Zechariah 10:9
And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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 I will sow them among the nations - Such had been the prophecy of Hosea; "I will sow her unto Me in the earth," as the prelude of spiritual mercies, "and I will have mercy on her that had not obtained mercy, and I will say to not-my-people, Thou art My people, and they shall say, my God" . Hosea's saying, "I will sow her in the earth" that is, the whole earth and that "to Me," corresponds to, and explains Zechariah's brief saying, "I will sow them among the nations." The sowing, which was future to Hosea, had begun; but the purpose of the sowing, the harvest, was wholly to come; when it should be seen, that they were indeed sown by God, that "great" should "be the day of Jezreel" (Hosea 1:11. See vol. i. p. 25). And Jeremiah said, "Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah, with the seed of man and with the seed of beast" Jeremiah 31:27. The word is used of sowing to multiply, never of mere scattering .

And they shall remember Me in far countries - So Ezekiel had said, "And they that escape of you shall remember Me among the nations, whither they shall be carried captive - and they shall loath themselves for the evils which they have committed in all their abominations, and they shall know that I am the Lord" Ezekiel 6:9.

And shall live - As Ezekiel again says, "Ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves, and bring you up out of your graves, O My people, and shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live" Ezekiel 37:13-14. "With their children." A continuous gift, as Ezekiel, "they and their children, and their children's children forever: and My servant David shall be their prince forever." Ezekiel 37:25.

And turn again - To God, being converted, as Jeremiah had been bidden to exhort them; "Go and proclaim these words toward the north" Jeremiah 3:12, the cities of the Medes whither they were carried captive, "and say, Return, thou backsliding Israel, and I will not cause Mine anger to fall upon you;" "Turn, O backsliding children - and I with take you, one of a city, and two of a family, and will bring you to Zion, and I will give you pastors according to Mine heart" Jeremiah 3:14-15. "Return, ye backsliding children; I will heal your backslidings." And they answer, "Behold, we come unto Thee; for Thou art the Lord our God" Jeremiah 3:22. So Isaiah had said, "A remnant shall return, the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God" . Dionysius: "They shall return by recollection of mind and adunation and simplification of the affections toward God so as ultimately to intend that one thing, which alone is necessary."

9. sow them among … people—Their dispersion was with a special design. Like seed sown far and wide, they shall, when quickened themselves, be the fittest instruments for quickening others (compare Mic 5:7). The slight hold they have on every soil where they now live, as also the commercial and therefore cosmopolitan character of their pursuits, making a change of residence easy to them, fit them peculiarly for missionary work [Moore]. The wide dispersion of the Jews just before Christ's coming prepared the way similarly for the apostles' preaching in the various Jewish synagogues throughout the world; everywhere some of the Old Testament seed previously sown was ready to germinate when the New Testament light and heat were brought to bear on it by Gospel preachers. Thus the way was opened for entrance among the Gentiles. "Will sow" is the Hebrew future, said of that which has been done, is being done, and may be done afterwards [Maurer], (compare Ho 2:23).

shall remember me in far countries—(De 30:1; 2Ch 6:37). Implying the Jews' return to a right mind in "all the nations" where they are scattered simultaneously. Compare Lu 15:17, 18, with Ps 22:27, "All the ends of the world remembering and turning unto the Lord," preceded by the "seed of Jacob … Israel … fearing and glorifying Him"; also Ps 102:13-15.

live—in political and spiritual life.

I will sow them: it might seem impossible the Jews should so increase, but to satisfy us herein God promiseth to sow them, so their increase should be like the increase of rich soil that hath much seed cast on it, Jeremiah 31:27 Hosea 2:23; that land shall soon be full of men and cattle, when God sows both.

Among the people; the heathen; where dispersed, there they should multiply.

They shall remember me; there they shall think of me, and long for me, and desire to return to Jerusalem, and to my temple.

In far countries; whithersoever they were driven in the farthest parts of the Persian empire.

They shall live with their children; though captives and poor, yet they nor their children shall starve; nay, their children born to them shall live, and grow up with them; this young fry shall fill the earth.

Turn again to me, my temple, their city, and country. That this may also refer somewhat to the conversion of the Jews to the gospel, and to their spreading the gospel unto others for multiplying of the seed of Israel according to the faith, as I doubt not, so neither shall I particularly inquire, since the letter so fairly suits with history and matter of fact, as is evident from the multitudes that were gathered to the passover, when Titus Vespasianus cooped them up in a close siege. And I will sow them among the people, The people of God in the Gentile world: this is to be understood of the conversion of the Jews, when they will become the good seed that hear the word, and understand it, and bring forth fruit; and of their being known, acknowledged, and reckoned among the people of God, who now are not; and of their being planted in Gospel churches, where the word is truly preached; the ordinances are faithfully administered; the Lord grants his presence, and saints have communion one with another; to be in such a fruitful soil, and in such sacred enclosures, fenced by the power and grace of God, is a great happiness:

and they shall remember me in far countries; they shall call to mind what their ancestors did to Christ, and mourn on account of a pierced Saviour; they shall remember him in the ordinance of the supper, being in a Gospel church state; they shall remember what he did and suffered for them, and his love to them in all, and that with faith, affection, and thankfulness:

and they shall live with their children; a very happy, comfortable, temporal life; and they shall live a spiritual life; a life of faith on Christ; of communion with him, and of holiness from him, and to his glory: and their children also shall live the same life, being regenerated and quickened by the same grace; these are the church's children:

and turn again; that is, when they shall turn again, either to the Lord, shall be converted unto him; or return to their own land.

And I will {k} sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and {l} turn again.

(k) Though they will yet be scattered and seem to be lost, yet it will be profitable to them: for there they will come to the knowledge of my name, which was accomplished under the Gospel, among whom it was first preached.

(l) Not that they would return into their country, but be gathered and joined in one faith by the doctrine of the Gospel.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. I will sow them among the people] peoples, R. V. Their dispersion among the nations of the earth shall not be for their destruction, but like the sowing of corn, which is scattered broad-cast, not that it may be lost and perish, but that it may bring forth much fruit. Comp. Hosea 2:23. “Ego eos multiplicabo, ut dispersio in populis non videatur esse divisio, sed sementis operatio, et liberorum et nepotum segete multiplicata vivant cum filiis suis.” Hieron.

they shall live] Comp. Ezekiel 37:14.

turn again] or, return to God. Jeremiah 3:12; Jeremiah 3:14; Isaiah 10:21. The consequent return to their own land is promised in the next verse.Verse 9. - I will sow them among the people (peoples). The "sowing" here does not mean scattering, but increase, and this was to go on while they were dispersed among the nations. The word is used in the same sense in Hosea 2:23; Jeremiah 31:27. This continued dispersion was a part of their discipline, a test of their loyalty to God. They shall remember me. In the countries where they are living they shall worship the Lord and observe his Law, and be a witness for him among the heathen. They shall live with their children (Ezekiel 37:14). The promised blessing is not for a time only, but perpetual. Turn again; i.e. return to their own land (Isaiah 35:10). It cannot mean, "turn to the Lord," for they are said already to remember the Lord, and their "conversion must precede the promise of life." The next verse describes the return more particularly. 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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