Zechariah Chapter 10
The blessed and prosperous condition of restored and converted Israel under the care and leadership of their true Shepherd King, may be given as the summary of the chapter to which we have now come. The first verses are linked on and are a continuation of the promises contained (in verses 7-11), of the ninth chapter.
Zechariah 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.”
“Ask ye of the Lord rain”: In light of the promised blessings (of 9:17), the prophet encourages the people to request these blessings from the Lord, with confidence. There will be literal rain and spring rain (Apr./May), in the kingdom (Isa. 35:1-7), making the land flourish. But the promise here extends to refer to spiritual blessings (Hosea 6:1-3).
The “spring rain” of spiritual grace and goodness from God will bring refreshment to people’s souls (Isa. 44:3).
“The latter rain” is the spring rain of late April or early May.
This has a double meaning. In the physical, they should pray and ask God for the rain the last time before the crop matures. This rain would provide an abundant crop.
Deut. 11:13-14 “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.”
To Israel, rain in due season so that the land should yield her increase, was promised as a direct reward of national obedience.
The other meaning is the outpouring of the Spirit of God upon all flesh. It is the latter rain, because Day of Pentecost was the former rain.
As a message to us which is a symbol of spiritual gifts and blessings, consider the scripture that tells us “Ask and ye shall receive”.
Zechariah 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.”
“Idols … diviners”: In contrast to God who provides abundance, idols or household gods (Gen. 31:19, 34), and demonic fortunetellers left Israel as sheep without a shepherd (Ezek. 34:6-10).
God will judge them all for that false leadership (verse 3). The implication of these words is that a similar deception will occur in the end times. The New Testament confirms this (Matt. 24:5, 11, 22-28; 2 Thess. 1:8-12).
It is the Teraphim or “speaking oracles” (prophecies), of the heathen and their consulters or diviners that the prophet speaks of in the verse. Teraphim means: Images connected with the magical rites used by those Israelites who added corrupt practices to the patriarchal religion. Teraphim were consulted by the Israelites for oracular answers.
The primary reference in this verse is probably their wandering in the Babylonian captivity, but the picture is true also of the much longer exile and greater affliction which commenced with the destruction of the second temple by the Roman general and emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus (39-81 A.D.). Who was responsible for the conquest of Jerusalem (in 70 A.D.).
The only thing that brings results is prayer to God. Idols cannot help in time of trouble. Diviners bring false messages of hope. They will all vanish away. Our hope and help is in Christ Jesus.
Matt. 9:36 “But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.”
Jesus is the great Shepherd.
A parallelism, in its spiritual significance, is to be found today in Christendom. What the ephod or the prophet was in olden times, Holy Scripture is now. The oracles of God, themselves speaking with voices which carry their own conviction to hearts honestly seeking for truth and ever confirming themselves in the world’s history and in the Christian’s experience.
Zechariah 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.”
The “shepherds” and “goats” refer to the leaders of the foreign nations who persecute Israel and set themselves against the Lord (Psalm 2; Isa. 14:9).
“Goodly horse”: Though like sheep, Israel will become like an invincible majestic war horse when strengthened by the Lord to conquer His foes (12:8).
The entire chapter (of Ezekiel 34), is all about what God does to the shepherd who destroys the sheep. Read the whole chapter. I will give a few verses here.
Ezek. 34:2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe [be] to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?”
Ezek. 34:5 “And they were scattered, because [there is] no shepherd: and they became meat to all the beasts of the field, when they were scattered.”
Ezek. 34:7 “Therefore, ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;”
Ezek. 34:10 “Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I [am] against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.”
Ezek. 34:23 “And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, [even] my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd.”
That last scripture was interesting. When was this written by Ezekiel? (Sometime after he was taken captive in 597 B.C.). And who was just mentioned? The one shepherd over them is the Messiah who shall be Israel’s King over the Millennium Kingdom written almost 600 years before His birth.
Because their appointed shepherds have proven false, Jehovah Himself, in the person of the Messiah is going to act the part of the good Shepherd to them (beginning in verse 4).
He goats are the false prophets, elders and leaders who deceived the people. Think about the separation of the goats and the sheep right before the Millennium begins (read Matthew 25:31-46).
Goodly horse is God’s flock the sheep, which shall be made strong in Jehovah and in the power of His might. He shall make them, or set them, as his goodly horse, or “the horse of His Majesty. That is, the horse fit and equipped for the God of Majesty to ride forth on “in battle” to execute His judgments upon the nations.
Zechariah 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.”
“Corner”: (cornerstone), portrays the Messiah as the foundation of God’s new kingdom (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8).
A frequently used messianic title (Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:6-8). Christ is the foundation on which His kingdom rests.
“Nail” refers either to a large tent peg, or to a peg by which valuables were hung on walls. It portrays the fact that all of Israel’s value will depend on Him.
“Battle bow … every oppressor”: Another reference to the Messiah (9:13; Rev. 19:11-16), under whose authority every ruler will be sanctioned.
This is speaking of out of Judah. Jesus is the Lion of the tribe of Judah.
Gen. 49:24 “But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty [God] of Jacob; (from thence [is] the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)”
Mark 12:10 “And have ye not read this scripture; The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner:”
Ephesians 2:20 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner [stone];”
Corner, the Rock of Ages, a fit emblem of our Lord Jesus.
Nail is defined as a tent pin or stake or a strong peg inside the wall of the eastern building on which is hung most of its valuable furniture.
Isa. 22:20-25 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will call my servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah:” “And I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” “And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.” “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 primary allusion is to a son of David, Eliakim, who is being a type and shadow of the Messiah.
The nail or peg when secured in a sure place was used to hang burdens on. We can easily see the applicability and preciousness of this as applied to the Messiah.
The last 2 terms give us an aspect of the Messiah’s character, which will be made manifest at his 2nd coming. “The Battle Bow” and “every oppressor”. The enemies of God from whom He will exact submission and will rule with a rod of iron.
Zechariah 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.”
“The Lord is with them”: The prophet pictured foot soldiers overpowering the cavalry (12:1-9), in battle. This analogy was to illustrate the power of God’s people when He is “with them.”
The flock of the Messiah shall suddenly be transformed into the “Horse of His Majesty” in battle and shall become as “Mighty Men” who will tread on their enemies.
Thus, this scripture pictures those trampled upon as what they had become, “the mire of the streets”. Something that is worthless and foul.
They shall not prevail in their own strength, but because Jehovah is with them.
The riders on horses, or the enemies’ cavalry, the most formidable of the hostile forces, shall be put to shame or confounded.
Zechariah 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.”
“House of Judah … Joseph”: Both the southern and northern kingdoms of Israel will be restored to a position of blessing, as the whole nation is restored in millennial blessing (Jer. 32:37).
“I am the Lord their God”: The reason for Israel’s restoration was because of God, the covenant keeper, who gave a strong reiteration of His continuing, unconditional commitment to them. The curses of (Deut. 28:15-68), expressed in the Assyrian and Babylonian deportations did not abrogate God’s promised blessings to Israel or transfer them to another people.
Even after they had crucified the Messiah, Peter told them they were still able to receive the promise (Acts 2:39), because the Abrahamic Covenant was still in place and they were the people of God’s promise (Acts 3:25).
Both the Northern and Southern kingdoms of Israel will be restored to a position of blessing, as the whole nation is restored in Millennium blessing.
Zechariah 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.”
The joy of the restored nation of Israel at the beginning of the Millennium is likened to those who have been drinking wine (Isa. 66:10-14; Zeph. 3:14-20).
This scripture is speaking of the Northern Kingdom which had gone into captivity approximately 136 years earlier (in 722 B.C.), by the Assyrians.
They see that they too will share in the blessings promised to the House of Judah (Southern Kingdom).
Both they and their children’s hearts shall rejoice in Jehovah until that day.
Note: From here and forward, the scripture is referring to both houses of Israel.
Zechariah 10:8 “I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.”
“I will hiss for them”: The prophecy summarized what had been said, namely the Messiah’s call for Israel to be redeemed and for them to regather in His land (Isa. 5:26).
As in Egypt (Exodus 1:8-22), those of Israel who are protected by God because of their faith in Messiah will survive the Tribulation and enter the Millennium to multiply greatly (Zechariah 2:4; Isa. 54:1-3).
“I have redeemed them:” This will be the realization of the national regeneration promised in the new covenant (Jer. 31:31-34).
Look who they are, the redeemed. They are God’s people scattered all over the world.
Matt. 13:38 “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one];”
1 Tim. 2:4-6 “Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.” “For [there is] one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;” “Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.”
Hiss for them means to whistle or pipe (meaning call), together nations or people to accomplish His purposes.
First it was Egypt, then Assyria, but now it is God calling His people together from the four corners of the earth.
“Increased and they have increased”. Meaning when God gathers the remnant back together, they will increase as they once did while in the land of Egypt.
Verses 9-10: Another summary is given stating that, as God had previously scattered them all over the world (A.D. 70), He would bring them back to populate His messianic kingdom (Isa. 11:11-12; 49:20-22).
Zechariah 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.”
God’s family was sown to the far countries of the world. We must remember that the Word of God had been entrusted to them to bring to the unsaved world. This is speaking of the sowing of the Word of God which brought great increase.
It is the Word of God which turns the people back to God.
Those who escaped death and went into captivity shall remember God and they shall loathe themselves for the evil that they have committed.
Read (Ezekiel chapter 37), for the prophecy of the dry bones.
Zechariah 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”: The Targum paraphrases it, “and as I brought them out of the land of Egypt, so will gather their captivity out of Assyria, suggesting there would be a likeness between the one and the other.
Egypt may denote the state of distance and bondage in which all men are by nature. And the Jews, at their conversion, will be brought out of it, into the glorious liberty of the children of God, by the mighty arm of the Lord, according to his purposes and promises.
Moreover, as Cocceius observes, Egypt may signify Rome, or the Romish jurisdiction. Which is spiritually called Egypt and Sodom (Rev. 11:8), for darkness, idolatry, tyranny, and cruelty. And out of which the Jews, as many of them as are there, will be brought at the time of their conversion.
“And gather them out of Assyria”: Which may design the Turkish or Persian dominions, or both, as the above commentator suggests. From where the Jews, as many as are in those parts, will be brought into their own land, as follows (see Isa. 11:11).
“And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon”: Gilead was a land of pasture, and signifies “a heap of testimonies”. And may mystically intend the Scriptures, which testify of Christ, and direct to green pastures, beside the still waters.
And Lebanon, that goodly mountain, and hill of frankincense. And where cedars grew, may design the church, whither the converted Jews will be brought, and worship before it (Rev. 3:9). Or both may literally be understood, which they shall return unto. Gilead, being as Kimchi observes, beyond Jordan eastward; and Lebanon, comprehending the whole land of Israel, on this side of it.
“And place shall not be found for them”: They will be so numerous (see Isaiah 49:20). The Targum is, “and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and the sanctuary, and it shall not be sufficient for them. That is, to hold them. The Septuagint renders it, “and not one of them shall be left”: all Israel shall now be converted and saved, though their number will be as the sand of the sea (Hosea 1:10).
All of the lands mentioned here, are thought of as the unsaved world. “Egypt” symbolizes the world. God will bring His people home from all the heathen lands, and they will live in His land.
There are many Jews scattered in the regions which formed the Assyrian and Babylonian empires as well as Egypt and elsewhere. There numbers in those countries will be greatly increased. The land of Gilead and Lebanon probably represents the whole of the Promised Land East and West of the Jordan.
Note: The land God promised them is about 50 times as large as the part which hitherto the Jews actually possessed. “Place not be found for them”, means that even with all the land, it will not suffice to hold all of Israel in the Millennium due to the increase of the saved remnant.
Zechariah 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 scepter of Egypt shall depart away.”
Similar to Israel crossing the Red Sea, God will remove both geographical and political obstacles to Israel’s return for the kingdom of Messiah. Assyria and Egypt, traditional enemies of Israel, symbolize any nation that would try to withstand God from fulfilling His will (Isa. 11:11-12).
The judgment of God comes upon the lands that have been opposed to God’s people. God will do whatever is necessary to bring His people out. He caused the Red Sea to part then, and He will again, if He has to, to bring His people to the Promised Land. The world power will be destroyed by God, Himself.
God’s works on behalf of His people in the past are again alluded to as the basis and illustration of what He will do for them in the yet greater deliverance of the future. No obstacle shall be allowed to hinder the progress of His people on their way back to Zion.
These two empires mentioned also represent gentile world power in general which will then give way to the Kingdom of the Messiah which the God of Heaven will set up. Whose blessed rule shall extend from Mt. Zion to even the ends of the earth.
Zechariah 10:12 “And I will strengthen them in the LORD; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the LORD.”
“They shall walk up and down in his name”: The people of Israel will be the messengers of their Messiah in the millennial kingdom. This is the complete spiritual restoration spoken of by Ezekiel (Ezek. 36:21-38; 37:1-14, 22-28).
God did do wonders to save His people. Jesus won the victory over Satan on the cross. He defeated sin’s hold over the believers at that time also. He defeated death, when He rose from the grave. All Christians walk up and down in the name of Christ. The first part of the name Christians is Christ.
Eph. 3:16 “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;”
Eph. 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”
Phil. 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”
There are more Scriptures, but you get the idea.
“Strengthen them in the Lord” is speaking of the Jews walk and conversion, which shall all be rooted in God and be in full accord with His name, which stands for His revealed character. Which shall then be fully and gloriously manifested in their midst in the person of their Messiah, the Image of the invisible God.
“Shall walk up and down in His name”. As His messengers and representatives, dispensing the blessing of Messiah’s Gospel among the nations. By whom they shall be known as “the Priests of Jehovah”, and be welcomed as “the Ministers of our God”.
Zechariah Chapter 10 Questions
1. What are the two meanings of the latter rain?
2. When was the former rain?
3. What is the only thing that brings results?
4. What kind of messages did the diviners bring?
5. ________ is the great Shepherd.
6. Who was God’s anger kindled against in verse 3?
7. What chapter, in Ezekiel, is about this subject?
8. Jesus is the _________ of the tribe of Judah.
9. _________ ________ Himself being the chief ________ ______.
10. The “mire” symbolizes ______.
11. He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and His name is called the _______ ___ _______.
12. What is verse 6 speaking of?
13. Who is verse 8 speaking to?
14. Who is the mediator between God and man?
15. What was one of the reasons God’s people were sown to foreign Countries?
16. What does “Egypt” symbolize?
17. What is verse 11 speaking of?
18. All Christians walk up and down in the name of _______.
19. How are we strengthened in our inner man?
20. Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His _________.