With a nail we might be able to hold a tent in strong winds, but when storm come there is little help in a nail. Perhaps a firm place is a better chosen word, for with the help of a firm place we can moor a supertanker, something we cannot do with a nail. But, if we look at what the Hebrew word behind both the nail and the firm place means then there is another option that maybe should have been used.

* The word translated into firm place is the Hebrew yathed (yaw-thadé), which means both a stake and a peg. NASB Translation: peg (6), pegs (11), pin (3), stake (1), tent peg (3). Here, stake is used in the sense of a strong stake of wood that was driven into the ground to support something, a tree, a form of fence or a boundary marker. This yathed was thus something that would last for a long time – for an eternity.

If we rewrite verse 4 like this: From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the (strong) stake, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler (NIV 1984). I mean this harmonizes with how we look at our Saviour. He has the power to hold to us no matter how strong the storm is.

But back to verse 1 and the phrase, Ask ye of the LORD rail in the time of the latter rain. This indicates the end time in itself because the latter rain is an image of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the end time. Let us see what Joel says about the late rains. However, it can be dangerous to refer to this verse without putting your finger on a small but important point. Here, too, the wrong word has probably been chosen with the intention of distorting the understanding of the verse. Be glad then, ye children of Zion, and rejoice in the LORD your God: for he hath given you the former rain moderately, and he will cause to come down for you the rain, the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month].

The original text does not say the former rain, and the latter rain in the first [month] but is thus translated into English: So, rejoice, O Sons of Zion, and be glad in the Lord your God; For He has given you the early rain for your Vindication (righteousness). And He has poured down for you the rain, the early and the latter rain as before.

See also the first rain and the latter rain.

4) God’s people gather together from all over the world; 10,8-12.

Verse 8 I will hiss for them and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. Verse 9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return (NIV 1984). Verse 10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and [place] shall not be found for them. Verse 11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away. Verse 12 And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.

At first glance it seems that it is about the carnal Israel in these verses, but I would like to state something here as well. This is a prophecy, and then we shall not always understand the words literally, as in Revelation where Babylon is used, it is not the literal Babylon that is meant, but spiritual Babylon or the Roman Catholic Church. Can it then be so that Assyria and Egypt, in verse 10, are used as images on God’s opponents in that particular time period the prophecy here deals with? I think so.

If we go to verse 11, then the sea with affliction, the waves in the sea and the depths of the river (the Euphrates) are mentioned. I cannot imagine that these three terms should be interpreted literally, but figuratively, so that the sea with affliction becomes the human ocean which stands God´s chosen after life in the end time, and the waves in the sea represent the tribulations that God´s faithful will go through. When it says that the depths of the river will be gone we can see this in the context of Rev 16,12: The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East.

Although Jesus won the final victory over Satan and his evil when he died on the cross and rose again, it is only when sin is destroyed we will be able to see it with the naked eye and experience it, for verily the great battle still races around us — every day. But when the kings from the east come, which is a picture of Jesus and his angelic army, then the final line for Satan and his regime is set. That is what I think is hidden in the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away.

Chapter 11.

5) The parable of the Shepherd, 11,1-17.

There are major differences of opinion in how to interpret the symbolism in this chapter. The language used is exceedingly figurative, and the Prophet hardly explains anything, therefore it is dangerous to be dogmatic. However, three main views are highlighted. 1) This section is a prelude to the punishment that will strike the Jews for their rejection of God’s leadership, and especially the Messiah. 2) This section provides an overview of Israel’s history in form of a parable to warn them of

what consequences a future decay will bring. 3) That they stand as a lament over the fall of their enemies. I choose to interpret it into a messianic context, and with an end-time perspective.

a) The enemies fall; verses 1-3.

Verse 1 Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Verse 2 Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. Verse 3 [There is] a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

Once again, it may be an act of judgment we see in these verses. Trees are used on several occasions as a picture of people, and the context here indicates that these are enemies of God’s people. We see here that entire forests are being destroyed. Lebanon, Bashan, and Jordan were areas surrounding God’s people that were considered enemies of God’s people. Here, too, it is a question of what time we are in. This may also be a double prophecy as so many times in this book.

The end-time interpretation is that we are surrounded by enemies on all sides who will all destroy us, but God will preserve his people through the trials and tribulations that will come, and then eventually destroy the enemy.

b) The Good Shepherd – and the bad; verses 4-17.

Verse 4 Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; Verse 5 Whose possessors slay them and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, blessed [be] the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. Verse 6 For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor’s hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver [them]. Verse 7 And I will feed the flock of slaughter, [even] you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

Here we must look at who is speaking and who is performing the actions. It says: Thus saith the Lord my God, which implies that it is God that speaketh unto the prophet. These are prophecies given before the third decree to return home, and we know that the Jews did not have it easy either with their neighbors or with the great powers. In the time after Jesus’ death on the cross, Roman soldiers ravaged the Jews to such an extent that the Romans destroyed Jerusalem and eventually dispersed it to all winds. So a contemporary fulfillment is in place, but we also see that it is an end-time fulfillment in that the Good Shepherd is presented in these verses. We can read that God fed the most miserable in the flock so that God took care of the Christian church in spite of everything they were exposed to.

Since we are dealing with a prophecy, we should not always interpret words and phrases literally. When it says a month, it does not necessarily mean 30 literal days, but a time period of uncertain length but still limited.

Verse 8 Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul loathed them, and their soul also abhorred me. Verse 9 Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. Verse 10 And I took my staff, [even] Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. Verse 11 And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it [was] the word of the LORD. Verse 12 And I said unto them, if ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver. Verse 13 And the LORD said to me, throw it to the potter – the handsome price at which they priced me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD to the potter (NIV 1984). Verse 14 Then I cut asunder mine other staff, [even] Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

Thirty pieces of silver is a term we also find in the New Testament, and then in connection with Judas selling Jesus for thirty pieces of silver: And said [unto them], What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver, Matthew 26,15. In the next chapter we read what happened next with the thirty pieces of silver: And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, it is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the Potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, and they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the Potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me, Matthew 27,5-10.

We are in the time after Jesus’ death. There is talk of the 30 pieces of silver that Judas sold Jesus for. There is a strange prophecy we get here through the second staff called Bands. Many people interpret the staff Bands as the symbol of the enmity between Israel (Samaria) and Judea. By breaking Bands, they claim that the brotherhood between Judah and Israel should be broken. Israel was also known as the ten-tribe kingdom and Samaria, and those who still lived there after the deportation that took place in the year 721 BC. would not help rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, this because the Jews (Judah) did not accept the temple built on Mount Garisim in Samaria. The brotherhood ended long before this prophecy was given, and in Jesus’ day it was unheard of for a Jew to have anything to do with one from Samaria. So when Jesus was in Samaria talking to the Samaritan woman at the well, it was probably a thorn in the side of the Jews, and the story of the Good Samaritan was a groundbreaking story. But the enmity between Israel and Samaria had been a fact for a couple of hundred years at the time Zechariah received this prophecy. This must therefore have a different meaning, and which refers to an event that will come after Jesus’ death.

Verse 15 And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. Verse 16 For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, [which] shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat and tear their claws in pieces. Verse 17 Woe to the idol 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 shall be utterly darkened.

Chapter 12.

B) The second burden; 12,1 – 14,21.

6) The future liberation of Jerusalem; 12,1-9.

Verse 1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Verse 2Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah [and] against Jerusalem.

Here we see the Lord saying that it is He who is behind (allows) both the destruction of Jerusalem – that Jerusalem shall become a cup of trembling unto the peoples, and the punishment that finally afflicts the wicked who have trodden Jerusalem under foot during the 42 months, (Revelation 11,2). (See also chap. 9, verse 1.)

Verse 3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. Verse 4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. Verse 5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem [shall be] my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. Verse 6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, [even] in Jerusalem. Verse 7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify [themselves] against Judah. Verse 8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David [shall be] as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. Verse 9And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Once, after Jerusalem has been a cup of trembling for the nations, the Lord will free Jerusalem from their oppressors. The question then becomes here, as otherwise in Zechariah, in what context do we place the event, contemporary context or end time context? And not least: who or what is Jerusalem a picture of here? There are many who want this to be contemporary context, and that this is the city of Jerusalem rebuilt after the third decree (year 408), but there are many things that suggest that it is an end-time event. Perhaps we first need to find out who or what Jerusalem is in this context. Verse 3: Is it the physical city of Jerusalem which is the burdensome stone for all people? Verse 8 tells us about the Angel of the Lord who will protect those who live in Jerusalem. What day is it meant by in that day in verses 3; 4; 6; 8 and 9?

As the angel of the Lord, who is Jesus Christ, is mentioned in this sequence, we cannot be in the contemporaries of Zechariah. The chapter begins with Jerusalem being made into a cup of trembling for the nations, something the city was at least from Romans destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70. Now it must be added that prophecies are not always linear, but we find a pattern. 1) Those who want to harm Jerusalem shall be cut in pieces! (verse 3). The question is when they are going to be cut in pieces. 2) The verses 3; 4; 6; 8 and 9 say it will happen in that day. The phrase in that day is used in more than 200 verses in the Bible, but most often in connection with the end time, the second coming of Christ and the day of judgment.

Verse 9 says that in that day, I, the Lord, will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. A text that reminds confusingly whether text in Revelation 20,9: And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them.

King James use the word a burdensome stonetranslated from the Hebrew words: maamasah (mah-am-aw-saw ‘) and eben (eh’-ben). Maamasah means cargo and burden, and eben means stone. I believe Jerusalem is an image of God´s faithful people in verses 3 and 9 of this passage. God’s faithful remnant become more and more a burden or a burdensome stone for the world as we move towards that day, which is the climax of history, the second Coming of Jesus.

7) The Spirit of grace and supplications poured out; 12,10-14.

Verse 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 upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for [his] only [son], and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for [his] firstborn.

What a marvelous prophecy this verse poses. Here we see both Christ crucified, and the Holy Spirit poured out in the end time! When will we see Jesus who was pierced? At his second coming, and then all who have not accepted salvation in Christ will mourn, but then it is too late, because the door of grace is closed.

Verse 11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. Verse 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; Verse 13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; Verse 14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

The RSV (Revised Standard Version) adds guidance that Hadadrimmonis a person. The same do KJ and RV, while BGO and German Luther and some others provides guidelines that it is a place located on the plains of Megiddo. The Spanish, German and Norwegian text translated into English. Spanish RV: In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. German TL: At that time there will be great lamentation in Jerusalem, like that at Hadad-Rimmon in the field of Megiddos. Norwegian BGO: On that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning at Hadad-Rimmon on the plain of Megiddo. says this about Hadad-Rimmon: of Hadadrimmon (rim·mo·vn) 1910. probably a heathen god; from Hadad (1908) and Rimmon (7417). Rimmown 7417 definition: a Syrian god. It is therefore conceivable that Hadad-Rimmon is a person or a pagan god, and that verse 11 in King James is right.

Chapter 13.

8) The spiritual purification of Jerusalem; 13,1-6.

Verse 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.

The purification mentioned here is actually unknown in pre-Christian times, although it is promised in Ezekiel 36,25 and visible in here in Zechariah Chapter 13: Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you, (Ezequiel 36,25). I guess it is pretty clear who this fountain is. A fountain against sin and uncleanness cannot be anything but Jesus Christ.

As both sin and uncleanness are mentioned, we can suppose that these words have different meanings. Sin is usually used to describe misbehavior or misconduct and in religious sense to do against God’s commandments. And as we see in Ezequiel 36,25 the terms filthiness and idols are used. Uncleanness describes both ritual and sexual impurity. And once again to somehow establish that it is on that day that it should happen. Here I think we are dealing with Jesus’ first coming as a fountain will be opened against sin and uncleanness.

Verse 2 On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more, declares the LORD Almighty. I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land. (NIV 1984). Verse 3 And it shall come to pass, [that] when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. Verse 4 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: Verse 5 But he shall say, I [am] no prophet, I [am] a husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth. Verse 6 And [one] shall say unto him, what [are] these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, [Those] with which I was wounded [in] the house of my friends.

The questions that rises here is: Where are we on the timeline when God will banish the names of the idols from the land? Did it happen when Israel returned home from Babylon? Did it happen when Jesus died on the cross? Or will it happen at the return of Jesus in a near future? I cannot understand anything else that there are dozens of idols in our day, more than ever before, so the answer to the question must be at the second coming of Christ. Concerning the prophets, we know that no one in Israel escaped from the Lord’s condemnation given through the prophets, not even the prophets themselves. (See Jeremiah 23,9; Ezequiel 13.)

9) The Good Shepherd beaten and afflicted; 13,7-9.

Verse 7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. Verse 8 And it shall come to pass, [that] in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off [and] die; but the third shall be left therein. Verse 9 And I will bring the third part through 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 hear them: I will say, it [is] my people: and they shall say, The LORD [is] my God.

Here we see what happened in Jerusalem during Easter in the year 31. Jesus died on the cross, the Christian church was founded, the apostles and Christians had to flee from Jerusalem and Judea, and many of them were killed during persecution, but the enemy failed to exterminate the Christians because God has always held his hand over his faithful remnant. It is through persecution and trials that Christians will go through the fire and be cleansed. By clinging to God, He will give them help, and cleanse them from wickedness and impurity as one purifies silver and gold. (See also Revelation 3,18.)

Chapter 14.

10) The purification of Jerusalem by war; 14,1-7.

Verse 1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. Verse 2 For I will gather all 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 residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Verse 3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. Verse 4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which [is] before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, [and there shall be] a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. Verse 5 And ye shall flee [to] the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee. Verse 6 Sak 14,6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that there shall not be light; the bright ones shall withdraw themselves: (ASV 1901). Verse 7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, [that] at evening time it shall be light.

If we read this prophecy as it stands and trying to understand it we will soon face the wall. I think we need to read this prophecy into the end-time context, and we have some indications in this text. Verse 1: Behold, the day of the LORD cometh is a typical phrase to describe the second coming of Jesus and the judgment day. See also Joel 3,4.20; Amos 5,18.20. Verse 5: and the LORD my God shall come, [and] all the saints with thee. This is also a picture of the second coming of Christ where everyone will see Him come together with all the Holy Angels. See also Matthew 24,30. Verse 6: there shall not be light; the bright ones shall withdraw themselves. This is also an end-time sign. See also Matthew 24,29.

Verse 2 shows us the great tribulation that Jesus himself refers to in Matthew 24,21. We must read Jerusalem as God’s people in the end time. The city shall be taken means that the enemy will penetrate into the people of God, and have someone to fall astray, illustrated by the houses rifled, the women ravished; and half of the city shall go fort into captivity. But those who manage to resist all tests shall not be cut off from the city. And then the Lord, Jesus Christ, shall fight for us, as he is fought in the day of battle.

11) The Earth recreated, and the Lord recognized as the king; 14,8-11.

Verse 8 And it shall be in that day, [that] living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. Verse 9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

There can be no doubt who we are dealing with in these two verses. Firstly, Jesus refers to himself as the source of the water of life: He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water, John 7,38 (see also John 4,14-15; 6,35), and secondly, he calls himself King of kings: These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him [are] called, and chosen, and faithful, Revelation 17,14.

Verse 10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her 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. Verse 11 And men shall dwell therein, and there shall be no more curse; but Jerusalem shall dwell safely (ASV 1901).

Here we see the new Jerusalem, and it is said that the people of the city will never be cursed, and that Jerusalem shall be inhabited in safety. It is due that we have come to the time after the judgment, and the new Jerusalem has come down from God out of heaven, prepared for God´s people. German Luther 1912 says like BGO that never again will he excommunicate the people while the Spanish RV says that it never more will be a complete destruction.

All four translations are just as accurate, but the Hebrew text lays down guidelines for that no one should ever be cursed. When it is used total destruction, as in the Spanish RV, it is implicit in the wording that there will be less destruction of the city, and then they can place this in historical time – before the second coming of Jesus. The city of Jerusalem has never been safe to live in either before or after Zechariah’s time. For verse 11 to be fulfilled, we must have moved in the time after the second coming of Jesus.

12) Judgment over the Gentiles; 14,12-15.

Verse 12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought 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. Verse 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, [that] a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold everyone on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. Verse 14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. Verse 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 these tents, as this plague.

That we are dealing with events in connection with Jesus’ return seems clear. The wicked, those who would not accept salvation while it was yet to be found, will perish only at the sight of the glory that surrounds Jesus and His angelic army when He returns. There is no less picturesque what Ezekiel and John write about this: And thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, [even] a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood, Ezequiel 39,17 …//… And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God, Revelation 19,17.

13) Judgment over those who will not worship; 14,16-21.

Verse 16 And it shall come to pass, [that] every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Verse 17 And it shall be, [that] whoso will not come up of [all] the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain. Verse 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that [have] no [rain]; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. Verse 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. Verse 20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar. Verse 21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD 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 the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

In verse 16, it seems that all gentile Christians are mentioned in the phrase everyone that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King. The nations have historically opposed God and the people of God, but some of them will repent and worship the Lord. Above these, God will let the rain fall, in the sense of blessing, and the blessing that awaits the faithful is to live with God the Creator in the holy city of Jerusalem.

Egypt is here as otherwise in the prophecies a picture of those who deny God the Creator, such as Pharaoh said: who [is] the LORD, that I should obey his voice to let Israel go? I know not the LORD(Exodus 5,2). But as we see in verse 18, salvation is also offered to them, but they must accept the gift. If they do not, they will not get the rain and they will perish.

That there will no longer be any Canaanitemust be understood out of the history of Israel. When they were to occupy the promised land, Canaan, the assumption was that they would eradicate all the peoples who lived there, for it was not the will of God that they should be tempted by idolatry or mingle with the people who lived in Canaan. And Israel vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, if thou wilt indeed deliver this people into my hand, then I will utterly destroy their cities, Numbers 21,2 …//… Yet the children of Manasseh could not drive out [the inhabitants of] those cities; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land, Joshua 17,12.

When God has finished the judgment there will no longer be any Canaanite in the land, because all who dwell in the new Jerusalem are sanctified the Lord.

10 thoughts on “The Prophet Zechariah, part 3.

  • Hello! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for the great info you have got here on this post. I am returning to your blog for more soon.

  • You’re so awesome! I do not believe I have read through a single thing like that before. So great to find another person with original thoughts on this subject. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is required on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  • We are so grateful for your assistance throughout this task. Your enthusiasm as well as power have actually been a excellent resource of inspiration. Thanks!

  • You have so much understanding concerning the globe. I am always amazed of your distinct point of view on life.

  • It’s difficult to find knowledgeable people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

  • Your understanding as well as knowledge have actually been a fantastic asset to our team. We are exceptionally happy for your hard work as well as devotion. Thank you!

  • I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough men and women are speaking intelligently about. I’m very happy I found this during my hunt for something concerning this.

Comments are closed.