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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah 10: The Lord will care for Judah


[Preliminary Comment: The overall theme of the chapter, as the title suggests, is the various ways the Lord will care for Judah, making provision for them [v.1], and, yes, challenging unrighteousness [v.2,3], resourcing them [v.4] to become triumphant warriors [v.5], a restored people [v.6], whose triumphs will bless each generation [v.7]. From verse 8, this same direction seems to take on more of a future-feel, the people [in the distant future?] being restored to the Land [v.8-10] with any obstacles being removed to enable them to return and become secure [v.11,12]. In the light of history [and remember this comes after the return from the Exile] one wonders if this refers to the return, that was only seen after centuries of exile, and that came about in the middle of the twentieth century. Because each verse tends to be lengthy and often complex, we have provided a following note with every verse.]



v.1 Call on the Lord for His provision     


v.1  Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime;
    it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms.
He gives showers of rain to all people,
    and plants of the field to everyone.

[Notes: Here is the reminder that God is a God of provision who sends the rain that sets growth and fruitfulness in motion.]


v.2 False idolatry leads God's people astray


v.2  The idols speak deceitfully,
    diviners see visions that lie;
they tell dreams that are false,
    they give comfort in vain.
Therefore the people wander like sheep
    oppressed for lack of a shepherd.


[Notes: The specter of idolatry had hung over Israel for so much of its life and so its presence and effects should always be borne in mind.]


v.3 God will punish His leaders who have failed His people


v.3  My anger burns against the shepherds,
    and I will punish the leaders;
for the Lord Almighty will care
    for his flock, the people of Judah,
    and make them like a proud horse in battle.

[Notes: The leadership of Israel had been part of God's provision to care for His people, but so often that leadership had failed to do that so God has had to step in.]


v.4 God will bring out of His people all the resources they need


v.4  From Judah will come the cornerstone,
    from him the tent peg,
from him the battle-bow,
    from him every ruler.

[Notes: The building anchor, the tent anchor, for establishing the nation, the bow to be used in battle to ward off enemies, and a ruler to be over them, were always signs of God's resources for His people that He raised up from their midst.]


v.5 They will become triumphant warriors


v.5  Together they will be like warriors in battle
    trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.
They will fight because the Lord is with them,
    and they will put the enemy horsemen to shame.


[Notes: The fact of oppression by neighbours had meant they needed to be warriors for defence and this would continue with His blessing on them.]


v.6 He will restore His people


v.6  I will strengthen Judah
    and save the tribes of Joseph.
I will restore them
    because I have compassion on them.
They will be as though
    I had not rejected them,
for I am the Lord their God
    and I will answer them.

[Notes: Their rejection in the past exile will be forgotten as the Lord restores and blesses them.]


v.7 Their triumphs will bring joy to them and their children


v.7  The Ephraimites will become like warriors,
    and their hearts will be glad as with wine.
Their children will see it and be joyful;
    their hearts will rejoice in the Lord.

[Notes: Such will this be that they will have a joy that will spread right down through the family.]


v.8-10 Though scattered He will redeem them from many nations


v.8  I will signal for them
    and gather them in.
Surely I will redeem them;
    they will be as numerous as before.
v.9  Though I scatter them among the peoples,
    yet in distant lands they will remember me.
They and their children will survive,
    and they will return.
v.10  I will bring them back from Egypt
    and gather them from Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon,
    and there will not be room enough for them.

[Notes: There may be [future] exile but God WILL restore His people to their land where they will flourish and multiply.]


v.11,12 Any obstacles to this will be removed and they will return secure


v.11  They will pass through the sea of trouble;
    the surging sea will be subdued
    and all the depths of the Nile will dry up.
Assyria's pride will be brought down
    and Egypt's sceptre will pass away.
v.12  I will strengthen them in the Lord
    and in his name they will live securely,'
declares the Lord.


[Notes: It doesn't matter what obstacles apparently appear to prevent this return, they will be overcome, and so Israel will come back to live in security within the Land. These last verses [8-12] come with both an implied warning as well as a reassuring confidence for their long-term future.]



Continue to Chapter 11