Zechariah 9:9-12

Zechariah 9:9-12
Ordinary A32


RejoiceA greatly, O daughter Zion!B
    ShoutC aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!D

Notes on verse 9a

A “rejoice” = gil. Properly, this is twirling around because of a strong feeling whether of rejoicing or from fear. This can be rejoice, be glad or joyful, or to cry.
B “Zion” = tsiyyon. The word is related to tsyiyyun (signpost, monument); from tsavah (to charge someone, to command, order); from the same as tsiyyah (dryness drought); from a root meaning parched as desert, dry land. Zion can refer to a mountain in Jerusalem as well as another name for Jerusalem itself or the people.
C “shout” = rua. To break or destroy something so figuratively, an ear splitting sound such as a call of alarm or a joyful sound.
D “Jerusalem” = yerushalaim. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalem (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

Lo,E your king comes to you;
    triumphantF and victoriousG is he,

Notes on verse 9b

E “lo” = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
F “triumphant” = tsaddiq. From the same as tsedeq (rightness, righteousness, just cause, vindication; that which is right in a natural, moral, or legal sense; abstractly equity; figuratively prosperity). This is just, innocent, righteous, righteous one, or lawful.
G “victorious” = yasha. To deliver, defend, help, preserve, rescue, be safe. Properly, to be open, wide or free, which implies being safe. Used causatively, it means to free.

humbleH and ridingI on a donkey,J
    on a colt,K the foal of a donkey.L

Notes on verse 9c

H “humble” = ani. From anah (to be bowed down; humility or being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is humble, lowly, poor, or afflicted.
I “riding” = rakab. This is to ride an animal or in some vehicle. It can also mean bringing on a horse.
J “donkey” = chamor. From chamar (to be red, blush). This is a male donkey.
K “colt” = ayir. 9x in OT. Perhaps from ur (to raise up, wake up, lift oneself up; to awake in a literal or figurative sense). This is a male donkey or a colt as an animal of labor who is newly domesticated to bear loads.
L “donkey” = athon. Perhaps from the same as eythan (continual, mighty, strong, ever-flowing, permanence). This is a female donkey as an animal that is patient and gentle.

10 He will cut offM the chariotN from EphraimO
    and the war-horseP from Jerusalem;

Notes on verse 10a

M “cut off” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
N “chariot” = rekeb. Related to “riding” in v9. From rakab (see note I above). This is a vehicle, wagon, or chariot. It can be cavalry or an individual rider.
O “Ephraim” = ephrayim. From the same as epher (ashes or dust – properly something strewn) OR from parah (to grw, increase, be fruitful in a literal or figurative sense). This is Ephraim, one of Joseph’s sons, his descendants, and their land.
P “war-horse” = sus. Root may mean to skip as in jump for joy. This is a crane or a swift bird. It is also a horse as leaping.

and the battleQ bowR shall be cut off,
    and he shall commandS peaceT to the nations;U

Notes on verse 10b

Q “battle” = milchamah. From lacham (to eat or feed on; figuratively, to battle as a kind of consumption/destruction). This is battle, war, fighting, or one who fights (i.e. a warrior).
R “bow” = qeshet. Perhaps from qush (to set a trap, lure, ensnare) OR from qashah (to be fierce, cruel, dense, tough, severe). This is a bow, arrow, or archer. Bow can be used figuratively for strength.
S “command” = dabar. This is generally to speak, answer, declare, or command. It might mean to arrange and so to speak in a figurative sense as arranging words.
T “peace” = shalom. From shalam (to be complete or sound; to have safety mentally, physically, or extending to one’s estate; so, if these things are safe and complete, the implication is that one would be friendly; and, if being friendly, one would make amends and that friendship would be reciprocated). This is completeness, soundness, welfare, favor, friend, good health. It is to be safe and figuratively well, happy, at peace, friendly. Abstractly, it includes the ideas of welfare and prosperity (not in excessive wealth, but in having enough).
U “nations” = goy. From the same root as gevah (the back, person, or body); related to gev (among); related to gaah (to rise up). This is nation or people. Often used to refer to Gentiles or foreign nations. It can also be used figuratively for a group of animals. This is where the Yiddish “goy” comes from.

his dominionV shall be from seaW to sea,
    and from the RiverX to the ends of the earth.

Notes on verse 10c

V “dominion” = moshel. 3x in OT. From mashal (to rule, govern, have dominion). This is dominion or empire. It can also mean parallel.
W “sea” = yam. Root may mean to roar. This is the sea, often referring to the Mediterranean. It comes from the root in the sense of the roar of crashing surf. This word is sometimes used for rivers or other sources of water. It can mean to the west or to the south.
X “River” = nahar. From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.

11 As for you also, because of the bloodY of my covenantZ with you,
    I will set your prisonersAA freeBB from the waterless pit.CC

Notes on verse 11

Y “blood” = dam. Perhaps from damam (to cease, be or become mute, silent, still, cut off, hold peace, be astonished, die). This is blood, bloodshed, bloodguilt, lifeblood, and death. It is used for people and animals. More often blood from a wound or the blood of the innocent. Used figuratively for violence or for wine. Closely tied to life and death.
Z “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
AA “prisoners” = asir. 12x in OT. From asar (to tie, yoke, bind, or fasten; can mean to harness an animal, to join in fighting a battle, or to imprison someone). This is is a prisoner or captive. It can also refer to a slave or someone otherwise bound.
BB “set…free” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
CC “pit” = bor. From bur (to bore; figuratively, to explain, examine, or clear up). This is a pit – generally a cistern or dungeon. It could also be a well or fountain.

12 ReturnDD to your stronghold,EE O prisoners of hope;FF
    today I declareGG that I will restoreHH to you double.

Notes on verse 12

DD “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
EE “stronghold” = bitstsaron. 1x in OT. From batsar (to cut off, fortify, wall up, gather, be isolated, impossible, to make inaccessible by fortifying). This is a stronghold or fortress.
FF “hope” = tiqvah. From qavah (to wait, look, gather together, bind together, collect; figuratively, to expect). This is literally a cord used to attach things. Figuratively, it’s expectation, hope, what you long for.
GG “declare” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
HH “restore” = shub. Same as “return” in v12. See note DD above.

Image credit: “Christ’s Entry into Jerusalem” by Gustave Dore, before 1876.

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