ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 9.
The First Burden.
JUDGMENT UPON THE LAND OF HADRACH. — V. 1. The burden of the word, the sentence of judgment, 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; when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the Lord, both the people outside of Israel, and Israel itself, being directed to the Lord at this evidence of His anger, when He goes about to establish a more equitable proportion between His people and the heathen. V. 2. And Hamath also shall border thereby, or, “Hamath,” the district bounding Palestine on the north, “which borders thereon,” this, together with Damascus, representing Syria; Tyrus and Zidon, 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. V. 3. And Tyrus 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. V. 4. 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. V. 5. Ashkelon shall see It, namely, the punishment descending upon Tyrus, and fear; Gaza also shall see It and be very sorrowful, be exceedingly troubled, and Ekron, for her expectation shall be ashamed, her hope, that in which she trusted, being taken from her; 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. V. 6. And a bastard, or mongrel, one of blemished birth, shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistlnes, four of whose city-states are mentioned here, as representative of the entire country. V. 7. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, the term describing an idolater who is engaged in eating the flesh of his sacrifice, and his abominations from between his teeth, striking him down while he is engaged in his idolatrous behavior; but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, a few of the heathen being gained for the true religion, and he shall be as a governor In Judah, like the prince of one of the tribes, 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 Church. V. 8. And I will encamp about Mine house, not merely the Temple, but the renewed people, as representative of the Church which was to be established, because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth, enemies marching to and fro, looking for an opportunity to attack; and no oppressor shall pass through them any more, no enemy daring to disturb the Lord’s people, His holy Church; 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.
ZION’S KING OF PEACE AND HIS SALVATION. — V. 9. 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 rightly quoted by Matthew, chap. 21, 4, and John, chap. 12, 15, as having been fulfilled when the Lord entered Jerusalem on the Sunday before His death. The King Messiah was to rise through lowliness and suffering to the might and glory which was hidden in Him even in the state of His humiliation, but which He is now using to full extent in His state of exaltation. V. 10. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephralm 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, 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 heathen, 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, Messiah’s kingdom would be established throughout the earth, it would be a universal kingdom. V. 11. As for thee also, so the Lord addresses the entire nation of His people, which afterward, in the ideal sense, merged into His Church, by the blood of thy covenant, on account of the blood of the covenant, Ex. 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. V. 12. 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 main-tained their hope in the covenant-keeping God. Even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee, namely, a double measure of glory instead of the tribulations endured, v. 13. when I have bent Judah for Me, as a bow in the hand of Jehovah, 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. V. 14. 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. V. 15. 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, cp. Num. 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. V. 16. 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 Jehovah’s land as He proudly marches through the territory belonging to Him. V. 17. For how great is His goodness, so the prophet exultantly exclaims, and how great is His beauty! Cp. Ps. 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 Messianic era.