Zechariah Chapter 9

Jun 19th, 2009 | By | Category: Psalm 83 and Gog & Magog, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name), Zechariah

Zechariah Chapter 9

Zech. 9:1 The burden of the word of the LORD in the land of Hadrach, and Damascus shall be the rest thereof: when the eyes of man, as of all the tribes of Israel, shall be toward the LORD.

Zech. 9:2 And Hamath also shall border thereby; Tyrus, and Zidon, though it be very wise.

Zech. 9:3 And Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets.

Zech. 9:4 Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea; and she shall be devoured with fire.

Verses 1-4 are talking about Hadrach, Damascus, Tyre, and Sidon. Zechariah was prophetically describing a calamity that would come upon these peoples a generation or two after his day.

His ministry took place during the Persian Empire, and this prophecy was more or less accomplished by King Alexander the Great of the Grecian Empire, the belly and thighs of brass on the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Dan. 2:32). Zechariah prophesied in regard to the troublemakers in his day, the surrounding hostile neighbors, who frustrated the work on the Temple. The Lord was saying, .Not only will nations come to Jerusalem in the future with ten men taking hold of the skirt of a Jew, but also these people who are irritants in a more local sense will be cast out.. (Tyre and Sidon were in Lebanon, and Damascus was in Syria.) However, we see a larger picture in this experience. Because of disobedience, verses 1-4 are describing what will happen again. In other words, this prophecy has a double fulfillment.

Starting with Zechariah 8:20, these verses are an end-time prophecy the Third Temple will be built, nations will recognize Jerusalem, etc. Moreover, chapter 9 tells of a judgment that will come on Lebanon in the near future. Iran is currently shipping money and goods to Syria, and Syria is the power that enables terrorists in Lebanon to inflict misery on Israel. God .will smite her [Tyre’s] power in the sea [through Alexander the Great]; and she shall be devoured with fire.. Long before Zechariah came on the scene, King Nebuchadnezzar wrought judgment on Tyre, Israel, Egypt, etc. After Tyre was destroyed at his hand, the people, realizing the vulnerability of the present location, enlarged an island just off the coast, made it a fortress, and moved the city to that spot. The populace of the new Tyre felt secure, thinking that any enemies who came down would not have boats or the means to attack the rebuilt city from the mainland. However, Alexander bulldozed rubble from the old city into the sea, making a causeway, and invaded the new city on the island. Thus Tyre was destroyed a second time. In the near future, there will be a third fulfillment of this prophecy of destruction.

This portion of Zechariah is historical. To understand the prophetic significance in the past, we need a little knowledge of history. Now the prophecy is building up and coming to our day. As the stage is being set, the prophecy is telling us in plain language what will happen.

Zech. 9:5 Ashkelon shall see it, and fear; Gaza also shall see it, and be very sorrowful, and Ekron; for her expectation shall be ashamed; and the king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.

Zech. 9:6 And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.

Zech. 9:7 And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.

In reading the names of these towns Gaza, Ekron, Ashkelon, and Ashdod plus the mention of the Philistines, we see that verses 5-7 have not had a past fulfillment. Hence the emphasis is on a future fulfillment. Ashkelon and Ashdod are in what we now call the Gaza Strip, for even though the name Ashdod does not exist today, the town is embedded in that area. Zechariah was speaking about the Gaza Strip, which occupies a small area. Lebanon is also a small area but larger than the Gaza Strip. With towns in Israel today that are called Gaza and Ashkelon, this prophecy tells what will happen to them in the near future.

Back in the prophet’s day, the people in this area were irritants, so the Jews thought these verses would have a more immediate fulfillment. The Jewish captives who returned from Babylon thought that all the surrounding neighbors to the north, east, and south would be dealt with as enemies of Israel. They expected a severe judgment to solve the problem, but that judgment is yet future in our day.

Q: Weren’t there five Philistine cities?

A: Yes, but the Gaza Strip today is a little smaller than it was in Zechariah’s day.

The captives first went back to Judah, for most of them were from the two tribes. The ten-tribe kingdom was taken captive much earlier, so those Jews were in exile for about 200 years, and few returned in 536 BC. In fact, the ten tribes are called “the lost tribes of Israel” because they were dispersed into various lands, including England. Hence much of the Anglo-Israelite theory is true, but we would disagree in some prophetic matters. Based on happenings in different countries, the evidences that are used are reasonably justified historically. In fact, the understanding is quite advanced, and that is why so many deep Bible scholars have been in Scotland. They have a wealth of Biblical understanding that we do not appreciate today because we live in our own little world and feel quite self-sufficient with the Volumes, multiple Bible translations, concordances, etc. Unfortunately, many of those deep scholars got off on a tangent in thinking too much on just the history. With the Anglo-Saxon race, there is an affinity in prophecy between England and the United States. However, the emphasis for the Christian should be on the hope of the high calling and running for the prize. We are interested in prophecy so that we might be better prepared for what will happen in the future. The point is that we must guard against being too prideful. Because of the attitude of being too satisfied, full, and in need of nothing, present truth is going to India, parts of Africa, and Romania, for example (Rev. 3:17). As a group, we tend to apply the Laodicean attitude to the nominal Church, but a lot of it applies to us as a warning. Even in everyday life, United States citizens tend to think of themselves as having the most and the best of everything, but that is not the case. Other countries surpass us in education and understanding. Wondrous information is available here, but there is not the hunger for it.

“Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.” Although the details cannot be discussed at this time, we think events will happen in the Middle East in the near future. Psalm 83 will have a fulfillment that will take care of the Arab countries immediately surrounding Israel. But the final trouble will occur when Gog and Magog come down from the north in Jacob’s Trouble. Thus two main events involving Israel are yet future in that part of the world with an easement period in between. We believe Israel will be forced to use nuclear power because that nation is so small and the other nations are advancing in arms. Certainly Israel has nuclear capability. In time of crisis, the United States could not get its forces over there in time, so Israel will be on its own. In the Gog and Magog setting “but not earlier” God will manifest that He alone is the Deliverer.

.And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod.. We do not know who that “bastard” is, but his identity will be revealed in due time. When prophecy is nearing fulfillment, it begins to be unveiled. Verse 6 is talking about an unnamed individual. As we get deeper and deeper into the trouble that we see before us, things will become more and more apparent.

“And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth.” The “mouth” is speaking “blood,” that is, terror.

“I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.” Incidentally, “Philistines” is the word “Palestinians,” for the vowels are supplied for pronunciation. The consonants are essentially the same, as “ph” is the letter “p,” which can be pronounced two different ways. Since we are now living in the end time, details become clearer and clearer and especially if we are watching as the Lord instructed. We are to be alert and to watch what is happening.

“But he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God.” In other words, the Arabs will be converted to a belief in the God of Israel. Among the Palestinians, a remnant of the same ethnicity will become believers.

“And he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.. Earlier, way back in history, Shem was the governor of Jerusalem. After that, the Jebusites, a Gentile power, controlled Jerusalem, and they still occupied the city in David’s day. Therefore, in the near future, those of the Palestinians who survive will be a remnant in God’s sight. They will not necessarily be handpicked or named as individuals like the Holy Remnant of Israel, but to the Palestinian survivors, it will be obvious who the real God is. In the Kingdom, one of their own people, a Palestinian, will be appointed governor someone who has been converted to the Judaic belief in the God of Israel and is humble and recognizes the true situation.

The prophecies in the Book of Zechariah are exciting reading. As we continue to go into the book, it becomes more and more enlightening. We are living in the end time but not in the end of the end-time period. We are approaching closer and closer, like a telescopic lens, where details begin to focus and become clearer. The brotherhood all know the meaning of Zechariah 8:23, which says that “ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” In addition to a converted remnant in the Gaza Strip, the conversion will become a worldwide situation with those who survive the great Time of Trouble. People in the Gentile nations will bow the knee, taking hold of the skirt of a Jew. This natural prophecy will be fulfilled in the not-too-distant future.

Q: Does Amos 1:3.2:3 also pertain to the Psalm 83 setting?

A: Yes. Some of the Amos end-time prophecies are almost word for word the same as those of Isaiah. They were contemporaneous prophets.

Zech. 9:8 And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more: for now have I seen with mine eyes.

God has, as it were, turned His face away and allowed various calamities to happen to Israel, even now. The Jews have repeatedly wondered, “Why is this happening? Why does God permit these troubles?” But when God turns His face of favor toward Israel in this sense, the anger will begin to build and come up into His face against Israel’s enemies (Ezek. 38:18). At that time, Michael will stand up (Dan. 12:1).

Comment: The Revised Standard reads, “Then I will encamp at my house as a guard, so that none shall march to and fro; no oppressor shall again overrun them, for now I see with my own eyes.”

Verse 8 is a prophecy of the destruction of Gog and Magog and the saving of Israel out of Jacob’s Trouble, which will take place after the false peace. Then God Himself will fight for His people with earthquake, plague, hailstones, etc. supernatural manifestations. First, Judah will fight on the outskirts of Jerusalem more in the nature of a successful armed conflict, and then will follow God’s deliverance of the Holy Remnant. The two events will not be immediately contemporaneous, but the second event will be contingent upon the first; that is, it will follow the first. Thus verse 8 is talking about the great horde that will come down from the north to encompass the land up “to the neck,” that is, up to Jerusalem (Isa. 8:8; 30:28). With such a “giant” attacking, it will take a miracle to deliver Israel, and that is exactly what will happen. A series of miracles will deliver the faithful Holy Remnant.

God’s cloud of protection over Israel will become manifest to all. .And the LORD will create upon every dwellingplace of mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. (Isa. 4:5). All will see that God is Israel’s Protector.

Zech. 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.

When verses 9 and 10 are read together, they sound incongruous, but that is not the case, as we will see. First, we will consider verse 9, which was fulfilled at the First Advent (Matt. 21:5).

Notice the enthusiasm: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” Zechariah’s prophecy was fulfilled when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on “a colt the foal of an ass” five days before his crucifixion. This event is called the Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.

Comment: The Jews living at the First Advent overlooked this prediction that the Messiah would be lowly and would come riding on the foal of an ass.

Reply: Yes, the Jews avoided many such texts in the Major and Minor Prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures and focused only on the first five books of Moses. That way they did not have to discuss these Scriptures with Christians and were not subjected to hearing Christian reasoning.

Comment: The judges of Old Testament times customarily rode on white asses.

Reply: Yes, when judges visited various towns, they rode on white asses, which (1) were emblematic of who they were, (2) gave credence to their judgeship, and (3) provided a look of authority that receive proper respect. The Jews were quite familiar with the role of one who rode in such a manner.

In addition to Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a white ass, what had just happened? Shortly before his entry into Jerusalem, Jesus had raised Lazarus from death. Many eyewitnesses could testify that they were on hand and had actually seen Lazarus appear at the opening of the tomb, and they had witnessed the grave clothing being unwound from him. They were wild with joy, for this startling miracle was indeed a sign of the coming of the true Messiah.

While verse 9 is identified with the fulfillment at the First Advent, it also has an application in regard to the inauguration of the Kingdom at the Second Advent. When the circumstance is considered, who does Lazarus represent in antitype? He pictures the Jewish nation, and that nation’s resurrection from the dead can be equated with any salvation that comes to Israel under the present circumstance. The more dire and hopeless the situation becomes, the more the Jews will look upon any deliverance as truly miraculous. In other words, this will be the

reaction of the Holy Remnant when the hordes of Gog and Magog come down. Zechariah also spoke of this event, which is recorded in Ezekiel 38 and 39, but he stated that those forces will be victorious at first. “The city [of Jerusalem] shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity” (Zech. 14:2). It is God’s deliverance of Israel after their defeat by the hordes of Gog and Magog that will be truly miraculous and will be like a resurrection from the dead. At that time, God will fight for His people as He did in the days of old (Zech. 14:3). Therefore, verse 9 had a literal fulfillment at the First Advent, and it will have a figurative or antitypical application at the Second Advent with the inauguration of the Kingdom when God delivers Jacob out of its trouble (Jer. 30:7).

Zech. 9:10 And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.

“I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim [the ten tribes, the northern sector of Israel], and the horse from [the city of] Jerusalem [that is, from Judah], and the battle bow shall be cut off: and he shall speak peace unto the heathen.” The fulfillment of verse 10 will take place when God delivers the Holy Remnant from Jacob’s Trouble. Thus the real fulfillment of verse 10 will occur when the Kingdom is inaugurated with power, and the result of that power and salvation will be great rejoicing. Therefore, verses 9 and 10 are connected, for out of the depths of woe will come salvation. Stated another way, the woe is like a backdrop to make more acute the joy that will result from the predicament that is to face Israel in the not-too-distant future.

Verse 9 gives a reason for the great joy and salvation to come, for in back of this salvation will be the humble Messiah, who originally entered Jerusalem. In the future Gog and Magog setting, he will be present in connection with the deliverance of the Holy Remnant. “And saviours [plural] shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S” (Obadiah 21).

“He [Jesus] shall speak peace unto the heathen: and his dominion shall be from sea even to sea, and from the river even to the ends of the earth.” This second half of verse 10 is saying that there will be universal peace from that time forward.

Q: How will the chariot be cut off from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem?

A: When the enemy hordes come in, not only will they capture Jerusalem, rape the women, and plunder the city, but they will do these things in the northern kingdom as well. The Scriptures indicate that when the forces come down, they will pillage the land and empty the storehouses of food, for they will have traveled from a distance. As Napoleon said, “An army marches on its stomach.” However, while the enemy forces will be successful initially, they will eventually be cut off, and the term “cut off” usually means the demise of those involved.

Q: Then do the “chariot” and the “horse” pertain to the enemy?

A: In the language of Zechariah’s day, they are the vehicles that will transport the enemy down to Israel. The “chariot” and the “horse” are comparable today to tanks, jeeps, and any other kind of traveling arrangement. So many people will come down from the north that there will be all sorts of conveyances, perhaps even wagons driven by literal horses or tractors. A tremendous horde will comprise Gog and Magog well over a million people.

Zech. 9:11 As for thee also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.

“As for thee [the daughter of Zion, the daughter of Jerusalem] also, by the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” In the Wilderness of Sinai, blood was sprinkled on the people after Moses read the Law. As a result of hearing the word of God, the people made a covenant and promised to do all that He commanded. Moses then .took the blood, and sprinkled it on the people, and said, “Behold the blood of the covenant, which the LORD hath made with you concerning all these words” (Exod. 24:7,8). In other words, the blood sealed, or guaranteed, the covenant between the two parties: God and the nation of Israel. From another standpoint, Jesus’ blood secured the New Covenant. Thus verse 11 is a promise of future reconciliation.

“I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water.” This statement is an allusion to what happened to Joseph when his brothers sold him. First, they put him in a dry pit, a deep cistern (Gen. 37:23,24). When the hordes of Gog and Magog come down, Israel will be in an allegorical pit, or situation, with no “water,” no hope. The very destiny of the nation will be at stake. Israel will be under such peril that the nation could become extinct at any moment. Therefore, this simile is very appropriate, but the Holy Remnant will eventually be delivered.

The custom in Old Testament times was to cast prisoners into a pit. For example, Jeremiah was put in a miry pit, or cistern (Jer. 38:6). In the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the rich man (the nation of Israel) was thirsty for water (Luke 16:22-24). Ezekiel 37 tells of the “dry bones” condition of Israel. The point is that all of these instances stress dryness.

Hence the “prisoners” in the pit are not only those in the tomb but also Jews who have been in a dry condition without hope or water (truth). Since 1948, the nation of Israel has been successful in warfare and agriculture, but in the near future, they will be threatened with utter extinction and thus will be without hope. At that time, this prophecy will encourage the Holy Remnant to believe that the Messiah will rescue them.

The Jews will have only one shred of hope, and those who plead for it will comprise the Holy Remnant. Being informed, in advance, of the holocaust to come, the Holy Remnant will be quite aware of Ezekiel 38 and 39 and the promised deliverance to the right-hearted. Therefore, they will previously put their hope in that promise and then act on it and try to conform their behavior to be in harmony with such a hope. And so, when Romans 11:26 says “all Israel shall be saved,” only the Holy Remnant will be saved; the others will be purged out. The only ones promised survival “the only ones who cannot die” are “written in the book” (Isa. 4:3; Dan. 12:1). During earlier experiences, God is screening the nation to identify the element that He is pleased to start the Kingdom with as an earthly remnant. Ezekiel 20:37 shows He will prove them like a tithe. Just as the nation gave one tenth of their crops and flocks to the Lord, so only one tenth of the Jews will be spared allegorically. By the time Jerusalem is taken and destroyed by the earthquake, the ungodly element will have been dealt with, leaving the Holy Remnant. All of the Holy Remnant, plus family members God feels can be associated with them, will be spared. Therefore, what seems to be a contradiction between a “remnant” and “all” will not be a contradiction under those circumstances. From this perspective, the terms are synonymous.

Zech. 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double unto thee;

Notice the term .prisoners of hope.. .Turn you [the Holy Remnant] to the strong hold [the Messiah], ye prisoners of hope: even today do I declare that I will render double [Hebrew mishneh] unto thee.. The usual “double” of 1,845 years of favor followed by 1,845 years of disfavor is not the double here in Zechariah. This prophecy was given about 520 BC, whereas Isaiah prophesied earlier. The double of favor ended in AD 33, for God dealt favorably with Israel from Jacob’s death in 1813 BC until Jesus. crucifixion in AD 33.

As an illustration, after Joseph died, the Israelites were in hard bondage, but they were still under favor because God was dealing with them. The experiences were instructional and beneficial to those who were rightly exercised, the purpose being to prepare them to recognize Messiah at the First Advent. The point is that in Israel’s time of favor, there were fluctuating experiences periods of great joy and also periods of sorrow and hardship. The Israelites were even under Gentile rule at times, and they were in Babylonian captivity for 70 years. During the Period of the Judges, they were oppressed by various peoples in Israel. Solomon’s day was one of pride, prosperity, and no war. Not only was the Temple built, but it was also destroyed.

And then came the greatest time of favor: Jesus’ coming at the First Advent. Messiah was born in their land, and the Israelites had the opportunity to accept him.

The period of disfavor followed, extending from AD 33 to 1878. Shortly after AD 33, Herod.s Temple was destroyed, and the Diaspora occurred. Since 1878, there has again been a time of favor with fluctuating experiences. But God is dealing with the Jews and guiding them to accept Messiah. The Holy Remnant will respond.

Here in verse 12, the word .double. is being used as a term of reference for how in the past and again now, God is giving the Jews mixed experiences of chastisement and joy. These experiences will be condensed now into a shorter time period. In other words, just as in the past, there was a broad experience of favor mixed with discipline and trouble (but having God’s presence near), so now, since 1878, the Jews will have condensed similar experiences of great recognition and favor, followed by trouble and despair, followed by the rescue of the Holy Remnant.

Therefore, the “double” of verse 12 is not the 1,845-year double but a prophecy, or lesson, for the Holy Remnant class. Probably God already knows who the remnant class will be, and some very young Jews may be in the Holy Remnant, their recognition by God coming through the right-hearted parent. Thus the lessons and experiences of the long 1,845-year double will be miniaturized much as, in reverse, the French Revolution was a miniature picture of the great Time of Trouble yet future.

The declaration of verse 12 is made to the Holy Remnant, but of course back in Zechariah’s day, the Jews who returned from Babylon to Israel thought it referred to them. That application was helpful, for it encouraged them to build Zerubbabel’s Temple. In other words, the Lord allowed them to infer that application, but the real intent is its application down here at this end of the age.

In summary, the deliverance from the “pit” of verse 11 has not yet occurred. The application of the “double” here in Zechariah 9:12 is more along the lines of a literal application. Just as the Holy Remnant will be delivered from an actual (not a figurative) enemy down here just as the chariot and the battle bow will come down from the north, so God is saying, “I will erase with a blessing all the grief and fear you are experiencing; I will compensate you.” We feel that this is a more proper application for verse 12 because it is yet to be fulfilled. If we try to make the application a mathematical double, problems exist. What the Holy Remnant will go through is like the birth of a child. The woman may have untold agony, especially when there are complications, but if a healthy child is the result of the labor pains, then she forgets what she went through. But she certainly does not forget while she is going through the labor pains. The joy of the after-experience appropriately negates the pain.

Comment: The Holy Remnant is getting light and will have a miraculous delivery.

Zech. 9:13 When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.

Here are two opposites again in a confrontation. Most of verse 13 is in the affirmative, the plus side being Ephraim and Zion. This verse really goes back to verse 9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass.” On one side of this confrontation is Israel, and on the other side is “Greece,” the enemy. Even though all translations have “Greece,” we think that rendering is wrong that something is overlooked. The Hebrew word is yavan, or Javan. Javan does refer to Greece, but some Bible dictionaries and concordances give a secondary application, namely, that Javan is referred to in the prophecy of Ezekiel 27:19. Greece was a large power in the past, but the .Javan. that was so insignificant back there is what looms so large today.

Let us consider the context of Ezekiel 27:19, starting with verse 15: “The men of Dedan were thy merchants.” “Syria was thy merchant” (verse 16). “Judah, and the land of Israel … were thy merchants” (verse 17). “Damascus was thy merchant” (verse 18). Then comes verse 19: “Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs.. The translators realized that if they said, “Dan also and Greece,” verse 19 would not make sense. Like the expression .thine only. In Genesis 22:2,12,16, which has been misunderstood and should read “thy darling” or “thy beloved,” the Javan of verse 19 is quite different, and certain clues show that it does not refer to Greece.

Verse 19 reads in entirety, .Dan also and Javan going to and fro occupied in thy fairs: bright iron, cassia, and calamus, were in thy market.. Thus the going to and fro pertains to iron, cassia, and calamus (the latter two being an incense), and they were .in thy market.. Verse 20 has, “Dedan was thy merchant,” but this Dedan is in the area of Saudi Arabia. Verse 21 continues, “Arabia, and all the princes of Kedar … [were] thy merchants.” Verse 22 speaks of “the merchants of Sheba [in the Arabian Peninsula] and Raamah … with chief of all spices, and with all precious stones, and gold.” Notice that spices, precious stones, and gold are mentioned, and these exist in Saudi Arabia. Verse 23 speaks of Haran, Canneh, and Eden down in the Arabian Peninsula. (Incidentally, because there is an Eden in this location, some erroneously think the Garden of Eden is in Saudi Arabia.) What we are trying to say is that the setting of Javan in Ezekiel 27:19 refers to Islam. Now we will reason another way to show the same thing. In the Hebrew, “j” is often considered as a “z,” and it is sometimes pronounced as a “y.”

Zudah or Yudah instead of Judah. 1 Chronicles 1:42 reads, “The sons of Ezer; Bilhan, and Zavan, and Jakan. The sons of Dishan; Uz, and Aran.” Hebrew writers understand this “Zavan” with the “Javan” of Ezekiel 27:19. If we try to determine whose son Javan was, the lineage is very confusing, but it can be done with study. The bottom line is that sometimes the easiest way to figure out the lineage is to go back to 1 Chronicles 1:34, which reads, “And Abraham begat Isaac. The sons of Isaac; Esau and Israel.” From verse 35 to verse 54, the end of the chapter, these individuals are all of the lineage of Esau, and Esau was the enemy of Israel. Therefore, we do not have to go into all the nitty-gritty, and even the most astute scholars have great difficulty following this lineage.

The point is that here in Zechariah, verse 13 identifies the enemy of Israel in Jacob’s Trouble, when the Holy Remnant will be miraculously delivered, and that enemy is styled “O Greece.”

In other words, there is a connection between those of the Islamic faith and those who are associated with Gog and Magog, who will come down from the north; that is, Islamic forces will be confederate with Russia. Russia will supply the munitions and armaments, but the Islamic nations will supply the manpower. Together, they will go down to take and capture booty, a prize, in the Holy Land. Therefore, those who are confederate with Russia will be of the Islamic faith and nations. There will be a relationship between them and the sons of Esau in the Arabian Peninsula.

Incidentally, the term “Javan” has an ancient association with a city that we now call Yemen. Yemen is a little province way over on the far side of the coast of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. Also, Javan is the name of a town in that location. Therefore, the use of the word “Javan” is a way of telling us that the Islamic religion will be the real enemy of Israel in the future. Adherents of that religion will come down to destroy Israel. These confederates will make up the manpower, but Russia will be the leader because the Russians will have the knowhow and the instruments of destruction.

Comment: The mission, or goal, of Islam is to convert the world and to destroy all non-Islamic religions. Thus it makes sense that the Muslims will first visit Rome. Then, through their burning hatred for Israel, hooks will be put in their jaws to pull them back, and they will go down and try to wipe out that nation as well (Ezek. 38:4).

Reply: While the Muslims will go into Europe with the motive of destruction, they will have a change of mind because they will see that the work has already been done by the ten horns within Christendom itself. The ten horns will hate, turn against, and destroy the harlot (Rev. 17:16). Therefore, the Muslims will go to Europe to destroy and pillage, but when they find that another enemy is already doing them a favor by causing the destruction, they will go with hatred against the second enemy, which is Israel. It is interesting that the leading sheikh of the Muslim faith has written a treatise saying their primary objective, before America and before Israel, is Europe because if they get Europe, they will have the world.

Q: Will the Lords great army that comes against Israel be Muslim?

A: Yes, the army will be mostly Muslim because the land distance from Europe is too far to come. The Muslims have weapons. We have always felt that the ones who go down to Israel will be terrorists, for they are a marauding band. They will be a relatively disorganized host, but they will be organized in the sense of their hatred. The Muslims have violent differences even among themselves, but their hatred of the common enemy will bind them together.

In summary, then, we feel that .Greece. in verse 13 should be “Javan” (or “Yavan”) in the Hebrew, with an application to Islam. The corrected rendering is, .When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Javan, and made thee as the sword of a mighty man.. Gog and Magog and associates will come down from the north even from Iraq and Iran. On a proper map, those two countries are east of Israel, but rather than cross the large, arid desert to conquer Israel, Muslims from those countries will go north on the Fertile Crescent. They will go way up north, make a circle, and then come down south. Therefore, whichever way we think of the situation whether we think of those who will come down from Russia or of other participants who are due east of Israel they will have to come down from the north in order to travel expeditiously and not die of hunger and thirst.

Q: The stage is being set with hatred in the Muslim world toward the West and the United States for going against Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq. Will the current action by our country be like the kick start of the fuse?

A: Yes, it will bind the Muslims in a common hatred.

Verses 9-13 are an end-time picture showing the deliverance of Israel by God through the Messiah. What will at first seem to be an utter defeat will ultimately be a grand victory for Israel. If we understand the picture correctly, verses 9-13 do not refer to the immediate situation. A false peace will precede Jacob’s Trouble, and Zechariah particularly focuses on the final holocaust and deliverance. The remaining chapters are very explicit as to what will occur.

Zech. 9:14 And the LORD shall be seen over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south.

We took a little time on verse 13 to identify .O Greece. and to show that we personally feel that translation gives the wrong impression. Even though Javan may occasionally be thought of as Greece, we believe that is not the case in this context. Certainly verses 14-16 are the end time picture, the time when Jehovah will deliver Israel, .the flock of his people. (verse 16).

The invading host, Gog and Magog, will come down from the north against Israel for various reasons, among which are greed and the desire to take a spoil, occupy the land, and obtain nourishment. In addition, animosity will be involved. Today with the Muslim faith, we can see this animosity more clearly. The hosts that are confederate with Gog will be determined to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Other details will be seen in chapters 12 and 14.

“The LORD shall be seen over them [Israel].” Verse 13 identifies Israel as Judah and Ephraim, that is, the two-tribe and the ten-tribe kingdoms, the seed of both houses of Israel.

“His [God’s] arrow shall go forth as the lightning.” Lightning sometimes appears very much like an arrow. In connection with protecting and delivering the natural house of Israel, God will use elements of nature to destroy the invading host. At a convention in Israel a few years back, we spoke on this subject and gave about a dozen different types of pictures to show how God will deliver the Holy Remnant out of Jacob’s Trouble. Many phenomena will be supernatural events where nature is used in a miraculous form to deliver Israel: earthquake, hailstones, deluge, pestilence, etc. God will use natural armor instead of steel tanks and airplanes. The elements of nature will be His servants, for He is the “LORD of hosts.” It is interesting that the Book of Zechariah uses the expression “LORD of hosts” more than 50 times. Apparently, it was a favorite expression of the prophet.

“The Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet.” When the old Law Covenant was proclaimed on Mount Sinai, the mountain shook violently, and the Israelites could feel the trembling. Also, there was the literal sound of a tremendous trumpet, like a war trumpet, in the heavens; that is, from heaven came the awesome sound of a war trumpet accompanied by phenomena of nature.

“The Lord GOD … shall go with whirlwinds of the south.” The suggestion is that there will be a great windstorm perhaps even be a sandstorm from the south. This storm in the Negev will be a tremendous wind. Whether it will be the hot, debilitating sirocco wind that evaporates one’s strength, a sandstorm, or both, God will use the very elements of nature to cause utter confusion, especially in the midst of the invading enemy host from the north. Lightning, the sound of a trumpet, and wind will all be part of the defense of natural Israel. Many elements will be involved. With ten or more unusual things happening, such as great hailstones coming down and the earth swallowing up people, the enemy will know that the God of nature “.Jehovah Himself” is defending the very ones they were trying to wipe off the face of the earth. The events on the invading enemy will be impressive and so much so that five sixths of the enemy will die. Stated another way, only one sixth of the enemy will survive Jacob’s Trouble.

Zech. 9:15 The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.

“The LORD of hosts shall defend them [Israel]; and they shall devour.” Right away we want to know, How will Israel “devour”? If the subsequent word “and” is changed to “even,” which the Hebrew allows, we can see more clearly that the nation of Israel will “subdue with sling stones,” meaning ordinary stones. These will be so effective that when the people try to defend themselves with a stick, a stone, or some other crude implement which is not at all comparable to the weapons of the enemy, the contrast will be seen. Even with children and the weak, each stone will find its mark and be effective in slaying the enemy. Zechariah 12:8 expresses this same thought: “He that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David.” Ordinary Jews with nothing but a stone and a stick, as it were, shall “devour” like a lion. This remarkable success will occur because of what happens just prior to this event; namely, Israel will be defeated by the host of Gog and Magog. It will seem that Israel’s cause is utterly lost and that everything is against that tiny nation. When Gog comes down, the army will leave a tremendous heap of rubble. Although the entire city of Jerusalem will be taken, God will protect the Holy Remnant those who have been marked for survival (Zech. 14:2).

“They shall drink, and make a noise as through wine.” How does this statement fit in with the subduing and the devouring? The Holy Remnant will be happy and will rejoice. They will be victorious because the Lord will operate on their behalf, delivering them from what appears to be a hopeless situation. The Holy Remnant will see convulsions of nature taking place all around them, but not one of them will die. Not only will they see the defeat of the enemy, but also the rest of the Jews the majority will die in the trouble. To realize they were miraculously rescued will fill them with great joy because it will mean that God is for them. The noise of this celebration is likened to the loosing of the tongue through the imbibing of wine. “And they [the Holy Remnant] shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.”

In other words, they will experience overflowing joy.

Zech. 9:16 And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

“The LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people.” A parallel text is Zechariah 14:3, “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.. These verses are usually given a symbolic interpretation, but they are describing the literal action that will take place in Jacob’s Trouble as regards natural Israel. To the contrary, Malachi 3:17 is spiritual: “And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.. Faithful Christians will be mounted as jewels in the antitypical breastplate. But here verse 16 is telling of a miraculous natural salvation. Those who survive Jacob’s Trouble will be recognized as part of the nucleus of the Kingdom of God, which will be established in Jerusalem, the capital of the world.

The Holy Remnant “shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his [God’s] land.” They will be considered God’s people down here on earth, and as such, they will become a banner, or an advertisement, to the Gentile nations, who will hear what has transpired in Israel. Gentiles will take notice that indeed the Jew, instead of being wiped off the face of the earth, was marked for salvation. The Jews who are purged out as unfit to be representatives of the new government and the channel of blessing under the New Covenant will come up later in the general resurrection and be dealt with on another basis, like the world.

Zech. 9:17 For how great is his goodness, and how great is his beauty! corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids.

After Jacob’s Trouble, God will feed His people along natural lines. In the coming turbulent times, the invading host will spoil the harvest, taking the entire reserve of food in the larder. Other Scriptures describe the enemy going from city to city, taking the spoil as they approach and then capture Jerusalem. When everything looks hopeless, the Lord will step in. “Corn shall make the young men cheerful.” One reason Gog and Magog will come down from the north is that a great famine will prevail, and they will devour the “cattle and goods” in

Israel (Ezek. 38:12). However, God will miraculously supply Israel with provender along natural lines. The Holy Remnant will also be greatly benefited along spiritual lines because the Ancient Worthies will be on the scene at this time, giving instruction.

Incidentally, the Ancient Worthies will be apprised in advance about what is going on in the current generation. They would have to be informed somewhat before they appear on the scene, for otherwise they would be completely puzzled by all the modern contrivances. They will be instructed earlier so that they are in a position to comfort Israel and give sound advice. The instruction will prepare and empower them to bring great happiness from the ashes of seeming defeat.

From the spiritual standpoint, the “corn” will be the Ancient Worthies, the specially developed natural seed of Abraham, who are to be the mouthpieces of the heavenly seed. The Christ in glory will instruct the Ancient Worthies down here on what to do and say and will give them the necessary power, and the Great Company will be the messengers in between. In other words, the Great Company will be ministers of communication, going back and forth between the heavenly and the earthly phases of the Kingdom. Thus the “new wine” is the spiritual instruction that will come down from heaven. The Holy Remnant will be benefited not only physically and materially but also spiritually. They will be imbued with zeal and enthusiasm that will produce singing and dancing. With His Holy Spirit, the Lord will even speak through the mouth of some of the Jews (Joel 2:28). He will anoint some of the Holy Remnant, endowing them with visible encouragement. Just as tongues of flame came upon the heads of the apostles at Pentecost, endowing them with mysterious and miraculous powers of speaking different languages and having the gift of the Spirit along various lines, so the Scriptures suggest that an anointing will happen to the natural seed of Israel in the inauguration phase of the Kingdom.

Q: Will Joel 3:18 be fulfilled at the same time? “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.”

A: Yes. The Book of Joel provides a lot of helpful information, telling of the invading host as well as of blessings to come. There are multiple witnesses to all these events.

Comment: Amos 9:14 reads, “And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.”

Reply: Yes. Every man will sit under his own vine and fig tree, and none shall make him afraid. The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah, Joel, and other Minor Prophets all contain detailed prophecies. The full answers are yet to be revealed on other Scriptures.

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