Home  Library  Donate

Zechariah 13

Sunday Morning Bible Study

August 31, 2014


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words

Are you ready for Thanksgiving to be over?

Video:  Thanksgiving Chair

Let’s practice sitting regularly in the thanksgiving chair.

The historical background to Zechariah, like that of Haggai, is found in the book of Ezra.

Zechariah lived during the time that the Jews had begun to return from Babylon and rebuild their Temple.

The prophecies of Zechariah are given during the years of 520-518 BC.

One of the key distinctions of the book of Zechariah is the amount of prophecy about the coming Messiah.

We now in section in Zechariah, when he gives a series of prophecies that look far into his future.

Chapters 9-11 dealt primarily with the first coming of the Messiah.

Chapters 12-14 will deal with the second coming of the Messiah.

These last three chapters are a single prophecy, and constitute what some have called, “second to none in importance” (Feinberg) in regards to its prophetic value in “understanding the events of the last days for Israel – the time of the Great Tribulation, and the establishing of God’s kingdom on earth” (Feinberg).

Except for one verse (13:7), the rest of the prophecy lies in our future.

(Zechariah 13:7 NKJV) “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.
So this time, we are setting our DeLorean time machine once again for our own future. Buckle up your seat belts… 
Video:  Delorean Time Machine

13:1-6 Cleansing

:1 “In that day a fountain shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.

:1 In that day

In what day?

The last chapter clearly put us in the time period known as the “day of the LORD”.  This is the day that Jesus returns and the nation of Israel turns to Jesus and believes in Him.
(Zechariah 12:10 NKJV) “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.

:1 a fountain shall be opened

Ezekiel also records a fountain of sorts that first appears after Jesus returns.  It will be flowing from inside the Temple.

(Ezekiel 47:1–2 NKJV) —1 Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and there was water, flowing from under the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the front of the temple faced east; the water was flowing from under the right side of the temple, south of the altar. 2 He brought me out by way of the north gate, and led me around on the outside to the outer gateway that faces east; and there was water, running out on the right side.

As Ezekiel follows the river, it gets deeper and deeper as it flows from the Temple.

(Ezekiel 47:8–9 NKJV) —8 Then he said to me: “This water flows toward the eastern region, goes down into the valley, and enters the sea. When it reaches the sea, its waters are healed. 9 And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.
Trees growing alongside a river is what you expect to see in only one place in Israel, the Jordan River.  You don’t expect to see that in Jerusalem.

The waters of this river waters trees that will produce fruit.

The waters eventually make their way to the Dead Sea.

The Dead Sea gets its name from the high salt content.  Nothing grows or lives near the Dead Sea.

The Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea, and it’s still dead.

Yet this river will have the ability of bringing life to something that’s dead.


Living Water

God wants to bring life to you as well.
(John 7:37–38 NKJV) —37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
The living water Jesus was talking about is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Are there areas of your life that are about as fruitful as the “Dead Sea”?

Could it be your love for others?

Have you stopped caring about other people?  Have you concluded that people cause too much pain and you’d rather not connect with other people?

Could it be your love for your spouse?

Have you stopped caring about what happens in your marriage?

Could it be your love for God?

Is there a time in your life when you loved Jesus more than you do now?

God wants to pour life into you.

But you need to want it.  You need to recognize your “thirst”.

You need to come to Jesus.

Reading self-help books can help, but real life comes only from Jesus.

You need to simply receive it (drink).  You do this by believing in Him.

Let God bring the dead things to life.

:1 for sin and for uncleanness

The river had a purpose.  It was supposed to cleanse.


God’s cleansing

The last chapter talked about the “mourning” that will go on in Jerusalem when Jesus returns and the Jews see Him face to face.
(Zechariah 12:10 NKJV) “And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn.
“Mourning” precedes cleansing.
Paul had some difficult things to say to the church in Corinth.  Some of the things he pointed out to them caused much grief in the church.
But the Corinthians weren’t just sorry they got caught.  Their “sorrow” was the right kind of sorrow.  Their sorrow led to an actual change in behavior.
(2 Corinthians 7:9 NKJV) Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.
(2 Corinthians 7:9–10 NKJV) —9 Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.
Jesus said,
(Matthew 5:4 NKJV) Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
Do you want to experience God’s cleansing?  Do you want to experience God’s forgiveness?
The Bible says,

(1 John 1:9 NKJV) If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We often try to hide our sins.

God wants us to learn to “confess” them, or admit to them.

Sometimes there is even value in admitting to others that we have sinned.  James wrote,

(James 5:16 NKJV) Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

When we’ve done something against another person, we need to admit to them what we’ve done.

Sometimes the sin we are struggling with has us in such a tight grip that we cannot break free from it.

The act of confessing that sin to a carefully chosen person might be embarrassing, but sometimes that embarrassment of admitting our sin is what it takes to break free from it. 

Knowing that someone else is in the battle with you can turn the tide.  It’s especially good when you are able to confess your sin to someone who has found freedom from the very same sin.

It’s important to have people in our lives who are a little further down the road than we are.  We can learn a lot from them.

Video:  Dear Kitten

We could all use an older “cat” in our lives.

:2 “It shall be in that day,” says the Lord of hosts, “that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they shall no longer be remembered. I will also cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart from the land.

:2 I will cut off the names of the idols


Forgiveness and change

God wants cleansing to go beyond just Him saying, “It’s okay, you’re forgiven”.
God wants you to actually remove the things that cause you to stumble.
Sometimes we get caught in the trap of thinking that when I do “that sin” of mine, that all God is looking for is me saying “I’m sorry”.
God does want you to say “I’m sorry”.

And when you do, God promises to forgive.

Yet God wants us to go beyond the endless cycle of “sorry”, “forgiven”, “sorry”, forgiven”.
God longs for us to take steps to actually change.

God wants to see those “idols” in our lives removed so they no longer have power over us.

:2 the prophets and the unclean spirit to depart

The prophets that God is going to be addressing in the next couple verses are not “good” prophets.

They are “false prophets”.
They do not prophesy under the influence of the Holy Spirit, but under the influence of the “unclean spirit”.

:3 It shall come to pass that if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who begot him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, because you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.’ And his father and mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.

:3 shall thrust him through

God told Moses that if someone was a false prophet, even if it was a relative of yours, you were supposed to put them to death (Deut. 13:1-11)

(Deuteronomy 13:1–11 NKJV) —1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder, 2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’ 3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him. 5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst. 6 “If your brother, the son of your mother, your son or your daughter, the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, secretly entices you, saying, ‘Let us go and serve other gods,’ which you have not known, neither you nor your fathers, 7 of the gods of the people which are all around you, near to you or far off from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth, 8 you shall not consent to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him or conceal him; 9 but you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. 10 And you shall stone him with stones until he dies, because he sought to entice you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. 11 So all Israel shall hear and fear, and not again do such wickedness as this among you.

:4 “And it shall be in that day that every prophet will be ashamed of his vision when he prophesies; they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive.

:5 But he will say, ‘I am no prophet, I am a farmer; for a man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.’

:4 every prophet will be ashamed

The false prophets will be ashamed of what they’ve been saying.

:4 they will not wear a robe of coarse hair to deceive

Wearing sackcloth was a long held tradition to display your sadness or mourning over something.

Normally that was a good thing.

Some of the prophets would wear sackcloth.

Daniel did.
(Daniel 9:3 NKJV) Then I set my face toward the Lord God to make request by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth, and ashes.
John the Baptist did.
(Matthew 3:4 NKJV) Now John himself was clothed in camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist; and his food was locusts and wild honey.

False prophets would wear sackcloth to deceive people into thinking they were the “good guys”. Jesus said,

(Matthew 7:15 NKJV) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
After Jesus returns, the false prophets will go into hiding and stop pretending to be “prophets”.

:5 I am no prophet

When confronted by people, the false prophets will lie and claim that they have never been prophets.

Notice that these prophets would be “driven from the land” (vs. 2).

Honesty and mourning over your sins brings cleansing.

Lying about your sins gets you removed from God’s land.

:6 And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’

:6 wounded in the house of my friends

In context, it could be the false prophets who are saying they were wounded in the house of their friends, as a false excuse as to why they have wounds.

Yet in reality, it might be because even their parents (vs. 3) will wound them.

Some have suggested that this might apply to Jesus.

Then this verse would better belong with the next verse.
In that case, this might be hinting at Jesus being betrayed by Judas.
or condemned to die by the Jews.

13:7-9 Shepherd Savior

:7 “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, Against the Man who is My Companion,” Says the Lord of hosts. “Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered; Then I will turn My hand against the little ones.

:7 Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd

We are now skipping backwards to the time of Jesus.

Jesus was “struck” at the decree of God.

It was in God’s plan.

:7 the Man who is My Companion

Jesus was God in human flesh.

He existed since eternity past as God’s “companion”.

:7 Strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered

We’ve talked about the subject of “prophetic telescoping” before – how prophecies can take hop, skips, and leaps through time without missing a beat.

We’ve just gone “back” to Zechariah’s future, but to our past.

Last week I mentioned that all of chapters 12-14 were in our future, all except one verse.

This verse was fulfilled in the life of Jesus.

On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus said,
(Matthew 26:31 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

Jesus quoted from Zechariah.

Jesus would be arrested, beaten, and crucified.

The disciples didn’t stick with Jesus.  They all scattered for a time.

(Matthew 26:56 NKJV) But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled.
(Matthew 26:67 NKJV) Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands,

:8 And it shall come to pass in all the land,” Says the Lord, “That two-thirds in it shall be cut off and die, But one-third shall be left in it:

:8 two-thirds in it shall be cut off

We believe that these last two verses jump back into our future, and speak of what will have happened during the Great Tribulation period.

The Tribulation is also known as the time of “Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7)

(Jeremiah 30:7 NKJV) Alas! For that day is great, So that none is like it; And it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, But he shall be saved out of it.
The primary focus of God during the time of the Tribulation will be the nation of Israel.

The Tribulation period is part of Daniel’s amazing prophecy of “seventy weeks”.

The prophecy is found in Daniel 9, and is specifically aimed at the Jewish people:
(Daniel 9:24 NKJV) “Seventy weeks are determined For your people and for your holy city, To finish the transgression, To make an end of sins, To make reconciliation for iniquity, To bring in everlasting righteousness, To seal up vision and prophecy, And to anoint the Most Holy.

Notice phrases like “finish the transgression” and “make an end of sins”.  Just like the cleansing we’ve been studying.

Daniel’s prophecy is wrapped around “seventy weeks”, or, seventy groups of seven years.
(For more details, look at the study in Daniel 9)
The first 69 “weeks” give the actual dating of the rebuilding of the Temple, and the coming of Messiah.

If you take Daniel’s starting date – the decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild the city of Jerusalem, and add 69 “weeks” of Jewish prophetic years, you will end up at the day when Jesus enters Jerusalem riding on a donkey, being hailed as the “Son of David”.

Daniel also records that after the 69 weeks, the Messiah would be cut off, and the city would be destroyed.

We also believe that God’s “timeclock” stops, and the 70th “week” of years doesn’t start until the Tribulation, when God once again begins to work on the nation of Israel.

During the Tribulation period, the antichrist is initially embraced by Israel as their “messiah”, until he shows his true nature in the middle of the Tribulation.

He will enter into a rebuilt Temple, and demand to be worshipped as God.
It’s at this point that Israel wakes up and realizes the antichrist is truly evil.
A great persecution of the Jews will follow, and the nation will flee into the wilderness, towards southern Jordan, where God will protect them. (Rev. 12:13-17)

(Revelation 12:13–17 NKJV) —13 Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14 But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. 15 So the serpent spewed water out of his mouth like a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away by the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed up the flood which the dragon had spewed out of his mouth. 17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

In Zechariah we find out that two-thirds of the Jews will be killed.

In 1939, there were 16.7 million Jews in the world, and Hitler killed 6 million.
Currently there are about 14 million Jews in the world today.
Over 7.5 million Jews live in Israel.
Currently there are over 7.5 million Jews living in Israel.
With today’s numbers, this would mean that almost 5 million Jews in Israel would die, and 2.5 million would survive.
The survivors will be the ones that will fulfill this verse:
(Romans 11:26 NKJV) And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

:9 I will bring the one-third through the fire, Will refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them. I will say, ‘This is My people’; And each one will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’ ”

:9 Will refine them

refinetsaraph – to smelt, refine, test

testbachan – to examine, try, prove


God’s refining process

Sometimes God’s allows difficulty in our lives for the sole purpose of refining us.
Refining is a process of removing the impurities from a metal.
God wants to work at removing the impurities in our lives.
Sometimes it’s great difficulty that causes us to see our need for Christ in the first place.
I know that more than a few of you came to Christ during one of the dark times in your life.
Sometimes it’s great difficulty that God will use to further refine us, helping us to remove the impurities in our lives.
New Jerusalem is made of pure gold
(Revelation 21:18 NKJV) The construction of its wall was of jasper; and the city was pure gold, like clear glass.
purekatharos – clean, pure; purified by fire

The word for “clear” is the same word.

Maybe John isn’t saying that the gold is refined to the point where it becomes clear, but saying that it is refined like glass is refined.

Glass is made mostly out of plain old sand that is heated to over 2000 degrees.

Peter wrote,
(1 Peter 1:6–7 NKJV) —6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,

When gold is dug out of the ground, it is initially melted in a “smelter”.

Video:  Excavating and Refining Gold

The process of smelting only results in gold that is 80% pure.  Most gold is further refined until it’s 99% pure.

That further refinement requires more heat, more melting, and removing even more impurities.

The refining of gold involves re-melting the metal, adding a few chemicals (like borax and soda ash), and this next melting process further separates the gold from other metals that may still be mixed in.

It seems the key to refining is heat.

Are you going through a hard time right now?

Are you seeing impurities come to the surface in your life?

Are you struggling with anger?  Impatience? Anxiety? Fear?

Recognize that these are the things God wants to refine out of your life.

Sometimes the refining comes through difficult people, even through scary people we might even call “wolves”.

Video: How Wolves Change Rivers

Do you have people in your life who are causing you great difficulty?

God can use the difficulty to refine you, even change the course of rivers – for the good.