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Zechariah 9:12 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Turn you to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I declare that I will render double unto thee.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— Return to the stronghold, O prisoners who have the hope; This very day I am declaring that I will restore double to you.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Turn ye to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to-day do I declare [that] I will render double to thee;
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— Turn again to the stronghold, prisoners of hope! even to-day do I declare I will render double unto thee.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Return to the stronghold, ye prisoners of hope,—Even today, do I declare—Double, will I return to thee!
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Turn back to a fenced place, Ye prisoners of the hope, Even to-day a second announcer I restore to thee.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Return to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope, I will render thee double as I declare today.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Turne ye to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope, euen to day doe I declare that I will render double vnto thee:
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— Ye shall dwell in strongholds, ye prisoners of the congregation: and for one day of thy captivity I will recompense thee double.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render double unto thee;

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Turn 7725
{7725} Prime
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
<8798> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperative (See H8810)
Count - 2847
you to the strong hold, 1225
{1225} Prime
Masculine intensive from H1219; a fortress.
ye prisoners 615
{0615} Prime
From H0631; bound, that is, a captive.
of hope: 8615
{8615} Prime
From H6960; literally a cord (as an attachment (compare H6961)); figuratively expectancy.
even x1571
(1571) Complement
By contraction from an unused root meaning to gather; properly assemblage; used only adverbially also, even, yea, though; often repeated as correlation both... and.
to day 3117
{3117} Prime
From an unused root meaning to be hot; a day (as the warm hours), whether literally (from sunrise to sunset, or from one sunset to the next), or figuratively (a space of time defined by an associated term), (often used adverbially).
do I declare 5046
{5046} Prime
A primitive root; properly to front, that is, stand boldly out opposite; by implication (causatively), to manifest; figuratively to announce (always by word of mouth to one present); specifically to expose, predict, explain, praise.
<8688> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Participle (See H8813)
Count - 857
[that] I will render 7725
{7725} Prime
A primitive root; to turn back (hence, away) transitively or intransitively, literally or figuratively (not necessarily with the idea of return to the starting point); generally to retreat; often adverbially again.
<8686> Grammar
Stem - Hiphil (See H8818)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 4046
double 4932
{4932} Prime
From H8138; properly a repetition, that is, a duplicate (copy of a document), or a double (in amount); by implication a second (in order, rank, age, quality or location).
unto thee;
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Zechariah 9:12

_ _ stronghold — in contrast to the “pit” (Zechariah 9:11); literally, “a place cut off from access.” Maurer thinks, “a height” (Psalms 18:33). An image for the security which the returning Jews shall have in Messiah (Zechariah 9:8) encamped about His people (Psalms 46:1, Psalms 46:5; compare Isaiah 49:9; Proverbs 18:10).

_ _ prisoners of hope — that is, who in spite of afflictions (Job 13:15; Psalms 42:5, Psalms 42:11) maintain hope in the covenant-keeping God; in contrast to unbelievers, who say, “There is no hope” (Jeremiah 2:25; Jeremiah 18:12). Especially those Jews who believe God’s word to Israel (Jeremiah 31:17), “there is hope in the end, that thy children shall come again to their own border,” and do not say, as in Ezekiel 37:11, “Our hope is lost.” Primarily, the Jews of Zechariah’s time are encouraged not to be dispirited in building by their trials; secondarily, the Jews before the coming restoration are encouraged to look to Messiah for deliverance from their last oppressors.

_ _ even to-day — when your circumstances seem so unpromising; in contrast with the “day of the Lord,” when Zion’s King shall come to her deliverance (Zechariah 9:9).

_ _ I will render double — Great as has been thy adversity, thy prosperity shall be doubly greater (Isaiah 61:7).

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Zechariah 9:12-17

_ _ The prophet, having taught those that had returned out of captivity to attribute their deliverance to the blood of the covenant and to the promise of the Messiah (for they were so wonderfully helped because that blessing was in them, was yet in the womb of their nation), now comes to encourage them with the prospect of a joyful and happy settlement, and of glorious times before them; and such a happiness they did enjoy, in a great measure, for some time; but these promises have their full accomplishment in the spiritual blessings of the gospel which we enjoy by Jesus Christ.

_ _ I. They are invited to look unto Christ, and flee unto him as their city of refuge (Zechariah 9:12): Turn you to the strong-hold, you prisoners of hope. The Jews that had returned out of captivity into their own land were yet, in effect, but prisoners (We are servants this day, Nehemiah 9:36), yet prisoners of hope, or expectation, for God had given them a little reviving in their bondage, Ezra 9:8, Ezra 9:9. Those that yet continued in Babylon, detained by their affairs there, yet lived in hope some time or other to see their own land again. Now both these are directed to turn their eyes upon the Messiah, set before them in the promise as their strong-hold, to shelter themselves in him, and stay themselves upon him, for the perfecting of the mercy which by his grace, and for his sake, was so gloriously begun. Look unto him, and be you saved, Isaiah 45:22. The promise of the Messiah was the strong-hold of the faithful long before his coming; they saw his day at a distance and were glad, and the believing expectation of the redemption in Jerusalem was long the support and consolation of Israel, Luke 2:25, Luke 2:38. They, in their dangers and distresses, were ready to turn towards this and the other creature for relief; but the prophets directed them still to turn to Christ, and to comfort themselves with the joy of their king coming to them with salvation. But, as their deliverance was typical of our redemption by Christ (Zechariah 9:11), so this invitation to the strong-hold speaks the language of the gospel-call. Sinners are prisoners, but they are prisoners of hope; their case is sad, but it is not desperate; yet now there is hope in Israel concerning them. Christ is a strong-hold for them, a strong tower, in whom they may be safe and quiet from the fear of the wrath of God, the curse of the law, and the assaults of their spiritual enemies. To him they must turn by a lively faith; to him they must flee, and trust in his name.

_ _ II. They are assured of God's favour to them: “Even to day do I declare, when things are at the worst, and you think your case deplorable to the last degree, yet I solemnly promise that I will render double unto thee, to thee, O Jerusalem! to every one of you prisoners of hope. I will give you comforts double to the sorrows you have experienced, or blessings double to what I ever bestowed upon your fathers, when their condition was at the best; the glory of your latter state, as well as of your latter house, shall be greater, shall be twice as great as that of your former.” And so it was no otherwise than by the coming of the Messiah, the preaching of his gospel, and the setting up of his kingdom; these spiritual blessings in heavenly things were double to what they had ever enjoyed in their most prosperous state. As a pledge of this, in the fulness of time God here promises to the Jews victory, plenty, and joy, in their own land, which yet should be but a type and shadow of more glorious victories, riches, and joys, in the kingdom of Christ.

_ _ 1. They shall triumph over their enemies. The Jews, after their return, were surrounded with enemies on all sides. They were as a speckled bird; all the birds of the field were against them. Their land lay between the two potent kingdoms of Syria and Egypt, branches of the Grecian monarchy, and what frequent dangers they should be in between them was foretold, Dan. 11. But it is here promised that out of them all the Lord would deliver them; and this promise had its primary accomplishment in the times of the Maccabees, when the Jews made head against their enemies, kept their head above water, and, after many struggles and difficulties, came to be head over them. It is promised, (1.) That they shall be instruments in God's hand for the defeating and baffling of their persecutors: “I have bent Judah for me, as my bow of steel; that bow I have filled with Ephraim as my arrows, have drawn it up to its full bent, till the arrow be at the head;” for some think that this is signified by the phrase of filling the bow. The expressions here are very fine, and the figures lively. Judah had been taught the use of the bow (2 Samuel 1:18), and Ephraim had been famous for it, Psalms 78:9. But let them not think that they gain their successes by their own bow, for they themselves are no more than God's bow and his arrows, tools in his hands, which he makes use of and manages as he pleases, which he holds as his bow and directs to the mark as his arrows. The best and bravest of men are but what God makes them, and do no more service than he enables them to do. The preachers of the gospel were the bow in Christ's hand, with which he went forth, he went on, conquering and to conquer, Revelation 6:2. The following words explain this: I have raised up and animated thy sons, O Zion! against thy sons, O Greece! This was fulfilled when against Antiochus, one of the kings of the Grecian monarchy, the people that knew their God were strong and did exploits, Daniel 11:32. And they in the hand of an almighty God were made as the sword of a mighty man, which none can stand before. Wicked men are said to be God's sword (Psalms 17:13), and sometimes good men are made so; for he employs both as he pleases. (2.) That God will be captain, and commander-in-chief, over them, in every expedition and engagement (Zechariah 9:14): The Lord shall be seen over them; he shall make it appear that he presides in their affairs, and that in all their motions they are under his direction, as apparently, though not as sensibly, as he was seen over Israel in the pillar of cloud and fire when he led them through the wilderness. [1.] Is their army to be raised, or mustered, and brought into the field? The Lord shall blow the trumpet, to gather the forces together, to proclaim the war, to sound the alarm, and to give directions which way to march, which way to move; for, if God blow the trumpet, it shall not give an uncertain sound, nor a feeble ineffectual one. [2.] Is the army taking the field, and entering upon action? Whatever enterprise the campaign is opened with, God shall go forth at the head of their forces, with whirlwinds of the south, which were of incredible swiftness and fierceness; and before these whirlwinds thy sons, O Greece! shall be as chaff. [3.] Is the army actually engaged? God's arrows shall go forth as lightning, so strongly, so suddenly, so irresistibly; his lightnings shall go forth as arrows and scattered them, that is, he shot out his lightnings and discomfited them. This alludes to that which God had done for Israel of old when he brought them out of Egypt, and into Canaan, and had its accomplishment partly in the wonderful successes which the Jews had against their neighbours that attacked them in the time of the Maccabees, by the special appearances of the divine Providence for them, and perfectly in the glorious victories gained by the cross of Christ and the preaching of the cross over Satan and all the powers of darkness, whereby we are made more than conquerors. [4.] Are they in danger of being overpowered by the enemy? The Lord of hosts shall defend them (Zechariah 9:15); The Lord their God shall save them (Zechariah 9:16); so that their enemies shall not prevail over them, nor prey upon them. God shall be unto them for defence as well as offence, the shield of their help as well as the sword of their excellency, and this as the Lord of hosts, who has power to defend them, and as their God, who is engaged by promise to defend them, and by the property he has in them. He shall save them in that day, that critical dangerous day, as the flock of his people, with the same care and tenderness that the shepherd protects his sheep with. Those are safe whom God saves. [5.] Did their enemies hope to swallow them up? It shall be turned upon them, and they shall devour their enemies, and shall subdue with sling-stones, for want of better weapons, those that come forth against them. The stones of the brook, when God pleases, shall do as great execution as the best train of artillery; for the stars in their courses shall fight on the same side. Goliath was subdued with a sling-stone. Having subdued, they shall devour, shall drink the blood of their enemies, as it were, and, as conquerors are wont to do, they shall make a noise as through wine. It is usual for conquerors with loud huzzas and acclamations to glory in their victories and proclaim them. We read of those that shout for mastery, and of the shout of a king among God's people. They shall be filled with blood and spoil, as the bowls and basins of the temple, or the corners of the altar, were wont to be filled with the blood of the sacrifices; for their enemies shall fall as victims to divine justice.

_ _ 2. They shall triumph in their God. They shall take the comfort and give God the glory of their successes. So some read Zechariah 9:15. They shall eat (that is, they shall quietly enjoy) what they have got; God will give them power to eat it after they have subdued the sling-stones (that is, their enemies that slung stones at them), and they shall drink and make a noise, a joyful noise, before the Lord their maker and protector, as through wine, as men are merry at a banquet of wine. Being not drunk with wine, wherein is excess, but filled with the Spirit, they shall speak to themselves and one another in psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, as those that are drunk do with vain and foolish songs, Ephesians 5:18, Ephesians 5:19. And, in the fulness of their joy, they shall offer abundance of sacrifices to the honour of God, so that they shall fill both the bowls and the corners of the altar with the fat and blood of their sacrifices. And, when they thus triumph in their successes, their joy shall terminate in God as their God, the God of their salvation. They shall triumph, (1.) In the love he has for them, and the relation wherein they stand to him, that they are the flock of his people and he is their Shepherd, and that they are to him as the stones of a crown, which are very precious and of great value, and which are kept under a strong guard. Never was any king so pleased with the jewels of his crown as God is, and will be, with his people, who are near and dear unto him, and in whom he glories. They are a crown of glory and a royal diadem in his hand, Isaiah 62:2, Isaiah 62:3. And they shall be mine, saith the Lord, in that day when I make up my jewels, Malachi 3:17. And they shall be lifted up as an ensign upon his land, as the royal standard is displayed in token of triumph and joy. God's people are his glory; so he is pleased to make them, so he is pleased to reckon them. He sets them up as a banner upon his own land, waging war against those who hate him, to whom it is a flag of defiance, while it is a centre of unity to all that love him, to all the children of God, that are scattered abroad, who are invited to come and enlist themselves under this banner, Isaiah 11:10, Isaiah 11:12. (2.) In the provision he makes for them, Zechariah 9:15. This is the matter of their triumph (Zechariah 9:17): For how great is his goodness and how great is his beauty! This is the substance, this the burden, of the songs wherewith they shall make a noise before the Lord. We are here taught, [1.] To admire and praise the amiableness of God's being: How great is his beauty! All the perfections of God's nature conspire to make him infinitely lovely in the eyes of all that know him. They are to him as the stones of a crown; but what is he to them? Our business in the temple is to behold the beauty of the Lord (Psalms 27:4), and how great is that beauty! How far does it transcend all other beauties, particularly the beauty of his holiness. This may refer to the Messiah, to Zion's King that cometh. See that king in his beauty (Isaiah 33:17), who is fairer than the children of men, the fairest of ten thousand, and altogether lovely. Though, in the eye of the world, he had no form or comeliness, in the eye of faith how great is his beauty! [2.] To admire and give thanks for the gifts of God's favour and grace, his bounty as well as his beauty; for how great is his goodness! How rich in mercy is he! How deep, how full, are its springs! How various, how plenteous, how precious, are its streams! What a great deal of good does God do! How rich in mercy is he! Here is an instance of his goodness to his people: Corn shall make the young men cheerful and new wine the maids; that is, God will bless his people with an abundance of the fruits of the earth. Whereas they had been afflicted with scarcity to such a degree that the young men and the maidens were ready to swoon and faint away for hunger and thirst (Lamentations 2:12, Lamentations 2:21; Lamentations 4:7, Lamentations 4:8; Lamentations 5:10), now they shall have bread enough and to spare, not water only, but wine, new wine, which shall make the young people grow and be cheerful, and (which some have observed to be the effect of plenty and the cheapness of corn) the poor will be encouraged to marry, and re-people the land, when they shall have wherewithal to maintain their families. Note, What good gifts God bestows upon us we must serve him cheerfully with, and must race the streams up to the fountain, and, when we are refreshed with corn and wine, must say, How great is his goodness!

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Zechariah 9:12

Turn ye — The prophet exhorts the Jews to hasten to Christ, who is the salvation and high tower of the church. Prisoners of hope — Captives, yet not without hope. Even to — day — In this day of lowest distress. Double — Twice as much good as thou hast suffered evil.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Zechariah 9:12

Turn ye to the (t) strong hold, ye (u) prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare [that] I will render (x) double to thee;

(t) That is, into the holy land where the city and the temple are, where God will defend you.

(u) Meaning the faithful, who seemed to be in danger of their enemies on every side, and yet lived in hope that God would restore them to liberty.

(x) That is, double benefits and prosperity, in respect of that which your fathers enjoyed from David's time to the captivity.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance

Isaiah 52:2 Shake thyself from the dust; arise, [and] sit down, O Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bands of thy neck, O captive daughter of Zion.
Jeremiah 31:6 For there shall be a day, [that] the watchmen upon the mount Ephraim shall cry, Arise ye, and let us go up to Zion unto the LORD our God.
Jeremiah 50:4-5 In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God. ... They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, [saying], Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant [that] shall not be forgotten.
Jeremiah 50:28 The voice of them that flee and escape out of the land of Babylon, to declare in Zion the vengeance of the LORD our God, the vengeance of his temple.
Jeremiah 51:10 The LORD hath brought forth our righteousness: come, and let us declare in Zion the work of the LORD our God.
Micah 4:8 And thou, O tower of the flock, the strong hold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion; the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.
Nahum 1:7 The LORD [is] good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.
Hebrews 6:18 That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:


Isaiah 38:18 For the grave cannot praise thee, death can [not] celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth.
Isaiah 49:9 That thou mayest say to the prisoners, Go forth; to them that [are] in darkness, Shew yourselves. They shall feed in the ways, and their pastures [shall be] in all high places.
Jeremiah 31:17 And there is hope in thine end, saith the LORD, that thy children shall come again to their own border.
Lamentations 3:21-22 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. ... [It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.
Ezekiel 37:11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.
Hosea 2:15 And I will give her her vineyards from thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of hope: and she shall sing there, as in the days of her youth, and as in the day when she came up out of the land of Egypt.

I will:

Job 42:10 And the LORD turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends: also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before.
Isaiah 40:2 Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the LORD'S hand double for all her sins.
Isaiah 61:7 For your shame [ye shall have] double; and [for] confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.
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Chain-Reference Bible Search

Jb 42:10. Is 38:18; 40:2; 49:9; 52:2; 61:7. Jr 31:6, 17; 50:4, 28; 51:10. Lm 3:21. Ezk 37:11. Ho 2:15. Mi 4:8. Na 1:7. He 6:18.

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