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Zechariah 1-3
Zechariah 4-6
Zechariah 7-9
Zechariah 10-14
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Zechariah 7:1-14

 

‘Should we keep fasting as we were doing in Babylon

 

Verses 1-3, “Now in the fourth year of King Darius it came to pass it came to pass that the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, on the fourth day of that month, Chislev, when the people sent Sherezer, with Regem-Melech and his men, to the house of God, to pray before the LORD, and to ask the priests who were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and the prophets, saying, ‘Should I weep in the fifth month and fast as I have done for so many years.’”  For one, in terms of our calendar, this is on or around December 4, 518BC, the same period in which Haggai was preaching the LORDs message to the people.  Haggai and Zechariah were a pair of prophets, both preaching about the same period of time, about two years before the 2nd Temple was completed.  About two years have passed since Zechariah’s Night Visions occurred.  With the favorable decree of Darius which demanded the local pagan population support the Jews financially for the support of Temple construction, reconstruction of the Temple really started to move forward (also due to the preaching and prophecies God gave the people through both Haggai and Zechariah).  The 70 years since the first Temple’s destruction are almost over, so this brought up an important question the Jews had, ‘should they keep fasting these fasts which had been instituted in Babylon while they were mourning the Temple’s loss?’  This explains this delegation from Bethel which was sent to Jerusalem to inquire of God’s priests and prophets. 

 

God’s answer, not yes or no, but ‘it depends’

 

God is about to answer through Zechariah, one of the two head prophets in Jerusalem at this time.  J. Vernon McGee has this to say about these verses, “Zechariah will give the people God’s answer concerning this question.  God doesn’t come out and say that it is wrong to fast, nor does He say it is right.  He doesn’t answer the question directly, and yet He answers the question.  We will find that there is actually a threefold answer to this question concerning a religious ritual.  The first answer is that when the heart is right, the ritual is right (vv. 4-7).  The second answer is that when the heart is wrong, the ritual is wrong (vv. 8-14).  The third answer is found in chapter 8:  God’s purpose concerning Jerusalem is unchanged by ritual.  That will answer a great many folk today who are saying, “Let’s do this or that to hasten the coming of Christ.”  [That third point is a very profound point, because, long after J. Vernon McGee’s death, I know of a ministry right now in the present, which is doing exactly that, trying to hasten the day of Christ’s arrival, and they’re wasting all their supporters money and time in fastings and prayer and appeals for offerings, for something that will not hasten that day, or delay it, by one nano-second. God has set the time.  I will say this, their ministry helps regather some of the lost Sephardic (Spanish) Jews back to Israel, which is commendable.]  My friend, you cannot move it up one second by anything you do.  Don’t you know that He is running the universe?  Anything that you do is not going to interfere with His plan or program.  These people thought that a ritual might have something to do with changing God’s plan.  In chapter 8 God will let them know that He intends to accomplish His purpose.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p.938, col.2, par.3]  What exactly were these fasts?  From The Illustrated Family Encyclopedia of the Living Bible, Vol.8, p. 93, we get this:  “Counting the beginning of the year from the month Nisan, the Jewish sages identified these dates as follows (in the Talmudical tractate Rosh Hashanah 18b): the fast of the fourth month fell on the ninth of Tammuz, the day when the city walls were breached (2 Kings 25:3-4; Jer. 39:2); the fast of the fifth month was on the ninth of Ab, when the house of God was destroyed by fire (2 Kings 25:8-10); the fast of the seventh month was on the third day Tishri, the anniversary of the assassination of Gedaliah the son of Ahikam (ibed 25; Jer. 41:2); and the fast of the tenth month fell on the tenth of Tebeth, which was the day when the king of Babylon laid siege to Jerusalem (2 Kings 25:1; Ezek. 24:2).  In Zechariah’s day, sixty-eight years after the destruction, when the rebuilding of the Temple was almost complete, the question naturally arose whether the time had not come to annul these fasts since Jeremiah’s prophecy about the duration of the exile might well be thought to have been fulfilled.” 

 

God asks, ‘Did you really fast for me?’

 

Verses 4-7, “Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, ‘Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests:  ‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months during those seventy years, did you really fast for me---for me?  When you eat and when you drink, do you not eat and drink for yourselves?  Should you not have obeyed the words which the LORD proclaimed through the former prophets when Jerusalem and the cities around it were inhabited and prosperous, and the South and the Lowland were inhabited?’” J. Vernon McGee says, “‘When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month’---that would be the months of August and October, ‘Even those seventy years’---that is, while Israel [Judah] was in captivity.  ‘Did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?’  God says to them, ‘When you went through your ritual, did you do it for Me?  Or did you do it as a legalistic sort of an exercise that would build up something on the credit side which would make you acceptable to Me and cause Me to bless you?’  God does not approve nor does He condemn the ritual.  He inquires into their motive.  The people say that they have been fasting ‘these so many years.’  Oh boy, you can read between the lines there!  Worshipping God had really become boring to them.  And the LORD is saying to them, ‘If you really want to know the truth, I was bored with you also.  I think there are a lot of so-called Christian services which cause God to yawn.  I think that He says, ‘Ho hum, there they go again, jumping through some little hoop as though they think that it will please Me.’” [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p.939, col.1, par.4-6]

 

‘Why I wasn’t listening when you fasted’

 

Verses 8-14, “Then the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:  Execute true justice, show mercy and compassion everyone to his brother.  Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.  Let none of you plan evil in his heart against his brother.’  But they refused to heed, shrugged their shoulders, and stopped their ears so that they could not hear.  Yes, they made their hearts like flint, refusing to hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by his Spirit through the former prophets.  Thus great wrath came from the LORD of hosts.  Therefore it happened, that just as he proclaimed and they would not hear, so they called out and I would not listen,’ says the LORD of hosts.  But I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations which they had not known.  Thus the land became desolate after them, so that no one passed through or returned; for they made the pleasant land desolate.’”  J. Vernon McGee says about these verses, “Beginning with verse 8, God is going to show that a ritual is wrong if the heart is wrong…My friend, it is wrong to think that we can serve Christ and go through a little ritual of doing something while we are not really with Him…My point is that today there is a great deal of “churchianity” that is bland and bloodless, tasteless and colorless.  It is devoid of warmth and feeling.  There is no personal relationship with Christ that is meaningful and productive.  One liberal pastor wrote that it made him sick to hear people talk about a personal relationship with Christ.  I would surely make him sick if he would listen to me, because the thing you have to have, my friend, is a personal relationship with Christ.  Your ritual and your liturgy are not worth the snap of your fingers unless you have a life that is related to Jesus Christ…As important as the sacraments are, they are no good unless the heart is right.  Baptism is no good, my friend, unless you’ve turned to Jesus Christ and you have a personal relationship with Him and your sins have been forgiven…”  [ibed, p. 939, col.2, par.4, sel. passages, p.940, col.1, par 3 to col.2, par.1, p.941, par.2]  What does it mean to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, how far does it go into our lifestyle, it goes way beyond ritual, that is for sure.  J.Vernon McGee hits the nail right on the head in these next two paragraphs, defining verses 9-10, which state “Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother: and oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless…”  He says this about that section, defining what our true relationship with Christ ought to be, “It will be helpful for us to take a close look at the last of the Ten Commandments.  The first four commandments have to do with a man’s relationship to God [most forget the 4th Commandment].  The next commandment is a bridge and has to do with man’s relationship to his parents.  There is a period in his life when that little fellow in the home looks up to mama and papa; they are actually God to him [or her], and that is the way God intended it to be.  The reason children are to obey their parents when they’re growing up is so that later on they will be able to obey the Lord Jesus.  Now notice the last five commandments:  ‘Thou shalt not kill.  Thou shalt not commit adultery.  Thou shalt not steal.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.  Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s’ (Exod. 20:13-17).  You are not to covet his Cadillac nor the lovely home that he lives in---you are not to covet these things at all.  Notice how we can put these commandments right down upon our lives.  ‘Thus, speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment’---don’t bear false witness.  ‘And shew mercy and compassion every man to his brother’---you are not to steal, not to lie, not to covet.  ‘And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor’---oh boy, this is getting right down where we live.  Let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.’  The Lord Jesus brought all the commandments up to a higher plane, although He only cited two commandments as illustrations.  But He said if you are angry with your brother, you are guilty of murder.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p.943, col.1, par.7 to col.2, par.1-2]  J. Vernon McGee really brought this relationship with Jesus Christ right to where “the rubber meets the road.”  Another pastor, one of the commentators for the United Church of God, Gary Petty did the same thing, in an awesome 8-hour series on Agape.  I was asked by the elder of our house-church to condense down Gary’s series, and managed to condense it down to four sermons, which I have transcribed into four files.  Log onto http://www.unityinchrist.com/Agape/Agape%20I.htm

to see what a real relationship with Jesus Christ is all about.

 

Zechariah 8:1-23

 

Verses 1-15, “Again the word of the LORD of hosts came, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:  I am zealous for Zion with great zeal; with great fervor I am zealous for her.’  Thus says the LORD:  ‘I will return to Zion, and dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.  Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the LORD of hosts, the Holy Mountain.’  Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘Old men and old women shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each one with his staff in his hand because of great age.  The streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets.’  Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘If it is marvelous in the eyes of the remnant of this people in these days, will it also be marvelous in my eyes?’ says the LORD of hosts.  Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘Behold, I will save my people from the land of the east and from the land of the west; I will bring them back, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.  They shall be my people and I will be their God, in truth and righteousness.’  Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘Let your hands be strong, you who have been hearing in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, who spoke in the day the foundation was laid for the house of the LORD of hosts, that the temple might be built.  For before these days there were no wages for man nor any hire for beast; there was no peace from the enemy for whoever went out or came in; for I set all men, everyone, against his neighbor.  But now I will not treat the remnant of this people as in the former days,’ says the LORD of hosts.  ‘For the seed shall be prosperous, the vine shall give its fruit, the ground shall give her increase, and the heavens shall give their dew---I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these.  And it shall come to pass that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you, and you shall be a blessing.  Do not fear, let your hands be strong.’  For thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘Just as I determined to punish you when your fathers provoked me to wrath,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘and I would not relent, so again in these days I am determined to do good to Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.  Do not fear.’”  J. Vernon McGee has this to say about this section, “Some expositors call chapter 8 the positive answer to this question, with chapter 7 being the negative aspect of the answer.  I want to say to you, the answer in chapter 8 is positively positive:  God’s purpose concerning Jerusalem is unchanged by any ritual.  Whether you go through a ritual or you don’t go through it, you are not going to change God’s plan and purpose.  Thank God for that.  Thank God that He will carry through His plan and His purpose…in chapter 8, especially in the first eight verses, we find that God’s ultimate purpose is not changed concerning His people---the nation Israel, the land, and Jerusalem [called in verse 13, “O house of Judah and house of Israel”, there you have the two separate Houses mentioned here, which will comprise the whole nation of Israel at the LORD’s return].  He is dealing today with the church; He is calling out a body of believers in the church [he is building his spiritual Temple].  And the church and Israel are entirely two separate entities.  When God will get through calling out the church?  I do not know.  It’s not geared to any man’s calendar at all.  It’s on God’s calendar, but He has never let any of us see it.  God’s Word doesn’t tell us when He will take the church out of this earth,---[some believe in a “Rapture,” some believe to a “Place of Safety” somewhere on earth.  We do know Jesus has promised to protect those who are doing his Work from the Tribulation.  But he has not made it totally clear how.  But the ironclad promise is found in Revelation 3:10, “Because you have kept my command to persevere, I also will keep you from the  hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.”  That promise, to me is sufficient.]---but when He does [return to earth], He will turn to the people of Israel again.  These prophecies here in chapter 8 are simply saying that their return to the land in Zechariah’s day was very small but that it is an adumbration, a little miniature picture, of a return to the land that is coming in the future.”

 

‘If you love me, keep my commandments’

 

Verses 16-17, “These are the things you shall do:  Speak each man the truth to his neighbor; give judgment in your gates for truth, justice, and peace; let none of you think evil in your heart against your neighbor; and do not love a false oath.  For all these are things that I hate,’ says the LORD.”  “God says to these people, ‘It is not because you have been through the ritual or because you have omitted the ritual.  Whether you do or whether you don’t, I am showing mercy to you.’  But this is not the end in itself, this time of blessing is a very small thing.  God looks down through the centuries and says, ‘The day is coming when I intend to deal again with you, and in that day I will do a glorious thing upon the earth.’  He is looking down to the time of the Millennium.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p.950, col.1, par.3]  God then tells the Jews and us believers how they should be living their lives, keeping God’s commandments.  Jesus said as much to all of us who are in Christ, in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments…”

 

‘I will turn these ritualistic fast days of yours into feast days!’

 

Verses 18-23, “Then the word of the LORD of hosts came to me, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘The fast of the fourth month, the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be joy and gladness and cheerful feasts for the house of Judah.  Therefore love truth and peace.’  Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘Peoples shall yet come, inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying ‘Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, and seek the LORD of hosts.  I myself will go also.’  Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come and seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD.  Thus says the LORD of hosts:  ‘In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’”  Any of you harboring anti-Semitic feelings, which tend to be extant in these days?  Better dump them fast.  There are three Scriptural passages that come to mind that cross-reference to verse 22:  Isaiah 2:2-4, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that  the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it.  Many people shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths.’  For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”  Micah 4:1-4, “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the LORD’s house shall be established on the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and peoples shall flow to it.  Many nations shall come and say, ‘Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; he will teach us his ways, and we shall walk in his paths.’  For out of Zion the law shall go forth, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between many peoples, and rebuke strong nations afar off; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.  But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.”  Zechariah 14:9, “And the LORD shall be King over all the earth.  In that day it shall be---‘The LORD is one,’ and his name one.”

 

Zechariah 9:1-17

 

Zechariah chapters 9-14 are composed of two undated oracles, some think given to Zechariah in his old age.  Some have suggested these two oracles wee given by God to Zechariah later than Persia’s conflict with Greece in 480BC (time of Xerxes, Esther and Ezra).  As with all the Minor Prophets, some of these prophecies have been historically fulfilled, while others are end-time 2nd Coming of the Messiah prophecies.  But the predominant focus of these two oracles making up chapters 9 through 14 is end-time, 2nd Coming. 

 

Alexander’s march through Palestine accurately prophecied

 

Verses 1-7a, “The burden of the word of the LORD against the land of Hadrach, and Damascus its resting place (for the eyes of men and all the tribes of Israel are on the LORD):  Also against Hamath, which borders on it, and against Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise.  For Tyre built herself a tower, heaped up silver like the dust, and gold like the mire of the streets.  Behold, the LORD will cast her out; he will destroy her power in the sea, and she will be devoured by fire.  Ashkelon shall see it and fear; Gaza also shall be very sorrowful; and Ekron, for he dried up her expectation.  The king shall perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon shall not be inhabited.  A mixed race shall settle in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines.  I will take away the blood from his mouth, and the abominations from between his teeth…”  Verses 7b-8, “But he who remains, even he shall be for our God, and shall be like a leader in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite.  I will camp around my house because of the army, because of him who passes by and him who returns.  No more shall an oppressor pass through them, for I have seen with my eyes.”  The land of Hadrach was in Syria, north of Hamath on the Orontes River.  Verses 3-4 prophecy what will amount to the final historic destruction of Tyre by Alexander the Great (see http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezek/ezekielpt2-1.html and http://www.unityinchrist.com/ezek/ezekielpt2-2.html).  But as seen in these prophecies about Tyre, a duality exists, the historic destruction which was to take place 47 years later from 480BC, and the future destruction of the Tyre-Babylonian system called “Babylon the Great.”  J. Vernon McGee says, “The cities mentioned in verses 1-7 trace the march of Alexander’s great army down into the Promised Land.  It is history now; but, when it was written, it was prophecy.  Its literal fulfillment makes it one of the most remarkable accounts we find in the Word of God.  This is so disturbing to the liberal theologian that he attempts to move the time of the writing of Zechariah up to the time of Alexander the Great!  [Which is a heretical thing to attempt to do!]  Alexander left Europe and crossed over into Asia Minor (modern Turkey) [probably picking up Ionian Greek troops along the way], and he took city after city.  He was a cruel and brutal man.  However, we must understand that he had an army of only fifty thousand men, which in that day was rather small.  Therefore, he could not leave any of his men behind to control the cities that he conquered.  He had to either destroy the cities or so weaken them that they could not attack him from the rear.  He obliterated many of these cities mentioned here…Everyone felt that Tyre was impregnable as it was situated out on its island fortress.  The inhabitants were Phoenicians, a seagoing people who had developed a great commercial nation and had accumulated a great deal of wealth [see http://www.unityinchrist.com/kings/1.html to read about the commercial interaction the House of Israel had with the ancient Phoenician Empire.  Due to the Baal worship Tyre and Sidon had brought into Israel, God was judging them now.  You can read all about that by clicking on that link and reading through the article at that link]. Alexander besieged it for seven months and finally conquered it by scraping the ruins of the old city into the sea to build a causeway out to the island city.  Today we can see all of this, and I have pictures which I have taken that reveal how that prophecy was literally fulfilled.  After taking Tyre, Alexander moved down into Philistine country [verse 5].  I have been in this area and have taken pictures of ruins of the old temple of Dagon.  That area has been returned to the nation of Israel today.  At Ashdod they have built and artificial harbor, and they have built apartment after apartment there.  Literally thousands have moved into Ashdod.  Farther inland as you go down the coast you will find Ashkelon.  It is a thriving city today, but it is not in the same location as the old Ashkelon.  The original Ashkelon was right on the seacoast, and the ruins are still there today.  It is more or less a park now, a beautiful area, but it is not inhabited.  It is not a city anymore.  It is interesting to see how God’s Word was literally fulfilled.  Alexander the Great destroyed these cities and broke the power of the Philistines.  “A bastard shall dwell in Ashdod.”  It does not say that Ashdod will not be inhabited; it just says that there won’t be a very high class of people living there.  And Ashdod is inhabited today.”  [THRU THE BIBLE, Vol.III, p. 952, col.2, par.4, p. 953, col.1, par. 7 to col.2, par.3]  In verse 7 it describes the removal of all the unclean and idolatrous practices---and this is where it apparently transitions over to the 2nd Coming of Christ and beyond, giving these verses duality, historic and end-time.  The second half of verse 7 shows the “conversion” of the remaining inhabitants of Ashdod.  That did not apply to Ashdod after its destruction by Alexander the Great, going right to our present time.  So it’s got to be future, and verse 8 continues the thought and promises that no more foreign armies would march through the Promised Land, God’s land.  Obviously that condition has not been established yet.

 

‘Behold, your King is coming, lowly, riding on a donkey’

 

Verse 9, “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!  Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem!  Behold, your King is coming to you; he is just and having salvation, lowly and riding on a donkey.”  This is a very specific prophecy, one of over 300, which the Messiah at his 1st coming had to fulfill.  Matthew 21:1-7, “Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her.  Loose them and bring them to me.  And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.’  All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, ‘Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, lowly, and sitting on a donkey, and a colt, the foal of a donkey.’  So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them.  They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set him on them…”; John 12:12-15, “The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, and cried out: ‘Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD!  the King of Israel!’  Then Jesus, when he had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written:  ‘Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, sitting on a donkey’s colt.’” See also http://www.unityinchrist.com/prophecies/1stcoming.htm for a complete listing of all the Old Testament prophecies of Jesus Christ’s 1st coming, and how they were fulfilled in the New Testament record and witness.

 

Christ Conquers Israel’s Enemies

 

Verses 10-17, “I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the horse from Jerusalem; the battle bow shall be cut off.  He shall speak peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea.  And from the River to the ends of the earth.  As for you also, because of the blood of your covenant, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit.  Return to the stronghold, you prisoners of hope.  Even today I declare that I will restore double to you.  For I have bent Judah, my bow, fitted the bow with Ephraim, and raised up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and made you like the sword of a mighty man.’  Then the LORD will be seen over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning.  The Lord GOD will blow the trumpet, and go with whirlwinds from the south.  The LORD of hosts will defend them; they shall devour and subdue with slingstones.  They shall drink and roar as if with wine; they shall be filled with blood like basins, like the corners of the altar.  The LORD their God will save them in that day, as the flock of his people.  For they shall be like the jewels of a crown, lifted like a banner over his land---for how great is the goodness and how great its beauty!  Grain shall make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.”  Notice verse 13 specifically mentions Greece, which will be part of the Beast Empire opposing Christ at his return.  Both Ephraim (representing the northern 10-tribed House of Israel) and Judah (the Israelis) are mentioned as fighting alongside Christ against their enemies (verses 13-15).  Verses 15-16 are thought to represent a victory banquet of Christ and his people (although this description could just be part of the battle description).  Verse 16 shows deliverance will come in “in that day.”, i.e. “the Day of the LORD.”  Verse 17 shows a harvest of an abundance of grain and new wine starts to take place.  This is a direct answer to the prayer the LORD tells his people to pray for the latter rain, in Zechariah chapter 10, verse 1, “Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain.  The LORD will make flashing clouds; he will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.”  So the people pray for rain, and the LORD restores Israel’s proper rainy seasons.  He as well gives Israel a new river system, comprising two rivers (see and read Zechariah 14:8 and Ezekiel 47:1-12).

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