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.
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Zechariah 10:5-7. And they — The Jews, under the conduct of their captains; shall be as mighty men which tread down their enemies — God shall inspire them with courage to subdue their enemies, and trample upon their carcasses. This it seems must be understood of the victories obtained by the Jews under the Maccabees, or of those which they shall obtain over their enemies in the latter times, to which the latter part of the chapter seems ultimately to relate. And the riders on horses shall be confounded — The cavalry of Antiochus seems to be intended by this. We have a description of this cavalry in some heathen writers, which shows it to have been a very formidable one. And I will strengthen the house of Judah — I will not only give courage to attempt, but also strength to go through with and finish the undertaking. This was remarkably verified in the wars of the Jews against the Seleucidæ, in which wars they had wonderful difficulties, and as wonderful courage and success. And I will save the house of Joseph — The remnant of the kingdom of Israel, the residue of the ten tribes. And I will bring them again — Both Judah and Joseph, out of captivity, or from their various dispersions; to place them — In their own land and in their own cities. This promise is understood by many interpreters to relate to the general restoration of the Jewish nation upon their conversion, a subject which seems to be treated of in many passages of the Old Testament, in which Judah and Israel are represented as equal sharers of this blessing: see the note on Isaiah 11:11, and compare Ezekiel 37:16. And they shall be as though I had not cast them off — They shall be in as flourishing a condition as they were before I cast them off. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man — Ephraim is put here for the ten tribes, as the house of Joseph is, Zechariah 10:6. And their heart shall rejoice as through wine —

Their heart shall be made as glad by their victories, as if they had been made merry through wine. Yea, their children shall see it and be glad — The children and youths, not yet fit for war, shall partake of their fathers’ joy.10:1-5 Spiritual blessings had been promised under figurative allusions to earthly plenty. Seasonable rain is a great mercy, which we may ask of God when there is most need of it, and we may look for it to come. We must in our prayers ask for mercies in their proper time. The Lord would make bright clouds, and give showers of rain. This may be an exhortation to seek the influences of the Holy Spirit, in faith and by prayer, through which the blessings held forth in the promises are obtained and enjoyed. The prophet shows the folly of making addresses to idols, as their fathers had done. The Lord visited the remnant of his flock in mercy, and was about to renew their courage and strength for conflict and victory. Every creature is to us what God makes it to be. Every one raised to support the nation, as a corner-stone does the building, or to unite those that differ, as nails join the different timbers, must come from the Lord; and those employed to overcome their enemies, must have strength and success from him. This may be applied to Christ; to him we must look to raise up persons to unite, support, and defend his people. He never will say, Seek ye me in vain.And they - (the house of Judah , of whom he had said, He hath made them as the goodly horse in the battle) shall be as mighty men, trampling on the mire of the streets Micah had said, "she shall be a trampling, as the mire of the streets" Micah 7:10, and David, "I did stamp them as the mire of the street" 2 Samuel 22:43. Zechariah, by a yet bolder image, pictures those trampled upon, as what they had become, "the mire of the streets," as worthless, as foul; as he had said, "they shall trample on the sling-stones" Zechariah 9:15. And they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, not in their own strength, he still reminds them; they shall have power, because God empowers them; strength, because God strengthens them : in presence of which, the goodly war-horse of God, human strength, "the riders on horses, shall be ashamed." 5. riders on horses—namely, the enemy's horsemen. Though the Jews were forbidden by the law to multiply horses in battle (De 17:16), they are made Jehovah's war horse (Zec 10:3; Ps 20:7), and so tread down on foot the foe with all his cavalry (Eze 38:4; Da 11:40). Cavalry was the chief strength of the Syro-Grecian army (1 Maccabees 3:39). They, the Jews under the conduct of their captains, such as the Maccabees, shall be as mighty men; shall be valiant, mighty warriors, shall take cities, and beat down those that oppose them, and, as usual in such cases, tread the conquered as mire in the streets:

they shall fight thus valiantly and successfully,

because the Lord is with them, fighteth for them and against their enemies.

The riders on horses shall be confounded: this is the character of the Jews’ enemies, they came with armed men, and a mighty cavalry, as Antiochus and others did, in which they trusted; but this availed little, these horsemen were confounded, beaten, or fled away from a beating: when God was with Judah’s enemies, so they behaved themselves, and trod down Judah; now he is reconciled to Judah and fighteth for Judah. Judah shall behave himself, and succeed against his enemies, as before they did against him. And they shall be as mighty men,.... That is, the converted Jews shall be such; they shall be strong in faith, giving glory to the Messiah; they shall be strong in the grace that is in him; they shall be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might; his strength shall be made perfect in their weakness:

which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle; being victorious over sin, Satan, and the world, through Christ, in whom they will believe:

and they shall fight; against all their inward and outward enemies, the good fight of faith, with great valour and courage:

because the Lord is with them; who is the Lord of hosts or armies; his presence gives boldness and intrepidity; for, if he is for them, who can be against them? the battle is theirs, success is certain:

and the riders on horses shall be confounded; such that come up against them on them, and trust in them, shall be beaten by them, and so made ashamed; and the flesh, both of the horses and their riders, shall be the food of the fowls of the air, Revelation 19:18 perhaps the Turkish cavalry is meant, who may attempt to hinder the settlement of the Jews in their own land; the armies of the Turks consisting greatly of horsemen, Revelation 9:16.

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.
5. Comp. Zechariah 9:15.Verses 5-7. - § 6. Thus equipped, Israel and Judah united shall triumph over their foes. Verse 5. - Which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets. "Their enemies" is supplied naturally from the context. Others take the participle "treading" intransitively, "treading upon street mire," the enemy being figuratively denoted by "mire." The Greek and Latin Versions give, "treading the mud in the streets" (comp. Psalm 18:42; Micah 7:10). They shall fight. They shall carry on long continued war successfully because God is with them. The riders on horses. The strong force of cavalry arrayed against them shall fall before Israel, and be put to shame. The Israelite forces were for the most part infantry, while the principal strength of their enemies consisted in cavalry (Daniel 11:40). The prophet explains these words in Haggai 2:15-19 by representing the failure of the crops, and the curse that has hitherto prevailed, as a punishment from God for having been wanting in faithfulness to the Lord (Haggai 2:15-17), and promises that from that time forward the blessing of God shall rest upon them again (Haggai 2:18, Haggai 2:19). Haggai 2:15. "And now, direct your heart from this day and onward, before stone was laid to stone at the temple of Jehovah. Haggai 2:16. Before this was, did one come to the heap of sheaves of twenty-(in measure), there were ten: did he come to the vat to draw fifty buckets, there were twenty. Haggai 2:17. I have smitten you with blasting, and with mildew, and with hail, all the work of your hands; and not one of you (turned) to me, is the saying of Jehovah." The object to which they are to direct their heart, i.e., to give heed, is not to be supplied from Haggai 1:5, Haggai 1:7, "to your ways" (Ros. and others), but is contained substantially in Haggai 2:16 and Haggai 2:17, and is first of all indicated in the words "from this day," etc. They are to notice what has taken place from this day onwards. נמעלה, lit., upwards, then further on. Here it is used not in the sense of forwards into the future, but, as the explanatory clause which follows (from before, etc.) clearly shows, in that of backwards into the past. Mitterem, literally "from the not yet of the laying ... onwards," i.e., onwards from the time when stone was laid upon stone at the temple; in other words, when the building of the temple was resumed, backwards into the past; in reality, therefore, the time before the resuming of the building of the temple: for min and mitterem cannot be taken in any other sense than in the parallel מיּום which precedes it, and מהיותם which follows in Haggai 2:16. The objection which Koehler raises to this cannot be sustained. מהיותם, from their existence (backwards). Most of the modern commentators take the suffix as referring to a noun, yâmı̄m (days), to be supplied from Haggai 2:15; but it appears much simpler to take it as a neuter, as Mark and others do, in the sense of "before these things were or were done, viz., this day, and this work of laying stone upon stone," etc. The meaning is not doubtful, viz., looking backwards from the time when the building of the temple was resumed, in other words, before the point of time. בּא commences a new sentence, in which facts that they had experienced are cited, the verb בּא being used conditionally, and forming the protasis, the apodosis to which is given in והיתה. If one came to a heap of sheaves of twenty measures (se'âh is probably to be supplied: lxx σάτα), they became ten. A heap of sheaves (‛ărēmâh as in Ruth 3:7), from which they promised themselves twenty measures, yielded, when threshed, no more than ten, i.e., only the half of what they expected. They experienced just the same at the pressing of the grapes. Instead of fifty buckets, which they expected, they obtained only twenty. Yeqebh was the vat into which the juice flowed when pressed out of the grapes. Châsaph, lit., to lay bare, here to draw out, as in Isaiah 30:14; and pūrâh, in Isaiah 63:3, the pressing-trough, here a measure, probably the measure which was generally obtained from one filling of the wine-press with grapes (lxx μετρητής). Haggai 2:17 gives the reason why so small a result was yielded by the threshing-floor and wine-press. Jehovah smote you with blasting and mildew. These words are a reminiscence of Amos 4:9, to which passage the last words of the verse also refer. To the disease of the corn there is also added the hail which smote the vines, as in Psalm 78:47. 'Eth kol-ma‛ăsēh, all the labour of the hands, i.e., all that they had cultivated with great toil, is a second accusative, "which mentions the portion smitten" (Hitzig). The perfectly unusual construction אין־אתכם אלי does not stand for אין בּכם א, non fuit in vobis qui (Vulg.), nor is אתכם used for אתּכם, "with you;" but אין־אתכם either stands for אינכם, the suffix which was taken as a verbal suffix used as an accusative being resolved into the accusative (cf. Ewald, 262, d); or it is the accusative used in the place of the subject, that is to say, את is to be taken in the sense of "as regards," quoad (Ewald, 277, p. 683): "as far as you are concerned, there was not (one) turning himself to me." אלי, to me, sc. turning himself or being converted; though there is no necessity to supply שׁבים, as the idea is implied in the word אל, as in Hosea 3:3 and 2 Kings 6:11.
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