The Book of Zechariah
THE FIRST AND SECOND COMING OF CHRIST
1. The other night I was preaching from Isaiah 9 and I mentioned that the OT prophets saw the both the first and second coming together (like two mountain peaks with a valley between them).
2. We see this again here in Zechariah 9. Verse 9 refers to the first coming of Christ, but verse 10 is talking about the second coming of Christ (cf. 9:10b).
3. The phrase, “in that day” (9:16) refers to “the Day of the Lord.”
I. THE MESSIAH WILL ESTABLISH PEACE ON EARTH (9:10).
1. This is one of the great prophetic themes. There will not be any peace until the Prince of Peace returns.
2. In this prophecy, Ephraim (9:10) represents the northern kingdom; and Jerusalem represents the southern kingdom. They will be united again when Christ returns (cf. Ezek. 37:19-22).
3. The chariot and the horse and the battle bow all speak of warfare. Zechariah 9:10 says, the LORD will “cut (them) off.”
4. Worldly leaders speak of total world disarmament. This is a fantasy. With communists and Islamic terrorists threatening to blow up the world it would be foolish to even considering disarming.
5. However, the nations will disarm when Christ returns. In the meantime, we must remember that there can be no real peace without the Prince of Peace.
6. For now it will be constant “wars and rumors of wars.” But when Jesus comes back, there will be no more wars (cf. Isaiah 2:4; Micah 4:3, 4).
7. This peace will be “even unto the ends of the earth” (Zech. 9:10; cf. Psalm 72:8).
8. “It is not peace at any price, but peace at infinite price – the life of the Messiah. It is not peace for one, but for all. May that hour be hastened” – Charles L. Feinberg (God Remembers).
II. THE MESSIAH’S PEACE IS BASED UPON THE BLOOD OF THE COVENANT (9:11).
1. There is some question over which covenant is in view here – the Mosaic, the Palestinian, the Davidic, etc. All of these covenants were with the nation of Israel. “As for thee…” (9:11).
2. All of the covenants were sealed by the shedding of blood. Therefore, the blood of Christ is the badge of fulfillment of all the OT covenants and promises to Israel.
3. It is clear from the NT that Messiah’s peace is based upon the blood of the cross – and not just for the Jews, but for the Gentiles too. “And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled” (Col. 1:20, 21).
4. “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us” (Eph. 2:11-14).
5. So this blessed reconciliation – peace with God – has been made possible by “the blood of the cross.” And this is not just for Jews, but also for us Gentiles as well.
6. Israel in dispersion is spoken of as being in prison (9:11). Cisterns without water were used as prisons (cf. Jer. 38:6).
7. One of the great themes of the book of Zechariah is the return and restoration of Israel. The dispersed Jews will be regathered and restored to their own land. That is why God calls them “ye prisoners of hope” (9:12).
III. THE MESSIAH DELIVERS HIS PEOPLE (9:12-17).
1. God is their “strong hold” (9:12; cf. 9:14).
2. God renders double (9:12). Isaiah 40:2 says, “Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD's hand double for all her sins.”
3. Isaiah 61:7 says, “For your shame ye shall have double…”
4. But it is not just double trouble for judgment. When the Messiah returns it will be double blessings.
5. Zechariah 9:13 refers to a conflict between the sons of Zion and the sons of Greece. Historically the only time the Jews fought the Greeks was during the Seleucid Dynasty, specifically the conflicts with Antiochus Ephiphanes, referred to as the Maccabean Wars (c. 175 BC). Antiochus profaned the temple in Jerusalem and offered up a pig to the Greek god Zeus.
6. Antiochus was defeated by Judas Maccabaeus (“the Hammer”) and his brothers and his father. This is recorded in Josephus’ book, Antiquities of the Jews. It was also prophesied by Daniel (cf. 8:9-14; 11:1-35).
7. These events foreshadow the coming tribulation. Antiochus is a picture and type of the coming antichrist. Therefore, this passage in Zechariah 9 starts from the time of the Maccabean Wars, and continues on to the establishment of the Messianic kingdom.
8. The Hebrew Christian commentator, David Baron, wrote that Zechariah’s prophecy in Zechariah 9 refers to the Jewish defeat of Antiochus and his successors, but that it also “foreshadows the final conflict with world-power, and the judgments to be inflicted on the confederated armies who shall be gathered against Jerusalem, not only directly by the hand of God, but also by the hand of Israel, who shall then be made strong in Jehovah.”
9. Zechariah 9:13 employs poetic language. Judah is the bent bow. Ephraim (northern kingdom) is the arrow. The sons of Zion represent God’s sword.
10. In 9:14, the LORD will move in like a tempest, with His arrow going “forth as the lightning.” “The LORD of hosts shall defend them…” (9:15).
11. “And the LORD their God shall save them…” (9:16). “For they shall be as the stones of a crown…” Cf. Malachi 3:17 – “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels…”
12. Isaiah 62:3 says, “Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.”
Zechariah “concludes with an exclamation over the goodness and beauty of the Lord…In the so trying hours and days in which we now live, what more satisfying contemplation may we have than the all-sufficient goodness and surpassing beauty of the Lord?” (Charles Feinberg).