- Enumerate the blessing that God promises here concerning Jerusalem, noticing also the emphasis placed on them by the number of times the phrase ‘this is what the Lord Almighty says’ occurs. Is God less willing to fulfill to us the ‘very great and precious promises’ (2 Pet. 1:4) that he has given us in Christ? Cf. Heb. 6:11-18.
- What, however, are the conditions for obtaining the promises of God? In the light of the evidence we have of God’s willingness to give, where does the hindrance lie if we are not enjoying in our personal experience the things promised?
- What will ultimately happen to the fasts a bout which the deputation from Bethel had enquired in 7:2, 3?
- Verse 4, 5. ‘Men and women of ripe old age…boys and girls playing…’: these indicate and illustrate the security and peace that is promised.
- Verse 10. Three evils are spoken of here from which the people suffered when God’s house was neglected, namely, scarcity, absence of security and disunion.
Zechariah 9 & 10
- The opening verses (9:1-8) are a prophecy of an invasion of Syria, Phoenicia and the country of the Philistines. The prophecy was historically fulfilled in the conquests of Alexander the Great. But to whom is the prophet’s eye directed? How dose this account, on the one hand, for the fall of Tyre, not withstanding its wisdom, strong defences and wealth, and, on the other, for the preservation of Jerusalem? Cf. 9:15a and 2:5.
- In 9:9-12 a picture is presented of Zion’s King, in which, as often in the Old Testament, his first and second advents are merged into one. What is said: (a) of his character, (b) of the manner of his coming, (c) of the final extent of his rule, and (d) of the benefits he brings? Cf. Ps. 40:2, 3; Joel 3:16b; Is. 61:7.
- The remaining portion (9:13-10:12) has for its theme what God will yet do for his people Israel. Make a list of the things promised here, and reflect how they are symbols of spiritual blessings that are ours in Christ.
- 9:1-6. Hadrach was probably a Syrian town; Hamath, Tyre and Sidon are Syrian neighbours; Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and Ashdod (verses 5, 6) are Philistine towns.
- 9:7. A prophecy of the abolition of idolatrous sacrifices, and the incorporation of the remnant of the Philistines among God’s people. The Jebusites were the original inhabitants of Jerusalem.
- 9:8. When Alexander invaded these parts and swept through the coastal nations, nothing could stop his armies, but he was restrained from attacking Jerusalem.
- 9:13-17. A prophecy of victory for Israel, when the enemy shall be trodden down like sling-stones and Israel lifted up like the4 jewels of a crown. In verse 15b is another figure, representing the Israelites as drinking the blood of their enemies, with which they will be as full as the bowls used in sacrifice, or like the corners of the altar that were drenched in blood.
While plain in its main teaching, this chapter is obscure in many of its details. Its theme is grace and Judgment. It opens with a vision of judgment sweeping over the land and making it desolate (verses 1-3). God shows to the prophet that the promises of the preceding chapter will not be realized without further uprisings of evil (cf. 10:2, 3a). In verses 4-17 the prophet is bidden to impersonate first a good shepherd, and, when he was rejected and despised, a worthless shepherd, under whom the flock will suffer many sorrows. This section is a vivid foreshadowing of the coming of Christ (verses 12, 13; cf. Matt. 26:14, 15; 27:9, 10).
- Verse 7. The good shepherd’s ‘two staffs,’ (cf. ‘rod’ and ‘staff’ in Ps. 23:4)were named ‘Favour’ and ‘Union’, indicating that he came in grace to bind the flock into one. How far is this picture of Christ? Cf. John 1:14; 17:20-22.
- How is the lot of those who deliberately refuse the good described? Cf. Matt. 23:37, 38; 2Thess. 2:8.
Note. Verse 12. ‘Thirty pieces of silver’: the price of an injured slave (Exod. 21:32). Cf. Matt. 26:15; 27:9.
Zechariah 12 & 13
These chapters contain a prophecy of a combined attack of many peoples upon Jerusalem and of the deliverance God will give (12:1-9), together with the repentance and cleansing that will be brought about within the nation by their vision and recognition of him whom they pierced (12:10-13:9). The ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy will take place at the end of the present age (cf. Rom.11:25-27), but it has a present application spiritually to all who belong to him.
- What is to be the secret of Jerusalem’s survival when threatened by so many enemies gathered together against it (12:1-9; cf. 14:3)? Has the Christian a similar hope of overcoming the world, the flesh and the devil? Cf. Ps. 27:1-5; 1 John 4:4; 5:4.
- What four experiences of God’s people are set forth in 12:10-13:9? Do you know them in your experience? (a) With 12:10 14, cf. John 16:8, 9; Acts 2:37-40. (b) With 13:1, cf. Heb. 9:13, 14. (c) With 13:2-5, cf. 2 Cor. 7:1. (d) With 13:7- 9, cf. 1 Pet. 1:5-7.
- 12:11. Hadadrimmon is thought to be a city in the plain of Megiddo (or Jezreel), where King Josiah was killed, the darkest and saddest even in Jewish history (cf. 2 Chr. 35:22-25).
- 12:12-14. Both the intensity and the universality of Israel’s repentance are emphasized here.
- 13:2-6. The prophets, having been proved false, will be ashamed, and will seek to disguise the fact that they prophesied. The wounds (verse 6) are either wounds self-inflicted in their prophetic frenzy (cf. 1 Kgs. 18:28) or more probably wounds received by them through the attacks of people upon them (cf. verse 3c).
Verses 1-5 appear to be a prediction of the fall of Jerusalem in Ad 70, together with a prediction of the Lord’s return. In the Gospels (e.g., Luke 21:20-28) these two events are also described as if they were one. Then follows an account of the blessings that will ensue .
- Verses 1-5 describe the breaking in of the day of the Lord. Who will at that time be gathered against Jerusalem? What will happen to the city and its inhabitants? When and in what manner will the Lord appear?
- In the day of the Lord, what further results will come to pass as regards: (a) Jerusalem (verses 6-11; cf. Rev. 22:1-5; John 4:13, 14), (b) those who attacked Jerusalem (verses 12-15), and (c) the remnant of the nations that have escaped (verses 16-19)?
- Picture the city as described in verses 20, 21. Are you aiming to see that your life is holy in every part? Cf. 2 Cor. 7:1; 1 Thess. 3:13; 1 Pet. 1:15, 16.
Note. Verses 20,21. Every aspect of the city’s Life will bear the mark of holiness-business life, religious life and domestic life. Verse 20b. The pots that were used for mundane purposes shall be as holy as the bowls that held the blood of sacrifice.