ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 13.
Further Results and Revelations.
THE FRUITS OF PENITENCE. — V. 1. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to the entire nation, as representative of the Church of the New Testament, in whose members the fruit of Christ’s redemption is realized, for sin and for uncleanness. V. 2. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord of hosts, in the great Messianic period, that I will cut off the names of the Idols out of the land, so that the very names which had formerly been in the mouths of men everywhere were no longer mentioned, and they shall no more be remembered, the loathing of every form of superstition being so great that men would put aside every thought of the former idolatry and superstition; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit, who speaks through the false prophets, to pass out of the land. This is one of the results of the preaching of the Gospel, as we see also in the case of the people of Ephesus when Paul proclaimed the true God to them. Cp. Acts 19, 19. V. 3. And it shall come to pass that when any shall yet prophesy, continuing his wicked profession in spite of the changed attitude of men, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live, for thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord; and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. This is in line with the command of the Lord in the Old Testament. Cp. Deut. 18, 20. Translated into terms of our day, it means that the mere fact of prophesying is a proof that a man is a deceiver. V. 4. And it shall come to pass in that day that the prophets, those who still assert that they possess the power to prophesy, shall be ashamed every one of his vision when he bath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment, after the manner of Elijah and of John the Baptist, to deceive, to impress men with their status as prophets, just as men nowadays affect the dress, speech, and manners of certain professions in order to make an impression; v. 5. but he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman, vehemently disclaiming any connection with the prophetic profession; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth, rather, “a man has purchased me from my youth.” V. 6. And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? the scars which he bore as a result of his wounding himself in the service of idols, 1 Kings 18, 28. Then he shall answer, in trying to evade the issue and to place the blame elsewhere, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends, possibly when lie was chastised in his capacity as slave. The entire paragraph shows with what utter loathing idolatry and superstition is to be regarded in the Church of the Lord and may be taken as a warning in our days when men are turning to deceivers for counsel and guidance.
THE SHEPHERD SMITTEN. — With great abruptness the prophecy here takes a different turn, as the prophet sets forth the manner in which redemption was secured. V. 7. Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, the same one who addressed the people in chap. 11, 12, and against the Man that is My Fellow, Him who is true God, together with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for the Messiah is the eternal Son of God, who was in the bosom of the Father from eternity and by Him begotten in the great eternal today, saith the Lord of hosts, who here summons the sword for time Messiah’s great Passion, to carry out the infliction of suffering by which the redemption of mankind was to be gained. Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, a word which Jesus applied to Himself on the evening before His death, Matt. 26, 31; and I will turn Mine hand upon the little ones, literally, “I will bring back My hand upon the little ones”; for He intended to redeem the wretched, the poor and lowly, for of these was made up His Church. V. 8. And it shall come to pass that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein, the great majority of the people, shall be cut off and die, being offended in Him and therefore rejected from His herd; but the third, only a small part, shall be left therein. V. 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, the test of affliction and persecution as it soon came to the first congregation, and will refine them as silver is refined and will try them as gold is tried, cp. 1 Pet. I, 6. 7. They shall call on My name, and I will hear them, graciously giving them the attention which assured them of His certain assistance; I will say, It is My people, and they shall say, The Lord is my God. This has ever been the relationship obtaining between the God of the covenant and His Church on earth, and this intimate communion is one of the miracles of the Church till the end of time. Cp. John 14, 23.