Today we will complete the book of Zechariah. These final chapters are all one oracle about the salvation of God’s people and the judgment of the wicked. God begins by pointing out that He created everything, including life in man (12:1). He then says that He will make His people “a cup of staggering” (v. 2) – used as a picture of the means of judgment (see Isa 51:17, Jer 25:15-16). The second half of the verses should read: “when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.” At this point in history, the siege of Jerusalem has already taken place. This points to the spiritual battle between God’s people and the wicked (spiritual Babylon).
Yet God will give His people the victory, ultimately (v. 3 – see Rev 20:7-10). On that day (the Second Coming) God will act on behalf of His people, and everyone will know it (vv. 4-5). And God will provide salvation for all of His people (v. 7). Note in verse 8 that the house of David (David’s offspring – here pointing to Christ) will be like God, and like the Angel of the Lord going before His people. This is a pointer to the deity of Christ, but also a pointer back to show that the Angel of YHWH is Christ. It is He that is our strength.
In verse 10, we see that the house of David (the church in Christ) and the inhabitants of Jerusalem (a picture of the church) will receive grace and mercy from the One Whom they have pierced. Remember, this is YHWH talking! He is the One Who will be pierced. By Whom? By the church. In other words, Christ died only for the elect. Our sins alone put Him on the cross.
The mourning in verses 11-14 is difficult to understand. Many commentators interpret this to mean that on our day of salvation, in addition to our great rejoicing (see 2:10), we will mourn over those being judged. Some say this is the mourning over the realization of what we did to our God (Whom we put on the cross). Hadad-rimmon is the Aramean storm god, whose worship included ritual mourning rites. The house of David may represent the kingly line, that of Nathan the prophetic line, and that of Levi/Shimei the priestly line, picturing the combined office of Prophet, Priest, and King in Christ. This may point to a healthy mourning over sin (see Matt 5:4).
Chapter 13 begins with the salvation of the elect. This is the grace and mercy that wipes away our sins which were put on Christ Who was pierced for us (13:1). On the same day that our salvation is completed, the final judgment of the wicked will occur (v. 2). In particular, false prophets are in view here (vv. 3-6). The hairy cloak in verse 5 was the garb of Elijah (2 Kings 1:8) and would yet be the garb of John the Baptist (Matt 3:4). The wounds literally “between your hands” refers to the ritual cutting of the arms and chest by false prophets (see 1 Kings 18:28). These are those who teach any false religion.
In verse 7, the Shepherd is Christ. Jesus cites His disciples imminent abandonment of Him as the fulfillment of this scattering of sheep (see Matt 26:31, Mk 14:27). The one-third who live point to a finite portion of those who are saved through Christ (v. 8), and who are sanctified and can call God theirs, and who He calls His own (v 9 – see 8:8).
Chapter 14 speaks of the Second Coming. We see the final battle against Jerusalem (14:2 – see 12:3, Rev 20:7-10). The half of the city that goes into exile points to the great apostacy that will occur right before the Second Coming (see 2 Thess 2:3). In verse 3, we see the return of the Divine Warrior in judgment. The valley that is created is the Valley of YHWH’s Judgment (vv. 4-5 – see Joel 3:2). The final judgment is often pictured as being accompanied by a great earthquake (see Isa 64:1, Joel 3:16, Rev 6:12, 8:5. 11:19, 16:18). We also see that the host of heaven and the saints return with Christ in judgment (see Rev 19:11-14).
In verse 6 and 7 we see pictured a singular, unique day where the creation is undone. We see the rivers of living waters that will flow continually that picture the New Heaven and the New Earth (v. 8 – see Ezek 47:1-12, Rev 22:1-3). This is when YHWH will physically rule over His creation (v. 9). Verse 10-11 picture our eternity. God then speaks of the judgment (v. 12). The reaction to the obvious and immanent return of Christ in verse 13 is what Christ describes in Matt 24:30. Judah and Jerusalem are God’s people (v. 14). We will inherit the earth.
Verse 16 speak of the time between Christ’s two comings – from the inauguration of the last days at His First Coming to the consummation at His Second Coming. The Feast of Booths (v. 16) commemorated God’s people wanderings in the wilderness. Those of us who are not under judgment – who worship the King – are sojourners in this world. Those who do not worship Him do not receive the blessings of God, but the curses (vv. 17-19). Egypt is a picture of the world, the oppressors of God’s people.
The final verses picture our life in this world. Everything – not just certain vessels, not just animals chosen for sacrifice – everything we have is to be Holy to YHWH (vv. 20-21 – see Rom 12:1). “Holy to YHWH” was what the priest wore on his head (Ex 28:36). This is what marks us as followers of Christ – our holiness unto Him is evident for all to see (see Rev 7:3). Among the true people of God, there is no Canaanite (translated “trader” in some versions). This, too, points to our purity or holiness.