The new victorious king (Zech 9:9-9:10)

“Rejoice greatly!

O daughter Zion!

Shout aloud!

O daughter Jerusalem!

Look!

Your king comes to you!

He is triumphant!

He is victorious!

He is humble!

He is riding on a donkey.

He is riding on a colt,

The foal of a donkey.

I will cut off the chariot

From Ephraim.

I will cut off the war horse

From Jerusalem.

The battle bows

Shall be cut off.

He shall command peace

To the nations.

His dominion shall be

From sea to sea,

From the River

To the ends of the earth.”

This is a text that both the gospels of John, chapter 12, and Matthew, chapter 21, used to show how Jesus was the expected Israelite king.  He was to be the prince of peace.  Yahweh wanted Zion or Jerusalem to shout and rejoice, because a new king was coming who would be triumphant, victorious, and humble at the same time.  Thus, he would ride on a donkey colt.  The mention of cutting off Ephraim was an indication of the old northern kingdom of Israel, while the mention of Jerusalem is a reference to the kingdom of Judah.  They would be reunited in a new kingdom.  This new king would command that peace be among all the nations of the whole world.  How was he to do this?  This new kingdom would be from sea to shining sea, the famous River, the Euphrates River, to the ends of the earth west of Israel.

Yahweh will return to the holy mountain (Zech 8:3-8:3)

“Thus says Yahweh.

‘I will return to Zion.

I will dwell

In the midst of Jerusalem.

Jerusalem shall be called

The faithful city.

The mountain

Of Yahweh of hosts

Shall be called

The holy mountain.’”

Yahweh, via Zechariah, said that he would return to Zion and live in Jerusalem, the faithful city.  This Zion mountain of Yahweh would be called the holy mountain because of the presence of Yahweh.

Jealous Yahweh (Zech 8:1-8:2)

“The word of Yahweh of hosts

Came to me,

Saying.

‘Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

I am jealous for Zion

With great jealousy,

I am jealous for her

With great wrath.’”

Next Zechariah had a series of oracles by Yahweh of hosts.  This first oracle was that Yahweh was jealous for Zion.  He was jealous and angry for her, much like Joel, chapter 2.

A call to the exiles (Zech 2:6-2:7)

“‘Up!

Up!

Flee from the land

Of the north!’

Says Yahweh.

‘I have spread you abroad

Like the four winds

Of the heaven.’

Says Yahweh.

‘Up!

Escape to Zion!

You that live

With daughter Babylon.’”

Next Zechariah has Yahweh call all the Israelites living in the north land of Babylon to return to Zion.  They were to flee and escape this northern country.  Yahweh had spread them to the 4 winds of heaven, but now they were to get up and come back to Jerusalem.

Compassion for Jerusalem (Zech 1:15-1:17)

“‘I am extremely angry

With the nations

That are at ease.

While only a little angry,

They made the disaster worse.’

Therefore,

Thus says Yahweh.

‘I have returned to Jerusalem

With compassion.

My house shall be built in it.’

Says Yahweh of hosts.

‘The measuring lines

Shall be stretched out

Over Jerusalem.

Proclaim further!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

My cities

Shall again overflow

With prosperity.

Yahweh will again comfort Zion.

He will again choose Jerusalem.’”

While Yahweh was angry at the various easy-going nations, he was going to be compassionate to Jerusalem.  The other countries had made matters worse.  Now Yahweh was going to return to Jerusalem with compassion for its people.  Yahweh of hosts was going to spread out his measuring lines over Jerusalem.  He wanted them to proclaim that the cities of Yahweh would again overflow with prosperity.  Yahweh has chosen Jerusalem and Zion as his home.

Jerusalem and Judah (Zech 1:12-1:14)

“Then the angel of Yahweh

Said.

‘O Yahweh of hosts!

How long will you

Withhold your mercy

From Jerusalem?

How long will you

Withhold your mercy

From the cities of Judah?

You have been angry

These seventy years.’

Yahweh replied

With gracious words,

With comforting words,

To the angel

Who talked with me.

Then the angel

Who talked with me,

Said to me.

‘Proclaim this message!

Thus says Yahweh of hosts.

I am very jealous

For Jerusalem,

For Zion.’”

Now the angel of Yahweh spoke about the problems of Jerusalem and Judah.  Why had Yahweh been angry at these places for 70 years?  This was approximately the time between the destruction of Jerusalem in 587 BCE and then 520 BCE.  However, Yahweh replied to the angel with gracious and comforting words.  Then the angel of Yahweh turned to Zechariah.  He told him to proclaim a message that Yahweh of hosts was jealous about Jerusalem and Zion.  They were not going to be abandoned.

The defeat of the enemies of Zion (Mic 4:11-4:13)

“Now many nations

Are assembled against you.

Saying.

‘Let her be profaned!

Let our eyes gaze upon Zion!’

But they do not know

The thoughts of Yahweh.

They do not understand

His plan.

He has gathered them

As sheaves

To the threshing floor.

Arise!

Thresh!

O daughter Zion!

I will make your horn iron.

I will make your hoofs bronze.

You shall beat in pieces

Many people.

You shall devote their gain

To Yahweh.

You shall devote their wealth

To Yahweh,

The lord of the whole earth.”

Yahweh, via Micah, warned that many nations and people would attack Jerusalem, Mount Zion.  Perhaps this is allusion to the Assyrians around 700 BCE.  However, as they came to gaze at Jerusalem, Yahweh had other plans.  He was going to treat these enemies of Israel as if they were wheat to be grinded down on the threshing floor.  Yahweh wanted the people of Zion to wake up and get ready.  They were to get the threshing machines ready.  The horses would have bronze hoofs and strong iron to do this grinding.  They were to beat these enemies into pieces.  Then they were to take their wealth to devote and donate it to Yahweh, the lord of the whole world.