10:1 Ask the Lord for rain in the season of the late spring rains 1 – the Lord who causes thunderstorms – and he will give everyone showers of rain and green growth in the field. 10:2 For the household gods 2 have spoken wickedness, the soothsayers have seen a lie, and as for the dreamers, they have disclosed emptiness and give comfort in vain. Therefore the people set out like sheep and become scattered because they have no shepherd. 3 10:3 I am enraged at the shepherds and will punish the lead-goats.
For the Lord who rules over all has brought blessing to his flock, the house of Judah, and will transform them into his majestic warhorse. 10:4 From him will come the cornerstone, 4 the wall peg, 5 the battle bow, and every ruler. 6 10:5 And they will be like warriors trampling the mud of the streets in battle. They will fight, for the Lord will be with them, and will defeat the enemy cavalry. 7
10:6 “I (says the Lord) will strengthen the kingdom 8 of Judah and deliver the people of Joseph 9 and will bring them back 10 because of my compassion for them. They will be as though I had never rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and therefore I will hear them. 10:7 The Ephraimites will be like warriors and will rejoice as if they had drunk wine. Their children will see it and rejoice; they will celebrate in the things of the Lord. 10:8 I will signal for them and gather them, for I have already redeemed them; then they will become as numerous as they were before. 10:9 Though I scatter 11 them among the nations, they will remember in far-off places – they and their children will sprout forth and return. 10:10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. 12 I will bring them to the lands of Gilead and Lebanon, for there will not be enough room for them in their own land. 10:11 The Lord 13 will cross the sea of storms and will calm its turbulence. The depths of the Nile will dry up, the pride of Assyria will be humbled, and the domination 14 of Egypt will be no more. 10:12 Thus I will strengthen them by my power, 15 and they will walk about 16 in my name,” says the Lord.
1 tn Heb “the latter rain.” This expression refers to the last concentration of heavy rainfall in the spring of the year in Palestine, about March or April. Metaphorically and eschatologically (as here) the “latter rain” speaks of God’s outpouring of blessing in the end times (cf. Hos 6:3; Joel 2:21-25).
2 tn The Hebrew word תְּרָפִים (tÿrafim, “teraphim”) refers to small images used as means of divination and in other occult practices (cf. Gen 31:19, 34-35; 1 Sam 19:13, 16; Hos 3:4). A number of English versions transliterate the Hebrew term (cf. ASV, NAB, NASB, NRSV) or simply use the generic term “idols” (so KJV, NIV, TEV).
5 sn The metaphor of the wall peg (Heb. יָתֵד, yated), together with the others in this list, describes the remarkable change that will take place at the inauguration of God’s eschatological kingdom. Israel, formerly sheep-like, will be turned into a mighty warhorse. The peg refers to a wall hook (although frequently translated “tent peg,” but cf. ASV “nail”; TWOT 1:419) from which tools and weapons were suspended, but figuratively also to the promise of God upon which all of Israel’s hopes were hung (cf. Isa 22:15-25; Ezra 9:8).
6 tn This is not the usual word to describe a king of Israel or Judah (such as מֶלֶךְ, melekh, or נָשִׂיא, nasi’), but נוֹגֵשׂ, noges, “dictator” (cf. KJV “oppressor”). The author is asserting by this choice of wording that in the messianic age God’s rule will be by force.
7 tn Heb “and the riders on horses will be put to shame,” figurative for the defeat of mounted troops. The word “enemy” in the translation is supplied from context.
8 tn Heb “the house.”
9 tn Or “the kingdom of Israel”; Heb “the house of Joseph.”
11 tn Or “sow” (so KJV, ASV). The imagery is taken from the sowing of seed by hand.
12 sn I will bring them back from Egypt…from Assyria. The gathering of God’s people to their land in eschatological times will be like a reenactment of the exodus, but this time they will come from all over the world (cf. Isa 40:3-5; 43:1-7, 14-21; 48:20-22; 51:9-11).
13 tn Heb “he,” in which case the referent is the
14 tn Heb “scepter,” referring by metonymy to the dominating rule of Egypt (cf. NLT).
15 tc Heb “I will strengthen them in the
16 tc The LXX and Syriac presuppose יִתְהַלָּלוּ (yithallalu, “they will glory”) for יִתְהַלְּכוּ (yithallÿkhu, “they will walk about”). Since walking about is a common idiom in Zechariah (cf. 1:10, 11; 6:7 [3x]) to speak of dominion, and dominion is a major theme of the present passage, there is no reason to reject the MT reading, which is followed by most modern English versions.