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Zechariah Chapter Thirteen, Cleaning House

In our study of Zechariah chapter thirteen, we will look at the fact that Jesus came to cleanse the Jewish people.

Zechariah 13:1

'On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.'

In Exodus 30, Israel was given instructions to make a laver (wash basin) so that the priests could wash their hands and feet before going in to serve God. If they did not wash before going into the presence of God, they would die. It was only for them but we see, here, that in the last days a fountain will be made available to all of the Jewish people.

Zechariah 13:2

'On that day, I will banish the names of the idols from the land, and they will be remembered no more,' declares the Lord Almighty. 'I will remove the prophets and the spirit of impurity from the land.'

Now, that there is a way for the people to be pure, God says that He will clean house. The idols that this verse speaks of were the common household images or what we would call "good luck charms". They will be removed because anything that is not of faith (trusting in God) is sin. The "prophets" will be removed because there is no need for them anymore as God will live with the people. The "spirit of impurity" refers to unclean spirits or what we would call demons. Their goal was deception and all deception will be removed when the people realize that it is not their actions that cleanse them but their faith in Jesus Christ.

Zechariah 13:3

'And if anyone still prophesies, their father and mother, to whom they were born, will say to them, "You must die, because you have told lies in the Lord's name." Then their own parents will stab the one who prophesies.'

Anyone who tries to put themselves between God and His people will be recognized as false prophets. Mothers and fathers will even recognize and take a stand against their own children if they try to do so. The penalty for being a false prophet has always been death and their own parents will carry out the sentence.

Zechariah 13:4-6

'On that day every prophet will be ashamed of their prophetic vision. They will not put on a prophet's garments of hair in order to deceive. Each will say, "I am not a prophet. I am a farmer; the land has been my livelihood since my youth." If someone asks, "What are these wounds on your body?" they will answer, "The wounds I was given at the house of my friends."'

Because of the fact that false prophets will be recognized at this time and put to death, they will deny that they are prophets. Instead, they will pretend to be like ordinary men (farmers). The prophet's garments speaks of sackcloth and was worn by true prophets in the past. The wounds on the body refers to scars they would have from wounds they inflicted on themselves (see 1 Kings 18:28). These scars were an obvious sign that they did not worship the true God. This is similar to the wound to the head that the false messiah bears in Revelation 13.

Zechariah 13:7

'Awake sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!' declares the Lord Almighty. 'Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.'

This verse speaks of the Good Shepherd which is Jesus the Christ. He quoted these words just before His arrest. The scattered sheep refers to the scattering of the apostles after Jesus' death on the cross. Turning the hand against the little ones refers to the persecution of the early Christians. This was a refining process for them.

Zechariah 13:8 & 9

'In the whole land,' declares the Lord, 'two-thirds will be struck down and perish; yet one-third will be left in it. This third I will put into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, "They are my people," and they will say, "The Lord is our God."'

This passage speaks of the remnant of the Jews that will be saved during the time that is commonly called the Great Tribulation. During this great trial, they will call upon Jesus Christ and be saved.

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