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Bible Commentaries
Zechariah 9

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - UnabridgedCommentary Critical Unabridged

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.

The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach - rather, concerning or against Hadrach (cf. Isaiah 21:13). "Burden" [maasaa'] means a prophecy BURDENED with wrath against the guilty. Maurer, not so well, explains it, What is taken up [from naasaa' (H5375) to, bear] and uttered, the utterance, a solemn declaration.

Hadrach - a part of Syria, near Damascus. Since the name is not mentioned in ancient histories, it probably was the less used name of a region having two names (Hadrach and Bikath-aven, margin, Amos 1:5); hence, it passed into oblivion. An ancient Rabbi, Jose, is, however, stated to have expressly mentioned it. An Arab, Jos. Abassi, also in 1768 declared to Michaelis that there was then a town of the name, and that it was capital of the region Hadrach. The name means enclosed in Syrian - i:e., the western interior part of Syria, enclosed by hills-the Coele-Syria of Strabo (Maurer). Jerome considers Hadrach to be the metropolis of Coele-Syria, as Damascus was of the region about that city. Hengstenberg regards Hadrach as a symbolical name of Persia, which Zechariah avoids designating by its proper name, not to offend the government under which he lived. But the context seems to refer to the Syrian region. Gesenius thinks that the name is that of a Syrian king, which might more easily pass into oblivion than that of a region. Compare the similar phrase, "land of Sihon," etc., Nehemiah 9:22. It may be derived from "Hadar," son of Ishmael (Genesis 25:15).

And Damascus shall be the rest thereof - i:e., the place on which the "burden" of the Lord's wrath shall rest. It shall permanently settle on it until Syria is utterly prostrate. Fulfilled under Alexander the Great, who overcame Syria (Curtius, B. 3 and 4).

When the eyes of man as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord - the eyes of men in general, and of all Israel in particular, through consternation at the victorious progress of Alexander, shall be directed to Yahweh. The Jews, when threatened by him, because of Jaddua the high priest's refusal to swear fealty to him prayed earnestly to the Lord, and so were delivered (2 Chronicles 20:12; Psalms 123:2). Typical of the effect of God's judgments hereafter on all men, and especially on the Jews, in turning them to Him. Maurer, Pembellus etc., less probably, translate, 'The eyes of the Lord are upon man, as they are upon all Israel'-namely, to punish the ungodly, and protect His people. He who has chastised His people will not fail to punish other men for their sins severely. The "all," I think, implies that whereas men's attention generally (whence, "man" is the expression) was directed to Yahweh's judgments, all Israel especially looks to Him.

Verse 2

And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.

And Hamath also - a Syrian kingdom, with a capital of the same name, north of Damascus.

Shall border thereby - shall be joined to Damascus in treatment as it is in position; shall share in the burden of wrath of which Damascus is the resting-place. Maurer understands 'which' 'Hamath, which borden on Damascus, also shag be the resting-place of Yahweh's wrath' (the latter words being supplied from Zechariah 9:1). Riblab, the scene of the Jews' sufferings from their foe, was "in the land of Hamath:" it (Hamath) therefore shall suffer (2 Kings 23:33; 2 Kings 25:6-7; 2 Kings 25:20-21).

Tyrus, and Zidon - lying in the conqueror's way on his march along the Mediterranean to Egypt, (cf. Isaiah 23:1-18.) Zidon, the older city, surrendered, and Abdolonymus was made its viceroy.

Though it be very wise - in her own eyes. Referring to Tyre: Zechariah 9:3 shows wherein her wisdom Though it be very wise - in her own eyes. Referring to Tyre: Zechariah 9:3 shows wherein her wisdom consisted-namely, in building a stronghold, and heaping up gold and silver (Ezekiel 28:3-5; Ezekiel 28:12; Ezekiel 28:17). On Alexander's expressing his wish to sacrifice in Hercules' temple in New Tyre, on the island, she showed her wisdom in sending a golden crown, and replying that the true and ancient temple of Hercules was at Old Tyre, on the mainland. With all her wisdom, she cannot avert her doom.

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.

And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold. The pagan historian, Diodorus Siculus (17: 40) confirms this: 'Tyre had the greatest confidence, owing to her insular position and fortifications, and the abundant stores she had prepared.' New Tyre was on an island 700, paces from the shore. As Isaiah's and Ezekiel's (Ezekiel 27:1-36) prophecies were directed against Old Tyre, on the mainland, and were fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar; so Zechariah's are against New Tyre, which was made seemingly impregnable by a double wall 150 feet high, as well as the sea on all sides.

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.

Behold, the Lord will cast her out - (Ezekiel 26:4; Ezekiel 26:12; Ezekiel 27:27).

Cast her out. The Hebrew [ yowrishenaah (H3423)], dispossess her - i:e., will cast her inhabitants into exile (Grotius). [literally, will possess her, from yaarash (H3423), to possess.] Alexander, though without a navy, by incredible labour constructed a mole of the ruins of Old Tyre (fulfilling Ezekiel 26:4-12, etc., by "scraping her dust from her," and "laying her stones, timber, and dust, in the midst of the water"), from the shore to the island, and, after a seven months' siege, took the city by storm, slew with the sword about 8,000, enslaved. 13,000, crucified 2,000, and set the city on "fire," as here foretold (Curtius, B. 4).

And he will smite her power in the sea - situated though she be in the sea, and so seeming impregnable (cf. Ezekiel 28:2, "I sit in the seat of God in the midst of the seas"). "Her power" includes not only her fortifications, but her fleet, all of which Alexander sunk in the sea before her very walls (Curtius, B. 4). Ezekiel 26:17 corresponds, "How art thou destroyed which wast strong in the sea.

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.

6. Ashkelon ... Ekron ... Gaza ... Ashdod. Gath alone is omitted, perhaps as being somewhat inland, and so out of the route of the advancing conqueror.

Akron, for her expectation, shall be ashamed. Ekron, the farthest north of the Philistine cities, had expected Tyre would withstand Alexander, and so check his progress southward through Philistia to Egypt. This hope being confounded ("put to shame"), Ekron shall "fear."

And the king shall perish from Gaza - its government shall be overthrown. It was conformable to Persian usage (Herodotus, 3: 15) to set up petty kings in the provinces subordinate to the Persian king. In literal, fulfillment of this prophecy, after a two months' siege, Gaza was taken by Alexander, 10,000 of its inhabitants slain, and the rest sold as slaves. Betis the satrap, or petty "king," was bound to a chariot by thongs thrust through the soles of his feet, and dragged round the city.

Verse 6

And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.

And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod - "bastard," not the rightful heir; vile and low men such as are bastards (Deuteronomy 23:2). (Grotius.) An alien; so the Septuagint; implying the desolation of the region, wherein men shall not settle, but sojourn only as aliens passing through (Calvin). [ Mamzeer (H4464), from maazar, to be illegitimately born: born of an alien woman.] Perowne (Smith, 'Bible Dictionary') explains it: during the exile Arabs had established themselves in Southern Palestine, and the prophet foresees they would occupy Ashdod. Hence, we learn, from Nehemiah 13:24, 'the speech of Ashdod' was unintelligible to the Jews. And, in Nehemiah 4:7 the people of Ashdod appear as a distinct tribe, united with other Arabians against Judah. But the PROPHECY, as such, reaches beyond Zechariah's time, though the special language in which it is couched may be taken from such a fact as that of the Arab settlements in South Palestine in the prophet's days. Another and partial fulfillment has already taken place in the subjugation of many cities of the aliens [as the Septuagint calls the Philistines, tous allofulous] by the Maccabees (Josephus, 12: 12; 1Ma 5:66 ).

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.

I will take away his blood out of his mouth - literally, bloods. Blood was forbidden as food (Genesis 9:4; Leviticus 7:26). The sense is, I will rescue the Jews, my people, out of the hands of their bloody enemies, the Philistines, who seek to devour them. The enemy shall no more glut himself with blood-sheddings.

And his abominations from between his teeth - things sacrificed to idols; as, for instance, to Dagon, the Philistine god, half-man/half-fish in form (corresponding to the maritime position of Philistia), and then partaken of by the worshippers (Numbers 25:2,; Acts 15:29; 1 Corinthians 10:19, etc.) The sense is, 'I will cause the Philistines to cease from the worshiper idols.' The metaphor is from wild beasts which tear their prey with their teeth.

But he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God - "even he," like Hamath Damascus, Tyre, etc, which these words imply shall also be converted to God (Isaiah 56:3, "The son of the stranger that hath joined himself to the Lord"). (Rosenmuller.) The "even," however, may mean, besides the outcast Hebrews, "even" the Philistine shall be "gathered" to worship Yahweh (so Isaiah 56:8; Luke 6:17; Acts 21:3-4). (Maurer.)

He shall be as a governor in Judah. On the conversion of the Philistine prince, he shall have the same dignity "in Judah as a governor;" there shall be no distinction (Henderson). The Philistine princes, with their respective states, shall equally belong to the Jews' communion, as if they were among the "governors" of stated "in Judah" (Maurer).

And Ekron as a Jebusite - the Jebusites, the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, who, when subjugated by David, were incorporated with the Jews (2 Samuel 24:16, etc.), and enjoyed their spiritual privileges, but in a subordinate position civilly (1 Kings 9:20-21). This is the, fulfillment of the prophecy in part. The Jebusites' condition under Solomon being that of bond-servants and tributaries, Calvin explains the verse differently: 'I will rescue the Jew from the teeth of the Philistine foe (image from wild beasts rending their prey with their teeth), who would have devoured him, as he would devour blood or flesh of his abominable sacrifices to idols; and even he, the seemingly ignoble remnant of the Jews, shall be sacred to our God (consecrated by His favour): and though so long in a servile position, and bereft of dignity,. I will make them all to be as governors, or princes ruling others and Ekron, shall be a tributary bond-servant as the Jebusite.' Thus the antithesis is between the Jew that remaineth (the elect-remnant) and the Ekronite: and I think this view preferable.

Verse 8

And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.

And I will encamp about - (Psalms 34:7).

Mine house because of the army - namely, the Jewish congregation and people (Zechariah 3:7; Hosea 8:1) (Maurer). Or, the temple: re-assuring the Jews engaged in building, who might otherwise fear their work would be undone by the conqueror (Moore). The former view is better. The Jews were, in agreement with this prophecy, uninjured by Alexander, though he punished the Samaritans. Typical of their final deliverance from every foe.

Because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth. Alexander, when advancing against Jerusalem, was arrested by a dream, so that neither in "passing by" to Egypt to the temple of Ammon, nor in "returning," did he injure the Jews, but conferred on them great privileges, although he punished the Samaritans. Josephus ('Antiquities,' 11: 8, sec. 5) relates that the high priest Jaddua met Alexander at Sapha, in his priestly robes, and that Alexander adored the name of Yahweh, which Jaddua bore in the gold plate upon his head. Alexander was shown Daniel's prophecies concerning himself, and thereupon granted the Jews religious freedom to live according to their own laws. Hales, in his chronology, has ably argued for the historical truth of this account, against the objection that it is not mentioned in Diodorus, Curtius Arrian, and other pagan historians.

And no oppressor shall pass through them anymore. The prophet passes from the immediate future to the final deliverance to come (Isaiah 60:18; Ezekiel 28:24).

For now have I seen with mine eyes - namely, how Jerusalem has been oppressed by her foes (Rosenmuller). (Exodus 3:7; Exodus 2:25.) God is said now to have seen: not that the Omniscient One has not seen it before, but because He now begins to bring the foe to judgment, and manifests to the world His sense of His people's wrongs.

Verse 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.

Rejoice greatly ... behold, thy King. From the coming of the Grecian conqueror, Alexander, Zechariah makes a sudden transition, by the prophetic law of suggestion, to the coming of King Messiah, a very different character.

O daughter of Zion. The theocratic people is called to "rejoice" at the coming of her King (Psalms 2:11).

Unto thee - He comes not for His own gain or pleasure, as earthly kings come, but for the sake of His Church; especially for the Jews' sake, as "the Deliverer ... to turn away ungodliness from Jacob" at His second coming (Romans 11:26).

He is just - righteous: an attribute constantly given to Messiah (Isaiah 45:21; Isaiah 53:11; Jeremiah 23:5-6) in connection with salvation. He does not merely pardon by conniving at sin, but He justifies by becoming the Lord our righteousness-fulfiller, so that not merely mercy, but justice, requires the justification of the sinner who by faith becomes one with Christ. God's justice is set aside by the sinner's salvation, but is magnified and made honourable by it (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 42:21). His future reign "in righteousness," also, is especially referred to (Isaiah 32:1).

And having salvation, [nowshaa`] - not passively, as some interpret it, 'saved,' which the context, referring to a "King" coming to reign, forbids; also the old versions, the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, give Saviour. The Hebrew is reflective in sense, 'showing Himself a Saviour;' 'having salvation in Himself' for us. Endowed with a salvation which He bestows as a king. Compare margin, 'saving Himself.' Compare Matthew 1:21, in the Greek [ autos (G846)], 'Himself shall save His people' - i:e., not by any other, but by Himself shall He save (Pearson 'On the Creed'). His "having salvation" for others manifested that He had in Himself that righteousness which was indispensable for the justification of the unrighteous (1 Corinthians 1:30; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2:1). This contrasts beautifully with the haughty Grecian conqueror who came to destroy, whereas Messiah came to save. Still Messiah shall come to take "just" vengeance on His foes, previous to His reign of peace (Malachi 4:1-2).

Lowly - not merely expressing his humiliation at His first coming, but His general character, belonging alike to both His advents-mild, gentle: corresponding to His "riding on an ass" (not a despised animal, as with us; nor a badge of humiliation, because princes in the East rode on donkeys, as well as low persons (Judges 5:10) - i:e., coming as "Prince of peace" (Zechariah 9:10; Isaiah 9:6); the "horse," on the contrary, is the emblem of war, and shall therefore be "cut off." Perhaps the Hebrew [ `aaniy (H6040)] includes both the "lowliness" of His outward state (which applies to His first coming) and His "meekness" of disposition, as Matthew 21:5 quotes it (cf. Matthew 11:29), which applies to both His comings. Both adapt Him for loving sympathy with us men: and at the same time are the ground of His coming manifested exaltation (John 5:27; Philippians 2:7-9).

And upon a colt - untamed, "whereon yet never man sat" (Luke 19:30). The symbol of a triumphant conqueror and judge (Judges 10:4; Judges 12:14).

The foal of an ass - literally, donkeys; in Hebrew idiom, the indefinite plural for singular (so Genesis 8:4, "mountains of Ararat," for one of the mountains). The dam accompanied the colt (Matthew 21:2). The entry of Jesus into Jerusalem at His first coming is a pledge of the full accomplishment of this prophecy at His second coming. It shall be "the day of the Lord" (Psalms 118:24), as that first Palm Sunday was. The Jews shall then universally (Psalms 118:26) say, what some of them said then, "Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord" (cf. Matthew 21:9 with Matthew 23:39); also, "Hosanna," or "Save now, I beseech thee." "Palms," the emblem of triumph, shall then also be in the hands of his people (cf. John 12:13 with Revelation 7:9-10). Then also, as on His former entry, it shall be the feast of tabernacles (at which they used to draw water from Siloam, quoting Isaiah 12:3, "With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation"). Probably Zechariah has this passage in view. Compare Psalms 118:15 with Zechariah 14:16, in both which passages allusion is made to the antitypical coming feast of tabernacles.

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.

And I will cut off the chariot ... and the horse ... and the battle-bow shall be cut off - (Isaiah 2:4; Hosea 2:18; Micah 5:10, to whose language Zechariah seems here to allude).

From Ephraim ... Jerusalem - the kingdom of the ten tribes, and that of Judah and Benjamin; both alike to be restored hereafter.

And he shall speak peace - command it authoritatively. A mere word from Him, enough to produce instantaneous and universal "peace" (Matthew 8:8). And his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth - fulfilling Genesis 15:18; Exodus 23:31; and Psalms 57:8. "Sea ... sea," are, from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. The "river" is the Euphrates. Solomon's kingdom, extending "from the river unto the land of the Philistines, and unto the border of Egypt" (1 Kings 4:21), was an earnest and type of Messiah's universal dominion. Jerusalem and the Holy Land, extended to the limits promised to Abraham, are to be the center of His future dominion; whence it will extend to the remotest parts of the earth.

Verse 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.

As for thee also - i:e., "the daughter of Zion," or "Jerusalem" (Zechariah 9:9), the theocracy. The "thee also," in contradistinction to Messiah, spoken of in Zechariah 9:10, implies that besides cutting off the battle-bow, and extending MESSIAH'S "dominion to the ends of the earth," God would also deliver for her her exiled people from their foreign captivity.

By the blood of thy covenant - i:e., according to the covenant vouchsafed to thee on Sinai, and ratified by the blood of sacrifices (Exodus 24:8; Hebrews 9:18-20).

I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. Dungeons were often pits without water, miry at the bottom, such as Jeremiah sunk in when confined (Genesis 27:24; Jeremiah 38:6). This image is employed of the misery of the Jewish exiles in Egypt, Greece, etc., under the successors of Alexander, especially under Antiochus Epiphanes, who robbed and profaned the temple, slew thousands, and enslaved more. In Zechariah's times, the time of the Persian rule, the practice was common to remove conquered peoples to distant lands, in order to prevent the liability to revolt in their own lands. Josephus ('Antiquities,' 12: 2, sec. 5) states that the Persians carried away Jews into Egypt; and Ochus (according to Syncellus) transplanted large numbers from Palestine to the East and North. God delivered them from Antiochus by the Maccabees. A type of the future deliverance from their last great persecutor (Isaiah 51:14; Isaiah 61:1).

Verse 12

Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;

Turn you to the strong hold - in contrast to the "pit" (Zechariah 9:11) [ bitsaarown (H1225), from baatsar (H1219), to cut off]; literally, 'a place cut off from access.' Maurer thinks, 'a height' (Psalms 18:33). An image for the security which the returning Jews shall have in Messiah (Zechariah 9:8) encamped about His people (Psalms 46:1; Psalms 46:5: cf. Isaiah 49:9; Proverbs 17:10).

Ye prisoners of hope - i:e., who, in spite of afflictions (Job 13:15; Psalms 13:5,11 ), maintain hope in the covenant-keeping God; in contrast to unbelievers, who say, "There is no hope" (Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 18:12). Especially those Jews who believe God's word to Israel (Jeremiah 31:17, "There is hope in the end that thy children shall come again to their own border"), and do not say, as in Ezekiel 37:11, "Our hope is lost." Primarily, the Jews of Zechariah's time are encouraged not to be dispirited in building by their trials; secondarily, the Jews before the coming restoration are encouraged to look to Messiah for deliverance from their last oppressors.

Even today - when your circumstances seem so unpromising; in contrast with the "day of the Lord," when Zion's King shall come to her deliverance (Zechariah 9:9).

Do I declare that I will render double unto thee - great as has been thy adversity, thy prosperity shall be doubly greater (Isaiah 61:7).

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.

When I have bent Judah for me - i:e., when I shall have made Judah as it were my bow.

Filled the bow with Ephraim - and "filled" it "with Ephraim," as my arrow wherewith, under the Maccabees as the leaders of the Jews, to overcome the successor of the Grecian Alexander, Antiochus Epiphanes (cf. notes, Daniel 8:1-27; Daniel 11:32; 1Ma 1:62 ; 1Ma 2:41-43 ), the oppressor of Judah. Having spoken (Zechariah 9:1-8) of Alexander's victories, after the parenthesis (Zechariah 9:9-10) as to Messiah, the infinitely greater King, coming, he passes to the victories which God would enable Judah to gain over Alexander's successor, after his temporary oppression of them.

And raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece. God, on one hand, addresses Zion, on the other Greece, showing that He rules all people. This was to be God's just retribution upon Greece, that as she had oppressed "the CHILDREN of Judah and of Jerusalem," who had been "sold" to her by the Tyrians as slaves (Joel 3:6-7), so Judah and Ephraim should be the arrows, "filling God's bow" "against thy SONS, O Greece." This foresight, not only of the overthrow of Persia, then in the height of her power, by Greece, but also of Greece herself, in the person of Antiochus Epiphanes, by the Jewish Maccabees, is a remarkable proof of the divine inspiration of the prophets.

Verse 14

And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD 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.

And the Lord shall be seen over them. Another image: "Yahweh shall be seen (conspicuously manifesting his power) over them" - (i:e., in behalf of the Jews and against their foes), as formerly he appeared in a cloud over the Israelites against the Egyptians (Exodus 14:19; Exodus 14:24).

And his arrow shall go forth as the lightning - flashing forth instantaneous destruction to the foe (Psalms 18:14).

And the Lord God shall blow the trumpet - to summon and incite His people to the battle for the destruction of their foe.

And shall go with whirlwinds of the south - i:e., shall go forth in the most furious storms, such as is one from the south (Isaiah 21:1). Alluding, perhaps, to Yahweh's ancient miracles at Sinai coming "from Teman" (Habakkuk 3:3), ('the South,' in margin.)

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.

And they shall devour - God's covenant-people "shall devour" the flesh of their foes.

And they shall drink - the blood of their foes - i:e., utterly destroy them. Image (as Jeremiah 46:10) from a sacrifice, wherein part of the flesh was eaten, and the blood poured in libation.

And subdue with sling stones, [ kaabªshuw (H3533) 'abneey (H68) qela` (H7050)] - or, "tread under foot the sling stones" hurled at them by the foe; i:e., will contemptuously trample on the hostile missiles which shall fall harmless under their feet (cf. Job 41:28). Probably, too, it is implied that their foes are as impotent as the common stones used in slinging when they have fallen under foot: in contrast to the people of God (Zechariah 9:16), "the (precious) stones of a crown" (cf. 1 Samuel 25:29, "The souls of thine enemies them shall He sling out, as out of the middle of a sling"). (Maurer). The English version is good sense: The Jews shall subdue the foe at the first onset, with the mere slingers, who stood in front of the line of battle and began the engagement. Though armed with but sling stones, like David against Goliath, they shall subdue the foe (Judges 20:16; 1 Chronicles 12:2) (Grotius).

And they shall drink, and make a noise - the battle shout.

As through wine - (Zechariah 10:7). The Spirit of God fills them with triumph (Ephesians 5:18). So the exhilaration of soul caused by the indwelling Spirit was mistaken for the effects of wine on Pentecost (Acts 2:13; Acts 2:18).

And they shall be filled - with blood. Like bowls - the bowls used to receive the blood of the sacrifices.

And as the corners of the altar - or "horns" of the altar, which used to be sprinkled with blood from the bowls (Exodus 29:12; Leviticus 4:18).

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.

And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people - as is becoming His honour that the flock of His people should be saved (Psalms 77:20). Others translate (repeating He will save, thus), 'The Lord shall save them in that day: (He will save) His people as a flock.' The English version is simpler. Here the image of war and bloodshed (Zechariah 9:15) is exchanged for the shepherd and flock, as God will give not only victory, but afterward safe and lasting peace.

For they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. In contrast to the worthless sling stones trodden underfoot stand the (gem) "stones of the crown (Isaiah 62:3; Malachi 3:17), lifted up as an ensign," that all may flock to the Jewish Church (Isaiah 11:10; Isaiah 11:12; Isaiah 62:10, end).

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.

For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! - the goodness and beauty which JEHOVAH-MESSIAH bestows on His people. Not, as Maurer thinks, the goodness, etc., of His land or His people (Psalms 31:19; Jeremiah 31:12).

Corn shall make the young men cheerful - literally, make to grow [ yªnowbeeb (H5107), from nuwb (H5107), to grow up].

And new wine the maids - supply, 'shall make ... to grow.' Corn and wine abundant indicate peace and plenty. The new wine gladdening the maids is special to this passage [ tiyrowsh (H8492), must, or, sweet new wine, such as women like: from yaarash (H3423), to take possession of, as wine is apt to do]. It confutes those who interdict the use of wine as food. The Jews, heretofore straitened in provisions through pressure of the foe, shall now have abundance to cheer, not merely the old, but even the youths and maidens (Calvin). Remarks:

(1) Times of trouble are sent by God, in order that "men's eyes" my be directed "toward the Lord" (Zechariah 9:1). Thus evil is overruled to good; and the chastisements inflicted on the children of God prove to be their greatest mercies, because they are thereby led more entirely to look unto the Lord, who is the Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

(2) With all Tyre's wisdom, "very wise" as she was reputed (Zechariah 9:2), and with all her "heaping up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets" (Zechariah 9:3), she could not deliver herself from the conqueror Alexander. "There is no wisdom, nor understanding, nor counsel against the Lord" (Proverbs 21:30). What He spake against Tyre by His prophet, in the midst of Tyre's prosperity, ages before the event, all came to pass, however unlikely it seemed at the time. "The sea," the very element on which she based her power, was made the instrument of her destruction (Zechariah 9:4). Let us hence learn how vain are all creature-confidences apart from God.

(3) The neighbours of Tyre, the Philistines, had expected that Tyre would check the progress of the conqueror Alexander before he reached themselves. But their "expectation" was put to shame (Zechariah 9:5). "Pride" (Zechariah 9:6), and a bloodthirsty spirit, are sure to bring down condign punishment at last (Zechariah 9:7).

(4) What a blessed contrast to these does the people of God's covenant present! They were, in the prophet's time, comparatively but a scanty few "remaining" (Zechariah 9:7). But the Lord was on their side.

Therefore, alike in the trials to which they were exposed under the Persian government, in rebuilding the temple, and in those which subsequently they encountered under Alexander and his successors, the elect remnant was preserved. By a marvelous interposition, "the Lord encamped about his house, because of the army" (Zechariah 9:8) of their enemies, when the Grecian conqueror threatened their capital. The Lord Himself made the wrath of man to praise Him. And this is but the earnest of a still more wonderful deliverance which He will yet vouchsafe to His ancient people. Then shall they turn to Messiah their Lord, and shall thenceforth be wholly "for our God." Then "no oppressor shall pass through them anymore," after the long ages of oppression to which they have been exposed. So in the case of the spiritual Israel, the Christian Church. She now is surrounded with enemies; but the Lord's own "eyes" are upon her; and His goodness and His power alike are pledged for her final salvation and triumph.

(5) Zion is called on to "rejoice greatly," and to "shout" for joy in the prospect of her King coming unto her (Zechariah 9:9). His coming is unto, and for, His people. Therefore they may well rejoice "with joy unspeakable and full of glory" (cf. Isaiah 25:9; Isaiah 61:10). None have such reason for joy as those who know, by blessed experience, Christ the Saviour to have come unto themselves.

(6) "He is just," and yet He "hath salvation" for the unjust: and this not in violation of, but in strictest conformity with His perfect justice. For He hath fulfilled all the demands of justice for us as our Representative man. He hath, by his blood-shedding, paid the whole debt due to justice, and so removes all the guilt and penalty of our disobedience and corruption; moreover, by His perfect obedience to the whole law in His life as man, He has worked out for us a perfect righteousness, which is imputed to all (Romans 5:19; 2 Corinthians 5:21) who, through faith in His blood, have been forgiven and accepted before God. Thus His justice or righteousness secures to us not merely deliverance from wrath, but also a title to heaven, on the grounds not only of mercy, but also of justice. God's justice, therefore, so far from being relaxed in its holy strictness, is actually "magnified and made honourable" in the acceptance of the sinner, who stands in the righteousness of the infinitely-perfect Saviour (Isaiah 42:1; Isaiah 42:21). (7) What a contrast to the Grecian king, who came only to destroy, does our Lord and King, Jesus, present, who came to save! Nor is this all: He is coming again in justice both to His enemies and to His people. He shall inflict righteous vengeance on the ungodly, and shall thus show Himself the antitype to David, the man of war, before His manifestation as "Prince of Peace," the antitype to Solomon (Zechariah 9:10). "Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation" (Hebrews 9:28). His past "lowliness" (Zechariah 9:9) shall be the ground of His coming exaltation in manifested glory (Philippians 2:7-9). His people, too, as having shared His humiliation, and as having "learned of" Him who is "meek and lowly in heart" (Matthew 11:29), shall share in His universal "dominion" (Zechariah 9:10).

(8) "The blood" of Jesus, which ratifies the Gospel "covenant," is the antitype to the blood of beasts, by which the covenant of Sinai was ratified (Zechariah 9:11). By Him believers, who were once "shut up" (Galatians 3:23) under condemnation, as in a prison, and who were without hope, are "sent forth out of the pit wherein is no water" (Zechariah 9:11). Are any of us unbelievers? Though such are still prisoners, their case is not yet hopeless. They are, in this dispensation of grace, "prisoners of hope." Therefore let them "turn" at once to their "strong hold," the Saviour of sinners. Are we believers? Then we also are, in a higher sense, "prisoners of hope." Though in many trials we are like "prisoners," we can maintain a well-grounded "hope" in our covenant-keeping God. Our wisdom is to turn continually to our stronghold, the Lord, who will not disappoint our hope.

(9) The literal Israel's "hope" seems now lost. God assures her that "there is hope in her end" (Jeremiah 31:17), and that great as has been her adversity, He will "render double" unto her (Zechariah 9:12). As after the storm comes the rainbow, so after Israel's affliction shall come her consolation. Whereas the enemy shall be "trodden" under foot as worthless "sling stones" (Zechariah 9:15), the elect people, the Lord's own "flock" (Zechariah 9:16), "shall be as the stones of a crown," attracting by their beauty all the nations to the Lord's "ensign." Then shall the universal liturgy of praise ascend to the Lord. All the glory of man's salvation and blessedness shall be ascribed, not to any human goodness, but to the Lord, "for how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty!" (Zechariah 9:17.)

Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jfu/zechariah-9.html. 1871-8.
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