Zec 10:1-12. Prayer and
Call to prayer to Jehovah, as contrasted with the
idol-worship which had brought judgments on the princes and people.
Blessings promised in answer to prayer: (1) rulers of themselves; (2)
conquest of their enemies; (3) restoration and establishment of both
Israel and Judah in their own land in lasting peace and piety.
1. Ask … rain—on which the
abundance of "corn" promised by the Lord (Zec 9:17) depends. Jehovah alone can give it, and
will give it on being asked (Jer 10:13; 14:22).
rain in … time of … latter
rain—that is, the latter rain in its due time, namely, in
spring, about February or March (Job 29:23; Joe 2:23). The latter rain ripened the grain, as
the former rain in October tended to fructify the seed. Including
all temporal blessings; these again being types of spiritual
ones. Though God has begun to bless us, we are not to relax our
prayers. The former rain of conversion may have been given, but we must
also ask for the latter rain of ripened sanctification. Though at
Pentecost there was a former rain on the Jewish Church, a latter rain
is still to be looked for, when the full harvest of the nation's
conversion shall be gathered in to God. The spirit of prayer in the
Church is an index at once of her piety, and of the spiritual blessings
she may expect from God. When the Church is full of prayer, God pours
out a full blessing.
bright clouds—rather, "lightnings,"
the precursors of rain [Maurer].
showers of rain—literally, "rain of
heavy rain." In Job 37:6 the
same words occur in inverted order [Henderson].
grass—a general term, including both
corn for men and grass for cattle.
2. idols—literally, "the teraphim," the
household gods, consulted in divination (see on Ho
3:4). Derived by Gesenius from an
Arabic root, "comfort," indicating them as the givers of
comfort. Or an Ethiopian root, "relics." Herein Zechariah shows that
the Jews by their own idolatry had stayed the grace of God heretofore,
which otherwise would have given them all those blessings, temporal and
spiritual, which they are now (Zec 10:1) urged to "ask" for.
diviners—who gave responses to
consulters of the teraphim: opposed to Jehovah and His true
seen a lie—pretending to see what they
saw not in giving responses.
comfort in vain—literally, "give
vapor for comfort"; that is, give comforting promises to
consulters which are sure to come to naught (Job 13:4;
therefore they went their way—that is,
Israel and Judah were led away captive.
as a flock … no shepherd—As
sheep wander and are a prey to every injury when without a shepherd, so
the Jews had been while they were without Jehovah, the true shepherd;
for the false prophets whom they trusted were no shepherds (Eze 34:5). So now they are scattered, while
they know not Messiah their shepherd; typified in the state of the
disciples, when they had forsaken Jesus and fled (Mt 26:56; compare Zec 13:7).
3. against the shepherds—the civil
rulers of Israel and Judah who abetted idolatry.
punished—literally, "visited upon."
The same word "visited," without the upon, is presently after
used in a good sense to heighten the contrast.
goats—he-goats. As "shepherds"
described what they ought to have been, so "he-goats" describes
what they were, the emblem of headstrong wantonness and
offensive lust (Isa 14:9,
Margin; Eze 34:17; Da 8:5; Mt 25:33). The he-goats head the flock. They who
are first in crime will be first in punishment.
visited—in mercy (Lu 1:68).
as his goodly horse—In Zec 9:13 they were represented under the image of
bows and arrows, here under that of their commander-in-chief,
Jehovah's battle horse (So 1:9). God can make His people, timid though
they be as sheep, courageous as the charger. The general rode on the
most beautiful and richly caparisoned, and had his horse tended with
the greatest care. Jehovah might cast off the Jews for their vileness,
but He regards His election or adoption of them: whence He calls them
here "His flock," and therefore saves them.
4. Out of him—Judah is to be no
more subject to foreigners, but from itself shall come its
the corner—stone, Messiah (Isa 28:16). "Corners" simply express
governors (1Sa 14:38,
Margin; Isa 19:13,
Margin). The Maccabees, Judah's governors and deliverers from
Antiochus the oppressor, are primarily meant; but Messiah is the
Antitype. Messiah supports and binds together the Church, Jews and
the nail—(Jud 4:21; Isa
22:23). The large peg inside
an Oriental tent, on which is hung most of its valuable furniture. On
Messiah hang all the glory and hope of His people.
bow—(Zec 9:13). Judah shall not need foreign soldiery.
Messiah shall be her battle-bow (Ps 45:4, 5; Re 6:2).
every oppressor—rather, in a good
sense, ruler, as the kindred Ethiopic term means. So "exactor,"
60:17, namely, one who exacts
the tribute from the nations made tributary to Judah [Ludovicus De Dieu].
5. riders on horses—namely, the enemy's
horsemen. Though the Jews were forbidden by the law to multiply horses
in battle (De 17:16),
they are made Jehovah's war horse (Zec 10:3; Ps 20:7), and so tread down on foot the foe with
all his cavalry (Eze 38:4; Da 11:40). Cavalry was the chief strength of the
Syro-Grecian army (1 Maccabees 3:39).
6. Judah … Joseph—that is, the ten
tribes. The distinct mention of both Judah and Israel shows that there
is yet a more complete restoration than that from Babylon, when Judah
alone and a few Israelites from the other tribes returned. The
Maccabean deliverance is here connected with it, just as the painter
groups on the same canvas objects in the foreground and hills far
distant; or as the comparatively near planet and the remote fixed star
are seen together in the same firmament. Prophecy ever hastens to the
glorious final consummation under Messiah.
bring them again to place them—namely,
securely in their own land. The Hebrew verb is compounded of
two, "I will bring again," and "I will place them" (Jer 32:37). Maurer,
from a different form, translates, "I will make them to dwell."
7. like a mighty man—in the battle with
the foe (Zec 10:3, 5).
rejoice—at their victory over the
children shall see it—who are not yet
of age to serve. To teach patient waiting for God's promises. If ye do
not at present see the fulfilment, your children shall, and
their joy shall be complete.
rejoice in the Lord—the Giver of such
a glorious victory.
8. hiss for them—Keepers of bees by a
whistle call them together. So Jehovah by the mere word of His call
shall gather back to Palestine His scattered people (Zec
10:10; Isa 5:26; Eze 36:11).
The multitudes mentioned by Josephus
[Wars of the Jews, 3:2], as peopling Galilee two hundred years
after this time, were a pledge of the future more perfect fulfilment of
for I have redeemed them—namely, in My
covenant purpose "redeemed" both temporally and spiritually.
as they have increased—in former
9. sow them among … people—Their
dispersion was with a special design. Like seed sown far and wide, they
shall, when quickened themselves, be the fittest instruments for
quickening others (compare Mic 5:7). The
slight hold they have on every soil where they now live, as also the
commercial and therefore cosmopolitan character of their pursuits,
making a change of residence easy to them, fit them peculiarly for
missionary work [Moore]. The wide
dispersion of the Jews just before Christ's coming prepared the way
similarly for the apostles' preaching in the various Jewish synagogues
throughout the world; everywhere some of the Old Testament seed
previously sown was ready to germinate when the New Testament light and
heat were brought to bear on it by Gospel preachers. Thus the way was
opened for entrance among the Gentiles. "Will sow" is the
Hebrew future, said of that which has been done, is being done,
and may be done afterwards [Maurer],
shall remember me in far
countries—(De 30:1; 2Ch 6:37). Implying the Jews' return to a right
mind in "all the nations" where they are scattered simultaneously.
Compare Lu 15:17, 18, with Ps 22:27, "All the ends of the world
remembering and turning unto the Lord," preceded by the "seed of
Jacob … Israel … fearing and glorifying Him"; also Ps
live—in political and spiritual
10. Egypt … Assyria—the former the
first, the latter among the last of Israel's oppressors (or
representing the four great world kingdoms, of which it was the
first): types of the present universal dispersion, Egypt being
south, Assyria north, opposite ends of the compass. Maurer conjectures that many Israelites fled
to "Egypt" on the invasion of Tiglath-pileser. But Isa 11:11 and this passage rather accord with the
view of the future restoration.
Gilead … Lebanon—The whole of
the Holy Land is described by two of its boundaries, the eastern
("Gilead" beyond Jordan) and the northern ("Lebanon").
place shall not be found for them—that
is, there shall not be room enough for them through their numbers
11. pass … sea with
affliction—Personifying the "sea"; He shall afflict the sea,
that is, cause it to cease to be an obstacle to Israel's return to
Palestine (Isa 11:15, 16). Vulgate translates, "The strait
of the sea." Maurer, "He shall cleave
and smite." English Version is best (Ps 114:3). As Jehovah smote the Red Sea to make a
passage for His people (Ex 14:16, 21), so hereafter shall He make a way
through every obstacle which opposes Israel's restoration.
the river—the Nile (Am 8:8; 9:5), or the Euphrates. Thus the Red
Sea and the Euphrates in the former part of the verse answer to
"Assyria" and "Egypt" in the latter.
sceptre of Egypt … depart—(Eze 30:13).
12. I … strengthen them in …
Lord—(Ho 1:7). I,
the Father, will strengthen them in the name, that is, the manifested
power, of the Lord, Messiah, the Son of God.
walk … in his name—that is, live
everywhere and continually under His protection, and according to His
will (Ge 5:22; Ps 20:1, 7; Mic 4:5).