Pastor James J. Barker

Text: ZECHARIAH 13:1-9


  1. Chapters 12-14 cover the second prophetic burden of Zechariah (cf. 12:1). The time frame is "in that day" (13:1), i.e., "the day of the Lord" (14:1).
  2. The apostle Paul summarized Israel’s spiritual darkness in the epistle to the Romans (cf. Rom.10:1-3). According to Zechariah’s prophecy, Israel will some day submit to God’s righteousness as they look upon their Messiah whom they have pierced.
  3. All the events of chapter 13 follow the great prophecy of 12:10. Because God will pour out His Spirit upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (signifying all of Israel), there will be



    1. Notice that in the prophecies of Zechariah, Jerusalem is in the very center of God’s plan (13:1). The city is mentioned 41 times in this book, plus scores of times by the other prophets – Isaiah, Daniel, Micah, et al.
    2. Amillennialists and other "spiritualizers" will quickly try and point out that these prophecies concerning Jerusalem have already been fulfilled. Well, some certainly have, but many have not (cf. 2:4,12; 8:3,4,8,22; 12:3,9,10).
    3. To this, the amillennialists reply that in these verses, Jerusalem symbolizes the church. This will not do for those of us who take the Bible literally.
    4. The name of the literal city of Jerusalem occurs 21 times in these final three chapters. God is not finished with the Jews, and the church is not Israel.
    5. One amillennial preacher has stated in his newspaper that "the Jew is irrelevant and Israel is irrelevant." I strongly disagree – I say they are very relevant as we discover by studying the book of Zechariah.
    6. This cleansing fountain (13:1) represents the cleansing from sin that has always available to Israel but was not appropriated. After 12:10, they will appropriate by faith this forgiveness from sin and this cleansing from sin, made available by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ (I John 1:7; Rev.1:5).
    7. This cleansing from sin results in the removal of all the false prophets, idols, and demons (13:2). In the O.T., God had forbidden even the mention of the names of the false gods of heathenism (cf. Ex.23:13; Ps.16:4). Here, the LORD of hosts says: "I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall be no more remembered" (13:2; cf. Hosea 2:17).
    8. "Out of the land" (13:2) refers to Israel, but also extends to the entire world, because during the millennium, our Lord’s "dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth" (Zech.9:10).
    9. Some teach that "land" cannot refer to Israel (though the context demands that it does) because they have not been idol-worshippers since their return from Babylon. However, the Bible teaches that after the rapture they will worship the antichrist, his image, and even the devil himself (Rev.13). Judaism is now in the early stages of merging with Romanism and apostate Protestantism (cf. Matt.12:43-45). This will result in the harlot "church" of Rev.17.
    10. The removal of "the prophets" (13:2) refers to false prophets – fortune tellers, idolatrous seers, wizards, occult clairvoyants, spiritists, and so forth (cf. Deut.18:20-22; I Sam.28:9; Isa.8:19,20; Jer.14:14).
    11. Demons are referred to here as "unclean spirits" (13:2). This is the only O.T. reference to the term "unclean spirits" but demons are often called this in the N.T. probably because of their association with immorality.
    12. Demons supply the dynamic that is behind all idolatry (Ps.106:35-38; I Cor.10:19-21). They energize and direct the false prophets (I John 4:1-4). During the millennial kingdom they will be bound with Satan (cf. Isa.24:21-23; Rev.20:1-3).
    13. So thorough and so genuine will Israel’s repentance be that false prophets will be dealt with very severely and very quickly (13:3). Even parents will execute their own children, stabbing them to death on the spot. In the O.T., false prophets were stoned to death (Deut.13:6-10). Today they are honored and exalted. During the millennium, it will be much different (13:3).
    14. The false prophets will be ashamed of themselves (13:4). Today these "wolves in sheep’s clothing" flaunt their unbelief, but not in the millennium. The "rough garments" were associated with prophets such as Elijah and John the Baptist.
    15. These false prophets will even deny that they are false prophets, insisting that they are only husbandmen (farmers – 13:5).



  1. Zechariah 13:6 is a popular Messianic prophecy, but many Bible teachers teach that it is not.
  2. There seems to be several reasons for them doing so. First, they criticize the KJV text and claim that it should be rendered "wounds between thy arms." This is unacceptable. The great O.T. scholar, Merrill Unger wrote: "Various attempts to make ‘between thy hands’ to mean something other than, correctly translated, ‘in thy hands’ (KJV) have not been successful."
  3. Secondly, they argue that verse 6 cannot be Messianic because of the immediate context. However, there is no question that verse 7 is a Messianic prophecy, since our Lord quoted it in reference to Himself in Matt.26:31.
  4. Therefore, the context is not violated at all. Another objection is that our Lord was not wounded in the house of His friends, but by His bitter enemies. John 1:11 answers that argument.
  5. Zech.13:2-5 is a parenthetical passage describing the spiritual cleansing that will take place at the second coming of Christ. Zech.13:6,7 describe the "Cleanser." The "wounds" in 13:6 brings us back to 12:10, and connects with 13:7.
  6. Zech.13:7 refer to the death of Christ and the deity of Christ:
    1. THE DEATH OF CHRIST – the "sword" is often used in the Bible to represent death (cf. II Sam.12:9; Rom.13:4).
    2. THE DEITY OF CHRIST – "the man that is my fellow," indicating a close association or relationship. Charles Feinberg says the term ‘my fellow’ "has reference to persons united in law, rights, and privileges. The word comes from a verb to ‘bind together’…God is speaking of One as ‘My Companion, My Associate, My Friend, My Confidant, the One united to Me…My Equal, My Nearest of kin. It would not be possible to state in stronger terms the unimpeachable deity of the Messiah of Israel." (cf. John 10:30 – "I and my Father are one").
  1. Zech.13:7 demonstrates the sovereignty and providence of God in several ways:
    1. The death of Christ was a sovereign act of God, carried out in accordance with His eternal purpose. It was not merely the culmination of satanic wickedness and human treachery. The people involved were guilty and yet at the same time it was done through the divine will of God (cf. Isa.53:10; Acts 2:23).
    2. The dispersion has been according to God’s plan – "and the sheep shall be scattered."
    3. Persecution and martyrdom are also of the Lord – "and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones" (cf. Matt.24:9; Luke 21:12; John 15:20; II Tim.3:12).



  1. These verses are plain enough and need little commentary. God is going to bring the Jews back into the land of Israel and judge them (cf. Ezek.20:33-38).
  2. Those who reject a literal, premillennial interpretation of these verses try and teach that these things have already happened. This is impossible – verse 9 says that "they shall call on my name" and "the Lord is my God." This has never happened.
  3. But it will happen at the end of the tribulation when Zech.12:10 is fulfilled. Until then, they will be cast into the tribulation (Jer.30:7), deceived by the antichrist (Rev.13), double-crossed by the antichrist (Dan.9:27), and persecuted by the devil (Rev.12:13-17).
  4. Two-thirds of the Jewish people will die during the tribulation and the remaining one third shall be saved physically and spiritually (Matt.24:13).


  1. One of the greatest of all English writers was William Cowper. He was a brilliant scholar as well as a great poet. For example, he translated Homer’s works into English. He was also a lawyer, though he did not pursue a career as a lawyer.
  2. He worked closely for many years with John Newton, the author of "Amazing Grace." Their combined talents produced the famous "Olney Hymns" hymnbook, named after the town in England they lived in.
  3. Undoubtedly, Cowper’s most popular hymn was "There is a Fountain," based upon Zech.13:1 –
  4. "There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins;

    And sinners, plunged beneath that flood, lose all their guilty stains."

  5. Let me ask this important question – have you been "plunged beneath that flood"? Have you lost all your guilty stains?

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