1. As eyes turn to the Lord, what was coming to the land of Hadrach, Damascus, Hamath, Tyrus, and Zidon?
The burden of the word of the Lord, devouring by fire upon Tyrus [Tyre]: “(1) The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD. (2) And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise. (3) And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets. (4) Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire” (Zechariah 9:1-4).
- The exact phrase “The burden of the word of the LORD” appears here and in two other O.T. passages (Zechariah 12:1 and Malachi 1:1).
- Prophets saw burdens that we levied against cities and nations (Isaiah 13:1, Isaiah 15:1, Isaiah 17:1, Isaiah 19:1, Isaiah 21:1, Nahum 1:1, Habakkuk 1:1, etc.).
- At that time, eyes were directed towards the Lord (Zechariah 8:21-23).
- The wisdom and riches of Tyrus [Tyre] (Ezekiel 28:1-10).
- Tyrus’ [Tyre] destruction (Amos 1:9-10).
- Remember, the people of Tyre once had a past history with Israel that was good (II Samuel 5:11 and I Kings 5:1).
2. How did things look going forward for Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod?
Fear, sorrow, shame, some left fatherless: “(5) Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited. (6) And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines” (Zechariah 9:5-6).
- Ashkelon and Gaza saw the fall of Tyrus and felt fear and sorrow (Isaiah 23:1-5).
- Gaza shall be forsaken and Ashkelon a desolation (Zephaniah 2:4-7).
- In Ashdod, children would be fatherless and the pride of the Philistines cut off (Amos 1:8).
3. What do we find out about those that would remain?
He shall be for God: “And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite” (Zechariah 9:7).
- The idea of blood being taken out of his [Philistines; vs. 6] mouth and his abominations out of his could apply to saving those consumed by them (Amos 3:12). It could also mean taking away the blood offerings to their idols from them (Ezekiel 33:25).
- The remnant of them would be for our God (Isaiah 56:3).
- As a governor (Isaiah 49:22-23).
- The people of Ekron being like a Jebusite means they would dwell among God’s people as the Jebusites did in the past (Judges 1:21).
4. Why did the Lord say He was going to encamp about His house?
“And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes” (Zechariah 9:8).
- Psalms 46:1-5 and Zephaniah 3:14-15
5. For what reason was Zion told to rejoice greatly?
“(9) Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. (10) And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:9-10).
- This is certainly a prophesy about Jesus (Matthew 21:1-11 and Luke 19:28-40). *In Luke’s account the word “colt” is translated. The Greek word is “πῶλος” meaning “a “foal” or “filly”, i.e. (specially), a young ass: — colt” (Strong’s # 4454).
- Jesus was/is the king prophesied of throughout the prophets of old whose dominion was great (Genesis 49:10, Isaiah 9:1-7, Jeremiah 23:5-6, Ezekiel 37:24, and Daniel 7:13-14; cf. Luke 1:32-33).
6. As God said His people would be freed, who would the sons of Zion rise against?
The sons of Greece: “(11) As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water. (12) Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee; (13) When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man” (Zechariah 9:11-13).
- Unlike the previous chapter where the prophesy of Christ and the return to the context is a little harder to see, this is clearly not about the first century. The Grecian Empire that took form under Alexander the Great (Daniel 8:1-11:45) was in and out of power before the first century (@334 - 146 BC; https://ancient-greece.org/resources/timeline.html).
- “By the blood of thy covenant” is better rendered and understood as “whose covenant is by blood” signifying this is for Israel (Exodus 24:8).
- Because of the covenant (Nehemiah 9:6-32 and Malachi 3:6), God loosed those appointed for death (Psalms 102:19-21).
- Rendered double (Isaiah 61:7).
- Judah likened to a weapon (Zechariah 12:2-8).
- Look out Greece (Joel 3:6-8).
7. As the Lord is seen over them, could they look forward to salvation?
Yes: “(14) And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south. (15) The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar. (16) And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land. (17) For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids” (Zechariah 9:14-17).
- The Lord defending them (Isaiah 31:5 and Zechariah 12:8).
- The Lord saving them (Psalms 69:35).
- We know why (Micah 4:1-2, Luke 24:44-47, and Acts 2:1-47).
- How great is His goodness (Psalms 31:19 and Isaiah 63:7).
- Fresh grapes [Strong’s # 8492] and corn [grain] would be theirs rather than given to their enemies (Isaiah 62:8-9).
8. Whom should they have sought help from for their physical needs, such as rain?
The Lord: “Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field” (Zechariah 10:1).
- God had withheld rain (Amos 4:7).
- Now, in this time of restoration, it was time for things to change (Ezekiel 34:25-31).
- Now He wants them to seek Him for their needs rather than everyone else they had turned to (Jeremiah 14:22).
9. What good were their idols, dreamers, and shepherds?
Falsehoods: “For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd” (Zechariah 10:2).
- Vain idols (Habakkuk 2:18).
- False diviners and dreamers (Jeremiah 27:9).
- No real shepherds (Ezekiel 34:9-10).
10. When the Lord’s anger was kindled, what good was going to come forth for His people?
Strength, restoration, saved from their enemies, brought back to their land, and restored:“(3) Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. (4) Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together. (5) And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. (6) And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them. (7) And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD. (8) I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. (9) And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. (10) I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. (11) And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. (12) And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD” (Zechariah 10:3-12).
- God was angry with the leadership of His people as He was when He sent them into captivity (Jeremiah 23:1-2).
- However, despite failed leadership, God strengthened His people and made them mighty (Isaiah 41:10).
- He was with them now (Joel 3:16-17).
- Rejoicing restored (Psalms 28:7).
- God planed to gather His people from whence they had been scattered (Deuteronomy 30:1-4 and Ezekiel 36:24).
© 2022 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.