Tuesday Morning Bible Study

September 3, 2019, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom


Through this study, my awareness of Zechariah, the Prophet of the Messiah, has been re-enforced chapter after chapter. 


  By vision, Zechariah saw beyond the earthly temple to the gospel temple of Jesus Christ, the Master Builder.  He saw Jesus as the Son of Man, the Messiah, Husband and Defender of Jerusalem; King, Great High Priest,  LORD of Host of New Jerusalem and last week Zechariah revealed Jesus to us as the New Covenant.


I am in over my head in Chapter 9, but that doesn’t embarrass me, because it is over everyone’s head even the great theologians.


In chapter 9, Zechariah reveals Jesus at his first coming as King riding into Jerusalem on a donkey.  He will come at his second coming as the LORD OF HOSTS, Captain of the Angel Armies.  Zechariah prophesies of the power of the Blood Covenant of Jesus Christ.   He is revealed as our Stronghold. 


 Zech. 9:1 - 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.  And Hamath also shall border thereby;


Hadrach was a city in Lebanon, but is now Syria.  Damascus and Hamath are both cities of Syria.


I am sure it is only a coincidence that Hezbollah, a terrorist group in Lebanon, which is backed by Iran, bombed Israel on Sunday.  Last week an Israeli drone attacked Syria.


The burden (or Oracle) declares this to be a prophetic Word of the Lord.  There are only three instances in the O.T. where the word Oracle is joined with the word of the Lord.  In Mal. 1:1, it describes a burden placed upon a prophet’s shoulders, a message that was far from easy to delivery, thus placing the prophet under heavy constraint.


The message seems to be that the word of the Lord, having operated within Judah, now begins to influence her neighbors.  For the eyes of men are upon the Lord is a literal translation of the text.  It is possibly better to read:  “For the eye of the Lord is upon Aram (Syria) as it is upon all the tribes of Israel.”


The people groups and leaders of the world have no idea that the eye of the Lord is upon everything that is going on in the world and especially individuals, nations, and world leaders.


Zech 9: 2-4: Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.  And Tyrus built herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.  Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.


Tyre was an important industrial city in earlier times, and was particularly remembered for its trade agreements with both David and Solomon.  Later, in the eighth century, Tyre came under pressure from Assyria, and her judgment was prophesied by both Jeremiah and Ezekiel and here again by Zechariah.


Zidon (Sidon) was one of the first Phoenician cities to be founded and was noted as a seaport.  Though Tyre is very skillful (wise), she has built herself a rampart.  Hiram, king of Tyre (979-945 B.C.) constructed a causeway linking the seaport of Zidon to his fortress.  The reference to gold and silver reflects the general economic wealth of Tyre.  Despite her strength and financial resources, Tyre will be destroyed as a city. Her power refers to her economic strength and her mighty defenses.  After the onslaught the city was consumed by fire. In 332 B.C. Alexander the Great sacked the city. 


No matter how prosperous a nation is, when their cup of iniquity is full, that city or nation can be destroyed by the Hand of God.


Zech. 9: 5-7” 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.

And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.

And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remains even he shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.


Ashkelon, Ashdod and Ekron are all cities of Israel today.  Gaza is a Palestinian territory.  At the time of this prophecy, they were Philistine cities.  Ashkelon shares the fate of Ashdod in depopulation.  Gaza shares the loss of its king with Ashdod.  Ekron will be judged with shame.   


The bastard spirit in Ashdod in whomever the ruler was who ate blood the sacrifices which were offered to idols,


Philistia was the territory on the south-western coast of the Holy Land and occupied by the Philistines from very early Bible times.  The modern name “Palestine” is derived from this name.  From the time of Joshua the Philistine people were a constant source of frustration to the Israelites.  This mention of the Philistine people is the last in the O.T.  The pride of these people says the prophet, will be broken; their pagan sacrificial system will be removed and Philistia shall become a remnant.

Ekron was a Canaanite city who would turn to God.  This remnant is incorporated into the faithful core of the people of Judah.


With the south-western seaboard thus controlled, the land will now be secure.  The Lord now comes to defend his land and his people.  His eyes watch over their safety so that no enemy or invader may trespass again.


Zech. 9:8: And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passes by, and because of him that returns: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.


The Word of the Lord through the Prophet now focuses attention upon the arrival of the King. 


Zech 9:9: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King comes unto you: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.


This is prophetic of Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem as recorded in Mt. 21:4 and Jn. 12: 14.  This is fulfilled prophecy.

He is righteous.  He has salvation.  The Messiah-king is gentle indicating that he comes in meekness and peace.  The donkey links the oracle with Jacob’s blessing of Judah, in which the anticipated ruler tethers his donkey to a choicest branch (Gen. 49:10). 


Zechariah now moves the eyes of the prophet toward the second coming of Christ.


Zech. 9:10: 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.


The joining of Ephraim and Jerusalem will bring the re-unification of the northern and southern kingdoms.  Jesus will proclaim peace to the nations, so bringing a cessation of strife not only in Israel but throughout the world. 


With the coming of Israel’s king and the end result of world wide peace, the prophet now turns to Judah’s deliverance in keeping with the promise to his people in the time of Moses.  God will intervene because of the blood of my covenant (Exodus 24:8).  The original basis of God’s special dealings with his own people is never forgotten.  The hematic essence of the covenant was remembered daily in the services of the Tabernacle and recalled by Jeremiah.


 Jer. 31:31:  Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:

Zech 9:11: As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein no water is.


It is my persuasion the prisoners in the pit are those whereby Jesus proclaimed release to the captives and took the keys to hell and set the captives free.

Unchecked Copy BoxCol 2:15 - And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.


Zech. 9:12 - Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;


Jesus Christ is our strong hold and the strong hold of the captives in Babylon as well as those who are in captivity in any generation.  The despair and losses in captivity are to be replaced by a double portion of joy and prosperity.


Zech. 9:13 - 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.


God’s power rests with his people.  The sons of Zion are the sword of the Almighty to be flourished against your sons, O Greece. 


Finis J. Dake believed this scripture is prophesying of the “revival of the Grecian Empire under Antichrist to fight against Israel in the last days.  Daniel 8 & 11 is also interpreted by F. J. Dake of the battle of Armageddon when warriors of the Revived Grecian Empire will be fighting against the sons of Zion at the 2nd advent of Christ.  In this battle the Lord will literally be seen over the sons of Zion.”


It could also refer to the Phoenician cities of Tyre and Zidon which was destroyed by Alexander the Great.  Israel surrendered Jerusalem to Alexander the Great without a battle about 332 B.C.


Zechariah’s prophecy was given 500 years before Christ was born and 200 years before Greece became a world power under Alexander the Great


Verses 14-17 are apocalyptic and surely speak of the second coming of the LORD.

God will appear sounding the trumpet of battles as he goes forth in the storms of the south.     


Zech. 9:14 -17: 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.  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.

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.- For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.


The arrow of the Lord that will go forth as lightning must refer to the flaming fire with which Christ and His angels will come.  The blowing of a trumpet by God will be literally true in that day.  The Lord of Host (Captain of the Angel Armies) will defend His people and save them.” (F.J. Dake)


With the promise of God’s victorious protection there comes also the assurance of celebration to follow. 


With the picture of the people restored and rejoicing without restraint in God’s mighty deliverance, the prophet sees them as jewels in a crown, living emblems of all that the Lord has done for them.  Conditions of peace will be attended by conditions of plenty.


Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries Church


I entered into the labors of  F.F. Bruce Bible Commentary.

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