About Jesus     Steve Sweetman

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ch. 13:1-6    ch. 13:7-9

Cleansing From Sin (ch. 13:1 - 6)

 

Throughout chapter 13 and 14 you will see the words "on that day."   These words can be understood in two ways.  It can mean a particular day, that is, a twenty four  hour day, or, it can mean a time period.  Most of the time in this chapter it means a period of time.  The question is then asked, "what period of time is being spoken of"?   It is clear to me it is the time period that is at the end of this present age in which we live.  The things referred to in these verses in connection with "that day" makes that pretty clear.  None of the things mentioned here in that day have happened in human history to date, at least not in the fullest sense of the word.    

 

In verse 1 we see the result of true repentance.  God says that a fountain will spring up for Israel and Jerusalem.  This fountain will wash away the sin and iniquity from Israel.  I would think this “fountain” is symbolic.  The fact of the matter is that Israel’s sin will be gone from the records and the Jews will be seen in God’s eyes as sinless. This will only take place through Israel's repentance when they see their Messiah coming to this earth.  There is no salvation without repentance.  

 

In verse 2 we see that in that day God will remove the idols and the false prophets from the land.  The word “land” refers to Israel.  No longer will there be idols and false prophets in Israel.  There may not be too many literal idols in the land of Israel right now, but Israeli people do have their idols.  Whatever one gives himself too can be an idol. 

 

Verse 3 may be disturbing to some.  It seems to suggest that there might still be the possibility for some  false prophets to exist in these days after Jesus removes the sin from Israel, that is, the thousand year rule of Jesus.  The verse goes as far to say that the parents of a false prophet will stab him to death.   What this means I am not sure as yet, but it does show us that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron as the book of Revelations says.  

 

The one thing we can say about this verse is that Jesus will rule with a rod of iron as stated in the book of Revelation.  He will judge, and His judgment is immediate, and not delayed. 

 

In verse 4 and 5 we see that these false prophets will be ashamed of themselves.  They admit that they aren’t really prophets but farmers.  So they go back to their real profession. 

 

Verse 6 says, "what are these wounds on your body?"   The question is raised, "whose body is being spoken of here?"  There have been two answers given to this question over the years.   Because of the context some say that it is the false prophets being spoken of here.  They've gotten wounds in the houses of their friends, even in the house of their parents as we've already seen.  Since the NIV does not separate verse 6 into an new paragraph, that suggests to me that this might be the interpretation of the translators.    Yet others say the body spoken of here is in reference to the wounds in the body of Jesus.  He too was wounded in the house of His friends, and He will have these wounds at that day, and all through eternity.  At the moment, I tend to think the body spoken of here are the bodies of the false prophets. 

 

If it is Jesus spoken of  in verse 6 it appears to me that the Jews at the end of this age will need to be taught the gospel.  They don’t know why Jesus had the wounds in His body.  This shows such a great misunderstanding on the part of the Jews at the time of the end.  They’re still looking for the King, as they were when Jesus was on earth.  They don’t expect their king to have such wounds in His body.  At this point they’ll finally know that the Jesus they once rejected really was their King and their Messiah.   

 

There's another way that some look at these verses.  They say that the false prophets does not dress like a prophet but like a farmer to disguise himself.  The wounds in his flesh might well be self inflicted or gotten by some other means.   This doesn't seem to be the best way to view this passage.  Whatever the case, there are a multitude of different view points on many of these Old Testament prophetic books.

 

The Shepherd Struck, The Sheep Scattered (ch. 13:7 - 9)

 

 As we move back and forth through history in Zechariah’s prophecies, we now move back to the time when Jesus was first on earth.  You will note that the phrase “in that day”, meaning the end of this age, does not appear here in verse 7.

 

God tells the sword to awake and go against the shepherd, “the man who is close to me.”  This is clearly in reference to Jesus being executed.  I’ve said it before, it wasn’t really the Jews, or the Romans that were behind the death of Jesus.  It was God Himself.  This is clear from Isaiah 53.  It is also clear from this verse.  God tells the sword to awake and go against Jesus.  God uses the Jews and the Romans in the process, but He is behind it all.

 

Also in verse 7 God says to “strike the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter.” God tells the sword to strike Jesus and He predicts with accuracy that the sheep will scatter, and that is exactly what took place after the arrest of Jesus in the garden.  Matt. 36:31 and following speaks of Jesus’ disciples being scattered, running from the Roman soldiers.

 

Yet I think these words go beyond the scattering of the disciples.  The next phrase says the hand of God will turn against the little ones.   I believe the little ones are in reference to Israel , as in the children of Israel.  Once Jesus was struck, Israel eventually was scattered throughout the known world in and around 70 A. D..

 

Verse 8 says that two thirds of the land will be struck down and perish, while one third will survive.  The land refers to Israel.  I see this as the final fulfillment of the dispersion of 70 A. D. which occurs at the end of this age.  Two thirds of Israel will not survive the Great Tribulation, but one third will.  The one third is most likely the remnant that Paul speaks of  in Romans 9 through 11.   When Paul says that "all Israel will be saved," he might well be saying that all Israel, that is, all who are left at the end of the Tribulation, will be saved.      

 

Yet in verse 9 we see the eventual outcome of this one third of the Jewish population.  After a long period of time of refining as with fire they will come around and recognize their God, and He will recognize them.  This takes place at the end of this age with the final repentance and restoration of the Jews.        

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