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December 19

Zechariah 12, Esther 1; Revelation 11

Thought from Today's Old Testament Passage:

[Zechariah 13:7] This highly poetic utterance by the Lord Almighty combines a number of figures of speech. The abrupt turning aside to address a non-present agent (Awake, O sword) combines two figures of speech—apostrophe (a direct address to an impersonal object as if it were a person) and personification. These words ascribe to an inanimate object the ability to hear, respond, and arouse out of sleep. The "sword," as a synecdoche (mention of a specific object to represent the more general), represents any instrument causing death (cf. 2 Sam. 11:24; 12:9 where Uriah's death by arrows is ascribed to the sword). The basic idea, then, is that the Lord will direct the death of His Shepherd. He is the True Shepherd, the Messiah (cf. Zech. 11:4-14; John 10:11, 14, "the Good Shepherd"; Heb. 13:20, "the Great Shepherd"; 1 Peter 5:4, "the Chief Shepherd").

The Lord added that this Shepherd is "the Man who is close to Me." The Hebrew word translated "who is close to Me" is found elsewhere only in Leviticus (6:2; 18:20; etc.) where it refers to a "near relative" (though it is trans. "neighbor" in the NIV). In Zechariah 13:7 the Lord is claiming identity of nature or unity of essence with His Shepherd, thus strongly affirming the Messiah's deity.

John F. Walvoord, Roy B. Zuck, eds., The Bible Knowledge Commentary (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), pp. 1568-1569.

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