Verse 1 – Ask the LORD for rain in the time of the latter rain. The LORD will make flashing clouds; He will give them showers of rain, grass in the field for everyone.
Verse 2 – For the idols speak delusion; the diviners envision lies, and tell false dreams; they comfort in vain. Therefore the people went their way like sheep; they are in trouble because there is no shepherd.
Asking Jehovah for rain in the latter rain season signifies that only God could give it. The latter rain ripened the grain as the former rain in October had. Zechariah also told them to rid themselves of all household idols that they had used in divination.
Verse 3 – “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, and I will punish the goat herds, for the LORD of hosts will visit His flock, the house of Judah, and will make them as His royal horse in the battle.
Verse 4 – From him comes the cornerstone, from him the tent pegs, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler together.
Out of him – Judah is to be no more subject to foreigners, but from itself shall come its rulers. The cornerstone – the Messiah. The tent-peg – on the Messiah would be all the glory and hope of His people. The bow – Judah shall not need foreign soldiers, the Messiah shall be her battle – bow.
Verse 5 – They shall be like mighty men, who tread down her enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle. They shall fight because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be put to shame.
Verse 6 – ‘I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back, because I have mercy on them. They shall be as though I had not cast them aside; for I am the LORD their God, and I will hear them.
The “house of Judah” refers to the southern kingdom and the “house of Joseph” refers to the northern kingdom, Israel. Ephraim, the leader of the northern kingdom was the son of Joseph.
Verse 7 – Those of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as if with wine. Yes, their children shall see it and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD.
Verse 8 – I will whistle for them and gather them, for I will redeem them; and they shall increase as they once increased.
Verse 9 – “I will sow them among the peoples, and they shall remember me in far countries; they shall live, together with their children and they shall return.
Verse 10 – I will also bring them back from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria. I will bring them into the land of Gilead and Lebanon, until no more room is found for them.
Verse 11 – He shall pass through the sea with affliction, and strike the waves of the sea: All the depths of the River shall dry up. Then the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
As God divided and made a way through the Red Sea for His people to depart from Egypt, so will He again make a way through every obstacle which opposes Israel’s restoration.
Verse 12 – “So I will strengthen them in the LORD, and they shall walk up and down in His name,” says the LORD.
Egypt and Assyria invoked memories of slavery and separation. Just as God had strengthened them when He brought them out of Egypt, He would strengthen their return from Assyria and Babylon.