Zechariah (Ch 9-10)

And the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, summoning His people to the attack, and shall go with whirlwinds of the South, which were always the most violent of all; — Q, Could this “whirlwinds of the South” be referring to a parable in Ezekiel 20:45-40 and 21:1-5?

Zechariah 9

1 The burden of the word of the Lord in the land of Hadrach and Damascus, shall be the rest thereof, when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord. — the burden of the word, the sentence of judgement of the Lord in the land of Hadrach, a term which seems to apply to the entire Medo-Persian empire as the world-power opposed to the people of God;

— and Damascus shall be the rest thereof, the Syrian capital being the place on which the burden of the Lord’s wrath rests, the Targum paraphrases it, “and Damascus shall be converted;” and closeby is Antioch where the Gospel was preached, and many converted, and a church, consisting of Jews and Gentiles, was formed; and here the disciples were first called Christians, Acts 11:26;

— when the eyes of man as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be drawn toward the Lord, both the house of Israel and the house of Judah being directed to the Lord at this evidence of His anger when He goes about to establish a more equitable proportion between peoples of the nations.

And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyre and Sidon, though it be very wise. — and Hamath also shall border thereby, or “Hamath” the district bounding Palestine on the north, “which borders thereon,” this, together with Damascus, representing Syria; Tyre and Sidon, the cities of Phenicia, though it be very wise, or “because their inhabitants were wise in their own conceit,” multiplying wealth and power and trusting in them.

And Tyre did build herself a stronghold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. — and Tyre did build herself a stronghold, the city proper being on an island surrounded by a double sea-wall, which made it practically impregnable in those days, and heaped up silver as the dust and fine gold as the mire of the streets for the commerce of Tyre had made her immensely wealthy.

Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and He will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire. — behold, the Lord will cast her out, seizing her through the agency of some earthly conqueror in this case Alexander and He will smite her power in the sea as represented by her army and her navy; and she shall be devoured with fire so that everything on which her inhabitants depended was consumed and exterminated.

Ashkelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall see it and be very sorrowful, and Ekron for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. — Ashkelon shall see God’s judgement, they shall be “ashamed because of their iniquities” namely, the punishment descending upon them; and fear, Gaza also shall see God’s judgement and be very sorrowful, and be exceedingly troubled;

— and the king shall perish from Gaza, the ruler being removed entirely, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited, its citizens being killed or dragged into captivity.

And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. — and a bastard or mongrel, one of blemished birth shall dwell in Ashdod and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines, four of whose city-states are mentioned here as representative of the entire country.

And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth; but he that remaineth, even he shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. — and the Lord will take away his blood out of his mouth; the Targum says, “I will destroy them that eat blood” or against those who breathe out threats of slaughtering His saints or persecute the people of God. Rashi: Others interpret this to mean the bloodshed, that the [Edomites] would shed the blood of Israel.

— and his abominations from between his teeth, striking him down while he is engaged in such criminal behavior; but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, a few of the heathen being gained for the true religion; the Targum paraphrases it, “and the proselytes that remain among them, they also shall be added to the people of our God;”

— and he shall be as a governor in Judah, like the prince of one of the tribes, the Targum says, “they shall be as the princes of the house of Judah” and Ekron as a Jebusite, for as the Jebusites were amalgamated with the children of Judah so these heathen and others, would be joined to the true people of God; the Targum says, “and Ekron shall be filled with the house of Israel, as Jerusalem;”

— remember that the Targum is another source of the Bible. Started by Ezra for those returning exiles from Babylon and for these returnees they could only understand in Aramaic; hence the Targum is as if Ezra is speaking to us from the verses quoted.

And I will encamp about Mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth; and no oppressor shall pass through them any more, for now have I seen with Mine eyes. — and the Lord will encamp about Mine house, not merely the Temple but the renewed people, as representative of the Kingdom which was to be established; the Targum says, “and I will cause my glorious Shekinah to dwell in the house of my sanctuary, and the strength of the arm of my power shall be as a wall of fire round about it,”

— because of the army, because of him that passed by, and because of him that returned, enemies marching to and fro, looking for an opportunity to attack; in the times of the Ptolemies and Seleucidae, the kings of Egypt and Syria during whose commotions, their passing to and fro against each other and against them, were still continuing through numerous years;

— and no oppressor shall pass through them any more, no enemy daring to disturb the Lord’s people, His holy Kingdom; for now have I seen with Mine eyes, He was exercising His providential control and the power of His mercy. Thus the Lord reigns in the midst of His enemies, over-throwing those who refuse to submit, but always gaining some also for His adherents.

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, thy King cometh unto thee! He is just and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an ass and upon a colt, the foal of an ass. — rejoice greatly, 0 daughter of Zion! the members of the Lord’s people; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! with a shout of gladness. Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, the Messiah Himself appearing in her midst; 

— He is just, possessing righteousness as the first requisite of a true ruler, and having salvation, bearing the salvation which the Lord had planned, lowly, and riding upon an ass and upon a colt, the foal of an ass; this passage is quoted by Matthew 21:4, and John 12:15, as having been fulfilled when the Lord entered Jerusalem on the tenth of Nisan before Passover; also the Jews have a fable, that the ass Abraham saddled, when he went to sacrifice his son Isaac, was the foal (young) of the ass;

10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off; and He shall speak peace unto the heathen, and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth. — and the Lord will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem, as the means by which the kingdoms of this world establish and extend their power; and the battle-bow shall be cut off; the Targum paraphrases it, “I will break the strength of those that make war, the armies of the people,” for the Lord does not build His kingdom with might of arms, since His kingdom is not of this world;

— and He shall speak peace unto the nations, this being the gist of His Gospel-message; and His dominion shall be from sea even to sea and from the river, the Euphrates, as the extreme eastern boundary of the then known world even to the ends of the earth, that is, the Kingdom of God would be established throughout the earth; it would be a universal kingdom.

11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. — as for thee also so the Lord addresses the entire nation of His people which afterward in the ideal sense merged into His Kingdom by the blood of thy covenant on account of the blood of the covenant, Exodus 24:8, by which Israel was separated from the rest of the nations and accepted into the most intimate fellowship with the Lord, I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water, delivering them from the oppression of the world-power from all the hostile forces of the earth.

12 Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope; even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee, — turn you, or “return,” to the stronghold, the fortified city in opposition to the pit which had just been mentioned;

— ye prisoners of hope, who in spite of the present afflictions maintained their hope in the covenant-keeping God; “that hope for redemption” as the Targum paraphrases it; Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee, namely, a double measure of glory instead of the tribulations endured,

13 when I have bent Judah for Me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. — when the Lord has bent Judah as a bow in His hand, filled the bow with Ephraim, as the arrows in His hand, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, stirring them up for war, 

— against thy sons, O Greece, for here was another world-power with its hostility against the people of the Lord, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man, so that the Lord’s people are able to wage the Lord’s wars.

14 And the Lord shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning; and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. — and the Lord shall be seen over them, appearing above them or at their head, as He who fights from heaven in their behalf, and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning, bringing instantaneous destruction to His foes; 

— and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, summoning His people to the attack, and shall go with whirlwinds of the South, which were always the most violent of all;

— Q, Could this “whirlwinds of the South” be referring to a parable in Ezekiel 20:45-40 and 21:1-5?

Ezekiel 20:45 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
46 “Son of man, set thy face toward the South, and drop thy word toward the South, and prophesy against the forest of the Southland.
47 And say to the forest of the South: ‘Hear the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee and every dry tree. The flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the South to the North shall be burned therein.
48 And all flesh shall see that I, the Lord, have kindled it; it shall not be quenched.’”
49 Then said I, “Ah, Lord God! They say of me, ‘Doth he not speak parables?’”

Ezekiel 21:1 And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
2 “Son of man, set thy face toward Jerusalem, and drop thy word toward the holy places, and prophesy against the land of Israel;
3 and say to the land of Israel, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I am against thee, and will draw forth My Sword out of his sheath and will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked.
4 Seeing then that I will cut off from thee the righteous and the wicked, therefore shall My Sword go forth out of his sheath against all flesh from the South to the North,
5 that all flesh may know that I, the Lord, have drawn forth My Sword out of his sheath. It shall not return any more.’

The Scriptures above are shrouded in coded language or hidden in a parable, and so the Q is: how would such scenarios be played out?

15 The Lord of hosts shall defend them, and they shall devour and subdue with slingstones; and they shall drink and make a noise as through wine, and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. — the Lord of hosts shall defend them, acting as their Shield against the weapons of the enemy; and they shall devour and subdue with sling-stones, treading down the enemy like pebbles of the brook, Cf Numbers 23:24

— and they shall drink, consuming the blood of the enemies, and make a noise as through wine, noisy as though under the influence of wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, the vessels in which the priests caught the blood of the sacrifices, and as the corners of the altar. The entire passage speaks of a holy war and victory, although in pictures taken from a battle of warriors on earth.

16 And the Lord their God shall save them in that day, as the flock of His people; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land. — and the Lord, their God, shall save them in that day as the flock of His people, with the deliverance of the Messiah’s redemption; for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land, Zion’s sons and daughters being like jewels of a crown which sparkles over Yehovah’s land as He proudly marches through the territory belonging to Him.

17 For how great is their goodness, and how great is their beauty! Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids. — for how great is His goodness, so the prophet exultantly exclaims, and how great is His beauty! Cf Psalms 45:3. Corn shall make the young men cheerful and new wine the maids, the reference being to the blessings of the grace of God as bestowed upon His people through the Word of His mercy. We have here another summary concerning the gifts of God given to His people in the Millenium.

Zechariah 10

Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. — ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain, there was the former spring and the latter autumn rain, of which see Hosea 6:3. making their appeal to Him in all confidence as they were in need of His blessings; 

— so the Lord shall make bright clouds, create lightnings and give them showers of rain, in a refreshing thunder-shower to every one grass in the field, all the crops of the field.

For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie and have told false dreams. They comfort in vain; therefore they went their way as a flock; they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. — for the idols, to whom the children of Israel had formerly applied for help, have spoken vanity, their household oracles not being dependable, and the diviners have seen a lie, they have announced deceitful oracles;

— and have told false dreams, proclaiming their own inventions as revelations from above; they comfort in vain because their words are a hollow mockery; therefore they, the people who relied upon their words went their way as a flock, wandering astray, they were troubled because there was no shepherd, no reliable leader and guide; the Targum says, “they are scattered as sheep are scattered.”

“Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats; for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock, the house of Judah, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle. — Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, the rulers of Israel to whom He had entrusted the leadership;

— and the Lord punished the goats, visiting them with a severe punishment; they were not the Seleucidae, nor the successors of Alexander, signified by the he goat in Daniel 8:5 but rather the monks and friars, comparable to these for their filthiness and uncleanness; and because they pretend to be guides of the people, and to go before them, and yet use them ill and push them with their horns of power; wherefore God will punish them, and kill those children of Jezebel with death, Revelation 2:22;

— for the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock, the house of Judah, this denotes that the Jews, when converted, looking after them with tender care, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle, like the glorious charger on which the general leads his troops to battle.

Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. — out of Him, namely, Yehovah, came forth the corner, that is, “cornerstone” by which is meant a king or ruler, the corner-stone on which the entire building of the new Kingdom rests; out of Him the nail; the Targum says, “out of him his Messiah” the pegs of the wall, from which the household utensils were suspended, types of the dependable men in a state;

— out of Him the battle-bow, the means for carrying on the Lord’s wars; Christ makes war in righteousness; the armies of heaven follow him; out of Him every oppressor together, every mighty ruler whom Judah would need in its wars against the enemies.

And they shall be as mighty men, who tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle; and they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. — and they, the Lord’s people, shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets, Cf Zechariah 9:15, in the battle; and they shall fight because the Lord is with them, always in the majority because of His help, and the riders on horses shall be confounded, cavalry being mentioned as the chief part of the enemy’s army.

“And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them back to place them, for I have mercy upon them. And they shall be as though I had not cast them off, for I am the Lord their God and will hear them. — and the Lord will strengthen the house of Judah, and He will save the house of Joseph, the southern and the northern kingdom together being typical of the Kingdom of God;

— and the Lord will bring them again to place them; there is but one word in the original text; it is composed of two words, of שוב, “to return”, and ישב, “to sit” or “dwell” quietly, constantly and at ease; and the meaning is that these people , the full house of Jacob, should be returned from the state and condition and from each of the places they are in and be settled either in their own land, letting them dwell in safety;

— for the Lord has mercy upon them, His mercy is the one reason for His kindness toward them; and they shall be as though He had not cast them off, as in the time before the captivity; for He is the Lord, their God, and will hear them, they could be sure of His gracious attention to all their needs; the Targum says, “and I will receive their prayer.”

And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine; yea, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord. — and they of Ephraim, the true descendants of Joseph, the spiritual children of him who was given the right of the first-born in the house of Jacob, shall be like a mighty man, like a hero;

— and their heart shall rejoice as through wine, with a fierce exultation; yea, their children shall see it and be glad, a fact which indicates that the joy would be lasting; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord, giving all honor to Him who granted them such a glorious victory; the Targum says, “their heart shall rejoice in the word of the Lord.”

“I will whistle for them and gather them, for I have redeemed them; and they shall increase as they have increased. — the Lord will hiss for them, or “whistle for them” as a signal for them to assemble and gather them, for the Lord has redeemed them, both by entering into a covenant with them and by promising them the Redeemer; and they shall increase as they have increased, that is, the growth of the people of God in the Millenium would be like that of Israel when it first came to the Promised Land.

And I will sow them among the people, and they shall remember Me in far countries; and they shall live with their children and turn again. — and the Lord will sow them among the people, as a token of their quick increase; and they shall remember Me in in their scattered countries around the globe, wherever the children of Israel could be found; 

— and they shall live with their children, enjoying the blessing of the Lord in a permanent flow of mercy, and turn again, returning to the fellowship of the Lord in His Kingdom.

10 I will bring them back also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, and a place shall not be found for them. — the Lord will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt and gather them out of Assyria, the two world-powers being named as representative of two empires that have held the house of Israel in captivity as their enemies and oppressors; 

— and the Lord will bring them into the land of Gilead, a land of green pastures, beside the still waters and Lebanon, a land of goodly mountain and hill of frankincense, and where cedars grew, to occupy the land on both sides of Jordan once more; and place shall not be found for them, there will not be sufficient room for them to expand, the number of the spiritual children of Israel being so great.

11 And He shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up; and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away. — and he shall pass through the sea with affliction, rather, “of distress,” in allusion to the affliction felt by the children of Israel when they passed through the Red Sea, and shall smite the waves in the sea, keeping them under control by His powerful word; 

— and all the deeps of the river shall dry up, not the Nile but the river Euphrate: Revelation 16:12 the drying up of which signifies the destruction of the Turkish empire; and the Targum paraphrases it, “all the kings of the people shall be confounded.”

— and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down; the pride of the Ottoman empire, of which the old Assyria is a part, and which has been large and powerful, that shall be destroyed; and the scepter of Egypt shall depart away so that none of the former oppressors would remain.

12 And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in His name,” saith the Lord. — and the Lord will strengthen them in their faith in the Lord, their covenant and commitment with Him, and they shall walk up and down in His name, so that they would live under His protection and in accordance with His will: those that are written, those that are spoken and even those that are unspoken. The entire connection brings out the characteristics of the Kingdom of God in the Millenium, whose members form a royal priesthood and find delight in walking in the ways of the Lord.

~ by Joel Huan on January 12, 2022.

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