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Bible Commentaries

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments

Zechariah 13

 

 

Verses 1-9

Zechariah 13:1. In that day there shall be a fountain opened—for sin and for uncleanness. The beasts slain without the camp, the execrated beasts, from whose ashes the waters of sprinkling were secreted, gave the chief of sinners, and the most polluted a title to enter the congregation of the Lord. In like manner, we should note, that the most holy persons, as Aaron and his sons, were washed before they were anointed to the priestly office. Solomon also was taken in haste to the great fountain of the Gihon, which rushes out at the foot of mount Zion, without the city, to be washed and consecrated. 1 Kings 1:33. Thus all believers must first be cleansed from sin in the laver of the new birth, and be sanctified by the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Titus 3:5.

This explains the preseding words, of looking to Him whom the jews had pierced; for without the shedding of blood there is no remission. This fountain was sufficient to wash the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, when the culprit wept, as for his firstborn, (and many had given their children to Moloch) from the stains of war and of blood. But the word “fountain” denotes also the continual flowing of doctrine and of grace, which shall ever encrease, like the river which Ezekiel saw rising from the threshold of the new temple in the Zion of God: chap. 47. It designates also the abolition of the ceremonial law, as in the new covenant, Jeremiah 31:31; and the cessation of sacrifices, as in Psalms 40:6. Else what need of another priest of a higher order, and a more efficacious fountain?

Zechariah 13:2. I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land. Their name and their reputation shall cease; and as oracles they shall be totally disregarded, wherever the gospel shall be preached. This is so eminently fulfilled that in christian countries the names of heathen idols are unknown. Men’s bodies were delivered from the power of demons as soon as the kingdom of Christ appeared, and the false prophets could no longer practise their divinations amidst the blaze of gospel light and glory.

Zechariah 13:5. He shall say, I am no prophet. I am a husbandman. This is a luminous prediction of the cessation of heathen oracles. True predictions, or such as seemed to come to pass, were sometimes delivered in the temples by the pythonesses, as Augustine allows; for kings and governors could not for ever be deceived, though those oracles were by the christian fathers ascribed to demons. Plutarch has written a book on the cessation of oracles, and searches in vain for the cause. Tertullian, in his apology for the christian religion, tells us the cause; it is the coming of Christ, which has imposed silence on the demons. Zechariah foresaw this, and therefore joins the cessation of oracles with the advent and the death of Christ, as in the following words, where justice is invoked to take satisfaction for the sins of the people.

Zechariah 13:7. Awake, oh sword, against my shepherd, the great shepherd of the church, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts. The Chaldaic corresponds with the English, designating Christ as one with the Father, and dwelling in his bosom from eternity. Proverbs 8:22. John 1:18. The dispersion of the sheep is understood of the persecutions on the christian church. He who bore the cross thought it no robbery to be equal with God, being here called his fellow.

 


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Bibliography Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Zechariah 13:4". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jsc/zechariah-13.html. 1835.

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