Zechariah 10

The Word Made Fresh

1When it is time for the spring rains,
ask the LORD to send them.
The LORD is the one who makes the thunder clouds.
The LORD will bring the showers of rain for the grass in the fields.
2The household idols are worthless
and their owners see false visions and tell false dreams.
They offer worthless words of comfort.
So, the people wander about like lost sheep.
They are troubled, and suffer from the lack of a shepherd.
3“The false shepherds stir up my anger,
and I will punish their leaders,” says the LORD.
The LORD Almighty has visited the flock (the people of Judah)
and will make them like the LORD’s great stallion in battle.
4The ‘Cornerstone’ will come from Judah,
along with the ‘tent peg’ and the ‘battle bow.’
All their rulers will come together.
5They will be the mighty warriors
who will trample their enemies in the mud of the streets,
and the battle will be theirs through the LORD.
The enemy’s horsemen will be put to shame.
6I will make Judah strong,
and I will rescue the house of Joseph.
I will bring them back and let them live in safety.
For I have had compassion for them,
and it will be as though I had never rejected them.
I am the LORD their God. I will listen to them, and answer them.
7Ephraim will be like a great warrior.
Their hearts will rejoice as if they were drunk from wine.
Their children will see, and they will be glad.
Their hearts will be joyful, and they will shout with joy for the LORD.
8I will summon them together and restore them.
They will be as numerous as ever before.
9I scattered them around among the other nations,
but even far away they will remember me.
They will gather their children and return.
10I will bring them back from Egypt and Assyria.
I will bring them to Gilead and Lebanon
until there is no more room for them.
11They will survive their sea of troubles,
for the waves will be calmed,
and the Nile will be diminished.
The pride of Assyria will be cut down
and the banner of Egypt will be sent away.
12I will make my people strong,
and they will walk in my name,” says the LORD.


1-2: Zechariah urges the people to ask God to supply their needs instead of depending on pagan religious practices. The worship of other gods (“teraphim,” or small statues of pagan gods) is what brought them trouble in the first place, resulting in the nation wandering senseless like sheep without a shepherd.

3-7: God will use Judah to provide the leadership that will bring lasting security for both Judah and Joseph (Israel). Ephraim (also Israel) will be restored as well as Judah in Zechariah’s vision of the future.

8-12: He describes all the exiles and refugees of Israel returning from Egypt and Assyria. Echoing the crossing of the sea in the time of Moses, he imagines the Nile drying up.


There will be times in life when we feel we have been ‘exiled’ – put aside and left forgotten. But those times of ‘exile’ can be times of introspection, when we can pay attention to what’s going on in our relationship with God. God will certainly draw nearer, and we will be blessed in spite of our troubles.