Zechariah 10 Commentary
This is a continuation of the last few verses of chapter 9. The blessings for Israel is the topic of this chapter.
Zechariah 10:1 – Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.
Zechariah is telling the people of Israel to request God’s favor. While the rain will come in what we consider the later spring, as is shown in Isaiah 35, the request they are making is both physical and spiritual in nature, as is seen in Hosea 6.
Think of the verse that says, “ask and you shall receive.” This is talking about both the promised rain that comes from obedience, but it also talks about the latter rains of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The day of Pentecost.
Zechariah 10:2 – For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
I am preparing a sermon on Matthew 9:35-38 and this reminds me a lot of those verses. Jesus had compassion on the people because they were like sheep without a shepherd. The people of God have been left like sheep without a shepherd because of their confidence in the “household gods,” the diviners and the false dreams.
Many times with ancient Israel we saw them listen to the oracles, or the Teraphim. These were typically heathen oracles, or diviners, or prophets. The Israelites sole hope was in God alone.
Just like today, as Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, our sole hope is in Christ alone.
Zechariah 10:3 – “My anger is hot against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
The anger of the Lord will be against the foreign and heathen rulers against Israel. And God’s flock, His sheep, is Israel, and He will make them not just like His sheep, but as a horse for war!
This is running parallel to Ezekiel 34where God says what He will do to the shepherds that hurt His sheep. Look at Ezekiel 34:23. God will set up a shepherd over them. The book of Ezekiel was written somewhere around 600 years before Christ. It was written about 80-90 years before Zechariah.
The shepherd that Ezekiel is mentioning is THE Shepherd, the Messiah.
Zechariah 10:4 – From him shall come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler—all of them together.
We immediately see the reference to Christ in the cornerstone. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Kingdom of God.
The tent peg, also translated as “nail” in some texts, is what Israel will hang all their hopes on. This cornerstone will be the sole hope for God’s people.
The battle bow and the mention of rulers show the idea of Revelation 19. Jesus shall be the one who places all the battles and all the rulers in place.
Zechariah 10:5 – They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.
The first thing we notice is that the Lord is with them. The mighty men are typically foot soldiers. These foot soldiers are seen taking out the cavalry, which is a feat unto itself. God’s armies will take out even the strongest of armies.
Zechariah 10:6 – “I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
Jeremiah 32 tells us that God will reunite the northern and southern kingdoms. Zechariah reinforces that statement here by saying that God will strengthen Judah and save the house of Joseph.
God reiterates His commitment to his covenant. He is bringing them back together to show His faithfulness to His promises.
Even in the New Testament, Peter reinforces this message in the book of Acts when he tells the people they are still able to receive the promise because of the Abrahamic covenant.
Zechariah 10:7 – Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall be glad as with wine. Their children shall see it and be glad; their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.
The reuniting of the northern and southern kingdoms will be a joyous day and people will seem like they are drunk in the way they are celebrating it. This particular verse is speaking of the Northern kingdom. They went into captivity over 130 years before the southern kingdom.
The rest of this chapter focuses on the combined kingdoms of north and south. There will not be any more differentiation between them.
Zechariah 10:8 – “I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.
God is calling for His people and, as the Abrahamic covenant specified, they will have the numbers they did before.
Zechariah 10:9 – Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return.
God has placed His people all around the world. This is part of His plan to save people from all tribes and nations. The Word of God brings people to Him because of those He has scattered.
Zechariah 10:10 – I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.
All of the lands that are mentioned here are seen as the heathen, or unsaved, world. God will be bringing people from all around the unsaved world to His kingdom and there will be more people than there is room to place them.
Zechariah 10:11 – He shall pass through the sea of troubles and strike down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
The two empires that are mentioned here are seen as the leading Gentile, or heathen, empires. This is alluding to how God gave them escape from Egypt many years prior to show that His power is eternal. There will be nothing that can stop His power from saving His people.
Zechariah 10:12 – I will make them strong in the Lord, and they shall walk in his name,” declares the Lord.
This is the final victory. This is the time in which His people will be protected as they walk the streets. God strengthens His people. See Ephesians 3 or Ephesians 6. Look at Philippians 4. God strengthens us as we seek Him. And we are given the ability to walk in His name.