Chapter nine begins the second major section of this book. Whereas the first section has time pointers (Zechariah 1:1, 7; 7:1), chapters 9-14 are not dated at all. Additionally, whereas the first section was primarily focused on Israel in Zechariah’s time with mentions of Messiah’s kingdom, these final chapters almost exclusively point to the kingdom with mentions of Zechariah’s day.
This chapter begins as if it were an oracle or prophecy against the regions and cities named: Hadrach, Damascus, Hamath, Tyre, Sidon, Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and Ashdod (Zechariah 9:1-7). Instead, it is primarily a prophecy for Israel, which will affect those places, and the rest of the chapter explains the prophecy’s promise, method, and result.
The promise is that God himself would surround his Temple and protect it from any further attacks from the nations (Zechariah 9:8). The method he will use will be the coming of Israel’s promised King (Zechariah 9:9-10). Riding a donkey instead of a war horse symbolized peace, and God promised that Messiah himself will finally bring peace to Israel. Jesus fulfilled the first part of this when he entered into his Temple after riding a donkey into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:1-13). He will fulfill the second part when he rides his horse out of heaven and defeats all of Israel’s enemies (Revelation 19:11-21), establishing “his dominion…from sea to sea and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth.” The result will be that prisoners would be released, and the people would rise up again (Zechariah 9:11-17). They will enjoy God’s blessings of food and drink, joy and revelry, and new generations of God’s people.