The Four Types of Messianic Prophecy
Now, before we get into Zechariah 9:9-10, I need to review the fact that this prophecy is a Blend Prophecy. A Blend Prophecy? I’m sure some of you are thinking, “what is a blend prophecy?” What I’m referring to is the fact that there are four types of Messianic Prophecies in the Bible.
The first type of Messianic prophecy is called a First Coming Prophecy. A First Coming Prophecy deals only with the events of the First Coming and nothing more. An example would be Micah 5:2.
The second type of Messianic prophecy is called a Second Coming Prophecy. A Second Coming Prophecy deals only with the events of the Second Coming and nothing more. An example of this kind of Messianic Prophecy would be Isaiah 63:1-6.
A third type of Messianic prophecy is called a Complete Career Prophecy. A Complete Career Prophecy covers all aspects of the Messiah’s career. A Complete Career Prophecy would cover aspects of the First Coming, then the interval between the First and Second Coming, then it would touch on the Second Coming and it would finally tell us something about the Messianic Kingdom. An example of a Complete Career Prophecy would be Psalm 110.
The final type of prophecy is what we have here in Zechariah 9:9-10 – a Blend Prophecy. A Blend Prophecy covers events related to the First and Second Coming of Yeshua. However, it blends the two comings together in such a way that the interval between the First and Second Coming is not readily apparent.
With this background, let’s go ahead and read Zechariah 9:9-10. We’ll start with Zechariah 9:1-8.
Historical Background – Zechariah 9:1-8
The burden of the word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrach, with Damascus as its resting place (for the eyes of men, especially of all the tribes of Israel, are toward the Lord), and Hamath also, which borders on it; Tyre and Sidon, though they are very wise. For Tyre built herself a fortress and piled up silver like dust, and gold like the mire of the streets. Behold, the Lord will dispossess her and cast her wealth into the sea; and she will be consumed with fire. Ashkelon will see it and be afraid. Gaza too will writhe in great pain; also Ekron, for her expectation has been confounded. Moreover, the king will perish from Gaza, and Ashkelon will not be inhabited. And a mongrel race will dwell in Ashdod, and I will cut off the pride of the Philistines. And I will remove their blood from their mouth, and their detestable things from between their teeth. Then they also will be a remnant for our God, and be like a clan in Judah, and Ekron like a Jebusite. But I will camp around My house because of an army, because of him who passes by and returns; and no oppressor will pass over them anymore, for now I have seen with My eyes.
Verses 1-8 contain the historical background of Zechariah 9:9-10. In verses 1-8, Zechariah predicts the invasion of the land by a Gentile king. This invasion occurred during the days of Alexander the Great. Alexander reached Jerusalem but spared the city and temple, which is the point of verse 8. Verses 1-8 refer to Alexander’s invasion into the Middle East and his approach to Jerusalem. But in contrast to the Greek Gentile king, we come to verse 9 which speaks of a Jewish king who will come to the same city.
Zechariah 9:9-10 is a Blend Prophecy. The First Coming is mentioned in verse 9 when the Messiah/King comes to Jerusalem the first time. The Second Coming of the Messiah/King to Jerusalem is found in verse 10.
Let’s read verse 9.
The Humility of the Messiah – Zechariah 9:9
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, humble, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9 highlights the humility of the Messiah. First of all, Zechariah states, “Your king is coming.” Not Alexander the Great, not a Gentile king, but Your king. His coming to Jerusalem is an occasion for great rejoicing.
Zechariah continues by stating that He is just and endowed with salvation. He possesses two resources that will enable Him to rule properly.
He’s personally righteous in character, and thus, He’s fit to rule. In God’s eyes – character counts in a ruler. Character may not count in modern politics, but it counts with God.
He’s the possessor of God’s saving power.
He’s offering salvation, not oppression. He’s very different in character from Alexander. Zechariah continues to describe him as humble and mounted on a donkey. More particularly, this word donkey means a young animal which has never before been ridden, but which still follows its mother around.
In Zechariah’s day, royal dignity called for chariots and horses, so the Messiah’s appearance on this young donkey is strikingly lowly.
The choice of a donkey over a horse speaks to the peaceful character of His approach. Horses were associated with military strength. One could compare riding on a horse to parading, either in a chariot, or in modern terms, in a bullet-proof limousine.
The Glory of the Messiah – Zechariah 9:10
As we move to verse 10, we jump from the first coming of the Messiah in the first century, to the Second Coming of the Messiah in the far future. Between the coming of verse 9 and the coming of verse 10 lies the two thousand years of the church age, the age of grace, which was completely unforeseen by the prophet.
The church age was a mystery unrevealed in the Hebrew Scriptures. In true prophetic fashion, the prophet blends the two comings of the Messiah together. It takes the New Testament’s perspectives to separate them.
At this point, we jump at least 2,000 years ahead on the time line, the Second Coming is radically different than the first.
And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem; and the bow of war will be cut off.
In the first half of the verse, we encounter the first effect of the Messianic age. The first result of the Messianic Age will be the destruction of all implements of war.
God says, “I will cut off the chariot.” The chariot was the equivalent of Israel’s modern Merkava tank. The chariot was a major piece of military equipment. All weapons of war and all military equipment will be banished from the land in the coming reign of peace (cf. Hos. 2:20, Mic. 5:9). His mention of Ephraim directs our attention to the Northern Kingdom. This Kingdom was destroyed by the Assyrians in 722 BC.
But now the prophet pictures the tribes of the Northern Kingdom as restored to their homes and enjoying with Judah the happiness of the Messianic age. His mention of Ephraim together with Jerusalem lets us know that at that time, the nation will be completely restored.
The ten northern tribes will be reunited with the two southern tribes. Then, the Messiah will speak peace unto the nations. In contrast to the nations who declare war, who speak war, He’ll maintain peace in the world by His just rule.
Peace will not be an option presented to the nations of the world, as though they had a choice. It will be authoritatively imposed upon them. Yeshua will rule this planet with a rod of iron.
By His spoken word Messiah will be able to accomplish what mankind, in all of his years of inhabiting the earth, has not been able to accomplish.
Let’s read the rest of verse 10.
And He will speak peace to the nations; and his dominion will be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.
The second half of the verse tells us the extent of Messiah’s kingdom and rule. From sea to sea – the words are used to signify indefiniteness. Therefore, the thought is that the Messiah’s rule will embrace the whole world.
The River here is a reference to the Euphrates river. The river Euphrates is the point where the kingdom begins. The ends of the earth are the limits to which it extends.
This statement about the worldwide extent of the Messianic Kingdom brings the prophecy to a close. At this point, I have to ask a question.
The question is this, “am I correct when I state that Zechariah 9:9-10 is a messianic verse? Am I alone in my assessment of the prophecy? Have I just been deceived by some non-Jewish theologian intent on tricking ignorant Jews into changing their religion?
That’s a charge that is often leveled at those of us involved in Jewish outreach. Because we’re often accused of deception, I want to move on to the next part of my message. In the next section, I’ll briefly present rabbinic material that supports my contention that Zechariah 9:9-10 is a Messianic prophecy.
- ^ KJV Bible Commentary. 1997, c1994 (electronic ed.) (1825). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
- ^ Cohen, Dr. A., Soncino Books of the Bible, (New York, NY: The Soncino Press. LTD) 1992, The Twelve Prophets, p. 306.
- ^ KJV Bible Commentary. 1997, c1994 (electronic ed.) (1825). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
- ^ Ibid.