The Fountain for the remission of sins, The conviction of the false prophets. (1-6) The death of Christ, and the saving of a remnant of the people. (7-9)
Verses 1-6 In the time mentioned at the close of the foregoing chapter, a fountain would be opened to the rulers and people of the Jews, in which to wash away their sins. Even the atoning blood of Christ, united with his sanctifying grace. It has hitherto been closed to the unbelieving nation of Israel; but when the Spirit of grace shall humble and soften their hearts, he will open it to them also. This fountain opened is the pierced side of Christ. We are all as an unclean thing. Behold a fountain opened for us to wash in, and streams flowing to us from that fountain. The blood of Christ, and God's pardoning mercy in that blood, made known in the new covenant, are a fountain always flowing, that never can be emptied. It is opened for all believers, who as the spiritual seed of Christ, are of the house of David, and, as living members of the church, are inhabitants of Jerusalem. Christ, by the power of his grace, takes away the dominion of sin, even of beloved sins. Those who are washed in the fountain opened, as they are justified, so they are sanctified. Souls are brought off from the world and the flesh, those two great idols, that they may cleave to God only. The thorough reformation which will take place on the conversion of Israel to Christ, is here foretold. False prophets shall be convinced of their sin and folly, and return to their proper employments. When convinced that we are gone out of the way of duty, we must show the truth of our repentance by returning to it again. It is well to acknowledge those to be friends, who by severe discipline are instrumental in bringing us to a sight of error; for faithful are the wounds of a friend, ( Proverbs 27:6 ) . And it is always well for us to recollect the wounds of our Saviour. Often has he been wounded by professed friends, nay, even by his real disciples, when they act contrary to his word.
Verses 7-9 Here is a prophecy of the sufferings of Christ. God the Father gave order to the sword of his justice to awake against his Son, when he freely made his soul an offering for sin. As God, he is called "my Fellow." Christ and the Father are one. He is the Shepherd who was to lay down his life for the sheep. If a Sacrifice, he must be slain, for without shedding of the life-blood there was no remission. This sword must awake against him, yet he had no sin of his own to answer for. It may refer to the whole of Christ's sufferings, especially his agonies in the garden and on the cross, when he endured unspeakable anguish till Divine justice was fully satisfied. Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. This passage our Lord Jesus declares was fulfilled, when all his disciples, in the night wherein he was betrayed, forsook him and fled. It has, and shall have its accomplishment, in the destruction of the corrupt and hypocritical part of the professed church. Because of the sin of the Jews in rejecting and crucifying Christ, and in opposing his gospel, the Romans would destroy the greater part. But a remnant would be saved. And if we are his people, we shall be refined as gold; he will be God, and the end of all our trials and sufferings will be praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this chapter are prophecies concerning the purification of the penitent Jews before spoken of; the removal of idols, and false prophets, out of the earth; the death of Christ; the destruction of the greater part of men, and the salvation of a few of them. The cleansing of such that mourn for sin, in a fountain opened for that purpose, is spoken of, Zec 13:1 the utter abolition of idols, and false prophets, and unclean spirits, is affirmed, Zec 13:2 the parents of false prophets will forbid them to prophesy; they themselves will be ashamed of their visions; they will throw off the rough garment, which was a token of their being prophets, and by which they deceived: they will confess they are no prophets, and what they are, and own the wounds they have received from their friends on that account, Zec 13:3-6 and whereas the Messiah, as pierced and crucified, is spoken of in the preceding chapter Zec 12:10, whose blood is the cleansing fountain mentioned in this, an account is given of his death; who is described by his office, the Shepherd of the Lord; and by his natures, human and divine, the Man his fellow; his death is signified by smiting with the sword, which was done by the order of the Lord; the consequences of which were the scattering of the sheep, and the turning of the hand of the Lord upon them in a way of mercy, Zec 13:7 and then it is declared that two parts in three of the land should be cut off, and a third part saved, but yet so as by fire, whom the Lord would own as his people, and they should acknowledge him to be their God, Zec 13:8,9.