Zechariah Chapter 13

The subject matter of chapter 13 is well defined in the first two verse. We are using the ESV this time. It is more inclusive and understandable than are some other translations.

Zechariah 13:1,2 “On that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness.

“And on that day, declares the LORD of hosts, I will cut off the names of the *idols from the land, so that they shall be remembered no more. I will remove from the land the prophets and the spirit of uncleanness.

*Idols: hinderances blocking our fellowship and commitment to God alone.

We again read the identifying words of “on that Day”. Our previous chapter article comments have defined the meaning of On That Day as the coming of Christ. At minimum the conclusion of the 7-year tribulation in not only Israel but the world i.e. Daniel’s 70th week as found in Daniel 9. Chapter 9 begins with Daniel praying for Israel, acknowledging the nation’s sins against God, and asking for God’s mercy. As Daniel prayed, the angel Gabriel appeared to him and gave him a vision of Israel’s future. [cf. see our ahabiblemoments commentary on Daniel 9 then continue below]

The future to which Daniel is directed by the angel Gabriel is spelled out in the Book of Zechariah. Verse 1 and 2 are multiple and incredibly significant events.

  1. On that day…not a traditional 24-hour day, but the turning point in God’s plans for his creation. “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done” [Matthew 6:9 and Luke 11:2] now begins.
  2. A cleansing fountain is opened (in Israel)
    1. This cleansing includes the mind, memories, bad deeds, wrongful hearts, false intentions of those surviving members of God’s chosen people of Israel. The seed of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
  3. To whom? The House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem
    1. The church of the Gentile age is not even hinted
    1. Do not spiritualize what is not there. The First Church of anything is NOT mentioned including the Papal Roman church and global denominational branches
  4. Cut off the names of idols
    1. This is major. Distractors will no longer be remembered by those being cleansed by the “fountain” in Israel. A totally clean memory of God alone will be on minds.
    1. As we will find out at the end of this chapter, 2/3rds of Israeli life is gone. Only 1/3rd remains. They receive a second chance of salvation entering the Millennial Reign.
  5. This is God speaking through Zechariah about THAT DAY that begins the transition of this world to the Kingdom of God with Jesus on the throne. It is not a traditional 24-hour period but a beginning of a new time, a new age, a new world rule. ”Thy kingdom [IS] come”.
  6. Idol worship will be cut off. The names or memories of any god other than Jehovah-God will no longer be on the minds of Israelites.
  7. Removal of distractors and deception in Jerusalem and Israel.
    1. David Guzik says it well: “Idolatry and false prophecy were the two principle ways Israel was led astray from God. God not only provides a fountain to cleanse, but He also promises to cut off the source of uncleanness – in this case, idolatry and false prophecy.”
    1. This includes any type of substitute or distractor that impeded worship of God by man.

All of this is packed into the first just two verses of Zechariah 13. A study in and of itself.

Verse 3 needs a bit of insight. We read that the sons of some will be “thrust through by their own parents” for continuing to prophecy in this land of Israel. The sons will know (yadda) that they are false prophets seeking recognition in that land by their appearance including the wearing the traditional animal skin clothing. The Hebrew word for through is dâqar. It can mean to be fed no longer, tossed out, starved, reviled [Strong 1856]. We should not automatically think it as thrust with a spear, knife, or sword. We must also allow for it. It will be like a parent disowning a child. ”You are no longer our son” is the interpretation of strongest value.

Zechariah 13:4,5 offer additional consideration to the above dâqar. They must still be among the living to deny their being prophets, claiming to be mere farmers, to be shamed by others including themselves, etc. Verse 6 gives us additional understanding of the corner into which these “sons” have painted themselves. It was a tradition in bible times and in the dark ages of the Catholic Church [and other religious groups] up to today, to validate their honesty and chastity by wounding themselves with whips, knives, or devises to leave bodily wounds visible to others in hopes of being held in awe for their sincerity. These wounds are thought to somehow increase their viewed honesty of intent. This is false pretentiousness. These “sons” who will claim to be farmers, not prophets, would have callused hands, not bleeding hands. They will also lack the dark tans and rough skin of active farmers.

BEWARE OF WOLVES IN SHEEP’S CLOTHING

V6:Wounds from the home of a friend.” When a false prophet wanted to make an example or public statement of his predictions or prophecies, he would wound himself while taking a vow in the name of God for his truthfulness. Recall the prophets of Baal and Elijah [I Kings 16]. Between verse 5 and verse 6 of Zechariah 13 we find this false prophet being caught changing his story. In v5 he claims to be a farmer. In v6 he claims to have provided evidence to a friend of his prophetic sincerity. One should consider that this is the basic meaning of taking the Lord’s name in vain, i.e. to prophecy or make false claims using God’s name as a witness to his prophesying truthfulness by making a vow. He may also be claiming to have had a fallout with a friend and received his wounds from a fight at his friend’s house.

Zechariah 13:7 changes the focus. Now Zechariah isolates his discussion to the false shepherds of the flocks in Israeli towns and villages. That is, the people (flocks) over whom s/he has authority but do not have their interests at heart. Commentaries are divided over this verse. Some see it as the cross and crucifixion of Jesus some 600 years later. Some see it as the continued scattering of the Tribes of Israel to the four corners of the earth with or without provocation. But Zechariah is talking to those who returned from Babylonian captivity. This is long after the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel were scattered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. The Babylonian remnant to whom Zechariah is prophesying will later be dispersed by Alexander the Great (Greek) and the Romans. However, Zechariah is discussing a time 2,000 or so years later “On the Day” at the end of the Tribulation yet to come.

Zechariah 13:8 is another controversial verse or prophecy. It is best to take this verse just how it is presented. Two-thirds of those living in Israel (Jerusalem) will die at the hands of their enemy. One third will survive. The answer to this dilemma is in a question itself. What will it take for the stubborn Israelites to accept the Messiah who their descendants will crucify? It will demand that they be put into an impossible situation of which there is no escape. Any intervention will need to be from God. They will know it and no longer deny him. This is the summation and the beginning of every verse that says “in or on that day” statement throughout the entire Book of Zechariah. His prophesies mark the end of the way it was and the beginning of the way it will be during the Millennial Reign. The Messiah Jesus will finally be recognized and accepted as their King on the Throne of David. Jesus is in the DNA line of David, a Judean from the Tribe of Judah.

This slaughter of 2/3rds of Israelis in Israel will be at the hands of all nations aligned against then. Those who have since the establishment of Israel have been the thorn-in-the-side of the world, particularly against *Satan since King David made Jerusalem his home and capital city of Israel. This takes us back to Zechariah 12:3 keeping us within the context of who is being discussed and prophesied about by Zechariah. The church of believers is no longer on earth. They had been raptured but return with Christ in the clouds to rule and judge alongside of him.

*This issue between man and Satan goes back to Genesis 3:15. “And I will put enmity between thee [Satan] and the woman [Israel; God’s chosen], and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.” [KJV]

What a day that will be,
When my Jesus I shall see,
And I look upon His face,
The One who saved me by His grace;
When He takes me by the hand,
And leads me through the Promised Land,
What a day, glorious day that will be.

(Bill and Gloria Gaither)

Rev Dr. Jstark
2020

Zechariah Chapter 12

Chapter 9 is about the final judgement of the enemies of Israel.
Chapter 10 is about the promised restoration of Israel, not as two separate kingdoms.
Chapter 11 is about the doomed within the flock of Israel and leadership.
Chapter 12- When all is lost, God steps in.

Why has God not been thanked by us as individuals or corporately for the many times he has stepped in to make things right? We have discussed this topic before in ahabiblemoments articles. Here is another reason this chapter is an exclusive covenant to Israel. They failed and continue to fail through the ages, up to the writing of this article, to recognize God’s hand. We assume the good we experience is simply providential. Give me help until I see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I will make it the rest of the way on my own. This is still the deluded but basic belief of Israelis. It was true in their wilderness wandering and remains true today.

ATTENTION PLEASE!

Chapter 12 speaks to this. Pay attention. This is exclusive to Israelis feeling this way, that is, this End Time discussion at this “in that day” moment in Zechariah. Believers (the real church) are raptured. They no longer are on earth at this prophetic point in Zechariah.

We seldom recommend the CEV (Contemporary English Version) as a primary Bible text, but it does make for simplified reading, often at the expense of full disclosure, the wrong wording or exclusions. Here is how the CEV opens Zechariah 12:1. It is good and simple and well worded for them.

“This is a message from the LORD about Israel: I am the LORD! I stretched out the heavens; I put the earth on its foundations and gave breath to humans” [CEV].

Simply put AND factual as a direct message from God to Israel (No church of Bible believers involved in this passage).  Christians be they Gentile or Jew are raptured by then. It leaves no doubt as to whom the target market is in Zechariah chapter 12:1. Do not spiritualize this passage in an unscriptural attempt to try and include the Church. This passage is to Israel, specifically Jerusalem. This passage is the definitive meaning of Romans 8:31b. “If God be for us, who can be against us”.

Zechariah 12:2 “to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling.” We have many life examples of paranoia; absolute fear of one thing or another. Zechariah 12 tells of a global fear of Jerusalem. God is now in the driver’s seat. Other nations who have aligned themselves against her are catatonic. They are frozen in place and shaking. We do not have a good English word for this but in Hebrew it is called ra‛al. This means one is not looking from a distance but is standing right in front of their reason for “shaking in their boots” [absolute paranoia].

Zechariah 12:3 “and all the nations of the world will be gathered against it” [Brenton Bible Version]. There are many times we try to spiritualize scripture to make it sound better, to be less threatening, just thought but not an actuality, to be more positive, perhaps analogous or meaning something else safer or less fatal by spiritualizing. The people of Jerusalem are strong because the LORD Almighty is their God. This is the essence of verses 1-5. Zechariah 12:3 is even more troubling.

How can the USA align itself against Israel? It seems impossible. How can the 6 or 7 million Jews in New York alone not speak up to defend their native promised homeland of Israel and Jerusalem. This time in scripture and Zechariah prophesy will be the mother of all deceptions.

ALL NATIONS

Verse 3, last line is not a metaphor. It says ALL NATIONS. The most recent 2020 USA national elections highly suggest that the USA is or already has produced a seismic shift away from Biblical standards. All nations cannot be redefined as meaning most nations. Not according to Zechariah 12:3. ALL NATIONS! Either America no longer exists or is aligned against Israel as part of ALL NATIONS. It should be genuinely concerning to believers. However, if believers are already raptured, this question is put to rest. Christians no longer occupy the earth as a body of believers.

But “God” we shout in today’s failure to take God at His word…there are many believers in America. God may respond…believers perhaps but are they absolute followers? Even the demons of Hell believe there is a Father God, Son Jesus Christ, and a real Holy Spirit. Yet they show no evidence of following in Christ’s footsteps. Aha-bible-moments suggests this is not an issue since the church of true believers is raptured before then.

Zechariah 12:4 [5, 6, &7] “In that day…” We continue to read these three words in Zechariah. Verse 4 begins with in that day as does verse 6. One should ask: what is THAT DAY? It is a day yet to be revealed. Not a 24-hour traditional day but a specific beginning to an end time series of events. No one will be guessing when THAT DAY reveals itself like the sun in the eastern horizon. All will see it, but few will have the Bible knowledge of what is happening in the sequence of historical events…End Time!

Verse 6 tells us that surrounding nations will be destroyed by God through the hands of “the captains of many” in Judah Israel. The Lord will save the tabernacles, tents, houses of Judah (Israel). The word used to describe these places is ‘ôhel. It can be translated places of worship, tents, homes, or people. To keep it within context since this is the Lord speaking in chapter 12, it means no one in Judah will think him or herself other than God is saving them. Not their missile defense, jets, rockets, powerful bombs, troops, or air force. Nothing with or of themselves will be their salvation at that moment of In ThatDay (V7).

Zechariah 12:8 & 9 is one statement. God will shelter those left in Jerusalem and will shâmad (annihilate) their enemies [cf. Zechariah 13:8]. The KJV says “to seek (bâqash) out and destroy.” It by no means suggests some aligned against Israel will somehow survive or hide from God’s wrath.

Here is insight for believers. The Hebrew word bâqash (seek) is analogous to how a believer is to worship God and pray!!!!! Do we get this? It is prayer and worship with fervor. Not a “Now I lay me down to sleep” type of praying or repetitious recital of the Lord’s Prayer. It is bâqash. Absolute commitment to worship and prayer. Is this missing in churches today? YES! Is it missing in Christians as individuals? Hmmm? Can bâqash be assigned a place in a bulletin?

The remainder of Zechariah is prophetic about the Christ (messiah) yet to come in Israel’s and humanity’s history. This is the New Testament being revealed in Old Testament scripture. Remember well. The original church after the death and resurrection of Jesus did not have a New Testament. They relied heavily upon scripture like Zechariah and Isaiah. This is an unconditional promise from God to Israel. He did send their [and our] Messiah but they crucified him. Gentiles crucify Him daily by not accepting Him as Lord, Savior, and living a life of prayer and worship. Too busy living “their” lives. One may also consider that many claiming believers also crucify him via their lack of a bâqash commiment.

In conclusion of Zechariah 12 we look at the only exception to covenants between God and mankind that is not conditioned with “if you____, the I (God)___”. It is Jeremiah 31:31. The NIV writes… “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.” This is a one-way covenant and precisely what Zechariah is conveying. The only unconditional covenant this writer can find in scripture. Israelis will no longer need to first do this so God can do this or that. It is not a bargain or conditional covenant-promise. We know this from other passages of absolute support for this one and only unconditional covenant; one that is NOT conditioned upon us doing something first. Are there those who are Christian in name only? [cf. Romans 10:9]

JIV NOTE: For the bâqash Bible student inquiry, read Jeremiah 30 before delving into this verse in Jeremiah 31.

Ezekiel 37:24-25;

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever. [Not a conditional covenant but one that will be fulfilled by God]

Jeremiah 23:3-4;

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: they will fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither will the be lacking in anything says the Lord God. [Not a conditional covenant but one that will be fulfilled by God]

Hebrew 10:16

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” After that time? This is when the “if you__, then I will covenant types” are no longer conditional. God himself is setting the table. It is the Millennial Reign. God is supreme and there are no more prerequisites for him or Jeremiah 31:31.

There are several other supporting verses. Do not simply take our word for it. Look them up and learn.

We teach-You Decide

Rev Dr. Jstark
2020

Zechariah Chapter 11

Bottom view of crowns of Lebanon cedars

“Open thy doors oh Lebanon so the fire may devour your Cedars (trees).” Zechariah 11:1 in multiple commentaries present all types of meaningful and some meaningless guess work. We take the high road. Lebanon is well known for its fabulous Cedars. It must mean in end time the great Cedars of Lebanon will be destroyed by fire. Perhaps “in that day” of final judgement.

“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare”. [NIV; II Peter 3:10] PS: as go the great Cedars of Lebanon are destroyed by fire. [cf. Zechariah 3:8; 2 Peter 3:11,12; Jeremiah 7:20…My wrath will be poured out on this place, on man and on beast and on the trees of the field and on the fruit of the ground; and it will burn and not be quenched.

Source: https://bible.knowing-jesus.com/topics/Earth-On-Fire%5D

God means precisely what HE writes through Zechariah 11 and noted by Peter in the New Testament. The elements of earth will be destroyed by fire including the great Cedars of Lebanon. A second commentary suggests this is possibly the destruction of the enemies of Israel coming from the north. What we do know is God will reunite the separated Tribes of Israel. They will become the center of the world and Christ will rule within it greatly expanded boarders. A third “guess”? It is the destroyed Temple itself by Romans in 70 A.D. That Temple was mostly built of Cedar from Lebanon [Ezra 3:11] by the remnant of those who returned from Babylonian captivity. One with Zerubbabel, a second return with Ezra and a third return with Nehemiah. (c.f. cut and paste http://www.lavistachurchofchrist.org/LVanswers/2013/03-05a.html) Three waves of exile and three waves of release and return to rebuild the Temple.

Zechariah 11:2 gives insight into verse 1. “Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled…” The mighty [‘addı̂yr meaning the powerful] are spoiled [shâdad meaning those who destroy or ravage]. This gives credence to the second possibility in the previous paragraph. Enemies or mighty armies from the north who descend upon Israel (Jerusalem) to destroy it. The first frontal attack is destroyed i.e. the great Cedars (soldiers) of the north. The weaker firs (lessor forces attacking from the east) are warned that the greater forces (represented by the Great Cedars) from the north have already been destroyed.

Zechariah 11:3 & 4 go together. Those within Israel “in that day” will howl for a way out, avoidance of pending destruction as they watch others being destroyed by none other than God. It is historically true that Israel as-a-whole does not heed God until they are in a situation where there is no other escape option available. As noted throughout the Old Testament God says: “Then they will know I am their God.” Verse 4 regarding “feed the flock” means to give instruction to them. Feed them the covenants and promises from God that are exclusive to Israelis. Give them an opportunity to again repent. Back in Zechariah’s time they did NOT return to God. “In that day” of inevitability, they will completely heed the voice of God as a nation.

Zechariah 11:5 takes us back to the lack of a shepherd over those, the flock who remain in Judah (Israel). The leadership is fake and without the guidance of God. They profit off their own people (flock) and proclaim it is a blessing from God. Oh, the penalty of this sin is going to be great. It was back then and “in that day” yet to come, it will be even more severe. They sold their own into slavery, became wealthy and committed the unforgivable by publicly thanking or giving credit to God who did not bless them this way. Their real purpose for so doing was to divert their sinful actions by claiming amongst themselves that the proceeds were rewards for “following G-d’s will”. This is so unforgivable. These false shepherds of Judah/Israel give credit to a god, not God. But, in their deceptive use of these claims and words hoped the listener is thinking God, not god. An abomination! [cf. Galatians 6:3; Acts 5:4]

Zechariah 11:6 This writer had a brother who when lectured or instructed by our mutual earth-father to do something, would listen with muted ears, then go out and do precisely as he originally planned. Essentially, this is the core meanings  of verse 6. Though my brother was fed the reality of many wrong and dangerous situations if he proceeded, he continued to pursue his original plans. Even the poor of Zechariah’s audience were guilty of not listening. Eventually, just as with my brother, God gave up even trying to get their ear. They were made aware and knowledgeable of pending doom but did not [want to] believe it.

Zechariah 11:7 is well explained by James Montgomery Boice per the two [shepherd] staves; one named Beauty (grace or favor) and the other named Bands (unity, union, or measuring line; see verse 14).

“Favor symbolizes the favored status of Israel as the chosen people of God. Union symbolizes the internal harmony of the people that was lost at the time of the siege of Jerusalem.” (Boice)

The two staves were broken by Zechariah thus demonstrating these conditions or covenants between God and Israelites no longer existed…until “in the day” of the Millennial Reign. This is emphasized in Zechariah 11:7-*11. There would no longer be any favor from God to his chosen until the end. Now they are dispersed to the four corners of the earth many losing their identity as the chosen people of God. Did the reader catch this? No longer any favors or preferential treatment orchestrated by God on their behalf until “in that day.” If one has followed just a few of the holocaust-type of events in Hebrew history since this time of Zechariah, we can easily see they no longer have his special blessing…until In That Day.

*Take note of verse 11. [Even] the poor of them “in that day” were forced to recognize the chord and bond with their God was no longer a covenant; the staves were cut in two. Did they understand and ultimately convince themselves to change? NO! History shows us the fulfillment of this prophetic demonstration by Zechariah. Zechariah was not making friends, but he certainly was influencing people’s attitude about his nay-saying.

30 pieces of silver – the price of mimimally valued slave.

Zechariah 11:12 accentuates the previous paragraph per verse 11. Zechariah is telling his own people, if they believe him give him his due allowance, heed his words, but if not, continue in their evil ways (JIV). They opted for the latter by adding insult to injury. They gave Zechariah the insulting “allowance” (or pay) of 30 pieces of silver, the price for a minimally valued slave. This is also the price descendants of the same people (their leadership) 500 years later paid Judas for selling-out Jesus. In both Zechariah and time of Jesus, it is a demonstration of absolute contempt by the Jews for Zechariah, God’s covenants, and their Messiah Jesus.

Forget the political correctness of accusation. We KNOW (yadda) that the Jews crucified Jesus using the Roman judges as executioners, so the blood of Jesus was not [supposedly] on their hands. Today they cry…the Romans did it! We are innocent.

JIV NOTE: The Hinnom Valley is also known as the Valley of Gehenna i.e. Hell. King Manasseh ruled for fifty-five years—the longest reign of all the Hebrew kings (2 Chronicles 33:1-2). Even though Manasseh had one of the godliest fathers in their history, Manasseh was Judah’s worst king. He lived just like the godless nations God destroyed by bringing Israel into their land. Hinnom is southwest of Jerusalem. The Mount of Olives is in the northeast of Jerusalem.

Zechariah 11:14-17 points to another shepherd over Israel. One thought is this may be the antichrist of the Tribulation. The false prophet with a signed promise of 7 years of peace. He arrives on a white horse with bow in hand…NO ARROWS…but a crown is given to him. “He will not care for those who are cut off”  (V16).

A second reasonable thought of this “foolish shepherd” is not the antichrist but a shepherd or leader in Israel who will sell out Israel “in that day”. The bible constant is that this foolish shepherd will be present during the time of the 7-year tribulation in this world. Israel is directly involved. David Guzik in his bible commentary states:

[Revelation 13:3 and 12-14] tell us the Antichrist will suffer a severe wound yet survive. This confirms that the worthless shepherd is ultimately fulfilled in the Antichrist.

Rev Dr. Jstark
2020

Zechariah Chapter 10

The availability of God’s strength means there are opportunities for us to use it. “The Lord does not say, ‘I will take you away from your labors,’ but ‘I will strengthen you, so that you will be able to perform, them.’ ” (Spurgeon)

Zechariah chapter 10 is a continuation of chapter 9 but more intense. It is the restoration of Judah and Israel meaning the Tribes of *Jacob (Israel) once again identifying as one nation, under G-d. This is not yet true [2020]. The majority of the population in Israel today are the descendants of the remnant who returned from Babylonian captivity. Multiple millions of sons of Jacob are still missing. Many are still missing their true DNA of being an Israelite. We identify them by other names today. Whatever it is that keeps them from returning to their true Promised Land is ignorance or deliberate denial.

*We add this Asterix because some translations use the term Joseph to reference the regathering of the ten northern Tribes of Jacob.

Zechariah 10:1 specifically inserts the call for rain in a prayer is God’s alone to answer. The call for rain is a metaphor for prayer itself. Ask and it will be given unto you [Matthew 7:7 & Luke 11:9]. So why do some of our prayers seem to be unanswered. Read this website’s previous chapter commentaries on Zechariah [cf. chapter 9]. We ask (pray) for the wrong reasons. We celebrate certain traditions and call it worship. We make God to be what we want him to be instead of us making ourselves what God wants us to be. The prayer may ask for something that is NOT God’s will for us. NO is an answer as much as is a YES. There are no MAYBES in scripture. Doesn’t Matthew 6:33 instruct us to seek first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness?” Zechariah infers a question when he asks if or when his people gather to worship G-d.  Is it a tradition as in some form of “doing church”?

Proverbs 16:2 All a person’s ways seem pure to them, but motives are weighed by the LORD.

Zechariah 10:3 as does 11:3 has debatable answers as to who are the shepherds. We do NOT KNOW who the shepherds Zechariah identifies as outside Gods will. Some suggest it is the Jewish priests who are the shepherds of the Judaism flock. Some identify these shepherds as political leaders. Others say these shepherds are the false prophets of the “in that day” in Israel. Whomever Zechariah identifies as the shepherds in 10:3 we can safely conclude God’s anger is kindled against them. Perhaps the answer is found in the word “goats.” Goats are not sheep. In the final judgement after the Millennial Reign of Christ, as we read in Matthew 25:32, God the Father will distinguish between the flock of sheep and the goats mixed in with the flock of sheep.

Zechariah 10:4 “…out of him…” Adam Clarke Commentary identifies this “him” as meaning the Tribe of Judah. When we take verse 3 in context and add verse 4 in sequence, this makes sense. “out of him the battle bow.” Back up a to Zechariah 9:13. “I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim.” Here we find a grouping of Judah and the missing ten Tribes of Israel once again working together. It would not be heresy to consider that Zechariah is talking about the rejoined Tribes of Israel, not just Judah.

JIV NOTE: Most of Israel today (2020) is the former lands of Judah and Benjamin. This may be why Zechariah identifies this land as Judah. Bend Judah to make space for other returning Israelis. Just as is a bow with an arrow being stretched to fire, this land will be stretched to capacity.

This chapter is all about the reunification of all Israelis. The New American Standard Bible translates Zechariah 9:13: “For I will bend Judah as My bow, I will fill the bow with Ephraim.” Recall the white horse and horseman of the apocalypse has a rider without any arrows [Revelation 6:1 & 2]. This apocalyptic horseman was no arrows. He can only use persuasion. This is not what Zechariah is saying in 10:4. In Zechariah TRUTH is in his quiver of arrows evidenced by the sudden return of millions of Israelis to Jerusalem and Israel. Perhaps [and this is JIV] the white apocalypse horse and horseman with the empty bow indicates that at his arrival Israelis have not fully returned to their Promised Lands. He makes peace with Israel “AS-IT-IS” today. 3 ½ years later he turns on them and their rebuilt temple.

CONNECT THE DOTS

Zechariah 10:5 uses the term “they.” This is plural so we have bow and arrows now working together. Is verse 4 and 5 a sequence of events? Insert Revelation 6:1, 2 between Zechariah 10: 4 and 5 and it makes sense. It is difficult to connect the dots until one knows where to find the dots.

Zechariah 10:6 gives us insight per God’s plans for a reunited Israel; His chosen people. “I will strengthen the house of Judah, And I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring *them back…” We see they are identified as ONE. *the ten lost tribes of Israel. This adds logic to the sequence of events stated in our previous paragraph regarding verses 4 and 5.

When scripture uses the term Joseph, Ephraim, or Israel it often means the ten northern Tribes of Israel, distinct from Judah. In Zechariah 10:7 the name Ephraim is grouping the ten northern tribes. Ephraim was one son of Joseph. Ephraim was often the leader with the most influence in the Kingdom of Israel to the north. [cf. I Chronicles 5:2]

Zechariah 10:8 is the only time we can find in scripture where the sound of a hiss or a whistling is mentioned get the attention of someone else. It is the same thing as one might read “pssst” in a book prior to a conversation. It is not a shout, a proclamation, an order, or a routing together. God gets the attention of the scattered Israelis just as God spoke to Moses in the burning bush. This attention-getting pssst, whistle, or hiss is focused to only God’s chosen people. They have not had God’s attention for 2,000 to 3,000 years, then suddenly comes that from behind or over the shoulder pssst. “I hist for them, and I gather them, For I have redeemed them…” [YLT; Young’s LITERAL Translation].

The YLT is a literal translation making it sometimes difficult to read. The YLT even translates in the framework of the original language. Part of verse 9 states: “they remember me.” From this we can better understand that the huge multitude of DNA Israelis have forgotten their heritage but will now remember him. Yes, DNA tests of modern science will take us back to a home land or country but often fail to identify from where did those come when DNA traces our origination back to say Germany, Scotland, Sweden, India or the like. God scattered his chosen people to the four corners of the earth. Many have forgotten their true DNA.

Zechariah 10:10 is fascinating. The use of identifying out of Egypt and out of Assyria means out of the south and out of the north God will call his chosen. It is the last seven words in the KJV that is so interesting. “And place [space] shall not be found for them.” This takes us back the Zechariah 2 and his third vision. We find the man with a measuring tape in Jerusalem. He discovers the original lands are not large enough to hold the of mass returning of Tribes of Israel.

The closing verses in Zechariah 10 [v11 & 12] use the word “seas.” This is not a reference to water-lands. It is a reference to the sea of obstacles that have historically been in the way of Israelis to reunite; the people, politics, the UN, Arabs, culture, their blindness to the true Messiah, and waves of oppression that will no longer stand in their way.

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020