The Book of Zechariah

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The Book of Zechariah

  • Who Wrote: Zechariah
  • Where Written: Jerusalem
  • When Written: c. 518 B.C.E.

A Call to Return to Jehovah

In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, the word of Jehovah came to the prophet Zechariah,[1] the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying, “Jehovah was very angry with your fathers. Therefore say to them, This is what Jehovah of armies says:[2] Return to me, says Jehovah of armies, and I will return to you, says Jehovah of armies. Do not be like your fathers, to whom the former prophets cried out, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies says,[3] Return from your evil ways and from your evil deeds.’ But they did not hear or pay attention to me, declares Jehovah. Your fathers, where are they? And the prophets, do they live forever? But my words and my statutes, which I commanded my servants the prophets, did they not overtake your fathers? So they repented and said, ‘As Jehovah of armies[4] purposed to deal with us according to our ways and our deeds, so has he dealt with us.’”

First Vision: Horseman Among the Myrtle Trees

On the twenty-fourth day of the eleventh month, which is the month of Shebat, in the second year of Darius, the word of Jehovah came to the prophet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, son of Iddo, saying, I saw at night, and behold, a man was riding on a red horse, and he was standing among the myrtle trees[5] which were in the ravine, and behind him were red, sorrel, and white horses. Then I said, ‘What are these, my lord?’ And the angel who was talking with me said, “I will show you what these are.” 10 And the man who was standing among the myrtle trees responded and said, ‘These are the ones whom Jehovah has sent out to walk[6] the earth.’ 11 And they answered the angel of Jehovah who was standing among the myrtle trees, and said, ‘walked about in the earth, and look, all the earth remains at rest.’ 12 Then the angel of Jehovah said, ‘O Jehovah of armies, how long will you have no mercy on Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, against which you have been indignant these seventy years?’ 13 And Jehovah answered the angel who was speaking with me, with gracious and comforting words. 14 So the angel who talked with me said to me, ‘Cry out, This is what Jehovah of armies says: I am exceedingly jealous[7] for Jerusalem and for Zion. 15 And I am exceedingly angry with the nations that are at ease; for while I was angry but a little, they furthered the calamity. 16 Therefore, thus says Jehovah, I have returned to Jerusalem with mercy; my house shall be built in it, declares Jehovah of armies, and the measuring line shall be stretched out over Jerusalem. 17 Cry out again, This is what Jehovah of armies says: My cities shall again overflow with prosperity, and Jehovah will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.’”

Second Vision: The Four Horns and the Four Craftsmen

18  And I lifted up my eyes and saw, and look, four horns! 19 And I said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these?” And he said to me, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah, Israel, and Jerusalem.” 20 Then Jehovah showed me four craftsmen. 21 And I said, “What are these coming to do?” And he said, “These are the horns which have scattered Judah so that no man lifts up his head; but these craftsmen have come to terrify them, to throw down the horns of the nations who have lifted up their horns against the land of Judah[8] to scatter it.”

Third Vision: The Man with the Measuring Line

 And I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. Then I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what its width is and what its length is.” And look, the angel who talked with me came forward, and another angel came forward to meet him. Then he said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and livestock within it. For I, said Jehovah, will be to her a wall of fire all around, and I will be the glory in the midst of her.’”

Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north, declares Jehovah. For I have scattered you to the four winds of the heavens, declares Jehovah. Come, Zion! Make your escape, you who are dwelling with the daughter of Babylon.[9] For this is what Jehovah of armies, after his glory sent me to the nations who plundered you, for he who touches you touches my eyeball.[10] “Look, I will shake my hand over them, and they shall become plunder for those who served them. Then you will know that Jehovah of armies[11] has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion, for look, I come, and I will dwell in your midst, declares Jehovah. 11 And many nations shall join themselves to Jehovah in that day and shall be my people.[12] And I will dwell in your midst, and you shall know that Jehovah of armies has sent me to you. 12 And Jehovah will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land and will again choose Jerusalem.”

13 Be silent, all flesh, before Jehovah, for he is taking action from his holy dwelling.

Fourth Vision: The Cleansing and Garments of Jeshua (Joshua), Judah’s High Priest

Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan[13] standing at his right hand to accuse him. Then the angel of Jehovah[14] said to Satan, “rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, Jehovah, who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is this not a brand plucked from the fire?” Now Joshua was clothed in filthy garments and was standing before the angel. And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Look, I have taken your error[15] away from you, and I will clothe you with fine garments.” And I said,[16] “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of Jehovah was standing nearby.

And the angel of Jehovah then declared to Joshua, “This is what Jehovah of armies says: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall judge my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: look, I will bring my servant the Branch.[17] For look, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Look, I will engrave an inscription on it, declares Jehovah of armies, ‘and I will remove the error[18] of that land in one day. 10 In that day, declares Jehovah of armies, each of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.”

Fifth Vision: The Gold Lampstand and the Two Olive Trees

And the angel who talked with me came again and woke me, like a man who is awakened out of his sleep. And he said to me, “What do you see?” And I said, “I see, and look, a lampstand all of gold with its bowl on the top of it, and its seven lamps on it with seven spouts belonging to each of the lamps which are on the top of it. And there are two olive trees by it, one on the right side of the bowl and the other on its left side.” And I answered and said to the angel who talked to me, “What are these, my lord?” Then the angel who talked with me answered and said to me, “Do you not know what these are?” I said, “No, my lord.” Then he said to me, “This is the word of Jehovah to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says Jehovah of armies. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you shall become a plain. And he shall bring forth the top stone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!’”

Then the word of Jehovah came to me, saying, “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it. Then you will know that Jehovah of armies has sent me to you. 10 For who has despised the day of small things shall rejoice and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. “These seven are the eyes of Jehovah, which rove through the whole earth.” 11 Then I said to him, “What are these two olive trees on the right of the lampstand and on its left?” 12 And I answered the second time and said to him, “What are the two olive branches which are beside the two golden pipes, which empty the golden oil from themselves?” 13 So he answered me, and said, “Do you not know what these are?” And I said, “No, my lord.” 14 Then he said, “These are the two anointed ones[19] who stand alongside the Lord of the whole earth.”

Sixth Vision: The Flying Scroll

Again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, a flying scroll! And he said to me, “What do you see?” I answered, “I see a flying scroll. Its length is twenty cubits,[20] and its width ten cubits.” Then said he to me, “This is the curse that goes forth over the face of the whole land. For everyone who steals shall be cut off according to it on this side; and everyone that swears falsely shall be cut off according to it on that side. I will send it out, declares Jehovah of armies,[21] and it shall enter the house of the thief, and the house of him who swears falsely by my name. And it shall remain in his house and consume it with its timber and stones.”

Seventh Vision: The Woman in the Basket – The Ephah Container

Then the angel who talked with me came forward and said to me, “Lift your eyes and see what this is that is going forth.” I said, “What is it?” And he said, “This is the ephah going forth.” Again, he said, “This is their transgressions[22] in all the land.” And look, the lead cover was lifted, and a woman was sitting inside the basket. And he said, “This is Wickedness!” And he thrust her down into the middle of the ephah and cast the lead weight on its opening.

Then I lifted up my eyes and looked, and there two women were coming forward, and the wind was in their wings; and they had wings like the wings of a stork, and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heavens. 10 Then I said to the angel who talked with me, “Where are they taking the basket?” 11 And he said to me, “To build a temple for her in the land of Shinar;[23] and when it is prepared, she will be set there on her own place.”

Eighth Vision: The Four Chariots

And again I lifted my eyes and saw, and behold, four chariots came out from between two mountains. And the mountains were mountains of copper. With the first chariot were red horses, with the second chariot black horses, with the third chariot white horses, and with the fourth chariot strong dappled[24] horses. Then I answered and said to the angel who talked with me, “What are these, my lord?” And the angel answered and said to me, “These are the four spirits of the heavens that are going out after taking their stand before the Lord of the whole earth. The one[25] with the black horses goes toward the north country, the white ones go after them,[26] and the dappled ones go toward the south country.” When the strong horses came out, they were impatient to go and walk[27] about through the earth. And he said, “Go, walk about through the earth.” So they walked through the earth. Then cried he to me, and spoke to me, saying, “Look, those who go toward the north country have set at rest my spirit[28] in the north country.”

Jeshua’s Reward: The Branch to be King and Priest

And the word of Jehovah came to me: 10 “Take an offering from the exiles, from Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah; and you shall go the same day and enter the house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, along with these who have come from Babylon.[29] 11 Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 And say to him, ‘This is what Jehovah of armies says,[30] “Look, the man whose name is the Branch:[31] for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of Jehovah. 13 He is the one who shall build the temple of Jehovah and shall bear the majesty and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ 14 And the crown shall be for Helem,[32] for Tobijah, for Jedaiah, and for Hen[33] son of Zephaniah, as a reminder in the temple of Jehovah.

15 “And those who are far off shall come and build the temple of Jehovah. And you shall know that Jehovah of armies has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of Jehovah your God.”

A Call for Justice and Mercy

In the fourth year of King Darius, the word of Jehovah came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month, which is Chislev. Now the people of Bethel had sent Sharezer and Regem-melech and their men to entreat the favor of Jehovah, saying to the priests of the house of Jehovah of armies and the prophets, “Should I weep and abstain in the fifth month, as I have done for so many years?”

Then the word of Jehovah of armies came to me: “Say to all the people of the land and the priests, ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth month and in the seventh, for these seventy years, did you really fast for me? And when you eat and when you drink, do you not eat for yourselves and drink for yourselves? Were not these the words that Jehovah proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous, with her cities around her, and the Negev[34] and the Shephelah[35] were inhabited?’”

And the word of Jehovah came to Zechariah, saying, “This is what Jehovah of armies says, Judge with true justice, show loyal love and mercy to one another, 10 do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.” 11 But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. 12 They made their hearts like a diamond[36] lest they should hear the law and the words that Jehovah of armies had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from Jehovah of armies. 13 “And so it occurred that, just as he called and they did not listen, so they called, and I would not listen,” says Jehovah of armies, 14 “and I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations that they had not known. Thus the land was desolated behind them, so that no one passed through or returned, for they made the pleasant land desolate.”

Jehovah Gives the Coming Peace and Prosperity of Zion

And the word of Jehovah of armies came, saying, “This is what Jehovah of armies says: I am jealous for Zion with great jealousy, and I am jealous for her with great wrath. This is what Jehovah says: I have returned to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city, and the mountain of Jehovah of armies, the holy mountain. This is what Jehovah of armies says: Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each with staff in hand because of great age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets. This is what Jehovah of armies says: If it seems too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, should it also seem difficult in my sight, declares Jehovah of armies? This is what Jehovah of armies says: Look, I will save my people from the east country and from the west country, and I will bring them back and they will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be my people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.”

This is what Jehovah of armies says: “Let your hands be strong, you who in these days have been hearing these words from the mouth of the prophets who were present on the day that the foundation of the house of Jehovah of armies was laid, that the temple might be built. 10 For before those days there was no wage for man or any wage for beast, and it was not safe to come and go because of the enemy, for I set all men against his neighbor. 11 But now I will not deal with the remnant of this people as in the former days, declares Jehovah of armies. 12 For there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. 13 And then, just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so will I save you, and you shall be a blessing. You must not be afraid; let your hands be strong.”

14 For this is what Jehovah of armies says: “As I purposed to bring calamity to you when your forefathers provoked me to wrath, and I did not relent, says Jehovah of armies, 15 so again have I determined in these days to bring good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah; fear not. 16 These are the things that you shall do: speak the truth to one another; judge with truth and judgment for peace in your gates. 17 Do not devise evil in your hearts against one another, and love no false oath, for all these things I hate, declares Jehovah.”

18 And the word of Jehovah of armies came to me, saying, 19 “This is what Jehovah of armies says: The fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the seventh and the fast of the tenth shall be to the house of Judah seasons of joy and gladness and cheerful feasts. Therefore love truth and peace.

20 “This is what Jehovah of armies says, ‘It will yet come to pass that peoples and the inhabitants of many cities will come. 21 The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to soften the face[37] of Jehovah and to seek Jehovah of armies; I will also go.” 22 And many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek Jehovah of armies in Jerusalem and to soften the face[38] of Jehovah.’ 23 This is what Jehovah of armies says: In those days ten men[39] from the nations of every tongue[40] shall take hold of the garment of a man[41] who is a Jew,[42] saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God[43] is with you.’”

God’s Judgment on Israel’s Enemies

The burden of the word of Jehovah upon the land of Hadrach
    and Damascus is its resting place.
For Jehovah has an eye on mankind
    and on all the tribes of Israel,
and on Hamath also, which borders on it,
    Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
Tyre has built herself a fortress
    and heaped up silver like dust,
    and fine gold like the mud of the streets.
Look, Jehovah[44] will dispossess her of her possessions
    and he will strike down her power[45] into the sea,
    and she shall be devoured by fire.

Ashkelon shall see it, and be afraid;
    Gaza too, and shall writhe in anguish;[46]
    Ekron also, because her hope is put to shame.
The king shall perish from Gaza;
    Ashkelon shall not be inhabited;
a mixed people shall dwell in Ashdod,
    and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.
I will take away its blood from its mouth,
    and its abominations from between its teeth;
it too shall be a remnant for our God;
    it shall be like a tribal chief[47] in Judah,
    and Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.
Then I will encamp at my house as a guard,
    so that none shall pass through or return;
no oppressor shall again pass through,
    for now I see with my own eyes.

The Coming King of Zion

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
    Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Look, your king is coming to you;
    he is righteous, bringing salvation,
humble and riding on a donkey,
    on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will cut off [48]the chariot from Ephraim
    and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
    and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rulership shall be from sea to sea,
    and from the River[49] to the ends of the earth.
11 As for you[50] also, because of the blood of my covenant with you,
    I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.

Jehovah’s People to Be Released

12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
    today I declare that I will restore to you[51] double.
13 For I have bent[52] Judah as my bow;
    I will fill the bow with Ephraim.
I will stir up your sons, O Zion,
    against your sons, O Greece,
    and I will make you like a warrior’s sword.

Jehovah Will Save His People

14 Then Jehovah will appear over them,
    and his arrow will go forth like lightning;
the Lord Jehovah will sound the trumpet
    and will march forth in the windstorms of the south.
15 Jehovah of armies will defend them,
    and they shall devour, and tread down the sling stones,
and they shall drink and be boisterous, as if with wine,[53]
    and be full like a bowl,
    like the corners of the altar.

16 On that day Jehovah their God will save them,
    as the flock of his people;
for like the jewels of a crown,
    sparkling over his land.
17 For how great his goodness is, and how great his beauty!
    Grain shall make the young men flourish,
    and new wine the virgins.

The Restoration for Judah and Israel

10 Ask Jehovah for rain
    in the season of the spring rain,
it is Jehovah who makes the storm clouds,
    and he will give them showers of rain,
    to each man vegetation in the field.
For the teraphim[54] have spoken deception,
    and the diviners see lies;
they tell false dreams
    and in vain they try to comfort.
Therefore the people wander like sheep;
    they are afflicted for there is no shepherd.

“My anger is hot against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the male goats;[55]
for Jehovah of armies cares for his flock, the house of Judah,
    and will make them like his majestic horse in battle.
From him shall come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,[56]
from him the battle bow,
    from him every ruler, all of them together.
They shall be like mighty men in battle,
    trampling down the enemy in the mud of the streets in battle;
they shall fight because Jehovah is with them,
    and the riders on horses shall be put to shame.

“I will strengthen the house of Judah,
    and I will save the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back because I have compassion on them,
    and they shall be as though I had not rejected them,
    for I am Jehovah their God and I will answer them.
Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior,
    and their hearts shall rejoice as if from wine.
Their sons shall see it and be glad;
    their heart shall rejoice in Jehovah.

“I will whistle for them and gather them in,
    for I have redeemed them,
    and they shall be as numerous as they were before.
Though I sow them among the nations,
    yet in far countries they shall remember me,
    and with their sons they shall live and return.
10 I will bring them back from the land of Egypt,
    and gather them from Assyria,
and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon,
    until there is no room for them.
11 And he shall pass through[57] the sea of distress
    and strike down the waves of the sea,
    and all the depths of the Nile shall dry up.
The pride of Assyria shall be brought down,
    and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
12 I will make them strong in Jehovah,
    and they shall walk in his name,”
declares Jehovah.

The Flock Doomed to Slaughter for Rejecting God’s true shepherd

11 Open your doors, O Lebanon,
    that the fire may devour your cedars!
Wail, O cypress, for the cedar has fallen,
    for the glorious trees are destroyed!
Wail, oaks of Bashan,
    for the dense forest has come down!
Listen to the wail of the shepherds,
    for their glory is ruined!
Listen to the roar of young lions,
    for the thicket of the Jordan is destroyed!

This is what Jehovah my God says: “Become shepherd of the flock doomed to slaughter. Those who buy them slaughter them and go unpunished, and those who sell them say, ‘Blessed be Jehovah, I have become rich,’ and their shepherds have no compassion for them. For I will no longer have pity on the inhabitants of this land, declares Jehovah. Look, I will cause each man to fall into the hand of his neighbor, and each into the hand of his king, and they shall crush the land, and I will deliver none from their hand.”

So I became the shepherd of the flock doomed to be slaughtered, even the afflicted ones of the flock.[58] And I took two staffs, one I named Favor, the other I named Union, and I shepherded the flock. And I cut off the three shepherds in one month; for my soul was impatient with them, and their soul also detested me. And I said: “I will not shepherd you. Let the one who is dying, let it die and let the one to be cut off, let it be cut off. As for those who are left, let them devour one another’s flesh.” 10 And I took my staff Favor and cut it in pieces, to break my covenant which I had made with all the peoples. 11 So it was broken on that day, and so the afflicted ones of the flock[59] who were watching me realized that it was the word of Jehovah. 12 And I said to them, “If it is good in your eyes, give me my wages; but if not, withhold them.” And they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then Jehovah said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of Jehovah.[60] 14 Then I cut in pieces my second staff Union, to break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel.

15 And Jehovah said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For look, I am letting a shepherd rise up in the land who will not care for those who are cut off, neither seek those who are scattered, or heal the broken, or feed those able to stand, but he will devour the flesh of the fat ones and tear off their hoofs.

17 “Woe to my worthless shepherd,
    who abandons the flock!
May the sword strike his arm
    and his right eye!
Let his arm be wither completely,
    his right eye completely blind.”[61]

Jehovah Will Give Salvation Defending Judah and Jerusalem

12 The burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel. Thus declares Jehovah who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him: “Look, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup that causes all the surrounding peoples to stagger. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. And it shall come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against her. In that day,” declares Jehovah, “I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the tribal chiefs[62] of Judah shall say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through Jehovah of armies,[63] their God.’

“On that day I will make the tribal chiefs[64] of Judah like a fiery pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.

“Jehovah also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah. In that day Jehovah will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Jehovah before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Wailing Over Him Whom They Have Pierced

10 “I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look to me[65] whom they pierced, and they shall mourn over him, as one wails over an only child, and they will grieve bitterly over him as one weeps bitterly over a firstborn. 11 On that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves.

Removal of Idols and False Prophets

13 “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

“And it shall come about in that day, says Jehovah of armies,[66] that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall about that, when any shall prophesy, then his father and his mother who gave birth to him shall say to him, you shall not live; for you speak lies in the name of Jehovah; and his father and his mother who gave birth to him shall pierce him through when he prophesies.

“Also it will come about on that day that the prophets will each be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies, and they will not wear a garment of hair for the purpose of deceiving, but he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a man working the soil, for a man sold me in my youth.’ And one shall say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will say, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’

The Shepherd Struck

“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd,
    against the man who is my companion,”
declares Jehovah of armies.

“Strike the shepherd, and the flock will be scattered;
    I will turn my hand against the little ones.
And in the whole land, declares Jehovah,
    two parts in it shall be cut off and perish,
    and the third part shall be left remaining in it.
And I will bring the third part into the fire,
    and I will refine them as silver is refined,
    and test them as gold is tested.
They will call upon my name,
    and I will answer them.
I will say, ‘They are my people’;
    and they will say, ‘Jehovah is my God.’”

The Coming Day of Jehovah – The Triumph of True Worship

14 Look, a day is coming for Jehovah, when the spoil taken from you[67] will be divided in your midst. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken, and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then Jehovah will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from the sunrising[68] and to the sea[69] forming a very large valley. Half of the mountain will move toward the north, and the other half toward the Negev.[70] And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azel.[71] And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then Jehovah my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.[72]

On that day there shall be no light, but only cold and frost. For it shall be a unique day which is known to Jehovah, neither day nor night, but it shall come about, that at evening time there shall be light.

On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea[73] and half of them to the western sea.[74] It shall happen in summer and in winter.

And Jehovah will be king over all the earth. On that day Jehovah will be one and his name one.

10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem and she shall rise and shall dwell in her place, from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the wine presses of the king. 11 And men shall inhabit her; and there will never again be a curse of destruction, and Jerusalem shall dwell in security.

12 And this shall be the plague with which Jehovah will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

13 And on that day a great confusion from Jehovah shall fall on them, so that each will grab the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14 And Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15 And just like this plague, there will be a plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey, and all the livestock that will be in those camps.

16 Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, Jehovah of armies,[75] and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. 17 And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, Jehovah of armies, there will be no rain on them. 18 And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain; there shall be the plague with which Jehovah afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. 19 This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.

20 And on that day, there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to Jehovah.” And the cooking pots in the house of Jehovah shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21 And every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holy to Jehovah of armies; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite[76] in the house of Jehovah of armies in that day.

[1] Meaning Jehovah Has Remembered

[2] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively. This expression “Jehovah of armies” is used 53 times in the mere 14 chapters of Zechariah.

[3] See 1:3 fn.

[4] See 1:3 fn.

[5] LXX “among the hills of shade”

[6] Or patrol

[7] That is, to be zealous for, to have a great zeal for

[8] MT SYR VG “Judah” LXX “Jehovah”

[9] LXX VG “Babylon” MT AT SYR “Babel”

[10] The original reading was “my eyeball.” The Sopherim emended the text to read “his eyeball.”

[11] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[12] LXX SYR “his people”

[13] Hebrew the Accuser or the Adversary

[14] SYR “The angel of Jehovah” MT LXX VG “Jehovah”

[15] Error: (עָוֹן awon or עָווֹן awon) The Hebrew word awon essentially relates to erring, acting illegally, or wrongly. This aspect of sin refers to committing perverseness, wrongness, lawlessness, law-breaking, which can also include the rejection of the sovereignty of God. It is an act or a feeling that steps over the line of God’s moral standard, as something God forbids, or the person ignores carry out (doing) something that God requires, whether it be by one’s thoughts, feelings, speech, or actions. It also focuses on the liability or guilt of one’s wicked, wrongful act. This error may be deliberate or accidental; either willful deviation of what is right or unknowingly making a mistake. (Lev. 4:13-35; 5:1-6, 14-19; Num. 15:22-29; Ps 19:12-13) Of course, if it is intentional; then, the consequence is far more serious. (Num. 15:30-31) Error is in opposition to the truth, and those willfully sinning corrupt the truth, a course that only brings forth flagrant sin. (Isa 5:18-23) We can be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. – Ex 9:27, 34-35; Heb. 3:13-15.

[16] MT “And I said” AT SYR VG “And he said” LXX lacks.

[17] That is, a title of a future king from the lineage of David.

[18] See 3:4 fn.

[19] Lit sons of the oil MT “the two anointed ones” The Hebrew (בְנֵי־הַיִּצְהָר bēn hǎ- yiṣ·hār) is an idiomatic expression referring to an anointed leader, who is called for some special service, giving the person authority and power, wherein there would be a ceremony where olive oil would be poured on their head. LXX SYR “sons of fattiness” AT “sons of princes”

[20] A cubit equaled 44.5 cm (17.5 in.).

[21] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[22] MT VG “their eye” LXX “unrighteousness” SYR One Heb. MS “their transgressions”

[23] MT “Shinar” LXX “Babylon” AT SYR “Babel”

[24] The horse is marked with spots or rounded patches.

[25] That is, the chariot

[26] It is possible to adopt an emendation of the text. A small addition of only a one letter emendation of the Hebrew text will give the reader “toward the west” (ʾaḥărê hayyām). This would give us something like, “the white ones go toward the west.” That is, west toward the Great Sea, the Mediterranean. There is the temptation to go with this emendation because as the reader we sensed that the four horses mentioned earlier were going to go in four different directions. However, even if we manipulated the text to get the white ones going west, we would still be missing the red ones going east. Moreover, there are no versions that would support this emendation to the Hebrew text. Thus, we retain the MT reading, which is the same as the LXX SYR VG and we note the focus of the verse is on the north and the south.

[27] Or patrol

[28] BHK BHS fns. “the spirit of Jehovah” MT SYR VG “my spirit” LXX “my anger” AT “do my will”

[29] LXX VG “Babylon” MT AT SYR “Babel”

[30] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[31] That is, a title of a future king from the lineage of David.

[32] MT AT VG “Helem” SYR “Heldai”

[33] MT AT VG “Hen” Vgc “Hem” SYR “Josiah”

[34] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[35] Or the lowland

[36] That is, hard like a stone

[37] That is, entreat for the favor

[38] That is, beg for the favor

[39] Heb. ’anashim; pl ’ish

[40] That is, the languages

[41] Heb. ’ish

[42] Heb. Yehudhi´

[43] Heb. ’Elohim´

[44] This is one of the 134 scribal changes from יהוה [JHVH] to אדני [Adonai]. The earliest MSS have the Tetragrammaton.

[45] Or possibly, “on the sea.” This is a reference to the defenses of Tyre, her army fortifications.

[46] That is, feel great anguish

[47] The Hebrew could be understood to mean a leader like we have here with “a tribal chief” but with different vowels it could also mean “kinsmen” or “kindred.” The meaning would not be altered either way. The same choice occurs in Zechariah 12:5–6.

[48] MT AT VG “I will cut off” LXX SYR “he will cut off”

[49] That is, the Euphrates

[50] “You” (אַתְּ at) here is in the feminine singular “O woman” and refers back to Zion or Jerusalem in verse 9. It could be rendered, “As for you, O woman, by …”

[51] “You” (אַתְּ at) here is in the feminine singular “O woman” and refers back to Zion or Jerusalem in verse 9. It could be rendered, “I will restore to you, O woman, double”

[52] Lit tread

[53] Some LXX MSS “they will drink blood like wine” Other LXX MSS have “they will drink them like wine.”

[54] Or household gods; idols

[55] That is, the leaders

[56] This is pictorial of a ruler who supports.

[57] MT “they shall pass through” LXX “he shall pass through”

[58] LXX “the sheep of the slaughter into the land of the Canaanites”

[59] LXX has “the sheep merchants” instead of “the afflicted of the flock”

[60] SYR has “to the treasury in the house of Jehovah” instead of “to the potter in the house of Jehovah”

[61] Lit dim

[62] See 9:7 fn.

[63] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[64] See 9:7 fn.

[65] Gesenius’ Hebrew Grammar, by E. Kautzsch and A. E. Cowley (1949 reprint), says on page 446, in footnote 1 belonging to section 138 (2) e, the following: “In Zechariah 12:10 also, instead of the unintelligible e·laʹi ēth a·sherʹ, we should probably read el-a·sherʹ, and refer the passage to this class.” In the MT the written text reads אֵלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (’ela ’et ’asher, “to me whom”), but the marginal note reads אַלֵי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (’ale ’et ’asher, “to the one whom.” Some of the later Hebrew manuscripts read אַלֵי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (’ale ’et ’asher, “to the one whom.” LXX reads: “to me for the reason that”; VG, “to me whom”; SP, “to me for him whom”; TH, “to him whom.

The Father, Jehovah God is the speaker here, the subject of this clause and the shift from the pronoun “me” to “him” in the next clause makes it sound as though God the Father was the one to be pierced instead of Jesus. (John 19.37; Rev. 1;7) In order to avoid this difficulty, some of the later Hebrew manuscripts read “look upon him whom they have pierced,” rather than “look upon me whom they have pierced.” Initially, the Hebrew manuscripts in the Keri,* or corrected reading in the margin that was to be read had “look upon him whom they have pierced;” but eventually, in some manuscripts, the marginal reading was brought up into the main body of the text itself. The oldest and best Hebrew manuscripts read “me” rather than “him.” This is also the more difficult reading, which would be the motive for change, so clearly, the scribes found this reading objectionable. Therefore, translations should reject the later scribes in favor of the more difficult reading, “they will look to me whom they pierced.”

The literal piercing took place with Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and at John 19:37 the prophecy of Zechariah 12:10 is quoted and applied to Jesus: “And again another Scripture says, ‘They will look on him whom they pierced.’” (UASV) Of course, no Christian who knows his Bible well would ever suggest that it was God the Father, who was actually in heaven at the time to whom Jesus was speaking when he was being executed. (Matt. 27:46; Luke 23:46) God the Father was not the one who died and then resurrected himself, it was the Son of God. Jesus “is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His [the Father’s] nature.” (Heb. 1:3, NASB) Thus, in piercing the Son, they, in essence, pierced the Father. Scripture helps us to understand this. For example, when Jesus sent out his disciples to preach, he said: “Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.” (Matt. 10:40) This shows us that when we receive the Son, we are receiving the Father who sent him. Similarly, to pierce Jesus was to pierce the Father who had sent him, just not in the literal sense.

[66] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[67] That is, the city mentioned in vs. 2.

[68] That is, the east

[69] That is, the Mediterranean Sea, which is to the west.

[70] Or the south. That is the southern part of the Promised Land. The Negev was an arid region in the southern part of Palestine, and its name came to mean south.

[71] A place near Jerusalem and seemingly East of the Mount of Olives. It has yet to be identified, but the reading in the LXX “Iasol” leans us toward the Wadi Yasul, which is a tributary to the Kidron Valley from the Mount of Olives.

[72] AT LXX SYR VG many Heb. MSS “him” MT “you”

[73] That is, the Dead Sea

[74] That is, the Mediterranean Sea

[75] Jehovah of armies: (Heb. jhvh tsaba) literally means an army of soldiers, or military forces (Gen. 21:22; Deut. 20:9). It can also be used figuratively, “the sun and the moon and the stars, all the armies of heaven.” (Deut. 4:19) In the plural form, it is also used of the Israelites forces as well. (Ex. 6:26; 7:4; Num. 33:1; Psa. 44:9) However, the “armies” in the expression “Jehovah of armies” is a reference to the angelic forces primarily, if not exclusively.

[76] Or traders

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