Daily Word

Strike the Shepherd | Zechariah 13:7-9 (ESV)

7 “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, against the man who stands next to me,” declares the LORD of hosts.
“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered; I will turn my hand against the little ones.
8 In the whole land, declares the LORD, two thirds shall be cut off and perish, and one third shall be left alive.
9 And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

Zechariah 13:7-9 (ESV)

Messiah is God

This is possibly the one OT passage that speaks the loudest about the divinity of the Messiah. “The ancient Hebrew word for My Companion is used in Leviticus 6:2 and 18:20 to mean a “near neighbor.” According to Baldwin, this describes someone who is more than a friend of the LORD; this Shepherd “dwells side by side with the Lord, His equal.” (Enduringword.org)

This is the reason I like the ESV and the wording they chose: “the man who stands next to me”. It makes it more clear that the “shepherd” is equal with God. And we know the shepherd is The Good Shepherd of Zechariah 11:4-8. 

Strike the Shepherd

Now we see God the Father, long beforehand, clearly prophesied, even more, planned to strike the Shepherd, His Son! Can you imagine this? Can you fathom this? “Oh, the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways!” (Romans 11:33 NASB) The death of Christ was indeed gruesome and physically painful. However, this actually cannot compare to the emotional and even spiritual pain suffered. Add to that, as we’re seeing here, the Father’s pain!

And why? Why would they subject themselves to this? Yes, for you, for me, for ALL mankind from ALL time – even those yet born. Beyond that, it’s for His glory – so all creation can see His love, grace and mercy toward man. 

Jewish restoration

We also get a repeat glimpse here of how God deals with His chosen people, Israel. They also will suffer – ⅔ will be killed and the remaining ⅓ will suffer greatly. The beauty is that in the end, they will be restored, “they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’”

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