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Bible Commentaries

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible
Zechariah 9

 

 

Verses 1-4

1. Burden — For the meaning of the word see on Nahum 1:1. Its construction in the sentence is obscure. The English translation makes it a part of the title (compare Zechariah 12:1), “The burden of the word of Jehovah in [better, R.V., “upon”] the land of Hadrach”; the rest of the verse it takes as the beginning of the oracle itself. But even the English reader can see that the result is an exceedingly awkward sentence. It seems better to take “burden,” which is without article in Hebrew, by itself as the title, “A burden,” or “An oracle,” and to begin the oracle itself with “The word of Jehovah.” In 1b the translation of margin R.V. is to be preferred. With these changes Zechariah 9:1 will read, “An oracle: The word of Jehovah shall be upon the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be its resting place; for Jehovah hath an eye upon men and upon all the tribes of Israel.” The title may not be in its original form; with “burden” or “oracle” may have been connected originally the name of the author and, perhaps, of the subject of the prophecy; but these names had disappeared when the oracle fell into the hands of the compiler (p. 589).

The word of Jehovah — See on Hosea 1:1.

Hadrach — In ancient and even more recent times, previously to the discoveries of archaeology, Hadrach received various interpretations; some took it as a name of the Messiah, some as the name of an otherwise unknown Syrian king, or of a deity; but archaeology has placed it beyond reasonable doubt that it is the name of a city called Hatarika in the Assyrian inscriptions, mentioned in connection with Damascus and other cities of Syria; hence it is quite likely that it should be located in the north. Well-hausen suggests the region around the later Antioch.

Damascus — See on Amos 1:3. Its resting place (R.V.) — Damascus is the goal of the divine word of judgment; there it will fall with destructive force.

The rest of the verse appears to be a parenthetical clause, stating the reason why the word has gone forth. As already indicated, the marginal translation is to be preferred. Jehovah hath an eye (margin R.V.) — Nothing is hidden from the eyes of Jehovah, hence he knows what each individual nation deserves.

Man… Israel — His interest is world-wide, it is not confined to Israel (Amos 9:7; Jeremiah 32:19-20). In this case he has seen the wrong done by men to Israel, therefore he will send judgment upon the evil doers, represented by Hadrach and Damascus. Though this interpretation is not impossible, the text of 1b is considered corrupt by many commentators, and various emendations have been suggested. Instead of man, Hebrews adham, many read Syria, Hebrews aram, which involves the interchange of two letters which are not infrequently confused in the Old Testament; for eyes many read cities or people, which again involves only a slight change. With these changes 1b would read, “For Jehovah’s are the cities (or people) of Syria as well as all the tribes of Israel.” These emendations would not alter the thought materially. Some go further; they omit “as well as all the tribes of Israel,” and join the remaining words of 1b closely with Zechariah 9:2 : “For Jehovah’s are the cities of Syria, and Hamath also, which bordereth thereon”; which gives good sense. The present Hebrew text of Zechariah 9:1 sounds rather peculiar, and it may be corrupt, but, if so, it is not possible to speak with certainty concerning its original form. Marti reads Zechariah 9:1-2 as follows: “Burden of the word of Jehovah: Jehovah is in Hadrach, and Damascus is his resting place; for Jehovah’s are the cities of Syria, and Hamath also which bordereth thereon; Tyre and Sidon, because they are very wise.”

If the present text is retained Zechariah 9:2 is the continuation of 1a. Hamath also shall be the resting place of the word of Jehovah.

Hamath — See on Amos 6:2 (compare Ezekiel 47:16).

Tyrus [“Tyre”]… Zidon — The two chief cities of Phoenicia (see on Joel 3:4; compare Amos 1:9; Ezekiel 26:2; Ezekiel 28:21).

Though it be very wise — R.V., “because they are very wise.” The latter expresses the thought that the boast in their great wisdom (Ezekiel 28:1 ff.) provokes the divine judgment; A.V., on the other hand, expresses the idea that all their wisdom will not be sufficient to save them. R.V. is more accurate and is favored by the context. The latter is undoubtedly right in applying wise to both cities (so LXX.), though the Hebrew text applies it only to Zidon.

Tyre was the more important of the two; during the greater part of Phoenician history it was the real capital and representative of Phoenicia (compare Amos 1:9), therefore it alone is spoken of in Zechariah 9:3-4. In Zechariah 9:3 is given an illustration of the wisdom of Tyre.

A stronghold — According to ancient testimony Tyre was built originally on the mainland; later it was transferred to a neighboring rocky island (compare Ezekiel 26:3-4), where it was strongly fortified, so that it became almost impregnable.

Silver… fine gold — Secure from hostile attacks, Tyre heaped up immense treasures (Ezekiel 28:4-5). But her power and wealth will not continue.

Cast her out — R.V., “dispossess her”; which is a threat that Jehovah will rob her of her wealth and make her poor (1 Samuel 2:7).

Power — Not fortifications, but, as in Ezekiel 28:4-5, equivalent to riches, and all the strength and influence derived from these

Devoured with fire — The city herself, her palaces, storehouses, and magnificent buildings, will go up in flames (compare Amos 1:10). To secure a climax some translate the first verb “conquer,” as frequently in the Old Testament. This gives the order conquer, smite her riches, devour the city.

The divine executioner is evidently thought of as coming from the north or northeast. Syria, represented by Hadrach, Damascus, and Hamath, will be the first to suffer, then powerful Phoenicia; from there he will pass down the Maritime Plain and fall upon Philistia. With the strong Phoenician cities gone, nothing can prevent the further advance of the enemy; therefore Philistia may well tremble.


Verses 1-8

Judgment upon the surrounding nations; preservation of Jerusalem, 1-8.

A judgment, proceeding from the north or northeast, will fall in succession upon Syria, Phoenicia, and Philistia (Zechariah 9:1-7). While these nations are wiped out, Jerusalem will rest in safety (8).


Verses 1-21

THE FINAL TRIUMPH OF THE KINGDOM OF GOD, Zechariah 9:1 to Zechariah 14:21.

With Zechariah 9:1, begins the second main division of the Book of Zechariah, which consists of various oracles, loosely connected, dealing for the most part with events leading up to the final triumph of the kingdom of God. It opens with an announcement of the overthrow of the nations surrounding Palestine (Zechariah 9:1-8), which will prepare the way for the advent of the Messianic king (9, 10) and the restoration and exaltation of the exiled Jews (11-17). This restoration is described more fully in Zechariah 10:1 -xi, 3. The promises are followed by an allegory which is intended to warn the people that the realization of the glorious promises depends upon their attitude toward Jehovah (Zechariah 11:4-17; +Zechariah 13:7-9). The remaining portion of the book naturally falls into two parts. The first (Zechariah 12:1 to Zechariah 13:6) opens with a picture of a marvelous deliverance of Judah and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:1-9); but this triumph is only the preparation for the bestowing of rich spiritual gifts. In order to enjoy these fully, they must pass through a process of spiritual preparation (10-14). Then Jehovah will remove all spiritual uncleanness, and a life of intimate fellowship with Jehovah will ensue (Zechariah 13:1-6). In chapter xiv the prophet pictures a new conflict between Jerusalem and the nations. At first the latter will be successful, then Jehovah will interfere, save a remnant, and set up his kingdom upon earth (1-7). From Jerusalem he will dispense blessing and prosperity (8-11); the hostile nations will be smitten and their treasures will become the possession of the Jews (12-15). Those who escape will turn to Jehovah (16); any who fail to do him proper homage will be smitten with drought (17-19), but Judah and Jerusalem will be holy unto Jehovah (20, 21).


Verse 5

5. Ashkelon… Gaza… Ekron… Ashdod — Four of the five chief cities of Philistia. Here as in Amos 1:6-8; Zephaniah 2:4; Jeremiah 25:20, Gath is omitted (see further on Amos 1:6-8). The order in which the cities are mentioned here is the same as in Jeremiah 25:20, which passage may be in the mind of the prophet.

Shall see… fear — Only with Ashkelon are both these verbs found; shall see it must be supplied with Gaza, and shall see it and fear with Ekron. The cities will see the destruction of the northern cities and they will be afraid that a similar fate will befall them.

Very sorrowful — R.V., “sore pained”; or, tremble greatly in terror.

For her expectation shall be ashamed — R.V., “shall be put to shame.”

These words explain the terror. What is asserted of Ekron was equally true of the other Philistian cities. They expected the strong cities in the north to hold out; as long as they did so the Philistines had nothing to fear, but their fall will bring to naught all hopes and expectations. Their fear is well founded, for the enemy will soon be upon them.

The king shall perish from Gaza — Gaza will lose her independence.

Ashkelon shall not be inhabited — The population will be destroyed or carried into exile.


Verse 6

6. The full-blooded Philistines will be displaced by a mixed race.

A bastard — Margin R.V., “a bastard race.” An obscure phrase. In Deuteronomy 23:2, the word denotes one who is not a full-blooded citizen, one with whose birth a blemish of some sort is connected. Here it seems to denote a race which, from the view point of the Philistines, is not full-blooded, a foreign or mixed race. The term implies nothing concerning the moral character of the new population.

Ashdod — What is true of one city is true of the whole land.

The pride of the Philistines — The judgment implied in 6a will be sufficient to bring to an end the pride and haughtiness of the Philistines; they will be completely humiliated.


Verse 7-8

7. The new population will not continue the attitude of hostility maintained for so many centuries by the Philistines; on the contrary, in time it will be incorporated into the Jewish nation.

His… he — These pronouns in Zechariah 9:7 refer to the new population.

Blood — According to the law the blood belonged to the deity; it was not lawful for the worshiper to eat it (Leviticus 17:12; Leviticus 19:26; compare Ezekiel 33:25). The eating of blood indicates ignorance or willful transgression of the law of Jehovah. Though temporarily the new inhabitants may live contrary to the divine law, in the end Jehovah will draw them unto himself, when they will cease to eat the blood.

Abominations — This word is used of idols themselves, here apparently of the flesh of sacrificial animals offered to idols (Numbers 25:2). The eating of this flesh will be discontinued. The two expressions look forward to a time when idolatry will be completely abolished.

R.V. presents a more satisfactory translation of Zechariah 9:7 b: “and he also shall be a remnant for our God; and he shall be as a chieftain in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.”

A remnant for our God (R.V.) — The remnant consists of the true worshipers of Jehovah (see on Amos 5:15); the new inhabitants of Philistia will become such a company. The complete incorporation into the Jewish nation is predicted in the rest of the verse.

As a governor in Judah — R.V., “chieftain.” The word translated “chieftain” or “governor” is used of the head of a thousand (compare Zechariah 12:5). Here it denotes not the leader, but the division over which he rules (Micah 5:2), and the thought is that Philistia will become just like one of the divisions of Judah, that is, an integral part of the nation. A slight alteration, ‘eleph for ‘alluph, would bring out the thought more clearly, since the former denotes the division itself (Judges 6:15; 1 Samuel 10:19).

Ekron — Represents, like Ashdod in Zechariah 9:6, all Philistia.

As a Jebusite — Not the Jewish inhabitants of Jerusalem, but the Canaanitish inhabitants of Jebus, who after the conquest of their stronghold by David were in time incorporated into the Jewish nation, so that they became an integral part of the same.

Some consider Zechariah 9:8 the beginning of the new section. It seems preferable, however, to connect it with Zechariah 9:1-7. While the judgment falls upon the nations, Jerusalem will enjoy the protecting care of Jehovah.

About mine house — Literally, for my house; that is, for the protection of my house. House denotes here not the temple, but the whole land (see on Hosea 8:1).

Because of the army — R.V., “against the army.” With either translation the thought is that Jehovah will be around his land to protect it against foreign invasions. Another possible translation is “without an army”; Jehovah will not employ an army of soldiers (compare Zechariah 2:5). The word translated “army” is written peculiarly in Hebrew; this, taken in connection with the fact that LXX. does not agree with the Hebrew, has led many to substitute the LXX. reading, “as a garrison” (so margin R.V.).

Because of him that passeth by — Better, R.V., “that none pass through or return.” Jehovah will guard the borders so carefully that no invader can cross them.

Oppressor — In Exodus 3:7, and other places the same word is translated “taskmaster.” From such taskmasters the Jews suffered again and again, but their staves will be broken. Why, is indicated in the last clause.

For now have I seen with mine eyes — The afflictions suffered by the Jews and the cruelties perpetrated by the oppressors. Of these Jehovah will now make an end.


Verse 9-10

The appearance of the Messianic king, 9, 10.

The overthrow of the nations (Zechariah 9:1-7) will prepare the way for the coming of the Messianic king, who will establish his throne in Zion and rule in righteousness and peace over the redeemed remnant. The king has no part in the overthrow of the hostile powers (Isaiah 9:1-7); this Jehovah himself will accomplish; only after the nations are overthrown will the king make his appearance.

In Zechariah 9:9 Zion is called upon to welcome the king.

Rejoice greatly… shout — The repetition is for the sake of emphasis; there is every reason for the greatest enthusiasm.

Daughter of Zion… Jerusalem — The expressions are synonymous, and refer to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (see on Zechariah 2:7).

Thy King — The Messianic king mentioned so frequently in the prophetic writings (compare Isaiah 9:1-7; Micah 5:1 ff., etc.; see at the close of the comments on Micah 5:15).

Unto thee — To set upon his throne there. 9b describes the king’s character and coming.

Just — Or, righteous; both in his own personal life and in his administration (compare Isaiah 9:7; Isaiah 11:3-4).

Having salvation — Margin R.V., “saved.” It is difficult to reproduce the exact sense of the Hebrew by one single word. The thought is that the king will enjoy at all times the divine help and favor, so that all he undertakes will prosper.

Lowly — Literally, oppressed, or, afflicted. Because he himself will be of lowly estate he will be able to sympathize fully with those in similar condition. His interest will not be confined to the noble and wealthy.

Riding upon an ass — The animal of peace; not upon a horse, which is the animal of war and royalty. The use of the ass is an indication of the peaceful character of the Messianic rule, and of the unpretentious character of the rider. The rest of the verse describes the ass more definitely as a young animal, but there is no special significance in the addition (Matthew 21:2). It is interesting to compare with this passage Jeremiah 17:25; Jeremiah 22:4).

10. During the era of peace there will be no use for war implements, hence Jehovah — not the Messianic king — will destroy them (Isaiah 2:4; Isaiah 9:5; Micah 5:10-11).

Chariot… horse… battle bow — These represent all implements of warfare.

Ephraim,… Jerusalem — The new nation will be composed of elements representing both kingdoms. Ephraim=Israel; Jerusalem=Judah. That Jehovah himself will do these things is in perfect accord with other Messianic utterances (Isaiah 9:5; Micah 5:10); hence there is no good reason for altering the text so as to read, “and he will cut off.”

Speak peace — His word will be of sufficient weight to maintain peace among the nations. This implies that his authority will be acknowledged not only by the Jews, but by other nations as well (Isaiah 2:4), a thought emphasized in the next clause (compare Psalms 72:8; Micah 7:12).

From sea… to sea — Not as in Amos 8:12, where the author is thinking only of Palestine. The territory over which the Messianic king will rule is more extensive. One sea is probably the Mediterranean; the other, the ocean thought to mark the end of the earth in the opposite direction.

The river — As often, the Euphrates.

The ends of the earth — The vaguely defined regions in the extreme west. These expressions are not to be interpreted in a strictly literal sense; they are used simply to indicate the unlimited extent of the Messianic kingdom.


Verses 11-17

Deliverance and exaltation of the exiled Jews, 11-17.

The advent of the Messianic king will be followed by a restoration of the Jews still in exile, and their exaltation to highest glory.

In Zechariah 9:11-12 deliverance is promised to the captives.

As for thee — The daughter of Zion (Zechariah 9:9).

Also — Is to be taken not with thee, but with the verb: “As for thee, I have also sent forth.” In addition to the blessings promised in Zechariah 9:9-10 Jehovah will set free the captives (G.-K., 153).

By the blood of thy covenant — R.V., “because of the blood of thy covenant.” Made at the time of the exodus (compare Exodus 24:8), and kept alive throughout the entire history by means of sacrifices and offerings. To this covenant, and even to the earlier covenant with Abraham, Jehovah will remain true, and because of it he will bring back the scattered exiles.

I have sent forth — Better, R.V., “I have set free.” The tense is the perfect of prophetic certainty, equivalent to “I shall surely set free.”

Thy prisoners — Prisoners of war and exiles in foreign lands (Joel 3:1 ff.; Obadiah 1:20).

Out of the pit — The place of imprisonment (Exodus 12:29; Jeremiah 37:16).

Wherein is no water — This adds to the horrors. Death stares the prisoners in the face. The whole is a picture of the horrors of an enforced exile.

In Zechariah 9:12 the prophet turns directly to the prisoners, exhorting them to return, for the time of their deliverance is at hand.

Turn — Better, margin R.V., “Return.”

Stronghold — Where they may find safety from the enemy; here, the promised land, where they will be under the protection of Jehovah (Zechariah 9:8).

Prisoners of hope — Since they are members of the covenant nation (Zechariah 9:11), their depressed condition cannot continue forever; though in exile, they may live in hope of a restoration. Israel is pre-eminently a nation of hope. The promise of deliverance is followed by another.

I will render double — There will be a twofold recompense for all loss and affliction (compare Isaiah 61:7; Isaiah 40:2).

Unto thee — If the text is correct Zion is addressed as in Zechariah 9:11; however, the change is surprising; one would expect “unto you.”

Even today — In the face of all the difficulties which seem to make fulfillment impossible.


Verses 13-17

13-17. When the exiles have been restored to their homes they will enter upon an era of conquest (Amos 9:12); under the leadership of Jehovah himself they will triumph over all their enemies, and subsequently they will be exalted to glory and honor (compare the more peaceful picture in Zechariah 9:9-10).

The constructions of Zechariah 9:13 are peculiar; hence the translation and interpretation of details are more or less obscure, but the general thought is clear, which is that Jehovah will use the restored exiles as weapons in the conflict with the hostile nations. This thought is expressed in very bold figures.

When — Better, R.V., “For”; which connects Zechariah 9:13 with Zechariah 9:12.

Judah… Ephraim… Zion — The last name seems to include the entire restored community, which consists of elements representing the northern and southern kingdoms, called respectively Ephraim and Judah.

Have bent — All the tenses in Zechariah 9:13 should be rendered as future tenses; R.V. so renders the last two; the others are prophetic perfects.

Bent — Literally, tread down. The large bows were bent by putting one end upon the ground and holding it with the foot, while the other end was being bent with the hand. The English translation of the first two clauses follows the Hebrew accentuation, but it seems preferable to follow the construction of most of the ancient versions and take bow with Judah in the first clause, “for I will bend for me Judah as a bow,” and the second clause, “and I will fill it with Ephraim.” Judah is to be the bow, Ephraim the arrow.

Raised up — Better, R.V. “I will stir up”; to battle. This seems the only natural rendering of the verb in this place. In 2 Samuel 23:18; 1 Chronicles 11:11; 1 Chronicles 11:20, where it has the meaning to wield, to swing, that is, a spear, the noun spear is added. By itself the verb does not have the meaning to wield for a spear.

Against thy sons, O Greece — Hebrews Yawan. Not a district in southern Arabia, but Greece (Joel 3:6), which is. thought of here as a representative world power (see Introduction, p. 583); as such it represents all powers hostile to Zion. The sons of Greece are the Greeks. The direct address to the hostile power is peculiar; nowhere else in the context is the enemy addressed, but always the chosen people. We may be justified, therefore, in reading, with several of the ancient versions, “against the sons of Greece.”

Kirkpatrick proposes the omission of “against thy sons, O Greece,” because (1) the definiteness of the allusion to Greece is unlike the generality which in the main characterizes the passage; (2) the enemy is not addressed elsewhere in the text; (3) nothing could have been more natural than the insertion of such a gloss in the Maccabean times. (4) The differences of reading between LXX. and Targum. The former reads, “against the sons of Greece”; the latter, “against the sons of the peoples.” (5) The gain to the rhythm. (6) The rendering to stir up interrupts the metaphors. He reads Zechariah 9:13 : —

For I bend Judah for a bow.

Lay Ephraim on it for an arrow,

Wield thy sons,

O Zion, for a spear,

And make thee as a hero’s sword.

This is a very smooth reading, but can it be accepted? (1) As already stated, the translation wield for a spear of the Hebrew verb ‘ur is not warranted by the usage. (2) The rhythm of the English may gain by the omission, but the rhythm of the Hebrew suffers. (3) The reading of LXX. is supported by other ancient versions, while the Targum stands alone. No one acquainted with the character of the two versions would hesitate to prefer LXX.; but even the Targum reading proves that something was there. (4) That a certain passage might be explained as a gloss does not prove it to be such. (5) Objection (2) is removed if the reading of LXX. and other ancient versions is accepted. (6) The allusion to Greece may stand alone, but the one reference is all that is needed. (7) In order to make the series entirely symmetrical it would be necessary to introduce a name in the last line, for the comparison of one and the same person with a sword and a spear is peculiar.

The sword of a mighty man — Effective and irresistible.


Verse 14-15

14. Jehovah himself will take a hand in the conflict.

Shall be seen — Better, manifests himself.

Over them — Over the sons of Zion; he comes from heaven and fights for them (Psalms 24:8; Habakkuk 3:11). The imagery of the description is borrowed from the thunderstorm (compare Psalms 18:7-15).

His arrow — Compare Zechariah 9:13.

As the lightning — Lightning flashes are called the arrows of Jehovah (Psalms 18:14); here his arrow Ephraim (Zechariah 9:13) is likened, in speed and destructiveness, to lightning.

Trumpet — Better, horn (see on Hosea 5:8). Jehovah gives the signal to advance; then he himself rushes, at the head of his forces, against the enemy.

With whirlwinds of the south — Instead of with we should perhaps read like, which involves the interchange of two similar letters, that are confused in other places in the Old Testament. The storms coming from the south, from across the broad desert, are peculiarly severe (compare Isaiah 21:1; Job 37:9). Some have thought that there is here an allusion to the south (Sinai) as the original dwelling place of Jehovah, from which he was thought to proceed to assist his people (see on Habakkuk 3:3; compare Judges 5:4-5).

Zechariah 9:15 contains a vivid description of the bloody conflict. The sons of Zion need have no fear, for Jehovah will be their shield.

Devour,… drink — Like wild beasts they will fall upon their enemies to consume their flesh and drink their blood. A picture of utter destruction (compare Numbers 23:24).

Subdue with sling stones — R.V., “tread down the sling stones.” A.V. follows LXX. in taking sling stones as an instrumental accusative; they will subdue the enemies by the use of sling stones. However, the Revisers are probably correct in taking sling stones as the object. They may be regarded as representing all the missiles and weapons that are hurled by the enemies; these the sons of Zion will disregard entirely and trample under foot, and thus they will subdue the enemy and make a complete end of him (compare Job 41:28). Drink is separated from devour, so as to bring it into close connection with the next clause, with which it is logically connected.

Make a noise as through wine — They roar, as if they were intoxicated, in wild excitement over the wonderful triumph. The close connection of this clause with the preceding would be brought out more clearly if it were rendered as a circumstantial clause, “They shall drink, while making a noise as through wine.”

And they shall be filled like bowls — The bowls in which the blood of the sacrificial victims was caught (Exodus 38:3; Numbers 4:14). As these are filled with the blood of sacrificial animals, so the Jews will be filled with the blood of their enemies.

As the corners of the altar — The reference is not to the putting of blood on the horns (Exodus 29:12), but to the sprinkling of blood against the altar (Leviticus 1:5; Leviticus 1:11). According to rabbinical tradition this was done in such a manner that the four sides were covered with two sprinklings. In order to do this the bowls containing the blood had to be swung against two opposite corners with considerable force; therefore the corners and the space on either side of them were covered most thickly. To be covered with blood is a symbol of triumph (Isaiah 63:1-3).


Verse 16-17

16. Save — Victory will come, because Jehovah will be the deliverer of his people.

In that day — The day of battle described in Zechariah 9:13-15.

As the flock of his people — Better, like a flock his people. His people is the object of the verb to be supplied from the preceding; the thought of the whole being, “He will deliver his people as a shepherd delivers his flock from the ravages of wild beasts.”

As the stones of a crown — The Israelites will trample under foot the stones hurled by the enemies (Zechariah 9:15), and the enemies themselves will suffer a similar fate, but Israel will be guarded and cared for tenderly, like a precious stone in the royal diadem (compare Haggai 2:23).

Lifted up as an ensign — R.V., “lifted on high.” The meaning of the Hebrew verb nasas is not quite certain; of the two meanings suggested the context favors the one in margin R.V., “glittering.” Israel shall sparkle or glitter like a precious stone. A picture of the glory to which the Jews will be exalted.

His land — The land of Jehovah. Some of the constructions in this verse are very peculiar. To remove these peculiarities various emendations, involving alterations, omissions, and additions, have been suggested. Nowack, for example, reads, “And Jehovah their God will save them in that day; like a flock he will pasture his people upon his land.”

Zechariah 9:17 describes further the glories to be showered upon the restored nation.

His — Not Jehovah’s, but the people’s.

Goodness — Not moral goodness, but goodly appearance, equivalent to prosperity (so margin R.V.).

Beauty — Expresses practically the same idea as the preceding. In the restoration the land will be pleasant to look upon.

Corn… wine — Though the prophet has in mind general prosperity, he mentions specifically two of the chief products of Palestine (see on Joel 1:10); and though all the inhabitants will be benefited by the new prosperity, he singles out two classes who would show in the most marked manner the renewal of energy and vigor, the young men and the young women. Between these two he distributes rhetorically the two blessings specified.

New wine — See on Joel 1:10. In making temporal prosperity a part of the Messianic promise this prophet agrees with many of his predecessors (see on Hosea 2:21-22; Amos 9:13; Isaiah 4:2).

 


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Bibliography Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Zechariah 9:4". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/zechariah-9.html. 1874-1909.

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Sunday, November 17th, 2019
the Week of Proper 28 / Ordinary 33
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