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Bible Commentaries

Ironside's Notes on Selected Books
Zechariah 10

 

 

Verses 1-12

Chapter 10

The Gathering

The chapter pursues the same general subject, detailing the glory which might long since have been enjoyed by Israel had they owned Messiah’s claims, but which, consequent on their rejection of Him, has been in abeyance during the present period of the calling out of the Church, and will only be made good to the earthly people when they own Him, whom they once spurned, as the Anointed of Jehovah.

It will be noticed that all Israel are included, however (vers. 6, 7)-not merely Judah. At the appointed time a remnant from all of the twelve tribes will be brought into blessing and settled in the land of their fathers, never more to be uprooted by an enemy’s hand.

Without the latter rain (see Joel 2:23 and notes) Palestine becomes little better than a wilderness, though in our day conservation of the waters and irrigation are made somewhat to answer in its place. But under natural conditions the former and the latter rains are required to ensure plenty and prosperity. Therefore we need not be surprised to find the prophets using the rains in a figurative sense. Spiritually, Israel has had her former rain, but a long season of drought has since come in. Now they are bidden to look up in hope, and ask of the Lord “rain in the time of the latter rain;” in response to which He pledges Himself to give showers of blessing. This is undoubtedly the outpouring of the Spirit predicted by Joel, which will surely take place at the time of the end.

Till then spiritual famine necessarily prevails. In their idols no comfort was to be found, so at the captivity they put them away; but they have been since like an unshepherded flock, taking their own course, and wandering in a dry, desolate land. The undershepherds and the leaders of the people, “the goats,” have caused them to stray, thus incurring the Lord’s anger, who is about to visit His flock (limited here to the house of Judah, for it was they who crucified the Lord of glory); and, bringing them once more under His control, they shall become “as His goodly horse in the battle” (vers. 1-3).

Out of him, that is, Judah, came forth the Corner-stone and the Nail. Both of these names I take to refer to Christ. He is the Head of the corner, and “it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Judah.” He is also the Nail upon whom Jehovah will hang all the glory of His Father’s house. (See Isaiah 22:22-24.)

But the Battle-bow and every exactor, or ruler, together shall likewise spring from Judah. The Battle-bow seems also to be used symbolically of the Lord when He rides forth in His might to overthrow all His enemies. With Him will be associated the rulers of Judah when the first dominion shall have returned to the royal tribe.

Victorious over all who have sought their destruction, the once feeble remnant shall become as mighty men treading down their enemies when led to certain triumph by the Lion out of Judah (ver. 5).

Every enemy at last overthrown, Jehovah will strengthen the house of Judah, and save the house of Joseph, bringing them again in mercy to their land, and making them one people, restoring them to His favor as though He had never cast them off (ver. 6), thus repealing the Lo-ammi sentence of Hosea 1:9. The Jews, first brought back to their land in unbelief, will pass through the sorrows of the great tribulation, by means of which the remnant will be separated from the apostate mass. The ten tribes will be gathered later, and added to Judah and Benjamin, when Messiah Himself has appeared in glory. They had no direct part in the crucifixion of God’s Son, so the special hour of trial is not for them.

The restoration will be far more than a political or national event giving them back to Palestine, their ancestral home. There will be a divine work in the souls of the people so long blinded, so that the veil of unbelief having been taken away, they shall rejoice in the Lord, and be glad in His presence. It will be the fulfilment of the type of the feast of tabernacles, the happiest season of all the year (ver. 7). Joying in conscious redemption, fruitfulness will again be theirs, and they shall increase as in the days of old.

The manner of their ancient deliverance (vers. 9-12) is used as a figure of this future one. They are to be gathered from all the lands of their captivity, to the land of promise, thus set in the midst of the nations, in accordance with the word of the Lord as to Jezreel, the seed of God (Hosea 2:22, 23-see the notes.) Passing in triumph through the sea of affliction37 and the river of sorrow, they shall find in the Lord their God strength and victory, and shall walk at liberty in His name.

This is the universal testimony of Scripture as to the future glory of the nation now scattered and despised. Their blindness is to pass away; and, with the eyes of their heart enlightened, they will behold the beauty of Him who was once abhorred and crucified.

Thus shall their whole history become a lovely illustration of the precious words of Psalms 76:10, “Surely the wrath of man shall praise Thee: the remainder of wrath shalt Thou restrain;” God will only permit so much evil as will ultimately glorify Him. Anything beyond that He will hold in check. How consolatory is this for the tried saint in any dispensation! How often is the spirit overwhelmed and the soul cast down! But faith can look up in the hour when all seems hopeless, and darkness overspreads the scene, knowing that,

“God sits as Sovereign on His throne,

And ruleth all things well.”

He can make a way for His redeemed through the sea. His power can dry up the rivers, and make His people to pass over dry-shod. What will be true for Israel nationally, it is for every child of God to enjoy personally.

Zechariah 10:9-12 coalesces with Isaiah 43:1-7. “But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and He that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art Mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in My sight, thou hast been honorable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life. Fear not; for I am with thee: I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west: I will say to the north, Give up; and to the south, Keep not back: bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the ends of the earth; even every one that is called by My name: for I have created him for My glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”

What human words could compare with this divine declaration of God’s unchangeable purpose in regard to His earthly people! And by what perverse system of interpretation can such words be made to find their fulfilment in the present work of grace going on among the Gentiles? It is an instance of that high-mindedness which the apostle rebukes in Rom. 11, that such passages are wrested altogether from their true connection by unspiritual spiritualizers, and applied to the Church, whose heavenly calling is lost sight of, while Israel’s hope is denied.

Only as one learns to rightly divide the word of truth do its various lines fall into order and its happy distinctions become plain to the anointed eye. The confusion will then be seen to exist, not in God’s perfect Word, but in man’s bewildered mind, controlled by tradition, and often clouded by self-sufficiency. Truth is learned in the conscience. If that be in exercise, the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Truth, can be depended on to make plain the mind of the Lord to the simplest.

 

 

 

 


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Bibliography Information
Ironside, H. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 10:4". Ironside's Notes on Selected Books. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/isn/zechariah-10.html. 1914.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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