Zechariah 13

CHAPTER XIII

After the humiliation and conversion of the Jews, foretold in

the preceding chapter, they are here promised the full pardon

of their sins, and a deliverance from idolatry and false

prophets, 1-6.

Prophecy concerning the death of the Messiah, and the

persecution of his disciples, 7.

The remaining verses may refer to those Jewish converts to

Christianity who survived the calamities which their country

suffered from the Romans, 8, 9.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIII

Verse 1. In that day there shall be a fountain opened] This

chapter is a continuation of the preceding, and should not have

been separated from it.

A fountain] The source of mercy in Christ Jesus; perhaps

referring to the death he should die, and the piercing of his

side, when blood and water issued out.

To the house of David] To David's family, and such like persons

as it included. See the history of David and his sons, and then

learn for whom Christ shed his blood.

Inhabitants of Jerusalem] Such like persons as the Jews were in

every part of their history, and in their last times, when they

clamoured for the blood of Christ, and pursued him unto death!

Learn from this also for whom Christ died! These were the worst of

the human race; and if he died for them, none need despair. They

rejected, betrayed, crucified, slew, and blasphemed Christ, and

afterwards persecuted his followers. For these he died! Yes: and

he tasted death for EVERY MAN.

For sin and for uncleanness.] For the removal of the guilt of

sin, and for the purification of the soul from the uncleanness or

pollution of sin.

Verse 2. I will cut off the names of the idols] There shall not

only be no idolatry, but the very names of the idols shall be

forgotten, or be held in such abhorrence that no person shall

mention them. This prophecy seems to be ancient, and to have

been delivered while idolatry had prevalence in Israel and Judah.

I will cause the prophets] All false teachers.

And the unclean spirit] That which leads to impurity, the spirit

of divination; the lust of the flesh, and of the eye, and the

pride of life. Satan shall have neither a being in, nor power

over, the hearts of sincere believers in Christ.

Verse 3. When any shall yet prophesy] Falsely; such shall be the

horror of such an evil, that there shall be no toleration of it.

Itself, and they who practise it, shall be everywhere destroyed.

Verse 4. Neither shall they wear a rough garment] A rough

garment made of goats' hair, coarse wool, or the coarse pile

of the camel, was the ordinary garb of God's prophets. And the

false prophets wore the same; for they pretended to the same

gifts, and the same spirit, and therefore they wore the same kind

of garments. John Baptist had a garment of this kind.

Verse 5. But he shall say, I am no prophet] This must be the

case of a false prophet or diviner, who had been obliged to give

up his infamous practice, and become even a labourer in the land.

But having been known to be such, he is questioned by the people

to see if he still were addicted in heart to the same practices.

He declares he is no prophet, neither true nor false; that he is

now a husbandman, and was brought up a herdsman.

Verse 6. What are these wounds in thine hands?] Marks which he

had received in honour of his idols. But he shall excuse himself

by stating that he had received these marks in his own family;

when, most probably, they had been dedicated to some of those

idols. See Clarke on Isa 44:5. I do not think that these

words are spoken at all concerning Jesus Christ. I have heard them

quoted in this way; but I cannot hear such an application of them

without horror. In quoting from the Old Testament in reference to

the New, we cannot be too cautious. We may wound the truth instead

of honouring it.

Verse 7. Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd] This is generally

understood of Jesus Christ. The sword is that of Divine justice,

which seemed to have been long asleep, and should long ago have

struck either MAN, or his SUBSTITUTE, the Messiah. Jesus is here

called God's Shepherd, because he had appointed him to feed and

govern, as well as to save, the whole lost world. This is a

prosopopoeia, and the address to the sword is very poetic. There

is a fine passage in AEschylus to the same effect:-

ξενοςδεκληροιςεπινωμα

χαλυβοςσκυθωναποικας

κτεανωνχρηματοδαιτας

πικροςωμοφρωνσιδαρος

χθοναναιεινδιαπηλας

οποσανανκαιφθιμενοισικατεχειν

τωνμεγαλωνπεδιωναμοιροις

AESCHYL. Sept. cont. Theb. 733.

"The rude barbarian, from the mines

Of Scythia, o'er the lots presides;

Ruthless to each his share assigns,

And the contested realm divides:

To each allots no wider a domain

Than, on the cold earth as they lie,

Their breathless bodies occupy,

Regardless of an ampler reign:

Such narrow compass does the sword--

A cruel umpire-their high claims afford."

POTTER.

The man that is my Fellow] veal geber amithi,

"upon the strong man," or "the hero that is with ME;" my

neighbour. "The WORD was God, and the WORD was WITH God;"

Joh 1:1. "I and my Father are ONE;" Joh 10:30.

Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered] This is

quoted by our Lord, Mt 26:31, in relation to his disciples, who

should be scattered on his crucifixion: and they were so; for

every one, giving up all for lost, went to his own house.

And I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.] I will take

care of the little flock, and preserve them from Jewish malice and

Gentile persecution. And so this little flock was most wondrously

preserved, and has been increasing from year to year from that

time to the present day.

Verse 8. Two parts therein shall be cut off] In the war with the

Romans.

But the third shall be left] Those who believe on the Lord Jesus

Christ shall be preserved alive; and not one of these perished in

the siege, or afterwards, by those wars.

Verse 9. I will bring the third part through the fire] The

Christian Church shall endure a great fight of afflictions, by

which they shall be refined-not consumed.

They shall call on my name] In this way shall they offer all

their prayers and supplications to God.

I will say, It is my people] The Church that I have chosen in

the place of the Jews who have filled up the measure of their

iniquity.

And they shall say, The Lord is my God] And thus communion

shall be established between me and them for ever. Thus there

shall be a general restoration.

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