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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Zechariah 13:1

"In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity.

Adam Clarke Commentary

In that day there shall be a fountain opened - This chapter is a continuation of the preceding, and should not have been separated from it.

A fountain - The source of mercy in Christ Jesus; perhaps referring to the death he should die, and the piercing of his side, when blood and water issued out.

To the house of David - To David's family, and such like persons as it included. See the history of David and his sons, and then learn for whom Christ shed his blood.

Inhabitants of Jerusalem - Such like persons as the Jews were in every part of their history, and in their last times, when they clamoured for the blood of Christ, and pursued him unto death! Learn from this also for whom Christ died! These were the worst of the human race; and if he died for them, none need despair. They rejected, betrayed, crucified, slew, and blasphemed Christ, and afterwards persecuted his followers. For these he died! Yes: and he tasted death for Every Man.

For sin and for uncleanness - For the removal of the guilt of sin, and for the purification of the soul from the uncleanness or pollution of sin.

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These files are public domain.

Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https: 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

In that day there shall be a fountain opened - Zechariah often repeats, “in that day” Zechariah 12:3-4, Zechariah 12:6, Zechariah 12:8-9, Zechariah 12:11; Zechariah 13:1-2, Zechariah 13:4; Zechariah 14:6, Zechariah 14:8, Zechariah 14:13, Zechariah 14:20, resuming his subject again and again, as a time not proximate, but fixed and known of God, of which he declared somewhat. It is “that day” which “Abraham desired to see, and saw it” John 8:56, whether by direct revelation, or in the typical sacrifice of Isaac, “and was glad:” it was “that day” which “many prophets and kings and righteous men desired to see” Matthew 13:17; Luke 10:24, and in patience waited for it,: “the” one “day of salvation” of the Gospel. He had spoken of repentance, in contemplation of Christ crucified; he now speaks of forgiveness and cleansing, of sanctification and consequent obedience. The “fountain shall be” not simply “opened,” but shall remain open. Isaiah had already prophesied of the refreshment of the Gospel. “When the poor and needy seek water and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I, the Lord, will hear them, I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will open rivers in high places and fountains in the midst of the valleys” Isaiah 41:17-18; here it is added, “for sin. and for uncleanness.”

There were “divers” Hebrews 9:10 symbolical “washings” under the law; the Levites were “sprinkled with the water of purifying” Numbers 8:7, literally, “the water of taking away of sin: living waters” Numbers 19:17, put to the ashes of an heifer, were appointed as a “water for” (removing) “defilements” (Numbers 19:9, Numbers 19:13, Numbers 19:20-21 bis; Numbers 31:23); “a cleansing of sin” Numbers 19:9. Now, there should be one ever-open fountain for all “the house of David.” Theodoret: “Who that fountain is, the Lord Himself teacheth through Jeremiah, ‹they have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters‘ Jeremiah 2:13; and in the Gospel He says, ‹If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink‘ John 7:37; and ‹The water which I shall give him, is a fountain of living water, gushing up to everlasting life‘ John 4:14. This was ‹open to the house of David;‘ for of that kindred He took human nature. It was opened also ‹for the dwellers of Jerusalem,‘ for the sprinkling of holy baptism; through which we have received remission of sins.” Cyril: “That, receiving divine and holy baptism, we are sprinkled with the Blood of Christ to the remission of sins, who can doubt?” Dionysius: “Of this fountain much was foretold by Ezekiel, ‹that a fountain should issue forth from the temple of the Lord, and ‹go down into the desert‘ Ezekiel 47:1, Ezekiel 47:8-9, and ‹every soul, to whom it shall come, shall live;‘ and Joel, ‹A fountain shall come forth of the house of the Lord, and water the valley of Shillim‘ Joel 3:18. Of this fountain Peter said to the Jews, when ‹pricked in the heart‘ and seeking forgiveness, ‹Let everyone of you be baptized in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins‘” Acts 2:37-38.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.

Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Zechariah 13:1

In that day there shall be a fountain opened, etc.

The Fountain of Life

To what can the prophet refer but the exclamation of John, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.”

I. Explain the promise.

1. The fountain. This image holds forth the Redeemer. In distinction from creatures, which are “cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water,” He may well call Himself the “Fountain of living waters.” He shall possess a plenitude Himself. The fulness of the Christian is derived and limited: it is the fulness of a vessel. The vessel is supplied from the fulness of a fountain. This fountain is the Lord Jesus. His fulness is original and boundless. It is the fulness of a spring.

2. The fountain was to be opened. A fountain, sealed would be useless; it would only provoke desire. What would the Saviour’s excellencies and benefits be to us if unattainable and inaccessible? The fountain was actually opened in His sufferings. The apostles laid it open doctrinally, in their preaching and in their epistles.

3. This fountain is opened for sin and for uncleanness. There had been provisions for ceremonial pollution, under the Mosaic economy. The brazen sea. Ten layers. See also the Pool of Siloam. Sin is uncleanness. Its very nature is contamination. Sin is a pollution the most deep and diffusive. The very conscience is defiled. It is the “abominable thing.” But there is a fountain that washes out even the stains of the soul,--and of sin. And it was opened for this very purpose.

II. To improve the truth contained in the promise. Five classes have a relation to the truth before us.

1. The ignorant. Such as cry, “Peace, peace, when there is no peace.”

2. The presumptuous. Antinomian perversion is worse than mere ignorance.

3. The self-righteous, who hope to cleanse themselves in some other way.

4. The fearful. For it is no easy thing to satisfy the conscience of awakened sinners.

5. Those who by faith have applied to the Saviour, and who know by experience that there is indeed a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness. (William Jag.)

The fountain for sin

I. What they needed. Two things: deliverance from guilt and condemnation, and deliverance from sin’s impurity. These are the very blessings for which our text represents provision has been made. The fountain is opened “for sin and for uncleanness.” The former meaning “guilt,” the latter “pollution.” The whole context prohibits our regarding the language as referring to anything ceremonial. The guilt, contracted, and requiring remission, is the guilt of “piercing,” that is, of putting to death the true, divinely promised. Messiah, and the “uncleanness” points to those unholy and hellish principles and dispositions in the soul from which the guilt originated, by which the fearful act was prompted. The guilt was deep. The depth of moral debasement and violence was fearful from which they who had been guilty of it required to be purified.

II. How these blessings are provided for them.

1. What is the fountain? It is a twofold figure, comprehending the grace of Christ’s Spirit as well as the virtue of Christ’s blood, cleansing as well as forgiveness. Theme blessings are always found in union. Christ died that sinners might be both pardoned and purified; and the two designs were emblematically indicated by the mingling of the blood and water that flowed from His pierced heart. The fountain means at once the blood of Christ’s atonement and the grace of Christ’s Spirit; the one required for forgiveness, and the other for regeneration and cleansing: the two, however, being inseparable; the faith which interests in the pardoning virtue of the blood, being the product of the grace of the Spirit, and the grace of the Spirit effecting the renewal and sanctification of the soul by means of the doctrine which makes known the pardoning virtue of the blood: it being the same faith, under the agency of the same Spirit, which at once justifies and sanctifies. And it is thus that the blood is represented as the means of purifying as well as of procuring pardon.

2. When was this fountain opened? When Christ died; when His blood was shed on the cross, for the remission of sins; when the blood and the water flowed in union from His pierced side. While strictly and properly, the fountain was opened then,--it might be said to have been opened from the time when it came first to be needed,--from the time when man sinned. It was then opened by anticipation. The first promise opened it. The moment man became a sinner he needed the two blessings of pardon and sanctification.

3. How is it here said to be opened “in that day”? The answer is, that although there have now and then, since the judgments of God overtook the Jewish people for their unbelief, been instances of Jews brought to acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah and Saviour, and to obtain salvation by faith in Him; yet to the large mass of that dispersed, and for the time divinely abandoned people, the fountain has not been open. It has been sealed; sealed by themselves, and for their unbelief judicially sealed by God. When the time of mercy arrives the fountain shall, in God’s providence and by God’s grace, be opened for their cleansing from their guilt and their pollution. It is said of them, “They shall look on Me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn.”

4. For what purpose? Two--the washing away of guilt, and the washing away of moral defilement. Both these purposes were in the mind of God, as to be alike effected by the mediation of the Son. That the guilt of sin might be fully taken away, and thus the sinner escape its punishment, atonement was necessary.

5. For what persons? not simply for the restored of Israel,--but for the “house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” The idea thus conveyed is that of all ranks, from the royal occupants of the palace to the tenants of the meanest dwelling. All shall be stricken through with the conviction and alarm; all shall feel the bitterness of contrition; all shall mourn. And for all, in like manner, the fountain shall be opened. All shall need it. All shall have access to it. All shall avail themselves of it. (Ralph Wardlaw, D. D.)

The best fountain

It is a beautiful thing to see a fountain playing. Fountain in the text is the best fountain. What is meant by this fountain? It means the blood which Jesus shed when He hung upon the cross. It is in consequence of what Jesus then suffered--the blood He shed, and the death He died--that God pardons the sins of men, and saves their souls. It is the best fountain--

1. Because it is easy to get at. No long journey is needed. You may find it everywhere.

2. It never changes. Other fountains are sometimes in full play, and sometimes very feeble. Illustrate by the Pool of Bethesda. This is always the same.

3. Because of its wonderful powers. Some fountains cure diseases and restore health. This is designed for the souls of men. This has a wonderful cleansing power, and a wonderful healing power, and a wonderful preserving power against the worms of pride and selfishness that may imperil our souls, as they do the good ships; a wonderful beautifying power, and a wonderful saving power. (R. Newton, D. D.)

Christ our fountain

I. Wherein is Christ a fountain? When it is said Christ is our fountain, it holds forth two things:

1. Fulness. A fountain is not like a cistern; a cistern may be full, but the fulness of it may be emptied; so may the fulness of a fountain too, but then a fountain, or a spring, fills itself again immediately. So doth not a cistern. A cistern may be full, but it doth not rise up and run over, as a fountain doth, and that continually. For this reason the corrupt nature in us is compared to a fountain (Jeremiah 6:7)--bubbling up in vain thoughts, inordinate desires, corrupt affections. Now, in Jesus Christ there is a fulness, and it is a fountain-fulness (Colossians 1:19), fulness--all fulness, and all fulness dwelling, and by the good pleasure of the Father. What is He full of? The two things that our poor souls have most need of towards the making of us happy. Merit and righteousness for justification; and spirit and grace for sanctification. He hath merit enough; His merit is of infinite value, sufficient to take away all sin (Hebrews 7:25)--able to save. He hath Spirit enough, to sanctify us throughout, to break the power of every lust, to strengthen us to every good word and work. He is such a fountain as can open in us a fountain, springing up into eternal life (John 4:14; John 1:16).

2. Uses--fulness. A fountain is of great use. What striving was there in Abraham’s time, and Isaac’s time, and Jacob’s time, about wells of water (Genesis 21:1-34; Genesis 26:1-35). When Achsah was to ask a boon of her father Caleb, Give me, said she, springs of water ( 1:15). Were we to ask but one thing of our heavenly Father, there were reason it should be, Lord, give us a fountain. Why, blessed be His name, He hath given us one. Not only springs of water, useful for our outward man, a land of springs, like Canaan but a Christ, a Christ for our souls. A fountain of water is useful for three things--

II. What kind of fountain is the Lord Jesus? As a cleansing fountain He hath these properties.

1. He is full, He hath enough wherewithal to cleanse us; merit enough, spirit enough. Under the law they had cleansing appointments as to ceremonial pollutions, but ours is beyond theirs. They had blood, but it was but the blood of bulls and goats, and that in a bason only; but we have the blood of the Son of God, not in a bason, but a fountain full of it. They had water; one particularly, called the water of purification, made of the ashes of a red heifer. Open and free as to terms. We say--What is freer than a gift? He is the gift of God (John 4:10), the free gift (Romans 5:1-21.), the unspeakable gift (2 Corinthians 9:15). Though thou hast no worthiness, no matter, He is worthy. Cordial acceptance makes Him ours. He forgives freely (Isaiah 43:25).

2. The only fountain. Besides Him there is no other (Acts 4:12). We may think, perhaps, as Naaman--“Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?” (2 Kings 5:12). But no other fountain will do.

III. The application, in four particulars.

1. Here is matter for thanksgiving to God, who--

2. Here is matter for conviction. Convincing! Of what? Of your need of this fountain to wash in. That which is unclean doth certainly need washing; but thou art unclean, I mean, thy soul, thy mind, thy conscience; inwardly, spiritually. I am sure thou wast so by nature; born in guilt and filth; like an infant weltering in blood and pollution (Ezekiel 16:1-63). And art thou washed? When, and how? And by whom, and with what? I am sure that every sin thou hast committed hath added to that original pollution, and hath made thee more and more filthy (Psalms 106:39; Matthew 15:19-20). Even vain thoughts (Jeremiah 4:17). So is the world also (James 1:27). Nay, our best duties have their pollutions (Isaiah 64:6). But there is one particular kind of sins, those against the seventh commandment, that is especially called uncleanness. And have we been in no sort guilty of that, neither in thought, word, nor deed? (Philip Henry.)

The fountain opened

I. A fountain. Water is much valued in the East. We cannot wonder that spiritual blessings are so often exhibited to us in Scripture under images borrowed from water. These images found their way at once to the understandings and feelings of Jewish men. The Lord Jesus is meant by the text. He is represented as a fountain for a particular purpose; not for the thirsty to drink from, but for the unclean to wash in. Here again the text carries us into eastern climes. Bodily ablutions are much more common there than among us. With the Jews, too, they partook sometimes of a sacred character. The prophet mentions two things, sin and uncleanness, but he has only one in his mind--sin under the figure of uncleanness. Does uncleanness degrade whatever it touches? So has sin degraded us. Is uncleanness a disgusting and loathsome thing? If there is anything disgusting in the universe, it is sin. When God calls it by this name, He represents it as some thing which He cannot bear to look upon. In the text is a remedy for this hateful evil. It is a suitable, a real, effectual remedy for it. It is a fountain that can remove uncleanness, and is intended to remove it. This fountain is nothing else than the precious blood of God’s own dear Son. That blood was shed for us. As water removes uncleanness from the body, so does this blood remove the guilt of sin from the soul. It does away with it, frees the soul from it, makes our condition as safe, and in the end as happy, as though we had never sinned. This effectual remedy for sin is here described as an abundant, lasting remedy. Thousands may wash in it, and it will be as everflowing as ever, able to cleanse thousands and thousands more.

II. For whom this fountain is intended. For the Jews first, then for all others.

1. The utter insufficiency of all rites and ordinances to cleanse the soul from sin. Who were these men? The very men to whom pertained the law, with all its sacrifices. When guilt oppressed or conscience disquieted them, they could in a few minutes be in their temple, and sharing in its sacrifices and service. But the text addresses them as if they were the very heathen. All their legal ordinances could not expiate their guilt. I is the same with our Christian sacraments. God has ordained them, not to take away sin, but to keep us mindful of it, and of that blood which can take it away.

2. We are taught here the all-sufficiency of Christ’s blood to cleanse the soul. There is no guilt too great for the blood of Christ to wash out, no sinner whom He cannot recover and save.

III. The time when this fountain shall be opened to these sinful men. “In that day.” The day of our Lord’s crucifixion. They point also to a day yet to come, when the Jews as a nation shall be brought to repentance and the reception of Christ. Learn--

1. There can be no real knowledge of Christ without repentance.

2. Wherever there is real repentance there also will God give in the end a real knowledge of His salvation. Would that we might all learn from this Scripture to seek for ourselves a deeper consciousness of sin, a more heartfelt and abiding sorrow on account of it! (C. Bradley.)

The fountain for sin and uncleanness

The prophet leads us to consider the legal uncleannesses so much and so fully developed in the Old Testament, and leads us through them to look at the great disease of sin--the leprosy of the soul.

I. The great uncleanness--the spiritual leprosy of the soul. This is that that defileth a man. It is not poverty; it is not sickness nor disease--however terrible or however sinful. That which defileth a man. This inward leprosy maketh a man an offence to God. This evil pervadeth the world, and yet men are as insensible of it as if there were no truth in it.

II. A fountain open for sin and for uncleanness. The fountain is the blood of Jesus. A bubbling fountain, ever full, ever abundant.

III. This fountain is said to be opened. Formerly, this fountain exclusively belonged to the priests and to the Jews; now, it is for the whole house of David, and for all the inhabitants of Jerusalem. There it stands, a fountain without cover, open and free for the very vilest. (J. H. Evans.)

The fountain opened

The text contains one important prediction which was fulfilled in Christ. It relates to the consequences of His death, with regard to His people, and shows of what great importance this event was to the whole Christian Church. The accomplishment shows with what confidence and comfort we may rely on the great doctrine of the atonement which it involves.

I. The promise of provision to be made against the effects of sin.

1. The prophet speaks of a fountain to be opened. A fountain is properly the source or spring head of waters. Springs or fountains are called, “living,” when they never cede or intermit, but are always sending forth their streams.

2. The blood of Christ was shed expressly, by appointment of God, and by covenant with the Son of God, for the expiation of human guilt, and for the cleansing and purifying of sinful men.

3. There is an inexhaustible fulness and sufficiency of merit in this blood of the Redeemer for the complete expiation of human sin. In its atoning and cleansing properties, the blood of Immanuel is as infinite as the mercy of God which it procures for sinners, and for the exercise of which it prepares the way.

4. This blood of Jesus Christ may he appropriated to the case and wants of any sinner that comes. Sinners may apply believingly to this blood, and obtain from it, not only the cleansing they require, but also plenteous forgiveness, substantial peace, and animating hope.

II. The persons for whom this provision against the effects of sin is promised.

1. By this expression the prophet intended primarily God’s ancient people, the Jews. But the Jews, as the peculiar people of God, were a type of Christians, and His people everywhere, It is no presumption in us to conclude, as we have already assumed, that this promised provision is intended for us.

2. The double phrase may denote both rich and poor in God’s Church.

III. The time when the promise was to be verified. The promise was actually fulfilled on the day of the Saviour’s crucifixion on Calvary. (J. Jaques, M. A.)

The opened fountain

The application of this prophecy to Messiah is beyond all doubt. It contains the announcement of a divinely appointed and effectual remedy for the guilt and misery of man.

1. The certainty of this provision. “There shall be a fountain.”

2. The perpetuity of this provision.

3. The freeness of this provision.

4. The sufficiency of this provision. (W. G. Barrett.)

The Lord Jesus Christ a fountain

I. In what sense may the Lord Jesus be depicted as the fountain opened? In opposition to those many broken cisterns of human invention to which men are prone to apply. In opposition to those rivulets, those brooks, which are occasionally good, but which soon flow away and are lost. Under the law there were various layers prepared for the purpose of purifying from ceremonial guilt and pollution. Jesus is a fountain in opposition to all these types and images. The Lord Jesus is the fountain, because He Himself in His own power, in His own essence, contains inexhaustible and perpetual fulness.

II. For what purpose the Lord Jesus is this fountain. For sin and for uncleanness. All sin is uncleanness. Repeating the expression gives more enlarged views of the efficacy of faith, and the grace of our Lord. For the purpose of giving comfort and peace to the believer the terms are doubled. This fountain cleanses not only from the guilt of sin, but also from the accusing and terrifying power of sin in the conscience.

III. To whom is it opened? “The house of David and inhabitants of Jerusalem.” In the East there were often contentions over fountains; this one is free to all. An open fountain, to which all ranks, all stations, all ages, all conditions, may repair. (Archdeacon Law.)

The fountain opened

I. The fountain that is opened.

1. The plenitude of Divine grace. It is not a wasting stream, that soon exhausts its store, but a never-failing fountain, ever flowing in plenteous supplies for every demand. The Lord Jehovah is emphatically styled, “The God of all grace.” Millions have been refreshed by this fountain, and still it is undiminished. There is “enough for all, and enough for evermore.”

2. The freeness of Divine grace. It is not a fountain sealed up, and forbidden; but freely opened and accessible to all. None are excluded from participating its richest blessings (Revelation 22:17). No personal merit, or moral worthiness, is required in its willing recipients.

II. The period when it was opened. “In that day,” etc. When this expression occurs in the prophetic writings, it generally refers to the actual appearing, or spiritual reign of the Messiah. But we ought to notice respecting this fountain, that--

1. It was virtually opened in the original scheme of redemption. According to God’s gracious promise to mankind, Christ is called, “The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

2. It was actually opened in the mediatorial work of the Redeemer. When the fulness of time was come, Christ was manifested in the flesh, to accomplish the will of God, and procure the salvation of sinners. He then fully opened this fountain, by fulfilling all righteousness in His own person--becoming the propitiation for our sins--rising again for our justification--ascending to heaven to be our Advocate with the Father--and diffusing an enlarged dispensation of the Holy Ghost; it was ministerially opened in the labours and writings of the Apostles, as “ambassadors for Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:23-24; 1 Corinthians 1:30); and it still continues open.

III. The people to whom it is opened. “The house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem.” It is very evident--

1. This fountain was primarily opened to the Jews. To the Jews Christ was promised, and to them He came as His own people, according to the flesh. His personal ministry was generally confined to them; and He commanded His apostles to open their commission at Jerusalem, and preach the Gospel first to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel” (Luke 24:46-47).

2. This fountain is now graciously opened to the Gentiles. The blessings of the Messiah were not to be confined to the Jewish Church, He was sent to be a light of the Gentiles, and for salvation to the ends of the earth.” “By the grace of God He tasted death for every man.”

IV. The purpose for which it is opened. It is “for sin and for uncleanness.” This implies--

1. A fountain is opened for the expiation of sin. The death of Christ was a perfect sacrifice, by which an atonement was made for the sins of mankind.

2. A fountain is opened for the destruction of sin. It must not only be sacrificially expiated, but personally destroyed. The Son of God effects this destruction by the merit of His death, and the operation of His grace (Titus 2:14). All sin is moral uncleanness, and spreads its infectious disease through every power, both of body and soul. The ceremonial purifications under the law were emblematic of the efficacy of this fountain (Hebrews 9:13-14). (Skeletons of Sermons.)

The fountain opened

The fulfilment of this prophecy has never yet taken place, and will probably be considerably posterior to our times. Though not fulfilled to the Jews, yet, to us the fountain is opened.

I. What is this fountain? The ancient Jews had their sacrifices, and purifying oblations. They have now been long without a sacrifice and a priesthood. We are not to understand that these Levitical fountains will be opened again, as some have dreamed. The blood of animals might be an instituted means of taking away a ceremonial guilt, which yet left the sinner as he was before, in regard to the Governor of the world; but it had no fitness to take away moral guilt, because it failed in the two great principles of a true atonement,--a manifestation of the evil of sin, and a demonstration of God’s righteous government. These meet in Christ, who is the true fountain.

II. Its efficacy. In the removal of “sin and uncleanness.”

1. Sin is the “transgression of the law.” The law is transgressed in three ways,--by a violation of its precepts, by a neglect of its injunctions, and by a defect in its observance. Bringing all under the penalty of death.

2. Uncleanness (margin, “separation for uncleanness”). Allusion to arrangements in the Levitical system; typical of the manner in which sin separates between the soul and God.

III. The day when the fountain is opened. The day of our Lord’s crucifixion. The day when the Gospel is first preached in a heathen land. The day when a “Spirit of grace and supplication” is poured out. Whenever a penitent mourns. In every means of grace, that pardon may be repeated, and our sinful nature cleansed. We need never attend any of the ordinances of religious worship without receiving a renewed application of the blood of Christ, and a fresh communication of sanctifying grace. (R. Watson.)

The fountain opened

In the text the prophet anticipates the personal manifestation of the Messiah, and the unspeakable benefits to mankind from His atoning sacrifice.

I. The fountain that is opened. Fountain is a metaphor. It represents the mediatorial character of Christ. As the source and medium of salvation to the human race. A fountain opened implies--

1. The plenitude of Divine grace. It is a never-failing fountain, ever flowing in plenteous supplies for every demand.

2. The freeness of Divine grace. It is not sealed, but freely opened, and accessible to all.

II. The period when it was opened. “In that day.” This expression, in the prophetic writings, generally refers to the actual appearing, or spiritual reign of Messiah. It refers to Christ’s assumption of our nature, and sacrifice for our sins.

1. It was virtually opened in the original scheme of redemption.

2. It was actually opened in the mediatorial work of the Redeemer.

III. The people to whom it is opened.

1. This fountain was primarily opened to the Jews.

2. It is now graciously opened to the Gentiles.

IV. The purpose for which it is opened. It is “for sin and for uncleanness.” This implies--

1. A fountain is opened for the expiation of sin. The death of Christ was a perfect sacrifice, by which an atonement was made for the sins of mankind.

2. A fountain is opened for the destruction of sin. The ceremonial purifications under the law were emblematic of the efficacy of this fountain. (C. Simeon, M. A.)

The new economy of grace

It is not to the advent of a person, or to the occurrence of any historical event, that the prophecy in the beginning of this section refers: what is announced is the establishment of the economy of grace, the bringing in of the kingdom of God, free access to which should be given to all, small and great. There was provision made for the cleansing from sin and uncleanness of all without respect of persons; the Jew first, but also the Greek. The manifestation of this was by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who came to take away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; but it is the thing done rather than the doer of it that is here announced. It is for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem that this fountain is said to be opened. They seem to err grievously, however, who infer from this that this prophecy refers to the final conversion of the Jewish people. The prophets are wont to describe the new dispensation in language borrowed from the condition and usages of the old, and we interpret them aright when keeping this in view, we understand their descriptions, not as representations of simple historical facts, but as serving as the copy and shadow of the heavenly things, and as finding their fulfilment in crises and conditions of the kingdom of God on earth. They go upon the presumption that the Israel of God was never to be abolished, that its continuity was never to be interrupted, that though the outward national Israel might be cast off, because of their rejection of the Good Shepherd, the true Israel, the reality of which the other was but the symbol, the Israel that was really Israel, should continue forever. This idea our Lord and His Apostles adopted, and in their teaching and administrations carried out. (W. L. Alexander, D. D.)

A fountain for sin

Remission of sins and sanctification, purging away the guilt of sin by the grace of God in forgiving sins through Christ’s blood, and the virtue of His blood applied by the Spirit, and laid hold upon by faith, for purging all uncleanness of sin; this is compared to a springing fountain made open to all, in opposition to the small measure of water carried into the temple for legal washings. This benefit will be very conspicuous toward converted Israel, when the Redeemer shall turn iniquity from Jacob.

1. The great and chief privilege of the Gospel is remission and purging of sin, which, as they are only attainable through faith laying hold on Christ’s blood and the grace of God offered through Him in the Gospel, so without these, no other advantages by the Gospel will avail much, or be comfortable.

2. The free grace of God toward lost man, and the virtue of Christ’s blood is a treasure inexhaustible, and which cannot be overcome, with the greatness and multiplicity of sin in those who flee unto it, for it is a fountain or spring.

3. Pardon and virtue for purging of sin is not only purchased, and the way to it made patent, by the death of Christ, giving access unto God through Him; but is held forth in the offer of the Gospel and ministry of the Word, that none may pretend ignorance, nor any who need it seclude themselves from so free an offer, “A fountain opened.”

4. As the greatest must be in Christ’s reverence for this benefit, even those who have greatest gifts and are rulers of others, so the meanest in the Church, however they be not equal to others in gifts, yet have a like interest with them in this saving benefit.

5. When the Lord pours out upon His people the spirit of repentance and humiliation, it is a forerunner of ample manifestations of the grace of God, in opening up the treasures of the Gospel by the ministry of the Word, and in granting of pardon, and growth in purity. For, when “the land shall mourn,” “ in that day there shall be a fountain opened.” (George Hutcheson.)

A word full of Gospel

The twelfth chapter of Zechariah is principally occupied with the indications of some particular day. Thus, we read again and again: “In that day” (verse 3); “In that day” (verse 4); “In that day” (verse 6); “In that day” (verse 8); “In that day” (verse 9); and “In that day,” in the opening of the thirteenth chapter--“In that day there shall be a fountain opened.” The reference is not in reality to some particular day; the day was not the same, the calendar was filled with that particular day, and yet the day was singular from all other days round about it. In all the previous instances we find nothing equal to the music that is discoverable in the opening of the thirteenth chapter. We read, “In that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone”; “In that day I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness”; “In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf”; “In that day shall there be great mourning in Jerusalem”; but now, in the thirteenth chapter, “In that day there shall be a fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness”--a fountain of water, a living fountain, hidden all the time in the rock; not a new fountain, the fountain was always there, but not always open; its existence was recognised by many a ceremonial action. We read of water in the Book of Numbers that is known in the literal Hebrew as “the sin water,” that is to say, the water that was applied to the cleansing of moral and spiritual offences, We delight to give an evangelical interpretation to this fountain. We call Jesus Christ the Son of God, the fountain that was opened for sin and for uncleanness. He offered to make men clean, He offered to refresh the souls of men with living water; He is described as the Water of earth, or the Water of heaven. David did not open the fountain, the fountain was opened in his house; the very grammar suggests an external and superintending act. In this living fountain we recognise God’s supreme miracle. For whom is the fountain opened? For a special class, and for that class only. It is not opened for Pharisees, righteous persons, or those who would carve their own way to heaven. This fountain is opened for sin and for uncleanness. Is any man conscious of sin? Here is the fountain. Has any man sat down by rivers of water and taken to him soap and nitre, and tried to cleanse his life of sin stains, and has consciously and pitiably failed in his attempt? Here is the fountain opened for uncleanness. Have we tried this fountain? Until we have tried it we cannot condemn it; until we have gone to it and sat beside it and invoked the spirit of its Creator, we cannot tell what virtue it possesses. (Joseph Parker, D. D.)

The fountain of life

Old mythology tells of one who discovered in his wanderings a fountain of peculiar qualities, and on bathing in it, found himself endowed with immortality. In the Holy Scripture this fiction is turned into solid fact. The Saviour’s fulness is original and boundless; the fulness of a spring always flowing and never diminished. The whole abundance of God’s free grace is poured unto us from this unfailing source. The fountain of life was opened on the day when the Divine Redeemer suffered and died for us. During the brief period of our Saviour’s ministry, the fountain flowed in partial streams, but at His death it was fully and forever opened. The Mosaic law had made ample provision for ceremonial pollution, and there were pools, like that of Siloam, where bodily disease might be cured, but the soul must be washed in another fountain. The stains of sin were so deep and so pervading, that even the conscience itself was defiled, and “the everlasting benediction of God’s heavenly washing,” could alone render the soul meet for His presence and glory. Such provision, accordingly, has been made, and a fountain has been opened for sin and for uncleanness. There are those who hope to cleanse themselves by some methods of their own. Would God have opened this fountain, if any other would have sufficed? The fountain stands open in the means of grace; in the invitations of God’s Word; in the nearness, the power, the grace of our adorable Lord and Saviour. (John N. Norton.)

The gospel age

I. It is a “day” for the abounding of sin cleansing influences.

To the Jews, washing from sin and ceremonial impurity was an idea with which they were well acquainted. It was enjoined by the law (Numbers 8:7, see also Ezekiel 36:25). That sin and uncleanness are in the world. This is a fact written in all history, patent to every man’s observation and consciousness.

2. The removal of sin is the world’s great necessity. Its existence is the cause of all the miseries of the world, physical, social, political, religious.

3. Provision for its removal abounds. “A fountain opened.” Sin and uncleanness are not an essential part of human nature. Men have lived without sin, and men in heaven do now. It is a mere stain on human nature, separable from it, and the means of separation are provided, provided in the Gospel. It is a fountain.

This implies--

1. Abundance. It is not a rill, a brook, a lake, but a fountain. What is the fountain? Infinite love. This implies--

2. Freeness. Flowing, ever open to all. This implies--

3. Perpetuity. The hottest sun does not dry up the fountain. It has an under connection with the boundless deep.

II. It is a “day” in which idolatry shall be utterly abolished. What a blessed age will that be, when all men on the face of the earth shall have their souls centred in love and devotion on the one great and common Father of us all!

III. It is a “day” in which all false religious teachings shall cease. “And I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirits to pass out of the land,” etc.

1. False religious teachers are great curses to a community. This is implied in the promise here of their destruction. They deceive souls on the most vital of all points.

2. False religious teachers may become objects of indignation even to their nearest relations. Thank God there is an age of reality coming, an age when men will recoil from shams as from “demons vile.”

3. False teachers will on this “day” be ashamed to exercise their mission. If any false prophets should continue to exercise their function, they will have to do it--

Should their disclaiming be questioned, they will take shelter in falsehood. “And one shall say unto Him, what are these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends.”

Christ cleanses as well as forgives

A criminal, condemned by our law to die, can only be spared by the King empowering the Home Secretary to reprieve or pardon. Even then to remove the stain that must always rest upon that person’s character is utterly beyond the power of them both. How different with Jesus. His power is unlimited. He not only is able to forgive sins, but He can cleanse away every trace of guilt, and present us faultless unto God.

The cleasing fountain

“A fountain,” says James Bailie, “not a stagnant pool or a sluggish canal, but a torrent, a waterfall. God’s love flows forth like a great river over the Rock of Ages. Men bathe in that fountain, and their sins are swept away into the dead sea of God’s forgetfulness. God has pardoned transgressions, the very recital of which would have utterly destroyed our faith in human nature. One of the strongest proofs of Divine origin of Christianity is that it has received in its embrace liars, swindlers, and adulterers, and having cleansed and purified them, made them ornaments of society.”

The remedy near at hand

Do you know that the wound that Hedley Vicars received before Sebastopol was not necessarily fatal? It was a wound that was very common, and a wound over which the surgeons had complete control, yet he died. How was it? It was because, in the hurry and haste of the march in the grey morning from the heights of the Crimea, the tents where the stores were, were left behind. Had there been a bandage near, had there been lint and cotton wool near, Hedley Vicars would have been saved; but he bled his life away before they could reach the tents. Ah, David tells you today that the tents where God’s supplies are, are never too far away. Blessed be God, the bandages, and lint, and healing efficacy of the blood of Christ, are not confined to Calvary, where it was shed. Here it flows. Oh, plunge into the fountain that was opened for sin! (John Robertson.)

The sense of sin

The sense of sin, we are told, is weaker today than it once was. Are we quite sure, if we could penetrate beneath the crust of men’s reserve? An American humorist has put it, but oh! so truly, “In his heart of hearts no man can have much respect for himself.” In our heart of hearts, in our moments of colloquy with ourselves, when we feel ourselves to be in the presence of another whom we cannot name, we accuse ourselves, and there is no escape from the accusation and its penalty. The sense of sin may be outwardly weaker, but you are always upon safe ground if you appeal to the condemned conscience that is in every man. We have seen our life is marred by the presence of sin; and that mournful fact is not partial but universal. Touch the man and you touch one who has been seared and scored by the presence of an enemy, and that enemy is sin. (R. J. Campbell, B. A.)

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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Zechariah 13:1". The Biblical Illustrator. https: 1905-1909. New York.

Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

The Christian dispensation continues to be the focus of the revelation in this brief chapter. This is indicated by the triple recurrence of "in that day" (Zechariah 13:1,2,4), by Peter's indication that part of the chapter applies to Christians (Zechariah 13:9), and by Jesus' own identification of himself with the smitten Shepherd (Zechariah 13:7). Part of Zechariah 13:5,6 are difficult of interpretation.

Zechariah 13:1

"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness."

"In that day ..." in the times of the blessed Messiah.

"A fountain opened ... for sin and for uncleanness ..." This is the fountain of the blood of Christ, the only fountain in all history that ever afforded cleansing from sin and uncleanness. That fountain may also be understood as the fountain of living water (John 7:37).

"To the house of David ... inhabitants of Jerusalem ..." These expressions denote the "true Israel of God" in the times of the New Covenant; and, although that Israel is by no means restricted to racial Jews, or literal descendants of Abraham, neither is any one of them (or any other person) excluded:

"And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come. And he that heareth, let him say, Come. And he that is athirst, let him come: he that will (Whosoever will), let him take the water of life freely" (Revelation 22:17).

Robinson titled this chapter: "A remnant of Israel (shall be) purified, refined, and saved."[1] It is a gross error to suppose that the "cleansing" here is primarily a reference to the procurement of "ritual purity for the people of Jerusalem."[2] The text indicates that the cleansing is from sin. "This was a cleansing unknown in the pre-Christian era."[3] Of course, there were a number of Old Testament prophecies looking forward to the forgiveness of sins in the days of Christ. Jeremiah 31:31-35; Ezekiel 36:25; and Zechariah 3:4,9, where Joshua the High Priest received clean linen clothes, are among such prophecies. Of particular interest is Ezekiel 36:25 -

"And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you."

Keil explained this thus:

"By this water we have to understand not only grace in general, but the spiritual sprinkling-water, which is prepared through the sacrificial death of Christ, through the blood that he shed for sin, and which is sprinkled upon us for the cleansing away of sin in the gracious waters of baptism."[4]

As for the fantasy that "sprinkling" of any kind is visible in Zechariah 13:1, it must be declared that: although sprinkling of water and the ashes of a red heifer were a legitimate ritual under the law of Moses, there is no "sprinkling of water" connected in any way with Christianity, certainly not in Christian baptism, which is not and never was a "sprinkling," but an immersion. There is a "sprinkling of the blood of Christ" (Hebrews 10:22), a sprinkling not of water and not of our bodies, but as the passage says, "having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water." Thus "in that day," when the fountain for sin is opened, hearts are sprinkled with the blood of Christ, and bodies are washed with pure water. Sprinkling water on "bodies" is nowhere mentioned as a Christian ordinance. We are a bit surprised that several commentators gave lip service to this old, discredited and worn-out argument for sprinkling as a form of baptism.

"Cleansing for sin and uncleanness ..." Ah, here is the crying need of all men. What a glory of Christianity is inherent in such a promise as this! In all of the history of the universe, there is no such thing as the forgiveness of sins, until one comes to the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. No forgiveness of sins was available for the angels who kept not their first estate; no forgiveness has ever been seen in the operation of God's natural laws (gravity, etc.); nature exhibits no such thing as forgiveness; and, even under the law of Moses, there was a remembrance made of sin, "every year." The unique glory of the Christian faith is that it embraces "the fountain opened for sin."

"Sin and uncleanness ..." "These two terms together comprise all guilt and pollution."[5] As Gill said, "An entire volume could be written identifying this `fountain' as the blood of Christ."[6]

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James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https: Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

In that day there shall be a fountain opened,.... Which Aben Ezra and Kimchi understand literally; but R. Moses the priest figuratively; and so the Targum, which interprets it of the doctrine of the law being open as a fountain of water; and so Abendana, who compares it with Isaiah 2:3 but rather it should be understood of the preaching of the Gospel, and the administration of Gospel ordinances; though better of Christ himself, the fountain of gardens, and of living waters, from whose pierced side, of whom mention is made as pierced in the preceding chapter Zechariah 12:10, sprung blood and water; blood for justification, remission, and cleansing, and water for sanctification: and best of all of his blood particularly, called a "fountain", not so much for the quantity of blood shed, as for its full virtue and efficacy to answer the purposes for which it was shed; it being the blood not only of man, and of an innocent man, but of the Son of God; and may be said to be "opened", because of its continued virtue to cleanse from sin; it is not sealed, but opened, and always stands open; there is no hinderance or obstruction in coming to it; not the meanness or poverty of persons, they that have no money may come to these waters; nor their sinfulness, even though they are the chief of sinners; nor their being of this and the other nation, it is exposed to all; to all that the Father has given to Christ; to all sensible sinners: though it follows,

to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; for this, as it may be literally understood of the Jews in the latter day, including their great men and common people, high and low, rich and poor; so mystically of all the family of Christ the son of David, and of all that belong to the heavenly Jerusalem, even the whole church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven:

for sin, and for uncleanness; that is, for sin, which is uncleanness; sin is an unclean thing, and has defiled all human nature, and nothing can remove the pollution of it; but the blood of Christ can remove it, and that being shed makes atonement for it, procures the pardon of it, and justifies from it in the sight of God; and being sprinkled on the conscience, removes it from that. The Targum interprets it mystically of the forgiveness of sins, paraphrasing it thus,

"I will forgive their iniquities, as they are cleansed with the water of sprinkling, and the ashes of the heifer, which is for sin.'

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Gill, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https: 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

In that day there a shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

(a) He shows what will be the fruit of their repentance, that is, remission of sins by the blood of Christ, which will be a continual running fountain, and purge them from all uncleanness.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https: 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Zechariah 13:1-9. Cleansing of the Jews from sin; Abolition of idolatry; The Shepherd smitten; The people of the land cut off, except a third part refined by trials.

Connected with the close of the twelfth chapter. The mourning penitents are here comforted.

fountain opened — It has been long opened, but then first it shall be so “to the house of David,” etc. (representing all Israel) after their long and weary wanderings. Like Hagar in the wilderness they remain ignorant of the refreshment near them, until God “opens their eyes” (Genesis 21:19) [Moore]. It is not the fountain, but their eyes that need to be opened. It shall be a “fountain” ever flowing; not a laver needing constantly to be replenished with water, such as stood between the tabernacle and altar (Exodus 30:18).

for sin … uncleanness — that is, judicial guilt and moral impurity. Thus justification and sanctification are implied in this verse as both flowing from the blood of Christ, not from ceremonial sacrifices (1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 9:13, Hebrews 9:14; 1 John 1:7; compare Ezekiel 36:25). Sin in Hebrew is literally a missing the mark or way.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https: 1871-8.

Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament

The penitential supplication of Israel will lead to a thorough renewal of the nation, since the Lord will open to the penitent the fountain of His grace for the cleansing away of sin and the sanctifying of life. Zechariah 13:1. “In that day will a fountain be opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness.” As the Lord Himself pours out the spirit of supplication upon Israel, so does He also provide the means of purification from sin. A fountain is opened, when its stream of water bursts forth from the bosom of the earth (see Isaiah 41:18; Isaiah 35:6). The water, which flows from the fountain opened by the Lord, is a water of sprinkling, with which sin and uncleanness are removed. The figure is taken partly from the water used for the purification of the Levites at their consecration, which is called מי חטּאת , sin-water, or alter of absolution, in Numbers 8:7, and partly from the sprinkling-water prepared from the sacrificial ashes of the red heifer for purification from the defilement of death, which is called מי נדּה , water of uncleanness, i.e., water which removed uncleanness, in Numbers 19:9. Just as bodily uncleanness is a figure used to denote spiritual uncleanness, the defilement of sin (cf. Psalms 51:9), so is earthly sprinkling-water a symbol of the spiritual water by which sin is removed. By this water we have to understand not only grace in general, but the spiritual sprinkling-water, which is prepared through the sacrificial death of Christ, through the blood that He shed for sin, and which is sprinkled upon us for the cleansing away of sin in the gracious water of baptism. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7; compare 1 John 5:6).

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Keil, Carl Friedrich & Delitzsch, Franz. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". https: 1854-1889.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

A fountain — The blood of Christ.

Opened — The spouse is to Christ a fountain sealed, but Christ is to sinners a fountain opened.

Inhabitants of Jerusalem — The inhabitants of Jerusalem are all to whom the gospel is preached.

For uncleanness — For purging away all manner of sins and uncleannesses.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https: 1765.

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

From this verse we again learn, that Zechariah promised the spirit of repentance to the Jews, so that they would find God still propitious to them, when their circumstances were brought to the verge of despair: for it would not have been enough for them to feel sorrow, except God himself became propitious and merciful to them. He had said indeed that the Spirit of grace and of commiserations would be poured forth; but he had not as yet taught clearly what he now adds respecting remission and pardon. After having then declared that there would be felt by the Jews the bitterest sorrow, because they had as it were pierced God, he now mentions the fruit of this repentance. And hence also appears what Paul means by sorrow not to be repented of; for it generates repentance unto salvation. When then our sorrow is blessed by the Lord, the end is to be regarded; for our hearts are thereby raised up to joy. But the issue of repentance, as Zechariah declares here, is ablution: and he alludes to the legal rites when he says,

A fountain shall be opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. We know that formerly under the law many washings were prescribed to the Jews; and when any one had become defiled, to wash himself was the remedy. It is certain that water was of no value to cleanse the heart; but the sins of men, we know, are expiated by the death of Christ, so that true ablution is by the blood which he shed for us. (167) Hence the types of the law ought no doubt to be referred to this blood. The meaning is that God would be reconciled to the Jews when they became touched with sincere sorrow, and that reconciliation would be ready for them, for the Lord would cleanse them from every defilement.

He speaks of a fountain opened; and he no doubt intimates here a difference between the law and the gospel. Water was brought daily to the temple; but it was, we know, for private washings. But Zechariah promises here a perpetual stream of cleansing water; as though he had said, “Ablution will be free to all, when God shall again receive his people into favor.” Though remission of sins was formerly offered under the law, yet it is now much more easily obtained by us; not that God grants a license to sin, but that the way in which our filth is cleansed, has become more evident since the coming of Christ. For the fathers under the law were indeed fully assured that God was so propitious as not to impute sins; but where was the pledge of ablution? In the sprinkling of blood, and that blood was the blood of a calf or a lamb. Now since we know that we have been redeemed by Christ, and that our souls are sprinkled with his blood by the hidden power of the Holy Spirit, it is doubtless the same as though God had not only set before our eyes our ablution, but also placed it as it were in our hands, while to the fathers it was more obscure or shown to them at a distance.

And he says, To the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He had before restricted God’s favor to that city, that he might goad the Jews, who had preferred their outward gratifications to so great a happiness; for they thought themselves happy in their exile, because they inhabited a pleasant and fruitful country, and enjoyed quietness and peace; and thus it happened that they despised the deliverance offered to them. Hence the Prophet promises here to the citizens of Jerusalem and to the royal family a fountain in which they might wash away their filth; for from Sion was the law to go forth, and from Jerusalem the word of the Lord. (Isaiah 2:2.) And we know that from thence were taken the first-fruits of the new Church. (168) What we have before seen respecting God’s favor being extended farther, is no objection; for both events were in their due order fulfilled, as God blessed the tribe of Judah, who trusted in his promises and returned to their own country, and afterwards extended wider his favor, and gathered into one body those who had been dispersed through distant parts of the world.

He adds, For sin and for uncleanness, or as some read, “for sprinkling,” which is by no means suitable, except the word “sin” be taken for expiation. The word is derived from נדד, nedad, but it often means sprinkling, sometimes uncleanness, and sometimes the uncleanness of women, and so some render it here. The verb signifies to remove or to separate; and hence נדה, nede, is the removal of a woman from her husband during her uncleanness, but it is applied to designate any uncleanness. It might indeed be taken here for the uncleanness of women, as an instance of a part for the whole; but I am led by the context to render it uncleanness. Now if we translate חטאת, chathat, sin, then נדה, nede, must be rendered uncleanness; but if the first be expiation, then the second may be sprinkling: and this meaning I am disposed to take, for under the law sins were cleansed by sacrifices as well as by washings. (169)

The import of the whole then is — that though the Jews had in various ways defiled themselves, so that they were become filthy before God, and their uncleanness was abominable, yet a fountain would be prepared for them, by which they might cleanse themselves, so as to come before God pure and clean. We hence see that it was the Prophet’s object to show, that the repentance of which he had spoken would not be useless, for there would be a sure issue, when God favored the Jews, and showed himself propitious to them, and already pacified, and even provided for them a cleansing by the blood of his only-begotten Son, so that no filth might prevent them to call on him boldly and in confidence; for instead of the legal rites there would be the reality, as their hearts would be sprinkled by the Spirit, so that they would be purified by faith, and would thus cast away all their filth.

For sin and defilement, Newcome

For guilt and for uncleanness, Henderson

Our version cannot be mended “for sin and for uncleanness.” The latter word, [ נדה ], has been strangely rendered by some. Its first meaning is removal or separation, which took place in case of uncleanness: but it is also used to designate the cause of removal, even uncleanness, and that generally, as we find from Ezra 9:11, where the “land” is said to be “unclean ([ נדה ]) with the filthiness ([ נדת ]) of the people,” or rather polluted with the pollution of the people “of the lands.” It is used in this text as synonymous with [ טמא ], which means what is unclean, defiled, or polluted. See Ezra 6:21

This verse is most strangely rendered by the Septuagint, in a way quite unaccountable. The three other versions — Aq., Sym. , and Theod. , — are not very far from the original. — Ed.

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Calvin, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https: 1840-57.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary


The Prophet is still looking by faith into the Gospel days, and describing under the spirit of prophecy, many blessed things to be accomplished in the days of Christ, and the after ages of his Church.

(Zechariah 13:1) In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

If by faith, as the Prophet wrote, the Reader is led now to contemplate the mercy here promised, he must take his stand at the foot of the cross, and behold the soldier's spear, as the instrument opening the fountain in the heart of Christ, as Jehovah appointed, for sin and for uncleanness. I need not again repeat what hath been so often observed through all the writings of the Prophets; namely, that the day here alluded to, is the day of the Gospel, Christ's day and glory. Looking at Jesus on the cross, we do indeed behold the Lamb of God, as John the Baptist cried out in his ministry, taking away sin by the sacrifice of himself. John 1:29. And, Reader! do not fail to observe, that this sacred laver for cleansing, is a fountain, not a stream, but a fountain, springing from itself. So the Church sung. Song of Solomon 4:15. And observe yet further, for whom it is opened, namely, the same as in the following Chapter, the spirit of grace and supplications were to be opened upon the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Jesus' whole family, both Jew and Gentile, for all are alike unclean, and all need cleansing. Hence the Church in heaven are represented as having washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Revelation 7:14. Reader! sit down by faith around this crimson fountain, and contemplate the whole Church as made clean only by the washing in this one laver; and when you have duly pondered the vast and momentous subject, look up, and bless Jehovah, Father, Son, and Spirit, for this unequalled gift, whereby alone all our uncleanness, filthiness, and sin, could be done away. 1 John 1:7; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ezekiel 36:24-32.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https: 1828.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

Ver. 1. In that day there shall be a fountain opened] Nunc fructum poenitentiae adiungit, saith Calvin here. This is the fruit of their repentance. No sooner mourn they over Christ, but they are received to mercy. "I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord: and" (or ever I can do it) "thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin," Psalms 32:5; that is, both the sting and stain of it, the guilt and the filth, the crime and the curse. Repent, and your sins shall be blotted out, saith Peter to those nefarious kill-Christs, Acts 3:19. God will cross the black lines of your sins with the red lines of his Son’s blood, 1 John 1:6. A fountain shall be opened; not a cistern, but a spring; a pool better than that of Siloam, which is by interpretation, Sent, John 9:7, and so a type of Christ, who "loved us, and washed us from our sins with his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen," Revelation 1:5-6. To seal up this matchless mercy to us, he sent first, by the hand of his forerunner, and baptized those that repented for the remission of sins, Matthew 3:2, Acts 2:38, and afterwards he set wide open this blessed fountain, this laver of "regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost," Titus 3:5. Saying by his ministers to every believer, as once to Paul, "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord," Acts 22:16; whereunto salvation is promised, Romans 10:18, Joel 2:22. Baptism also is said to save us, 1 Peter 3:21, sc. sacramentally, for it sealeth up salvation to the believer, Mark 16:16, and is of perpetual and permanent use to him, for that purpose, his whole life throughout, ut scaturigo semper ebulliens, as a fountain bubbling up to eternal life. Here then the sacrament of baptism is prophesied and promised. And hence, haply, the baptism of John is said to have been from heaven, Matthew 21:25. All the Levitical purifications pointed to this king’s bath of Christ’s meritorious blood, this everflowing and overflowing fountain, for the grace of our Lord Jesus hath abounded to flowing over (as St Panl’s expression is) with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. Neither can it ever be dried up, as was the river Cherith, the brooks of Tema, &c., but is an inexhausted fountain, a fresh running spring, for all that have but a mind to make toward it. Tam recens mihi nunc Christus est, ac si hac hora fudisset sanguinem, saith Luther; Christ is still as fresh and sovereign to me as if this very hour he had shed his blood. He was the Lamb slain from the beginning of the world; and shall be so to the end thereof. Cruci haeremus, sanguinem sugimus, et intra ipsa Redempteris nostri vulnera figimus linguam, saith Cyprian of the Lord’s Supper; i.e. We cleave to the cross at this holy ordinance; we suck Christ’s blood, we thrust our tongues into the very wounds of our Redeemer, and are hereby purged from all pollutions of flesh and spirit.

To the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem] i.e. To all sorts and sexes of penitents, be they noble or ignoble, strong Christians or weak, [Zechariah 12:8] none shall be secluded from this fountain, thus opened or exposed to all, not sealed and shut up, as that Song of Solomon 4:12 "God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him," Acts 10:34-35.

For sin and for uncleanness] i.e. For all sorts of sins, though they be such as in their desert do separate us from communion with God and company of men, [Leviticus 12:1-8 Leviticus 15:1-33] render us worthy to be excommunicated, proscribed, and banished out of the world, as pests and botches of human society, by a common consent of nations; as the obstinate Jews are at this day for their inexpiable guilt in crucifying Christ. The Vulgate here hath it, Ad ablutionem peccatoris et menstruatae, For washing clean the sinner and the menstruous woman; alluding (as doth also the Chaldee) to the waters of expiation made of the ashes of a red cow, Numbers 19:11; Numbers 19:17; see the note there; and importing the purging both of he-sinners and she-sinners; or, as some will have it, both of actual and original sin. Lo, this is the virtue of Christ’s merit and spirit, 1 Corinthians 6:10-11, far beyond that of Abanah and Pharpar, of Jordan and Siloam, which yet are said not only to wash and scour, but also to heal and cure. The Saracens naturally stink like goats; but by washing themselves and their children in the pool of Siloam they become sweeter. The Turks make use of it to sharpen their eyesight. At Cyzicum there is a well called Cupid’s well, the water whereof is said to quench the fire of lust. This is better yet than those baths of Rome, concerning which Seneca no less wittily than truly complained, Postquam munda balnea inventa sunt, spurciores sunt qui lavant; or those wanton baths of upper Baden, in Helvetia, much frequented, yet not so much for health as filthy pleasure. "They that are in Christ have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts," Galatians 5:24; they are not only washed from their wickedness, Jeremiah 4:14, but bereft of their swinish natures, ne tanquam sus ad volutabrum, not as a pig returning to his watering hole. 2 Peter 2:22.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https: 1865-1868.

Sermon Bible Commentary

Zechariah 13:1

I. Into this world, where the fountains were all sin and uncleanness, Messiah came. And for a while He was a fountain sealed. Within His own bosom He carried the purity of heaven, the calm consciousness of His own divinity, a great deep of gentleness and love and compassion. But that was not enough. It was not enough that He should be a holy visitor, by His surpassing sanctity pronouncing a tacit verdict on the surrounding iniquity; an angelic tourist through the realms of earth, leaving them more wretched and lonely than before. He had come not so much a visitor as a victim, not so much to sojourn as to save. Found in fashion as a man, God the Son became the kinsman of sinners, and engaged in His own Person to achieve an ample atonement for the sins of the world. It was on Calvary that the fountain sealed of incarnate love became the fountain opened of redeeming merit.

II. The fountain is open still. Fresh and efficacious and free as on the day when His mighty sacrifice was offered, the merit of Immanuel still continues. The truth concerning Jesus, published in the Bible, is the fountain opened to the world. The man who believes that truth has his sins washed away. When the muddy Arve joins the limpid Rhone, after a while the bright waters grow troubled, and at last they flow together a turbid stream. But it is not so with this fountain. However many the sins, however much the defilement which it washes away, it springs pure and pellucid as ever, and the reason is that this fountain resembles the sea. Though a limited outlet, it is a boundless tide. In Persia, says a legend, there was a fountain, and if any impurity were cast into it there was sure to be a storm the selfsame day. But here is the very converse. Over the sinner's head are lowering the dark thunderclouds of wrath Divine; but, emboldened by God's own invitation, the sinner casts his sins into the fountain opened, and the sky is clear. God's anger is turned away, and with a pleasant countenance He beholds the believing and returning transgressor.

J. Hamilton, Works, vol. vi., p. 194.

References: Zechariah 13:1.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xvii., No. 971; B. Isaac, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. ix., p. 37; J. N. Norton, Golden Truths, p. 355.

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Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Zechariah 13:1. A fountain opened—for sin and for uncleanness The blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin, (1 John 1:7.) is manifestly here intended, the Jews being, upon their repentance and conversion, to be admitted to all the privileges of the Christian covenant. The Hebrew words

חטאת chattath and נדה niddah, which we translate sin and uncleanness, are legal terms; the former denotes sin generally, or any transgression of the law which required atonement, and is sometimes put for the means of purification from it, Numbers 9:17.; the latter is used for that uncleanness, or legal defilement, which secluded a man from all intercourse with holy things. Now whatever efficacy the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on the unclean, had to purify from legal sin and defilement, the same is ascribed to the blood of Christ in the Christian dispensation, for purging the conscience of a sinner from the guilt of dead works, or all moral pollution. Hebrews 9:13-14.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https: 1801-1803.

Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae



Zechariah 13:1. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin, and for uncleanness.

THE various metaphors by which our Lord is described in Scripture, while they give just representations of him, are frequently calculated in a peculiar manner to impress the minds of those who heard them. This remark admits of the fullest confirmation from our Lord’s own discourses [Note: See John 6:35; John 11:25.]: it may also be illustrated by the prophecy before us. The Jews had heard of the wanderings of their ancestors in the wilderness; and they had themselves traversed a much larger tract of country in their return from the Babylonish captivity. To them therefore the tidings of a fountain to be opened would convey very strong and pleasing sensations. Nor shall we be unaffected by them if we lament our spiritual defilements.

We propose to consider,

I. The meaning of the prophecy—

The Scriptures often mention a time under the expression “that day”—

[This expression sometimes refers to the apostolic, and sometimes to the millennial period. It is to be understood in this place as designing the former. That was a day in comparison of which all preceding ages were but as the morning dawn: then the mists of Gentile ignorance and Jewish superstition were dispelled before the Sun of Righteousness.]

At that period Christ was to be known under the notion of “a fountain”—

[Christ is frequently spoken of under the metaphor of a fountain [Note: Jeremiah 2:13. Isaiah 12:3.]. He virtually applies the name to himself [Note: The Jews after their return from Babylon used on a certain day to fetch water in a joyous and triumphant manner from the pool of Siloam, in reference, it is supposed, to Isaiah 12:3. And on that day our Lord addressed them, and pointed them to himself as the true well of salvation, John 7:37-38.]. He is described nearly by the same character even in heaven [Note: Revelation 22:1. The river, which John beheld, proceeded out of the throne of the Lamb.]. He justly answers to this description, having within himself an inexhaustible source of blessings.]

He was to be a fountain “opened”—

[From eternity was he as “a fountain sealed,” having in himself all fulness, before there existed any creatures to whom he might impart of it. Before his incarnation he afforded a scanty measure of his Spirit [Note: The meanest Christian is more enlightened than the greatest of the prophets, Luke 7:28.]. At the time of his death he properly became a fountain opened.]

The persons for whom it was to be opened were “the house of David,” &c.—

[“The house of David” are the spiritual seed of Christ [Note: He is the root as well as the offspring of David, Revelation 22:16.]. “The inhabitants of Jerusalem” are the members of the Christian Church. Both together import all believers, high and low, rich and poor; none are excluded who wish to participate his blessings.]

The end for which it was to be opened was, to cleanse from “sin”—

[There had been fountains for ceremonial uncleanness [Note: There was a brazen sea, above fifty feet in circumference, and almost ten in depth, wherein the priests were to wash their hands and feet: there were also ten lavers wherein the things offered for sacrifice were washed, and from whence the water for the sprinkling of the offerers was taken, 2 Chronicles 4:6.]. There were also fountains for the cure of bodily disorders [Note: The pool of Siloam, whither our Lord sent the blind man to wash, (John 9:11.) and which was typical of Him who was the Shiloh of the tribe of Judah, (Genesis 49:10.) and eminently the sent of God. Compare John 9:7; John 6:38-40. Bethesda was still more appropriate to this use, John 5:2-4.]. But Christ was a fountain for moral defilement, and spiritual maladies.]

In due season this prophecy received its accomplishment.

II. The completion of it—

From the incarnation of Christ this fountain was more fully exhibited: during his ministry its waters flowed in partial streams; but at his death it was fully opened:

It was broken open on the cross—

[In our Lord’s agony, the blood had flowed through every pore [Note: Luke 22:44.]: previous to his crucifixion his back had been torn with scourges [Note: John 19:1. Psalms 129:3.]: the crown of thorns pierced his sacred temples [Note: Mark 15:17; Mark 15:19.]: his hands and feet were nailed to the accursed tree [Note: Psalms 22:16.]; and his side, pierced with the spear, emitted blood and water [Note: John 19:34. This imported that he should cleanse both from the guilt and power of sin, 1 John 5:6.]. Thus did men and devils concur in breaking open this fountain. The dying thief was made a monument of its cleansing efficacy [Note: Luke 23:43.].]

It was set open on the day of Pentecost—

[Then the Spirit was poured out in a more abundant measure: thousands, even of the murderers of our Lord, were cleansed by it. The effects produced were instantaneous and abiding [Note: Acts 2:42-47.]: the blackest guilt was purged, the most ferocious natures changed. Nor was its influence to be confined any longer to one age or nation.]

It was left open in the promises to all succeeding generations—

[We may say of this fountain as St. Paul does of the Gospel [Note: Romans 10:6-8.]—. The word is the channel in which it flows: it has already spread its streams to the ends of the earth [Note: Romans 10:18.]: it will flow till that prophecy be fully accomplished [Note: Habakkuk 2:14.]—: the invitations to it are yet sounding in the ears of all [Note: Isaiah 55:1. Revelation 22:17.]—.]


1. To those who expect salvation while they live in sin—

[If men could be saved in their sins, why was this fountain opened? Would God have given up his Son to death without necessity? or shall they who neglect the fountain be cleansed like those who wash in it? Let none deceive their own souls: to wash in this fountain is the one thing needful. They who cry with the leper, shall receive the same answer [Note: Matthew 8:2-3.]—.]

2. To those who hope to cleanse themselves in some other way—

[Many hope to wash away their guilt by tears of repentance. But would God have opened this fountain, if any other would have sufficed? How lamentable that there should still be such cause for those expostulations [Note: 2 Kings 5:13.]—! Let those who say like Peter, remember the answer given him [Note: John 13:8.]—.]

3. To those who doubt whether they may come to this fountain—

[Many imagine that the greatness of their guilt is a bar to their acceptance; but the fountain was opened for sin and for uncleanness. What would have been the effect of such hesitation at the pool of Bethesda [Note: John 5:4; John 5:7.]? Be it remembered that all, who have a need, have a right to wash: let every one then press forward, lest he lose the blessing.]

4. To those who have experienced its cleansing efficacy—

[It is in you that the efficacy of this fountain must be seen. Let it appear that it has cleansed you from earthly and sensual desires. But still you have need to wash in it daily [Note: We contract defilement every step we take. Bishop Beveridge justly observes, “Our very tears need to be washed, and our repentances to be repented of.”]. This do, and you shall soon join in that triumphant song [Note: Revelation 1:5-6.]—]

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Simeon, Charles. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". Charles Simeon's Horae Homileticae. https: 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible


The fountain of purgation for Jerusalem, Zechariah 13:1. The extirpation of idolatry and false prophecy, Zechariah 13:2-6. The death of Christ, and the saving of a third part after a severe trial, Zechariah 13:7-9.

In that day; when the Lamb of God shall be offered up a sacrifice for mankind, and the gospel shall be preached in which the glad tidings of our redemption are published.

A fountain: by water and ceremonial washings was legal pollution in many cases purged away, and much of the legal service stood in divers washings; but all these were shadows and types; here is that they typified, the matchless healing and purging fountain, i.e. the blood of Christ; here is the true Siloam, which never failed to heal any that rightly used it; it is Christ.

Opened: the spouse is to Christ a fountain sealed, but Christ is to sinners a fountain opened: under the law he was as the waters of the temple, for the Jew; but now he is opened to us Gentiles, free to all, and of easy access, and of sovereign virtue to heal.

To the house of David; he was every where nearest to them, and though his own kindred did some of them slight him, and not believe in him, yet some others did, and it may intimate to us the first tender of grace made to his own, to whom he came, though they received him not; or the royal family some of them will be benefited by it, and all of them need it; no outward privilege can secure us against the poison of sin, grace alone, this fountain only, can purge it away in great and noble, or mean and base.

To the inhabitants of Jerusalem; to all the Jews before the Gentiles,

To you first, saith the apostle,

God hath sent his Son; but in that it is opened, it is to us Gentiles also. Jerusalem, as image of the whole church, takes in the Gentiles; so inhabitants of Jerusalem are all to whom the gospel is preached, all penitents.

For sin and for uncleanness; for purging away of all manner of sins and uncleannesses, of which men repent, and from which they depart, according to that Proverbs 20:9 1 John 1:9.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https: 1685.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

In that day God would open a fountain for the complete spiritual cleansing of the Israelites, both for their moral sins and for their ritual uncleanness (cf. Ezekiel 47). The figure of a fountain pictures abundant cleansing that would continue indefinitely. This will be the fulfillment of God"s promise to forgive the sins of His people Israel in the New Covenant ( Zechariah 3:4; Zechariah 3:9; Jeremiah 31:34; Ezekiel 36:25; cf. Romans 11:26-27). "The blood of Jesus ... cleanses us from all sin" ( 1 John 1:7). The cleansing is available now, but God will cleanse multitudes of Israelites in the future, after they turn to their Messiah in faith ( Zechariah 12:10-14).

"The problem of sin is the central problem in the OT. It began in the garden of Eden and will not be eradicated until the final day of Yahweh." [Note: Smith, p280.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https: 2012.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Zechariah 13:1. In that day — When the Lamb of God shall be offered up a sacrifice for mankind, and the gospel shall be preached, in which the glad tidings of our redemption are published. This seems to be a continuation of the prophecy begun at the ninth verse of the preceding chapter; and the meaning to be that, through the atoning sacrifice of the Messiah, the repentance and humiliation there described should be accepted of God, and followed with a full pardon and gracious communication of sanctifying grace to the penitent. There shall be a fountain opened — “The blood of Christ, which cleanseth from all sin, (1 John 1:7,) is manifestly here intended, the Jews being, upon their repentance and conversion, to be admitted to all the privileges of the Christian covenant.” Probably there may be an allusion in the words “to the one great spring at Jerusalem, (mentioned Isaiah 7:3,) which served the uses of king and people.” See Vitringa. The spouse of Christ, his church, is a spring shut up, a fountain sealed, Song of Solomon 4:12; but Christ is to sinners a fountain opened: under the law, he was as the waters of the temple for the Jews; but now his merits are opened to us Gentiles, free for all, and of easy access, and of sovereign virtue to heal. For sin and for uncleanness — The original words here used, חשׂאת and נדה, are “legal terms; the former denotes sin generally, or any transgression of the law which required atonement, and is sometimes put for the means of purification from it, Numbers 19:9-17; the latter is used for that uncleanness, or legal defilement, which secluded a man from all intercourse with God, and holy things. Now whatever efficacy the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on the unclean, had to purify from legal sin and defilement, the same is ascribed to the blood of Christ in the Christian dispensation, for purging the conscience of a sinner from the guilt of dead works, or moral pollution.” — Blayney. The legal washings were but shadows and types of this matchless, healing, purifying fountain, which never fails to heal all those that apply to it. It must be observed, likewise, that spiritual graces and influences, communicated by the Holy Spirit, are also compared to a fountain, Joel 3:17; and by these sinners are represented as being washed and cleansed, Ezekiel 36:25; Titus 3:5.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https: 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Fountain. In the New Testament Christ is made an open fountain by his incarnation, John iv. 13. (St. Gregory, xx. in Ezechiel i. 6. ep. 186.) (Worthington) --- His baptism and other sacraments have the most surprising effects, to which the prophet refers more than to those waters which were brought by pipes into the temple to cleanse the victims, Ezechiel xlvii. 1. (Calmet) --- The washing. Septuagint, "change and sprinkling." Grabe substitutes Greek: chorismon, "separation," and marks the verse with an asterisk. The legal impurities shall be effaced. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https: 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

In that day. The future day, when this prophecy shall come to pass.

shall be. This is not the simple future tense, but the verb hayah, with the Participle, meaning that the fountain shall be permanently opened.

a fountain. This waits for literal fulfilment, and is not an intangible one as in the present day.

opened: i.e. set open. The only occurance of this participle in the O.T. Compare the first in Genesis 7:11.

for = for [the expiation of] sin, &c.

sin Hebrew. chata. App-44.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https: 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

In that day - connected with the close of Zechariah 12:1-14. The mourning penitents are here comforted.

There shall be a fountain opened. It has been long opened, but then first it shall be so "to the house of David" (representing all Israel), after their long and weary wanderings. Like Hagar in the wilderness, they remain ignorant of the refreshment near them, until God "opens their eyes" (Genesis 21:19). (Moore.) It is not the fountain, but their eyes that need to be opened. It shall be a "fountain" ever flowing: not a laver, needing constantly to be replenished with water, such as stood between the tabernacle and altar (Exodus 30:18).

For sin and for uncleanness - i:e., for judicial guilt and moral impurity. Thus justification and sanctification are implied in this verse as both flowing from the blood of Christ, not from ceremonial sacrifices (1 Corinthians 1:30; Hebrews 9:13-14; 1 John 1:7 : cf. Ezekiel 36:25). "Sin" in Hebrew [ chaTaa't (Hebrew #2403), from chaaTaa' (Hebrew #2398)] is literally a missing the mark or way.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https: 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(1) The meaning of this verse seems to be that the people would keep the law with more heartfelt earnestness, and consequently acceptably. There seems to be a reference to Numbers 8:7; Numbers 19:9, et seq.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https: 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
12:3,8,11; Job 9:30,31; Psalms 51:2,7; Isaiah 1:16-18; Ezekiel 36:25; John 1:29; 19:34,35; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:25-27; Titus 3:5-7; Hebrews 9:13,14; 1 John 1:7; 5:6; 1 Peter 1:19; Revelation 1:5,6; 7:13,14
the house
Heb. separation for uncleanness.
Leviticus 15:2-33; Numbers 19:9-22; Ezekiel 36:17,29

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:1". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:

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