Zechariah 9-14

There are two sections I want to talk about. The first being the bit at the end of chapter 13.

I can see how a lot of people might have a problem with this passage. When we are taught that the Bible is completely literal, this passage says that God himself is going to “turn his hand against the little ones.” Two thirds of the people are going to die, and the remaining third is going to be tormented. Then they get to be God’s people.

What kind of good and loving God would do that? Would kill and torture in order to “refine” his people?

But if you can read it all as an elaborate metaphor, as extremely poetic language, this is about a God who does not intervene, who does not save a people from desperate times until they call upon his name, until they turn to him and call him their God.

That’s a pretty significant difference. The literature and the culture of the text matters to our understanding.

The second bit I want to draw attention to is the end of chapter 14, the end of the book. “On that day” unclean animals will be clean. Every pot in Jerusalem shall be holy, fit for sacrifice, and there will be no one considered an outsider, everyone will belong in the house of the Lord of Hosts.

What a beautiful promise. Ritual purity will no longer be necessary because we will have been truly cleansed. We will all be priests. We will all be his people. We are in that day.

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