A Prophecy’s Context (Zechariah 9:9-10)

Zechariah 9:9-10 -Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey. I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem; and the battle bow shall be cut off, and he shall speak peace to the nations; his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.

The passage above is often quoted, not from its context, but from our celebration of Palm Sunday. The prediction of the Lord Jesus entering Jerusalem, humbly seated astride a donkey’s foal is a beautiful image to ponder. What grace. What humility. What gentleness is there seen in the face of the Savior.

We should recognize, however, that to take any passage of scripture out of its original context risks much. When we fail to look back at the passage that is cited, we may lose sight of something crucial that God wants to communicate with us. Take for example the end of verse 10. In the same breath that the prophet pronounces the coming of the Lord on the colt, he says, “his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.”

Take a moment to again ponder that sentence: “his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.” The Lord was not only predicted to enter Jerusalem on a little donkey. He was also predicted, promised to be the ruler of the entire world. Jesus is not merely the Son of David in the sense of governing Israel on David’s throne, he is promised by God to be the ruler of everything even to the “ends of the earth.”

When all we see is the picture of Jesus on a donkey as God telling us, “See, I told you I was going to do that,” we fail to recognize that God has also promised something else. Jesus entered Jerusalem on that day before his passion. He suffered the wrath of God for the sins of humanity. He rose from the dead, proving that the work he came to do was finished and acceptable to God. He ascended into heaven. And, if verse 9 of Zechariah is true, we also know verse 10 to be true. Jesus will reign. He will reign on this earth. He will reign bodily. And he will rule all the world, from sea to sea and from the river to the ends of the earth. The earth belongs to Jesus Christ.

As you ponder this great reality, see more than a coming conclusion to the affairs of the earth. Yes, see that Jesus will return and set the world right and rule forever, but also see something more. The land on which you live, that is Jesus’ land. The house in which you live, that is Jesus’ house. It does not matter whether you are in the US, Israel, Iraq, China, or Antarctica. “his rule shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth,” and that rule means that everything is his. You own nothing. You have no rights that Jesus does not give to you. You are a subject living under the reign of the rightful ruler of all things. Maybe we do not yet see Jesus enthroned on David’s throne, but that fact is a mere technicality. Jesus is Lord. The earth is his to rule. Your life is his to command. And the good news is, following your glorious ruler is the one thing in the world that can give your soul true and lasting joy and meaning forever.

1 thought on “A Prophecy’s Context (Zechariah 9:9-10)”

  1. And, of course, the the beautiful promise for us as well: “On that day the LORD their God will save them, as the flock of his people; for like the jewels of a crown they shall shine on his land. For how great is his goodness, and how great his beauty!” (Zech 9:16-17a). Thank you, Lord, for remembering us when you come into your Kingdom!


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