I Will Bring Them Back

These last prophecies from Zechariah describe the end times. It is a hard message to read, but how much harder for sin to continue unchecked. The Lord will bring his people back (Zechariah 10:6-12) but it is in preparation for the fall of humankind. This fall is because of the failure of shepherds who sell the flock for gain to those who devour the flock. The Lord says he will remove three shepherds which I understand to be prophets, priests, and kings. The prophet who speaks God’s word. The priests who are to lead us to righteousness. The Kings who represent fair and just government. Then he says he will break the staff, the instrument used by the shepherd to guide the sheep, he will break the staff of kindness which we might call civility, the social contract of fair treatment will be broken “and they will devastate the land”. Zechariah ends with all nations coming against Judah and Jerusalem and Jesus Christ reveals himself to “the house of David and … the inhabitants of Jerusalem” then steps on the Mount of Olives and takes his place as King of all the earth.

Ask Rain From Yahweh

Zechariah 10:1–5
There is a time of judgement coming. God had told them that He would provide Prophets that would speak for Him. And He was able to speak to people directly through dreams and visions as He did to Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2. Now though, the people had fallen away from their connection with God substituting idols, and diviners, and dreamers. During this time “Teraphim were household gods (Gen. 31:19), used in the Judges’ period for divination (Judg. 17:5; 18:5), condemned by the time of Saul (1 Sam. 15:23), but still in use in the eighth century (Hos. 3:4). Diviners interpreted omens as a means of foretelling the future, but in Israel they were banned, together with a whole list of dubious practitioners, whom the prophets were to replace (Deut. 18:10ff.)”.1

God says in Zechariah 10:2-3 “the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted because there is no shepherd. 3 My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders”.

He also says in Zechariah 10:3-5 “Yahweh of hosts watches over his flock, the house of Judah; and he will make them (Judah) like his majestic horse in war … And they will be like warriors”.

I Will Bring Them Back

Zechariah 10:6–12
To the house of Judah, the Lord says: I will strengthen, I will save, I will bring them back, I will answer them, I will whistle to them and gather them.

Zechariah 10:10 (LEB) And I will bring them back from the land of Egypt, and from Assyria I will gather them. To the land of Gilead and Lebanon I will bring them, until no room will be found for them there.

Though some returned from Babylon, is still to be fulfilled “The distinct mention of both Judah and Israel shows that there is yet a more complete restoration than that from Babylon, when Judah alone and a few Israelites from the other tribes returned”.2 

Shepherd the Flock Doomed to Slaughter

Zechariah 11:1–8
There was great abundance, beauty, provision, and this area was known “The agricultural abundance of the Beqaʿ is mentioned in Ps 72:16, where hope is expressed that the reign of a good king will cause crops to flourish like those of Lebanon”.3

but it is destroyed. This marks the end of civility. The shepherds have given up their flocks for gain to those that will devour them. And humankind falls as it says in

Zechariah 11:6 (LEB) For I will no longer have compassion on the inhabitants of the land,” declares Yahweh. “Look, I am going to cause humankind to fall, each into the hand of his neighbor, and into the hand of his king; and they will devastate the land, and I will not deliver anyone from their hand.”

Then in Zechariah 11:8 the Lord “got rid of three shepherds in one month”, as described in one commentary, “Messiah, the Antitype, was at once prophet, priest, and king, so He by the destruction of the Jewish polity destroyed these three orders for the unbelief of both the rulers and people [MOORE]. If they had accepted Messiah, they would have had all three combined in Him, and would have been themselves spiritually prophets, priests, and kings to God”.4 

Thirty Silver Shekels

Zechariah 11:9–17
God is lifting his hand as shepherd in Zechariah 11:9. And in

Zechariah 11:10 And I took my staff Kindness and broke it, to break my covenant that I had made with all the peoples.

We must understand that “A “covenant” is an agreement enacted between two parties in which one or both make promises under oath to perform or refrain from certain actions stipulated in advance”.5

Did you ever wonder why even unsaved people can be kind? God is talking about a shepherds staff, used to correct and bring the strays back into the fold. The context here is all of humankind. There has been a covenant, a work spoken by God that is over all humankind, kindness. Which is also defined as “the concept of that which is acceptable and favorable to one”.6 But a covenant is enacted between two. It is not just God being kind to us, it is also us willing to be kind to each other.

Here, Zechariah makes a reference to the thirty pieces of silver paid for the betrayal of Jesus. Zechariah was a prophet, and this is a prophetic word written some four hundred years before the event. But God knew Jesus would be rejected, betrayed, sold for money.

Now, another staff is broken in

Zechariah 11:14 Then I broke my second staff Unity to break the family ties between Judah and Israel.

David, and his descendants were of the tribe of Judah, “The ten northern tribes of Israel who rejected the rule of Solomon’s successor Rehoboam and formed a separate kingdom under Jeroboam son of Nebat around 922 BC. This kingdom was known as Israel (and Ephraim in some poetic literature) while the southern kingdom was known as Judah. The northern kingdom was conquered and absorbed by the Assyrians in 722 BC”.7

God is separating the foolish leaders, the foolish shepherds, “The foolish shepherd is a priest who does not counsel his flock with the knowledge of spiritual perfection. Christ the true shepherd brings the entire people of God—flock (laity) and shepherds (clergy)—spotless before God (GREGORY OF NAZIANZUS)”8

It is difficult for us to understand the guiding principle for civility that is represented here. For us, for me as Western born United States citizen, this statement is true, “covenant-based relationships in the West have become almost obsolete, the fragile institution of marriage remaining the most noteworthy vestige of such relationships. Thus, one legitimate issue in the study of biblical covenant must be the extent to which modern and Western students of the Bible can conceive and imagine relationships built upon little more than promises reliably made and honorably kept”.9

Nations in the Siege Against Judah and Jerusalem

Zechariah 12:1–7
Again in Zechariah 12:1 the context is humankind and this is still unfulfilled prophecy of the end times. Judah will stand as defender of Jerusalem as all nations come to fight.

Zechariah 12:2–3 (LEB) ‘Look, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup of reeling for all the surrounding nations; it will also be against Judah in the siege against Jerusalem. 3 And then on that day I will make Jerusalem a stone weight for all the peoples. All those lifting it up will grievously hurt themselves, and all the nations of the earth will assemble against it.

And in Zechariah 12:7 “Judah first” because Jesus, Revelation 5:5 “the lion of the tribe of Judah”, will have the preeminence. 

Yahweh Will Shield Inhabitants of Jerusalem

Zechariah 12:8–14
As all nations seek to destroy Jerusalem, in Zechariah 12:8-9 “Yahweh will put a shield around the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and … will seek to destroy all the nations coming against Jerusalem”. And it is on this day, the veil will be lifted and they will see Jesus Christ, their Messiah and it will be a grievous day of mourning as it says in

Zechariah 12:10 (LEB) “ ‘I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look to me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn over him, as one wails over an only child, and they will grieve bitterly over him as one grieves bitterly over a firstborn.

2 Corinthians 3:14–16 (LEB) But their minds were hardened. For until this very day, the same veil remains upon the reading of the old covenant, not being uncovered, because it is done away with in Christ. 15 But until today, whenever Moses is read aloud, a veil lies upon their heart, 16 but whenever one turns to the Lord, the veil is removed.

A Well Will Be Opened

Zechariah 13:1–9
“On that day” as it says in Zechariah 13:1, the day they recognize Jesus Christ as their Messiah, the way will be open “to cleanse them from sin and from impurity”. And “the remaining third” in Zechariah 13:9 “will say, ‘Yahweh is my God'”.

Yahweh my God Will Come

Zechariah 14:1–11
Jerusalem will be captured in Zechariah 14:2. Then Jesus Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives and in Zechariah 14:4 it will “split in half”. From then on, in Zechariah 14:8 “living waters will flow out from Jerusalem and in Zechariah 14:9 “Yahweh will be king over all the earth”.

Worship the King, Yahweh of Hosts

Zechariah 14:12–21
The armies that come against Jerusalem will be destroyed by plague, in Zechariah 14:12-13,15 and “great panic … the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of another”.

Zechariah 14:16 (LEB) And then every survivor from all those nations coming against Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the king, Yahweh of hosts, and celebrate the Feast of Booths.

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Zechariah 10:1-12
  • Zechariah 11:1-17
  • Zechariah 12:1-14
  • Zechariah 13:1-9
  • Zechariah 14:1-21

Operation Exodus

is helping Jewish people return to their homeland. You might fund one that desires to go home. http://operationexodususa.org/Overview

Return to Israel – Ezra

We often read one book of the Bible at a time and that is easier for everyone to follow. The order of our readings, beginning with Ezra, are from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible because the return from Babylonian exile includes Haggai, Zechariah, Nehemiah, Esther, a few Psalms, and other connections. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much better context and helps us understand the move of God as He is reestablishing His people. Review the whole series beginning with Go Up To Jerusalem.


  • 1. Baldwin, J. G. (1972). Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: An Introduction and Commentary (Vol. 28, p. 184). Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • 2. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 729). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • 3. Smith, R. H. (1992). Lebanon. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 4, p. 269). New York: Doubleday.
  • 4. Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 1, p. 731). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • 5. Mendenhall, G. E., & Herion, G. A. (1992). Covenant. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 1, p. 1179). New York: Doubleday.
  • 6. Swanson, J. (1997). Dictionary of Biblical Languages with Semantic Domains : Hebrew (Old Testament) (electronic ed.). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
  • 7. Mangum, D. (2014). The Lexham Glossary of Theology. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
  • 8. Ferreiro, A. (Ed.). (2003). The Twelve Prophets. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press.
  • 9. Mendenhall, G. E., & Herion, G. A. (1992). Covenant. In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 1, p. 1179). New York: Doubleday.