Zechariah Chapter 10: The Holy Remnant after Jacob’s Trouble

Dec 17th, 2009 | By | Category: Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name), Zechariah

Zechariah Chapter 10: The Holy Remnant after Jacob’s Trouble

Zech. 10:1 Ask ye of the LORD rain in the time of the latter rain; so the LORD shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field.

Zechariah gave instructions to pray for rain. From a natural standpoint, when the nation was in God’s favor in the past and the Israelites asked for needed rain, the Lord quickly responded, giving both the early and the latter rain. Seeing a dark cloud and lightning in the distance and faintly hearing the sound of thunder, they knew rain was coming. God blessed the nation with an inundation of “showers of rain” and gave “to every one grass in the field.” In other words, every blade of grass in the field received rain. Verse 1 is telling how wonderful the conditions will be when the Kingdom is inaugurated; it will start with a bang.

The Lord has been quiet for thousands of years, relatively speaking. Many have even doubted His existence and have felt that if He did exist, He was not responsive. However, in the near future, it will be seen that there is one true God, the God of Israel. Natural favor will be with the nation.

Q: Is Deuteronomy 11:13,14 pertinent? “And it shall come to pass, if ye shall hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, That I will give you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, and thy wine, and thine oil.”

A: Yes. Speaking for the Lord, Zechariah was saying, “Pray for rain, and I will give you a favorable answer. To get rain, you must ask for it.” The problem with Jewry today is that they do not proclaim a national fast, rending their garments and girding themselves in sackcloth and ashes. The nation needs to pray as a whole. Instead the Jews are trusting in their armaments and in the United States in these trying days. From a natural standpoint, this reaction would be understandable, but as people of the Holy Scriptures, the Jews are supposed to know what to do. They should be asking their God. The Holy Remnant class already exist and are praying, but not the nation as a whole. There is no heartfelt repentance because the majority are not real believers, especially among the leadership.

Of course the setting of verse 1 is after the deliverance of the Holy Remnant. At that time, the message to the Jews will be, “Ask, and you will receive.” Jesus gave similar advice to Christians, who are to ask for wisdom and more of the Holy Spirit; that is, they are to make proper requests. The Master reasoned, “Would a father give a stone to a child who asked for bread?” (Matt. 7:7-11). The point is that the Jews will have to ask in the proper fashion. God will deliver the Holy Remnant when they have no hope and are drowning, as it were, but after the deliverance, when they are rejoicing, they are to pray for blessings.

Zech. 10:2 For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd.

Verse 2, an abrupt change, is a flashback to conditions prior to the deliverance of the Holy Remnant and the inauguration of the Kingdom. Attention is focused on diviners, false dreamers, and the lack of a true shepherd. False shepherds were abundant, and there was no true shepherd. Notice that past tense is used: “For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams.” Israel’s comfort was in vain; therefore, the flock without a shepherd was leaderless and troubled. The people went hither and yon for information, but there was no proper counsel.

Other Scriptures show that there will be false prophets in Israel at the end of the age. When the predicted calamities start to happen, devout Jews will seek information from their rabbis and renowned teachers, but they will receive false answers. However, the situation will change radically.

The Pastor’s comments usually apply these verses to the false shepherds of Christendom, and that is a true statement, for false teachers exist at the present time who mix truth with error.

Stated another way, there is confusion in Babylon because the spiritual food is tainted, especially with regard to prophecy—for example, the interpretation of the man of sin, the rapture, and the building of the Third Temple. There is confusion among the priests and the ministers (those who are supposed to be the instructors of Christendom), let alone in Jewry itself. When it is seen that the false diviners gave the wrong comfort, Israel will go “their way as a flock.” As was stated with regard to natural Israel in the Period of the Judges, “every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judg. 17:6; 21:25). The same principle will apply when the people find that the advice they are receiving is not really viable or meaningful.

After the Holy Remnant have been spared, the Lord will do what they could not do, and then He will ask them to do what they can do. Similarly, when Peter was in prison and chained to a guard on each side, the Lord loosed the chains through an angel, but then the angel instructed Peter to put on his clothes. Next the locked prison doors and the iron city gate opened miraculously. In other words, Peter had to do for himself what he was capable of doing (Acts 12:5-10). This principle operates in both the spirit and the natural realm.

Zech. 10:3 Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.

God’s anger will be “kindled against the shepherds,” and He will punish “the goats.” The “shepherds” are the religious leaders, and the “goats” are other leaders.

“For the LORD of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle.” Judah will be made God’s “goodly horse” in the future end-time battle. We are reminded of another text in this same book; namely, “The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first” (Zech. 12:7). This coming end-time judgment will be visited upon the “house of Judah,” that is, upon God’s own people.

Many frequently picture the end-time experiences of Israel in such wonderful terms that it seems only good things will occur, but verse 3 shows there is to be a purging. A cleansing work will sort out those who are unfit to be the nucleus of the Kingdom underneath the guidance of the Ancient Worthies and the priesthood to be instituted at that time. (Of course all of the latter are really underling shepherds of The Christ above, who will use them as instruments of blessing in the Kingdom Age.) Verse 3 shows that the result of the cleansing in this end-time experience will prepare Judah to be a “goodly horse.”

Zech. 10:4 Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.

“Out of him [Judah] came forth the corner[stone], … the nail, … the battle bow, … [and] every oppressor [ruler] together.” It is important to get the correct thought, for based on the previous verse, the expression “out of him” can be considered as a cleansing, or it can be thought of from a favorable standpoint, that is, as an opposite of the preceding verse. Of the two possibilities, verse 4 indicates a very favorable situation. The NIV is a good rendering, as follows: “From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler.”

The “corner” is the clue that all of these are favorable, for the cornerstone is definitely a reference to Jesus. He is the top stone, the “head of the corner,” the Lord over his body, i.e., the Church (Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11). He will be the King who governs the Kingdom Age—the mighty God, the age-lasting Father, the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace (Isa. 9:6).

The “nail” is a tent peg. Isaiah 22:23-25 reads, “And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden that was upon it shall be cut off: for the LORD hath spoken it.” The terms “corner” and “nail” are fraught with meaning. Jesus’ being nailed to the Cross is a surety of victory and hope or Israel and the world. His becoming man’s Ransom guarantees that restitution and the good things promised in Scripture will come to pass. Stated succinctly, the nail becomes a surety of promise.

The ancient tent peg was the mainstay, or support, upon which armor and precious things were hung. Accordingly, Jesus, the mainstay, will be recognized as coming from Judah, and the fallen tent will again be erected (Amos 9:11). Jesus was nailed to the Cross and then removed and buried, but he arose and, in his resurrection and glory, will be the mainstay of Israel.

The “battle bow” is related to the coming victory in the battle of Armageddon, which God is arranging (Zech. 9:13). Marvelous things are to come.

The word “oppressor” in the King James gives a wrong slant. The correct thought is “ruler,” which is favorable in this context. When Jesus reigns in the Kingdom Age, the government will be a dictatorship, a theocracy under God, and every knee will have to bow to him. Disobedience will not be permitted unless there is some recourse to handle the matter. We can thank God that Jesus will be the King of the new order, for a strong and just government is needed to bring order out of anarchy. The corner, the nail, the battle bow, and every ruler are all hints of a better outcome.

Zech. 10:5 And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.

Judah “shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle.” Judah “shall fight, because the LORD is with them.” A second witness is Zechariah 12:7; namely, God “shall save the tents of Judah first.” Not only will the Lord see that the outcome is favorable, but “the riders on [other] horses shall be confounded.” The stage of deliverance will be centered primarily in Jerusalem, which is in the tribe of Judah. Therefore, the saving of the “tents of Judah” means that remarkable things will happen outside the city but in the province of Judah. In addition, as later chapters show, there will be remarkable happenings inside the city.

The favorable outcome to the prayer of Psalm 83 and subsequent quietness will occur in the near future, bringing a solution to the conflict with Israel’s immediate Arab neighbors. However, the solution to the Muslim situation awaits the time—to occur a little later—when saviors come out of Mount Zion to deliver Israel (Obadiah 21). This victory will be manifested in God’s representatives down here, namely, in the Ancient Worthies, who will exercise a powerful influence in their rule in connection with The Christ. The Holy Remnant, in a secondary role, will be in harmony with the Ancient Worthies. Thus the nucleus of the earthly Jerusalem will be holy, and this remnant, or lump, which starts the Kingdom, will grow and grow until it fills the whole earth. Stated another way, the stone that smites the image will be the Church in glory. That stone will grow from the nucleus remnant down here, for all other nations will have to become Israelitish in order to come into the New Covenant, which God will make with the house of Israel and Judah (Dan. 2:34,35; Jer. 31:31-34). The Scriptures harmonize beautifully in the final analysis.

Zech. 10:6 And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.

God “will strengthen the house of Judah [the two-tribe kingdom], and … save the house of Joseph [the ten-tribe kingdom].” This prophecy started out emphasizing Judah, but now it is saying that the ten tribes will be favored too. The Lord is not excluding the northern kingdom; rather, He will save the tents of Judah first—and then the ten tribes. Verse 6 is an assurance that the blessing, the fruits of victory and the joy, will be to the whole nation.

“I [God] will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off.” While the setting is basically Jerusalem, Judah, etc., the prophecy focuses on the nation of Israel. The point is that there will be a regathering of Jews from other lands—a second regathering. The regathering that takes place before Israel is delivered out of Jacob’s Trouble is to be followed by a regathering of Jews from other lands after the Kingdom is established. God will have a place for those who return from other lands in the second regathering, for they will be part of the Holy Remnant. Thus there will be a Holy Remnant both in Israel itself and also among the Gentiles.

When this second regathering takes place, it will be as though God “had not cast them off.”

This statement alludes to the fact that when God called Israel out of Egypt, the Egyptians were so frightened because of the ten plagues that they gave the Israelites jewelry, flocks, and goods and said, “Get out of our land, lest we all perish.” Instead of the Israelites’ being in bondage, exactly the opposite now occurred, for they were showered with gifts to go back to their homeland. In the future, the principle will be the same with the Gentiles, although it will be viewed from a different perspective. After the magnificent deliverance of the Holy Remnant from Jacob’s Trouble, the attitude of the Gentiles toward the Jews will be, “We have heard that God is with you.” Not only will the Gentiles hold onto the skirt of the Jew, but they will want to do all they can to come into harmony and friendship with the Kingdom arrangement. The joy of Ephraim will be so full that the Jews will be “drunk” with happiness as through wine. Even the Red Sea miraculously opened for the fleeing Israelites in the Exodus, and when they arrived on the other side and looked back, they saw the destruction of the enemy as the waters closed over the Egyptians and their chariots. Not only did the Israelites have an abundance of good gifts in their possession, but no harm came to any of them. So great was their initial joy that it was as if they had never been slaves in Egypt. The joy of the double, as it were, of a good experience more than compensated for their previous experiences in the furnace of affliction (Exod. 3:7; Deut. 4:20).

Of course the real fulfillment of that picture will not take place until the end of the Kingdom Age, but a foretaste will occur at the end of the Gospel Age. The Apostle Paul, and even Jesus, gave many Scriptures that pertain to the Kingdom Age a partial fulfillment during the Gospel dispensation, but the full fulfillment is still future. Time is needed for maturity so that we can begin to make sense out of much detail that is confusing when we are initially exposed to it.

“For I am the LORD their God, and will hear them.” God will hear the prayers of the Holy Remnant because they will pray from the heart for the Lord’s guidance when conditions are really desperate. They will undergo a thorough reformation and experience, whereas in the past, God turned a deaf ear to Israel when the people pleaded for mercy because of their inveterate abuse of the prophets and their hypocritical and perfunctory prayers.

Zech. 10:7 And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.

“And they of Ephraim [that is, the ten tribes] shall be like a mighty man, and … their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.” After Jacob’s Trouble, both houses of Israel will inherit the blessing that is stated here. Many thoughts are compacted together, but when we rightly divide the Word of truth, there is enough information, based on other Scriptures, to help us sort out a meaningful interpretation.

Zech. 10:8 I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.

God “will hiss [whistle] for them, and gather them.” To hear a favorable whistle in the distance and know it is meant for us gives a sense of joyous familiarity and anticipation. Even in the animal realm, a pet dog out in the field will respond eagerly to a whistle and return with his tail wagging. Depending on the perspective of the experience, we, as humans, also do this.

Generally speaking, the Jews in exile during the Gospel Age have not wanted to go back to the Promised Land because a return meant sacrifice. Even those with the right heart condition sometimes have tender ties that they do not want to leave. For example, loved ones may be sick and have health needs, or parental obligations and duties may tie one to his country of exile, especially if one is married. But when the Lord whistles for the Holy Remnant in different countries after Jacob’s Trouble, calling them back to Israel, they will return rich and happy. Not only will Gentiles assist the Jews in their return, but they will actually help in the rebuilding work, as stated in late chapters in the Book of Isaiah.

“I will hiss for them, … for I have redeemed them.” At this point, the Kingdom will have been inaugurated, but it will be in a baby stage; that is, the Third Temple will not yet exist. But when surviving Jews comprising the Holy Remnant in other lands see what is happening, they will all want to go back to Israel. Accordingly, the whistle will go forth to Jews who are in the distance, beckoning them home.

Zech. 10:9 And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.

Verse 9 is saying that God placed part of the Holy Remnant in foreign lands for a particular reason. “They shall live with their children, and [re]turn again” to the Holy Land. In other words, God previously deals with this class of Jewry and their children who will live through the great Time of Trouble, and they will return to Israel when the Kingdom is inaugurated. Of course God is dealing primarily with the parents, but the children are covered by the faith of the parents. The same principle applies in the Gospel Age, for as the Apostle Paul said of the consecrated, “The unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy” (1 Cor. 7:14). If at least one parent is consecrated, the Lord’s providence is exercised on the other family members.

Zech. 10:10 I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.

“I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt.” According to statistics, very few Jews are left in Egypt, but based on observation and the Scriptures, we believe a lot of Jews are still there. However, they lived in such isolated pockets that they were not given recognition when the time came for Jews to come out of that land; it was as if they did not exist, for they were not in the public view.

“I will … gather them out of Assyria.” Present-day Syria is relatively small compared to the Assyrian Empire of the past, which existed prior to the Babylonian Empire.

“I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.”

The returning Jews will be so numerous that the land of Israel will be congested for a while. However, there will be a displacement of some and an occupation by Jewry in the land of Lebanon, which is now occupied by Arabs, Syrians, and others. There will be some discomfort in this period of adjustment because of the sudden crowded conditions. This sudden crowding will not take place in Judah, for Israel proper will already be packed with inhabitants. However, some changes will take place, particularly at the end of the Kingdom Age for those who live beyond the Little Season into the ages of ages, into the “world without end” (Isa. 45:17; Eph. 3:21). Certain Scriptures hint at other developments.

Gilead is east of the Jordan River, extending quite far north. The expression “place shall not be found for them” is like using a slang term of exaggeration to emphasize a point. The fulfillment will be so remarkable that there will be confusion for a little while, but it will conclude with a very happy ending.

Q: As a representation of spiritual classes, Reuben, Gad, and one half of Manasseh had territory on the far side of the Jordan. But in the Kingdom, God will bring the Jews into Gilead and Lebanon, and “place shall not be found for them.” What is the thought?

A: There are two interpretations, both of which are favorable. (1) The people who are there now will be displaced; that is, no place will be found for them because the land will be reoccupied by returned Jews coming from Egypt, Assyria, etc. (2) Even when the Jews go into Gilead, for instance, they will feel as if they are in a straitjacket. The initial coming in will be a period of momentary discomfort in which the Jews will have to adjust themselves.

Zech. 10:11 And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away.

God will use strange phenomena of nature to bring the nations immediately surrounding Israel to their senses and wake them up. Verse 11 is hinting that the river Nile will dry up to a certain extent, at least temporarily. The same will be true of the river Euphrates, which courses through not only Iraq but also Syria, Jordan, and Israel. However, we think the reference is to the offshoots of these main rivers. Such judgments will bring the people to their knees, as it were. Isaiah 11:15 speaks of this same time with regard to the Nile: “And the LORD shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with his mighty wind shall he shake his hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over dryshod.” The “pride of Assyria” will be brought low. “The sceptre [rulership] of Egypt shall depart away.”

Zech. 10:12 And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.

Verse 12 tells the happy ending: “I [God] will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name” with no fear and with thorough security.

Isaiah 19:23-25 speaks of a later time period in the Kingdom Age. “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing in the midst of the land: Whom the LORD of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel mine inheritance.” Israel will be between Assyria and Egypt, and all three will be blessed. Israel will be the special inheritance, but blessing will also be on Assyria and Egypt.

Q: Will Israel be enlarged?

A: Yes. The boundaries will extend northward into Lebanon where the Euphrates River, for a short distance, will mark the upper end of the land. Most people understand that Scripture to mean that Israel will occupy all the land the Euphrates touches, but we think the meaning is otherwise, for the parameters of the Holy Land are given very specifically in the books of Ezekiel and Joshua. The boundaries will be something like they were of old except that they will extend a tiny bit farther up to Tripoli in the northern sector of Lebanon.

The Arabs are relate d to Jewry, for in a broad sense, they are brothers. God was spoken of as the God of Nahor, not just the God of Abraham (Gen. 31:53). A kinship exists through Terah, their father (Gen. 11:26).

(2000 and 2003 Studies)

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