The Book of Zechariah
Pastor James J. Barker

[ Lesson 20 ]


  ZECHARIAH 13:1-9


1.    The time frame is in Zechariah 12—14 is “the day of the Lord” (14:1; cf. 13:1, 2, 4 — “in that day”). 

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.    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




4. Tonight we will focus on the first part of the chapter: the removal of the false prophets, idols and devils during the millennial kingdom (13:2).



1.    In Matthew 5:35, our Lord said that Jerusalem “is the city of the great King.”

2.    Psalm 2:6 says, “Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.”

3.    Psalm 48:2 says, “Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth, is mount Zion, on the sides of the north, the city of the great King.”

4.    Psalm 102:16 says, “When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in his glory.”  There are many similar Scriptures.

5.    Notice that in the prophecies of Zechariah, Jerusalem is in the very center of God’s plan (13:1).  The city of Jerusalem is mentioned 41 times in the book of Zechariah, plus scores of times by the other prophets – David (cf. Acts 2:30), Isaiah, Daniel, Micah, and so on.

6.    Amillennialists and other “spiritualizers” insist that these prophecies concerning Jerusalem have already been fulfilled.  Well, some certainly have, but many have not (cf. 12:2, 3, 9, 10).

7.    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.

8.    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.

9.    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.



1.     This cleansing fountain (13:1) represents the cleansing from sin that has always been available to Israel but was not appropriated. 

2.     After Zechariah 12:10, the Jews will appropriate by faith this forgiveness from sin and this cleansing from sin, made available by the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.

3.     “The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).

4.     “Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood” (Rev. 1:5).

5.     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.

6.     “And in all things that I have said unto you be circumspect: and make no mention of the name of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth” (Exodus 23:13).

7.     “Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another god: their drink offerings of blood will I not offer, nor take up their names into my lips” (Psalm 16:4).

8.     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).

9.     Hosea 2:17 says, “For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name.”



1.     “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).

2.     Isaiah 11:9 says, “For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”

3.     Some teach that “land” in Zechariah 13:2 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 (cf. Rev. 13). 

4.     According to the book of Daniel, Antiochus Ephiphanes is a type and picture of the coming antichrist.  Antiochus defiled the temple in Jerusalem by sacrificing a pig to the Greek god Zeus.

5.     The antichrist will probably tolerate various sorts of polytheism and idolatry as long as people worship him as their # 1 god.

6.     “Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God” (II Thess. 2:4).

7.     Daniel 11:36 says the antichrist “shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god, and shall speak marvellous things against the God of gods.”

8.     Daniel 11:37 says, “Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers, nor the desire of women, nor regard any god: for he shall magnify himself above all.”

9.     Daniel 11:38 & 39 says, “But in his estate shall he honour the God of forces: and a god whom his fathers knew not shall he honour with gold, and silver, and with precious stones, and pleasant things.  Thus shall he do in the most strong holds with a strange god, whom he shall acknowledge and increase with glory.”

10. By comparing these various prophecies we conclude that the tribulation will be a time of great religious confusion.  Things are bad today but it will be far worse once the antichrist takes over.

11. The removal of “the prophets” (13:2) refers to false prophets – fortunetellers, 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).

12. 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.

13. 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).

14. 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).

15. The false prophets will then be ashamed of themselves (13:4).  Today these “wolves in sheep’s clothing” flaunt their unbelief, but not in the millennium.  The “rough garments” (13:4) were associated with prophets such as Elijah and John the Baptist.

16. This reminds us of the power and popularity of religious garb.  Men (and certain deluded women) love to wear colorful robes and funny hats and collars but none of this is taught in the NT.

17. These false prophets will even deny that they are false prophets, insisting that they are only husbandmen (farmers – 13:5).  Perhaps this suggests that some of them will repent and return to farming.



1.     In Matthew 12, our Lord condemned the Jewish religious leaders for their stubborn unbelief.

2.     Our Lord said in Matthew 12:43-45, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none. Then he saith, I will return into my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

3.     We usually hear preachers explain this as a warning about self-reformation without genuine repentance and regeneration.

4.     However, our Lord said was referring specifically to the nation Israel when He said, “Even so shall it be also unto this wicked generation.”

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