December 29th Zechariah 9
C. Prophetic Burdens
First burden 1st Coming of Christ
1: The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD. 2: And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise. 3: And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. 4: Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire. 5: Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. 6: And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. 7: And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite. 8: And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes. 9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. 10: And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from river even to the ends of the earth. 11: As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. 12: Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; 13: When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man. 14: And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the LORD GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. 15: The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. 16: And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. 17: For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.
1: Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. 2: For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. 3: Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. 4: Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. 5: And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. 6: And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them. 7: And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. 8: I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. 9: And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. 10: I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Labanon; and place shall not be found for them. 11: And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. 12: And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.
1: Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. 2: Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. 3: There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled. 4: Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter; 5: Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not. 6: For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them. 7: And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock. 8: Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me. 9: Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another. 10: And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it assunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people. 11: And it was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the LORD. 12: And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. 13: And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD. 14: Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. 15: And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd. 16: For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces. 17: Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.
In the next few chapters Zechariah brings forward a number of prophesies that we today find astounding and they all relate to the first coming of Christ. In the early part of the chapter he brings lots of prophesies which at the present time are obscure. However in verse 9 he says rejoice greatly O daughter of Zion then he says Shout O daughter of Jerusalem But why? And the answer comes – Look! Your king comes to you, he is just and he has salvation and he is lowly and he is riding upon a colt the young foal of an ass. This takes us directly to the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem on what we call Palm Sunday. Then the Lord carries on describing these obscure events. What we see from all this is that Christ’s entrance into Jerusalem has a context. And the context is the struggle and move and counter move of Israel’s enemies. Christ comes to Israel not only as their Messiah but their deliverer. He says the LORD their God shall save them in that day like a shepherd rescuing his flock. They will be like the gems of a crown, which is lifted up as a sign to the land. Is it possible to measure his grace and how beautiful he is? What he provides will be like bread to the young men and the joy of wine to the young women. When Israel needs rain in the autumn they will call on the Lord and they will be heard. The Lord will save his people. He will bring them to the place of blessing and he will have mercy on them. The Lord will whistle for his sheep to return to his pasture and they will flock to him. Those that have died will rise and they will be brought back to Zion. The Lord will destroy those who oppressed Israel. The Lord will have two shepherds crooks, one called ‘beauty’ and the other ‘bands’. Then the rod ‘beauty’ will be broken in two. Perhaps Zechariah is describing the two forms of religious leadership in Israel. Sadducees and Pharisees - beauty and bands. Perhaps he is saying that the theology of the Sadducees will be broken - perhaps by the resurrection of Christ! Next we have an interesting prophecy. It seems that Christ is asking the religious leaders for the price of his own head. So they weighed for my price – 30 silver coins. I dead slave was 60 silver coins. Christ was valued as half the price of a dead slave! Next we have a remarkable detail. The money is cast back into the temple and the money is taken to purchase the potters field. These remarkable prophesies are incidental proofs of the accuracy of the scriptures and of the prophets Zechariahs words. It seems that this whole passage is about Who is to be the shepherd of Israel? Is it to be Caiaphas the Sadducee? And the answer is No! When Christ stood before Caiaphas the high priest, He asked him, who are you? etc etc, At the end of the engagement Caiaphas tore his high priestly garments and thus brought his priesthood to an abrupt end. Then Zechariah speaks of the other staff – ‘bands’. This was also broken in two. Then the Lord says I will raise up a shepherd in the land, He will not care for the flock, he will not visit the sheep or tend them, He will eat the sheep and rip them open. The judgement of God is coming to the idolatrous shepherd. He will suffer injury on his right arm and he will loose sight on his right eye. All of this points to John chapter 10. Where Christ says I am the good shepherd etc etc. And Christ the Good shepherd is contrasted to the hireling and the wolf.
- Why did Christ enter Jerusalem on the donkey?
- How much was Christ betrayed for?
- How is Christs shepherd ministry described here?