Study Guide

The Twelve Minor Prophets Zechariah Chapters 9-11

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Zechariah Chapters 9-11

Fight Club

  • The first of the two bonus oracles begins with a poem about God as a conquering warrior with some serious swagger. But Babylon is toast, so who is he fighting?
  • Chapter 9 opens with God swearing to destroy all the nations around Judah, even the wealthy and powerful ones like Tyre.
  • Then a king will arrive for Judah:
  • “Lo, your king comes to you; triumphant and victorious is he, humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” (NRSV 9:9) Christians see this as a prophecy of Palm Sunday, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. Other scholars point out that in context this is about the restoration of Judah.
  • The nations will all surrender to this new king. Judah will be twice as good as it was before.
  • Judah will become a powerful warrior and it will be as if God had never disowned them.
  • All the exiles will be gathered in, and bye-bye Egypt, Assyria, and everyone else.
  • Then comes the swerve: a two-chapter screed condemning Judah’s unfaithful leaders for leading God’s people astray.
  • Using sheep and shepherds as very confusing metaphors, Zechariah describes two shepherds trying to deal with the flock (Judeans).
  • In one symbolic incident, Zechariah pretends that he’s a priest selling God’s people for the price of a slave, thirty silver shekels, which he tosses into the temple coffers.
  • (The New Testament book of Matthew says that this is fulfilled in by Judas Iscariot, who just so happens to sell Jesus for the same price. This is the prophecy mistakenly attributed to Jeremiah, which at the very least proves that Minor Prophets are the Rodney Dangerfield) of the Bible.
  • Clearly, all’s not well in the House of Israel.

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