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ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 10
God is to be sought unto, and not idols, Zechariah 10:1,Zechariah 10:2. As he visited his flock for sin, so will he save and restore them, Zechariah 10:3-12.
Ask: it was a time of great scarcity with the Jews while the temple and city lay waste, and the prophets from God assure them it is for neglecting to rebuild the temple, to which work the Lord does earnestly call by Haggai and Zechariah, with promises of great blessings, which forthwith God would give to them, if they set to this work, and seek the Lord by prayer, to which duty he doth direct them in this chapter: to the building of city and temple they must add prayer, for the blessing is prepared, and shall be given when asked.
Ye Jews, returned from Babylon, settled in your city, and returned to the worship of God, and to whom many excellent promises are made; you must pray.
Rain in the time of the latter rain; which usually came about spring to fill the eared corn, and to bring forth the grass, to make the trees and plants with their fruit to be full and large: this latter rain made plenty of all provision, and is proverbially used to signify a great blessing, Hosea 6:3.
The Lord shall make; by making the vapours ascend from the earth, he will cover the heavens with clouds: see how Job, Job 38:28, doth elegantly describe this work of God. Bright clouds; clouds which bring rain, and pour it out abundantly, when they are opened with thunders and lightnings, which do as it were broach the clouds; they unstop these bottles: and they are bright clouds through the lightnings which break from them, Job 28:26; Job 38:25,Job 38:26.
And give them, the Jews, his people, showers of rain; plentiful showers of rain, that shall fatten the earth, and make it fruitful.
To every one grass in the field; none shall miss it, nor the effect of it on corn or grass; corn for man, and grass for the beast.
The idols; images which before the captivity they venerated, and at them consulted their idols about plenty er barrenness, and concerning future events, Judges 10:14; Isaiah 19:3.
Have spoken vanity; their predictions were vain, nothing of certainty in them.
The diviners, soothsayers, and consulters with familiar spirits, have seen a lie; foretold good, when all issued in evil, no good came.
And have told false dreams; they pretended a revelation from heaven, but it was a dream of their own head, or a cheat put on them by the father of lies.
They comfort in vain; their lies for the present comfort the deceived, but the vanity of these comforts soon appears in the disappointment which followeth.
Therefore they; either they that consulted, or those who sent them, indeed almost all the Jews were thus foolish in consulting and believing these liars, and so, confounded at last, fell into all the misery, they thought to escape.
Went their way; they went int captivity into Babylon.
They were troubled, miserably oppressed and afflicted, because there was no shepherd; without guide or protection; without ecclesiastical or civil governors, that would faithfully do their duty; and this was one reason that they were so afflicted and captivated.
Mine anger was kindled; though it was justly kindled against all, yet it was more hot and fierce against the chief sinners among them.
Against the shepherds; officers in church and state, who neglected to keep the flock from straying, who were ringleaders in idolatry and soothsaying.
I punished the goats; the wanton, lustful, and petulant officers among them, which, like he-goats, push. and wound, and trample under foot the feebler cattle, as Ezekiel 34:16,Ezekiel 34:17; these were more grievously punished, Jeremiah 29:22; Jeremiah 39:6. Hath visited his flock, in favour and mercy.
Hath made them as his goodly horse; with change of state hath changed their sheepish weakness and cowardice into strength, courage, and gallantry, like that of a goodly horse: this appeared in the Maccabees’ wars.
In the battle; when all his courage is stirred up, and he appears, as Job brings him forth, with neck clothed with-thunder, Job 39:19-26.
Out of him, or out from him, from Judah, rather from the God of Judah,
came forth the corner, which in buildings is strength and beauty; here it is the prince or ruler, which is in a polity as a corner-stone in buildings.
Out of him the nail; from God the nail which fastens the tents of war, or fastens the timber together in a house.
The battle bow; all warlike provision both of men and arms, synecdochically expressed by bow.
Out of him every oppressor, or officer, exactor, collector of tribute. It was from God that Nebuchadnezzar mightily prevailed, and in the course of his victories oppressed Israel; and it is from God also that Judah is at last made free, grows up to such power as to be able to cope with his adversaries, to beat them, and to impose tribute on them. He sets up and pulls down as he pleaseth, Psalms 9:0.
They, the Jews under the conduct of their captains, such as the Maccabees, shall be as mighty men; shall be valiant, mighty warriors, shall take cities, and beat down those that oppose them, and, as usual in such cases, tread the conquered as mire in the streets:
they shall fight thus valiantly and successfully,
because the Lord is with them, fighteth for them and against their enemies.
The riders on horses shall be confounded: this is the character of the Jews’ enemies, they came with armed men, and a mighty cavalry, as Antiochus and others did, in which they trusted; but this availed little, these horsemen were confounded, beaten, or fled away from a beating: when God was with Judah’s enemies, so they behaved themselves, and trod down Judah; now he is reconciled to Judah and fighteth for Judah. Judah shall behave himself, and succeed against his enemies, as before they did against him.
I will strengthen the house of Judah: God will give both courage and strength, courage to attempt, and also strength to go through and finish the attempt; in this they of the house of Judah were famous in the wars of the Jews against the Seleucidae, in which wars they had wonderful difficulties, and as wonderful courage and success.
I will save the house of Joseph; the remnant of the kingdom of Israel, the residue of the ten tribes, called the house of Joseph, for that Ephraim and Manasseh, part of that kingdom, were the sons of Joseph.
I will bring them again, both Judah and Joseph, out of Babylonish captivity, to place them; to settle them in their own land, and in their own cities: how far this doth warrant the expectation of a universal gathering of this people I do not undertake to determine.
I have mercy upon them; I pity them in what they have already suffered, and my mercy is not clean gone from them; I have yet rich mercy for them, and will show it when they have built city and temple, and restored religion.
They shall be as though I had not cast them off; in every respect they shall so multiply, thrive, and prosper, that though they remember it with grief and shame, yet the generations to come shall discern no sad marks of a rejected people.
I am the Lord their God, in a perpetual covenant, which I never can nor will break: I am and will be their God; they should, yea shall, be my people, as Zechariah 8:8.
And will hear them: they will pray, and I will hear, for they are mine, they will seek me as their God, and I will save them as my people.
Ephraim: see Zechariah 10:6. Shall be like a mighty man, see Zechariah 10:5.
Their heart shall rejoice as through wine; which warmeth the blood, cheereth the spirits, and adds life greatly, where a good and joyful success concurreth, as here it doth.
Their children shall see it, and be glad; either thus, in the days of your children this shall be; or rather, when the time comes for these things they shall continue through your generations to children that shall be born.
Their heart shall rejoice in the Lord; the goodness, power, wisdom, and faithfulness of God shall be the cause of this joy, and many of these people shall indeed rejoice in the Lord, and in the Messiah.
I will hiss for them; though they are now scattered far off, I will cause them to return; I will whistle, as a shepherd, and they, as scattered sheep, shall run with sped back to the flock: I called their enemies so once, and they came, Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 7:18,Isaiah 7:19; and
my people will come when thus I call to them.
And gather them; this shall be enough to bring them together; or it shall be done as soon as spoke, so soon as I whistle they shall return.
I have redeemed them; I have been at the care and charge of redeeming, I raised Cyrus to do it; I bestowed all nations and kingdoms on him, and afterwards on Darius Hystaspes, to do this, to restore my exiles, to replant Judah, to rebuild the city and temple; and I will do this also, which is much less, I will, as a shepherd with his pastoral whistle, call them in.
They shall increase as they have increased; a promise made Jeremiah 33:22, and Ezekiel 36:1,Ezekiel 36:11,Ezekiel 36:37,Ezekiel 36:38, which see.
I will sow them: it might seem impossible the Jews should so increase, but to satisfy us herein God promiseth to sow them, so their increase should be like the increase of rich soil that hath much seed cast on it, Jeremiah 31:27; Hosea 2:23; that land shall soon be full of men and cattle, when God sows both.
Among the people; the heathen; where dispersed, there they should multiply.
They shall remember me; there they shall think of me, and long for me, and desire to return to Jerusalem, and to my temple.
In far countries; whithersoever they were driven in the farthest parts of the Persian empire.
They shall live with their children; though captives and poor, yet they nor their children shall starve; nay, their children born to them shall live, and grow up with them; this young fry shall fill the earth.
Turn again to me, my temple, their city, and country. That this may also refer somewhat to the conversion of the Jews to the gospel, and to their spreading the gospel unto others for multiplying of the seed of Israel according to the faith, as I doubt not, so neither shall I particularly inquire, since the letter so fairly suits with history and matter of fact, as is evident from the multitudes that were gathered to the passover, when Titus Vespasianus cooped them up in a close siege.
I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt; into which doubtless some hasted by an early flight from the Babylonians before they wasted Canaan, and others fled though forbidden, Jeremiah 43:0; where also in after-days some Jews sought a repose, and where they wonderfully increased, if Josephus’s story be true, of one hundred and twenty thousand Jews set at liberty by Ptolemy Philadelphus, when he procured the seventy-two elders to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek. These Egyptian Jews shall be brought back.
And gather them out of Assyria; in which many yet did linger, loth to depart, but when God hisseth for them they shall come.
I will bring them into the land of Gilead, which was the eastern frontier of the land of Canaan, and Lebanon; this was the north frontier of the land, and both fruitful and pleasant: they are here mentioned as part for the whole, as before, Zechariah 8:7.
And place shall not be found for them; the land should be too narrow for them, so Isaiah 49:20; Isaiah 54:2,Isaiah 54:3, which was in part fulfilled according to the historical and literal part, but fully in the spiritual part.
The former part of this verse might be read in the preter-perfect tense, reporting what God hath done, and perhaps more agreeably with the context and design, which is no doubt to confirm the promise, and make it credible, though so many and great difficulties render it unlikely to reason: I will, saith God, Zechariah 10:10; I promise, who am he that hath passed through the sea, the Red Sea, and brought my people through: who hath clone this call do what he now promiseth. I am he that dried up the deeps of Jordan (when at deepest by the floods, which were then upon the river); I can remove obstacles were they as great as these, and as easily lay low the pride of enemies, or remove their sceptres, as I did to Assyria and Egypt. So the whole verse is an allusion to what God had done in the two famous deliverances of his people under the hand of Moses and Joshua, bringing them out of Egypt through the Red Sea, and through Jordan, and destroying the Egyptians; and delivering them out of Assyrian bondage, and in order thereto destroying that kingdom.
I will strengthen them: see Zechariah 10:6.
In the Lord, their God, in Christ, say some; and it is true enough, whether these words so mean or no, God and Christ are the strength of the church, and of all believers.
They shall walk up and down, shall manage all their affairs, civil and military, secular and ecclesiastical, in his name; by authority derived from him, by power received of him, by wisdom given from above, to the glory of our God and our Redeemer. Thus far the great things promised to the Jewish church, and which were to be fulfilled in the time from the rebuilding the temple and city to the coming of Christ, through some four hundred and ninety years; in which times if aught fell short of-promise, it was because the sins of the people provoked God-to alter the course of his providence toward them.
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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 10". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25