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Zec 9:1 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.
Ver. 1. The burden ] i.e. The bitter and burdensome prophecy. See Trapp on " Mal 1:1 "
In the land of Hadrach ] Better, on the land of Hadrach; because Messiah is chad, sharp, to the nations, but rach, gentle, to the Israelites; whereby is meant, not thy land, O Immanuel, or O Messiah (as Jerome, after Rabbi Benaiah), nor a country that is near or lying round about another country, as Junius and Danaeus expound the Syrian word; but either a province or a city of some note in Syria, not far from Damascus. Diodati maketh it to be an idol of the Syrians, which represented the sun; from which the country took its name, as Isa 8:8 Jer 48:46 Hosea 10:5 .
And Damacus ] The metropolis of Syria, built, say some, in the place where Cain slew Abel; and there hence called Damesech, or a bag of blood; a great scourge to Israel; chiefly famous for Saint Paul’s conversion there, and his rapture into the third heaven, during that three days’ darkness, Act 9:9 cf. 2 Corinthians 12:2 .
Shall be the rest thereof ] sc. Of that bitter burden which shall here abide, and be set upon its own base, as Zechariah 5:11 . See a like expression John 3:36 , the wrath of God abideth upon an unbeliever, tanquam trabali clavo fixa; he can neither avert nor avoid it.
When the eyes of man, &c. ] That is, of other men, the Gentiles also, who as yet are carnal, and walk as men, shall be toward the Lord, lifted up in prayer and confident expectation of mercy. See Psalms 122:2 .
Zec 9:2 And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.
Ver. 2. And Hamath also shall border thereby ] i.e. Shall share in the same punishment with Damascus, and fare the worse for its neighbourhood.
Though it be very wise ] And think to outwit the enemy, to be too hard for him that way, as Midian was for Israel, by his wiles rather than by his wars, Numbers 25:18 . God taketh these wizards in their own craft, δρασσομενος , 1 Corinthians 3:19 , πανουργια , as beasts in a toil, and makes very fools of them, notwithstanding their many fetches; specially when they boast of their wit, as Tyre did, Ezekiel 28:3-26.28.4 , &c., and trust in it, Proverbs 3:5 . The Phoenicians and Tyrians were wont to boast that they first found out the use of letters, &c. Sure it is that by much trading by sea they were growing cunning and crafty merchants, to defraud others; and this they coloured with the name of wisdom. Wise they were in their generation, Luke 16:8 ; but so is the fox, the serpent, and the devil; who when he was but young outwitted our first parents. And we are still sensible of his sleights, and not ignorant of his wiles, his methods, and his stratagems.
Zec 9:3 And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.
Ver. 3. And Tyrus did build herself a stronghold ] Thor did build herself Matsor; an elegance not to be translated (such as are many in the Old Testament, but especially in Isaiah). It is as if it should be said, A stronghold (such as Tyre, which was naturally fortified) did build itself a stronghold, sc. by the industry and diligence of men; so that she might seem impregnable; yet all should not do. Alexander, after seven months’ siege, took it, and destroyed it.
And heaped up silver as dust ] Pulverizavit argentum quasi pulverem. She had money enough (by means of her long and great trade with all the world, Eze 27:1-36 ), and so might hire what soldiers she pleased for her defence. The sinews of war were not wanting to her. She heaped up her hoards as it were to heaven; her magazines were full fraught. The word here rendered heaped up signifieth to comport and gather in money, as men do grain into barns and granaries, Exo 8:10 Psalms 39:7 . But riches avail not in the day of wrath. And Tyre converted, leaves laying up and treasuring, and falls to feeding and clothing God’s saints, Isaiah 23:18 .
Zec 9:4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.
Ver. 4. Behold, the Lord will cast her out ] Or, impoverish her, as some render it; that is, for her money. God can soon let her blood in the vena cava, cavities of her veins, called Marsupium; and make her nudam tanquam ex mari. bare just as out of the sea, And then for her munitions,
He will smite her power in the sea ] She was seated in an island, upon munitions of rocks; the sea was to her instead of a threefold wall and ditch. She was better fortified than Venice is; which yet hath flourished above nine hundred years, and was never in the enemy’s hands; whence she hath for her motto, Intacta manet. It remains intact. But Tyre was taken by Nebuchadnezzar, as his wages; and afterwards by Alexander, who never held anything impossible that he undertook, however unlikely it were to be effected. He found means to fill up the sea with stones, trees, and rubbish, where it divided Tyre from the continent; and made himself master of it.
And she shall be devoured with fire ] Though seated in the heart of the sea, Ezekiel 28:2 , and had motted up herself against God’s fire. Nothing shall quench the fire that he kindleth.
Zec 9:5 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.
Ver. 5. Ashkelon shall see it and fear ] For, iam proximus ardet Ucalegon, her next neighbour’s house was now on fire; and she might well fear she should be dashed at least with the tail of that overflowing storm that had swept away Tyre. The sword was now in commission; it was riding circuit, Ezekiel 14:17 , and God had given it a special charge against Ashkelon, and against the sea shore; there he had appointed it, Jeremiah 47:6-24.47.7 . Now Ashkelon, Gaza, and Ekron were situated all along the sea coast, southward of Tyre and Sidon. All these were bitter enemies to the Church; and were therefore destroyed by Alexander the Great, that man of God’s hand.
Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful ] Like a travailing woman, as Isaiah 26:17-23.26.18 , where the same word is used; her heart shall ache and quake within her; she shall have sore throes and throbs.
And Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed ] Her hope hath abused her, her confidence is cut off, her countenance is covered with confusion. She looked that Tyre should have been a bulwark to her: or at least a refuge, if need were, but now she seeth her expectation shamed: "The expectation of the wicked shall perish." They look out of the window with Sisera’s mother, and say, "Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey," &c.? But what saith the Church? "So let thine enemies perish, O Lord," Judges 5:30-7.5.31 .
And the king shall perish from Gaza ] Rex, id est, Regulus; The King, it is Regulus. for there were five princes of the Philistines; each great city having a prince over it. The Prince of Gaza that is here designed to destruction may very well be that Betis, whom Darius, the last King of Persia, had set over Gaza. He having kept out Alexander for two months, was at length taken up by him together with the city, and put to a cruel death, as Curtius testifieth.
And Ashkelon shall not be inhabited ] It was so wasted by war and depopulated that it became cottages for shepherds and folds for sheep. See Zephaniah 2:4 ; Zephaniah 2:6 . Howbeit after this it was reinhabited; for that bloody Herod that slew the infants was born there, being surnamed Ascalonita; and at this day it is a strong garrison of the Saracens. Saladin pulled down the walls of it; but our Richard I set them up again, as Adrichomius telleth us out of Gul. Tyrius.
Zec 9:6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
Ver. 6. But a bastard shall dwell at Ashdod ] Perhaps he meaneth Alexander; who was a bastard, by his mother Olympia’s confession. The Greek here hath αλλογενης , a stranger, an alien, or one of another generation, as the Greeks under Alexander, and afterwards the Jews under the Maccabees. Whence the Chaldee turns this text thus; The house of Israel shall dwell in Ashdod, and shall be there as strangers which have no father. In the Acts we find that the Jews were scattered up and down Palestine, and some found at Azotus, or Ashdod, Acts 8:40 .
And I will cut off the pride of the Philistines ] That is, their wealth, strength, and whatsoever else they gloried in, and grew insolent, and injurious to the Church.
Zec 9:7 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.
Ver. 7. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth ] That is, his bloody prey (for, saith Aben Ezra, these Philistines did, according to the savage custom of those times, eat of the flesh and drink of the blood of the slain enemies), and I will keep them from devouring my people any more.
And his abomination ] Hoc est, praedas abominabiles, saith Calvin, his abominable spoils, his bloody robberies and pillages.
And he that remaineth ] The small remnant of Jews not yet altogether devoured by these cruel cannibals, the Babylonians, Philistines, and other enemies.
Even he shall be for our God ] Though they be but a he, a small poor company of them; yet God will both own them and honour them.
And he shall be as a governor in Judah ] They shall all be Magnificos , little princes, of high rank and dignity; even as governors in Judah; God will honour them in the hearts of all men. See Zechariah 12:8 .
And Ekron as a Jebusite ] i.e. Either slain or a slave and tributary. I know this text is otherwise expounded by Junius and others; but I now like this interpretation, as most proper.
Zec 9:8 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.
Ver. 8. And I will encamp about mine house ] Though it be otherwise but ill fenced and fortified; yet I will see it safeguarded and secured from the inroads and incursions of enemies, who are ranging up and down, and not only robbing, but ravishing, Psalms 10:9 . For what was Alexander but an arch-pirate, a strong thief, as the pirate whom he had taken told him to his teeth? And whether here be intimated by these words,
because of him that passeth by, and him that returneth ] something of Alexander’s voyages, who passed by Judaea into Egypt, and to Ammon’s oracle with his army, and thence returned to Persia by the same way, not hurting the Jews, or something about the many expeditions of the Seleucidae and Lagedae to and fro from Egypt to Syria, and back again, among which hurly burly the Jews’ state stood fast, though sometime a little shaken; I dare not say (saith a learned interpreter), it may be both those and all other the like dangers are here generally comprised.
And no oppressor shall pass through them any more ] Chald. No sultan; not the Turkish tyrant, Lord of Greece, as Zechariah 9:13 , say those that take the text of the Jews’ glorious state at last. Calvin thinks that by this clause be only expounds what he had figuratively said before. Danaeus takes it of violence and opression among themselves, or of wringing and vexing by their own rulers; they shall be free from violence both abroad and at home.
For now have I seen with mine eyes ] i.e. I have taken good notice of it, I have seen, I have seen, as Exodus 3:7 , and mine eye hath affected mine heart. I have well observed that the enemy is grown unsufferably insolent, and am therefore come to rescue and relieve my people. The Chaldee hath it thus, I have now revealed my power to do them good; Aben Ezra makes these to be the prophet’s words of himself, q.d. I have seen all this in a manifest vision. But this is frigidum imo insulsum, saith Calvin, an odd conceit; unless we refer it (with Montanus) to the following words, and make this the sense (which yet I like not so well), Behold, I see in the spirit, with the eyes of my mind, the Lord Christ coming and entering, with state, the city and temple.
Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he [is] just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.
Ver. 9. Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion ] Draw all thy waters with joy out of this well spring of salvation. Lo, here is the sum of all the good news in the world; and that which should make the saints everlastingly merry, even to shouting and singing in the height of Zion, that their king cometh, Jeremiah 31:12 . This should swallow up all discontents, and make them sing, "Hosanna in the highest; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."
Behold, thy King cometh ] Not Zerubbabel, or Judas Maccabeus, as some Jews interpret it; nor yet Alexander the Great (as some others); but a greater than he, even Messiah the prince, as Christ is styled, Daniel 9:25 , who shall cut off the chariot, &c., as it followeth in the next verse, yea, all the four chariots or monarchies, as some expound Zechariah 6:1-38.6.15 : how much more Tyre, Gaza, Ekron, Damascus, &c., of which he spake before in this chapter.
Unto thee ] i.e. Merely for thy behoof and benefit, and not for his own. Other kings are much for their own profit, pleasures, pomp, &c.; Christ emptied himself of all his excellencies that we might be filled with his fulness.
He is just and having salvation ] That he may justify thee by his righteousness, and save thee by his merit and Spirit. The Vulgate rendereth it, Just and a Saviour; so doth the Chaldee. Salvation properly denotes the negative part of man’s happiness, freedom from all evils and enemies; but it is usually taken for the positive part also, viz. fruition of all good; because it is easier to tell from what than unto what we are saved by Jehovah our righteousness.
Lowly ] Or poor, afflicted, abject. See them set together, Zep 3:12 Philippians 4:12 . I have learned to want and to be abased. Poverty rendereth a man contemptible and ridiculous. Pauper ubique iacet, men go over the hedge where it is lowest; the poor are trampled upon, and despised, as Luke 16:30 . This thy son, he scorned to call him brother, because he was poor. Now Christ became poor to make us rich, 2 Corinthians 8:9 ; a worm and no man ( nullificamen populi, as Tertullian phraseth it), that we might be advanced to glory and honour and immortality, Romans 2:7 . Neither was he more low and mean in his estate than lowly and meek in mind; as far from pride and stateliness as his state was from pomp and magnificence.
Riding upon an ass ] A poor silly beast, used by the meaner sort of people.
Yea, upon a colt the foal of an ass ] Heb. Asses, because the colt whereon Christ rode ran after two asses coupled together in one yoke, whereof one was his dam, Matthew 21:5 . See Trapp on "Matthew 21:1-40.21.46 ; Mat 5:1-48 " These asses used to the yoke Hesiod calleth ταλαιπωρους , wretched, or enduring great toil and labour. That Christ should ride upon the foal of such a hard labouring ass, a young wild colt, not yet ready tamed and trained to the saddle, as it shows his humility, so also his power over the creature ( Clarescente gloria inter humilem simplicitatem ), and his peaceableness too, as Kimchi thinks from that in the next verse, that the Israelites under Christ’s government should have no need of horses and chariots. All this description of Christ’s person and kingdom we know was punctually fulfilled in our Saviour, according to Mat 21:4-11 Mar 11:7-10 Luk 19:35-38 John 12:12-43.12.16 , four sufficient witnesses. The old Rabbis, and with them R. Solomon (though a sworn enemy to Christians), take the text of the promised Messiah’s solemn entrance into Jerusalem: of Jesus, the crucified son of Mary, they will not yield, because they stumble at his poverty and expect pomp. But if they had consulted their own prophets, they would have found that Messiah was foretold as despicable, Isaiah 53:2 ; poor, as here; crucified, Dan 9:26 Numbers 22:9 ; among malefactors, Isaiah 53:9 ; nailed, Psalms 22:16 ; pierced, Zechariah 12:10 ; mocked, Psalms 69:7 . And that their very rejection of him for his meanness and meekness proveth him to be Christ, Psa 118:22 Acts 4:11 . It is reported of Agesilaus, that, coming to help the King of Egypt in his distress, he was despised by the Egyptians because of the plainness of his person and the homeliness of his attire, for they thought that they should see the King of Sparta such a one as the King of Persia was bravely clothed and pompously attended. Likewise the Jews expect a Christ like to one of the mighty monarchs of the earth; and they are strongly possessed with the fond conceit of an earthly kingdom. Hence, when they saw Mahomet arising in such power, they were straight ready to cry him up for their Messiah. "The rich hath many friends," saith Solomon but "the poor is hated," or slighted, "even of his own neighbour," Proverbs 14:20 . Christ came to his own; but his own received him not. When it was sometime disputed among the Romans in the council, using to deify great men, whether Christ, having done many wonderful works, should be received into the number of the gods? the historian saith, that they would not therefore receive him, because he preached poverty and made choice of poor men to follow him, whom the world careth not for.
Zec 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion [shall be] from sea [even] to sea, and from the river [even] to the ends of the earth.
Ver. 10. And I will cut off the chariot, &c. ] This is the same in effect with that of Isaiah 9:7 "Of the increase of Christ’s government and peace there shall be no end"; and Isaiah 2:4 "They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more." Christ was born in the reign of Augustus Caesar, then when having vanquished Lepidus, Antony, and the rest of his enemies both at home and abroad, he set open the gates of Janus in token of a universal peace, and reigned as lord and monarch of the Roman world Polydor Virgil out of Orosius tells us that the self-same day wherein Christ was born Augustus Caesar made proclamation that no man should thenceforth give him the title of Lord, manifesto praesagio maioris dominatus qui tum in terris ortus est, saith he, not without a manifest presage of a greater lord than himself then born into the world; greater, 1. Both for the peaceableness of his government, as here; no use of weapons or warlike engines. "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but spiritual," 2 Corinthians 10:4 . Christ shall bring both to Jews and Gentiles the gospel of peace and the peace of the gospel:
He shall speak peace unto the heathen ] Peace of country and peace of conscience too: and, 2. For the extent of his government it should be as large as the world, a Catholic kingdom.
His dominion shall be from sea to sea ] From the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, or the Sea of Palestine; for these two seas were the bounds of the land of Canaan, Numbers 34:6 ; Numbers 34:12 , for the Jews scarcely knew any other sea but these two. And the prophet here alludeth to the times of Solomon’s reign, as appears by Psalms 72:8 "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth"; that is, from Euphrates to the utmost bounds of the Holy Land, which by a common custom of speech are put for the utmost quarters of the world.
Zec 9:11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein [is] no water.
Ver. 11. As for thee also ] O daughter of Sion, O my Church; not, O Christ, the King of the Church, as the Greek and Latin Fathers, and after them the Popish commentators, will needs have it, the better to establish their chimera a of Limbus Patrum, Christ here, by an aposiopesis (an ordinary figure), or keeping back something unspoken through earnestness of affection, bespeaks his people in this sort; Etiam tu, As for thee also, I will surely impart unto thee the benefits of that of my kingdom, as I have already begun to do in delivering you out of that waterless pit, that dirty dungeon of the Babylonish thraldom.
By the blood of thy covenant ] By the blood of Christ figured, by the blood that was sprinkled upon the people, Exo 24:8 Psa 74:20 Hebrews 13:20 ; and by virtue of the government confirmed thereby.
I have sent forth thy prisoners ] I have enlarged thy captives.
Out of the pit wherein is no water ] But mud only, as in Joseph’s pit and Jeremiah’s dungeon, Gen 37:24 Jeremiah 38:6 . The saints have temporal deliverances also by virtue of the covenant; and if any of Christ’s subjects fall into desperate distresses and deadly danger, yet they are prisoners of hope, and may look for deliverance by the blood of the covenant.
a A fabled fire-breathing monster of Greek mythology, with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail (or according to others with the heads of a lion, a goat, and a serpent), killed by Bellerophon. ŒD
Zec 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;
Ver. 12. Turn ye to the strong hold ] i.e. To Christ, the Rock of Ages, Isaiah 26:4 ; the hope of Israel, Jeremiah 17:13 ; the expectation of all the ends of the earth, Luke 2:25 ; Luke 2:38 . Or to the promise, that strong tower, whereunto the righteous run and are safe; that are Christi munitissima, the strongest defence of Christ, as Cyril here saith, strong hold of Christ. "Thou art my shield," saith David, "I trust in thy word," Psalms 119:114 . And again, "Remember thy word to thy servant, wherein thou hast caused me to trust," Psalms 119:49 . When young Joash was sought for to the shambles by his murderous grandmother, Athaliah, he was hidden in the house of the Lord for six years. But whence was this safety? Even from the faithful promise of God, 2 Chronicles 23:3 "Behold, the king’s son must reign, as the Lord had said of the sons of David," that he should never want a man to reign after him. Hence, Psalms 91:4 , his faithfulness and his truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Under this shield, and within this strong hold of the promises God had made them in the foregoing verses, these prisoners of hope, these heirs of the promises, were to shroud and secure themselves amidst those dangers and distresses as encompassed them on every side. And that they might know that "the needy should not always be forgotten, the expectation of the poor should not perish for ever," Psalms 9:18 , here is precious promise of present comfort.
Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee ] Though you be now at never so great an under, yet I do make an open promise unto you, verbis non solum disertis sed et exertis, I do assure you, in the word of truth, that I will render unto thee, thou poor soul, that liest panting under the present pressure, double, that is, life and liberty, saith Theodoret; grace and glory, saith Lyra. Or double to what thou hopest; I will be better to thee than thy hopes, saith Jerome; or double, that is, multiplied mercy; but especially Christ, who is called "the gift of God," by an excellence, John 4:10 "the benefit," 1 Timothy 6:2 , that which shall abundantly countervail all crosses and miseries, Mark 10:30 . Job had all double to him. Valentinian had the empire, Queen Elizabeth the crown. God will be to his Hannahs better than ten children.
Zec 9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.
Ver. 13. When I have bent Judah for me ] God himself did the work, though by the sons of Zion, as his instruments whom he used, and prospered against the sons of Greece, that is, the successors of Alexander the Great, who led them out of Greece against the power of Persia, and who, seizing upon Egypt and Syria, crushed and ground the poor Jews between them, as between two millstones. This prophecy was fulfilled in the Maccabees; but may have an eye to the apostles, who were some of them of Judah, some of Ephraim; that is, of the ten tribes, as of Zebulun, Naphthali. These Christ used as bows and arrows in the hand of a mighty man, whereby the people fell under him, Psalms 45:5 ; the sons of Greece especially, where so many famous churches were planted, as appears by the Acts and the Revelation. See Revelation 6:2 . See Trapp on " Rev 6:2 "
And make thee as the sword of a mighty man ] Given thee both arms and an arm to wield them. For it is God that strengtheneth and weakeneth the arms of either party in battle, Ezekiel 30:24 . It is he also that rendereth the weapons vain or prosperous, Isa 54:17 Jeremiah 50:9 . This Judas Maccabeus well understood, and therefore had his name from the capital letters of this motto written in his ensign, Mi camoca belohim Iehovah, Who is like thee, O Lord, among the gods? St Paul also, that conquered so many countries, and brought in the spoils of so many souls to God (whence the change of his name from Saul to Paul, as some think, from Sergius Paulus, the proconsul, whom he converted to the faith, Act 13:9 ). "The weapons of our warfare," saith he, "are mighty through God to the casting down of strong holds." "Not I, but the grace of God that is with me," 2 Corinthians 10:4 1 Corinthians 15:10 . And, "Ye men of Israel, why look ye so earnestly upon us," saith Peter, "as if by our own power or holiness," &c., Acts 3:12 .
Zec 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.
Ver. 14. And the Lord shall be seen over them ] Shall be conspicuous among them; he shall appear for them in the high places of the field, he shall make bare his arm, and bathe his sword in blood. How many do you reckon me at? said Antigonus to his soldier’s, when they feared the multitudes of their enemies. May not God say so much more to his? Hath ever any waxed fierce against him and prospered? If he but arise only, his enemies shall be scattered, and those that hate him shall flee before him, Psalms 68:1 .
His arrow shall go forth with the lightning ] Here the former matter is illustrated by many lofty tropes and allusions either to those ancient deliverances at the Red Sea, and against the Canaanites and Philistines, by thunders, lightning, and tempest, or else, as Calvin rather thinks, to the terrible delivery of the Law, with thunderings and lightnings, and sound of trumpets, to the great amazement of the people, insomuch as Moses himself said, "I exceedingly fear and quake." He confers Habakkuk 3:3-35.3.5 , and further allegeth that Teman, here rendered the South, was the same with Sinai, and lies south from Judaea. Lightning, thunder, and whirlwinds are a part of God’s armies, which he can draw forth at his pleasure against his enemies. Such things as these happened often times in the wars of the Maccabees. And how the Lord mightily assisted his apostles, whose arrows went forth as the lightning, swiftly, suddenly, irresistibly, and whose thunder gave a loud alarm to all nations, I need not relate, Paulum quotiescunque lego, non verba mihi audire videor sod tonitrua.
Zec 9:15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, [and] make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, [and] as the corners of the altar.
Ver. 15. The Lord of hosts shall defend them ] Heb. Shall hold his buckler over them, which none can strike through.
And they shall devour ] sc. Their enemies, that till then did eat up God’s people as they eat bread, Psalms 14:5 .
And subdue with sling stones ] With weak means, as David did Goliath.
And they shall drink and make a noise ] Tumultuabuntur quasi temulenti. It is a catechresis signifying the very great destruction of their enemies; so that they might be even drunk with their blood if they had any mind to it; the tongues of their dogs should be dipped therein, as Psalms 68:23-19.68.24 .
And they shall be filled like bowls, &c. ] That held the blood of the sacrifices.
And as the corners of the altar ] Which were all besprinkled with the blood of the sacrifices. A Lapide applies all this to those heavenly conquerors, and more, that is, triumphers, the apostles and martyrs.
Zec 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they [shall be as] the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
Ver. 16. And the Lord their God shall save them ] Not defend them only, as Lord of hosts, Zechariah 9:15 , but as a further favour, save them as their God in covenant with them.
As the flock of his people ] Rescuing them, as David did his lamb from the lion and bear, and tending them continually.
As the stones of a crown ] Costly and precious, or monumental stones, with crowns on the top, and set up for trophies.
Zec 9:17 For how great [is] his goodness, and how great [is] his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
Ver. 17. For how great is his goodness ] He shuts up all with this sweet epiphonema or exclamation, admiring the singular goodness of God to his people in all the former particulars; and yet promising them abundance of outward necessaries, even to an honest affluence; they should have store of corn and wine; so much as should make them succulent and vigorous, full of sap and good humours, provided, that first they content not themselves with the natural use of the creature, but taste how good the Lord is, and next, that they put this promise into suit by their prayers, as Zechariah 10:1 .
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the First Week of Advent