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FRAMEWORKS: Zechariah 13: The transformed people and a future purging


[Preliminary Comment: The prophecy flows on and should be seen in the light of the previous chapter. The first part of the chapter shows the changes that will occur in the nation with such a revival, a pouring out of salvation and a complete removal of idolatry and false prophets from the past [v.1-6]. The concluding verses are unclear as to application and comments are provided at the end of the chapter. The ‘events' are continued to be described following the announcement, “On that day”.]



v.1. With revival, redemption will come  


v.1  ‘On that day [7] a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.


[Notes: The previous chapter concluded with Israel repenting for rejecting their Messiah previously. When that happens, with what seems to be a national revival, salvation is poured out. Event No.7.]


v.2,3 A new day free from idolatry and false prophecy comes


v.2  ‘On that day, [8] I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,' declares the Lord Almighty. ‘I will remove both the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land.

v.3  And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, “You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord's name.” Then their own parents will stab the one who prophesies.


[Notes: When this revival takes place there will be no room for any further idolatry, and false prophecy that had also blighted the nation so often will also be removed. Event No.8.]


v.4-6 False prophets will be shamed and deny their part in the past


v.4  ‘On that day [9] every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet's garment of hair in order to deceive.

v.5  Each will say, “I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.”

v.6  If someone asks, “What are these wounds on your body?” they will answer, “The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.”


[Notes: Still at this specific time the move of God will be such that all false prophets from the past will be ashamed and deny they are a prophet and deny any signs of past beatings for their deceptions. Event No.9.


Summary: In this chapter so far we have seen the following continuing events:

7. Redemption coming to Israel

8. The land will be cleansed of idolatry and false prophecy

9. Every false prophet will repent of their past.


An Aside? Rather like the structure of the book of Revelation, there seems to follow an ‘interlude' or break in the flow of historical activity to reveal an additional event[s] that appears outside the previous flow of history.]


v.7 God's shepherd is struck down and the sheep scattered


v.7  ‘Awake, sword, against my shepherd,
    against the man who is close to me!'
    declares the Lord Almighty.
‘Strike the shepherd,
    and the sheep will be scattered,
    and I will turn my hand against the little ones.

v.8,9 Destruction comes together with a purging of the remnant


v.8  In the whole land,' declares the Lord,
    ‘two-thirds will be struck down and perish;
    yet one-third will be left in it.
v.9  This third I will put into the fire;
    I will refine them like silver
    and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
    and I will answer them;
I will say, “They are my people,”
    and they will say, “The Lord is our God.”'


[Notes: Verses 7 to 9 appear to step out of the specific time frame of the previous verses and therefore do not seem to be linked to that revival. The lack of definition of these latter verses has allowed much speculation as to their application. Whereas verse 7 could be seen to refer to Jesus' death and the fleeing of his disciples [Mt 26:31, Mk 14:27], the death in the land of v.8 followed by a purging of the remnant [v.9a] appear more like that which happened prior to the Exile, or maybe even what happened when Israel were exiled into the world after the destruction of the temple in AD70. Whatever the truth, the Lord affirms they are still His people.]



Continue to Chapter 14