Zech. 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

I have to admit that my first thoughts upon reading this verse were the words of an old hymn, “There is a fountain filled with blood drawn from Immanuel’s veins….  Though technically the same, I think the reference is to Jesus as the “fountain of living waters.”  When I did a word search for fountain, I found the following.

Jer. 2:13 For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.

 

Jer. 17:13 O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.

 

Rev. 21:6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

This chapter is following right on with the message of the previous chapter.  Jesus is returning as the Messiah King, and He will be the fountain of life that will provide the Jewish people forgiveness for their sin and make them spiritually clean. 

 

Zech. 13:2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

When Jesus the Messiah comes as the King of kings to establish His Kingdom, He will rule with a rod of iron. 

Rev. 19:15 And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he  should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

Rev. 19:16 And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

There will be no political correctness or tolerance of sin and evil.  There will be no democracy; it will be a theocracy.  (In my opinion, the only type of government that will ever act in the best interest of the people.)  Idols will not even be remembered in the presence of the King.  Never again will Israel have a need for prophets.  Those who are spiritually impure will be removed from the land. 

 

I think the focus of this prophecy is on Israel.  We know that during the millennial kingdom there will still be children born with a sin nature.  I believe that every child born to Israeli parents will accept Jesus as Lord. 

Rom. 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

Not all those born in other nations, however, will make that same choice.  How do I know that?  Because at the end of the 1000 year reign of Jesus as King, Satan will be loosed for a season and will be able to gather an army of followers that numbers “as the sand of the sea” (Revelation 20:8). 

 

Zech. 13:3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

Again, I believe this is in reference to Israel (but I guess it’s possible that this could apply to other families of believers).  If one delivers a message claiming to be a prophet of God, his believing parents will not hesitate to kill him for speaking lies in the name of the LORD.  This is in accordance with the law stated in Deuteronomy.

Deut. 13:6 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

Deut. 13:7 Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

Deut. 13:8 Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

Deut. 13:9 But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

(10/08) Prophets will no longer be necessary since the Lord will be on the throne speaking for Himself.

 

Zech. 13:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

Zech. 13:5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

These verses are a bit confusing.  It sounds as if there will still be those who experience visions; the Hebrew for visions states, “a revelation, expectation by dream:—vision.”  It also sounds as if when they share these visions, it will not be in such a way as to present themselves as prophets.  In fact, they will specifically deny being a prophet and will present themselves as farmers and/or shepherds.

 

I guess I can make a connection as a “new creation in Christ” yet still in a body of flesh, which will be the condition of those populating the Messiah’s Kingdom.  I still have thoughts and/or dreams that come to my mind that are troubling and over which I have no control. 

 

Zech. 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

This verse again appears to be speaking of the ones having visions.  Instead of being eager to share their dreams and revelations as coming from the Lord, it sounds as though they are quick to take action to rid themselves of these visions.  The mention of wounds is troubling, because there appears to be evidence of physical punishment connected to this action.  It makes me think of the self-punishment practiced by monks, because these “prophets” will consider these wounds as a good thing.

 

I admit—I need enlightenment on this section.  As I looked at a couple of commentaries, I found this explanation in the NIV Commentary.

Apparently the accuser suspects that the false prophet’s wounds were self-inflicted to arouse his prophetic ecstasy in idolatrous rites (as in 1Ki 18:28).

 

1Kings 18:27 And it came to pass at noon, that Elijah mocked them, and said, Cry aloud: for he is a god; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepeth, and must be awaked.

1Kings 18:28 And they cried aloud, and cut themselves after their manner with knives and lancets, till the blood gushed out upon them.

So, it could be that these Kingdom Age “prophets” will just be trying to hide their identity as such due to the Messiah’s iron rule.

 

Zech. 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

Another hard verse.  Jesus quoted this verse and applied it to Himself according to Matthew.

Matt. 26:31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.

Jesus was referencing that His death would cause His followers to scatter—1) in fear of the ruling authorities and 2) in order to spread the gospel message. 

 

Point is made in this verse in Zechariah that YHWH is calling forth judgment against “my” [his] shepherd and “my” fellow (associate, companion, kin).  There is no closer companionship than that between Father, Son and Spirit in the triune God.  Why would God call forth judgment against His Son?  To satisfy the judgment required by my sin.

Is. 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

Is. 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

Is. 53:10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

Is. 53:11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

 

“I will turn my hand….” – I think you have to take this statement in context with the following verses.  Most of the translations state that God is turning His hand against the little ones.  Considering the fact that 2/3 of the flock is going to die that is a reasonable translation.  There is also the truth that God preserves 1/3 of the flock.  Not only does He preserve them; He refines them, purifies them, and restores them to fellowship with Him.  This is an act of His love and faithfulness. 

 

I know the main application is to Israel, so I would assume that the scattered flock also makes reference to the people of Israel as well.  By rejecting the Messiah, they assured their judgment; and the dispersion was part of that judgment.  I couldn’t help but wonder if there was not also application to be made to the “church,” which is part of true Israel as defined by Paul.  (See journal on Romans 9-11.)  Jesus taught in the gospels in the parables about the kingdom of heaven that the tares were to be allowed to grow with the wheat and that evil birds would lodge in the abnormally large mustard bush that actually grew to the size of a tree.  Could there also be reference to the true church that would be preserved, refined and purified after the tares and evil birds [professors but not possessors] are removed?

 

Zech. 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.

Zech. 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.

I think the main application of this verse is to the people of Israel that experience the 70th week of Daniel.  I believe God is saying that fully 1/3 of the Jewish people will emerge through that terrible period to become that generation that experiences the New Covenant of grace.  This is the time that God will refine them as silver--to the point that He can see His reflection in them.  I learned this truth in my study of Isaiah 48.

            Malachi 3:3 says: "He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver."

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.  That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining silver.  As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.  The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot then she thought again about the verse that says: "He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver." She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.  The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, "How do you know when the silver is fully refined?"  He smiled at her and answered, "Oh, that's easy - when I see my image in it."

So I decided to do a search to determine how gold was tested and found the following at www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/roadshow/tips/gold_diamonds/index.html.

"You've heard the expression, 'Give it the acid test,'" Barry says. "Well this is literally giving gold the acid test." The process begins by rubbing some of the metal from the jewelry against a slate (or sometimes a special piece of glass). "It scrapes off the gold like chalk on a board," Barry says, yet so little gold rubs off that it doesn't damage the jewelry.  Then, acid is poured on the metal residue that was rubbed onto the slate…. "It's dangerous," Barry says. "The acid can damage your clothing and your skin."….If the metal rubbed onto the slate completely disappears under the acid, the piece is not gold.

I would assume that the acid could be compared to the trials of faith that these Jewish believers will endure through the terrible tribulation of that 70th week.  It they emerge with their faith intact, they will have been tested as gold.  I couldn’t help but think of these verses in 1John in connection with this thought.

1John 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1John 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

1John 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

The last part of verse 9 is a glorious promise.  In contrast to so much of their existence, the people of Israel will call on YHWH as their LORD God.  They will love Him and obey Him.  He will delight to hear them, in direct contrast to their time of rebellion and rejection when He refused to hear them.  He will delight in responding to their call.