So, this chapter began with an acknowledgement that at some time in the future, the eyes of everyone would be toward the Lord.
And then in verse 8 the Lord ends that verse with this enigmatic statement, “For now have I seen with my eyes…”
Well, what has he seen? What has the Lord looked down the hallway of time to see as he’s giving Zechariah this prophecy?
It’s the very one whose eyes all will be turned toward in some future day. The Lord looks forward to the coming of… the Lord. Verse 9.
KJV Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
shout, O daughter of Jerusalem:
behold, thy King cometh unto thee:
he is [just/legitimate], and [having salvation/victorious];
[lowly/humble/gentle/meek], and [riding upon an/mounted on a] [ass/donkey],
and upon a [colt/young donkey] the foal of [an ass/a female donkey].
So, the inhabitants of Zion / Jerusalem are commanded to rejoice greatly and to shout for joy. Why?
Because their king is coming! And he’s coming to them.
We saw in the first 8 verses of this chapter that there was going to be a king of another nation – Greece – that was going to swoop down and destroy a number of other cities north of Israel and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
But what about poor Israel? What would they do as Alexander the Great was destroying all around them?
Well, the Lord promised in this chapter to protect his house – to encamp about it. And that eventually no oppressor would pass through their land anymore.
And that will happen someday. But it didn’t happen in Zechariah’s time. And it won’t happen until the Millennium. But something else had to happen first. Their king had to come to them the first time.
And we saw in this passage how he would come that first time. In some ways, the King of the Jews was prophesied to come as you would expect a king to come – “just” or “legitimate” even. And he has “salvation” or he’s “victorious” – he’s ready to deliver his oppressed people. And of course as this refers to Jesus Christ, he literally had salvation – not just military salvation or deliverance for his people – but spiritual salvation – his ability to save people from sin. There’s no other king like that!
And yet the coming of this king is also unique for its lowliness and unassuming nature. The King of the Jews is prophesied here to come lowly or humble or meek or gentle. Now, I think that you would recognize that this is not the typical posture of a king. No – earthly kings have something to prove. And so, they amass strength of every sort to themselves as they present themselves to their people.
Think of military marches where the entire strength of a ruler’s military is on display. Think of the gusto of our president as he speaks such large swelling words about America’s power. Think of the threats of one nation against another and the strength that those missives are aiming to portray. It’s all about strength. They all have something to prove.
But Jesus Christ has nothing to prove. He doesn’t need to impress people with appearance. He doesn’t need to make a show of his strength. He is strength. He is power. He’s almighty!
And remember that this verse is given in the context God protecting his house from invading armies – this army from Greece in particular that we’re going to hear about in a few verses.
But it’s interesting that Greece’s army under Alexander the Great and Jesus’ coming were several hundred years apart. And yet, this is how biblical prophecy sometimes works. You have a section of texts with no apparent break – but in that section you could have events hundreds or even thousands of years apart.
But the idea is that these people the Jews are going to be in danger until their king comes – and here’s the key – until they receive that king.
We see Jesus doing this very thing in the Gospels. He comes into Jerusalem on a donkey. The message to those people couldn’t have been clearer. This is your king! And in fact, the Jews understood this to be what Jesus was indicating. They cried “Hosanna to the Son of David!” They knew what Jesus was claiming and some of them rejoiced.
But overall, they rejected their king. Their leaders – just like Adam so long ago who was the head and leader of the human race – these folks sinned against the Lord. They rejected their humble, lowly savior. And that’s why to this day they are in danger.
But a time is coming – as we’re told later in this very book – where these folks who have pierced their saving king will look on him and mourn their actions.
And at that point, the activities of verse 10 will commence.