Verse 7. "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd" - This is generally understood of Jesus Christ. The sword is that of Divine justice which seemed to have been long asleep, and should long ago have struck either MAN, or his SUBSTITUTE, the Messiah. Jesus is here called God's Shepherd, because he had appointed him to feed and govern, as well as to save, the whole lost world. This is a prosopopoeia, and the address to the sword is very poetic. There is a fine passage in AEschylus to the same effect:- xenov de klhroiv epinwma, calubov zkuqwn apoikav, kteanwn crhmatodaitav pikrov, wmofrwn sidarov, cqona naiein diaphlav Ĉoposan an kai fqimenoisi katecein, twn megalwn pediwn amoiroiv, AESCHYL. Sept. cont. Hebrews 733.
"The rude barbarian, from the mines Of Scythia, o'er the lots presides; Ruthless to each his share assigns, And the contested realm divides: To each allots no wider a domain Than, on the cold earth as they lie, Their breathless bodies occupy, Regardless of an ampler reign: Such narrow compass does the sword - A cruel umpire-their high claims afford." POTTER.
"The man that is my Fellow" - ytym[ rbg l[w veal geber amithi, "upon the strong man," or "the hero that is with ME;" my neighbour. "The WORD was God, and the WORD was WITH God;" John i. 1. "I and my Father are ONE;" John x. 30.
Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered] This is quoted by our Lord, Matt. xxvi. 31, in relation to his disciples, who should be scattered on his crucifixion: and they were so; for every one, giving up all for lost, went to his own house.
"And I will turn mine hand upon the little ones." - I will take care of the little flock, and preserve them from Jewish malice and Gentile persecution.
And so this little flock was most wondrously preserved, and has been increasing from year to year from that time to the present day.
Verse 8. "Two parts therein shall be cut off" - In the war with the Romans.
"But the third shall be left" - Those who believe on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be preserved alive; and not one of these perished in the siege, or afterwards, by those wars.
Verse 9. "I will bring the third part through the fire" - The Christian Church shall endure a great fight of afflictions, by which they shall be refined-not consumed.
"They shall call on my name" - In this way shall they offer all their prayers and supplications to God.
"I will say, It is my people" - The Church that I have chosen in the place of the Jews who have filled up the measure of their iniquity.
"And they shall say, The Lord is my God" - And thus communion shall be established between me and them for ever. Thus there shall be a general restoration.