Zechariah 9 – “God Expands his Dominion”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
God will protect the Israelites and take control of Aram, Phoenicia, and Philistia.

II. Photo
Israel will be saved: “Rejoice greatly, fair Zion, raise a shout, fair Jerusalem! Lo, your king is coming to you. He is victorious, triumphant, yet humble, riding on an ass, on a donkey foaled by a she-ass.” (v. 9)

III. Select Verses
3-4: Tyre has built herself a fortress; She has amassed silver like dust, And gold like the mud in the streets. But my Lord will impoverish her; He will defeat her forces at sea, And she herself shall be consumed by fire.
6b-7: I will uproot the grandeur of Philistia. But I will clean out the blood from its mouth, And the detestable things from between its teeth. Its survivors, too, shall belong to our God: They shall become like a clan in Judah, And Ekron shall be like the Jebusites.
9: Rejoice greatly, Fair Zion; Raise a shout, Fair Jerusalem! Lo, your king is coming to you. He is victorious, triumphant, Yet humble, riding on an ass, On a donkey foaled by a she-ass.
10: He shall banish chariots from Ephraim And horses from Jerusalem; The warrior’s bow shall be banished. He shall call on the nations to surrender, And his rule shall extend from sea to sea And from ocean to land’s end.
16-17: The LORD their God shall prosper them On that day; [He shall pasture] His people like sheep. [They shall be] like crown jewels glittering on His soil. How lovely, how beautiful they shall be, Producing young men like new grain, Young women like new wine!

IV. Outline
1a. Introduction
1b-2. God will have dominion in the northern lands
3-4. Tyre will be destroyed
5-7. The Philistines will be subsumed by Judah
8. God’s protection
9-10. The greatness of Israel’s future king
11-16. Military power
17. Prosperity

V. Comment
Chapter 9 begins the second part of Zechariah, called “Second Zechariah” by some scholars. Collin writes: “The last six chapters of the book of Zechariah are among the most obscure and difficult passages in the Hebrew Bible. Although they have been classified as part of the book of Zechariah since the Middle Ages, the attribution is coincidental. There is no mention of Zechariah in these chapters. They were simply copied after the oracles of Zechariah in ancient manuscripts. Conversely, it is not apparent that the book of Malachi was originally distinguished from the preceding oracles, or that Malachi (“my messenger”) was the name of a prophet. All the material in Zechariah 9-14 and Malachi may be regarded as a collection of anonymous oracles that was appended to the collection of Minor Prophets, although the chapters conventionally attributed to Malachi are more coherent than Zechariah 9-14… Most of these oracles appear to have been written with specific situations in mind, but it is no longer possible to reconstruct with any confidence what these situations were.” (412)

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Smith, Ralph L. “Micah – Malachi” World Biblical Commentary v. 32 (Word Books: 1984).
Photo taken from http://www.mccullagh.org/db9/1ds-4/man-riding-donkey.jpg