9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword. ~ Zechariah 9:9-13
As we come back to our study of the Old Testament prophetic book of Zechariah, we notice the attention goes from the promised conqueror, Alexander the Great, whom we considered in our last blog and podcast, to Israel's coming King riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. It is as if God is saying, "If I can use a pagan monarch to protect my people, wait til you see what I'm going to do through the Messiah." In today's text, the focus is off of the King of the Greeks and it is on the coming King of the Jews.
In v.9-10 of today's text we read, "9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth."
In these two verses, we have the first and second comings of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is seen here in v.9 as the One who was lowly. In v.10, He is seen as the One who will conquer all. In the book of the Revelation, the Lord Jesus is presented, in Revelation 4, as the Lion and the Lamb. It was at His first coming that He died as a lamb led to the slaughter for the forgiveness of sin. At His second coming, He will be the Lion of Judah who will conquer all foes of righteousness.
When the prophets wrote their prophecies, it was as if they saw the prophecies only, they didn't see the valleys between the prophecies or the mountain peaks, and valleys represent time. For them, it was like looking at a mountain range from a distance and it looked like all one solid peak. So, as in the case here, the first and second comings of the Lord Jesus were prophesied together, and Zechariah didn't see the gap of 2000 years that existed between these two verses.
At His first coming, the Lord Jesus arrived on the eastern side of Jerusalem riding on a donkey. On that day, this prophesy in Zechariah 9:9 was fulfilled. In fact, Daniel 9:26 provides the exact timetable of the Lord Jesus' arrival in Jerusalem riding on a donkey. It was at His first coming the Lord Jesus came as a Lamb to provide forgiveness of sin to all who would receive the free gift through His death on the cross.
As mentioned before, v.10 is a prophesy of the second coming which will happen at the end of the Tribulation. At that time the Lord Jesus will rule like a Lion, and He will conquer all opposed to righteousness.
In v.11 of today's text we read, "As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit."
In ancient times, prisoners were kept in dried cisterns. You will remember Joseph's brothers threw him into a waterless pit in Genesis 37. That waterless cistern speaks of our hopelessness without a Savior, and those willing to admit their lost estate are primed to receive His free gift of eternal life.
This verse, v.11, is written in the perfect tense, meaning, it is as if it has already happened. And, because of the blood covenant that God made with Abraham in Genesis 15, which the Lord Jesus fulfilled at His cross, the battle has already been won. God's rescue services were garnered the day the Lord Jesus went to His cross. And, during the Tribulation, many Jews will turn to the Lord Jesus for the first time and they will be saved. And, in the Millennium, they will live in perfect peace.
God says Israel has been in a dry well a long time but because of the blood of the covenant, they’re as good as out. When the King comes, Israel will be freed from the pit of trouble, war, and suffering to know the liberty of the Kingdom of His peace and the reign of the Prince of Peace Himself.
Then in v.12-13 of today's text, we read, "12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword."
This prophesy, as most, has a double fulfillment. Not long after that day this prophecy was given, there was a group of Jews that were able, in 167 BC, to mount an attack against the Syrians who, under Antiochus Epiphanes, had subjugated and devastated that whole area and turned the temple into a false system of worship. And it was under the Maccabean revolt, under Judas Maccabeus, that they were able to withstand these sons of Greece, and the hosts that had come in to destroy their land. But the ultimate fulfillment will be when the Lord Jesus Christ comes again and strengthens Israel in the last days against the Antichrist. So the Maccabean revolt was just a preview of coming attractions.
There is always more with the Lord Jesus. More in this sense is that which pertains to life, righteousness and godliness. In Romans 4, the Apostle Paul tells us the first step toward life is that we, by faith in the atonement, have righteousness reckoned to us without having done a single righteous act. Only then will we begin to practice righteousness, as the new man is created according to the image of God in true righteousness and holiness. And, it will be natural in His kingdom for us to think and to live righteous and godly lives. That will be glory for sure.