Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Savior Shall Reign Prosperously!

"Thus says the Lord of hosts: Peoples shall yet come, even the inhabitants of many cities. The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying, 'Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the Lord of hosts; I myself am going.' Many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the Lord. Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying, 'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.'"
- Zechariah 8:20-23

I am fascinated here by the parallel with the Apostle Paul, in Romans 11. Zechariah here prophesies a time of the prosperity of the Gospel among the Gentiles, and predicts that this time will be a great blessing to the Jews. In contrast, Paul in Romans 11:25-26 ("a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And in this way all Israel will be saved...") prophesies a Gospel revival among the Jews, and predicts that that time will be a great blessing to the Gentiles. Thus it appears that the two passages are describing the same event, but one from a Jewish perspective and the other from a Gentile perspective.

"Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is He,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and He shall speak peace to the nations;
His rule 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 My covenant with you,
I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit."
- Zechariah 9:8-11

A couple of direct quotes connect this passage to Christ. Riding on the foal of a donkey is quoted in Matthew 21:5, when Jesus does literally that. And Jesus also refers to the blood of the covenant, that is, His own blood, in the institution of the Lord's Supper, in Matthew 26:28. Thus, Zechariah now prophesies the benefits of the coming Redeemer for both Gentiles and Jews, combining the Jewish emphasis of Zechariah with the Gentile emphasis of Paul. The two kindreds together shall experience the blessings of the reign of King Jesus!

Jonathon Edwards used this same passage as the basis of his famous Humble Attempt.

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