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Zech. 13: 7
Gen. 3: 21 - 24.
pp. 219, 220
It will be remembered that in Gen. 3: 24 there is an allusion to what was afterwards
typified in the Tabernacle, with the one difference that in Genesis we have the flaming
sword, while in the Tabernacle it is the presence of God, and the atoning blood. A
moment's reflection will show that there is an obvious connection between the blood and
When the sword has fallen upon the victim it has done its appointed work, if that
victim be of God's appointing. Zech. 13: 7 provides some wonderful teaching in this
In the preceding verses, the prophet refers to the last days when Israel will be back in
their own land, and to the work of cutting off sinners at the commencement of the
Millennium. False prophets are also referred to, and the succeeding verses speak of
two-thirds of Israel being cut off. What is the reason for the sparing of the third part to be
saved? They certainly are not better than the others, for this would set aside the whole of
revealed truth as to man's corruption. The answer to the question is provided by the
principle of vicarious suffering. A righteous One is cut off in the place of the unrighteous
ones, so that they may be righteously brought into the presence of a holy God.
In verse 7 the sword of God's anger is called upon to awake. The guilty may well
tremble in view of the day when the Lord lifts up His glittering sword (Rom. 13: 4).
Anger if prompted by passion may be averted by entreaties, but anger set in motion by
justice, as the arm of vengeance for a broken law, is unmoved by sentiment and can only
be stayed by the law itself being fully vindicated.
And so we come, with the knowledge that we are treading on holy ground, to the
offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. The One against Whom this sword
awakes is called "My Shepherd", in striking contrast with the idol shepherd of 11: 16, 17,
for he is Antichrist. The Shepherd of 13: 7 is Christ.
The phrase `the man that is My fellow', in verse 7, implies the closest possible
fellowship and nearness. Since the fall of Adam and the expulsion from the garden, all
men by nature have been alienated from God. In Gen. 3: the promised Seed is to
conquer; but here it is the Lord Who is smitten. The apparent contradiction is resolved
when we remember, that by dying He `destroyed him that had the power of death, that is,
the devil'. The One Who was to bruise the serpent's head was Himself to be bruised in
the heel in the process. The stroke of vengeance, we see here, is administered by God
Himself, and John provides a wonderful commentary on this verse. The Shepherd Who