Zechariah 9:13
For I will bend Judah as My bow and fit it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, O Zion, against the sons of Greece. I will make you like the sword of a mighty man.
Victory Through GodW. Forsyth Zechariah 9:13
God Works Amongst the Nations in the Interests of His PeopleHomilistZechariah 9:13-17
God Works Amongst the Nations in the Interests of His PeopleD. Thomas Zechariah 9:13-17

I. THE MARSHALLING OF THE FORCES. The "trumpet" calls to arms. On one side are the armies of heaven, and on the other the hosts of darkness.


1. Might, as of a storm carrying havoc far and wide.

2. Fury, as of wild beasts raging and ravening.

3. Deadliness, as of arrows that strike quick, and with fatal effect.

III. THE SPLENDOUR OF THE VICTORY. Complete overthrow of God's enemies. Establishment of his people as a flock, in unity and peace. Human agency, but Divine efficiency. Everything here to rouse ardour, to quicken flagging energies, and to nerve the soul to the highest endeavours, under the eye of the great Captain of our salvation. - F.

The Lord of hosts shall defend them
The double recompense which the Lord will make to His people will consist in the fact that He not only liberates them out of captivity and bondage, and makes them into an independent nation, but that He helps them to victory over the power of the world, so that they will tread it down, i.e. completely subdue it. The first thought is not explained more fully because it is contained implicite in the promise of return to a strong place, the double only is more distinctly defined, namely, the victory over Javan. The expression, "I stretch," etc., implies that the Lord will subdue the enemies by Judah and Ephraim, and therefore Israel will carry on this conflict in the power of its God — Keil.

I. THAT GOD WORKS AMONGST THE NATIONS OF THE EARTH. God is here represented as raising up Zion against Greece. "And raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece." The literal reference, it may be, is to the help which He would render the Maccabees, as the heroic leaders of the Jews, to overcome the successors of the Grecian Alexander, Antiochus Epiphanes, and the other Grecian oppressors of Judah. He works with the Jew and the Greek, or Gentile — the two great divisions of mankind. He is in their conflicts and their battles.

1. He works universally amongst men. He works with the "sons" of Zion and the "sons" of Greece. He operates with all, with the remote and the distant, with the little and the great, with the good and the bad; He is in all human history. All good He originates, all evil He overrules.

2. He works by human agency amongst men. "When I have bent Judah for Me, filled the bow with Ephraim." God carries out His purposes with man by the agency of man; wicked kings are His tools, obscure saints are His ministers of state.

3. He works manifestly amongst men. "And the Lord shall be seen over them"; or, as Keil renders it, "Jehovah shall appear above them."

4. He works terribly amongst men. "And His arrow shall go forth as the lightning, and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south." "Like lightning will His arrow go forth, and the Lord Jehovah will blow the trumpets, and will pass along in storms of the south." — Keil. He is in the crashings of conflagrating cities, in the booming thunders of contending armies, in the wild whirlwinds of battling kingdoms; with Him there is "terrible majesty" as He proceeds on His march in human history.

II. God works amongst the nations of the earth IN THE INTERESTS OF HIS PEOPLE.

1. He works for their defence. "The Lord of hosts shall defend them," or shelter them.

2. He works for their victory. "They shall devour and subdue with sling stones," etc. "Jehovah of hosts shall protect them, and they shall devour and tread down the sling. stones, they shall drink, they shall be noisy, as those who drink wine; they shall be full as the bowl, as the corners of the altar." — Henderson. The idea is their complete triumph over their enemies. Hengstenberg observes that there is not the least indication that a spiritual conflict is intended. Quite true, but a spiritual conflict it may illustrate, and its victory too.

3. He works for their salvation. "And the Lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of His people."

4. He works for their glory. "They shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon His land." Or, as Hengstenberg renders it, "For crowned jewels shall they be rising up upon His land." There is true glory awaiting the good. There is a crown of glory laid up in heaven, etc.

5. He works for their perfection. "For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty! Corn shall make the young men cheerful, and new wine the maids." We accept the rendering of Keil here, which is not only faithful to the original, but in harmony with the context. The prophet is speaking of the high privileges of God's people, and not of the excellences of the Supreme. It is an exclamation of admiration of the high privileges of the godly.


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