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 . 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.
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