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Zechariah 9:9-17

Context

9:9 Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion!

Shout, daughter of Jerusalem!

Look! Your king is coming to you:

he is legitimate 1  and victorious, 2 

humble and riding on a donkey 3 

on a young donkey, the foal of a female donkey.

9:10 I will remove 4  the chariot from Ephraim

and the warhorse from Jerusalem,

and the battle bow will be removed.

Then he will announce peace to the nations.

His dominion will be from sea to sea

and from the Euphrates River 5  to the ends of the earth.

9:11 Moreover, as for you, because of our covenant relationship secured with blood, I will release your prisoners from the waterless pit. 9:12 Return to the stronghold, you prisoners, with hope; today I declare that I will return double what was taken from you. 9:13 I will bend Judah as my bow; I will load the bow with Ephraim, my arrow! 6  I will stir up your sons, Zion, against yours, Greece, and I will make you, Zion, 7  like a warrior’s sword.

9:14 Then the Lord will appear above them, and his arrow will shoot forth like lightning; the Lord God will blow the trumpet and will sally forth on the southern storm winds. 9:15 The Lord who rules over all will guard them, and they will prevail and overcome with sling stones. Then they will drink, and will become noisy like drunkards, 8  full like the sacrificial basin or like the corners of the altar. 9  9:16 On that day the Lord their God will deliver them as the flock of his people, for they are the precious stones of a crown sparkling over his land. 9:17 How precious and fair! 10  Grain will make the young men flourish and new wine the young women.

1 tn The Hebrew term צַדִּיק (tsadiq) ordinarily translated “righteous,” frequently occurs, as here, with the idea of conforming to a standard or meeting certain criteria. The Messianic king riding into Jerusalem is fully qualified to take the Davidic throne (cf. 1 Sam 23:3; Isa 9:5-6; 11:4; 16:5; Jer 22:1-5; 23:5-6).

2 tn The Hebrew term נוֹשָׁע (nosha’) a Niphal participle of יָשַׁע (yasha’, “to save”) could mean “one delivered” or, if viewed as active, “one bringing salvation” (similar KJV, NIV, NKJV). It is preferable to take the normal passive use of the Niphal and understand that the king, having been delivered, is as a result “victorious” (so also NRSV, TEV, NLT).

3 sn The NT understands this verse to be a prophecy of the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and properly so (cf. Matt 21:5; John 12:15), but reference to the universal rule of the king in v. 10 reveals that this is a “split prophecy,” that is, it has a two-stage fulfillment. Verse 9 was fulfilled in Jesus’ earthly ministry but v. 10 awaits a millennial consummation (cf. Rev 19:11-16).

4 tc The MT first person pronoun (“I”), which seems to shift the subject too abruptly, becomes 3rd person masculine singular (“he”) in the LXX (הִכְרִית, hikhrit, presupposed for הִכְרַתִּי, hikhratti). However, the Lord is the subject of v. 8, which speaks of his protection of Jerusalem, so it is not surprising that he is the subject in v. 10 as well.

tn Heb “cut off” (so NASB, NRSV; also later in this verse); NAB “banish”; NIV, CEV “take away.”

5 tn Heb “the river.” The Hebrew expression typically refers to the Euphrates, so the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn The words “my arrow” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation to clarify the imagery for the modern reader (cf. NRSV, NLT).

7 tn The word “Zion” is not repeated here in the Hebrew text, but is supplied in the translation to indicate that the statement refers to Zion and not to Greece.

8 tn Heb “they will drink and roar as with wine”; the LXX (followed here by NAB, NRSV) reads “they will drink blood like wine” (referring to a figurative “drinking” of the blood of their enemies).

9 sn The whole setting is eschatological as the intensely figurative language shows. The message is that the Lord will assume his triumphant reign over all the earth and will use his own redeemed and renewed people Israel to accomplish that work. The imagery of v. 15 is the eating and drinking of the flesh and blood of God’s enemies, that is, Israel’s complete mastery of them. Like those who drink too much wine, the Lord’s warriors will be satiated with the blood of their foes and will exult as though drunk.

10 sn This expostulation best fits the whole preceding description of God’s eschatological work on behalf of his people. His goodness is especially evident in his nurturing of the young men and women of his kingdom.



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