“In that day”. We sometimes fail to grasp this can be a past or future tense statement. Bible study demands one keeps content and context together in scripture studies. It is not unusual for God through his prophets to make a statement “in that day”. We have all heard of someone speaking of the good ol’ days or in short, back in that day we did such-and-such. Have you ever heard of someone saying, “go ahead and make my day”? This too is an example of something yet to happen “in that day”. One must examine the before and after in scripture to capture the essence of past or future tense. At times this is buried within the pre or post paragraphs, sentence(s), or verses i.e. the context of subject. Zechariah has many examples of “in that day”. He is usually talking about two different futures. Israel’s soon-to-be future and a future Israel yet unfulfilled. This is chapter 9:1 through 14:21…mostly future tense; in that day, one yet to come.
Included in this passage is a curse upon or a pending judgment in that day against enemies of Israel. This is the real meaning of the first three verses in Zechariah 9.
Zechariah 9:1 explodes with future tense. “The eyes of man, as of all [kole] the tribes of Israel, [shall be] toward the Lord”. All (?), if any of the tribes of Israel possibly had their eyes set upon the Lord at this time in Zechariah’s life is a baseless deduction. The eyes of man [aw-dawm’] means all humans created by God through and since Adam. The Hebrew word aw-dawm’ in this translation means the same as it does in the name given to Adam in Genesis father of mankind: red dirt. We should mention the word “burden” as in the burden of the word of the Lord. This burden means an ultimate judging of sinners. Jesus came into this world so that all [Kole in Hebrew, Pas in Greek] may be saved. Since all will not be believers, it is a burden of responsibility regarding pending judgement. God does not wish this burden, but it is coming. [The Hebrew kole and the Greek pas for “all” means without exeption]
“The eyes of man … shall be toward the Lord”: These Phoenician cities mentioned in this chapter on the Mediterranean coast were known for their skill and wisdom (Ezekiel. 28:12-15), and Satanic influence (Ezekiel. 28:11-19) [bible-studies.org].
JIV NOTE: 2020 DNA research have determined most Lebanese DNA is like the former occupants of the lands of Canaan. Tyrus and Zidon (Sidon) were in the land of Phoenicia. Phoenicia today is within Lebanon. During the military conquests of Alexander the Great these two cities were demolished and have not been truly rebuilt as of 2020. This same area was renamed Phoenicia by the Greeks who believed they originated from Canaan.
Zechariah 9:3 is another issue in and of itself. This verse mentions Tyre. These people had piled up for themselves significant amounts of wealth. They were located to the west [cf. Joshua 19:29] of the lands settled by the Tribe of Asher (Israelites). The city itself consisted of an island and mainland territory. Verse 3 states “they heaped [gold] up like dust of the land”. Their wealth came from making the rare and royal *purple dye.” No wonder Alexander the Great determined to conquer it. Plus they were a major trade route. *Tyrian purple is made by boling snails in lead pots for seveal days.
Zechariah 9:4 is prophetic [in that day] at the time of Zechariah’s prophecies 520 B.C. to around 480 B.C. Some of what he prophesied was fulfilledwhen Alexander the Great [in that day; 332 B.C.] invaded the eastern Mediterranean Sea area; 200 years or so after Zechariah.
JIV MOMENT: Might the reader recall King Ahab and Jezebel of the northern Kingdom Israel (Book of 1 Kings 17; 1 Kings 18:17) and prophet Elijah? Jezebel was the daughter of a king of Sidon [Zidon]. Do not confuse Zidon, Phoenicia with Zion, Israel in history.
Additional insight: Daniel died only a few years before Zechariah began prophesying.
Zechariah 9:5-9 continues to list the pending travesties of anti-Israel nations and powers, in that day. Each nation has its own story. It is a wonderful thing to read secular archeological discoveries that underscore the happenings in the prophecies found in Zechariah 9 alone.
Zechariah 9:10 returns us to the history and prophecies of Israel. This is God’s scripture defining his Millennial Kingdom. We read about the chariots [translated cavalry] of *Ephraim [a surname used for Israel] and the horses of Jerusalem.
*Ephraim was the dominant tribe of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. JIV: This is the tribe that had difficulty pronouncing the “sh” sound. They pronounced shibboleth ‘sibboleth’ [cf. Judges 12:6]. Ephraim and Manasseh were the two sons of Joseph in Egypt.
And his rule is [in that day; future] from sea unto sea, And from the river unto the ends of earth (Zechariah 9:10c). The pronoun “his” in verse 10 is Jesus. His rule will be to the ends of the earth. The words “cutting off” in v9:10a means no more wars…in that day of the Millennial Reign.
Zechariah 9:13 is controversial in its meaning or implication. To bend Judah as the bow and make Ephraim the arrow is not simple to understanding. To begin grasping this meaning re-read verse 12.
“(Re)Turn to the stronghold, O prisoners of hope! Even [in this day] today I declare I will return double to you.” Israel has had an eternal hope for their Messiah. They are prisoners of that belief. They do not believe in the second advent of Christ since they are holding out for the first advent of their messiah. Muslims believe the same thing per their 12th Imam. They both are prisoners of the hope mentioned in this verse. They falter not in their wait for this day to come. It will come but that moment will be the second coming (advent) of Christ to earth with the setting up of his millennial kingdom in Jerusalem.
“I will return double to you”. Amazingly some commentaries skip past this part of 9:12b. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown declare in their commentary state, Great as has been thy adversity, thy prosperity shall be doubly greater. They reference Isaiah 61:7 which is good theology. Let us not forget the entirety of the Promised Lands to Israel were never secured and occupied under their kingships. This doubling could just as easily identify their Millennial land mass, the New Jerusalem. We already studied earlier in Zechariah 2 that the man with the measuring rod showed Jerusalem was not large enough to hold all the people who will occupy it. The New Jerusalem will be 12,000 by 12,000 Strada; 1,500 miles square [cf. Revelation 21:16].
JIV: This is the distance between upper Michigan and mid-Florida. Let this covenant with Israel settle in one’s mind. Now look at any map of the Middle East. Israel today is less than 80 miles wide and only 20 miles at its narrowest point.
Zechariah 9:13 is one of those controversial verses in multiple commentaries. God said through Zechariah that “he will bend the bow of Judah and fill it with Ephraim”. Judah will be filled with Israelites from all Tribes of Israel. Bending the bow increases the space within it. All Israelis will be gathered from the four corners of the earth. The world in their carnal minds will gaze in wonder asking, how can this be?
The Greece mentioned in this verse is not the Greeks as in that country. Very often the non-Israelite is identified in scripture as a Greek i.e. a Gentile, not a Hebrew Israeli. The bow is bent and is *filled with returning Israelis from the four corners of the earth. A very expanded New Jerusalem. Again, see the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21:16. This means ALL, not some.
*Israelis from Jacob/Israel is God’s quiver of arrows.
The confederated armies of the world will line up against Israel, but the sons of Zion will revolt against the attacking Gentile nations. God’s spoken word and tongue will destroy these invaders without the help or military might of Israel.
How do we know this is an understanding of this passage in Zechariah? The rest of this chapter is a double underscore. NOTE: A double underscore is an accounting term meaning a conclusion on a balance sheet or an accounting worksheet.
Zechariah 9:14 is the ultimate result of this entire chapter and the basis for the rest of Zechariah through chapter 14. In a very real way, this is the definitive verse for Zechariah’s writing.
Using the NKJV for verse 14: Then the LORD will be seen over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet and go with whirlwinds from the south. Does verse 14 require additional explanation or amplification? This is God’s battle. Not the battle of men. Evil will be defeated. Satan and his minions will fall. The world will recognize how wrong it has been but by this time it is too late for them. Please note once again. This is Israel in the balance, not the modern-day body of believers. They are already Raptured.
We know this is God’s battle since verse 15 to the rest of this chapter states that fact. [NKJV] “The Lord their hosts will defend and save them.” Romans 12:19 “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.
P.S. While Christians look for Jesus’ 2nd coming, the Jews await the Messiah and Muslims await the 12th Imam. Only one is correct…in that day.
We Teach – You Decide
Rev. Dr. Jstark