Zec 13: The restoration of Judah: The connection between Zec
12 and Zec 13 is so close that a chapter division is really uncalled for. The
same people, the same subject, and the same time are in view in both chapters.
The relationship between Zec 12:10-14 and Zec 13:1-6 is not only logical but
chronological as well. Once Israel is brought to a penitent condition and looks
toward her crucified Messiah, then the provision of God for cleansing will be
A FOUNTAIN WILL BE OPENED TO THE HOUSE OF DAVID AND THE
INHABITANTS OF JERUSALEM, TO CLEANSE THEM FROM SIN AND IMPURITY: A fountain
for the complete spiritual cleansing of the Israelites, both for their moral
sins and for their ritual uncleanness (cp Eze 47). The figure of a fountain
suggests abundant cleansing that would continue indefinitely. This will be the
fulfillment of God's promise to forgive the sins of His people Israel in the New
Covenant (Zec 3:4,9; Jer 31:34; Eze 36:25; Rom 11:26). "The blood of Jesus...
cleanses us from all sin" (1Jo 1:7; cp John 4:14; 7:37-39). The cleansing is
available now, but God will esp cleanse multitudes of Israelites in the future,
after they turn to their Messiah in faith (Zec 12:10-14).
A FOUNTAIN... FROM IMPURITY: This suggests Num
19:17,18: the sprinkling with running water. This in turn implies the cleansing
influences of the Word of God: Psa 119:9; John 15:3.
"There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Emmanuel's veins;
And sinners, plunged beneath that flood,
Lose all their guilty stains.
"The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there have I, as vile as he,
Washed all my sins away.
"Dear dying Lamb, thy precious blood
Shall never lose its power,
Till all the ransomed church of God
Be saved to sin no more.
"Ever since, by faith, I saw the stream
Thy flowing wounds supply,
Redeeming love has been my theme,
And shall be till I die"
I WILL BANISH THE NAMES OF THE IDOLS FROM THE LAND:
"Name" is synonymous with power (Acts 3:6). There will be external cleansing as
well as internal. The Jews would no longer ascribe supernatural powers to mere
things, nor worship them as divine (cp Zec 10:2,3; Jer 23:30-32; 27:9,10; Eze
13:1 -- 14:11); surely this includes the "gods" of materialism as well (cp Col
I WILL REMOVE BOTH THE PROPHETS: False prophets, as is
clear from the context, will not mislead the people (cp Mat 24:4,5,11,15, 23-24;
2Th 2:2-4; Rev 9:20; 13:4-15; and esp Rev 16:13).
THE SPIRIT OF IMPURITY: "Spirit" is frequently used for
"teaching" or "teacher": John 6:63; 1Jo 4:1-3; 5:6; Eph 6:17; Eze 36:26. The
unclean spirit need not be supernatural: whether singular or plural, it may
refer to the diviners, mediums, and soothsayers who confused and afflicted the
people in the past (cp, generally, Rev 20:1-3). As such, it is in contrast to
the "spirit of grace and supplication" in Zec 12:10.
If anyone would try to play the part of a false prophet -- ie,
teaching or preaching false doctrine in general (cp 1Co 14:3) -- then his own
parents, those closest to him, would put him to death. This was what God had
commanded the Israelites to do to false prophets (Deu 13:6-9). They would pierce
the false prophets fatally as they had formerly pierced the Messiah fatally (Zec
HE WILL NOT PUT ON A PROPHET'S GARMENT OF HAIR IN ORDER TO
DECEIVE: The garment of hair was a distinctively prophetic one (2Ki 1:8;
2:13; Mat 3:4).
Jacob wore such a "garment" in order to deceive his father
THE LAND HAS BEEN MY LIVELIHOOD SINCE MY YOUTH: Or "a
man sold me in my youth" (NIV mg) -- suggesting a form of indentured servitude.
In other words, 'I have had no time to become a false prophet!'
WHAT ARE THESE WOUNDS ON YOUR BODY?... 'THE WOUNDS I WAS
GIVEN AT THE HOUSE OF MY FRIENDS': Sometimes false prophets cut themselves
to arouse prophetic ecstasy, to increase ritual potency, or to identify
themselves with a particular god (cp Lev 19:28; 21:5; Deu 14:1; 1Ki 18:28; Jer
16:6; 41:5; 48:37). If someone saw such marks on a false prophet's body in that
future day, the false prophet might claim that he had received his injuries by
accident in a friend's house.
This supposes that v 6 is a follow-up on vv 4,5. However, it
may be that this verse introduces the Lord Jesus Christ. If so, then he is seen
as a contrast to the false prophets of vv 4,5: his wounds -- unlike theirs --
are evidence of his status as a true prophet, moreover the Messiah: for he has
truly received his wounds in the house of his "friends" (the house of Israel).
Cp Psa 22:16; John 20:27. (If read in this way, then v 6 becomes a transition to
v 7: "Strike the shepherd!")
Vv 7-9: The smiting of the Shepherd and the scattering of the
sheep. Zechariah now returned in a poem to the subject of the Shepherd that he
had mentioned in Zec 11. He also returned to the time when Israel would be
scattered among the nations because of her rejection of the Good
AWAKE, O SWORD, AGAINST MY SHEPHERD: Yahweh personified
a sword, the instrument of violent death, which He commanded to execute His
Shepherd, the royal Good Shepherd of Zec 11:4-14. Yahweh further described this
Shepherd as the man who was very close to Him, even His Associate.
THE MAN WHO IS CLOSE TO ME: "Geber" is "mighty man";
"hamith" is "associate, equal, relative". The expression is used elsewhere only
in Lev 6:2; 18:12; it means 'near neighbour'; the shepherd is one who dwells
side by side with the LORD, His relative, and in some sense His equal!
STRIKE THE SHEPHERD: In Zec 11:17 it was the worthless
shepherd whom the LORD would strike, but here it is the Good Shepherd (Joh
10:1-18). The one doing the striking is evidently God Himself since "strike" is
masculine in the Hebrew text and agrees with "the LORD of hosts." If so,
Zechariah presented Messiah's death as God's activity (cp Isa 53:10; Acts 2:23;
4:8; Phi 2:8) as well as Israel's (Zec 12:10-14).
AND THE SHEEP WILL BE SCATTERED: The striking (death)
of the Shepherd would result in the scattering of the Shepherd's sheep (ie,
Israel, Zec 11:4-14). The LORD Jesus quoted this part of the verse when he
anticipated the scattering of His disciples following His death (cp Mat
26:31,56; Mark 14:27,50).
I WILL TURN MY HAND AGAINST THE LITTLE ONES: "Against",
or "upon". This phrase is capable of two different interpretations -- both of
which have or will come to pass. Perhaps a double entendre is intended. God
Himself would (will) both scatter even the young sheep BUT, eventually, He would
(will) also show mercy to them (cp Mat 18:10; Mark 13:19,24; Luke 2:35; Rev
Vv 8,9: The scattering of the sheep would result in two-thirds
of the flock dying and one-third remaining alive. This will be the time of
Jacob's trouble (Jer 30:7). The LORD would refine the surviving one-third in the
fires of affliction (cp Zec 3:2; Eze 5:1-12). This remnant must be the same
group of Israelites, described in Zec 12:10 -- 13:1, who would turn to God in
repentance. Evidently two-thirds of the Jews will perish during the Tribulation
and one-third will live through it and enter the Millennium. This surviving
remnant then must include the 144,000 of Rev 7:1-8; 14:1-5. The one-third will
call on the LORD's name in supplication for forgiveness (Zec 12:10). The LORD
will respond to their cry by reaffirming His new covenant relationship with
them, and they will agree to it (cp Eze 20:37).
SILVER... GOLD: Cp Zec 6:11.
THEY WILL CALL ON MY NAME AND I WILL ANSWER THEM:
Spiritual renewal, and turning to God in Truth (Eze 6:9,10; Hos 8:10; Jer
I WILL SAY, 'THEY ARE MY PEOPLE': Cp Jer 32:38; Eze
37:23-28; Hos 1:9,10; Isa 59:20,21; Rom 11:26,27.