Zechariah 13


‘On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity. ‘On that day, 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. 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.’ Zechariah 13:1-3

Cleansing From Sin

This chapter begins by telling us of the day when the Messiah arrives, the day when He will establish His church, Zechariah 12:11 / John 7:37. This would be the day when a fountain of blessings would be available for the people.

When the Christ died and shed His blood, cleansing from our sins was available, Hebrews 10:1-18 / 1 Peter 1:2 / 1 John 1:7, He made available justifications for people’s sins, Romans 3:21-26.

When Peter preached the first Gospel sermon, he revealed that it was through the Christ that we can have our sins cleansed, Acts 2:38 / Acts 2:41 / Acts 3:19-21. This fountain was opened up not only to the Jews but to everyone, who would receive it, Revelation 22:17.

Zechariah tells us that in that day, idolatry would no longer be associated with God, the Jews learned their lesson from their time in captivity, as they never committed idolatry again. False prophets and the spirit of impurity, that is diviners, would have no part in the Lord’s church.

In that day when sins are forgiven and Christ reigns in His kingdom, there would be no need for prophecies, or any other miraculous gift, as we would have the complete revelation from God in the form of His Word, 1 Corinthians 13:8-13 / Jude 3.

In that day if a father and mother who had a son who laid claims to being able to prophesy or perform miracles were to be exposed as a liar and they wouldn’t be worthy to live.

‘On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet’s garment of hair in order to deceive. Each will say, ‘I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth.’ If someone asks, ‘What are these wounds on your body?’ they will answer, ‘The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.’ Zechariah 13:4-6

The false prophets of old put on ‘garments of hair’ so that they could deceive the people into thinking that they were speaking for God.

In other words, outwardly they gave the appearance of being prophets of God, but inwardly they were deceivers, false prophets, and wolves in sheep’s clothing, Matthew 7:15.

If someone asks the prophet concerning the wounds on his body, the false prophet had to confess that they were only the wounds that he had inflicted on himself, 1 Kings 18:28.

In other words, in that day, the days of the church, if we want to know if what someone is saying is true or false, we simply need to compare their words with the Word of God, Acts 17:11 / Ephesians 5:11 / Titus 1:9 / 1 Peter 4:11 / 1 John 4:1 / 2 John 9-11.

If their words are found to be false, the false prophet will be left completely exposed to the point that he shall be embarrassed to admit the things he has taught.

The Shepherd Struck, The Sheep Scattered

‘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. In the whole land,’ declares the LORD, ‘two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. 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.’ Zechariah 13:7-9

These last few verses take us back to Zechariah 11, in reference to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, John 10:11, near the end of His earthly ministry.

The sword was a symbol of the Roman Empire, meaning that Jesus would be put to death by that power. Notice that it is God Himself who would call for the sword of death to come upon His Shepherd, Zechariah 11:1-14 / Zechariah 12:10 / Ephesians 1:3-10.

When Jesus arrived as the Messiah, those Jews who wouldn’t accept Him as their Messiah, totally rejected Him, John 19:7 / Acts 2:23. Notice also that the ‘sheep will be scattered’, this is an obvious reference to Jesus’ disciples, Matthew 26:31 / Mark 14:27. Despite the disciples being scattered, God was going to gather His disciples, the ‘little ones’ again, Matthew 26:32.

We know that Jesus came to the Jews, but sadly, many rejected Him, John 1:11. It was those Jews who rejected Him that were to be ‘cut off’ which means they would die in their sins, Luke 13:3. The good news is that many other Jews accepted Him and went on to teach others about Jesus, Matthew 28:19-20 / Mark 16:15-16.

Barnes, in his commentary, says the following.

‘As David punished Moab, ‘with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive,’ 2 Samuel 8:2, and Ezekiel prophesied, ‘A third part of thee shall die with the pestilence, and with famine shall they be consumed in the midst of thee: and a third part shall fall by the sword round about thee’, Ezekiel 5:12, so now, the greater part should be destroyed, but a remnant should be saved. ‘But the third part shall be left therein. Even so then at this present time also,’ Paul says, ‘there is a remnant according to the election of grace’. Romans 11:5.’

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following concerning the ‘one third’.

‘This usage of ‘one third’ is also seen in Revelation 6. Inherent in the teaching of this verse is the fact that the company of the redeemed is but a ‘remnant’, certainly nothing approaching a majority of the people. ‘This third part represents the faithful among the Jews and the Christian Church gathered out of the nations.’, Luke 12:32.’

Notice that God’s people, will be refined and tested in the fire, in other words, Christians will go through trials of difficulty, Psalm 66:9-11 / Isaiah 48:10 / 1 Peter 1:6-7 / Acts 14:22.

When these times of testing come, it’s then that Christians will rejoice because they understand that God is working in and through us to make us better, stronger Christians, James 1:2-4.

To call upon the Name of God simply means that we make our appeals known to Him in order for Him to help us in our time of need.

The idea is that we will learn to trust God and God only at all times, Joel 2:32. When God helps us through our trials, 1 Corinthians 10:13, then we can truly say that ‘The Lord is our God’.

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