Zechariah 9:16
And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
9:9-17 The prophet breaks forth into a joyful representation of the coming of the Messiah, of whom the ancient Jews explained this prophecy. He took the character of their King, when he entered Jerusalem amidst the hosannas of the multitude. But his kingdom is a spiritual kingdom. It shall not be advanced by outward force or carnal weapons. His gospel shall be preached to the world, and be received among the heathen. A sinful state is a state of bondage; it is a pit, or dungeon, in which there is no water, no comfort; and we are all by nature prisoners in this pit. Through the precious blood of Christ, many prisoners of Satan have been set at liberty from the horrible pit in which they must otherwise have perished, without hope or comfort. While we admire Him, let us seek that his holiness and truth may be shown in our own spirits and conduct. These promises have accomplishment in the spiritual blessings of the gospel which we enjoy by Jesus Christ. As the deliverance of the Jews was typical of redemption by Christ, so this invitation speaks to all the language of the gospel call. Sinners are prisoners, but prisoners of hope; their case is sad, but not desperate; for there is hope in Israel concerning them. Christ is a Strong-hold, a strong Tower, in whom believers are safe from the fear of the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the assaults of spiritual enemies. To him we must turn with lively faith; to him we must flee, and trust in his name under all trials and sufferings. It is here promised that the Lord would deliver his people. This passage also refers to the apostles, and the preachers of the gospel in the early ages. God was evidently with them; his words from their lips pierced the hearts and consciences of the hearers. They were wondrously defended in persecution, and were filled with the influences of the Holy Spirit. They were saved by the Good Shepherd as his flock, and honoured as jewels of his crown. The gifts, graces, and consolations of the Spirit, poured forth on the day of Pentecost, Ac 2 and in succeeding times, are represented. Sharp have been, and still will be, the conflicts of Zion's sons, but their God will give them success. The more we are employed, and satisfied with his goodness, the more we shall admire the beauty revealed in the Redeemer. Whatever gifts God bestows on us, we must serve him cheerfully with them; and, when refreshed with blessings, we must say, How great is his goodness!And the Lord their God shall save them in that day - Still all should be God's doing; they themselves were but as a flock, as sheep among wolves, ready for the slaughter; but they were "the flock, His people," as He says, "I will increase them like the flock, men, as the flock of holy things, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts; so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks, men" Ezekiel 36:37-38. "As a man saves his flock with all his strength, so He will save His people; for they are His flock." As in, "Thou leddest Thy people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron" Psalm 77:20.

They shall be as the stones of a crown - While God's enemies shall be trampled under foot, as a common thing which has failed its end, these shall be precious stones; a consecrated diadem of king or priest, "raised aloft," so that all can see. "On His land." It was laid down, as the title-deed to its whole tenure, "the land is Mine" Leviticus 25:23, and much more our Christian land, bought and purified by the blood of Christ.

16. save them … as the flock of his people—as the flock of His people ought to be saved (Ps 77:20). Here the image of war and bloodshed (Zec 9:15) is exchanged for the shepherd and flock, as God will give not only victory, but afterwards safe and lasting peace. In contrast to the worthless sling-stones trodden under foot stand the (gems) "stones of the crown (Isa 62:3; Mal 3:17), lifted up as an ensign," that all may flock to the Jewish Church (Isa 11:10, 12; 62:10). The Lord their God, as in covenant with them, not only as Lord of hosts by his power, but as their God in mercy and faithfulness,

shall save them, fully deliver them, i.e. the sons of Zion, in that day, in the day of their contest and wars with the sons of Javan,

as the flock of his people; as a shepherd saves his flock, as David saved his.

For they shall be as the stones of a crown; or, seeing that they are precious, and of value with me, as the stones of a royal crown, or as the stones of trophy set up in memory of some noble achievement;

lifted up as an ensign upon his land; which are as an ensign lifted up, to which whoso repair may give thanks and rejoice in their deliverance; a form of which, for aught I know, may follow.

And the Lord their God shall save them in that day,.... In the times of the Gospel, and the dispensation of it; meaning either the apostles, before said to be protected and defended, Zechariah 9:15 or rather the persons converted, conquered, and subdued by them, who are not killed, but saved by the Lord their God, their glorious Redeemer, from sin, Satan, the law, wrath to come, and out of the hands of all their enemies:

as the flock of his people; they being his special people, by choice, by covenant grace, and by redemption, and like to a flock of sheep; to sheep, for harmlessness, meekness, weakness, and timorousness, for being prone to go astray, and for their being clean, profitable, and sociable; and to a flock, being a distinct society of men, and but one, and a small one too, though a flock beautiful and holy:

for they shall be as the stones of a crown; like the gems and precious stones which are on a king's crown; they being Christ's jewels, highly valued and esteemed of by him; and comparable to them, for their richness through the grace of God, and for their purity, brightness, and glory in themselves, as owing to that; and for the glory they give to Christ, and for the durableness of them. The Targum renders it, "the stones of the ephod"; they may be translated, "the stones of separation" (x); set for boundaries to distinguish places; those being separated by the grace of God, in effectual calling, from the rest of mankind, and laid as lively stones upon the foundation Christ:

lifted up as an ensign upon his land; the land of Judea, as trophies of victorious grace; as monuments of praise and thankfulness; and as means of encouraging others to seek to Christ, and believe in him. The allusion seems to be to trophies erected on account of victories obtained by valiant men, to perpetuate their memories; which were sometimes of brass, and sometimes of marble, with inscriptions and titles on them, that they might endure forever; and where sufficiency of such materials could not be got, a vast heap of stones used to be laid together; or large trees, and their branches cut down, and the spoils of the enemy laid upon them; and these were raised up as trophies to perpetuate the memory of mighty men to posterity. So Germanicus, having conquered the nations between the Rhine and the Elbe, piled up a vast heap of marble stones, and dedicated them to Tiberius (y); and Fabius Aemilianus, having, with an army not amounting to 30,000 men, defeated an army of the Gauls near the river Rhosne, consisting of 200,000 men, set up a trophy of white stone, as well as built two temples, one to Mars, and another to Hercules (z); and Domitius Aenobarbus, and Fabius Maximus, having got the victory over the Allobroges, the people of Savoy and Piedmont, erected stone towers on the spot, and fixed trophies adorned with hostile arms, which before had been unusual (a); and it was an ancient custom with the Goths and Swedes, in the camps and fields where battles were fought, to fix stones like the Egyptian pyramids, on which they engraved, in a brief manner, the famous exploits performed, thereby to perpetuate the memory of the names and actions of great men (b); and these pillars of stone set up for trophies, the chapiters of them might be made in the form of crowns, and may be here referred to; and so some render the words to this sense (c).

(x) "lapides separationis", Sanctius; so Aquila in Drusius. (y) Vid. Alex. ab Alex. Genial. Dier. l. 1. c. 22. (z) Strabo. Geograph. l. 4. p. 128. (a) Flori Roman. Gest. l. 3. c. 2.((b) Olai Magni de Ritu Gent. Septentrional. Epitome, l. 1. c. 16. (c) "Lapides coronarii", Junius & Tremellius; "lapides coronati", i. e. "epistyliis ornati trophaeis", Piscator.

And the LORD their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people: for they shall be as the {a} stones of a crown, lifted up as an ensign upon his land.

(a) The faithful will be preserved, and reverenced by all, that their very enemies will be compelled to esteem them: for God's glory will shine in them, as Josephus declares of Alexander the great when he met Jadi the high priest.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. lifted up as an ensign upon] Rather, raised aloft over, or perhaps, shining, or glittering. So R. V. lifted on high over. Margin, glittering upon.

Verse 16. - Shall save them. He shall give them a positive blessing beyond mere deliverance from enemies. Keil, "Shall endow them with salvation." As the flock of his people; so the Vulgate; literally, as a flock, his people; Septuagint, ὡς πρόβατα, λαὸν αὐτοῦ. He will tend his people as a shepherd tends his flock (Psalm 77:20; Psalm 100:3; Jeremiah 23:1; Ezekiel 34:2, 8, etc.), So Christ calls himself the "good Shepherd," and his followers "little flock" (John 10:11; Luke 12:32). Stones of a crown. The valuable gems set in crowns and diadems, or in the high priest's official dress. The people shall be in God's sight as precious as these in the eyes of men, and shall be highly exalted. The Septuagint and Vulgate render, "sacred stones;" and Knabenbauer thinks that by the term is meant the temple of God, which shall arise or shine in the Holy Laud, as a reward for its faithful defence. But the sense given above is satisfactory and simpler. Lifted up as an ensign upon his land; better, as the Revised Version margin, glittering upon his land. "His" may refer to Jehovah, or Israel; probably the latter is meant. The "land" is the crown or diadem in which the precious stones, the redeemed people, are set. They shall be raised to the highest possible glory and honour. If the words be taken in the sense of "raised on high over his land," they must be considered to indicate that the crown which contained the gems shall be raised aloft in victorious triumph. Zechariah 9:16Through this victory over the world-power Israel will attain to glory. Zechariah 9:16. "And Jehovah their God will endow them with salvation in that day, like a flock His people; for stones of a crown are they, sparkling in His land. Zechariah 9:17. For how great is its goodness, and how great its beauty! Corn will make youths to sprout, and new wine maidens." הושׁיע does not mean to help or deliver here; for this would affirm much too little, after what has gone before. When Israel has trodden down its foes, it no longer needs deliverance. It denotes the granting of positive salvation, which the explanatory clause that follows also requires. The motive for this is indicated in the clause, "like a flock His people." Because Israel is His (Jehovah's) people, the Lord will tend it as a shepherd tends his flock. The blessings which Jehovah bestows upon His people are described by David in Psalm 23:1-6. The Lord will do this also, because they (the Israelites) are crown-stones, namely as the chosen people, which Jehovah will make a praise and glory for all nations (Zephaniah 3:19-20). To the predicate אבני נזר the subject המּה may easily be supplied from the context, as for example in מגּיד in Zechariah 9:12. To this subject מתנוססות וגו attaches itself. This verb is connected with nēs, a banner, in Psalm 60:6, the only other passage in which it occurs; but here it is used in the sense of nâtsats, to glitter or sparkle. The meaning, to lift up, which is given by the lexicons, has no foundation, and is quite unsuitable here. For crown-stones do not lift themselves up, but sparkle; and the figure of precious stones, which sparkle upon the land, denotes the highest possible glory to which Israel can attain. The suffix attached to אדמתו refers to Jehovah, only we must not identify the land of Jehovah with Palestine. The application of this honourable epithet to Israel is justified in Zechariah 9:17, by an allusion to the excellence and beauty to which it will attain. The suffixes in טוּבו and יפיו cannot refer to Jehovah, as Ewald and Hengstenberg suppose, but refer to עמּו, the people of Jehovah. יפי is quite irreconcilable with an allusion to Jehovah, since this word only occurs in connection with men and the Messianic King (Psalm 45:3; Isaiah 33:17); and even if it were used of Jehovah, it would still be unsuitable here. For though the vigorous prosperity of the nation is indeed a proof of the goodness of God, it is not a proof of the beauty of God. Mâh is an exclamation of Amazement: "how great!" (Ewald, 330, a). טוּב, when affirmed of the nation, is not moral goodness, but a good appearance, and is synonymous with יפי, beauty, as in Hosea 10:11. This prosperity proceeds from the blessings of grace, which the Lord causes to flow down to His people. Corn and new wine are mentioned as such blessings, for the purpose of individualizing, as indeed they frequently are (e.g., Deuteronomy 33:28; Psalm 72:16), and are distributed rhetorically between the youths and the maidens.
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