Zechariah 13

DateVersionReading Plan
@December 25, 2023ESV (2016)ESV Prophets Plan 2023


  • Him Whom They Have Pierced
  • Idolatry Cut Off
  • The Shepherd Struck


The LORD is coming to open a fountain for the house of David for complete spiritual cleansing. He will cut off the names of the idols from the land, remove false prophets and the spirit of uncleanness. If anyone prophesies, his own parents will threaten and stab him. Men will not lightly claim to be prophets but rather identify themselves by their vocation. God calls for His sword to awaken against His “shepherd”. He will strike the Shepherd which will result in the scattering of the Shepherd’s sheep (i.e. Israel, Zech. 11:4-14), an allusion to Jesus being struck at Calvary. Two thirds will be cut off and one third left alive, the latter to be put into a fire of refinement and testing. God will say to this remnant, “‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The LORD is my God.’” (Zech. 13:9).

The order of events in this chapter is intriguing. First is the cleansing and repentance of the people, removal of idolatry and false prophets, but it then transitions to the awakening of God’s sword and the striking of the Shepherd. Without straying too far into allegorization, this seems to echo much of Jesus’ ministry. In His time on earth, He cut off idols by claiming Himself as the long-awaited Messiah: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). He also rebuked false prophets and removed the spirit of uncleanness in His healings, cleansing of the temple, etc. And all this would lead to His being struck as the Good Shepherd; scourged and crucified while His disciples (sheep) scattered.

One must be careful to in making such comparisons and understand them on more of the level of principle rather than directly correlative. However, the concepts are clearly present in both the OT prophecy and then later conveyed in the NT event narrative. Such examination serves us well in seeing the unified theme throughout the Bible of God’s grace and work of sacrificial redemption.

What wonderful things to ponder as we celebrate the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Scripture Journal Notes

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