Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


The Book of Zechariah
Zechariah was taught by Dr. James Modlish


Lesson Thirteen
(Chapter 9:1-8)

The scope of the second part of Zechariah (chapters 9-14) is the same as the first part (chapters 1-8). The series of eight night visions (1:7-6:8) extend from Zechariah's time to the establishment of the kingdom over Israel in blessing (cf. Acts 1:6). The symbolic crowning of the high priest Joshua (6:9-15) is a climactic act illustrating, as an event in history, the setting of the King-Priest, Messiah, over the established kingdom. The answer to the question of the fasts (chapters 7-8) also leads in its final explanation to the time when the fasts will become feasts in full millennial blessings.

Chapters 9-14 cover the same prophetic time period and involve the overthrow of Gentile world powers and the establishment of Messiah's kingdom. This great prophecy of the Messianic future involves two prophetic "burdens." The first burden embraces the first advent and rejection of Messiah, the Shepherd- King (chapters 9-11), and the second burden deals with the second advent and acceptance of Messiah, ShepherdKing (chapters 12-14).



A. The prophecy against the land of Hadrach (9:1,2a) -

At the battle of Issus in southeastern Asia Minor (October, 333 B.C.) Alexander the Great inflicted a defeat upon Darius and the Persians which immediately threw open Syria and Palestine to his lightning-like ~conquests, and exposed Egypt to his victorious armies. The prophet envisions the defeat of the historic enemies of Judaism: first Damascus, Hamath, and the cities of the Syrian interior, then the cities along the Mediterranean coast that stood in the conqueror's way in his victorious sweep into Egypt.

After a detachment of Alexander's forces had Subjugated the land of Hadrach, taking the key towns, Damascus and Hamath, the prophet pictures the eyes of man as well as the eyes of all the tribes of Israel fixed upon the Lord. What is meant is that when all civilized men at that time, as well as all the tribes of Israel, were looking upon Alexander the Great and his phenomenal conquests, they were actually fastening their eyes upon the Lord. Alexander was simply God's servant of judgment and chastisement (cf. vs. 4 where the Lord Himself is said to have dispossessed Tyre, when Alexander is known to have done so).

B. The prophecy against Tyre and Sidon (9:2b-4) -

The prophecies against Tyre and Sidon are well established in the Scripture (Ezekiel 26:3-5; 28:22,23). These people were guilty of selling Israel's children to Greeks (Joel 3:1-10) and in spite of this and other atrocities seemed to prosper. Why they seemed to possess such worldly wisdom and prosperity was a real puzzle to Israel in light of the affliction of God's people for disobedience.

Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Tyre but some of the inhabitants escaped to an island one half mile off shore and built a city fortress with walls 150 feet high; it appeared to be totally invincible until Alexander appeared 250 years later. He took the ruble of the old Tyre and built a causeway to the island and destroyed the city.

C. The prophecy against the Philistine cities (9:5-7) -

Only four of the five capital cities of Philistia are mentioned. Gath is omitted, probably because at that time it had been incorporated into Judah. In the annals of Alexander's advance there is no record made of Ashkelon, Ekron, or Ashdod. However, the fate of Gaza is fully recorded. This stout impregnable fortress, like Tyre in its natural strength, ventured to defy the great conqueror in spite of Tyre's fate. This city held out for five months against Alexander. Its king was slain, for the Persians had permitted its own local ruler to reign as a sub-king, the Persian monarch himself being termed "king of kings."

After the surrender of Gaza, ten thousand of its inhabitants were slaughtered and the remainder sold into bondage. The king, Batis, was bound to a chariot with throngs and dragged to death through the streets of the city. It is safe to assume that similar fates were in store for the other cities.

The nationalistic pride of the Philistines was well known. God says they will become a mongrel, illegitimate people that will be destroyed and assimilated into other societies (Zeph. 2:4-7).

The Philistine nation here is individualized as a man, spoken of in the singular. The blood alluded to is that of idolatrous sacrifices. The abominations are the polluting foods and other practices of idolatry. These paganistic customs shall be purged away. And Ekron shall be as the Jebusite, (vs. 7), that is like the ancient Jebusites, who inhabited Zion when David took-the city. These idolatry-delivered Philistines shall be amalgamated with the people of God like Araunah, the Jebusite, who lived in the midst of God's people as a distinguished citizen and the friend of David (II Sam. 24:15- 25; 1 Chron. 21:18-29).

D. The prophecy of Jerusalem's escape from Alexander... the type of a future complete deliverance (9:8) -

The first part of this verse had an amazing and precise fulfillment in the advance of Alexander against Palestine. According to Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews, XI,8:3), Alexander demanded of the Jewish high priest Jaddua the payment of tribute which the Jews had customarily paid to the king of Persia. The high priest refused to break his agreement of loyalty with Darius. Alexander, in a rage, threatened to inflict a severe punishment on Jerusalem as soon as Tyre had fallen and h- had reduced the Philistine strongholds.

Having taken Gaza, Alexander planned to go to Jerusalem. The high priest ordered the Jerusalem population to make sacrifices to God and pray for deliverance. God gave the high priest a dream, instructing him that he should take courage and go out of the city to welcome Alexander.

When Alexander was not far from the city, the high priest led a venerable procession to meet the Macedonian. When the conqueror saw the Jewish high priest arrayed in purple and scarlet with his mitre on his head, having a golden plate with the name of God engraved upon it, and attended by priests in in white robes, he adored the name of Jehovah and saluted the high priest. Alexander said he had seen such a person in a dream at Dios in Macedonia. As a result of this experience, Alexander treated the Jews kindly. The city, the temple, and the people were granted a marvelous deliverance according to this prophecy of Zechariah. The promise maintains that the Jews were not to be molested either on the army's march to or from Egypt. Thus vs. 8 bridges the centuries between the deliverance of Israel under Alexander. The human world conqueror and the nation's final deliverance under Messiah, the divine World Conqueror at His second advent.

But this prophecy embraces much more than the mere survival of the Jewish nationality until the coming of Israel's king at His first advent. It says an oppressor shall not again overrun them, which was cruelly true both of the Seleucids and later the Romans. Under the latter's tyranny, the most terrible and relentless of all, Messiah was born.

The reference can only be to the second coming of Messiah, the true World Conqueror and Establisher of the kingdom over Israel and through Israel over the nations of the millennial earth. His victorious and all righteous reign alone will insure that an oppressor shall not pass through them any more.

The lesson is that this prophecy, as many others, completely by-passes the church age which again leads us to recognize the willingness of God to acknowledge the free will of man.

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