מַשָּׂא דְבַר־יְהוָה בְּאֶרֶץ חַדְרָךְ וְדַמֶּשֶׂק מְנֻחָתֹו כִּי לַיהוָה עֵין אָדָם וְכֹל שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃ 9:1
Zech. 9:1 The burden of the word of the Lord
in the land of Hadrach,
and Damascus shall be His resting place,
when the eye of man and of all the tribes of Israel
shall be the Lord’s.
Hadrach is understood to have been an area near Damascus. This prophecy is of some uncertain future era. Presumably, Damascus will be part of this new kingdom of Israel and the Lord’s presence will reside there.
וְגַם־חֲמָת תִּגְבָּל־בָּהּ צֹר וְצִידֹון כִּי חָכְמָה מְאֹד׃ 9:2
Zech. 9:2 And also Hamath shall border on it,
Tyre, and Zidon, for it is very wise.
The territory will be widespread.
וַתִּבֶן צֹר מָצֹור לָהּ וַתִּצְבָּר־כֶּסֶף כֶּעָפָר וְחָרוּץ כְּטִיט חוּצֹות׃ 9:3
Zech. 9:3 Though Tyre has built itself an enclosure,
and piled up silver as dust
and gold as the mud of the streets,
הִנֵּה אֲדֹנָי יֹורִשֶׁנָּה וְהִכָּה בַיָּם חֵילָהּ וְהִיא בָּאֵשׁ תֵּאָכֵל׃ 9:4
Zech. 9:4 behold, the Lord shall impoverish it,
and thrust its power into the sea,
as it shall be consumed by fire.
תֵּרֶא אַשְׁקְלֹון וְתִירָא וְעַזָּה וְתָחִיל מְאֹד וְעֶקְרֹון כִּי־הֹבִישׁ מֶבָּטָהּ וְאָבַד מֶלֶךְ מֵעַזָּה וְאַשְׁקְלֹון לֹא 9:5 תֵשֵׁב׃
Zech. 9:5 Ashkelon shall see and be afraid;
and Gaza, and it be greatly pained;
and Ekron, when its hope is shamed.
And the king shall vanish from Gaza,
and Ashkelon shall not remain.
These are four of the five great cities of the Philistines; only Gath is omitted. Commentators assume it had already been destroyed.
וְיָשַׁב מַמְזֵר בְּאַשְׁדֹּוד וְהִכְרַתִּי גְּאֹון פְּלִשְׁתִּים׃ 9:6
Zech. 9:6 “And a bastard shall dwell in Ashdod,
and I shall cut off the pride of the Philistines.”
The reference to a bastard is considered by commentators to apply loosely to the body of Jews who were strangers in that city and would then exclusively inhabit it.
וַהֲסִרֹתִי דָמָיו מִפִּיו וְשִׁקֻּצָיו מִבֵּין שִׁנָּיו וְנִשְׁאַר גַּם־הוּא לֵאלֹהֵינוּ וְהָיָה כְּאַלֻּף בִּיהוּדָה וְעֶקְרֹון 9:7 כִּיבוּסִי׃
Zech. 9:7 “And I shall remove his blood from his mouth
and his detestable things from between his teeth,
and he shall also be a remnant for our God,
and be like any chief in Judah,
and Ekron like any Jebusite.”
There is some question as to the meaning of this verse. The first part is readily understandable. It must refer to the practice of the bastard (the Jews of Ashdod) of eating sacrifices with the blood. But he shall also be included in the new kingdom like any chief of Judah? That’s a bit difficult to digest. Finally, the last part of the verse (the last two English lines) is also infused with some mystery. Some commentators consider it may refer to the idea that the Jebusites, who were the old inhabitants of Jerusalem, may have been absorbed by Israel. So Ekron (the Philistines) would be so absorbed. Another possibility is that Ekron would pay tribute to Jerusalem as perhaps the Jebusites may have.
וְחָנִיתִי לְבֵיתִי מִצָּבָה מֵעֹבֵר וּמִשָּׁב וְלֹא־יַעֲבֹר עֲלֵיהֶם עֹוד נֹגֵשׂ כִּי עַתָּה רָאִיתִי בְעֵינָי׃ 9:8
Zech. 9:8 “And I shall encamp an army at My house,
crossing and returning,
so shall not pass an oppressor over them again.”
Certainly now I have seen with my own eyes.
The last English line of this verse would be difficult to interpret if it were included in the words of the Lord in the quotation. So I attribute them to Zechariah; he is giving reassurance as to the authenticity of the prophecy.
גִּילִי מְאֹד בַּת־צִיֹּון הָרִיעִי בַּת יְרוּשָׁלִַם הִנֵּה מַלְךֵּךְ יָבֹוא לָךְ צַדִּיק וְנֹושָׁע הוּא עָנִי וְרֹכֵב עַל־חֲמֹור 9:9 וְעַל־עַיִר בֶּן־אֲתֹנֹות׃
Zech. 9:9 “Rejoice much, daughter of Zion!
Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold! Your king shall come to you;
righteous and victorious he shall be,
humble and riding on an ass,
yes, on a male ass, a colt of she-asses.”
This verse is assumed to refer to the messiah and the messianic age. Christians have made much of this verse as it prophesies the messiah will ride in on an ass, as Jesus did.
וְהִכְרַתִּי־רֶכֶב מֵאֶפְרַיִם וְסוּס מִירוּשָׁלִַם וְנִכְרְתָה קֶשֶׁת מִלְחָמָה וְדִבֶּר שָׁלֹום לַגֹּויִם וּמָשְׁלֹו מִיָּם 9:10 עַד־יָם וּמִנָּהָר עַד־אַפְסֵי־אָרֶץ׃
Zech. 9:10 “And I shall cut off chariot from Ephraim
and horse from Jerusalem;
and the bow of war shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations,
and his dominion shall be from sea as far as sea
and from river as far as the ends of the earth.”
גַּם־אַתְּ בְּדַם־בְּרִיתֵךְ שִׁלַּחְתִּי אֲסִירַיִכְ* מִבֹּור אֵין מַיִם בֹּו׃ 9:11
Zech. 9:11 “You also, because of the blood of your covenant,
I send forth your prisoners from the cistern
within which is no water.”
The Hebrew pronoun translated as you (that starts the English) in this verse is feminine (as are the others), thereby referring to the remnant of Jerusalem. The blood of the covenant may refer either to that of circumcision or the blood of the sacrifice that sealed the covenant between God and Israel at Sinai. I suspect it’s the former, not the latter. Finally, in the last line, the prisoners (those still exiled) will return.
שׁוּבוּ לְבִצָּרֹון אֲסִירֵי הַתִּקְוָה גַּם־הַיֹּום מַגִּיד מִשְׁנֶה אָשִׁיב לָךְ׃ 9:12
Zech. 9:12 “Return to the stronghold, prisoners of hope!
Also today a declaration: I shall restore double to you.”
גִּבֹּור׃ כִּי־דָרַכְתִּי לִי יְהוּדָה קֶשֶׁת מִלֵּאתִי אֶפְרַיִם וְעֹורַרְתִּי בָנַיִךְ צִיֹּון עַל־בָּנַיִךְ יָוָן וְשַׂמְתִּיךְ כְּחֶרֶב 9:13
Zech. 9:13 “When I bend Judah for Myself,
make Ephraim fill the bow,
then I shall rouse your sons, Zion,
against your sons, Javan,
and I will appoint you as the sword of a mighty man.”
The Lord will use Judah as a bow and Ephraim as the arrows. Javan is considered to be Greece. Some scholars suggest that the last line refers to Judas Maccabeus, whose men were victorious against the Greek rulers of Syria.
וַיהוָה עֲלֵיהֶם יֵרָאֶה וְיָצָא כַבָּרָק חִצֹּו וַאדֹנָי יְהֹוִה בַּשֹּׁופָר יִתְקָע וְהָלַךְ בְּסַעֲרֹות תֵּימָן׃ 9:14
Zech. 9:14 And the Lord shall be visible over them,
as His arrow goes forth as lightning,
and the Lord, my Lord,
His horn shall sound
as He moves with tempests of the south.
יְהוָה צְבָאֹות יָגֵן עֲלֵיהֶם וְאָכְלוּ וְכָבְשׁוּ אַבְנֵי־קֶלַע וְשָׁתוּ הָמוּ כְּמֹו־יָיִן וּמָלְאוּ כַּמִּזְרָק כְּזָוִיֹּות 9:15 מִזְבֵּחַ׃
Zech. 9:15 The Lord of hosts shall defend over them,
and they shall devour and subdue the stones of the sling,
and they shall drink, sound as like wine,
and shall be overflowing as a basin,
as the corners of an altar.
וְהֹושִׁיעָם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיהֶם בַּיֹּום הַהוּא כְּצֹאן עַמֹּו כִּי אַבְנֵי־נֵזֶר מִתְנֹוסְסֹות עַל־אַדְמָתֹו׃ 9:16
Zech. 9:16 And the Lord, their God, will give victory to them on that day,
as the flock of His people,
as stones of a crown being lifted up over His land.
כִּי מַה־טּוּבֹו וּמַה־יָפְיֹו דָּגָן בַּחוּרִים וְתִירֹושׁ יְנֹובֵב בְּתֻלֹות׃ 9:17
Zech. 9:17 For what is His goodness and what His beauty?
Corn, young men, and new wine;
He will make young maidens flourish.
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