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The Coming King
We have already pointed out that this book divides into two parts. The second division embraces chapters 7 to 14. Our study has shown us that, of these, chapters 7 and 8 stand together. A second section, or subdivision, begins with chapter 9, and goes on to the end of chapter 11, giving in a most instructive way the coming of Messiah, and His rejection by Judah. Chapters 12 to 14 follow with the inspired account of His second coming and His acceptance by the repentant remnant.
The refusal of Christ when He came in grace is morally connected with the state into which the people had fallen long before. The cross was but the culmination of a course of wilful hardening that had been going on from the days of the wilderness. Because of this were the various captivities and the many afflictions which had come upon them. When these resulted in exercise and repentance, the peaceable fruit of righteousness and repentance followed. To this the remnant had been called in chapters 7 and 8. Now the prophet points them on to the coming Saviour-King, that there might be heart-preparation for His reception. But the 11th chapter closes with the solemn prediction of the selling of the true Shepherd for thirty pieces of silver, and the consequent acceptance of the Idol-shepherd, the Antichrist.
The opening verses, 1 to 8, are occupied with the destruction of the Syrian power in “the land of Hadrach,” together with all Israel’s enemies bordering on the land of Palestine, preparatory to the extension of the promised kingdom; and evidently have a double application, setting forth, as they do, the past overthrow of the kingdoms ere the first coming of the Lord (which would have been final had He been received and owned as the Anointed of Jehovah), as well as the future doom of the powers which will be in those lands when comes the final triumph of the King of kings. In that day He will “encamp about His house,” becoming as a wall of fire for the protection of His own, and every foe shall be destroyed, so that “no oppressor shall pass through them any more.”
Through all these lands the victorious armies of Alexander passed, overthrowing all of the cities mentioned, in strict accordance with the prophetic Word. Damascus, Hamath, Tyre and Zidon, and the strongholds of the Philistines, were all alike subjugated, and some utterly ruined, to rise no more. Yet Judah and Jerusalem were spared, as if by direct divine intervention, and the Grecian armies became the protectors, in place of the destroyers, of the seed of Abraham. The temple and city were preserved that in them might be carried out all that the prophets had spoken concerning the coming of the Just One, who was to suffer and to die there.
So in verse 9 we have recorded the words which Matthew 21:4, Matthew 21:5 and John 12:14, John 12:15 tell us were directly fulfilled when the Lord Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem amid the welcoming cries of the disciples, the children, and of the people. “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.” Thus He came as the Prince of Peace, only to be eventually despised and set at naught. When He comes the second time, it will be as the Warrior-King on the white horse of victorious judgment (Revelation 19:0).
Between verse 9 and verse 10 this entire dispensation of grace comes in; for it is evident that the latter part of the chapter has never yet had its fulfilment. The King came, but was refused. His cross becomes the sign of salvation for all who trust Him; while He Himself has taken His seat on the Father’s throne in the heavens. Never for one hour has He occupied the throne of David which is yet to be His. That throne He will take when He descends from the heavens with power and great glory. Then He will cut off all the enemies of Jerusalem, and “He shall speak peace unto the heathen: and His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth” (ver. 10). Only when He appears in person will these words come to pass. There can be no Millennium without Christ.
At His glorious revelation He will deliver Judah’s prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water, through the blood of the covenant confirmed in His death, bringing salvation to these prisoners of hope, who will find in Him a stronghold and a defence from all their enemies-after He has rendered to Israel double for all their iniquities (Isaiah 40:2; Isaiah 61:7). Then shall Judah be as a strong bow in His hand, and Ephraim as a polished shaft, before whom the nations shall bow, owning the excellency of the God of Jacob (vers. 11-13).
Again we have to notice a secondary application of a part of this prophecy. Verses 13 to 16 seem to refer in measure to the Maccabean contest with Antiochus Epiphanes, type of the Antichrist of the last days. Then Jehovah raised up the sons of Zion against the sons of Greece, and made the army of Judah “as the sword of a mighty man.” But undoubtedly the fuller interpretation is that which refers these words to the conflicts of the great tribulation, when, in their darkest hour of trial, “the Lord shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning,” when He shall blow the trumpet for the defence of those who in their distress shall turn to Him with all their hearts.
He will “save them in that day as the flock of His people,” when they shall become the jewels of His crown, brilliantly shining upon Immanuel’s land (ver. 16). What a day of glory for the people so long hated and oppressed! They who have been accounted by many as the very off-scouring of the earth shall shine in unequaled brilliancy in the diadem of the Crucified, when they cry, “Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord!” No longer will He be to them “without form or comeliness,” and bereft of all beauty that would cause them to desire Him. On the contrary, as they gaze astonished upon His head once crowned with thorns and His visage once marred more than any man, they will cry, with rapturous amazement, “How great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!” Then shall He feed them with bountiful hand, providing them with every needful blessing, so that “corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids” (ver. 17). Fasting and sorrow will have ceased forever. The joy of an unending feast in the banqueting house will have begun with the banner of love waving over all.
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Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 25 / Ordinary 30