3 “My anger is kindled against the shepherds, And I will punish the goatherds. For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah, And will make them as His royal horse in the battle. 4 From him comes the cornerstone, From him the tent peg, From him the battle bow, From him every ruler together.
Beginning with verse 3, the Lord transitions from the problems of Judah’s past to the blessings under the leadership of the Messiah. Zechariah now described the issues that brought about the nation’s exile.
“My anger is kindled [burns] against the shepherds,
False teachers are the objects of the LORD’s anger. These people were formerly civil leaders of Israel who made idolatry possible. Their leadership brought the nation God’s discipline through exile.
And I will punish the goatherds.
Goats are strong-headed animals. God sets them in contrast to sheep. The leadership of Israel was determined to have its own way. Deceptive leaders who refuse to repent of their wrong teaching remain fixed in their disbeliefs.
For the Lord of hosts will visit His flock, The house of Judah,
The word “visit” means to come with mercy for Judah. The Messiah will come from Judah.
And will make them as His royal horse in the battle.
Under Judah’s commander-in-chief, the Messiah will make His people courageous. They will be His battle horse to execute judgment upon the nation’s foes.
From him [Judah] comes the cornerstone [foundation stone is the Messiah],
The words “from him” occur four times in this verse, emphasizing the “him.” The “him” refers to Judah in context. The Messiah, who came from Judah, is the cure for Israel’s woes.
In verse 4, the focus is on the outcome of Jehovah’s visitation on His flock. Zechariah described Jehovah as “the cornerstone” (Isa 28:16). The Messiah’s essential role is to build the nation Israel. The cornerstone is the place where the walls of the whole building rest.
From him [Judah] the tent peg [the Messiah],
Further, the Messiah who comes from Judah is a “tent peg.” The image here represents the idea that the Messiah will not fail, and His kingdom will not be uprooted.
From him [Judah] the battle bow [the Messiah],
The Lord is a “battle bow.” The Messiah will come to earth with judgment in view, which will include all false teaching. He will come as a warrior and conqueror in His Second Advent.
From him [Judah] every ruler [oppressor] together.
From Judah will come true leaders who will defeat their oppressors and remove them from the land.
The Messiah will be the stone of stability for the nation Israel in the Millennium.
The LORD is sovereign in His rule over the earth. Christ as the cornerstone became a stumbling stone because the Jews rejected Him as Messiah (Ro 9:32,33; 1 Co 1:23). To the church, He is “the foundation” and “chief cornerstone” (Eph 2:20). Christ is our cornerstone (1 Pe 2:6). To converted Israel, He will become the “headstone of the corner” (Zech 4:7). To unbelievers, He will become a Stone that crushes them (Mt 21:44).