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Bible Commentaries

Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Zechariah 13

Verses 1-9

Purification of Jerusalem

Important results follow this great act of national sorrow. 1. The land is purged of sin; 2a, of idols; 2b-6, of prophets, who as a class have fallen into disrepute, and who henceforth will be ashamed of their office.

1. The idea of water as a symbol of spiritual cleansing was familiar in Jewish thought: cp. Ezekiel 36:25; Ezekiel 47:1. The Messianic reference is obvious.

2. Idols] Idolatry was never rampant in Israel after the exile. Those who maintain a post-exilic date for this prophecy refer to the Maccabsean age, when Greek customs and Greek idolatry were common even in Jerusalem (1 Maccabees 1:54). The unclean spirit] which led men to sin. 3. The office of prophet will be so hateful as to be a dangerous occupation. Prophecy had become utterly distrusted, because it had been degraded by men who spoke smooth things rather than truth.

4. Rough garment] RV ’hairy mantle,’ either an untanned sheep-skin, or a cloak of camel’s hair, such as the Baptist wore.

5. Man taught me to keep cattle] better, with slight change in the Heb., ’the ground has been my possession.’ I am so occupied with manual labour, I do not cultivate prophecy: cp. am Zechariah 7:14.

6. In thine hands] Heb. ’between thine hands,’ probably referring to self-mutilation practised in idolatrous rites: cp. Jeremiah 48:37; 1 Kings 18:28. These wounds, says the accused person, I received when frolicking with my companions.

On Zechariah 13:7-9 see at the end of Zechariah 11.

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Bibliographical Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Zechariah 13". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.