Zec 10: The restoration of the true people: The first part of
this oracle focused particularly on the true King who would come and exercise
sovereignty over the nations (Zec 9). Now the emphasis changes to the people of
the King, the Israelites, who will return to the Promised Land and rule with the
King (Zec 10). Like the revelation in Zec 9, this chapter also has a near and a
far fulfillment, the near being the revival of Israel's power under Judas
Maccabeus in the second century BC and the far being the return and reign of
"Zec 9 presents the victory of God's people from the positive
side for the most part, showing how the true Israel shall be made strong by the
LORD and shall prevail. Without abandoning this point of view, Zec 10 brings
greater emphasis to bear upon the negative side of the victory, namely, how the
enemies shall be brought low. Yet particular stress is at the same time laid
upon the gathering of the scattered Israelites" (Leupold).
ASK THE LORD FOR RAIN IN THE SPRINGTIME; IT IS THE LORD WHO
MAKES THE STORM CLOUDS, HE GIVES SHOWERS OF RAIN TO MEN, AND PLANTS OF THE FIELD
TO EVERYONE: Cp Zec 9:11; Deu 11:13,14; 32:1,2. Asking Him is only
reasonable since He is the One who creates storm clouds. The Canaanites gave
credit to Baal for sending rain and producing fertility, but Yahweh was the true
rain-maker (cp Jer 14:22; Amos 5:8). Since rain is often a symbol of many types
of blessing in the OT, spiritual as well as physical blessing is probably in
view here (cp Isa 55:10-12; Hos 6:1-3; Joel 2:21-32).
RAIN IN THE SPRINGTIME: More lit, "the latter rain" (as
STORM CLOUDS: "Bright clouds" (AV). That is, clouds
with lightning (AV mg) -- signaling rain (Jer 10:13; Psa 135:7; Eze
THE IDOLS SPEAK DECEIT, DIVINERS SEE VISIONS THAT LIE; THEY
TELL DREAMS THAT ARE FALSE, THEY GIVE COMFORT IN VAIN: These were household
idols (cp Gen 31:19,34; Jdg 17:5; 18:5; 1Sa 15:23; Eze 21:21; Hos 3:4), which
only led people into iniquity, and diviners or fortune-tellers who saw
misleading visions and dreams (cp Deu 18:9-14; Jer 23:30-32; 27:9,10). Their
comfort was worthless.
A modern parallel is the renewed interest in magic, good-luck
charms, spiritism, horoscopes, and other survivals of primitive times. The even
more widespread modern equivalent is to ignore God altogether and blithely
assume that no problem is beyond man's unaided power to solve.
THEREFORE THE PEOPLE WANDER LIKE SHEEP OPPRESSED FOR LACK
OF A SHEPHERD: Consequently the people who rely on these false indicators of
God's will wander like shepherdless sheep and experience much needless trouble
(cp Eze 34:5; ct Eze 34:23; cp also John 10:1,8; Mark 6:34).
"In Zechariah's days the leaders of the people led them in any
direction they could, as long as they did not lead them in the direction of
God... It is exactly the same for the people of our day. Governments allow us
free speech to speak out for any cause we like -- we can take up the cause for
witchcraft, homosexuality, abortion or any other topic we fancy -- unless it
happens to be Christianity. If we speak about Christ or try to turn people back
to God we are labelled as brainwashing and trying to influence people against
their will. No longer is the Bible read at school or prayers offered as
governments prepare to discuss legislation. God has been kicked out of the lives
of the people. So it is up to us, who still know God, to be leaders -- even
against the opposition -- to lead people to God. In doing so we will save
ourselves and, with God's blessing, those who follow us" (RP).
MY ANGER BURNS AGAINST THE SHEPHERDS, AND I WILL PUNISH THE
LEADERS: The LORD was angry with these false shepherds (rulers, ie, kings,
princes, nobles, prophets, and priests) and the other leaders who led His sheep
astray like rams (cp 1Sa 28:3-7; 1Ki 16:31; 22:6-12; 2Ki 1:2; 16:15; 21:6; Jer
50:8; Eze 34:2,17). (More broadly, the foreign rulers under whom Israel was
forced to live might also be included here.)
THE LORD ALMIGHTY WILL CARE FOR HIS FLOCK, THE HOUSE OF
JUDAH, AND MAKE THEM LIKE A PROUD HORSE IN BATTLE: In other words, He would
empower the Israelites -- this would involve disciplining and humbling, as well
as cleansing (cp Zec 12:10; 13:1,9). The weak sheep would become as strong as
horses. The battle of Armageddon is probably in view (cp Zec 12:1-9; 14:1-8; cp
Rev 19:11-14; Zec 1:8; 6:2-8).
FROM JUDAH WILL COME THE CORNERSTONE: That is, the
cornerstone of the building (kingdom) that God would build, namely Messiah (cp
Zec 3:9; Gen 49:10; Psa 118:22; Isa 28:16; Jer 30:21; Acts 4:11; Eph 2:20; 1Pe
2:1-8). The cornerstone (Heb "pinnah") was a figure of a leader who would
stabilize a nation and keep it from sliding down a slippery slope (cp Jdg 20:2;
1Sa 14:38; Isa 19:13).
FROM HIM THE TENT PEG: Messiah would also be like a
tent peg (Heb "yathed") in that he would hold the tent (kingdom) firmly in place
(cp Jdg 4:21-22; Isa 22:23,24; Acts 15:16). The Heb word also describes a peg
INSIDE a tent on which people hung beautiful things that glorified their homes
(cp Ezra 9:8; Zec 6:13; Isa 22:22-25; Eze 15:3).
FROM HIM THE BATTLE BOW: Messiah would also be Yahweh's
bow by which He would destroy His enemies (cp Zec 9:13; Psa 45:5; 64:7; Rev
FROM HIM EVERY RULER: If understood negatively, this
would mean that from the house of Judah would DEPART every oppressing ruler (Heb
"noges": cp Zec 9:8; Exo 3:7; Isa 3:12; 14:2; 60:17; Dan 11:20). If understood
positively, this would refer to the glorified saints, the King-rulers with
Christ in the Age to come: Rev 5:9,10.
TOGETHER THEY WILL BE LIKE MIGHTY MEN TRAMPLING THE MUDDLE
STREETS IN BATTLE. BECAUSE THE LORD IS WITH THEM, THEY WILL FIGHT AND OVERTHROW
THE HORSEMEN: They will be like David's mighty men. They will subdue the
LORD's enemies in battle successfully because Yahweh will be with them. The
opposing adversaries would be defeated and shamed even though they fought from
positions of strength. The LORD's infantry would defeat the world's apparently
MIGHTY MEN: Heb "gibborim": sw Isa 9:6.
I WILL STRENGTHEN THE HOUSE OF JUDAH AND SAVE THE HOUSE OF
JOSEPH: Ref the former Northern and Southern Kingdoms.
I WILL RESTORE THEM BECAUSE I HAVE COMPASSION ON THEM:
He would do this simply because He had compassion on them, not because they
deserved His blessing.
THEY WILL BE AS THOUGH I HAD NOT REJECTED THEM, FOR I AM
THE LORD THEIR GOD: He would restore the Israelites to a condition similar
to the one they enjoyed before He sent them into captivity -- this restoration
will include sovereignty within their own homeland. He would do this because He
is Yahweh, their God, who has made covenant promises to their forefathers.
AND I WILL ANSWER THEM: He would answer their prayers
for His help. This implies their conversion, not just nationally but
individually (see Zec 13:1-4; Rom 11:23; Mic 7:18-20).
THEIR HEARTS WILL REJOICE IN THE LORD: Again, this
implies conversion (cp Eze 20:37,38; 37:26; Psa 32:11; Phi 4:4).
I WILL SIGNAL FOR THEM AND GATHER THEM IN. SURELY I WILL
REDEEM THEM: The LORD, the true shepherd of His flock, would simply call for
them and His people would follow Him because He had redeemed them (Exo 12; Isa
35:10; Mic 6:4; John 10:11-16; 1Pe 1:18,19.
"Just as redemption... preceded the actual exodus escape from
Egypt (Exo 2:24; 3:7,8; 4:22-23; 6:2-8), so it is on the basis of an already
effected redemption that YHWH's people will enter into the eschatological land
of promise" (Merrill). This may imply that some at least of the Jews in Israel
today will be taken out of their land and carried away in another captivity,
which will culminate in their conversion and return (again) to the Land (cp Isa
11:11-16; 19:18-25; 27:12,13; etc).
SIGNAL: The KJV has "hiss"; the word may imply to blow
a small pipe, or horn, or whistle -- some suggest a rough bamboo reed was used
by shepherds for this purpose.
THOUGH I SCATTER THEM AMONG THE PEOPLES, YET IN DISTANT
LANDS THEY WILL REMEMBER ME. THEY AND THEIR CHILDREN WILL SURVIVE, AND THEY WILL
RETURN: When the LORD scattered -- or "sowed" -- His people like seed among
the other peoples of the world, they would remember Him even though they lived
far from the Promised Land (cp John 12:24; 1Co 15:36). Not only would the LORD
remember them (the meaning of Zechariah's name), but they would remember Him.
Through the work of "Elijah" (Mal 4), they and their children would enter into
new life and return to the land. ("Sowing" implies reaping a harvest and so
conveys hope: cp Psa 126:5,6.)
I WILL BRING THEM BACK FROM EGYPT AND GATHER THEM FROM
ASSYRIA: Yahweh would bring the Israelites back from the land of Egypt to
Israel's south, where they had been slaves, and from the land of Assyria (or
Babylon: see Lesson, Babylon = Assyria)
to its north, where they had been exiles
(cp Isa 11:11-16; 19:23; 27:12,13; Hos 11:10).
I WILL BRING THEM TO GILEAD AND LEBANON: He would bring
them back into the fruitful Promised Land, into Gilead with its rich pastures
east of the Jordan River and Lebanon with its mighty forests west of the Jordan.
Again, the whole land is in view. Lebanon is referred to in the OT as a symbol
of strength, dignity and splendor (eg, 2Ki 19:23; Isa 35:2), as are the
mountains of Gilead. Hence the two are sometimes also mentioned together to
denote power and pride (Jer 22:6). Here their combination may be intended to
demonstrate the future power and glory of the Messianic kingdom of
AND THERE WILL NOT BE ROOM FOR THEM: Hyperbole: cp Mic
4:8; Isa 49:19-21; 54:2-3.
THEY WILL PASS THROUGH THE SEA OF TROUBLE; THE SURGING SEA
WILL BE SUBDUED AND ALL THE DEPTHS OF THE NILE WILL DRY UP. ASSYRIA'S PRIDE WILL
BE BROUGHT DOWN AND EGYPT'S SCEPTER WILL PASS AWAY: "They" is translated
"he" in the KJV: if "they" is correct, this would be the nation in exile; if
"he" is correct, it could refer to Christ or to "Elijah", or to the "Angel of
Yahweh's presence" -- who, like the pillar of fire and cloud -- led Israel out
As they had done to the Red Sea when the Israelites left Egypt
in the Exodus (and as Jesus did when He calmed the Sea of Galilee). (This may
suggest a "baptism" in the Red Sea or the Euphrates -- either nationally or
individually -- as in 1Co 10:2).
In addition, God would humble ALL Israel's enemies, of which
Egypt and Assyria were only representatives. The Gentile leaders of the world,
symbolized by Egypt's scepter, would no longer hold sway over Israel in the
I WILL STRENGTHEN THEM IN THE LORD: Implying the
complete conversion of Israel after the flesh: Eze 36:26,27; Zec 13:9; Hos 2:23;
3:5; Rom 11:26.
AND IN HIS NAME THEY WILL WALK: The complete conversion
of Israel will be recognized throughout the world -- becoming a powerful
testimony to all nations, and encouraging them to do the same (cp Zec 8:23; Jer