Zechariah 9-11 are of one section, as are Zechariah 12-14, the first speaks of the first coming of the Messiah, the lowly King riding on a foal as a contrast to Pagan conquerors which the God of Israel had used, as his scourge, to chastise the nations which had afflicted Israel in her lowliness, and even to deliver Jerusalem itself, as a token of her final deliverance.The second section takes us to the end of time, long after the coming of Messiah to the nation, as a Shepherd to a poor flock.
Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them showers of rain, to every one grass in the field. (Zechariah 10:1)
What the LORD would do for the people, if they would but ask Him! The reference would be to weather patterns which any resident of the Holy Land would recognize, for in Israel there are two distinct seasons of rain, called the former and the latter rain. The former rains are essential for the new plantings, the latter for the perfection of the crop for harvest, but in the middle season is a long period of aridness.
Should that latter rain fail, it was to be interpreted as a token of the displeasure of God. The Holy Land was made to be morally sensitive.The absence or presence of rain was not merely a matter of shifting weather patterns, it was always to be seen in Israel as a theological issue.
Jahweh says to the returned captives, trickling back into the broken and arid land, (which once flowed with milk and honey), ‘Ask for rain, literal and spiritual! Ask of the LORD in the time of the latter rain’! God is good!
For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no shepherd. (Zechariah 10:2)
Such is the history of the chosen people. In the beginning, the LORD gave to Israel such showers of blessings, and exalted His people, by dwelling in the midst of them, the temple being the visible manifestation that the nation was in fellowship with God, and the fruit of prophets, priests, mighty Kings, deliverances, and the ongoing service of mercy through the forgiveness of sins was evident.The Nations of this barren world streamed to Zion! Rain was there.
But the Holy people apostatized, and often listened to idols, teraphim, a kind of oracular divination idol, a way to hear from the spirit world , when, because of Israel’s apostasy, there was no vision, or word of any prophets.
Eventually, the rain ceased, the harvest was past and as Jeremiah predicted, Israel was not saved! This is why they “wandered and were oppressed”.in Babylon and beyond.
But the LORD of Israel beckons Israel to ask Him again for the Latter Rain again, the LORD would renew his people, He would pour out his blessings again, the nation could once again bear the fruit of Life, and be a light to the ends of the earth, with the arrival of the King Messiah.
Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath visited his flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as his goodly horse in the battle. Out of him came forth the corner, out of him the nail, out of him the battle bow, out of him every oppressor together.( Zechariah 10:3-4)
The plan is that when Messiah restores his scattered and wounded flock, He himself come from the midst of them, and would be their strength, restoring the nation, which will no longer be as a harassed sheep, but instead as the LORD’s own battle horse.
Out of ‘him’, from Judah, would emerge the Lion, the ultimate ruler of all. He would be for those who believe in Him the anchor, the sure peg in the wall. Messiah would be the true cornerstone of God’s own house, and as the victor and champion of his people, the battle bow who destroys all of their enemies!
He would also come as a compassionate, true shepherd, and deliver the flock from the faithless shepherds of Israel. He himself would round up the scattered flock and bind up their wounded souls, as Ezekiel also attested by the Spirit of God.
Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them. For thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day that he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.(Ezekiel 34:10-12)
There is so much He was willing to do for the nation under the coming Shepherd, Messiah.Zechariah, like all of the prophets, paints a beautiful prophetic picture of the possibilities under the reign of Messiah.
And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded. And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am the Lord their God, and will hear them. And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord.(Zechariah 10:5-7)
All of Israel will be united in the days of Messiah, they will come from the four corners of the earth where he had scattered them, He will save them, and be their Shepherd King.
In his mercy, he will heal and forgive each one, “it will be as though I had not cast you off…”, and he will hear their prayers and bless them again.
I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have increased. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again. I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them. And he shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in his name, saith the Lord.(Zechariah 10:8-12)
As though they were coming out of tombs, the people of Israel, and Judah shall stream out of Egypt, Assyria,Lebanon, Syria, and from wherever else Jahweh had scattered them, in the Day Messiah comes to shepherd his people.
This was the prophetic intention, that Messiah should come in lowliness as King and Shepherd , to restore Israel , forgive her, call her home and and heal her hurts.
All that was required of Her was that she recognize the true Shepherd and go after Him.