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Here are more views, and very glorious ones, of Christ's love to, and rejoicing over his Church; and the Church is called upon to rejoice in her God and Saviour.
(Zechariah 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.
If we connect the last verse of the preceding Chapter with the first verse of this, (and certainly though we divide the prophecy in Chapters the subject is but one,) the sense will be, that the word of the Lord shall rest in Damascus, as it was there said, we will go with you. I conceive the true sense of the word burden is to this amount; not a burden, or source of sorrow, but of joy. And what follows seems to confirm it; when the eyes of man, that is, the eyes of all the redeemed in Damascus, and elsewhere, shall be as much as Israel toward the Lord. Reader! pause over this verse, for according to my view, it is most blessed. In any way, and in every way, if we read the words with an eye to the rich mercies of God in Christ, we find them so. If we consider these expressions, the eyes of man, as in the first and highest sense of the words, the eyes of the God-man Christ Jesus toward Jehovah, as the glorious Head of his body the Church, beholding Him while carrying on the purposes and work of salvation, they are most blessed. And so in like manner all the redeemed looking to Christ, in this glorious work the Father gave him to do; and the Church, in the whole mass of believers, beholding Christ with such complacency and delight, as God the Father beholds his dear Son; think, Reader! what a blessed subject is here opened also in the view of Christ in this manner?
And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus and Zidon, though it be very wise. 3 And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and line gold as the mire of the streets. 4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire. 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 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod; and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. 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. 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.
Hadrach lay near to Hameth, which some have thought to be the same with Antioch; and Tyrus and Zidon, we are well acquainted with in the Gospel. So that when we consider that Christ's followers were called Christians first in Antioch, doth it not seem to imply very plainly, that this burden spoken of to those nations, was intended for a joyful one, and not to groan under. See that sweet, prophecy of Isaiah concerning gospel mercies, to this effect. Isaiah 9:1-7 ; Acts 11:26 . With respect to what is said about Tyrus laying up silver as the dust, and the Lord casting her out; if read spiritually, and with an eye to the Lord's rich mercies in Christ, these self-confidences we know must be all removed to make way for the humble reception of Jesus. Before Christ is revealed to the heart, it is the conduct of everyone to weary himself for very vanity. Habakkuk 2:13 ; Isaiah 19:18 . to the end.
¶ 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.
Had we any doubt to whom these words refer, the Evangelists would at once remove it. Never surely was there ever a description more pointed, or one more circumstantially fulfilled. See Matthew 21:5 , etc. and John 12:15 , &c But taking the fact itself as a thing unquestioned, what I beg the Reader more immediately to notice in the passage is, the sweet and glorious features of character, by which this king was to be known; and then for the Reader to ask his own heart, whether he hath gone forth, and is going forth, to meet Christ with welcomes and hosannas, as the Jewish children did, when Christ thus entered triumphantly into Jerusalem? Is Christ your King? Do you know Him, as the Just One, and the Holy One? And is He all your salvation, and all your desire? 2 Samuel 23:5 .
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.
Here is another blessed description of character belonging to our Jesus. His kingdom is not set up with sword or battle bow; but yet of the extent of his government and kingdom there shall be no end. Malachi 1:11 ; Psalms 72:8 . to the end.
As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.
How sweetly, and blessedly, is God the Father here speaking to God the Son, in his Almighty character, as Mediator. And how fully is this promise answered, in the instance of every poor sinner whom the Lord makes willing in the day of his power. Jehovah then remembers his everlasting covenant, and Jesus then receives the reward of his services, as Jehovah's servant in that covenant. See Isaiah 42:6-7 ; Luke 4:16-19 . Some have thought however, that these words are not directly spoken to Christ, but to the Church, because the word is feminine. But in either sense, the thing is the same. For although the Church hath no prisoners, yet till Christ brings out his Church, in every individual instance of it, every child of God is by nature a prisoner to sin and Satan. And this is a pit indeed, wherein there is no water of salvation.
Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; 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 1:14 And the Lord shall be seen over them; and his arrows shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. 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. 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. 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.
What is this strong hold, but the hold of salvation in Jesus? And who can turn in this, but the souls made willing? But observe the promise to this purport. I will render double unto thee. Who promiseth this, but Jehovah? Greece shall bend to Zion, because the Lord's hand shall be seen in the dispensation. The trumpet of the everlasting Gospel shall be heard. The whole work, the whole glory is the Lord's. And the beauty and loveliness of Christ shall be known, felt, and adored in that day; and the wine of the Gospel shall be drank, and the love of Christ be sought after as the chief good. Remarkable to this purpose was the pouring out the gifts of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost, and from that period to the present, and so on as long as the Church continues on the earth, in the glorifying Christ to his people's view, and forming him in their heart, the hope of glory.
Blessed Lord Jesus! was it said in the opening of this Chapter, that the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord; so let mine eyes fix themselves eternally on thee, and feast themselves in endless rapture on thee; a sight most lovely, and most completely satisfying! Like the Old Testament saints, who beheld thy day at a distance, and rejoiced and were glad; and like New Testament believers, who never cease beholding thee, with joy unspeakable, and full of glory; so would mine eyes look unto the Lord my God, until he hath answered all my longings, and desires after him. And whilst thou art calling home thy sons from far, and thy daughters from the ends of the earth; and Zion is rejoicing greatly at the coming of her meek and lowly Saviour; do thou, blessed Lord, carry on and fulfil all those gracious promises concerning thy kingdom of grace in every heart. Almighty Father! do thou remember thine everlasting covenant, and send forth by the blood of it the prisoners of hope out of the pit wherein is no water. Oh! let all grace abound, and cause the travail of the Redeemer's soul, to be abundantly satisfied in the multitude of redeemed children, born to our God. Yea, let every heart be satisfied with his beauty, and every tongue sing praise to his goodness, until all the ransomed sons and daughters of Zion, shall return with songs of salvation to God and, the Lamb.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Zechariah 9". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 24 / Ordinary 29