Zechariah 9 Summary Handout

Zechariah 9. Judgment on nations; deliverance of Israel.


First burden oracle: Yahweh God will defeat even the most powerful nations, and He will protect Israel when He chooses to do so; and though nations continue to battle, Messiah King will come first on a donkey and later He will come as a victorious king, save Israel,  and rule all nations.

This chapter looks at history from Zechariah’s time through selected events that climax with the second advent victory and kingdom blessing.


  1. Zechariah 9.1-8. The LORD judges the nations around Israel.
  2. Zechariah 9.9. The LORD King comes to earth the first time.
  3. Zechariah 9.10-17. The LORD King comes to earth the second time.

Summary explanation of each section

  1. Zechariah 9.1-8. The LORD judges the nations around Israel.
    1. Zechariah 9.1-6. The LORD gave a prophecy of judgment through Zechariah that attracted the attention of especially Israel as they watched what the LORD would do. The burden was against Hadrach (Hatarikka in the Assyrian inscriptions), the city and region in northern Syria on the Orontes River, against which Assyria fought in the 700s BC. Damascus was the capital of Aram, now modern Syria.  Hamath was about 120 miles north of Damascus on the Orontes River.  Tyre was an important and prosperous ancient pagan city on the Mediterranean coast, possibly founded around 2750 BC (LBD), whose King Hiram knew both David and Solomon and from whom David and Solomon got materials for the palace and temple. Tyre battled with Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, and finally the Romans. Alexander built a causeway to the island city and defeated it. Sidon was a well known ancient and prosperous city on the Mediterranean coast north of Tyre. Solomon got wood for his temple from Sidon and Tyre, and also married idolatrous wives from Sidon. The other Philistine cities, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod all will tremble with fear at the judgment on these cities. The LORD will judge these Philistine cities.
    2. Zechariah 9.7-8. The LORD will take away the Philistines idolatry. They will become a believing remnant like Judah and like the Jebusites. Jebus was an ancient enemy of Israel which David finally conquered and the people absorbed into Israel. He built his palace on Jebus, later named Jerusalem.
    3. When did these events happen? They have not all happened yet. The prophet may be seeing events that will partially occur in the next few centuries and they foreshadow the momentous events that will occur along with Messiah Jesus’ return to set up his kingdom.
  2. Zechariah 9.9-10. The LORD King, who will bring about salvation, peace, and world-wide rule, comes to earth at two different times and with two different missions. The people will rejoice. Recall Isaac Watts’ “Joy to the world, the Lord has come.”
    1. Zechariah 9.9. The king comes to Jerusalem riding a foal of a donkey offering salvation. This is a prophecy of Jesus’ first coming to earth (Matthew 1.21; 21.4-5; John 12.13-15; Isaiah 9.6). He comes. He is a king. He has salvation. He is humble. He rides a foal of a donkey.
      1. Your king is coming to you (all Israel).
      2. The king’s character. Just and endowed with salvation (Hebrew passive, God the Father has given him the right and power to save), humble.
    2. Zechariah 9.10. He will, by military force, make peace and rule the earth.
      1. Cut off chariot from Ephraim (north) and the horse from Jerusalem (south).
      2. Cut off the bow of war.
      3. Speak peace to the nations (goim, not just Israel).
      4. His dominion, his kingdom will be world-wide.
  3. Zechariah 9.11-17. The LORD King will free the prisoners (Israel) when he comes to earth the second time. This is because the LORD has promised.
    1. Zechariah 9.11-12 continues and explains the previous verses. The blood of the covenant with you may go back to Exodus 24.8, but that relates to the Mosaic law. In this context this probably goes back to the covenant with Abraham in Genesis 15. Also see Mark 14.24 and Hebrews 13.20. The prisoners were likely the returnees from Babylon. They return to Judah with hope for the LORD’s intervention. Then the great promise of double blessing in the future kingdom period.
    2. Zechariah 9.13-15 describe the LORD’S victory over Israel’s enemies before his second coming. The prophet may be using the coming troubles during the following years (Persia, Greece, Syria) as a pattern for or foreshadow of the LORD’S final war against the enemies of Israel associated with the second coming of Christ—complete victory and celebration.
    3. Zechariah 9.16-17. The LORD will save them (Israel, Ephraim and Judah) from the attacking enemies. They are his flock, stones in his crown, sparkling in his land. Prosperity will be theirs. This, of course refers to the future Millennial Kingdom in which Christ is King.

So what? Application

  1. The LORD really is the King over all history—all events and nations.
  2. Zechariah prophesied that Jesus would enter Jerusalem 550 years before it happened.
  3. The LORD will fulfill his covenant for blessing to Israel that began with Abraham.
  4. There will be a coming kingdom ruled by Jesus Christ. At that time Israel will be restored, there will be peace, and there will be prosperity.