Lectionary Calendar
Friday, June 21st, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 13

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-9

And in that day ( Zechariah 13:1 )

"In that day, in that day." Here it is again, "in that day,"

there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and uncleanness ( Zechariah 13:1 ).

Reminds us of that beautiful song, "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Emmanuel's veins, and sinners plunge beneath that flood with all their guilty stains." But the fountain will be open in Jerusalem as they recognize Jesus Christ as the Messiah and as the Lord. They turn their hearts towards Him, because the Spirit of God will open their eyes. And the veil that has been covering their eyes will be taken away, and they will recognize Jesus as Lord, and the fountain for sin opened to the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

And it shall come to pass in that day [in that day], saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land ( Zechariah 13:2 ),

Now here is the prediction that, of course, Israel would go back to idolatry. And of course, they do have today not little idols in the sense of carved out images, but they are extremely materialistic, and they do have their shrines of the tomb of Rachel, the tomb of Abraham, the tomb of David and all. Even the Western Wall has become sort of a place of almost idolatry in the sense that they feel that they are closer to God in these particular places. They like to go to these places to feel close to God. They say if you want to be close to God, go to the place where a man of God exists, because God exists with that man. But that, in a sense, is the consciousness of idolatry, because an idol is actually something to remind me of the presence of God. When a person creates an idol, it is always indicative to the fact that he has lost that valuable consciousness of God's presence. Somewhere deep inside he longs for that which he has lost. So he creates a reminder. "There's a place, oh there's where I met God."

It's amazing the things that people can, more or less, make religious relics out of. I went to a church one time that had ugly platform furniture. I mean, it looked like it came from the Goodwill. The overstuffed chairs were ripped, and I mean it was just, it was just ugly. Looked like nobody cared. So I announced to the people my intentions, cause I love to get in to build things. I announced my intentions to remodel the platform. "We're gonna get new furniture up here. We're gonna get a new pulpit; I'm gonna build a new pulpit." After the service a woman came up and she was absolutely livid. "Brother Smith, you can't get rid of that pulpit. Twenty years ago this evangelist was here, and he's the one that donated the pulpit. And he preached the first sermon from that pulpit, and he cried, and the pulpit was stained with his tears. Oh, so many glorious sermons have been preached from that pulpit. You can't get rid of that pulpit." I said, "It's ugly." "Oh, but you can't get rid of it." Oh, and it was an ugly piece of furniture. So we bought the new platform chairs, and I purchased some veneer plywood, and I built a whole new pulpit around the old one. Leaving the old one there, but I completely... it looked like a brand new pulpit. But still the old one was built into the inside. She came to church, let out a gasp when she saw the new pulpit. I had desecrated the house of God! She was so angry she was ready to leave the church. I said, "Oh no, no, come here. Let me show you something." I took her behind with the ugly old doors, and everything else, the ugliness was behind it; the people couldn't see it anymore. But that satisfied her. The old pulpit still there you know. But that's tragic when people get attached to things.

In the days of Hezekiah the people had begun to worship the brass serpent that Moses had made in the wilderness. It had become an idol. They'd begun to worship it. They were longing for the presence of God that their fathers had in the wilderness. They were longing to see the power of God that their fathers saw in the wilderness, and they began to worship the relic. But Hezekiah broke the thing in pieces, and he said, "Nehushtan, that's not a thing of God; it's a thing of brass. Nehushtan, a thing of brass." He called it what it was. "That pulpit's not a sacred relic; it's an ugly piece of old furniture." Nothing sacred about a relic. Just because at a place the Spirit of God has moved in the hearts and lives of the people doesn't make it a sacred place. God doesn't dwell in places, God dwells in the hearts and lives of His people.

We could move outside and worship the Lord outside and be just as close to God as we are inside. We're not any closer to God here than we are at home. God does not dwell in buildings made with man's hands. The heavens of heavens cannot contain Him. But a person loses that consciousness of the presence of God and somehow he is longing for that which he has lost. And so he builds a relic, or he takes a relic that reminds him of God's presence, and he begins to worship near that, or he begins to worship the relic itself, even worse.

But God said, "I'm gonna cut off all the idols."

and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land ( Zechariah 13:2 ).

That is, the false prophets, and the unclean spirit.

And it will come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say to him, Thou shalt not live; for you're speaking lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesies. 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 the rough garments to deceive: But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am a husbandman; [I am a farmer,] for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth. [I'm a rancher.] And one shall say unto him ( Zechariah 13:3-6 ),

Now he leaves now the false prophets, and he comes now back to the One who was pierced, "And one shall say unto Him,"

What are these wounds in your hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends. 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 my hand to the little ones ( Zechariah 13:6-7 ).

Now the problem and the question arises, does verse Zechariah 13:6 fit with verse Zechariah 13:5 , or does it fit with verse Zechariah 13:7 ? The author of the Living Bible, which is an interesting interpretation of the scripture, but an extremely poor translation. It's one man's interpretation. Dr. Taylor evidently feels that verse Zechariah 13:6 fits with verse Zechariah 13:5 . I personally disagree with him. I believe that verse Zechariah 13:6 fits with verse Zec 13:7 n. He gives, what I consider, an almost blasphemous interpretation of verse Zechariah 13:6 . "What are these wounds? Oh, these I got when I was in a drunken brawl at my friend's house." But I believe that they are referenced to Jesus Christ again, when they, Israel recognizes Him by the wounds in His hands, and they say unto Him, "What are the meaning of these wounds?" and He will answer very softly, very tenderly, "Those which I was wounded in the house of My friends."

Now verse Zechariah 13:7 we know refers to Jesus Christ, because it was quoted in the New Testament when Jesus was arrested and all the disciples forsook Him and fled that the scripture might be fulfilled which said, "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." So that is used in the New Testament to refer to the fact that the disciples all fled at the arrest of Jesus. So we know that that one definitely refers to Jesus Christ, and it is my personal opinion that six fits with seven.

And it shall come to pass, in all the land, saith the LORD, that two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third part shall be left therein ( Zechariah 13:8 ).

So, again, the Jews are gonna go through a great holocaust in which two thirds of them will die. Only one third will come through. The antichrist is gonna make a covenant with the nation of Israel, but after three and a half years, he's gonna break the covenant as he comes to Jerusalem and declares that he is god, and seeks to show that he is god, and demands to be worshiped as god. And the faithful remnant at that time will flee to the wilderness. The antichrist will then seek to destroy all of the Jews that remain in the land, and two thirds of them will be destroyed; one third shall escape.

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined ( Zechariah 13:9 ),

That is, they are going to go through the fire of persecution once again in this last seven years. This time is known in the scripture as the time of Jacob's trouble, we also call it the Great Tribulation.

and I will try them as gold is tried: and they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, Yahweh is my God ( Zechariah 13:9 ).

So here, those that remain there will be again that glorious grafting back into the tree. The branch that had been cut off will be grafted back again. The unfaithful wife will be received and restored again as God washes her and cleanses her according to the prophecy of Hosea and brings her back unto Himself. Oh, love that will not let me go. Though I stray and turn my back and walk away, yet God will not let me go in His love. But He draws me back to Himself and restores me into fellowship. Oh, how gracious and glorious is the God that we serve. Israel, who has failed, will be brought back again by God and joined to Him after the refining process of the fire.


Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Zechariah 13". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/zechariah-13.html. 2014.
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