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Zechariah 10:4-12

Context
10:4 From him will come the cornerstone, 1  the wall peg, 2  the battle bow, and every ruler. 3  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. 4 

10:6 “I (says the Lord) will strengthen the kingdom 5  of Judah and deliver the people of Joseph 6  and will bring them back 7  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 8  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. 9  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 10  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 11  of Egypt will be no more. 10:12 Thus I will strengthen them by my power, 12  and they will walk about 13  in my name,” says the Lord.

1 sn On the NT use of the image of the cornerstone, see Luke 20:17; Eph 2:20; 1 Pet 2:6.

2 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).

3 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.

4 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.

5 tn Heb “the house.”

6 tn Or “the kingdom of Israel”; Heb “the house of Joseph.”

sn Joseph is mentioned here instead of the usual Israel (but see 2 Sam 19:20; Ps 78:67; 80:1; 81:5; Ezek 37:16; Amos 5:6, 15; 6:6) because of the exodus motif that follows in vv. 8-11.

7 tc The anomalous MT reading וְחוֹשְׁבוֹתִים (vÿkhoshÿvotim) should probably be וַהֲשִׁי בוֹתִם (vahashi votim), the Hiphil perfect consecutive of שׁוּב (shuv), “return” (cf. Jer 12:15).

8 tn Or “sow” (so KJV, ASV). The imagery is taken from the sowing of seed by hand.

9 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).

10 tn Heb “he,” in which case the referent is the Lord. This reading is followed by KJV, ASV, NAB (which renders it as first person), and NASB. The LXX reads “they,” referring to the Israelites themselves, a reading followed by many modern English versions (e.g., NIV, NRSV, TEV, NLT).

11 tn Heb “scepter,” referring by metonymy to the dominating rule of Egypt (cf. NLT).

12 tc Heb “I will strengthen them in the Lord.” Because of the perceived problem of the Lord saying he will strengthen the people “in the Lord,” both BHK and BHS suggest emending גִּבַּרְתִּים (gibbartim, “I will strengthen them”) to גְּבֻרָתָם (gevuratam, “their strength”). This is unnecessary, however, for the Lord frequently refers to himself in that manner (see Zech 2:11).

13 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.



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