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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - ZECHARIAH 9
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    CHAPTER 9

    Zec 9:1-17. NINTH TO FOURTEENTH CHAPTERS ARE PROPHETICAL.

    Written long after the previous portions of the book, whence arise the various features which have been made grounds for attacking their authenticity, notwithstanding the testimony of the Septuagint and of the compilers of the Jewish canon in their favor. See Introduction.

    ALEXANDER'S CONQUESTS IN SYRIA (Zec 9:1-8). GOD'S PEOPLE SAFE BECAUSE HER KING COMETH LOWLY, BUT A SAVIOUR (Zec 9:9-10). THE MACCABEAN DELIVERANCE A TYPE THEREOF (Zec 9:11-17).

    1. in . . . Hadrach--rather, concerning or against Hadrach (compare Isa 21:13). "Burden" means a prophecy BURDENED with wrath against the guilty. MAURER, not so well, explains it, What is taken up and uttered, the utterance, a solemn declaration.
    - Hadrach--a part of Syria, near Damascus. As the name is not mentioned in ancient histories, it probably was the less-used name of a region having two names ("Hadrach" and "Bikathaven," Am 1:5, Margin); hence it passed into oblivion. An ancient RABBI JOSE is, however, stated to have expressly mentioned it. An Arab, Jos. Abassi, in 1768 also declared to MICHAELIS that there was then a town of that name, and that it was capital of the region Hadrach. The name means "enclosed" in Syrian, that is, the west interior part of Syria, enclosed by hills, the Cœlo-Syria of STRABO [MAURER]. JEROME considers Hadrach to be the metropolis of Cœlo-Syria, as Damascus was of the region about that city. HENGSTENBERG regards Hadrach as a symbolical name of Persia, which Zechariah avoids designating by its proper name so as not to offend the government under which he lived. But the context seems to refer to the Syrian region. GESENIUS thinks that the name is that of a Syrian king, which might more easily pass into oblivion than that of a region. Compare the similar "land of Sihon," Ne 9:22.
    - Damascus . . . rest thereof--that is, the place on which the "burden" of the Lord's wrath shall rest. It shall permanently settle on it until Syria is utterly prostrate. Fulfilled under Alexander the Great, who overcame Syria [CURTIUS, Books 3 and 4].
    - eyes of man, as of all . . . Israel . . . toward the Lord--The eyes of men in general, and of all Israel in particular, through consternation at the victorious progress of Alexander, shall be directed to Jehovah. The Jews, when threatened by him because of Jaddua the high priest's refusal to swear fealty to him, prayed earnestly to the Lord, and so were delivered (2Ch 20:12; Ps 23:2). Typical of the effect of God's judgments hereafter on all men, and especially on the Jews in turning them to Him. MAURER, PEMBELLUS and others, less probably translate, "The eyes of the Lord are upon man, as they are upon all Israel," namely, to punish the ungodly and to protect His people. He, who has chastised His people, will not fail to punish men for their sins severely. The "all," I think, implies that whereas men's attention generally (whence "man" is the expression) was directed to Jehovah's judgments, all Israel especially looks to Him.

    2. Hamath--a Syrian kingdom with a capital of the same name, north of Damascus.
    - shall border thereby--shall be joined to Damascus in treatment, as it is in position; shall share in the burden of wrath of which Damascus is the resting-place. MAURER understands "which"; "Hamath, which borders on Damascus, also shall be the resting-place of Jehovah's wrath" (the latter words being supplied from Zec 9:1). Riblah, the scene of the Jews' sufferings from their foe, was there: it therefore shall suffer (2Ki 23:33; 25:6, 7, 20, 21).
    - Tyrus . . . Zidon--lying in the conqueror's way on his march along the Mediterranean to Egypt (compare Isa 23:1-18). Zidon, the older city, surrendered, and Abdolonymus was made its viceroy.
    - very wise--in her own eyes. Referring to Tyre: Zec 9:3 shows wherein her wisdom consisted, namely, in building a stronghold, and heaping up gold and silver (Eze 38:3, 5, 12, 17). On Alexander's expressing his wish to sacrifice in Hercules' temple in New Tyre on the island, she showed her wisdom in sending a golden crown, and replying that the true and ancient temple of Hercules was at Old Tyre on the mainland. With all her wisdom she cannot avert her doom.

    3. The heathen historian, DIODORUS SICULUS [17.40], confirms this. "Tyre had the greatest confidence owing to her insular position and fortifications, and the abundant stores she had prepared." New Tyre was on an island seven hundred paces from the shore. As Isaiah's and Ezekiel's (Eze 27:1-36) prophecies were directed against Old Tyre on the mainland and were fulfilled by Nebuchadnezzar, so Zechariah's are against New Tyre, which was made seemingly impregnable by a double wall one hundred fifty feet high, as well as the sea on all sides.

    4. (Eze 26:4, 12; 27:27).
    - cast her out--Hebrew, "dispossess her," that is, will cast her inhabitants into exile [GROTIUS]. Alexander, though without a navy, by incredible labor constructed a mole of the ruins of Old Tyre (fulfilling Eze 26:4-12, &c., by "scraping her dust from her," and "laying her stones, timber, and dust in the midst of the water"), from the shore to the island, and, after a seven months' siege, took the city by storm, slew with the sword about eight thousand, enslaved thirteen thousand, crucified two thousand, and set the city on "fire," as here foretold [CURTIUS, Book 4].
    - smite her power in the sea--situated though she be in the sea, and so seeming impregnable (compare Eze 28:2, "I sit in the seat of God, in the midst of the sea"). "Her power" includes not only her fortifications, but her fleet, all of which Alexander sank in the sea before her very walls [CURTIUS, Book 4]. Eze 26:17 corresponds, "How art thou destroyed which wast strong in the sea!"

    5. Ashkelon, &c.--Gath alone is omitted, perhaps as being somewhat inland, and so out of the route of the advancing conqueror.
    - Ekron . . . expectation . . . ashamed--Ekron, the farthest north of the Philistine cities, had expected Tyre would withstand Alexander, and so check his progress southward through Philistia to Egypt. This hope being confounded ("put to shame"), Ekron shall "fear."
    - king shall perish from Gaza--Its government shall be overthrown. In literal fulfilment of this prophecy, after a two month's siege, Gaza was taken by Alexander, ten thousand of its inhabitants slain, and the rest sold as slaves. Betis the satrap, or petty "king," was bound to a chariot by thongs thrust through the soles of his feet, and dragged round the city.

    6. bastard--not the rightful heir; vile and low men, such as are bastards (De 23:2) [GROTIUS]. An alien; so the Septuagint; implying the desolation of the region wherein men shall not settle, but sojourn in only as aliens passing through [CALVIN].

    7. take . . . his blood out of . . . mouth--Blood was forbidden as food (Ge 9:4; Le 7:26).
    - abominations--things sacrificed to idols and then partaken of by the worshippers (Nu 25:2; Ac 15:29). The sense is, "I will cause the Philistines to cease from the worship of idols."
    - even he shall be for our God--"even he," like Hamath, Damascus, Tyre, &c., which, these words imply, shall also be converted to God (Isa 56:3, "son of the stranger joined himself to the Lord") [ROSENMULLER]. The "even," however, may mean, Besides the Hebrews, "even" the Philistine shall worship Jehovah (so Isa 56:8) [MAURER].
    - he shall be as a governor in Judah--On the conversion of the Philistine prince, he shall have the same dignity "in Judah as a governor"; there shall be no distinction [HENDERSON]. The Philistine princes with their respective states shall equally belong to the Jews' communion, as if they were among the "governors" of states "in Judah" [MAURER].
    - Ekron as a Jebusite--The Jebusites, the original inhabitants of Jerusalem, who, when subjugated by David, were incorporated with the Jews (2Sa 24:16, &c.), and enjoyed their privileges: but in a subordinate position civilly (1Ki 9:20, 21). The Jebusites' condition under Solomon being that of bond-servants and tributaries, CALVIN explains the verse differently: "I will rescue the Jew from the teeth of the Philistine foe (image from wild beasts rending their prey with their teeth), who would have devoured him, as he would devour blood or flesh of his abominable sacrifices to idols: and even he, the seemingly ignoble remnant of the Jews, shall be sacred to our God (consecrated by His favor); and though so long bereft of dignity, I will make them to be as governors ruling others, and Ekron shall be a tributary bond-servant as the Jebusite? Thus the antithesis is between the Jew that remaineth (the elect remnant) and the Ekronite.

    8. encamp about-- (Ps 34:7).
    - mine house--namely, the Jewish people (Zec 3:7; Ho 8:1) [MAURER]. Or, the temple: reassuring the Jews engaged in building, who might otherwise fear their work would be undone by the conqueror [MOORE]. The Jews were, in agreement with this prophecy, uninjured by Alexander, though he punished the Samaritans. Typical of their final deliverance from every foe.
    - passeth by . . . returneth--Alexander, when advancing against Jerusalem, was arrested by a dream, so that neither in "passing by" to Egypt, nor in "returning," did he injure the Jews, but conferred on them great privileges.
    - no oppressor . . . pass through . . . any more--The prophet passes from the immediate future to the final deliverance to come (Isa 60:18; Eze 28:24).
    - seen with mine eyes--namely, how Jerusalem has been oppressed by her foes [ROSENMULLER] (Ex 3:7; 2:25). God is said now to have seen, because He now begins to bring the foe to judgment, and manifests to the world His sense of His people's wrongs.

    9. From the coming of the Grecian conqueror, Zechariah makes a sudden transition, by the prophetical law of suggestion, to the coming of King Messiah, a very different character.
    - daughter of Zion--The theocratic people is called to "rejoice" at the coming of her King (Ps 2:11).
    - unto thee--He comes not for His own gain or pleasure, as earthly kings come, but for the sake of His Church: especially for the Jews' sake, at His second coming (Ro 11:26).
    - he is just--righteous: an attribute constantly given to Messiah (Isa 45:21; 53:11; Jer 23:5, 6) in connection with salvation. He does not merely pardon by conniving at sin, but He justifies by becoming the Lord our righteousness fulfiller, so that not merely mercy, but justice, requires the justification of the sinner who by faith becomes one with Christ. God's justice is not set aside by the sinner's salvation, but is magnified and made honorable by it (Isa 42:1, 21). His future reign "in righteousness," also, is especially referred to (Isa 32:1).
    - having salvation--not passively, as some interpret it, "saved," which the context, referring to a "king" coming to reign, forbids; also the old versions, the Septuagint, Syriac, and Vulgate, give Saviour. The Hebrew is reflexive in sense, "showing Himself a Saviour; . . . having salvation in Himself" for us. Endowed with a salvation which He bestows as a king. Compare Margin, "saving%%%%%

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