March 16, 1995, edited for teaching
Now we come to one of the more interesting chapters of this amazing little book. Notice that this chapter has seventeen verses in it and right in the middle is v. 9, one of the key prophetic verses of Scripture. It is a very familiar verse, yet we use it apart from all thought of the context.
V. 9, is the change of 'tone' of this chapter. The 8 preceding verses speak of judgment against the heathens which have oppressed the covenant people. The verses after v. 9 speak of the people's king and the victory which their King gives to His covenant people.
In this passage we see the casting down or the destruction of the people, cities and kingdoms who had exalted themselves against the kingdom of God. As history looks back on these nations and people, we see that this is pretty much a description of the route of destruction that Alexander the Great took when he conquered the world. See Daniel chp. 8, etc. (See Hengs. Christology, II, pgs. 1008-1017.)
At the time of Zechariah's prophecy, the Chaldeans - Persia or Babylon -were the very heart of the enemies of God's people. They had carried them off into captivity, and leveled the city and temple of the Great King. In this prophecy, Zechariah is reminding this small band of Jews who had returned of the many previous prophecies which called for the overthrow of the mighty and proud kingdom of Babylon. We will only mention one of the many prophecies of the overthrow of Babylon, Jer. 50 and 51. Zachariah speaks during the peak of Babylon's or Persia's power.
V. 1, Zechariah speaks against some locations which were very powerful, prosperous. These cities were close by, therefore, well-known even though they were under the rule of Persia at the time. Jer. 49:23-27.
Those who were returned to do the work under Ezra could look around them and readily see the prosperity of Damascus though Damascus was a captive state as they were. After considering Damascus' prosperity, they would look at their own difficult situation. comparing the two situations, no doubt, they were very tempted to be discouraged.
Discouragement when comparing the pagans with the kingdom of God is as old as is mankind, and the Word of God deals with it over and over. E.g. Ps. 37 and 73. "What's the use to remain true and faithful to God?"
The prophecy of Zech 9:1 is based in Amos 1, which speaks of the destruction of Damascus. Evidently, the Lord is promising judgment against Damascus as well as the rest of the nations mentioned, "The providence of God which rules the whole earth, which lies open to his view," is "removing the existing disproportion between the fate of the covenant nation, and that of the heathen nations which he now appears to favor (Heng.)."
The Lord accomplished the destruction He promised through Zechariah with Alexander the Great.
We should keep in mind that one purpose of Zechariah's prophecy is to encourage those who are involved in a seemingly hopeless task. God is reminding them of the future greater glory of His people, while at the same time pointing out his judgment against the sin that He seems to be ignoring.
V. 7 & 10, gives the final result of God's judgment against the heathen, their conversion. The conversion will be over an extended period because they were prospering in paganism at the time Zech spoke. Alexander had not yet made his move, and it would be several hundred years before the means of their conversion would arrive, the Messiah, v. 9.
We see here that the humbling of these proud nations of the world would destroy their pride, and prepare them for the coming Kingdom of God (Hengs.). See Jer. 32:19.
V. 2, these cities were quite strong and well fortified. They were very confident in their location, fortification and wealth. It is interesting that Christ made reference to these two cities in His rebuke of the cities in Israel of His day, Mat 11.
God gives the reason for the destruction of Tyre and Sidon, v. 2, Thought it be very wise. Ezek. 26, 27 & 28 foretells Tyrus' destruction. Ez 28:2, says that because of Tyre's wisdom and wealth, it exalted itself against God. TYRE'S PRIDE OVER ITS WISDOM AND WEALTH LED DIRECTLY TO ITS DESTRUCTION.
Ez 28:12, speaks to the author of the pride exhibited by Tyre, Satan himself.
Ez 28:22, the words shift from Tyre to Zidon, and the same charge is leveled against that wicked city, 28:22-26. Four times in five verses, the Lord gives the reason for His judgments against Tyre and Sidon: and they shall know that I am the Lord.
Obviously, Zechariah had Ezekiel's words in mind as he spoke against Tyrus and Zidon. WE MUST NOTICE HERE WHY THE LORD PROMISED THE DESTRUCTION OF THESE TWO CITIES: HE PROMISED THEIR DESTRUCTION NOT BECAUSE THEY WERE AGAINST ISRAEL, BUT BECAUSE THEY WERE LIFTED UP WITH PRIDE OVER THEIR WISDOM AND WEALTH.
Moreover, it is interesting that both Tyrus and Zidon sought their protection with silver, gold and strong fortifications.
Wise. This is not Biblical wisdom in a good usage but a worldly wisdom which exalts itself against God's Word. This wisdom of Tyrus and Zidon says, "I don't need God or His word to show me how to act and live. I can figure this out on my own."
It is the original wisdom offered to Eve in the garden. "You don't need to study God's word to know good from evil. You can use your own wisdom and understanding to make that determination."
Read Ez 28, and you will find that this is preciously the Lord's complaint against the king of Tyre.
The heathen nations listed in Zach 9:1-8 used all of their wisdom to secure their safety and peace. As one would look upon these nations, he would be inclined to say that their pagan wisdom without God seemed to be working. In the case before us in Zechariah, the faithful people of God who sacrificed everything to serve the Lord would look at the prosperity of the pagans around them and say, WHAT'S THE USE. WE DO OUR BEST, MAKE THE SACRIFICE OF EVERYTHING AND WE ARE STILL NOT PROSPERING. BUT LOOK AT THE PAGANS.
[I am tempted to say this very thing as watch the neighbour's house being sided.]
Zechariah points out that all of that wisdom is going to be brought to nought, I Cor. 1:19, 20. Moreover, both Zachariah and Ezekiel point out that the destruction of those depending upon worldly wisdom and wealth will lead to their conversion.
Of course, the application for our day is obvious. Not only the heathen crowd had made great use of the world's wisdom to find 'security and prosperity,' but we see the tremendous influence of these things of the world upon God's people. The vast majority of God's people yielded to the world's wisdom to gain security and prosperity, and it seems to be working.
The Lord points out here that all of those things which are built upon the world's sensual wisdom - James 3:15 - must and will collapse. Our Lord confirmed this very doctrine in Matt. 7:24-29, as does Paul in Heb 12:27. Not only must these things collapse but the fall will lead to the conversion of the heathen.
Remember, Zachariah's prophecy is given in the face of tremendous power, prosperity and safety which had developed as a result of the use of this worldly wisdom.
The Lord is pointing out that it will all come apart one day and it did.
The promise holds good today. As even God's covenant people attempt to use this worldly wisdom to do 'good works' and seems to prosper, it will come down.
Notice 2 Thes 2:2: we should not be shaken when things around us shake.
KIDS, DON'T BE SWAYED OR DRAWN AWAY FROM THE LORD BY THE PROSPERITY OF THE WICKED
The word of the Lord is exceptionally clear on this second point, e.g. Jer. chp. 28. No matter how strong and prosperous a person and/or nation might be, it will fall if that strength is not built upon the Word of God. A good application for our day would be Japan. Japan is probably the greatest economic strength of our day, and it gained its strength by worldly wisdom, diligence and hard work. But all of that must fall, for it is not built upon God's word.
There is as much faith required to day as there was in Zechariah's day. The faithful to God seem to be the downcast, yet God promises to totally reverse the situations when his time is right. We claim these promises and press on.
March 26, 1995
V.3, the complaint of God against Tyrus was not its hostility against the covenant people Israel. God's complaint and judgment was against their hostility toward Him, exhibited in Tyre's confidence is in its riches gained by its wisdom.
Thus a nation or individual may even protect and promote the true religion of the Bible, but he will still have God's hand against him if he is seeking his strength and power from any source except from God through obedience to His word.
First, all nations of the world today have God's hand against them. I know of none which this verse 3 would not describe. Ezek. 28, would be a more in-depth description. We would think that the whole world lieth in wickedness.
Second, those who rely on their abilities to provide protection and security have God's hand against them, Rom 1:21. Any person, institution or government who refuses to glorify God as God over every area of life will be judged.
V. 4, Behold-- The prophet calls attention to a couple of things.
First, all of the wealth, wisdom and security which the world has to offer is less than nothing when one is in rebellion against God.
Second, it is the Lord who will overthrow those who have exalted themselves against His Word, and there will be no exceptions. The Lord may use whatever means He desires, but it will be accomplished. He used Alexander in this case. He used Titus and Rome in 70 A.D..
What means will He use today? This is a serious question as we see all of the world trying to flee from the chains of his law. I think that Zechariah goes on to answer this means of world conquest in v. 10.
As we look back on history we see that v. 4 was literally fulfilled as Alexander the Great scraped up the dust of the city and cast it into the sea.
V. 5, the prophetic account here at the fall of these kingdoms follows the march of Alexander along the Mediterranean Sea. See the other passages which make the same prophecy, Amos 1:6-8; Zeph. 2:4; Jer. 25:20.
Here in v. 5, Ashkelon, and the other nations mentioned, sees the total destruction of Tyre and fears. Isa 23:4, 5 tells us that Egypt also will see Tyre overthrown, and fear. In v. 11, God reaches across the sea and shakes the kingdoms.
V. 6, Bastard... A word only used twice in Scripture: Deut. 23:2, it is used literally for a child of fornication. Here in Zech. 9:6, it is used figuratively, referring to a mixed population. Only a few natives remain after Ashdod's destruction, and they would be mixed blood
The Samaritans were a good example: they were mixed blood of the Assyrians.
Thus God will cut off the pride of the Philistines, all the strength and wealth which they prided themselves in, and which were the ground of their confidence in themselves and their contempt of the Israel of God.
V. 7, speaks of the future conversion of the remnant of the Philistines. Before they could be converted, their pride must be destroyed. Their strong cities, their military strength and their wealth had to be cut off, v. 6.
Their pride was cut off, exterminated, and the means God used to cut off their pride was to break their national heritage. I believe He will do the same thing for the US.
The destruction of the heathen's pride and Israel's horses and chariots and battle bows are the necessary condition of the universal dominion to be afterwards obtained in Christ.
V. 7. blood out of his mouth. Their idolatrous customs were held so firmly - as a dog would hold a piece of meat in his mouth - that it would take the overwhelming judgments of God, desperate means to separate them from their heathen practices.
I will. It will be God, through whatever means he deems necessary, who will take away the idolatrous practices from the heathens.
Notice the result, but he that remaineth... This is calling for the conversion of the pagan nations who at one time worshipped idols. It is more than just conversion; it is acceptance into the covenant. They will be placed on the same footing as the citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem.
Undoubtedly this is only one of the many OT passages which our Lord referred to in Lk. 24:47, when He opened the understanding of the men and explained how the OT law and prophets spoke of the necessity of the OT gospel of His death, burial and resurrection going to the heathen world.
Furthermore, Paul referee to this turning to God by the heathens from their idols, I Thess. 1:9.
The promise here in Zech. 9:7 is that these heathen nations will be brought into the covenant at some future time. They will enjoy exactly the same privileges as all the rest who are in the covenant.
Of interest here is Ekron will be like the Jebusite. The Jebusites possessed ancient Jerusalem. They dwelt there with the inhabitants of the city, who were unable to drive them out until the time of David. They were conquered by David, and all who remained were incorporated into the nation of the Lord as they adopted the religion of Israel. Araunah was a Jebusite, a man of wealth and distinction, who lived in the midst of the covenant nation. David, under divine direction, choose his estate as the site of the future temple, II Sam. 24:16ff. (I Chron. 21.)
Undoubtedly the significance of this should not be overlooked.
First, it was through judgment against the Jebusites that they were brought into the covenant nation. They had to be brought in through conversion. A profession of faith in the God of Israel and a commitment to obey his every word.
Second, the possessions of this Jebusite, now a proselyte to the true religion of Jehovah God, are then used to build the temple to Jehovah God.
Third, it wasn't just any king who took this Jebusite's wealth for the service of the Lord; it was King David who 'brought' this Jebusite's to build the temple on.
The application is obvious. Through conversion, faith in the promised seed, the heathen Gentile nations are brought into the covenant, then God uses their possessions to build His temple. And the heathens are not conquered by just anyone, but they are conquered by Christ, the seed of David.
There are many OT passages which speaks of the calamities which befall the Gentile nations and the conversion which result. See Isa. 19; Haggai 2:7 (and of course, here in Zech. 9:10 and 14:9).
History has not yet seen these passages fulfilled completely. We have seen the Kingdom opened up to the Gentile nations world-wide (Matt. 28:18, 19), but as for all the heathens honoring Christ as their King and His law as their law world-wide, it is yet to come.
Zech 9:3-8 speak of tremendous calamities which will bring
about the humiliations necessary for the destruction of the pagan's
What will these be?
When will they happen?
Only God in his divine plan knows the answer to these many questions. All we have are the promises of these verses.
Of course in our day, it sure looks like God is gathering together all the nations and setting them up for a tremendous fall, a fall which will humiliate all of the wisdom of this world combined according to Paul's words in 1 Cor 1 & 2. My, what a glorious day that will be.
V. 8. VV. 1-7, the army is very busy accomplishing what God has foretold here.
V. 8, The Lord exhorts His faithful people to remain calm in spite of the fact the whole world has gathered from every area against their King. He urges them to keep their faith, for their God is able to scatter every army.
I will, speaking of a future time from the writing of this book.
It is the time when the heathen nations are overthrown, their pride destroyed and they turn to the Redeemer.
V. 8, promises God's protection for His own. This verse shows us that the Lord alone can protect His Church against all its adverseries. It also assures us that the Lord has seen with His own eyes what is going on against His church.
How much of the calamities will His people be spared from, we do not know. All we know is that God is their refuge and strength, a very present help in the time of trouble.
All the people that Zachariah spoke to had known was oppression, oppression by Persia, Egypt, but they are here assured that the Lord saw their oppression and He promises deliverance from the power of the oppressor.
These promises are throughout the OT, and Israel fully expected a literal deliverer from their oppressors. When the Deliverer came, He did not set them free from Rome as they had hoped. When their expectation was not fulfilled, they became the oppressor and killed the Deliver.
V. 9, calls for rejoicing. Why? Because their king, their deliverer from the oppressor has arrived. Notice here that the call to rejoice is not issued to all of Zion and Jerusalem but to the daughter. This is issued to the true covenant people not to all Israel according to the flesh (Hengs.). The King of Peace has arrived, v. 10.
Vv. 9, 10. Probably one of the greatest (and clearest) prophetic passages of Scripture, that is, unless the person desires to refuse the obvious. There are many pages of comments written on this verse but we will take it at face value. We believe that the Holy Spirit says what He means and means what He says and the average man can understand it if he will accept it by faith. For by faith we understand, Heb. 11:3.
Rejoice greatly... Zechariah is prophesying to an oppressed people as they work to rebuild the ruins. Even though they have been given freedom and support to rebuild, they are still under oppression. They are not free from Persia, but can only do what Persia permits. Thus even the ones here who want to do right and obey God are under oppression. With a background of oppression by the heathens against the Kingdom of God, the prophet calls on them to rejoice greatly. Not just rejoice but rejoice greatly.
As we have mentioned before, this is a common trait with the Holy Scriptures. No matter what the circumstances, by faith His covenant people have the future to look forward to and this future calls for rejoicing. As we mentioned above, this rejoicing is because their King is coming unto them with freedom and liberty for all from the power of the oppressor.
Notice the PURPOSE of His coming: he is just and having salvation; (check Isa. 9:5, 6),
The prophet merely lays stress upon the blessings, which the Messiah is to bestow upon the believing portion of the covenant-nation, since it is for them that his prophecy is peculiarly and immediately intended. It is evident from verses 7 and 10, that the heathen nations, who are to be received into the Kingdom of God, will participate in their blessings. (He will come), does not refer to the coming of the Messiah in his glory and judgment, as in Mal. iii. 1, but to his first appearance in his humiliation, as the epithets which follow, clearly show (Heng.)."
Sad to say, we have an over abundance of "Theologians" who give a lot of strained and twisted meanings to these two verses. They have to make these refer to someone other than Christ in order for their Theology to hold water. Some even go as far as to split v. 9 from v. 10 (even though there is an and connecting them). This will not hold up under close examination.
Just one reason this verse is in effect now is found in Zech. 10:1. Paul, in Acts 14:17 (Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts whit food and gladness.) clearly says that we are NOW living in the fulfillment of 10:1.
Even though Zech. 10:1 was a prophecy when written, it is fulfilled in Christ and the Holy Spirit, our rain from heaven. Also see Isa. 62:10-12, where the truth is quite obvious. (Ps. 45; Jer. 23:5; Isa. 11:3-5).
Back to the PURPOSE. He brings justice and salvation with Him (v. 9, and having salvation), thus, v. 10 is built on v. 9. There is so much in this passage that it is hard to go systematically through it, so we will give these things as they come and conclude with a orderly presentation.
This account is given in the gospels where the Lord is very careful to fulfill v. 9 perfectly. We have this fulfillment recorded in Matt. 21:1-5; Mk. 11:1-7; Lk. 19:28-34 and Jn. 12:14-16. There are some significant points here.
(1.) This account of our Lord (the King) is given in all four accounts of His ministry here on earth. All four of the authors refer to this prophecy, showing us its immense importance.
(2.) In Lk. 19, the account of our Lord riding on this colt is found immediately after the parable of the nobleman, which was given in Zacchaeus' house to the Jews who were against Him. In this parable, the Lord tells of the hatred of the citizens against the nobleman as well as the judgment against the unjust servant. He also tells of the destruction and death against the enemies who refused his reign over them. He gets up and goes to Jerusalem. On the way, as they went close to Bethphage, He sends two of His disciples to get the colt for Him. It is significant that the account of our Lord riding upon this colt follows after the rejection as King in the parables.
(3.) Probably the most important account for us as we look at Zech. would be Matthew's. Matthew makes a point which the other three make no mention of. That is that He sent the two disciples after both the colt and the mother. This is an important point.
With the detail, there could be absolutely no mistaking who the prophecy in Zech. 9 is talking about. It clearly states and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. If the king rode in on the ass alone, how would the viewers know that it was the foal of an ass? By having the mother with the ass it would be very obvious for all to see that the ass which Christ was riding was still a foal of an ass. Even though the ass was large enough to ride, it was clear it was still a foal. Only the blind would miss the fulfillment, although we see from John's account (v. 16), that even His disciples missed it. They did not realize what Jesus did until AFTER Jesus was glorified. See Lk. 19:42.
Today, those who refuse to recognize what is meant by this fulfilled prophecy (the King is here now), do so because it does not fit in with their Theology of the King reigning now.
Something for us to see and apply here in this: The disciples did what to them was probably a senseless request, go get a young colt for the Master to ride on. They did not gripe or complain or see any significance to it, yet they did it. Only later did they know why.
There was many things spoken to us by the word of God which may seem senseless and useless. We see no need or connection with anything. Our best bet is to do them anyway: some day, we may have our eyes opened and know why, but that isn't really our responsibility.
Christ presents Himself here as the prophesied Messiah-King.
It is a point by point clear fulfillment of Zech., right down
to the foal of an
(4.) There is another very important detail given in both Mk. and Luke, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him, Mk. 11:2. It is said that there is not a better animal for riding than an ass which has been broken and trained for riding and driven properly. It goes at a good speed and is more sure-footed and is easier to ride than a horse, especially in mountainous reigns.
(I was talking to Jim Fiddler the other day. He told me that the army only got rid of their mules in the '60s. They had been used for packing in very ruff turin.)
Twice the point is made that this ass was not broken or trained for riding. The Kings of kings was the first person to ride this animal. We could honestly say that not many of us would be willing to ride an unbroken colt, whether the foal is an ass or of a horse.
Hengs. presents an irrefutable argument that this riding of the foal was a striking mark of humiliation for a king to ride upon an ass; but a much more striking proof for him to ride upon a young one, which had never been broken in.
The reference by Zechariah is clear. Lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. This action by the Lord was not a mark of royalty (riding upon an ass) but it was a mark of such deep humility (lowly) that EVERYONE watching it completely missed who He was and what He was doing.
They expected a Messiah presenting Himself as the king in great splendor and magnificence. Instead the King of kings came in such poverty (a borrowed colt), and humility that the prophecies were all forgotten.
We cannot imagine a poorer display than this entrance of Christ -- the promised King and Messiah -- into the capitol city of Israel. Our Lord rode a borrowed ass which had never been broken. His disciples had to provide the saddle cloth for Him to set upon and their clothing would not have been the best.
The multitude that welcomed Him were the ones who saw Him raise Lazarus, Jn. 12:17. The world would consider them "as a mob and rabble. In every feature connected with this symbolic action the Lord's intention, to represent his kingdom as poor and humble, and entirely destitute of worldly splendor, is most conspicuous (Hengs.)."
We are awed by the poverty and humility which is displayed here by the Lord, and the question arises. Where is this humility by His followers today? (Matt. 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. What are we learning today and in our churches and Christian schools?)
Where is the willingness to do whatever needs to be done, and that without griping and complaining? What has happened to the command to serve one another. Gal. 5:13 For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another. Here we see that the attitude of service is contrasted with walking after the flesh. These are just as much commands of the Lord as the rest of the ten commandments.
(5.) A point worth mentioning is that it was His disciples (as Luke says), or, as John says, the people who heard that He had raised Lazarus from the dead, who (in Luke) began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works which they had seen, Lk. 19:38. The spies from the Pharisees who were in this multitude asked the Lord to rebuke thy disciples, v.39.
Obviously, the disciples were rejoicing for One who could do mighty works, hoping that He would now overthrow their oppressors, Rome.
(6.) Instead, as our Lord presented Himself in the capital city, and no doubt much to the disappointment of all, He did not ride into Jerusalem and confront the Roman army which was stationed there.
Rather, He proceeded to the temple, entered in and when he had looked round about upon all things, it being now eventide, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve, Mk. 11:11. The next day on His way back to Jerusalem, He cursed the fig tree, which speaks of the destruction which was to come against Israel in 70 A.D., Lk. 19:41-44. He proceeded on to Jerusalem and exercised His authority as king of Israel.
Again, this is hard to imagine. Here a man rides into Jerusalem on a borrowed, unbroken colt which has its mother with it. He is wearing the same clothing He has worn for quite some time now. He has no saddle-blankets so His disciples provide them. The crowd around Him is not the best in town; in fact, they were probably of the lowest sort with a few of the leaders among them to keep any eye on what is going on. Now He rides up to the temple, dismounts, comes in, looks around and leaves.
Then the next day this same man returns and 'throws a fit' in the temple as He cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple and overthrew the tables of the money changers, and the seats of them that sold the doves, Matt. 21:12-13. Here He returns, throws out the people of importance in men's eyes, the poor and needy flock to Him and He heals many, Matt. 21:14-17.
Is it any wonder the religious rulers were upset and really, the civil authority saw no threat from Him?
Christ's war was against false teachers and ungodly religious leaders.
(7.) It is extremely important that we note where He exercised His authority: not over the civil government but over the temple of God. This shows us that He was not presenting Himself as the civil ruler over Israel, (an earthly king) but as the spiritual ruler over Israel, its Lord, King and Provider.
If the Lord Jesus Christ is recognized as the absolute Ruler in a person's life, His law-word will also be the civil law over them. Christ established here that He is the King over the heart, therefore, King over all.
Follow with this thought for a moment. If He established Himself as the civil ruler, king, then if a person followed His civil law this would be equated with submission to the Lord.
On the other hand, by being established as the King over the spiritual part of man, it requires submission to His law from the inner most being, out. There is no way around the fact that inward submission requires EVERYTHING to be submitted to Him as King over all. This will result in civil laws which will reflect the principles of His law. When Christ rules in the heart, He rules everywhere.
(8.) Another point which we should not overlook. and riding upon an ass. As we have mentioned, this was a mark of deep humility. But the idea behind riding upon an ass goes much deeper than this: "God had forbidden the kings of Israel from multiplying horses," Deut. 17:16 (Adam Clarke).
Horses were a sign of military might and strength as they were swift and strong in battle. It was in Israel's departure from God that Israel's kings started riding horses and multiplying them. But though horses were forbidden from God's covenant people, asses were not. (Mules were forbidden, being a mixed seed of the horse and ass.)
Thus, the kings (and the army) riding upon asses was a mark of humility before God and before the heathen world. What do you suppose mounted armies like the Philistines thought as David's army would fight them on asses? Egypt's power was exemplified by their horses and chariots, yet they were useless against the covenant-people.
Therefore, Jesus riding upon the ass, even the foal of an ass, was not only a clear mark of His renouncing all worldly power to further His kingdom, but it was in perfect obedience to the law of God. Asses were ridden by the godly King David as a sign of humility before God and total dependence upon the power of His might and spirit (See Zech. 4:6). The King of kings went one step further in His humility by riding on a borrowed and unbroken colt.
Therefore, we see in Christ's entrance into Jerusalem a complete and total fulfillment of Zech. 9:9 right down to the most minute detail. Zechariah calls for the covenant people to rejoice because they King cometh unto thee: The word King is capitalized so there can be no mistake who this King is. He is the Lord of Glory, the great I AM. He came with justice and salvation. He came in humility that we would have a hard time imagining.
4/8/90 A.M. was to here. P.M. is on down.
"God grants help to His people, by causing her king to come to the daughter Zion." (Keil) By using thy King, there can be no mistaking that the one who rode in on the foal of an ass was the promised Messiah of Isa. 9:5, 6; Micah 5:1.
V. 10. "Just the coming of the King does not contain within itself a sign of earthly power exaltation, so will His Kingdom not be established by worldly power" (Keil). Contrary to what Scofield says here, there is no indication of a 2,000 year and break between v. 9 and 10. Of course, he had to do this to make his Theology fit together half-way reasonably.
V. 10, follows upon the foundation of v. 9. As we will see more of in a moment. First let's see what Keil says on this. "By this mode of entering Jerusalem before His death, Jesus intended to exhibit Himself to the people as the King foretold by the prophets, who, coming in lowliness, would establish His Kingdom through suffering and dying so as to neutralize the carnal expectations of the people as to the worldly character of the Messianic kingdom... The act of Jesus was in itself simply an embodiment of the thought lying at the basis of the prophecy, namely, that the kingdom of the Messiah would unfold itself, through lowliness and suffering, to might and glory; that Jesus, as the promised Messiah, would not conquer the world by the force of arms, and so raise His people to political supremacy, but that He would found His kingdom by suffering and dying, a kingdom which, though not of this world, would nevertheless overcome the world."
Let's also look at Keil's concluding statement in 8-10. "Nevertheless, this entry of Christ into Jerusalem forms the commencement of the fulfillment of our prophecy, and that not merely inasmuch as Jesus thereby declared Himself to be the promised Messiah and King of Zion, and set forth in a living symbol the true nature of His person and of His kingdom in contrast with the false notions of His friends and foes, but still more in this respect, that the entry into Jerusalem formed the commencement of the establishment of His kingdom, since it brought to maturity the resolution on the part of the Jewish rulers to put Him to death; and His death was necessary to reconcile the sinful world to God, and restore the foundation of peace upon which His Kingdom was to be built with the spread of His Kingdom over the earth, treated of in v. 10, the fulfillment continues till the annihilation of all the ungodly powers, after which all wars will cease. But this end can only be reached through sever conflict and victory. This is the subject of the following section."
We can break down what Keil says here into several points with the NT references.
1> Through the entrance of Christ into Jerusalem as He did, with absolutely no detail from the prophet overlooked, He establishes that He is the King who the prophet spoke of. He is the promised Messiah, the King is now here to set up (establish) His kingdom.
2> His kingdom would not be established by worldly might, power, wisdom or splendor, I Cor. 1:27-2:5. This was in stark contrast with the false notion of both His friends and foes who expected great worldly might and splendor from the Messiah's Kingdom.
The contrast could not have been greater between what the Jews, disciples included, expected from the Messiah, and what was presented by the Messiah. It was literally from one extreme to another. They expected all of the glory of heaven to be established by the use of the sword, worldly might and power, but here is the King establishing His Kingdom in humility, suffering and dying, Eph. 1:20-23.
3> The Lord the King could not have made a stronger statement. He presents Himself as the Prince of Peace. He clearly states here with this action that His kingdom's foundation is one of peace. His kingdom will be built on peace, not on war and worldly might. The only method He has ordained for the spread of His Kingdom is the spread of the gospel and it is the gospel of peace, Eph. 6:15.
He is the Lord of Peace, II Thess. 3:16. He is the King of Peace, Heb. 7:2. The means of overcoming evil is given in Rom. 12:21. The evil of this present world is overcome with good. The wicked, evil one has been overcome by Jesus and we have overcome him through Christ who loved us and gave Himself for us, Jn. 16:33; I Jn. 2.
Furthermore, Rev. 12:11 (And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.) does not even hint of overcoming the evil one and his followers through worldly wars and conflicts.
The conclusion which we must reach (and we'll look at the OT in a moment) is that the King is the King of Peace and the statement He made as He rode into Jerusalem as He did confirm this beyond all argument.
4> This entrance in fulfillment of Zech. clearly told the
world that His kingdom would be expanded apart from physical warlike
conflicts. The King would rule apart from anything which the world
identifies as rule. His kingdom was/is not a physical kingdom
as we think of a kingdom, Jn. 18:36.
5> Although not a political kingdom it would overcome the world and be the ruling force, from sea to sea, Jn. 16:33; I Jn. 2:13, 14; 4:4.
6> Even though political warlike force is not used to extend His kingdom from sea even to sea, it would only be expanded by sever conflict, Matt. 11:12.
It is any wonder that Scofield and others whose Theology will not permit Christ to be the King of kings and seated on the throne of David in authority over all of mankind right now, have to place a 2,000 year gap between v. 9 and 10? When he did this (following Darby's Theology), he was waring against the established Theology of his day as presented here by Keil, Hengstenberg, Matthew Henry, Adam Clarke, etc. Darby took up the Jewish hope which the disciples and Jewish leaders had and that Christ destroyed as He rode into Jerusalem in humility. No wonder modern teachers who persist in this Jewish hope of a magnificent reign of the Messiah must present the riding of the ass by Jesus as a mark of high royalty and honor.
In this changing of the meaning of this act which Jesus so carefully did, they have changed a total view of Theology. It doesn't take much at all to change a doctrine, therefore we must pay attention to detail.
Let's reach a conclusion here then come back to some OT prophecies:
First, we should find tremendous hope (as did the covenant-people of Zechariah's day), in the fact that this King's kingdom is not advanced with worldly splendor, wisdom, strength and means of all kinds. This means that anyone who is willing to follow the word of God in faith by using thier God-given abilities can be a means of advancing His Kingdom. If worldly means were the method, then most, if not all, of us would be excluded from being an effective worker in it.
Second, we should find tremendous encouragement to press on in faith from Zech. 9:9, 10. Of course, those who are convinced that worldly means must be used will overlook, ignore, or split these two verses apart.
As we consider this, I would say this is a good dividing line between "Pre-mil and Post-mil." The pre-mil use and depend on worldly might and power. "The end justifies the means." Whereas the post-mil try to do it in accord with God's law-word and depend on him to accomplish his purpose. There are exceptions, of course, but this seems to be the general rule.
God give us the grace, your power, wisdom, strength to do things your way that we might see your spirit work through us.
It is significant that the hope of a powerful, glorious, physical kingdom was so ingrained in even the disciples that they were still looking for it in Acts 1:6, even after the Lord had opened their eyes to the truth, Lk. 24:44-48. This Jewish hope was dashed by the King, but has not died out. It is still clung to by the Darbyites.
to here, 4/2/95.
[Now that we have looked at Keil's thoughts on this. We need to look at the OT. The statement the King made when He rode into Jerusalem as He did was in total harmony with all that the law and the prophets spoke of Him. It is so clearly presented that the only way it can be missed is to make Scripture fit Theology, rather than make Theology fit the Scripture. (Again, this is what Darby did. He found a doctrine which appealed to him, then he found Scriptures to confirm what he wanted to believe.)]
Let's start with our verse, Zech. 9:10. Evidently Zechariah had Micah 5:9, 10 in mind as he gives this. "According to this passage, the idea expressed in the words is that the world-wide dominion of the people of God, which was to be established by Christ, would be proceeded by a judicial process on the part of God, that he would take away from His people everything on which they had placed a carnal reliance that is all their outward defence (Hengs.)." Therefore, Ze. 9:10, as is Micah 5:9, 10, is referring to the complete disarming of the covenant-nation by Rome. When Christ came, Israel was without any kind of military power. They had nothing in which they could trust as far as worldly might and power. This was a large part of the hope they had in the Messiah. Therefore, the establishment and advancement of His Kingdom is apart from any kind of military power.
Zechariah's statement (9:10) rests firmly upon Ps. 72:8 and clearly speaks of world-wide dominion, (see Amos 8:12 and Mich. 7:12, etc.). Ps. 72 is speaking of Christ coming down from heaven as rain.
Here we see the "heavenly mercy which forgets not the parched plains: Jesus is all grace, all that he does is love, and his presence among men is joy." (C.H.S.) Paul makes a reference to this rain in Acts 14:17. "As Solomon's realm embraced all the land of promise, and left no unconquered margin; so shall the Son of David rule all lands given him in the better covenant, and leave no nation to pine beneath the tyranny of the prince of darkness." I like what C.H.S. goes on to say "... Whether before or after his personal advent we leave for the discussion of others."
Look at the context of Ps. 72:8. V. 8 is within the context of v. 6. His dominion of v. 8 is established and exercised like as a soft, gentle rain. The governments of men rule like a thunderstorm, tornado, hurricane or even as the hail of fire on Sodom. Here the rule of Jesus is contrasted as a "dripping showers, which fall in the summer heat, to refresh the parched earth." (Patrick, quoted by W.S. Plumer.) "...glorious and excellent is the dominion of Christ, who by his blessed gospel, and the saving influence of His Spirit pours light, life, peace and joy into the hearts of men otherwise the most wretched and afflicted." (W.S. Plumber)
The consistent treatment of 72:6 is as given above. Thus, the dominion of v. 8 is based on peace as the gentle rain, not war as the Jewish hope held. He came and rules as the Prince of Peace. He rode into Jerusalem as the Prince of Peace.
We will not overlook that v. 6 could be speaking of judgment falling from above that righteousness might spring up, although the context (as well as commentators), speaks of his mercy falling as gentle rain. Storms would speak of judgment. These many kingdom prophecies just don't speak of His Kingdom being established with blood and guts.
Before we go back to Zechariah, it should go without even mentioning that Ps. chp. 2 fits here. Just read the Psalm and the application is obvious.
Zech. 9:10. "What worldly kings can only accomplish by the force of arms, He [CHRIST] effects by a simple word. The absolute righteousness of the king is here ascribed as leading the nations to render him voluntary homage. Moreover, the context shows that compulsion cannot be intended here." (Hengs.) The context in v. 10 and of v. 9 which 10 is built on, shows us that "His Kingdom must be one that is not of this world," yet it is exalted over the world. It is unlimited and all kings shall fall down before Him and all nations shall serve Him, Ps. 72:11.
The Jews of Christ's day just could not put together the promised grandeur, divinity, magnificence, and power which was promised concerning the Messiah and the humility, gentleness, poverty, suffering and weakness they saw in Christ. This difficulty was a stumbling-block to the Jews and left them in a fix. They either had to give up their hope in the Messiah altogether or reinterpret the passages such as here in Zechariah. Of course, we know that they did the latter. One of the things they did was make this passage apply to Zerubbabel or to Judas Maccabaeus. (See Hengs. for the treatment of this.)
They wanted the worldly grandeur and would not give up that hope. Almost without exception, men want and follow the worldly grandeur today and will interpret Scripture to permit this grandeur. As we have already mentioned, C. I. Scofield gives one method to keep this hope alive. That is by placing a two thousand year back between v. 9 and v. 10. We find it extremely difficult to imagine a world-wide Kingdom and rule apart from compulsion, yet that is what these passages promise.
Hengs. points out that while the Jews clung to this worldly hope of a magnificent Messiah, the early church did not. The confidence that the Messiah had come in meekness and humility and was enthroned in heaven in all power and authority gave the Christians powerful weapons over their opponents and allowed them to turn the world upside down in thier lifetime. (See pg. 1041, Christology, Vol. II.) Sad to say, this confidence has been undermined today as the church has been influenced by this old Jewish hope. The church had the power which came from their confidence in the risen and enthroned King, and the Jews were in a turmoil. Now the church and Judaism have similar hopes and neither has any power. (See Hasting's Dictionary of Religion, 1924, pg. 517 and his Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, 1909, pg. 935.) Both are sitting back and waiting for a glorious temporal prince to come on His great white horse and subdue all kingdoms and rule them with a rod of iron. What is wrong with trying to subdue all things for His glory now?
Obviously, we do not yet see all things subdued to His authority, but He will subdue all things before the end, I Cor. 15:24-28. This complete filament is yet to come and what has already been fulfilled can only be seen by the eyes of faith. As faith wains so does the ability to see the divine power (providence, if you please), of God at work subduing all things to the Son through the work of the Holy Spirit.
"...(T)he deepest humiliation and helplessness, on the one hand, and on the other a dominion, which is to spread over the whole earth, not by the force of arms, but by means of his simple word, which will bring all nations to peace and obedience, and effect so wondrous a change, that, whereas the kingdom of God has hitherto been opposed and enslaved by the heathen, it now obtains dominion over them, and that with their own consent. Theodoret says: "But the most inconceivable of all is, that he, who had not where to lay his head, and who rode upon an ass, should acquire dominion over both earth and sea." The forced explanations resorted to by those who maintain that the passage relates to an ideal Messiah, is a sufficient proof that their theory cannot be sustained." (Hengs.)
V. 10. The thought here is that all worldly power will be eliminated from the covenant-people when the Messiah arrives upon the scene. God has removed everything in which they might have any kind of carnal security. They will be a powerless nation militarily. As we study the Jewish hope we know that their hope in the Messiah was to reestablish their military and political power and once again establish their kingdom as it was under Solomon.
I will cut off... To those this is written to, this meant that the covenant-people would once again be established as a political and military power to be reckoned with and that this might would once again be cut off by God. God would forcibly remove their regained worldly power.
Then the Messiah arrives, not to rebuild and reestablish their political power, but to speak peace unto the heathen. The Jews of Christ's day had no military might. Rome had striped it all from them. When the religious leaders dealt with Christ they had to do it with Rome's permission. They looked for someone to speak war rather than to speak peace to the heathens and Christ shattered this hope when He fulfilled Zech. 9:9 right down to the last detail. The Jews wanted someone to subdue the heathen with worldly might and power. The King, Christ came to speak peace unto the heathen.
A very good application for us. What will God have to do (I will cut off) to those of His people today who are depending on worldly might and wisdom? What will it take to show us the hopelessness of trusting in such things as the world trusts in, I Cor. 1:27-2:5? Are we placing so much hope in a temporal king to subdue the heathen that we are failing to apply the power (law) of God to the situations?
It is significant that there is absolutely no mention of reestablishing these worldly weapons of war before His dominion is established from sea to sea. The weapon of His warfare is given, he shall speak peace. Heb. 4:12 gives us His weapon of dominion, the word of God which is sharper than any two edged sword.
The weapons of His people's warfare is also given and they are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; 2 Cor. 10 (v.4).
The means of dominion is given, he shall speak peace. This is easily and readily followed through the NT. Let's look at some things. First, the gospel is compared to a sword in a sense that it separates friend, families and loved ones, Matt. 10:34. Second, when our Lord left He left His peace with us, Lk. 24:36; Jn. 14:27. Third, the new message of Christ was the message of peace, Acts 10:36. This gospel is called the gospel of peace, Rom. 10:15. Fourth, our call is a call to peace, I Cor. 7:15. Fifth, God is the author of peace, I Cor. 14:33. Sixth, Christ is compared to the King of Peace, Heb. 7:2. Seventh, and probably the MOST SIGNIFICANT would be Rom. 16:20, and the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. It is very obvious here that it is not the God of war which will bruise Satan, subdue the enemy of Adam and his race, but it is the God of peace. Surely if God had meant that His subduing of Satan was going to be through temporal power of the world He would not have used peace here to subdue the enemy.
And he shall speak peace. The gospel of peace going world-wide to the heathen. Through this His dominion is established from sea to sea. If there is going to be a 2,000 year gap from His peaceful entry to the period when His dominion is established, the context of v. 10 would require the gap between heathen, and the word and his... This is dividing the word of truth all right and this kind of division will permit absolutely any kind of false doctrine one would desire to promote. Just divide a passage and insert your pet theories.
The Messiah Himself comes lowly, and riding upon an ass, and before his coming the covenant people are deprived of their weapons, both offensive and defensive. Whence, then, is he to obtain this external power? His Kingdom must be one that is not of this world. (Hengs.) This fact could not be any clearer.
Christ work doesn't stop here with peace. As we have already seen (Ps. 72:8), His Kingdom expands world-wide with this message of peace. Matt. 28:19, 20 is the command to go and carry this message world-wide. Through the preaching of the gospel of peace to the heathens and then teaching them to observe His every law-word which He has commanded, the world will be subdued, in fact, Satan himself will be bruised by the gospel of peace.
Because this seems so preposterous to the human mind our humanity must dismiss this as His means of conquering even the devil himself. Isa. 55:8, 9. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Here we are told that His means of bruising Satan and advancing His dominion from sea to sea are so high above our ways that it is impossible for us to understand them. All we can do is accept His word by faith.
Let's look at the rest of Isa. 55 for a moment. As we follow this chapter through, we find that the Lord is talking of world-wide peace and prosperity, vv. 12, 13.
Isa. 55:1 is referred to by our Lord in places such as Jn. 4:14; Jn. 7:37; Rev. 3:18. Verses 1, 2, the Lord complains that people invest their lives in temporal things rather than eternal things.
Verse 2-5 speaks of the Lord Jesus coming to make the everlasting covenant, as the leader and commander of God's people and calling unto Himself a nation who knew Him not (the Gentile [and Jewish] church, Acts 10:19). Verses 6-7 calls for genuine repentance and returning to the Lord to find mercy and pardon for their wickedness. Verses 8-9 are the verses we have referred to. Verses 10-11, the Lord compares His word to rain and snow from heaven which brings forth fruit for man. He says that His word shall not return unto Him void, but it shall accomplish that which He pleases...it shall prosper. Then verses 12-13, is the promise of world-wide peace and prosperity. (Interesting how this chapter is divided. 1-2, 3-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13.)
Verses 12, 13 definitely speaks of a peace and service to God which extends from sea to sea even to the ends of the earth. Verses 10-11 clearly tells us that it is His word which will bring thing about. The natural man will say, "How is this possible?" To which the Lord answers with vv. 8-9, it is as impossible to understand His ways as it is to understand the heavens. Even as man has gone to the moon, he really knows very little about the heavens.
Let's look back at Zech. 9:10 with Isa. 55 in mind. Theologians just cannot comprehend how the Lord could possibly conquer the earth through words of peace; therefore, they wrongly divide passages such as these and insert a period of time which will fit into their Theology.
God help us to get back to accepting the word of God like it is written, context and all. Of course, we cannot do this until we reach the conclusion that His ways are as high above our ways as are the heavens above the earth. Therefore, if He desires to use words of peace to conquer the world, that is exactly what He can and will use.
This is consistent with Zechariah's message. Those he was writing to expected a great temporal, mighty king which would subdue their enemies, yet he says, not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord, Zech 4:6. By the large, even the church today cannot comprehend this.
April 15, 1995
Now we come the next division starting with v. 11, and it runs through to 10:12.
Here we see the covenant nation fighting with its strong oppressors, with the Greeks mentioned by name, v. 13. In this passage, we see the Lord fighting for His people, thus obtaining the victory for them. This victory will result in freedom which they sure didn't have in Zechariah's day.
Considering the discription of the battle here, the prophecy was probably refering to the Maccabean age.
In vv. 9-10, we see the Messianic promise, and His world-wide dominion established. The prophecy presents a glorious future to look forward to in Christ.
AS FOR THEE ALSO
Yet the prophet doesn't leave the small colony out of the hope. He sees ahead to the time and glory of the Messiah. V. 11, with the words as for thee also..., Zechariah comes back and address the insignificant group of people working at rebuilding the temple. He has spoken of God's hand upon the future church, and now he comes back and assures these folks that God hasn't forgotten them even in their "lowest estate." (Pusey)
This should be a reminder to us: As we read passages such as v. 10 which speak of his dominion being from sea to sea, we don't see this -- except with our eyes of faith. His people are scattered everywhere, so appearance says that the promises have failed. It is quite easy, therefore, to think that the Lord has forgotten about us as we attempt to advance His Kingdom.
Not only Zechariah, but all of the Holy Scriptures has this continuing word for us: But as for thee also -- this Book (Bible) speak to all men of all time and in all situation. It is not a spiritual book; it is a book of the Spirit Who will guide, direct, encourage, correct and INSTRUCT -- for thee also.
If we are not careful, we will make this Bible so spiritual that it will completely miss us where we are. It is for thee also. It will meet each individual where they are, show them where they should be and instruct them in how to get there. It is for thee also.
No doubt, as the glorious promises were given to this small group of people who were trying to serve God, they would have a tendency to say, "Boy, that future promised glory of the Messiah and His church is great, but how about us here and now?"
We could have the same tendency. "Boy, the glories of the future by and by which are promised are great, but how about the nasty now and now?"
BY THE BOOD OF THY COVENANT
By the blood of thy covenant... The people of God don't deserve any favor of God, whether under the old covenant or the new. This promise, of course, is under the old, Ex. 24:8. The promise of God's favor and victory, both here in vv. 10-11 is based in the covenant promise of God, not upon any merit on the peoples part.
The Lord God promises to deliver His covenant people out of the deepest pit of hopelessness, despair and misery (Ps. 40:2).
The promise given by Zechariah here is just as sure and long lasting as is the covenant-blood. Sin got these people into their present misery. Here the Lord promises to deliver them. Why? Because of the blood of the covenant.
This continually bring us back to a fact which the natural man just does not like to admit:. It is all a work of God. He is the One who is going to perform these marvelous things. And he will preform the marvelous things, 8:6, not because of any good on their part, but because of the blood of the covenant.
As we look forward from Zechariah's time to the new covenant in the blood of Christ, this same principle holds true. The promised blessings of the Messianic age will not come to pass because of any merit on our part. Whatever is done, and including the Lord's dominion established from sea to sea, will be because of the blood of the covenant.
If the blood of the old covenant had this much of a promise in it (v. 12-10:12), think of how much of a promise is contained in the blood of the new covenant.
The covenant-blood, which still separates the church from the world, was a sure pledge, therefore, of the certain deliverance of the covenant-nation out of every trouble, provided, that is, it did not make the promise of God of none effect, by wickedly violating the conditions laid down by God himself. (Hengs.)
Let us say here that the mercy and grace of God works in the heart of His covenant-people giving them the desire and power fulfill the conditions of the covenant, thereby inheriting the promises of that covenant, Josh. 1:8.
Thus no matter what the state of God's people's misery -- small in numbers, weakness, 'broke,' &c. -- as long as His people are, by His grace, being faithful for Him in every area, they have the covenant-blood of Christ as the promise that their labor is not in vain.
As for thee also, by the blood of the covenant... What a promise for us, sealed by the blood of Christ, the much better covenant. Whatever promises that were under the old covenant-blood of Ex. 24:8 are not hardly a drop in the bucket as to the new promises we have under Christ.
The contrast here is with v. 11. Prisoners in the pit are now told to go to the stronghold (return...). Undoubtedly, this stronghold is the Lord, Ps. 27:1; etc. Also Joel 3:16; Neh. 1:7; Ps. 111:13; Prov. 18:10; Ps. 31:2, 4. As Zechariah speaks to this hand full of people, he calls upon them to turn back to the Lord.
Prisoners of hope. This sure is better than being prisoners of the pit, which speaks of hopelessness. Again, though this is addressed to the OT covenant people, it is not restricted to them. It not only looks forward to the maccabean period, but it also easily looks forward to the church as prisoners at hope. Paul was such a prisoner: Acts 28:20; 26:6, 7. ...as are we, Titus 2:13; Heb. 3:6; 6:11, 18, 19.
NOT PIT OF HOPELESSNESS, BUT HOPE
We are surrounded with hopelesslenss, but we are not to be such prisoners. Col. 1:5, 23 should give God's people all the courage in the world to press on to the hope which is before us.
Let's pause here to mention: This hope encompasses far more than a heavenly hope, pie in the sky by and by. This hope, for us, contains Zech. 9:10 -- the promise that the King's dominion stretches from sea to sea, so there is not an area that is not under His authority and control.
In light if this hope, we are to be faithfully preparing toward this hope. Laying the foundations for many godly generations yet to come.
The pit of hopelessness leads to dispare and ignoring our responsibility to obey Matt. 6:33 and I Cor. 10:31. The pit of hopelessness looses concern for the tenth generation down the road. What are we doing today which will benefit that generation? All of those who have been sprinkled by the blood of the covenant are prisoners of hope. We should live and plan accordingly. This would include how we invest our time, money and abilities.
Double... Turn (return) to the stronghold and He will render double the prosperity (see Isa. 40:2). We need to keep in mind that God defines prosperity, not us.
V. 13. The best commentators say that this speaks of the period under the Maccabees, which we have no reason to doubt.
Dan. chp. 8, also fits here as Greece, under Antiochus Epiohanes overruns Israel. Israel, under the Maccabees, throws off the oppression of Greece. They threw off the oppressor through many miraculous interventions by the Lord on the side of the Maccabees, as they fought to restore the freedom to obey God's law.
Though the Jews of Christ's day were under Roman rule, Rome treated them with extreme caution because of the great victories won by the Maccabees over Greece.
...as the sword... The Lord is the one who made His people as the sword of a mighty man. The Lord gave Greece the power to conquer. Then He gave His people the might to throw off the Grecian oppression, Heb. 11:34.
The Lord uses people to accomplish His purpose here on this earth. He raises up whom He will and puts down whom He will. ROM 9:13FF.
More often than not, those who He is using don't know He is using them. Those on the 'negative' side are only doing what comes natural as they peruse their own lusts for power, wealth and pleasure. Those on the 'positive' side are only trying to do what they feel needs to be done in the light of His Word. Really, we know of no one since the Apostle John who has had a genuine vision from the Lord, acted on that vision and then changed the world. Pople might have had a vision sense of forming a goal through His word, but that would be all.
His people just do what His word instructs them to do and history is 'changed' or controlled. This is all Judas Maccabees did. His dad Mathias was backed into a corner, and he had to either deny the Lord God and His laws or fight. He fought. He died and passed the charge to his oldest son, Judas Maccabees. All Judas did was to continue on in his dedication to the law of God and in the battle.
The result was overwhelming victories against far superior forces to the glory of God.
1) Remain dedicated to the law-word of God.
2) Do our best in our service. Judas did not chose to be where he was, nor do we.
3) Leave the results up to the Lord. His divine providence has us where we are. Do our best. God uses people to accomplish His Divine purpose.
Also in this we see that God determines fate or the outcome. Man does not. Once again we are reminded that even as the lot is cast into the lap, the outcome is determined by the Lord, Prov. 16:33 -- Talk about something that human nature doesn't like to admit is true.
Throughout the whole of the history of God's people, there has been one point in common: their strength is not their own. Whether fighting the world's armed might as Asa had to do (II Chron. 14:11), or as we must do today. When the enemies of the Kingdom of God are faced, it cannot be in the power of the arm of the flesh. Only the hand of heaven can aid the people of heaven.
V. 14. It is the Lord from heaven that fights for His people. Thought they be small in numbers, they are not small in strength nor helpless before the hords of hell. Ps. 45:5 is very applicable here.
V. 14, here speaks of the heavenly might and power which fights on the side of His people. Antichus Epiphanes lost a battle and died of sadness. Herod also died of worms. God's arrows are sharp. They never miss their mark, and they do not have to be 'armed might." How many times has history been changed through 'natural calamities' and/or diseases?
The Lord fights from heaven for His people even though His people may not realize it.
V. 15 (Isa. 37:35). Though His flock (v. 16) may be small, He is not. The Lord of hosts shall defend them; through Him, they shall not be destroyed, no matter what the heathen may come against them with.
The Lord... shall... and they shall... and they shall... and they shall. The people of God will do might works but it is all based in vv. 14, 15, and what the Lord will do for them and through them.
When we forget that what is accomplished for Him is totally
by Him through and for us, then:
1.) Pride will set in if any thing is accomplished.
2.) Lose of faith will set in if nothing is accomplished. Of course, 'accomplished' would be in our eyes, not His. We cannot lose sight that He is the one who works. He is the one in control.
Subdue with sling stone. The marg. would be truer to the sense of this verse, subdue the stone of the sling. They, through the power of God will subdue their enemies. This goes with the next verse (v. 16), as the prophet compares the people of the Lord with the stones of a crown. The heathens as they war against the kingdom of God are looked upon with contempt (stones of a sling), whereas the people of the Kingdom are viewed with honor, (stones of a crown).
V. 16 here sure seems to describe the Kingdom of God after the Messiah. V. 13 speaks of physical strength for physical combat, but as the prophet moves on down through the vision, it takes on a much different flavor.
The Lord shall defend... The Lord shall save... His people are like s small flock of sheep among the raving wolves. This illustration is used consistently throughout Scripture, Ezek. 36:37; Ps. 100, etc. His deliverance results in His exaltation of His people, as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign.
Isa. 11:10, 12
as an ensign upon his land. An interesting statement. Isa. refers to Christ being lifted up. Here we see a picture of the people of the cross (kingdom) being lifted up. Their Christian testimony causes them to stand out in the crowd.
How do the two fit together?
I Pet. 2, would give us a principle, with many other passages which will fit into this. Here we see several parallels here. Stone, Zechariah 9:16-I Pet. 2:5. Flock, 16- I Pet. 2:25. Ensign, v. 16- I Pet. 2:12. By ensign we would refer to an example of Christ for all to see. This would correspond to the lifting up of Christ as the ensign of Isa. 11:10, 12. Defend, Zech. 9:15- I Pet. 3:12.
Zech 9:16, Upon his land. This would not be restricted to any location, for the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, Ps. 24:1; 50:12; 89:11. This would be any place where the redeemed of God should find themselves. I Pet. 2 & 3 is not restricted to any physical location as Peter gives the conditions which are placed upon the covenant-people being exalted, I Pet. 5:5-9.
Zech. 9:17. The prophet, amidst the ruins which are being rebuilt, looks ahead to the beauty of the Messiah, Jer. 31:12. There in Jer. we find the reference to their soul shall be as a watered garden. There we also have the reference to the virgin and to the young men. There is no mistaking that the period referred to is the time of Christ. The double blessing is in Christ, Ps. 72:16.
Our Lord has given the promise of His defence and deliverance. He has given the promise of prosperity, even double prosperity. He has also given the means, faith in the Messiah and the method, follow in His steps. Will we claim those promises?
V. 12. ..double.. turn (return) to the stronghold and He will render double the prosperity (see Isa. 40:2). We need to keep in mind that God defines prosperity, not us.
V. 13. The best commentators say that this speaks of the period under the Maccabees. We need to look into this historical record (Barnes' Notes, Dan, Vol. II, Appendix).
The first book of Maccabees is an accurate historical record covering 175 B.C. to 135 B.C.. During which time Antiochus Epiphanes moved against Israel. The second book of Maccabees is very inferior. Dan. chp. 8 is the prophecy for what the first book contains.
Chp. 1. Here we have the record of Alexander the Great conquering the world with the kings of the world becoming tributaries to him, vv. 1-4, vv. 5-7. He became very ill, called his servants and divided his kingdom among them, vv. 5-9. (Daniel's, ram with one horn which conquered the world. The one horn replaced by four.) The four kingdoms remained separated until Antiochus Epiphanes came along. He was a son of Antiochus, the king, who had been hostage in Rome, v. 10.
There were some ungodly men from Israel who desired to make a covenant with the heathens around them. The desire pleased the people so they did it, forsaking the holy covenant, vv. 11-15.
After Antichus was established as king, he wanted to rule Egypt as well. He moved against Egypt and the king of Egypt fled, leaving Egypt to Antiochus. This now makes Antiochus ruler of 1/2 (1/4, Egypt, 1/4, Rome), of the old Alexander Empire, vv. 16-20.
After he takes Egypt he moves against Israel and Jerusalem, goes into the sanctuary, takes everything of value and kills many with a great massacre and goes home causing a great mourning and confusion, vv. 21-29.
Two years later Antiochus sends back his chief collector with a great multitude, to extract tribute, v. 29. The chief collector speaks peace to Jerusalem and they give him 'credence,' v. 30.
But it was deceit. He fell on the city, smote it and destroyed much people, He spoiled the city, set it on fire, pulled down the walls, took the women and children captive, vv. 30-31. They took over the city, making it so vile that all of the Jewish inhabitance fled, vv. 31-40.
Antiochus then set about to force Israel to "forget the law, and change all the ordinances (v. 49), by making a kingdom wide decree that all people should worship and serve his false gods. He also forbid any keeping of the holy ordinances, all under promise of death to the violators, vv. 41-50.
This caused many Israelites to flee to secret places for safety. Antiochus commanded the building of idols throughout Juda and the offering of incense even at the doors of the houses. He commanded that all copies of the testament be burned and that no one could even circumcise a child. All under penalty of death. Many were killed for remaining true to the requirements of God in these areas. He built an idol upon the alter of God and in the "five and twenieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol alter," vv. 51-64.
Chp. 2, we are introduced to Mattathias, the son of a priest from Jer., dwelling in Madin. He sees the evil and mourns over the distress which Antiochus is causing, He has five sons, one of whom is Judas, who is called Maccabeus, vv. 1-14.
Antiochus sent his representatives to Modin and they talked to Mattahias, offering him great reward to fulfill the king's command to worship at the pagan alter. Mattahias refused but another Jew offered to do it. Mattahis, inflamed with zeal, slew the apostate Jew upon the alter, then slew Antiochus' commissioner. Mattahias called for all who loved God to follow him. They fled unto the wilderness, leaving all behind, vv. 15-20.
The word came back to Jeremiah when the king had a detachment. They perused those who fled to the wilderness, overtaking them on the sabbath. The kings men offered the 'rebels' a chance to obey the kings command to offer heathen sacrifices which they refused to do. The kings men moved against them and because it was the sabbath, they did not defend themselves. The kings men killed a thousand people, vv. 30-38.
Mattathias heard about this and was enraged. He decided that if they didn't fight on the sabbath for their lives and laws they would soon perish. They did fight. They pulled down the alters, circumcised the children throughout the land. Many who loved the law and were being persecuted joined with Mattathias and, "they recovered the law out of the hand of the Gentiles...", vv. 39-48.
The time for Mattathias to die is at hand. He calls his sons together and encourages them to be zealous for the law of God against all odds. He reminds them of saints past and urges them to contend through warfare against the oppressor. At the age of 146 years old, he dies, vv. 49-70.
Chp. 3. Mattathias had appointed Judas Maccabeus to be the leader. He took over the post, perused the ungodly from border to border and prospered, vv. 1-9. The kings of the Gentiles, hearing of Judas' great success, gather their armies together to meet him in battle. We have the record of Apollouius' defeat, then Seron of the army of Syria. Judas, being greatly out-numbered, depended upon the Lord God of Israel, urged his men to courage and defeated the enemies with great victory. His fame spreads even to all nations, vv. 10-26.
King Antiochus is now 'fed up' with what Judas is doing. He pays his army a years wages in advance and runs out of money. The captive nations are in revolt against the tribute and it is hurting. He splits up his army, leaving his affairs, his son and half of his forces in the hands of Lysias, a nobleman, to take care of until he gets back. With all of his great force he moves against Juda to destroy it. The merchants bring their money and attach themselves to him in the prospect of purchasing many captives from Juda, vv. 27-41.
Judas and those with him saw all of the preparation of the Gentiles and their design to eradicate all of Juda. Jerusalem was already a "wilderness," where the pagans had made their headquarters. The temple was defiled and the heathens had control of the city. The Israelites gathered at Maspha. They read the law and rededicated themselves to uphold it. They humble themselves before the Lord, sanctify the people, Levites and priests according to the law, even sending home those who were building houses, had betrothed wives, etc., according to the law. Judas gathers together the valiant men, tells them it is better to die than to be oppressed as they had been and cast themselves upon the will of God in heaven, vv. 42-60.
It is extremely significant, especially for our day, that the leaders, Mattahais, and then his Son, Judas are uniting the people, not because they oppressed, but because in that oppression the oppressors are forbidding their obedience to the law of God. This theme is quite evident, that their warfare is for freedom to obey the laws of the Lord God. Also, they were not fighting for the freedom to carry out pagan practices. God honored this goal, giving them many supernatural victories against tremendous odds.
Let us be reminded of the importance of this point. Judas and his followers were not anarchrist. They were not revolting for the freedom to do their own thing. They were revolting for the freedom to obey a higher authority, the authority of the law of God.
This makes a point concerning what we see today, the pro-democracy demonstrations. What are these people 'fighting' for? I believe it is quite obvious. They are trying to overturn a rule by a few elite men at the top in order to bring in rule by the many at the bottom. In other words, those at the bottom don't like what those at the top are doing, so those at the bottom want to be at the top. Think this through for a moment. Those at bottom are revolting under their own authority, making them anarchrists. They are not doing the protest under the authority of a higher law (the law of God), but they are protesting under their own law.
Is it any wonder that participatory democracy is a major point in the agenda of the Humanist (Manifesto #II, point Eighth:). The protests which we are seeing world-wide are not protest for freedom to obey a higher law, rather they are protests for freedom to obey their own law. They are posting against oppressive laws in order that they might become a law unto themselves.
Thus, the world-wide move for democracy is clearly anti-christ. It is against the Lord and His Christ.
"But," some would say, "They are revolting against oppressive governments, such as Communist. This is itself makes it good." To this let us give an answer or two. 1.) If we haven't learned by now, we never will. It doesn't matter who is in control, (a few elite central party members or the representatives of the majority of people), if God's law isn't the highest law in the land, only chaos and oppression can develop, Prov. 14:34; Ps. 9:17. Oppression will be just as bad apart from God, whether in the name of democracy. The majority of the people, or in the name of the party, a few heads of the communists state.
In both cases, there can be no toleration of a higher law, God's law, to tolerate a higher law will mean that men's laws will be overthrown.
In short, whether it is rule by the will of the majority (democracy), or the minority (Communist Party), it is still rule by sinful, fallen men. They will praise evil and oppress good as defined by God's word. The government will define what is good and evil and that definition will be in the terms of their sinful nature and their well-being.
2.) Let us consider something. The U.S.A., is a Democratic Republic. Representatives are elected by the people to repent them (protect them), before the law, not to make laws. The laws are already made, the constitution (which reflects the basic laws of God). Thus, as the flames of Democracy are fanned world-wide, the American people are caught up in the heart. Then one day they are reminded that we are not really a Democracy. Then what?
(Notice how the word Republic has dropped out of all references to the U.S.. It is used for the communists nations. Strange indeed!)
Some good examples. Japan and its Shinto religion, India and its Hindu religion. Israel and their Jewish religion. These "free" nations are in tolerant of Christianity as are the Communist nations.
What is God against? Is he against a particular brand of oppression and rebellion against him, or, is he against the oppression and rebellion itself? (See Rom. 2)
Christians had better be careful about rejoicing in the demonstrations which we see and hear about for Democracy, or we may be found rejoicing in evil and joining with those who do evil, Ps. 50:18; Rom. 1:32.
We had better be careful about joining with those who desire t either be in power or have a voice in the controlling power so that they can have things more to their liking. Rather than having to be totally under the control of what they don't like. From what we are seeing, the revolts for Democracy is a revolt so the masses can do what they want rather than having to do what the few want them to do.
3.) This gives us a third point. WHAT IS OPPRESSIONS?
We can safely say that human nature would define oppression thusly. "Anything which prohibits us from doing what we feel is best or prohibits us from doing what we want to do." (Just ask our kids.)
Thus, Communism is oppressive because it prevents the majority of the people from having any voice in their 'destiny' or in what goes on around them. Therefore, Communism (Marxism), oppresses the majority.
On the other hand, we are being trained to accept the will of the majority, when the majority wants to do something which we don't want to do. This is summed up in the saying, "The voice of the people is the voice of God." This makes the people the god of a Democracy, (Rousseau). Not law, but the will of the people.
In a democracy, the individual is oppressed when he is unwilling to go along with the majority.
This stood out loud and clear in a council meeting which we attended. As the council was discussing the implications of an oppressive law (zoning), one person who was against it, spoke up and said, "If the majority of the people want it we will agree to it." This is democracy in action. The standard of right and wrong, in fact, the standard of what is considered oppression and what is not, is, "What does the majority say."
Therefore, a.) Communism (Marxism), is oppression the majority and we will root for the majority as the try to overthrow that oppression. b.) Democracy is oppression by the majority. We as Christians are caught in this one and as we try to get public support for our point, the public says, "This is what the majority desires, therefore, you are wrong."
Both oppressions (Marxism and Democracy), are wrong and are the spirit of the anti-christ. Both are Gen. 3:15, in action. Man acting as God, able to determine for himself what is right or wrong. Either the majority or the minority making that determination.
The Humanist want democracy. Why? Mk. 15:11, gives us a clue. The crowd is easily swayed. The Humanist control the media publishing education and all the major organs of forming public opinion. If they can get a true democracy, then as they control how the public thinks, they can accomplish whatever they desire (or so they think).
a.) Marxism, minority oppresses majority. b.) Democracy, majority oppresses the minority.
Bringing us to a third source of oppression, Gen. 10:8. Here we have Nimrod, "we will revolt." Revolt against who, what? Against the rule by a few? Rule by the many? No, revolt against the rule of God, His law. Natural man is in revolt against God and God's law. He is Antinomian, anti-law, (God's law), to the core. Only through Christ is this revolt quenched. If a person is still in revolt against the law of God, he is clearly unsaved, I Jn. 3. (Yet, the saved individual will still fall short of the mark established by the law of God. The person who realizes the mark is there and falls short has the attitude of a saved sinner. The one who denies that the mark is there has the attitude of a lost sinner. This is the one who is Antinomian.)
Marxism, Communism oppresses the majority. Democracy oppresses the minority. God's law oppresses all sinners but He is the only one who has the right to establish the law. Of course, His indwelling spirit solves this oppression, making his law a delight, Ps. 119. The two sources of law (Communism and Democracy), have death built into them. Only His has life in it, Prov. chp. 8, verses 32-36.
World-wide movements for Democracy. These are clearly anarchy. They are the spirit of anti-christ in action. They are revolt against authority seeking to establish their own laws apart from God.
As we read of the revolt of Israel against Antiochus as led by Mattathias and Judas, it is clear that this revolt was a revolt against oppression so that they might obey a higher law, the law of God. Thus it was a godly revolt and had the blessings of God upon it. The book of Judges will confirm this. God's power was upon His people and their leaders as they, even violently, revolted against the ungodly so they could serve the Lord God as revealed in His word. THIS MOST DEFINITELY IS NOT WHAT WE ARE SEEING TODAY.
"How about David and Saul? Why didn't David revolt against Saul?" Keep in mind that the issue there is over who would lead God's people in their service of God. The law of God isn't the issue in that case.
The world-wide movements for Democracy. Don't be deceived by them and rejoice in them. Even though the flesh may delight to see he oppressors fall. These movements are Humanistic at the very root. The goal is to establish man as the measure of all things. They are accomplishing just another goal as the Humanist seek their world-wide dominion. They are Anarchy, anti-christ to the core. Let us not be found rejoicing in evil.
The only time an individual or group of individuals can revolt against the authority over them is in order to obey the higher law, the law of God.
Sad to say, most people today won't even do this under freedom. Let alone revolt against oppression so that they can obey God.
Chp. 4. The heathens encamp Judas with five-thousand footman and five-thousand horsemen. Judah removed from his camp, so when the enemy came the camp was empty. They waited till morning and then showed themselves to the enemy with three-thousand unarmed men. God intervened as they depended totally upon Him and they defeated the army and spoiled their tents, vv. 1-25.
The news of the defeat traveled back so the heathens regathered another army of sixty-thousand footmen and five-thousand horsemen. Judah had ten-thousand men. Before the confrontation Judah prays and places all their confidence in the Lord. The Lord undertakes and the enemy is put to flight, vv. 26-35.
Judah and his men, with this victory, go to the temple. It had pretend in the worse way. They cleansed it, made a new alter and furniture and re-established the priests and sacrifice. The DATE when the sacrifice according to the law was restarted was on the five and twentieth day of the ninth month, which is called the month of Casleu, in the hundred forty and eighth year, vv. 36-53.
Judah and the people rejoice, declare a eight day holiday and strengthen the city, vv. 54-61.
1.) Antiochus smote Egypt and as he returned from Egypt (His capitol being in Anotich), he went to Jerusalem in hundred forty and third year and there defiled the temple, 1:20.
Two years after this his chief collector came to collect the tribute, 1:29. Then burned the city, took captives and established a garrison.
At this time Antiochus made laws against the law of God, forbid all observance of the sacrifices with the promise of death to all who would violate his laws.
2.) On the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year they set up the abomination of desolation upon the alter..., 1:54.
Antiochus followed this up with alters throughout the city and destroying the books of the law wherever they found them. The indication is that he searched for these books, ripped them in pieces and burned them. My, what hatred.
(Rather than do this today, the God hating Humanist destroyed the peoples confidence in the books of the law. To them it is just another book. Thus, they see no treat from it. Why should they attempt to stamp it out with fire when they have convinced both saved and unsaved that it no longer applies? [We need to peruse this further.]
3.) On the fire and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol alter, which was upon the alter of God, 1:59.
At this time they also put to death women who had circumcised their sons in accord with God's law. They hanged the infants about their (the mothers), necks, and sacked their houses.
1. Year 143, Antiochus enters Jer. and stops the sacrifice.
2. Year 145, collector demands tribute, burns Jer.
3. Year 145, Month Caslu (9th), day 15, Antiochus sets up the abomination.
4. Year 148, Month Caslu (9th), day 25, Judah cleanses temple.
This gives us three years and ten days from the abomination
of desolation upon the alter to Judah's cleansing and dedication
of the alter once again to Jehovah God.
Chp. 5. This renewing of the temple, sacrifices and law of God, upset the heathens round about. They became extremely hostile, united forces and moved against Israel. Judah led victorious battles against the heathens. The heathens divided up their fronts and started attacking different locations at the same time. Judah divided his army and placed his brother Simon in charge of one part to confront one of the points of attack by the heathens so he could confront the other. He left a third man in charge of defending Judea, vv. 1-20.
Great battles follow with nothing short of miraculous victories for both Simon and especially for Judas. He takes many cities and totally subdues the heathens. No one can stand before him. But in every instance, we read of how Israel, cast himself upon the mercy of the Lord God of Israel,vv. 21-44.
Judas had to go into the land of the heathens in his battles. He starts for home taking the Israelites with him which he found in these heathen lands. On their way home, a city stood in their way. They ask to pass though peacefully but the city refused. Judas took the city, and passed through the city over them that we slain, vv. 45-53.
Judas and the people go to Mt. Sion with joy and gladness, offered the sacrifices because not one of them were slain, v. 54.
But the same cannot be said for those left behind in Judea. They took upon themselves to do some valiant acts, to make a name for themselves. Two thousand men were slain in their refusal to follow Judas' commands. Judas continues to lead Israel in casting off the cloak and reproach of the heathens, vv. 54-68.
Chp. 6. Anotiochus heard of a city of great wealth, Elymais, in Persia. Alexander the Great, the first king of Greece had reigned here first and had left great wealth. Antiochus, the current king of Greece sought to take the city for its wealth. He failed. Then he received word of the terrible defeats which his armies had suffered at the hands of the Jews. (Note that in this book the term Jews and Israelites are used interchangeably.) That the Jews had kicked out his heathen alters and idols and re-established their true worship. Antiochus was astonished. So astonished that it made him sick. He had to go to bed and his grief became worse. He realized he was going to die. He calls his friends to his bedside. He tells them that he has considered what caused his downfall and the answer was his evil actions toward the inhabitants of Judea, "without a cause." He calls one of his friends, Philip. Gives him his crown, robe and signet and charges him to care for his son, "for the kingdom," and then he dies. In the hundred forty and ninth year, his son is established in his place and called Eupator, vv. 1-17.
Judas makes war against the detachment of Grecians which had been left in Jer. Some apostate Jews join with representatives of the detachment, go to the son and persuade him to defend his detachment and subdue the Jews. He agrees, mounts a tremendous army which included elephants. (100 thousand footmen, 20 thousand horsemen and thirty elephants.) They moved against Judas and Jerusalem. They run short of supplies and the king is persuaded to make a league with the Jews who are locked up. He promises them that they can keep their laws. They agree, open up the city to him. He sees the strength of the city and breaks his covenant, pulls to Antiochia, Philip holds the city and "Antiochus Jr," has to take back the city by force.
Before we leave this Maccabean period, let's observe Josephus, Book 1. He gives a very brief history of this.
1.) Some apostate Jews convinced Antiochus Epihanes (for their own benefit they did this. Out of envy), to make an expedition into Judea, which he did. He spoiled the temple and stopped the daily sacrifice for 3 and 1/2 years.
2.) Antiochus forced the Jews to sacrifice swine's flesh upon the alter and killed the most respected folks who followed God.
3.) Matthias revolts and flees for his life with his five sons. Wars against the Greeks, wins and is established as the prince of his own people. He dies, leaving the government to his eldest son, Judas.
4.) Judas made a league of friendship with the Romans, gathered an army, successfully drove out the Greeks and re-established the daily sacrifice.
Antiochus dies and his son succeeds him in the kingdom and in his hatred of the Jews.
5.) The son gathered his tremendous army against the Jews. Prevailed and Judas falls back to Gophna. In the battle, Judas' brother is killed, Eleazar. Antiochus leaves a garrison to keep Jer. and goes home.
6.) Judas keeps the pressure upon the Greeks and finally dies in battle. His brother John is slain in a plot against him. (See Vol. 1, pg. 13, to continue as the agreement with Rome is strengthened.)
This is a lengthy interlude in Zech. 9:13, but important. What we want to see is that God used a small group of people to defeat the might of the whole earth, Greece. Greece is called by name in v. 13. Israel did once again gain her military might and throw off her bonds with military might.
Thus, it is very dangerous to read these prophetic statements such as this in the OT without a understanding of what happened here between this time of Zechariah and the time of Christ. There are several hundred years there and during those years, there were many mighty, miraculous military victories which only the Lord God could provide.
The daily sacrifice was stopped for 3 1/2 years and only by military might (bodily throwing out the heathens), was that daily sacrifice started again.