Prophecies against Neighboring Nations
1The [a]oracle (a burdensome message) of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach [in Syria], with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord),
And Hamath also, which borders on it (Damascus),
Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.
For Tyre built herself an [impregnable] stronghold [on an island offshore],
And she has heaped up silver like dust
And gold like the mire of the streets.
Behold, the Lord will [b]dispossess her
And throw her wealth into the sea;
And Tyre will be devoured by fire.
[c]Ashkelon will see it and fear;
Gaza will writhe in pain,
And Ekron, for her hope and expectation, has been ruined.
The king will perish from Gaza,
And Ashkelon will not be inhabited.
And a mongrel race will live in Ashdod,
And I will put an end to the pride and arrogance of the Philistines.
I will take the blood from their mouths
And their detestable things from between their teeth [those repulsive, idolatrous sacrifices eaten with the blood].
Then they too will be a remnant for our God,
And be like a clan in Judah,
And Ekron will be like one of the [d]Jebusites.
Then I will camp around My house [as a guard] because of an army,
Because of him who passes by and returns;
And no oppressor will again overrun them (Israel),
For now My eyes are upon them [providentially protecting them].
Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your King (Messianic King) is coming to you;
He is righteous and endowed with salvation,
[e]Humble and unassuming [in submission to the will of the Father] and riding on a [f]donkey,
Upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the [war] chariot from Ephraim
And the [war] horse from Jerusalem,
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak [words of] peace to the nations,
And His dominion shall be from sea to sea [absolutely endless],
And from the River [Euphrates] to the ends of the earth.
Salvation of Judah and Ephraim
As for you also, because of the blood of My covenant with you [My chosen people, the covenant that was sealed with blood]
I have freed your prisoners from the waterless pit.
Return to the stronghold [of security and prosperity], O prisoners who have the hope;
Even today I am declaring that I will restore double [your former prosperity] to you [as firstborn among nations].
For I will bend Judah as My bow,
I will fit the bow with Ephraim [as My arrow].
And I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece,
And will make you [Israel] like the sword of a warrior.
Then the Lord will be seen [hovering] over them [protecting His people],
And His arrow will go forth like lightning;
And the Lord God will blow the trumpet
And will march in the windstorms of the south.
The Lord of hosts shall defend and protect them;
And they will devour [the enemy] and trample down the slingstones [that have missed their mark],
And they will drink [of victory] and be boisterous as with wine;
And they shall be filled like sacrificial bowls [used to catch the blood],
Drenched like the corners of the [sacrificial] altar.
And the Lord their God shall save them on that day
As the flock of His people;
For they are like the [precious] jewels of a crown,
Displayed and glittering in His land.
For how great is God’s goodness and how great is His beauty! And how great [He will make Israel’s] goodliness and [Israel’s] beauty!
Grain and new wine will make the young men and virgins flourish.
- Zechariah 9:1 I.e. an urgent message the prophet is under compulsion to give.
- Zechariah 9:4 In 332 b.c. after a siege lasting seven months, Tyre was conquered by Alexander the Great. At that time Tyre consisted of two urban sites, one on the mainland and the other on the island a half mile from the shore. In order to conquer Tyre Alexander built a causeway from the mainland to the island. History records that he killed everyone except those who fled to the temples, then he ordered the houses to be set afire. The modern city of Sur, Lebanon, is near the site of ancient Tyre.
- Zechariah 9:5 Ashkelon, one of the five major Philistine cities (Josh 13:3) was the birthplace of Herod the Great, and the home of his sister, Salome. Gath and Ashdod are the major Philistine cities not named in this verse. Zechariah’s prophecy about Ashkelon’s total destruction was fulfilled during the time of the Crusades, (about a.d. 1260-1270), when Sultan Baibars, who was fighting against the Crusaders, reduced the site of ancient Ashkelon to ruins and filled the harbor with stones.
- Zechariah 9:7 An ancient tribal people who lived in the area around Jerusalem before it was captured by King David. They were absorbed by other tribes and lost their identity in Israel.
- Zechariah 9:9 Quoted in the NT to describe the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, see Matt 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-38; John 12:14-16.
- Zechariah 9:9 As a matter of discussion, the ancient rabbis noted an apparent contradiction between the coming of the Messiah with the clouds of heaven in Dan 7:13, and his riding on a donkey as prophesied here. Their solution was that Messiah would come with the clouds if Israel was worthy, but on a donkey if Israel was not.