Summary: After seeing the humble Messiah riding on a donkey the prophet's vision is directed to the victory that will follow and to the blessed results of the second coming. This Redeemer-King not only will deliver Zion and Israel but also to the entire earth.
ZECHARIAH 9: 10-17
THE MESSIAH AND HIS KINGDOM
"Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord." After seeing the humble Messiah riding on a donkey the prophet's vision is directed to the victory that will follow and to the blessed results of the second coming. This Redeemer-King not only will deliver Zion and Israel but also to the entire earth. The salvation of the captives and their defense is based on the blood covenant His has with them. The Messiah's coming as the Son of Man in glory is the only way to bring fulfillment to these prophecies of hope and deliverance.
I. THE COMING PRINCE OF PEACE, 10.
II. THE COMING DELIVERANCE, 11-12.
III. THE COMING VICTORY, 13-15.
IV. THE COMING CROWNS, 16-17.
Again we encounter a merging of what pertains to the first coming of Christ with what refers to His second coming. The humble King appeared in verse 9 but verse 10 and following do not describe anything that Jesus our Messiah did during His first coming. He certainly did not bring peace between the nations as predicted in verse 10 where the rule and reign of Messiah's Kingdom are described. When the lowly King comes again, He will inaugurate His rule by putting down warfare and strife. Then His dominion will be extended by peaceful methods, for the tools of war will be destroyed - Micah 5:10, 11; 4:37, Isaiah 2:4. The swords will be beaten into plows and spears into pruning hooks, there will be no reliance in earthly weapons possible. At last, total world disarmament and permanent world peace will come to the nations.
When we view two distant mountains at a distance they appear to be close together, perhaps even to touch each other. As we approach them, we can see that they are distinct, in fact far apart and even separated by a huge valley. This is the situation with many Old Testament prophecies. Verse 9 was clearly fulfilled in Christ's first coming, but verse 10 can now be seen to refer to His second coming. At that time all nations will be subject to Christ, and His rule will extend over the whole earth. In Philippians 2: 9-10, we are told that at that time every knee will bow to Christ and every tongue will confess Him as Lord.
I. THE COMING PRINCE OF PEACE, 10.
The LORD now speaks of what He will do through the Messiah at His second coming in verse 10. "And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war will be cut off. And He will speak peace to the nations; And His dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth."
The southern kingdom of Judah is represented by its capital, Jerusalem, and the northern kingdom of Israel by Ephraim, one of its principal tribes. Both are mentioned to indicate that the all Israel is reunited and involved in the LORD's blessing.
[Ephraim was Joseph's second son born in Egypt before the famine. Israel's first born by Leah was Reuben. Reuben by an act of personal moral defilement (Gen. 35:22) disqualified himself and did not inherit the birth right, it went to Joseph (1 Chron. 5:1-2), Rachel's first born.. Joseph's two sons Ephraim and Manasseh received the blessing with Ephraim getting the greater blessing (Gen. 48:8-22). They received a double portion in the Promised Land.]
Israel's Redeemer-King will come and bring peace to the nations. He shall "speak peace." Not command or demand peace but the power and authority of His spoken words will bring about internal and external peace. Those who know Him personally already have peace because He has removed the hostilities between man and God (Rom. 5:1) but this deep inner peace toward men with whom God is pleased was brought about at His first advent. During His second coming the true inner peace of surrender to the will of God in Christ Jesus will accomplish outward peace because outward conflict and strife is the result of inward restlessness and strife (Ps. 72).
The Prince of Peace's world dominion will mean for external peace for all, even for those who reject His inner rule and peace. His rule will extend from sea to sea, originally meant from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, but it became an expression for everywhere. "The river," when not in the context of Egypt, indicates the Euphrates (which was the eastward boundary of the Promised Land, Gen. 15:18, Ex. 23:31) where His holy land ends but His dominion will extend "to the ends of the earth."
He "cut off" the instruments of war from His people for they will not be like the heathen world powers who trusted military power (Isa. 20:7) but they will learn to trust in His watch care and protection.