Zechariah 10:8
I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.
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Zechariah 10:8-10. I will hiss for them — Rather, whistle, as the word שׁרקshould be here translated. I will call them from distant countries, as a shepherd calls his flock together with his whistle. For I have redeemed them — For I have, and will, by the workings of my divine providence, deliver and redeem them out of their enemies’ hands, and from those who hold them captives. And they shall increase as they have increased — Namely, in the most flourishing times, such as were the reigns of David and Solomon. I will sow — Rather, I have sown, them among the people — Or nations, for it appears beyond a doubt that what had been formerly done is here spoken of. And they shall remember me in far countries — Whithersoever they were driven. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt — Ptolemy Philadelphus, one of the kings of Egypt, redeemed no fewer than 100,000 of the Jews, and sent them home; God, no doubt, inclining him to be thus remarkably favourable and kind to them. For this, we have the testimony of Josephus’s history; as also, that other kings released many of those who still remained slaves, or servants in Egypt, and sent them back to their own land. And gather them out of Assyria — This was done by Alexander, the son of Antiochus Epiphanes, and by both the Demetriuses, as Josephus relates. This redeeming and releasing of the Jews, who were captives or servants in divers countries, by several kings, and sending them home at their charge or expense, which Josephus affirms to have been done, is a fact so very extraordinary that it deserves to be attended to; for it is a certain proof that the divine providence can accomplish whatever it pleases. And as this extraordinary particular was repeatedly foretold and promised by God’s prophets, long before it took place, and when there was not the least human probability of it, it is a striking proof of the truth and divine inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. I will bring them unto the land of Gilead and Lebanon — Gilead was taken by the arms of the Maccabees, and the cities of Syria, (here signified by Lebanon, a famous mountain in Syria,) by Hyrcanus and his successors. Gilead and Lebanon were countries remarkable for their fruitfulness. And place shall not be found for them — The land shall be too narrow for them. But this verse, and indeed the whole paragraph, has a further and mystical meaning. It relates to the success of the gospel, and the bringing in of the Jews and Gentiles into the Christian Church; and probably also to the restoration of the Jews, and of the whole remnant of the house of Israel from their present dispersions to their own land, as has been observed on Zechariah 10:6.10:6-12 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.I will hiss for them - Formerly God had so spoken of His summoning the enemies of His people to chastise them. "It shall be in that day, that the Lord shall hiss for the fly, that is in the uttermost part of the rivers of Egypt, and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria, and they shall come, and shall rest all of them in. the desolate valleys, and in the holes of the rocks, and upon all thorns and upon all bushes" Isaiah 7:18-19. "He will hiss unto them from the ends of the earth, and behold they shall come with speed swiftly; none shall be weary or stumble among them" . He would gather them, like the countless numbers of the insect creation, which, if united, would irresistibly desolate life. He would summon them, as the bee-owner, by his shrill call, summons and unites his own swarm. Now, contrariwise God would summon with the same His own people. The fulfillment of the chastisement was the earnest of the ease of the fulfillment of the mercy.

For I have redeemed them - Then they are His, being redeemed at so dear a price. Dionysius: "For Christ, as far as in Him lay, redeemed all." God had done this in purpose, as John speaks of "the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world" Revelation 13:8.

And they shall increase as they increased - Kimchi: "As they increased in Egypt, so shall they increase at that time." The marvels of God's favor in Egypt shall be repeated. The increase there had been promised beforehand. "Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation" Genesis 46:3. The fulfillment is recorded, "the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them" Exodus 1:7. God appointed that this should be part of their confession at their yearly prosperity, the offering of the basket of first-fruits; "A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went into Egypt and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous" Deuteronomy 26:5. The Psalmist dwelt upon it. "He increased His people greatly, and made them stronger than their enemies" Psalm 105:24. It became then one of the resemblances between the first deliverance and the last. Dionysius: "For the Apostles and others converted from Judaism, had more spiritual children, all those whom they begat in Christ, than the synagogue ever had after the flesh."

8. hiss for them—Keepers of bees by a whistle call them together. So Jehovah by the mere word of His call shall gather back to Palestine His scattered people (Zec 10:10; Isa 5:26; Eze 36:11). The multitudes mentioned by Josephus [Wars of the Jews, 3:2], as peopling Galilee two hundred years after this time, were a pledge of the future more perfect fulfilment of the prophecy.

for I have redeemed them—namely, in My covenant purpose "redeemed" both temporally and spiritually.

as they have increased—in former times.

I will hiss for them; though they are now scattered far off, I will cause them to return; I will whistle, as a shepherd, and they, as scattered sheep, shall run with sped back to the flock: I called their enemies so once, and they came, Isaiah 5:26 7:18,19; and

my people will come when thus I call to them.

And gather them; this shall be enough to bring them together; or it shall be done as soon as spoke, so soon as I whistle they shall return.

I have redeemed them; I have been at the care and charge of redeeming, I raised Cyrus to do it; I bestowed all nations and kingdoms on him, and afterwards on Darius Hystaspes, to do this, to restore my exiles, to replant Judah, to rebuild the city and temple; and I will do this also, which is much less, I will, as a shepherd with his pastoral whistle, call them in.

They shall increase as they have increased; a promise made Jeremiah 33:22, and Ezekiel 36:1,11,37,38, which see. I will hiss for them,.... Or "whistle for them" (p); the word signifies, as Kimchi and Ben Melech observe, the motion of the lips with the voice, and is a sign of calling; and so the Targum renders it, I will cry or call for them; and it denotes the call of them by the Gospel, which is the voice of Christ, which is soft, sweet, and melodious; is a sound of love, grace, and mercy; of peace, pardon, life, and salvation: the allusion seems to be to the shepherd gathering his sheep together with his pipe or whistle, and which was a reed; and so may denote the weakness of the instrument, the ministry of the word in itself, which is made the power of God unto salvation:

and gather them; from the places where they are scattered, into their land; or, by effectual calling, out from the state and condition in which they are, and from among the men of the world, to the Lord himself, as their Redeemer and Saviour; and to him for pardon and righteousness; and into his churches, and communion with him there: Kimchi observes, that some interpret this verse of future time; and Jarchi says it relates to it; and in the Talmud (q) it is applied to the times of the Messiah; where they speak of a bird called "racham", which we translate the gier eagle, Deuteronomy 14:17 and they say it is so called, because, when that comes, mercies come into the world, which this word signifies. R. Bibi bar Abi says, when it sits, it makes a whistling or hissing, from whence it is called "sarakrak", a word derived from what is here used; and when it sits on the ground, and hisses or whistles, the Messiah will come, as it is said, "I will hiss for them", &c.; the gloss is, when it stands not, but sits and chirps, it is a sign of good news. The design, seems to be to show, that the Messiah's coming is owing mercy, and would be good news, which the Gospel publishes.

For I have redeemed them; from sin, Satan, the law, death, and hell, and every enemy, by his precious blood, and the sacrifice of himself when here on earth; and this is the foundation of the effectual calling of any and every sinner; and will be the reason of the conversion and ingathering of the Jews in the latter day; they being a people redeemed and purchased by the blood of Christ, Isaiah 43:1,

and they shall increase as they have increased; either when in Egypt, or in the days of Solomon; their number shall be as the sand of the sea, Hosea 1:10 a nation shall be born at once; they shall be multiplied, and not be few, and glorified, and not be small; yea, the place shall be too strait for them to dwell in, Jeremiah 31:18.

(p) "sibilabo", i. e. "fistula pastorali", Grotius, Burkius. (q) T. Bab. Cholin, fol. 63. 1.

I will {i} hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased.

(i) By which he declares the power of God, who needs no great preparation when he will deliver his own: for with a gesture or hiss he can call them suddenly from all places.

8. I will hiss for them] “Formerly God had so spoken of His summoning the enemies of His people to chastise them (Isaiah 7:18-19; Isaiah 5:26-27). He would gather them like the countless numbers of the insect creation, which if united would irresistibly desolate life. He would summon them as the bee-owner, by his shrill call, summons and unites his own swarm. Now, contrariwise, God would summon with the same His own people. The fulfilment of the chastisement was the earnest of the ease of the fulfilment of the mercy.” Pusey.

as they have increased] i.e. formerly in Egypt. Exodus 1:7; Exodus 1:12. “Multiplicabuntur in exsilio, ut multiplicati fuerunt in Ægypto.” Jarchi, quoted by Maurer. Comp. Ezekiel 36:10-11.Verses 8-12. - § 7. The scattered people shall be gathered from all parts of the world, and dwell in their own land, under the protection of Jehovah. Verse 8. - I will him for them; σημανῶ αὐτοῖς," I will signal to them" (Septuagint); sibilabo eis (Vulgate). The slightest summons will bring them when God wills the return of the dispersed. The "hissing" is the whistling or tinkling with which bees are allured to swarm (Isaiah 5:26; Isaiah 7:18, 19). I have redeemed them. They were virtually delivered from captivity and exile, though all had not taken advantage of the deliverance. They shall increase as they have increased. The same promise is made in Ezekiel 36:10, 11. The allusion is to the marvellous growth of the Israelite nation in Egypt (Exodus 1:7, 12). The prophets often announce this fulfilment of the promise made to Abraham (Genesis 13:16; Genesis 15:5, etc.) after the return (see Isaiah 54:2; Hosea 1:10; Micah 2:12). 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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