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A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Zechariah 9-11

Kuruvilla Thomas
Bangalore
Published on 14 January 2020




Zechariah 9-11 Timeline
Fig. 1


Introduction

This study treats Zechariah 9-11 as a "Functional Chiasmus" in order to arrive at a coherent reconfiguration of the text. Text that is arranged in the form of a functional chiasmus must be rearranged based on certain logical principles to be correctly interpreted. A functional chiasmus is a new concept; see definition here [1]. This study also contains an exegesis of the rearranged text. If you wish to skip the technicalities of a chiastic parse, you may read starting from Part 4 of the Discussion section, which has the reconfigured text.

This passage makes detailed predictions about Alexander's conquests around Israel and gives us more information on Christ's millennial reign. The prophecy has at least two predictions that are clearly about Jesus: Zech. 9:9 and Zech 11:12&13. The "king on a donkey" in Zech. 9:9 obviously points to Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem but the verse appears to be unrelated to the rest of chapter 9. With this chiastic reconfiguration we place the verse in the proper context.


Notes:
We will use the term "Judahite" to refer to the Israelites living in and around Jerusalem in the 1st century who primarily were of the tribe of Judah; We will try to avoid the term "Jew" to avoid the confusion it introduces.


Discussion

1. Presuppositions

We base our parse of Zechariah 9-11 on the assumption that it refers to 3 periods:

  1. Alexander's conquests around the Holy Land c. 333BC
  2. The Period from the Death of Christ to The First Jewish–Roman War (circa 30AD–74AD).
  3. Christ's millennial reign on earth (circa 2000AD).

2. Parsing the chiasmus

We will use the NIV Bible for this parse.

Parsing this chiasmus involves dividing portions of the text into three categories as above. We will call the period of the Alexander's conquest Period 1, the death of Christ and the First Jewish-Roman War Period 2 and Christ's millennial reign Period 3.


Categorizing Zechariah 9-11

Ch 9 Vs 1-8 belong to Period 1. Alexander's conquests around the Holy land.

Ch 9 Vs 9 belongs to Period 2. Christ on a donkey shortly before his death.

Ch 9 Vs 10-17 belong to Period 3. Millennial reign of Christ.

Ch 10 Vs 1-5a belong to Period 2. Pharisees lead people astray but Judah will be a source of leadership.

Ch 10 Vs 5b belongs to Period 1. Judah negotiates favourable terms with Alexander with God's help.

Ch 10 Vs 6-12 belong to Period 3. Millennial reign of Christ.

Ch 11 Vs 1-3 belong to Period 1. The results of Alexander's campaign.

Ch 11 Vs 4-17 belong to Period 2. A parabolic action about shepherds foretells Christ's death and the First Jewish-Roman war.


Original text

We color-code the chiastic units of the original text (NIV) below for easy visual identification using: red for Period 1, blue for Period 2 and green for Period 3.


Zechariah 9 1 A prophecy: The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrak and will come to rest on Damascus— for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord— 2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it, and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful. 3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets. 4 But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire. 5 Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted. 6 A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod, and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines. 7 I will take the blood from their mouths, the forbidden food from between their teeth. Those who are left will belong to our God and become a clan in Judah, and Ekron will be like the Jebusites. 8 [KJV] And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more:
for now I am keeping watch.

9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.
14 Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, 15 and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. 16 The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.


Zechariah 10 1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. 2 The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. 4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler. 5a Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.

5b [KJV] and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.
6 “I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. 7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. 8 I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. 9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. 10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. 11 They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. 12 I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will live securely,” declares the Lord.

Zechariah 11 1 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars! 2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down! 3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds; their rich pastures are destroyed! Listen to the roar of the lions; the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!
4 This is what the Lord my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the Lord. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.”
7 So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. 8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds. The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”
10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord.
12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves. 17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”



3. Building the reconfigured text


From this parse, it appears that Zechariah 9-11 form a Functional chiasmus as below:

A1   Ch 9 Vs 1-8 Period 1. Alexander's conquests around the holy land.
  B1   Ch 9 Vs 9 Period 2. Christ's victorious entry into Jerusalem.
    X   Ch 9 Vs 10-17 Period 3. Millennial reign of Christ.
  B2   Ch 10 Vs 1-5a Period 2. Pharisees lead people astray
A2   Ch 10 Vs 5b Period 1. Judah negotiates with Alexander with God's help.


We now reconstruct the phrases in the right order based on the chiastic structure above and based on the ordering rules of a functional chiasmus [1].

We usually lead with the pivot point but for this reconstruction we will add the central pivot point 'X' at the end so that we get another chiasmus with the rest of the prophecy (the rules of Functional Chiasmi [1] allow this ). The corresponding subunits (For example; subunit A1 corresponds to A2) are placed contiguously to form units (For example, A1,A2 is a unit ) so that we get a list of such units.


The sequence selected for rearrangement is:

[B1,B2]  [A1,A2]  X        (1)

Note: We choose the reverse order for our units so that we get another functional chiasmus with the rest of the prophecy.The rules of Functional Chiasmi allow this.


We have the following sequence when we include the rest of the prophecy:
[B1,B2] - Period 2
[A1,A2] - Period 1
X         - Period 3
Ch 10 Vs 6-12 - Period 3. Millennial reign
Ch 11 Vs 1-3 - Period 1. The results of Alexander's campaign.
Ch 11 Vs 4-17 - Period 2. Christ's death and the Roman attack.


We still have text for the periods in a non-contiguous form. We can treat this as a doubly applied functional chiasmus as below.


M1   [B1,B2] - Period 2
  N1   [A1,A2] - Period 1
   XX   X , Ch 10 Vs 6-12 - Period 3
  N2   Ch 11 Vs 1-3    - Period 1
M2   Ch 11 Vs 4-17 - Period 2

The sequence selected for rearrangement is:
XX  [M1,M2]  [N1,N2]        (2)


Translating this sequence (2) into the subunits of the first chiasmus, we get:

[X , Ch 10 Vs 6-12]  [[B1,B2], Ch 11 Vs 4-17]   [[A1,A2], Ch 11 Vs 1-3]        (3)

Further translating (3) into verse numbers, we get:

[Ch 9 Vs 10-17 , Ch 10 Vs 6-12]  [[Ch 9 Vs 9,Ch 10 Vs 1-5a], Ch 11 Vs 4-17]   [[Ch 9 Vs 1-8,Ch 10 Vs 5b], Ch 11 Vs 1-3]        (4)

We arrive at the reconfigured passage in the next section by rearranging the verses so they are in sequence (4).



4. Zechariah 9-11 Reconfigured

Christ's millennial reign on earth (circa 2000AD).(Ch 9 Vs 10-17 , Ch 10 Vs 6-12)
Chapter 9 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth. 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you. 13 I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim. I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.
14 Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, 15 and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. 16 The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.


Chapter 10 6 “I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. 7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. 8 I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. 9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. 10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. 11 They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. 12 I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will live securely,” declares the Lord.

The Death of Christ to The First Jewish–Roman War (circa 30AD–74AD). (Ch 9 Vs 9, Ch 10 Vs 1-5a, Ch 11 Vs 4-17)
Chapter 9 9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Chapter 10 1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. 2 The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. 4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler. 5a Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.


Chapter 11 4 This is what the Lord my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter. 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the Lord. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbors and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.”
7 So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. 8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds. The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”
10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord.
12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.
14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.
15 Then the Lord said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves. 17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”


Alexander's conquests around the Holy Land c. 333BC (Ch 9 Vs 1-8, Ch 10 Vs 5b, Ch 11 Vs 1-3)
Chapter 9 1 A prophecy: The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrak and will come to rest on Damascus— for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord— 2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it, and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful. 3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets. 4 But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire. 5 Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted. 6 A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod, and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines. 7 I will take the blood from their mouths, the forbidden food from between their teeth. Those who are left will belong to our God and become a clan in Judah, and Ekron will be like the Jebusites. 8 [KJV] And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more:
for now I am keeping watch.


Chapter 10 5b [KJV] and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.

Chapter 11 1 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars! 2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down! 3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds; their rich pastures are destroyed! Listen to the roar of the lions; the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!


'

5. An exegesis of the reconfigured text.

The passage has been split into 3 sections as above for analysis.

5.1 Christ's millennial reign on earth (circa 2000AD).(Ch 9 Vs 10-17 , Ch 10 Vs 6-12)

Chapter 9 10 I will take away the chariots from Ephraim and the warhorses from Jerusalem, and the battle bow will be broken. He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The new Israel need not prepare for war in a peaceful world under Christ. The "River", here, is probably the Euphrates in Mesopotamia which, for a long time, was considered the centre of the ancient world. So, during his millennial reign, Christ will rule all the earth.



Chapter 9 11 As for you, because of the blood of my covenant with you, I will free your prisoners from the waterless pit. 12 Return to your fortress, you prisoners of hope; even now I announce that I will restore twice as much to you.

The people of Israel have been promised a period of prosperity even though they will be suffering for a while because of their sins and unfaithfulness.



Chapter 9 13a I will bend Judah as I bend my bow and fill it with Ephraim.

God will rule the world through the restored Israel - both Judah and the Northern Tribes.



Chapter 9 13b I will rouse your sons, Zion, against your sons, Greece, and make you like a warrior’s sword.
14 Then the Lord will appear over them; his arrow will flash like lightning. The Sovereign Lord will sound the trumpet; he will march in the storms of the south, 15 and the Lord Almighty will shield them. They will destroy and overcome with slingstones. They will drink and roar as with wine; they will be full like a bowl used for sprinkling the corners of the altar. 16a The Lord their God will save his people on that day as a shepherd saves his flock.

The Lord will help the Israelites win a battle against "Greece". As we have seen in several chiastic reconstructions (Daniel 8 [3] for instance), Greece is in the line of the great empires that inherits the occult powers of Babylon. We believe that Greece is chosen to represent Babylon here - though at the time of the the prophecy, the Medo-Persian empire was in power - as an indication that Period 1 in this prophecy is about Greece. "Greece" here represents whichever country inherits Babylonian occult powers at the time of this battle during the millennial reign.



Chapter 9 16b They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown. 17 How attractive and beautiful they will be! Grain will make the young men thrive, and new wine the young women.

The new Israel will be a prosperous nation filled with admirable people.



Chapter 10 6 “I will strengthen Judah and save the tribes of Joseph. I will restore them because I have compassion on them. They will be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them. 7 The Ephraimites will become like warriors, and their hearts will be glad as with wine. Their children will see it and be joyful; their hearts will rejoice in the Lord. 8 I will signal for them and gather them in. Surely I will redeem them; they will be as numerous as before. 9 Though I scatter them among the peoples, yet in distant lands they will remember me. They and their children will survive, and they will return. 10 I will bring them back from Egypt and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon, and there will not be room enough for them. 11 They will pass through the sea of trouble; the surging sea will be subdued and all the depths of the Nile will dry up. Assyria’s pride will be brought down and Egypt’s scepter will pass away. 12 I will strengthen them in the Lord and in his name they will live securely,” declares the Lord.

Judah and the Northern tribes will unite to form a joyous, influential new nation under Christ. Assyria and Egypt were their previous captors and here represent their "captors" at the start of the millennial reign - Israel's tormentors who will lose their power. The diaspora will return to "Gilead" and "Lebanon" - Israel's neighbours at the time of the prophecy - presumably because there will not be enough space for them in the new Israel.



5.2 The Death of Christ to The First Jewish–Roman War (circa 30AD–74AD). (Ch 9 Vs 9, Ch 10 Vs 1-5a, Ch 11 Vs 4-17)

Chapter 9 9 Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.

Jesus, the future King of Israel and the world, victoriously entered Jerusalem on a donkey, a symbol of meekness. This passage was quoted in the New Testament as referring to Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:5) a few days before his crucifixion.



Chapter 10 1 Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone. 2 The idols speak deceitfully, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false, they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd.
3 “My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord Almighty will care for his flock, the people of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. 4 From Judah will come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler. 5a Together they will be like warriors in battle trampling their enemy into the mud of the streets.

The Judahites are warned to trust in their God and not mediums or pagan gods. Their leaders were punished during the Jewish-Roman War for leading the people astray as we have seen in our reconstruction of Isaiah 2-4 [4]. But Judah, in spite of its shortcomings, will be victorious and will be the source of the future leadership of Israel. Christ preached the good news to the people of Judah first and they took it to the rest of the world.



Chapter 11 4 This is what the Lord my God says: “Shepherd the flock marked for slaughter.

In this section of the vision, Zechariah sees himself acting out a parable to illustrate the main events of this period of the prophecy - the death of Christ and the slaughter of the Judahites during the First Jewish-Roman war. The narrative in this section switches back and forth between these two events as if to emphasize the connection between them - the Judahites were punished by the Romans in 70AD for rejecting and killing Jesus.



Chapter 11 5 Their buyers slaughter them and go unpunished. Those who sell them say, ‘Praise the Lord, I am rich!’ Their own shepherds do not spare them. 6 For I will no longer have pity on the people of the land,” declares the Lord. “I will give everyone into the hands of their neighbours and their king. They will devastate the land, and I will not rescue anyone from their hands.”

Christ came to a people that were led astray by the Pharisees who harmed and exploited them instead of caring for them. While Jesus was able to save the Judahites who believed in him through his ministry, he let those who did not listen to him perish at the hand of the Romans. (For details on the First Jewish-Roman war, see our paper on the "70 weeks of Daniel" [2])



Chapter 11 7 So I shepherded the flock marked for slaughter, particularly the oppressed of the flock. Then I took two staffs and called one Favor and the other Union, and I shepherded the flock. 8 In one month I got rid of the three shepherds. The flock detested me, and I grew weary of them 9 and said, “I will not be your shepherd. Let the dying die, and the perishing perish. Let those who are left eat one another’s flesh.”

Zechariah takes up the two staffs to indicate start of the regime of the Good Shepherd - Jesus' time on earth. He gets rid of the three shepherds after one month to indicate that when the Judahites rejected Christ and crucified him, they rejected God and the Holy Spirit. One month or 30 days probably represents the 30 years of the life of Christ. (In a similarly parabolic action in Ezekiel 4, one day of the prophets action represents one prophetic year). The oppressed of the flock represent those who were persecuted for their belief in Christ - the Christians who were given special care by their shepherd. However, Jesus gave up on the Judahites who would not listen to him and he let them die - both physically and spiritually. During the Roman siege of Jerusalem, they were literally reduced to eating human flesh to survive.



Chapter 11 10 Then I took my staff called Favor and broke it, revoking the covenant I had made with all the nations. 11 It was revoked on that day, and so the oppressed of the flock who were watching me knew it was the word of the Lord.

When Jesus died for all mankind, the old covenant was broken so that the Jews were no longer the chosen of God. When the "Favor" covenant was broken, the Judahites could no longer expect any special treatment from God in return for obeying the law. The oppressed of the flock - those who believed in Christ - knew that this revocation of the covenant came from God. They knew they had to flee when they saw the Romans in 70AD because they could not expect God's protection as a people solely because they were a tribe of Israel. The death of all the Judahites who did not believe Christ in 70AD signals the complete end of the old covenant.



Chapter 11 12 I told them, “If you think it best, give me my pay; but if not, keep it.” So they paid me thirty pieces of silver. 13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—the handsome price at which they valued me! So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them to the potter at the house of the Lord.

There is some sarcasm in these verses: The 30 pieces of silver were not so much Jesus' "pay" as the reward for his capture; and the sum was not "handsome" - it was equivalent to the reimbursement for the accidental death of a slave (Exodus 21:32). When Judas remorsefully threw the reward money in the temple and left, the chief priests decided not to put the blood money in the temple treasury but instead used it to buy a potter's field.



Chapter 11 14 Then I broke my second staff called Union, breaking the family bond between Judah and Israel.

When the Union staff was broken, the bond between Judah and the land of Israel was cut off. After the First Jewish-Roman war, large numbers of Judahites spread out into other regions and Israel has been occupied by outsiders since then. (By the time of Christ, the bond with the Northern tribes had already been broken.)



Chapter 11 15 Then the Lord said to me, “Take again the equipment of a foolish shepherd. 16 For I am going to raise up a shepherd over the land who will not care for the lost, or seek the young, or heal the injured, or feed the healthy, but will eat the meat of the choice sheep, tearing off their hooves.

The prophet once again takes up the implements of the Foolish Shepherd. This is to indicate that after the death of Christ, Satan took back control of the Judahites through the Pharisee leadership. This uncaring shepherd continued to lead the people astray and harm them and exploit them.



Chapter 11 17 “Woe to the worthless shepherd, who deserts the flock! May the sword strike his arm and his right eye! May his arm be completely withered, his right eye totally blinded!”

During the First Jewish Roman war, God used the Romans to kill the Pharisees and their followers. By killing the Judahites who followed Pharisaism (a sect of Judaism corrupted by Satanic teachings), God destroyed some of Satan's most influential and effective servants - they were his right hand and his right eye.




5.3 Alexander's conquests around the Holy Land c. 333BC (Ch 9 Vs 1-8, Ch 10 Vs 5b, Ch 11 Vs 1-3)

In 334BC, Alexander embarked on one of the greatest military campaigns in history with the goal of conquering all of Asia. After defeating the Persian emperor Darius III at the battle of Issus, Alexander continued to the region of the Holy Land. This Period of the prophecy deals exclusively with the conquests of Alexander around Israel.

Chapter 9 1a A prophecy: The word of the Lord is against the land of Hadrak and will come to rest on Damascus—

Alexander proceeded south into Syria, conquering all on his path. Hadrak appears to be a city in Syria close to Damascus.



Chapter 9 1b for the eyes of all people and all the tribes of Israel are on the Lord—

This clause can also be translated to, "For the eyes of the Lord are upon man, as well as upon all the tribes of Israel.". God used Alexander as an instrument of His judgement on the people of Israel and the surrounding nations.



Chapter 9 2 and on Hamath too, which borders on it, and on Tyre and Sidon, though they are very skillful. 3 Tyre has built herself a stronghold; she has heaped up silver like dust, and gold like the dirt of the streets. 4 But the Lord will take away her possessions and destroy her power on the sea, and she will be consumed by fire.

Alexander pushed into the region of Lebanon, defeated Hamath on the border and the great cities of Tyre and Sidon. Tyre was an extremely wealthy trading port and a very well fortified city. The siege and defeat of Tyre was one of Alexander's great victories as he had to build a causeway to reach the island city. Alexander destroyed the city, killed a large number of its residents and sold the rest into slavery.



Chapter 9 5 Ashkelon will see it and fear; Gaza will writhe in agony, and Ekron too, for her hope will wither. Gaza will lose her king and Ashkelon will be deserted.

Moving further south into the coastal region of the Philistines, Alexander subdued the major cities of the Philistines: Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron and Ashdod. When Gaza was taken after a siege, the men were killed and the women and children were sold into slavery. Their commander Batis was brutally executed for refusing to surrender and for of his haughty manner.



Chapter 9 6 A mongrel people will occupy Ashdod, and I will put an end to the pride of the Philistines. 7 I will take the blood from their mouths, the forbidden food from between their teeth. Those who are left will belong to our God and become a clan in Judah, and Ekron will be like the Jebusites.

Thoroughly defeated, Palestine became part of the Greek empire. Some of those who remained stopped worshipping other gods and became a part of Judah like the Jebusites



Chapter 9 8 [KJV] And I will encamp about mine house because of the army, because of him that passeth by, and because of him that returneth: and no oppressor shall pass through them any more:
for now I am keeping watch.

Alexander passed by Judah on the way to Egypt and on the return journey as he made his way to Persia but Jerusalem was not attacked. The regions around Israel became part of the Greek empires but Judah retained a degree of autonomy with God's help .(We use the KJV translation for part of this verse and the next)



Chapter 10 5b [KJV] and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded.

According to Josephus, after Alexander defeated Gaza, he set out towards Jerusalem to subdue the city. When the Greeks reached the city, they were initially confused because they were met by an army of priests in white robes led by the High Priest in his ceremonial garments. But Alexander treated the High Priest of the Judahites with great reverence because he had seen the priest in a vision that predicted his conquest of Persia. At the temple in Jerusalem, he offered a sacrifice to God and he was shown the book of Daniel that prophesied of his defeat of Persia.

Even though Israel became a vassal state of the Greek empire, the Judahites were allowed to live under their own Laws



Chapter 11 1 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars! 2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen; the stately trees are ruined! Wail, oaks of Bashan; the dense forest has been cut down! 3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds; their rich pastures are destroyed! Listen to the roar of the lions; the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!

Lebanon, Bashan and Jordan eventually became a part of the Greek empire.

As a result of Alexander's campaign and victory over the Persians, most of Israel's former enemies who had enjoyed some autonomy under Persian rule, became a part of the Greek Diadochi - either the Seleucid or Ptolemaic empires.




Conclusion

This paper is a chiastic reconstruction of the text which shows that the passage contains three interwoven prophetic passages. Once again, we see the destruction of Jerusalem featured; we treat its presence as a validation of the parse.

With this exegesis, we show that this prophecy makes detailed predictions about documented historical events regarding Alexander centuries before they took place. With this reconstruction, we have placed the predictions about Jesus in the prophecy in a better context. Through the parable of the shepherds, this passage explains why the destruction of the Jerusalem in 70 AD was so significant that it predominates in chiastic reconstructions - it signifies the complete end of the old covenant; the Israelites who did not believe in Christ were killed.



References

[1] A Definition of Functional Chiasmus
[2] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of "The 70 Weeks Of Daniel"
[3] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Daniel 8
[4] A Chiastic Reconfiguration Of Isaiah 2-4










Related pages

Daniel 9
Mark 13
Luke 21
Luke 17:22-37
Functional Chiasmus