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.
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Zechariah 10:11-12. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction — The sense might be more properly expressed, And he [Israel] shall pass through the straits of the sea: so the LXX. and the Vulgate understand the word. And [God] shall smite the waves of the sea, &c. — The expressions allude to the miraculous passage of the Israelites through the Red sea, and the river Jordan; and to God’s destroying the Egyptians, and the Assyrian, or Babylonian empire, in order to the deliverance of his people. And the verse imports that God would, in a future time, do as great things for them as he had done formerly for their fathers. In this sense the Chaldee expounds the word. Egypt and Assyria, it must be observed, being two potent kingdoms, bordering upon Judea, and being by turns either allies to the Jews, or their conquerors; and the Jews frequently either going thither for refuge, or being carried thither as captives; therefore, when the prophets foretel the general restoration of the Jewish nation, they often express it by their returning from Egypt and Assyria. We may observe, likewise, that God’s bringing his people again from these countries, and especially from Egypt, was a proverbial expression to signify any deliverance, as great or greater than these. Thus, the next clause, And the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart, signifies, the enemies of God and his truth shall all be subdued, and broken in pieces, when Christ shall come in his glorious power to set up his kingdom on the earth: see Daniel 2:33-34; Isaiah 60:12.

And I will strengthen them in the Lord — That is, I will strengthen them in myself, or I will be their helper, and give them all needful strength and protection. And they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord — Their evils and actions shall be under the influence of his grace, and under the government of his laws, and he shall give them success answerable to their upright intentions. 10:6-12 Here are precious promises to the people of God, which look to the state of the Jews, and even to the latter days of the church. Preaching the gospel is God's call for souls to come to Jesus Christ. Those whom Christ redeemed by his blood, God will gather by his grace. Difficulties shall be got over easily, and effectually, as those in the way of the deliverance out of Egypt. God himself will be their strength, and their song. When we resist, and so overcome our spiritual enemies, then our hearts shall rejoice. If God strengthen us, we must bestir ourselves in all the duties of the Christian life, must be active in the work of God; and we must do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.And He - that is, Almighty God, shall pass through the sea, affliction As He says, "When thou walkest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not oveflow thee. And shall smite the waves in the sea" Isaiah 43:2, as in Isaiah, "The Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea" Isaiah 11:15. The image is from the deliverance of Egypt: yet it is said, that it should not be any exact repetition of the miracles of Egypt; it would be as the Red Sea Exodus 14:10, Exodus 14:12, which would as effectually shut them in, and in presence of which they might again think themselves lost, through which God would again bring them. But it would not be the Red sea itself; for "the sea" through which they should be brought, would be "affliction;" as our own poet speaks of "taking arms against a sea of troubles." Cyril: "The promise of succor to those who believe in Christ is under the likeness of the things given to those of old; for as Israel was conveyed across the Red sea, braving the waves in it; "for the waters stood upright as an heap" Exodus 15:8, God bringing this to pass marvelously; and as "they passed the Jordan on foot" Joshua 3:17; so he says, those who are called through Moses to the knowledge of Christ, and have been saved by the ministries of the holy Apostles, they shall pass the waves of this present life, like an angrily foaming sea, and, being removed from the tumult of this life, shall, undisturbed, worship the true God. And they shall pass through temptations, like sweeping rivers, saying with great joy, in like way, "Unless the Lord had been for us, may Israel now say, the waters had drowned us, the stream had gone over our souls" Psalm 124:1-5.

He shall smite the waves in the sea. There, where the strength of the powers of this world is put forth against His people, there He will bring it down. "All the deeps of the river," that is, of the Nile ,

"Shall be dried up." The Nile as a mighty river is substituted for the Jordan, symbolizing the greater putting forth of God's power in the times to come.

And the pride of Asshur shall be brought down - Ribera: "When the good receive their reward, then their enemies shall have no power over them, but shall be punished by Me, because they injured My elect. - By the Assyrians and Egyptians he understands all their enemies."

11. pass … sea with affliction—Personifying the "sea"; He shall afflict the sea, that is, cause it to cease to be an obstacle to Israel's return to Palestine (Isa 11:15, 16). Vulgate translates, "The strait of the sea." Maurer, "He shall cleave and smite." English Version is best (Ps 114:3). As Jehovah smote the Red Sea to make a passage for His people (Ex 14:16, 21), so hereafter shall He make a way through every obstacle which opposes Israel's restoration.

the river—the Nile (Am 8:8; 9:5), or the Euphrates. Thus the Red Sea and the Euphrates in the former part of the verse answer to "Assyria" and "Egypt" in the latter.

sceptre of Egypt … depart—(Eze 30:13).

The former part of this verse might be read in the preter-perfect tense, reporting what God hath done, and perhaps more agreeably with the context and design, which is no doubt to confirm the promise, and make it credible, though so many and great difficulties render it unlikely to reason: I will, saith God, Zechariah 10:10; I promise, who am he that hath passed through the sea, the Red Sea, and brought my people through: who hath clone this call do what he now promiseth. I am he that dried up the deeps of Jordan (when at deepest by the floods, which were then upon the river); I can remove obstacles were they as great as these, and as easily lay low the pride of enemies, or remove their sceptres, as I did to Assyria and Egypt. So the whole verse is an allusion to what God had done in the two famous deliverances of his people under the hand of Moses and Joshua, bringing them out of Egypt through the Red Sea, and through Jordan, and destroying the Egyptians; and delivering them out of Assyrian bondage, and in order thereto destroying that kingdom. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction,.... Either the people of the Jews, as Israel of old did, when they came out of Egypt, to which the allusion is; or the wind shall pass through the sea, as Aben Ezra supplies it, and it shall become dry; that is, the river of Egypt: or "affliction" (r), as many supply it, shall pass through the sea; the nations, which are many as the sea, as Kimchi interprets it; and so may design that hour of temptation that shall come upon all the earth, Revelation 3:10 or with which the kingdom of the beast, who rose up out of the sea, and consists of many waters, people, tongues, and nations, will be afflicted, Revelation 13:1 which the Lord shall pass through and smite; or it may in general denote the sea of this world, and the afflictions of it, which the Lord causes his people to pass through, and brings them out of them:

and shall smite the waves in the sea: that is, the Lord shall smite them; repress afflictions, which are like the proud waves, not suffering them to proceed further than is for his glory and his people's good, and remove all obstacles in their way; see Isaiah 11:15 or destroy their enemies, which are like the proud waters, that otherwise would go over their souls, and overwhelm them; and particularly the antichristian states, at the pouring out of the vials, signified by the sea, and by fountains and rivers, Revelation 16:3. Kimchi explains it of the multitude of the people:

and all the deeps of the river shall dry up; not Nile, the river of Egypt, as Jarchi and Aben Ezra (s), but the river Euphrates; see Revelation 16:12 the drying up of which signifies the destruction of the Turkish empire; and the Targum paraphrases it,

"all the kings of the people shall be confounded:''

and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down; the pride of the Ottoman empire, of which the old Assyria is a part, and which has been large and powerful, that shall be destroyed; this will be at the passing away of the second woe; and then quickly comes the third, which is as follows, Revelation 11:14,

and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away; all rule and government shall cease; see Genesis 49:10 meaning that the kingdom of the antichristian beast of Rome, called Egypt, Revelation 11:8 shall be at an end; which will be at the blowing of the seventh trumpet, and upon and through the pouring out of the seven vials. So the Targum, the dominion of the Egyptians shall be taken away; or its rod, with which it has smote, hurt, and greatly oppressed and afflicted the saints; persecution shall now cease; it will not be in the power of the Romish antichrist to persecute any more.

(r) Pagninus, Montanus, Munster, Vatablus, Calvin, Drusius, Cocceius. (s) So Stockius, p. 891.

And he {m} 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.

(m) He alludes to the deliverance of the people out of Egypt, when the angel smote the floods and rivers.

11. he] i.e. Jehovah, as He did through the Red Sea, when He gave the first great deliverance to His people.

with affliction] i.e. to His enemies. Comp. Exodus 14:24-25; Exodus 14:27; Exodus 15:3-7. This is perhaps the best rendering of this difficult and much disputed clause. The sea of affliction, R. V.

smite the waves] Comp. Exodus 15:8. See also Isaiah 11:15-16, where a similar reference occurs to the passage of the Red Sea.

the river] i.e. the Nile, as the Heb. word used indicates.Verse 11. - He shall pass through the sea with affliction. In bringing his people back the Lord is ready to repeat the miracles of the Exodus. This is the general meaning of the passage; but the details present difficulties. For "he shall pass" the LXX. gives, "they shall pass through." But the reference is plainly to Jehovah, as the following clause shows. The next two words are in apposition, "the sea," "affliction." Revised Version, "the sea of affliction;" Septuagint,  ᾿ν θαλάσσῃ στενῇ, "in a strait sea;" or, as the Hebrew cannot be so translated, "in a sea, a strait;" Vulgate, in maris freto. It seems best to take the two words simply as, "the sea, which is affliction." The Red Sea, through which Jehovah led his people, was a figure of the sufferings which they had endured in Egypt, and brought destruction upon their enemies (comp. Exodus 14:16, 17, 24, etc.). Smite the waves (Exodus 15:8; Isaiah 11:15, 16; Isaiah 51:10). The river. The Nile. The drying up of the waters of the Nile is a figure of the humiliation of the nations which have been guilty of enslaving the chosen people. The Nile. the representative of Egypt, is mentioned because of the allusion to the bondage in Egypt running through the paragraph. The pride of Assyria. Pride is noted as the characteristic of Assyria (comp. Isaiah 10:7, etc.; Ezekiel 31:3, 10). The sceptre. This may refer to the decadence of the power of Egypt, and the transference of royal authority to strangers; but, regarding the immediate context, we had better translate, "the rod of Egypt," and see in it an allusion to the oppression of the taskmasters during the sojourn in that land. All such tyranny shall be at an end (comp. Isaiah 10:24). Renewal of the Promise of Salvation. - Haggai 2:20. On the same day on which the Lord promised to the people the return of the blessings of nature, Haggai received a second revelation, which promised to the community the preservation and care of the Davidic monarchy, represented for the time by Zerubbabel, in the midst of the storms that were about to burst upon the power of the world. Haggai 2:21. "Speak to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah thus: I shake the heaven and the earth. Haggai 2:22. And I will overthrow the throne of the kingdoms; and destroy the might of the kingdoms of the nations; and will overthrow the war-chariots, and those who ride in them: and horses and their riders shall fall, one by the sword of the other. Haggai 2:23. On that day, is the saying of Jehovah of hosts, will I take thee, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant, is the saying of Jehovah, and make thee as a signet-ring: for I have chosen thee, is the saying of Jehovah of hosts." אני מרעישׁ does not stand for הנני מרעישׁ, but the participial clause is to be taken as a circumstantial clause: If I shake heaven and earth, I overthrow (cf. Ewald, 341, c and d). The words point back to the shaking of the world predicted in Haggai 2:6, Haggai 2:7. When this shaking takes place, then shall the throne of the kingdoms be thrown down, and their might be destroyed. The singular כּסּא is used collectively, or rather distributively: "every throne of the kingdoms." The throne is the symbol of the monarchy, or of the government (cf. Daniel 7:27); not in this sense, however, that "the prophet regarded all the kingdoms of the earth as one combined power in contradistinction to the people of God, or as a single power, as the power of the world, which was sitting as mistress at the time upon the throne of the earth" (Koehler). The plural mamlâkhōth does not agree with this, since every kingdom had both a king and a throne. The continuance of this throne rests upon the strength (chōqez) of the heathen kingdoms, and this again upon their military power, their war-chariots, horses, and riders. These are to be overthrown and fall to the ground, and indeed by one another's swords. One hostile kingdom will destroy another, and in the last conflict the heathen hosts will annihilate one another (compare Ezekiel 38:21; Zechariah 14:13). At that time, when the dominion of the heathen had thus collapsed, Jehovah would take Zerubbabel and set or make him as a signet-ring. The verb 'eqqach (will I take) simply serves to introduce the following act as one of importance, as for example in Deuteronomy 4:20 and 2 Kings 14:21. The meaning of the figurative expression, to make Zerubbabel as a signet-ring, is evident from the importance of the signet-ring in the eyes of an oriental, who is accustomed to carry his signet-ring constantly about with him, and to take care of it as a very valuable possession. It is introduced with the same idea in the Sol 8:6, "Lay me as a signet-ring upon thy breast, as a signet-ring in thine arms;" and it is in the same sense that Jehovah says of Jehoiachin in Jeremiah 22:24, "Though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim were even a signet-ring upon my right hand, i.e., a possession from which it would be thought impossible that I should separate myself, yet would I tear thee away from thence." Hence we obtain this thought for our present passage, namely, that on the day on which Jehovah would overthrow the kingdoms of the nations, He would make Zerubbabel like a signet-ring, which is inseparable from its possessor; that is to say, He would give him a position in which he would be and remain inseparably connected with Him (Jehovah), would therefore not cast him off, but take care of him as His valuable possession. This is the explanation given by Koehler (after Calvin, Osiander, and others); and he has also refuted the various explanations that differ from it. But in order clearly to understand the meaning of this promise, we must look at the position which Zerubbabel occupied in the community of Israel on its return from exile. For we may at the outset assume that the promise did not apply to his own particular person, but rather to the official post he held, from the fact that what is here predicted was not to take place till after the overthrow of the throne and might of all the kingdoms of the heathen, and therefore could not take place in Zerubbabel's lifetime, inasmuch as, although the fall of this or the other kingdom might be looked for in the course of one generation, the overthrow of all kingdoms and the coming of all the heathen to fill the temple of the Lord with their possessions (Haggai 2:7) certainly could not. Zerubbabel was (Persian) governor in Judah, and had no doubt been selected for this office because he was prince of Judah (Ezra 1:8), and as son of Shealtiel was a descendant of the family of David (see at Haggai 1:1). Consequently the sovereignty of David in its existing condition of humiliation, under the sovereignty of the imperial power, was represented and preserved in his appointment as prince and governor of Judah, so that the fulfilment of the divine promise of the eternal perpetuation of the seed of David and his kingdom was then associated with Zerubbabel, and rested upon the preservation of his family. Hence the promise points to the fact, that at the time when Jehovah would overthrow the heathen kingdoms, He would maintain and take good care of the sovereignty of David in the person of Zerubbabel. For Jehovah had chosen Zerubbabel as His servant. With these words the Messianic promise made to David was transferred to Zerubbabel and his family among David's descendants, and would be fulfilled in his person in just the same way as the promise given to David, that God would make him the highest among the kings of the earth (Psalm 89:27). The fulfilment culminates in Jesus Christ, the son of David and descendant of Zerubbabel (Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27), in whom Zerubbabel was made the signet-ring of Jehovah. Jesus Christ has raised up the kingdom of His father David again, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:32-33). Even though it may appear oppressed and deeply humiliated for the time by the power of the kingdoms of the heathen, it will never be crushed and destroyed, but will break in pieces all these kingdoms, and destroy them, and will itself endure for ever (Daniel 2:44; Hebrews 12:28; 1 Corinthians 15:24).
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