I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Hosea 11:10-11; Isaiah 11:15-16; add Isaiah 19:23-25; Isaiah 27:13; Isaiah 52:4; Micah 7:12. See ab. p. 96), "the West, Assyria, Egypt," the three then known divisions of the world, Europe, Asia, Africa (see at Hosea 11:11, vol. i., p. 115). Asshur, after Nineveh perished, stands clearly for the world-empire of the East at Babylon , and then in Persia Ezra 6:22. Balaam includes under Asshur, first Babylon, then the third world-empire (Numbers 24:22-24; coll. Daniel 11:30).
Babylon, which was first subject to Nineveh, then subjected it, was at a later period known to Greek writers (who probably had their information from Persian sources) as part of Assyria .
And I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon - Their old dwellings, east and west of Jordan. "And place shall not be found for them, as Isaiah says, "The children of thy bereaved estate shall yet say in thine ears, The place is too strait for me: give place, that I may dwell" Isaiah 49:20.
Gilead … Lebanon—The whole of the Holy Land is described by two of its boundaries, the eastern ("Gilead" beyond Jordan) and the northern ("Lebanon").
place shall not be found for them—that is, there shall not be room enough for them through their numbers (Isa 49:20; 54:3).I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt; into which doubtless some hasted by an early flight from the Babylonians before they wasted Canaan, and others fled though forbidden, Jeremiah 43; where also in after-days some Jews sought a repose, and where they wonderfully increased, if Josephus’s story be true, of one hundred and twenty thousand Jews set at liberty by Ptolemy Philadelphus, when he procured the seventy-two elders to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek. These Egyptian Jews shall be brought back.
And gather them out of Assyria; in which many yet did linger, loth to depart, but when God hisseth for them they shall come.
I will bring them into the land of Gilead, which was the eastern frontier of the land of Canaan, and Lebanon; this was the north frontier of the land, and both fruitful and pleasant: they are here mentioned as part for the whole, as before, Zechariah 8:7.
And place shall not be found for them; the land should be too narrow for them, so Isaiah 49:20 54:2,3, which was in part fulfilled according to the historical and literal part, but fully in the spiritual part.
"and as I brought them out of the land of Egypt, so will gather their captivity out of Assyria;''
suggesting there would be a likeness between the one and the other. Egypt may denote the state of distance and bondage in which all men are by nature; and the Jews, at their conversion, will be brought out of it, into the glorious liberty of the children of God, by the mighty arm of the Lord, according to his purposes and promises. Moreover, as Cocceius observes, Egypt may signify Rome, or the Romish jurisdiction, which is spiritually called Egypt and Sodom, Revelation 11:8 for darkness, idolatry, tyranny, and cruelty; and out of which the Jews, as many of them as are there, will be brought at the time of their conversion:
and gather them out of Assyria; which may design the Turkish or Persian dominions, or both, as the above commentator suggests; from whence the Jews, as many as are in those parts, will be brought into their own land, as follows; see Isaiah 11:11,
and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; Gilead was a land of pasture, and signifies "a heap of testimonies"; and may mystically intend the Scriptures, which testify of Christ, and direct to green pastures, beside the still waters: and Lebanon, that goodly mountain, and hill of frankincense, and where cedars grew, may design the church, whither the converted Jews will be brought, and worship before it, Revelation 3:9 or both may literally be understood, which they shall return unto; Gilead being, as Kimchi observes, beyond Jordan eastward; and Lebanon, comprehending the whole land of Israel, on this side of it:
and place shall not be found for them; they will be so numerous; see Isaiah 49:20 the Targum is,
"and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and the sanctuary, and it shall not be sufficient for them;''
that is, to hold them. The Septuagint render it, "and not one of them shall be left": all Israel shall now be converted and saved, though their number will be as the sand of the sea, Hosea 1:10.I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)10. Egypt … Assyria] It is of Ephraim, or the ten tribes, that the prophet is here speaking. In Zechariah 10:3-6 of this chapter the promise is to the house of Judah. In Zechariah 10:6 the house of Joseph is introduced as sharing in it. In Zechariah 10:7-12 this part of the promise is exclusively pursued. Hence, there is no mention here of the return of the two tribes from Babylon, not because, as has been alleged, this prophecy was written before their captivity, but because (not only was that return already open to them all and an accomplished fact to many of them, but) they are not contemplated here. In like manner Hosea speaks of Egypt and Assyria, as the countries from which Ephraim should return (Zechariah 11:11).
Gilead, Lebanon] the territory assigned to these tribes on the E. and on the W. of Jordan.
place shall not be found] Comp. Isaiah 49:20.Verse 10. - Egypt... Assyria. It is certain that there was a large body of Jews in Egypt at this time (Jeremiah 43:6, 7); and to Assyria the ten tribes, who are here specially mentioned under the name Ephraim, had been deported. Besides this, Assyria is often used loosely for Western Asia or Babylonia, of which, after its submission, it formed a most important feature (see 2 Kings 23:29; Ezra 6:22; and in the Apocrypha, 1 Esdr. 7:15; Judith 1:7 Judith 2:1). In the 'Oracula Sibyllina,' the Assyrians are continually confused with Persians, Babylonians, and other Eastern nations. Egypt and Assyria are here used as types of the countries to which Jews had been banished (comp. Hosea 11:11). Gilead and Lebanon. A designation of the northern district of Palestine, on both sides of the Jordan, in which these tribes had been originally settled. This region had been most exposed to hostile attacks, and was the first to be depopulated. Place shall not be found for them (Isaiah 49:20). Josephus testifies to the teeming population of Galilee in later times ('Bell. Jud.,' 2:03, 1; 3:3, 2; 4:1, 2; 7:5). Septuagint, "There shall not even one of them be left behind," i.e. in exile. Haggai 2:20. On the same day on which the Lord promised to the people the return of the blessings of nature, Haggai received a second revelation, which promised to the community the preservation and care of the Davidic monarchy, represented for the time by Zerubbabel, in the midst of the storms that were about to burst upon the power of the world. Haggai 2:21. "Speak to Zerubbabel the governor of Judah thus: I shake the heaven and the earth. Haggai 2:22. And I will overthrow the throne of the kingdoms; and destroy the might of the kingdoms of the nations; and will overthrow the war-chariots, and those who ride in them: and horses and their riders shall fall, one by the sword of the other. Haggai 2:23. On that day, is the saying of Jehovah of hosts, will I take thee, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, my servant, is the saying of Jehovah, and make thee as a signet-ring: for I have chosen thee, is the saying of Jehovah of hosts." אני מרעישׁ does not stand for הנני מרעישׁ, but the participial clause is to be taken as a circumstantial clause: If I shake heaven and earth, I overthrow (cf. Ewald, 341, c and d). The words point back to the shaking of the world predicted in Haggai 2:6, Haggai 2:7. When this shaking takes place, then shall the throne of the kingdoms be thrown down, and their might be destroyed. The singular כּסּא is used collectively, or rather distributively: "every throne of the kingdoms." The throne is the symbol of the monarchy, or of the government (cf. Daniel 7:27); not in this sense, however, that "the prophet regarded all the kingdoms of the earth as one combined power in contradistinction to the people of God, or as a single power, as the power of the world, which was sitting as mistress at the time upon the throne of the earth" (Koehler). The plural mamlâkhōth does not agree with this, since every kingdom had both a king and a throne. The continuance of this throne rests upon the strength (chōqez) of the heathen kingdoms, and this again upon their military power, their war-chariots, horses, and riders. These are to be overthrown and fall to the ground, and indeed by one another's swords. One hostile kingdom will destroy another, and in the last conflict the heathen hosts will annihilate one another (compare Ezekiel 38:21; Zechariah 14:13). At that time, when the dominion of the heathen had thus collapsed, Jehovah would take Zerubbabel and set or make him as a signet-ring. The verb 'eqqach (will I take) simply serves to introduce the following act as one of importance, as for example in Deuteronomy 4:20 and 2 Kings 14:21. The meaning of the figurative expression, to make Zerubbabel as a signet-ring, is evident from the importance of the signet-ring in the eyes of an oriental, who is accustomed to carry his signet-ring constantly about with him, and to take care of it as a very valuable possession. It is introduced with the same idea in the Sol 8:6, "Lay me as a signet-ring upon thy breast, as a signet-ring in thine arms;" and it is in the same sense that Jehovah says of Jehoiachin in Jeremiah 22:24, "Though Coniah the son of Jehoiakim were even a signet-ring upon my right hand, i.e., a possession from which it would be thought impossible that I should separate myself, yet would I tear thee away from thence." Hence we obtain this thought for our present passage, namely, that on the day on which Jehovah would overthrow the kingdoms of the nations, He would make Zerubbabel like a signet-ring, which is inseparable from its possessor; that is to say, He would give him a position in which he would be and remain inseparably connected with Him (Jehovah), would therefore not cast him off, but take care of him as His valuable possession. This is the explanation given by Koehler (after Calvin, Osiander, and others); and he has also refuted the various explanations that differ from it. But in order clearly to understand the meaning of this promise, we must look at the position which Zerubbabel occupied in the community of Israel on its return from exile. For we may at the outset assume that the promise did not apply to his own particular person, but rather to the official post he held, from the fact that what is here predicted was not to take place till after the overthrow of the throne and might of all the kingdoms of the heathen, and therefore could not take place in Zerubbabel's lifetime, inasmuch as, although the fall of this or the other kingdom might be looked for in the course of one generation, the overthrow of all kingdoms and the coming of all the heathen to fill the temple of the Lord with their possessions (Haggai 2:7) certainly could not. Zerubbabel was (Persian) governor in Judah, and had no doubt been selected for this office because he was prince of Judah (Ezra 1:8), and as son of Shealtiel was a descendant of the family of David (see at Haggai 1:1). Consequently the sovereignty of David in its existing condition of humiliation, under the sovereignty of the imperial power, was represented and preserved in his appointment as prince and governor of Judah, so that the fulfilment of the divine promise of the eternal perpetuation of the seed of David and his kingdom was then associated with Zerubbabel, and rested upon the preservation of his family. Hence the promise points to the fact, that at the time when Jehovah would overthrow the heathen kingdoms, He would maintain and take good care of the sovereignty of David in the person of Zerubbabel. For Jehovah had chosen Zerubbabel as His servant. With these words the Messianic promise made to David was transferred to Zerubbabel and his family among David's descendants, and would be fulfilled in his person in just the same way as the promise given to David, that God would make him the highest among the kings of the earth (Psalm 89:27). The fulfilment culminates in Jesus Christ, the son of David and descendant of Zerubbabel (Matthew 1:12; Luke 3:27), in whom Zerubbabel was made the signet-ring of Jehovah. Jesus Christ has raised up the kingdom of His father David again, and of His kingdom there will be no end (Luke 1:32-33). Even though it may appear oppressed and deeply humiliated for the time by the power of the kingdoms of the heathen, it will never be crushed and destroyed, but will break in pieces all these kingdoms, and destroy them, and will itself endure for ever (Daniel 2:44; Hebrews 12:28; 1 Corinthians 15:24).
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