Zechariah 9:7
And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his teeth: but he that remains, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and Ekron as a Jebusite.
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9:1-8 Here are judgements foretold on several nations. While the Macedonians and Alexander's successors were in warfare in these countries, the Lord promised to protect his people. God's house lies in the midst of an enemy's country; his church is as a lily among thorns. God's power and goodness are seen in her special preservation. The Lord encamps about his church, and while armies of proud opposers shall pass by and return, his eyes watch over her, so that they cannot prevail, and shortly the time will come when no exactor shall pass by her any more."In that day, saith the Lord,

I will smite every horse with astonishment,

And his rider with madness;

And upon the house of Judah I will open my eyes,

And every horse of the nations I will smite with blindness."

Zechariah 9:7And I will take away his blood out of his mouth - The "abominations" being idol-sacrifices , the "bloods" will also be, the blood mingled with the wine of sacrifices, of which David says, "Their drink-offerings of blood will I not offer" Psalm 16:4; and Ezekiel unites the offences, "Ye eat With the blood, and lift up your eyes toward your idols, and shed blood" Ezekiel 33:25.

But he that remaineth - Better, "And he too" shall remain over to our God." Of the Philistines too, as of Israel, "a remnant shall be saved." After this visitation their idolatry should cease; God speaks of the Philistine nation as one man; He would wring his idol-sacrifices and idol-enjoyments from him; he should exist as a nation, but as God's.

And he shall be as a governor in Judah - Literally, "a captain of a thousand," merged in Judah as in a larger whole, as each tribe was divided into its "thousands," yet intimately blended, in no inferior position, with the people of God, as each converted nation became an integral yet unseparated whole in the people of God.


7. take … his blood out of … mouth—Blood was forbidden as food (Ge 9:4; Le 7:26).

abominations—things sacrificed to idols and then partaken of by the worshippers (Nu 25:2; Ac 15:29). The sense is, "I will cause the Philistines to cease from the worship of idols."

even he shall be for our God—"even he," like Hamath, Damascus, Tyre, &c., which, these words imply, shall also be converted to God (Isa 56:3, "son of the stranger joined himself to the Lord") [Rosenmuller]. The "even," however, may mean, Besides the Hebrews, "even" the Philistine shall worship Jehovah (so Isa 56:8) [Maurer].

he shall be as a governor in Judah—On the conversion of the Philistine prince, he shall have the same dignity "in Judah as a governor"; there shall be no distinction [Henderson]. The Philistine princes with their respective states shall equally belong to the Jews' communion, as if they were among the "governors" of states "in Judah" [Maurer].

Ekron as a Jebusite—The Jebusites, the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, who, when subjugated by David, were incorporated with the Jews (2Sa 24:16, &c.), and enjoyed their privileges: but in a subordinate position civilly (1Ki 9:20, 21). The Jebusites' condition under Solomon being that of bond-servants and tributaries, Calvin explains the verse differently: "I will rescue the Jew from the teeth of the Philistine foe (image from wild beasts rending their prey with their teeth), who would have devoured him, as he would devour blood or flesh of his abominable sacrifices to idols: and even he, the seemingly ignoble remnant of the Jews, shall be sacred to our God (consecrated by His favor); and though so long bereft of dignity, I will make them to be as governors ruling others, and Ekron shall be a tributary bond-servant as the Jebusite? Thus the antithesis is between the Jew that remaineth (the elect remnant) and the Ekronite.

I will take away his blood out of his mouth; though proud and warlike nations have delighted to shed blood, nay, (if some judge aright,) to eat the blood of their slain enemies; yet now God will restrain, nay, overthrow their power, and take the prey out of their mouth, they shall neither breathe out slaughter, nor act it with their hands.

And his abominations from between his teeth: this may possibly be explanatory of the former, but I think it rather is meant of their abominable sacrifices which they offered and feasted on: so the word in Deu 7:26, with Deu 5:25 1 Kings 11:5,7 2 Kings 23:13; and by Hoses, Hosea 9:10. God will punish for these sins, idolatries, and by his destroying the people and cities of those abominations will remove them for ever.

He that remaineth, even he; the remnant, even that (so it might be read): if so read, it points out that small select number who escape the sword, and are reserved to be for God, to worship, obey, honour, and love him; such a remnant as Isaiah 4:3, or as Isaiah 17:6, or Isaiah 24:6.

Shall be for our God; those few Jews whom God preserved from the rage and cruelty of these bloody idolaters shall be the Lord’s peculiar ones. As a governor, for respect and honour which shall be given to them; it is not said they shall be governors, but they shall be as like governors.

And Ekron as a Jebusite; the city for the people, and this one city and people for all the other: all the Philistines shall be as Jebusites, servants to the people of God, or slain. And I will take away his blood out of his mouth,.... The Septuagint, Syriac, and Arabic versions, read "their blood"; not the blood of the bastard, but of the Philistines. The Targum is, "I will destroy them that eat blood"; the meaning may be, that they shall no more thirst after blood, nor drink it; nor breathe out threatenings and slaughter against the saints, or persecute the people of God: or that they should no more offer the blood of their sacrifices upon the altars to their deities, or eat things sacrificed to them:

and his abominations from between his teeth; their idols and idolatries they were tenacious of, as a man is of his food, or of any thing that is grateful to him; it may design things sacrificed to idols, eaten by them:

but he that remaineth, even he shall be for our God: the Targum paraphrases it,

"and the proselytes that remain among them, they also shall be added to the people of our God:''

Jarchi interprets it of the synagogues and schools in the captivity of Edom or Rome; but Aben Ezra's note is much better, that there shall be none remaining of the Philistines, but only such who serve the blessed God openly: but the true sense is, that here should be a remnant, according to the election of grace, who should evidently appear to be the Lord's people, by their conversion and effectual calling:

and he shall be as a governor in Judah; the Targum is,

"they shall be as the princes of the house of Judah;''

that is, as the heads of the families in that tribe; see Micah 5:2 compared with Matthew 2:6 all true Christians are as princes, yea, they are kings and priests unto God; and some of them are as a guide, teacher; and instructor of others; who go before them, and instruct them in the doctrines of the Gospel, as pastors and ministers of the word:

and Ekron as a Jebusite; that is, the inhabitant of Ekron, that shall be converted to Christ, shall be as an inhabitant of Jerusalem, which was called Jebus, 1 Chronicles 11:4 shall have a dwelling in the church, the city of God, and enjoy all the privileges and immunities of it. Kimchi says this refers to the times of the Messiah, when, he supposes, the Ekronites will be tributary to the Israelites, as the Jebusites were in the days of David. The Targum is,

"and Ekron shall be filled with the house of Israel, as Jerusalem.''

The Syriac version is, "and Ekron shall be as Hebron".

And I will take away his blood out of his mouth, and his abominations from between his {h} teeth: but he that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God, and he shall be as a governor in Judah, and {i} Ekron as a Jebusite.

(h) He promises to deliver the Jews when he will take vengeance on their enemies for their cruelty, and the wrongs they did to them.

(i) As the Jebusites had been destroyed, so would Ekron and all the Philistines.

7. his blood out of his mouth, &c.] Lit., bloods, i.e. blood as shed (comp. Genesis 4:10). According to Calvin the Philistine, the nation personified, is here compared to a wild beast from whose jaws the prey which he is devouring is torn. “Abominationes enim intelligit quicquid injusta violentia ad se traxerant. Et comparat eos feris bestiis, quæ non modum carnem devorant, sed etiam hauriunt sanguinem ipsum, et lacerant crudas carnes.” The objection to this interpretation is that the word rendered “abominations” can hardly refer to the victims or the spoils of the cruelty or rapacity of the Philistine. It is a word of frequent occurrence in the O. T. and is used almost always (Nahum 3:6, “abominable filth,” is an exception) of “idols in that they were abominations.” (Comp. 1 Kings 11:5; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13; and Daniel 11:31 with Matthew 24:15, τὸ βδέλυγμα τῆς ἐρημώσεως). It is probably best therefore, with the majority of modern commentators, to understand the reference to be to idolatrous sacrifices eaten by the worshippers with the blood. From these pollutions the survivors of the Philistines should be cleansed and so prepared for that incorporation into the commonwealth of Israel, which the remainder of the verse predicts.

but he that remaineth] Rather, and he too shall remain (or, be a remnant, R. V.) for our God. “Of the Philistines too, as of Israel” (but may it not be, as of the other nations mentioned in these verses?), “a remnant shall be saved. After this visitation their idolatry should cease; God speaks of the Philistine nation as one man; He would wring his idol-sacrifices and idol-enjoyments from him; he should exist as a nation, but as God’s.” Pusey.

as a governor] Lit., the head over a thousand, a chiliarch. A chieftain, R. V. The tribes of Israel both during the Exodus (Numbers 1:16; Numbers 10:4), and after their settlement in Canaan (Joshua 22:21; Joshua 22:30; 1 Samuel 10:19; Micah 5:1) were divided into thousands. The word here used for the chief of such a division is used again for a Jewish chief in this Book (Zechariah 12:5-6). Elsewhere it is commonly used of the chiefs of Edom (Genesis 36:15 seq.; 1 Chronicles 1:51-54). The meaning is that the Philistine, the nation personified as before, shall take his place, ruler and people, as one of the divisions of the Jewish nation.

Ekron as a Jebusite] The Jebusites had held their own in the midst of the chosen people, possessors of the stronghold of Sion up to the time of David (Joshua 15:63); but at last had been merged and lost in Israel. So should it be with the Philistines, who are here intended by Ekron. They too shall be absorbed into the Jewish church and nation, when the ultimate goal of the prophecy is reached.Verse 7. - Personifying Philistia, the prophet declares that she shall cease to practise idolatry, and shall be incorporated in Israel. I will take away his blood out of his mouth. This refers to the practice of drinking the blood of sacrifices as an act of worship, or of eating the victims with the blood - a practice strictly forbidden to the Israelites (see Leviticus 3:17; Leviticus 7:26; Leviticus 17:10, 12; and comp. Genesis 9:4). Abominations. Sacrifices offered to idols, and afterwards eaten. The two clauses intimate the entire abolition of idolatry. Many see in this prediction a reference to the doings of the Maccabees; how, e.g., Judas destroyed the altars and idols in Azotus (1 Macc. 5:68); Jonathan again took that city, and burned it and the neighbouring towns, and, besieging Ashkelon, was received with great honour by the inhabitants, and confirmed in the possession of this place and Ekron (1 Macc. 10:84, etc.); and Simon stormed Gaza (? Gazara, a place near Ashdod), cleansed the houses of idols, "put all uncleanness out of it, and placed such men there as would keep the Law" (1 Macc. 13:47, 48). But though such events partially fulfil the prophecy, the seer looks forward to a greater issue, and in these comparatively petty details beholds the working of the great principle that all nations shall be subdued to the faith. He that remaineth, even he, shall be for our God; better, he too shall be left (or, a remnant) for our God. The Philistine shall become a choice and elect remnant unto the God of the Israelites, and no longer regarded as alien and impure. As a governor; Septuagint, χιλίαρχος, "head over a thousand." which the word alluph means (Zechariah 12:5, 6). It is used of the chiefs of Edom in Genesis 36:15, 16, etc., where the Authorized Version gives "dukes." The tribes of Israel were divided into thousands, consisting of families, each of which was held together by closer affinities than the mere tribal bond (see note on Micah 5:2). The meaning is that the Philistine shall be admitted into the commonwealth of Israel as one of her chiefs. Ekron as a Jebusite. "Ekron" is equivalent to "the Ekronite," who again stands in the place of all the Philistines. The Jebusites were the ancient possessors of Zion, who held their position till the days of David, and, when at last conquered by him (2 Samuel 5:6, etc.), were incorporated into his nation, and, as we may infer from Araunah's conduct, adopted his religion (2 Samuel 24:22; 1 Chronicles 21:23). God promises here that the Philistines, like the Jebusites, shall be absorbed into the Jewish Church. Mr. Drake ('Speaker's Commentary,' in loc.) curiously renders, "He shall be as Eleph (Joshua 18:28) in Judah, and Ekron as Jebusi," explaining that the cities of Philistia were to be incorporated into Judaea. The conquests of Alexander conduced to the conversion of the heathen and their reception into the Church of God; and the general principle enunciated by all the prophets was tiros abundantly confirmed. But it is rot easy to discover the exact historical fulfilment of the latter part of this prophecy, concerning the merging of the Philistines in the Jewish nation. Josephus ('Ant.,' 13:15. 4) tells us that, about B.C. 100, the Jews held most of their cities, destroying some whose inhabitants refused to become proselytes. In the time of our Lord, by reason of intermarriage and social intercourse, the Philistines had ceased to be regarded as a separate nation; and a little later Philistia, far from being considered as alien and hostile, under the form Palestine, gave its name to the whole country. Christianity, too, made rapid progress in this district, so that the psalmist's words received herein a fulfilment, "Behold Philistia, and Tyre, with Gush; this one was born there" (Psalm 87:4). Glory of the New Temple- Haggai 2:1 and Haggai 2:2. "In the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the Lord came through Haggai," viz., to Zerubbabel, Joshua, and the remnant of the nation, that is to say, to the whole of the congregation that had returned from exile; whereas the first appeal was only addressed to Zerubbabel and Joshua (see the introduction to Haggai 1:1), although it also applied to the whole nation. Just as in the second year of the return from Babylon, when the foundation for the temple, which was about to be rebuilt, was laid in the reign of Cyrus, many old men, who had seen the temple of Solomon, burst out into loud weeping when they saw the new foundation (Ezra 3:10.); a similar feeling of mourning and despair appears to have taken possession of the people and their rulers immediately after the work had been resumed under Darius, and doubts arose whether the new building was really well-pleasing to the Lord, and ought to be carried on. The occasion for this despondency is not to be sought, as Hitzig supposes, in the fact that objections were made to the continuance of the building (Ezra 5:3), and that the opinion prevailed in consequence that the works ought to be stopped till the arrival of the king's authority. For this view not only has no support whatever in our prophecy, but is also at variance with the account in the book of Ezra, according to which the governor and his companions, who had made inquiries concerning the command to build, did not stop the building while they sent word of the affair to the king (Ezra 5:5). Moreover, the conjecture that the people had been seized with a feeling of sadness, when the work had so far advanced that they were able to institute a comparison between the new temple and the earlier one (Hengstenberg), does not suffice to explain the rapid alteration which took place in the feelings of the people. The building could not have been so far advance din three weeks and a half as that the contrast between the new temple and the former one could be clearly seen, if it had not been noticed from the very first; a fact, however, to which Ezra 3:12 distinctly refers. But although it had been seen from the very beginning that the new building would not come up to the glory of the former temple, the people could not from the very outset give up the hope of erecting a building which, if not quite equal to the former one in glory, would at all events come somewhat near to it. Under these circumstances, their confidence in the work might begin to vanish as soon as the first enthusiasm flagged, and a time arrived which was more favourable for the quiet contemplation of the general condition of affairs. This explanation is suggested by the time at which the second word of God was delivered to the congregation through the prophet. The twenty-first day of the seventh month was the seventh day of the feast of tabernacles (cf. Leviticus 23:34.), the great festival of rejoicing, on which Israel was to give practical expression to its gratitude for the gracious guidance which it had received through the wilderness, as well as for the blessing of the ingathering of all the fruits of the ground, which ended with the gathering of the orchard-fruits and with the vintage, by the presentation of numerous burnt-offerings and other sacrifices (see my biblische Archologie, i. p. 415ff.). The return of this festal celebration, especially after a harvest which had turned out very miserably, and showed no signs of the blessing of God, could not fail to call up vividly before the mind the difference between the former times, when Israel was able to assemble in the courts of the Lord's house, and so to rejoice in the blessings of His grace in the midst of abundant sacrificial meals, and the present time, when the altar of burnt-sacrifice might indeed be restored again, and the building of the temple be resumed, but in which there was no prospect of erecting a building that would in any degree answer to the glory of the former temple; and when the prophecies of an Isaiah or an Ezekiel were remembered, according to which the new temple was to surpass the former one in glory, it would be almost sure to produce gloomy thoughts, and supply food for doubt whether the time had really come for rebuilding the temple, when after all it would be only a miserable hut. In this gloomy state of mind consolation was very necessary, if the hardly awakened zeal for the building of the house of God was not to cool down and vanish entirely away. To bring this consolation to those who were in despair was the object of the second word of God, which Haggai was to publish to the congregation. It runs as follows:
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