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Commentary » Zechariah 9:11-Zechariah 9:17 »

God Helps His People Fight Their Battles

John Paton was a missionary in the New Hebrides Islands. One night hostile natives surrounded the mission station, intent on killing them. Paton and his wife prayed during that terror-filled night that God would deliver them. When daylight came they were amazed to see their att … More


Covenants in Old Testament times were sealed with blood, much like we would sign our name to a contract today. “The blood of thy covenant” (v. 11) may refer to the sacrifices of the mosaic covenant (Ex. 24:8), but could relate back to the Abrahamic covenant which was confirmed with a blood sacrifice (Gen. 15:8-21). God’s faithfulness to His covenants with Israel is His basis for delivering her from worldwide dispersion. The pit referred to in this verse was an empty cistern used as a dungeon where prisoners were frequently detained (Ex. Joseph in Gen. 37:21-24). This is a graphic picture of what God considers Babylon to be like. These exiles were viewed as “prisoners of hope,” (v. 12) looking forward to the time when they would be free from Persia’s control.

After Solomon’s reign, the kingdom was divided into the northern kingdom (called Israel) and the southern kingdom (called Judah). This prophecy says that all of this territory, north and south will someday be reunited. This passage seems to refer to the deliverance Israel experienced when Greece restored a little freedom to them (vv. 13-16). The battle of Israel against their enemies is described poetically in term of a thunderstorm as God directs His people (v. 14). Not only does God empower His people for offense but He is also their defense. They shall consume their enemies that shall fall as the “sling stones” (v. 15) which have missed their aim. God will care for them as a shepherd cares for his flock (vv. 16-17). Before these enemies, they were as sheep in the midst of wolves. If the Lord had not saved them and enabled them to accomplish His bidding, they would have perished.


We can see over and over again in the Old Testament how God fought impossible battles for the Israelites and delivered them. As His child He wants to fight my battles if I will just allow Him to. What battle do I need to turn over to Him today?

Zechariah 9:11-17 (English Standard Version)

As for you also, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will set your prisoners free from the waterless pit. Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double. For I have bent Judah as my bow; I have made Ephraim its arrow. I will stir up your sons, O Zion, against your sons, O Greece, and wield you like a warrior's sword. Then the LORD will appear over them, and his arrow will go forth like lightning; the Lord GOD will sound the trumpet and will march forth in the whirlwinds of the south. The LORD of hosts will protect them, and they shall devour, and tread down the sling stones, and they shall drink and roar as if drunk with wine, and be full like a bowl, drenched like the corners of the altar. On that day the LORD their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty! Grain shall make the young men flourish, and new wine the young women.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »