Zechariah 9:9-111NIV New International Version Translations
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.
The Hebrew word “zechariah’\” (or “Zachariah”) means “God remembers.” Zechariah was the grandson of the priest Iddo. He is known for prophesies to the people of Judah after they returned from their seventy years of exile in Babylon (Zechariah 1:1; Nehemiah 12:1, 4, 16). Zechariah’s grandfather returned from Babylon with his young grandson. They were part of the first group of Israelites allowed back, in 538 BC under the decree of Cyrus, king of Persia. Because of this family lineage, Zechariah was a priest in addition to a prophet.
The book of Zechariah contains the clearest and the largest number of messianic (about the Messiah) passages among the Minor Prophets. Many think of the book of Zechariah as a kind of miniature book of Isaiah. Zechariah pictures Christ in both His first coming (Zechariah 9:9) and His second coming (9:10–10:12). Jesus will come, according to Zechariah, as Savior, Judge, and ultimately, as the righteous King ruling His people from Jerusalem (14:8–9).
Zechariah’s prophecies are about the immediate and distant future for a people newly returned from exile. To the Israelites, Zechariah’s prophecies were a great encouragement. We can summarize his writings as follows:
- Israel would still be judged for sin (5:1–11)
- They would be cleansed and restored (3:1–10)
- God would rebuild His people (1:7–17)
Zechariah ends his book by a look into the distant future, first at the rejection of the Messiah by Israel (9:1–11:17), and then at His eventual reign when Israel will finally be delivered (12:1–14:21).
A foal is a young donkey. Kings of Israel rode on donkeys, but Alexander the Great rode a big horse. Perhaps this verse is meant to tell us that Jesus is not like Alexander. We are being told that God is involved. He saves the Messiah from his enemies and he raises him from the dead. And the Messiah himself will do other things. For starters, He rides into Jerusalem on a donkey. From “sea to sea” means from the Red Sea or the Dead Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. From “the river to the ends of the earth” means from somewhere south of Jerusalem to the River Euphrates in the east. Zechariah probably meant the all of the land where the Jews should have lived. This is in Exodus 23:31; Numbers 34:1-15 and Ezekiel 47:15-21. They never lived in all this land. But this was what they hoped for. We are to take great hope that in the end, Jesus will return to the earth and then God’s people will live where God wants them to live.
We are to have this hope because God’s covenant with His people. It is called the “blood of my covenant” here because the Israelites sacrificed animals to seal the covenant. God’s covenant with us started with Abraham, Genesis 15:9-11. It continued with Moses, Exodus 24:5-8. Then it happened every day in the temple in Jerusalem, Exodus 29:38-46. In the New Testament, Jesus used the phrase “blood of the covenant” to describe His death (Mark 14:24). Today, Christians remember this “blood of the covenant” in Communion. The word “testament” also means ‘*covenant’. So our Bibles have an Old Covenant and a New Covenant. God will take the prisoners away from the prison. The prison here is a deep hole in the ground. It is a sign of their place of exile. These prisoners may be the people that have not yet returned to Jerusalem.
Items for Discussion
- Can the human spirit survive without hope? Why or why not?
- Why would someone seal a promise with blood?
- How do prophesies help strengthen one’s faith? When they are first heard? When they are fulfilled?
- What was God’s promise to His people?
36 Simon Peter asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” 37 Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.”
The opening verse of chapter 13 sets the scene for chapters 13 through 17. Love is one of the key terms in chapters 13 to 17, occurring thirty-one times in these five chapters as compared to only six times in chapters 1 through 12. We also find Jesus washing the disciples’ feet, given to us as an example of loving one another. In chapter 13, you find Christ washes the disciples’ feet. (1-17); Jesus foretells the treachery of Judas (18-30); and His command to the disciples to love one another (31-38).
What Christ had said concerning brotherly love, Peter overlooked, but spoke of that about that which Christ kept from them. It is common to be more eager to know about secret things, which belong to God only, than about things which God has revealed, which belong to us and our children. We all admit that it is more desirous to have our curiosity gratified, than our consciences directed; to know what is done in heaven, than what we may do to get there. It is human nature to avoid a conversation on what is plain and understood, while it is our nature to love a doubtful dispute that runs on into endless diatribe of words! We are often angered when told we cannot do something. Yet, without Christ we can do nothing. Christ knows us better than we know ourselves, and has many ways of prodding us to discover ourselves. Our task is to endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace, to love one another with a pure heart fervently, and to walk humbly with our God.
Items for Discussion
- Why do you believe in Heaven?
- What kind of relationship does it take to be willing to die for someone?
- What does love have to do with someone’s willingness to die for another?
- How does one know if they would die for Christ?
- How can today’s church foster more love and less hate?
- 1NIV New International Version Translations