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                    "STUDIES IN THE MINOR PROPHETS"

             Zechariah - I Am Zealous For Zion (9:1-11:17)


1. The last six chapters of the book of Zechariah contain two "burdens"
   (i.e., weighty words of judgment)...
   a. The "burden" against Israel's enemies - cf. Zech 9:1-2
   b. The "burden" against Israel herself - Zech 12:1

2. There is a sharp contrast between these chapters and the first 
   a. Prompting some to suggest they may have been written by a 
      different author
   b. While others (myself included) believe they were written much 
      later in the life of Zechariah

3. Though the temple was completed by this time, and Zechariah's 
   initial work a success...
   a. His work as a prophet was not over
   b. Through him the Lord has much to say about the future of Israel,
      with glimpses concerning the coming Messiah (Jesus)

[In this lesson, we shall survey the first "burden", which contains
words of judgment against Israel's longtime enemies, while offering 
words of hope to Israel herself...]


      1. Against its leading cities:  Damascus, Tyre, Sidon - Zech 9:
      2. Despite her strength and wealth, the Lord will bring 
         destruction - Zech 9:3-4
      -- Many commentators point to the conquests of Alexander the 
         Great as the fulfillment of this prophecy (ca. 333 B.C.)

      1. Her cities (Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon) will be dismayed - Zech 9:5
      2. Strangers will abide there; those that remain will be for God
         - Zech 9:6-7
      3. In contrast, God will protect His house, or Israel - Zech 9:8
      -- Alexander the Great did not destroy Jerusalem as he made his 
         way through Palestine (cf. Josephus, Antiquities Of The Jews)

[Verse 8 might actually belong to what follows.  If so, then it begins
what appears to be designed to provide comfort to Israel concerning her


      1. The promise of the King - Zech 9:9a
      2. The character of the King - Zech 9:9b
      3. The nature of His kingdom - Zech 9:10
         a. A peaceful kingdom
         b. A universal reign
      -- That Jesus fulfilled this passage is taught in the New 
         Testament! - Mt 21:1-7; 28:18; Ep 1:22; 2:14-17

      1. Her prisoners will be delivered, even from her enemies like
         Greece - Zech 9:11-13
      2. The Lord lead them to victory and glory - Zech 9:14-17
      -- The fulfillment of this passage may be figurative, alluding to
         the spiritual victory we have in Christ (cf. Lk 4:16-21);
         some, however, believe Zechariah is returning to the theme of
         Israel overcoming the Greeks in the time of Alexander

      1. The people are encouraged to seek blessings from the Lord, not
         idols - Zech 10:1-2
      2. The Lord will provide proper shepherds - Zech 10:3-5
         a. The old leaders removed
         b. New leaders raised up to lead them to victory
      3. Both Judah and Joseph (Ephraim) will be redeemed and restored
         - Zech 10:6-8
      4. Though sown among the nations, they shall remember and return
         - Zech 10:9-11
      5. Strengthened in the Lord, they shall walk in His name - Zech 
      -- While speaking in terms that may have been meaningful to the
         Israelites of that day, this section may also have its 
         fulfillment in the work of Christ through the gospel

      1. With great imagery, coming judgment is described - Zech 11:1-3
         a. Coming by way of the north (Lebanon)
         b. In which the shepherds in particular wail for their loss
      2. Zechariah is told to feed a flock destined for slaughter 
         - Zech 11:4-6
         a. Whose owners and shepherds do not pity them
         b. For a time is coming when the Lord would not pity His flock
      3. Zechariah does so, but not for long - Zech 11:7-14
         a. He starts by making two staffs, one called "Beauty", the 
            other "Bonds"
         b. He feeds the flock, but not without opposition from the 
            other shepherds
         c. He gives up on the flock, breaking his staffs
            1) The breaking of "Beauty" symbolizing the breaking of the
            2) He is paid 30 pieces of silver, and is told to throw it
               to the potter
            3) Then he breaks "Bonds" which symbolizes the break of the
               brotherhood between Judah and Israel
      4. Zechariah is then told to take the implements of a foolish 
         shepherd - Zech 11:15-17
         a. For the Lord will one day raise up a foolish shepherd
         b. One who will not care for the flock, upon whom judgment 
            will come
      5. What is this chapter about?  
         a. Many see in it the destruction that befell Israel and 
            Jerusalem by the hands of the Romans in A.D. 70
         b. Because Israel's shepherds (leaders) rejected its Good 
            Shepherd for which they paid a paltry 30 pieces of silver
            (cf. Mt 27:1-10), they were rejected by God


1. The last six chapters of Zechariah have been described as some of 
   the most difficult in the Bible...
   a. The difficulty lies in discerning the true fulfillment of these
   b. Not only their initial fulfillment, but whether a double 
      fulfillment was intended as well
   -- Even the apostles were unable to fully discern Old Testament 
      prophecy without the Lord's help - cf. Lk 24:44-47

2. As with all Old Testament prophecy, I recommend the following...
   a. Where the inspired writers of the NT have provided inspired
      interpretation, we should certainly hold to what they wrote
   b. But on those prophecies of the OT where NT writers have not 
      commented, we should be very cautious:
      1) We can offer our understanding as to what they pertain
      2) But we should abstain from developing doctrines or practices 
         based upon our uninspired interpretations of such prophecy

3. Indeed, if the Lord had wanted us to know...
   a. I am persuaded the New Testament would have made it known
   b. Just as it did the "mystery" of the gospel - cf. Ro 16:25-26; 
      Ep 3:3-5

Part of that "mystery" that had been hidden so long was contained in 
these very words of Zechariah:

   "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of 
   Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and
   having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal
   of a donkey.  (Zech 9:9)

And again...

   Then I said to them, "If it is agreeable to you, give me my wages;
   and if not, refrain." So they weighed out for my wages thirty 
   pieces of silver.  And the LORD said to me, "Throw it to the 
   potter"; that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty
   pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the LORD for
   the potter.  (Zech 11:12-13)

Yes, the mystery concerning One who was coming to be their King. He has
come, but some rejected Him for 30 pieces of silver (cf. Mt 27:1-10)!

Have you rejected Jesus from being your King, for what is a paltry sum
in comparison to the blessings He provides? - cf. Ac 2:36-38
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