The Book of Zechariah
God Fulfills His Prophecy Literally
Zechariah 9 SCC 4/10/1
God the Father is going to see to it that His Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, gets His due in this world. It is guaranteed. God will triumph over all His enemies and Jesus will be placed on His throne to rule and reign over all of the earth and its peoples. Competing ideologies will attempt to change this scenario until they all finally peter out. This is the testimony of Scripture, which prophesies of God vanquishing His enemies and establishing His Son as ruler. We can expect that since past prophecy has been literally fulfilled (Daniel’s vision of world empires for instance) that we can expect that future prophecy will also be literally fulfilled.
GOD WILL CONQUER ALL OPPOSITION INAUGURATING JESUS AS TRIUMPHANT KING 1-11
This section establishes the idea of the coming of the true King. Proper preparation for this is necessary which is revealed in the first part of this section. Here is an oracle against a number of enemies who will be vanquished by means of a line of march from the north to the south concluding with a triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
From Syria to Phoenicia 1-4
1 Hadrach is the surrounding territory of the city of Damascus. Damascus is called the resting place or the resting place in the sense that rule was centered there in this territory—Syria. This is where this march begins and this triumphal conquering procession moving southward commands the attention of the surrounding peoples—the eyes of men are aware of it. Referring to the ‘tribes of Israel’ at this time perceiving this march, especially when they are still scattered in Zechariahs Day, gives the undertone of a future event when all of the tribes then in Israel will perceive this march to the north and know it is of the Lord.
2-4 Tyre and Sidon next on this march in line on this march south as foes of the God of Israel will not escape God’s wrath. In Scripture this area is noted for merchandizing, strategic locations on the coast and its vulnerability. Ezek even uses these as symbolic of human ingenuity, independence, and pride—much like the days of the tower of Babel in the past and Antichrists Babylon in the future. . Here it is noted that Tyre is fortified amassing and hoarding silver and gold in abundance. Its precious metals so prevalent they are compared to dust and mud in the streets. However, all of this amassing and fortifying will come to nothing v 4—she will be stripped of her wealth and power, obliterated into the sea she borders upon, and what is left will be burnt. This reminds me of the ‘hard hand of war’ when General McClellan practiced a scorched-earth policy while vanquishing the south especially with his famous march to Atlanta.
From Phoenicia to Philistines 5-7
5-7 The Philistine City-States will be hit next sitting south of Tyre along the Mediterranean Coast. Ashkelon sees what happens to the north and is terrified; Gaza even more so; and Ekron most of all. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon an entire population. Ashdod will be occupied by a mongrel people v 6. When all is said and done these Philistines will be shamed, embarrassed, and defeated. Finally, this bloodthirsty people v 7 will be overcome by blood themselves. The remnant that survives the slaughter will submit to God and assimilate into Judah. A philistine remnant will be redeemed from this.
God Inaugurates His Rule in Jerusalem 8-10
8 When the itinerary is complete God will have arrived at His house, the Temple, and will camp His presence around it so no hostile force can ever again threaten of oppress His people. God guarantees this because he has already seen it. In other words, God has already purposed this will happen even before it does. This advance will come to pass. The march that commenced in the north overwhelming successively the region of Hadrach, Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Sidon, and the four Philistine cities will end in Jerusalem with God triumphant standing guard over His house and people.
9-10 Here is the inauguration of Jerusalem’s King. Now that the enemy has been vanquished, and security has been established, the king can be inaugurated. This is the same passage Matthew 25:5 and John 12:15 use of Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before His crucifixion. Rejoice and shout as the King is coming to you. But in Zechariah we have a twofold event. In v 9 the coming one is described as humble and lowly and on a donkey, which seems strange for a triumphal entry of a King. Is this really a conquering hero heading a victorious army? Matthew and John only refer to this part of the prophecy both emphasizing Jesus as a king in humble and peaceful circumstances. But Zechariah adds vs 10 seeing the day when this same king will deliver Ephraim, Israel, and Jerusalem, Judah from enemy encroachments. Peace will also accompany this reign but the peace will be universal not only regional—Jesus Second Coming.
LESSON: On a lesser level we learn not to place our security in wealth, power, or status but only in God. Hoarding wealth for pleasure or security is what the world does and will lose it like Tyre, which represents any and all who creates a worldly basis for security apart from God. On a greater level, no one can or will destroy the people or work of God. All throughout history into the present moving on toward the future God guards his people and protects his plan and accomplishes his purposes. That includes the two comings of Jesus Christ; the first as a humble Savior not judging the world. The second as a conquering judge not saving the world. Booth comings are an act of God which neither believers nor the world can influence. God will vanquish all opposition inaugurating Jesus Christ as triumphant universal King.
THE INAUGURATION OF THE KING WILL USHER IN WONDERFUL BLESSING 11-17
Set Free 11
God will release Jerusalem’s prisoners from the waterless pit. Pits were common places of confinement (Joseph in Gen 37:24; Jeremiah in Jer 38:6). A waterless pit is designed to guarantee quick death by thirst. These prisoners are the Jewish exiles who were in a waterless pit of captivity (Isa 42:7; 43:20; 44:3). Since this has end time overtones, their historical deliverance from Babylon will give way to an even more precarious predicament in the end of the age. Once again God’s faithfulness to His promises will prove to be their deliverance. What He has done in the past will be encouragement for those facing an uncertain and even hopeless future. The basis for this deliverance is the ‘blood of your covt’. Their present and future deliverance hangs on this covenant.
Now that the release from bondage affected God commands prisoners now freed to return to Him their stronghold. This is called a stronghold of the hopeful. God will return ‘double’ to them. The full blessing of God awaits those who take refuge in Him. Job’s latter state was a double blessing. This blessing includes restoration of the nation v 12 and a conquering of any foes v 13. God will use his people as a bow, as weapons against another nation, namely, Greece. Possibly refers to the victory of the Maccabees over the Syrian Greeks but most likely to whatever hostile power that should ever arise against God’s covenant people. They can expect to be soundly defeated.
God will Fight 14-15
The thrust of this verse is God wielding his weapons en route to establishing his reign. He will appear as a banner over His people announcing victory, shooting arrows like lightening (Ninjas), blowing trumpets for advance in to the enemy lines, and marching in windstorms v 14. A very scary scene indeed! This holy war theme continues in v 15 while being defended by God His people will devour enemy flesh and subdue any enemy. The point is they will prevail in any conflict by destroying weaponry (sling-stones) drinking the blood of their enemies and having satiated themselves with the flesh and the blood of their fallen enemies, God’s army will be like the vessels in the sanctuary filled with the flesh and blood of sacrifice v 15b. In a sense these vanquished foes will be an offering to God. No one will ever stand against His chosen people again!
Ongoing Deliverance 16-17
This takes place ‘in that day’ v 16 giving end time significance to the enemies referred to in v 1-8. Using his people as weapons of destruction and death He will deliver them regularly as a shepherd would preserve his flock. The crown represents God’s sovereign rule as ruler and King over his entire realm. The brightest and most spectacular aspect of his reign will be his own redeemed ones who will shine with his glory. They are the jewels in his crown. The reason they sparkle in His hand for all to see is because these redeemed ones, once accursed, scattered, exiled, in captivity have been delivered by the strong Hand of their faithful God and give testimony to Him for this and draw attention to the crown of grace and mercy and to him, Jesus Christ, who wears it. What a turn-around. Now it is time for some praise v 17. For what is good and what is fair or beautiful will be theirs to enjoy and pursue. These redeemed ones have become this way by God’s nurturing of His young men with grain and His young women with new wine. The entire imagery speaks of rejuvenation, celebration, festivity, enjoyment, and bounty. Victory will bring celebration.
LESSON: There is a future for a free and redeemed and delivered Jerusalem. A city, which even today is torn in shreds, will be united in the end under Christ’s rule. For us, we can anticipate our spiritual inheritance to be fully realized. We are blessed with the entire spiritual blessing in the heavenlies even now. But one day we will enjoy those blessings in the form of rewards and partnerships and responsibilities and governing and participating in all of the unfolding of eternal reality forever. We can anticipate that to be genuine because it is promised to us fully in Jesus Christ who will ensure that blessing for us.
God always has that focus in all that He does. He knows the end from the beginning and has given us prophecy a sto how it will all literally be fulfilled in the end.
1. Praise Him for the goodness and favor and grace and mercy and faithfulness to all of his people for all time.
2. Be encouraged that Jesus Christ is worthy of your worship as your Savior (1st coming) and Lord (2nd coming).
3. Live in light of the ultimate destiny you have in the promises of God. Live like a child of the kingdom rite now.