|THE CORNER, THE NAIL, AND THE BATTLE BOW
V. T. Houteff explained Zechariah 10 during his ministry in a sermon, with special emphasis on the first
verse. In the interest of time, he was brief in his discussion of other verses. Also, the unrolling of the
scroll, the increase in our biblical knowledge, has given me knowledge that he could not have. This is
particularly true of the understanding of the "whole family in heaven and earth." (Eph. 3:15). (See No. 22,
"The Holy Family.") For these reasons, I have also interpreted this chapter of Zechariah, with particular
emphasis on the fourth verse. As you will see, even without full understanding of the fourth verse and
with brevity in discussing other verses, Houteff nevertheless explained the whole chapter correctly. His
inspiration by the Holy Ghost is to be credited.
"Ask ye of the Lord rain in the time of the latter rain; so the Lord shall make bright clouds, and give them
showers of rain, to every one grass in the field." (Zech. 10:1).
Houteff fully explained this, here is part of what he said. ""The "latter rain" is miracle-working Truth that
causes the saints to mature for the harvest of which the 144,000 are the first fruits (Rev. 14:4). Then, in
order to quickly gather the second fruits, God pours His Spirit upon every first fruit saint, (upon "every
one grass") old or young, boy or girl -- not upon one here and upon another there."
""Obviously "bright clouds" represent agencies conveying Truth which they scatter everywhere in the
Lord's vineyard -- over every church member -- "every one grass," wheat or tare."
""Literally speaking, dark clouds suggest a very heavy and damaging rain that frightens the beholders.
Conversely, bright clouds suggest a gentle rain, the kind that descends in such a way so that the ground
can absorb all of it. It does not waste itself."
""Spiritually speaking, dark clouds would, therefore, represent a source of dangerous reading matter and
too voluminous for one to welcome or to comprehend. But bright clouds stand for a source of small,
easily comprehended Truth-laden publications packed with "meat in due season," Truth that comes in
portions easy to take in, easy to assimilate all of It, and thus to develop the recipient of It for the
"master's" use and for His service." (V. T. Houteff, Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 17, 1946, p. 4,5).
"For the idols have spoken vanity, and the diviners have seen a lie, and have told false dreams; they
comfort in vain: therefore they went their way as a flock, they were troubled, because there was no
shepherd." (Zech. 10:2).
I have little to add to Houteff's interpretation of this verse. ""Here is conveyed the thought that this
character-building and wisdom and light-importing "rain" that fits one for the society of Heaven, finds the
waiting ones listening to idols speaking "vanity" and to diviners telling false dreams, in vain trying to
comfort. Who could they be if not vain self-important Truth-hating ministers that are idolized by the laity,
false preachers trying to comfort by preaching falsehood. Revival and reformation therefore must do
their work among both ministers and laity. Indeed the sheep are troubled because there is no real
shepherd anywhere, they all have gone their own way!"" (Ibid, p. 7,8). Houteff speaks as he found, but his
ministry was led by a true shepherd.
"Mine anger was kindled against the shepherds, and I punished the goats: for the Lord of hosts hath
visited His flock the house of Judah, and hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle." (Zech. 10:3).
Of this scripture, Houteff said: "This verse discloses that the Lord has visited His people with revealed
Truth preparatory to separating the goats from the sheep whereupon He is to reward the sheep and
punish the goats -- the work of the Judgment for the Living. His visit makes His servants as goodly
horses in His vineyard." (Ibid, p. 8).
To this I would add that there is a battle in the world between Christ and Satan. God sends a prophetic
message of revealed truth to Judah, "the Lord of hosts hath visited His flock the house of Judah." Not
only are the known Jews part of the house of Judah, the Christian church was founded in the part of
Israel called Judah, by thousands of people from the tribe of Judah (see Acts 2:41).
A horse is controlled by its rider, so the prophetic message prepares the flock of the house of Judah to
enter the battle between Christ and Satan under God's guidance. Some will be called to join the hosts of
God, others will serve God in a peaceful way, teaching and preaching as Christian soldiers. In both cases
they are under God's guidance, God "hath made them as His goodly horse in the battle."
"Out of Him came forth the corner, out of Him the nail, out of Him the battle bow, out of Him every
oppressor together." (Zech. 10:4).
Houteff skimmed the surface in interpreting this verse. He wrote: "The Lord Himself chooses from Judah
the "corner" stone (founder), the "nail" (organizer), the "bow" (the Truth, or instrument by which to gain
the victory over the Enemy), and every "oppressor" (ruler). With these He builds the house of Judah."
(Ibid, p. 8).
The corner is Christ, the sure foundation, the precious corner stone, the founder of the Christian church.
"Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious
corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste." (Is. 28:16).
Christ, on the other hand referred to Himself as the head (stone) of the corner. "Jesus saith unto them,
Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head
of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?" (Matt. 21:42). The scripture He
referred to is found in Psalms. "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the
corner." (Ps. 118:22). Another relevant scripture, which was fulfilled when John baptised and proclaimed
Christ (see John 1:29-36), also referred to a head stone. "He shall bring forth the headstone thereof with
shoutings, crying, Grace, grace unto it." (Zech. 4:7).
When you consider the temple, the contradiction between foundation stones and head stones is
resolved. "Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual
sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 2:5). The temple of lively stones has eight
corners. Christ laid the foundation, was the first stone, "a precious corner stone, a sure foundation" in
His earthly ministry as a man. But He was part of the Godhead in human form. The four upper corner
stones represent the "whole family in heaven," the heads of the corners. Because Christ was part of the
Godhead, he was an upper corner stone, the head of the corner.
There are, however, two families, both bearing the same name. "For this cause I bow my knees unto the
Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named." (Eph. 3:14,15).
Just as four members of the Holy Family are the four top corner stones, so there are four earthly
representatives of the Godhead who are the stones on the bottom corners.
Houteff refers to the "nail" as the organizer. Here is the prophecy of the nail. "And it shall come to pass in
that day, that I will call My servant Eliakim the son of Hilkiah: and I will clothe him with thy robe, and
strengthen him with thy girdle, and I will commit thy government into his hand: and he shall be a father to
the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon
his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will
fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to His father’s house. And they
shall hang upon him all the glory of His father’s house, the offspring and the issue, all vessels of small
quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons. In that day, saith the Lord of hosts,
shall the nail that is fastened in the sure place be removed, and be cut down, and fall; and the burden
that was upon it shall be cut off: for the Lord hath spoken it." (Is. 22:20-25).
While Eliakim and Hilkiah were historic persons, they came before Zechariah, who made the prophecy of
the nail, and even before Christ, the corner, who fulfilled the first part of the prophecy. There are many
clues to the identity of the end time person who is the nail. First, his prophetic name Eliakim means
"resurrection of God." (Hitchcock's Bible Names). So he is an earthly representative of Christ, who was
the resurrection of God. His father's name Hilkiah means "God is my portion" (Hitchcock's), which means
that he is descendant from the line of priests, like the Levites who had no portion of land in ancient Israel
because their inheritance was the service of God and the tithe at the temple.
The nail will also rule over God's Kingdom, "I will commit thy government into his hand." He will unify the
Christians and the Jews, "he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem (the Christian church), and
to the house of Judah (the known Jews)." As Christ did, the nail will have the keys to the Kingdom of God,
"the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he
shall shut, and none shall open." As Christ said to Peter, "And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter,
and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give
unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in
heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 16:18,19).
The sure place of the nail is the Kingdom of God, "I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place." By now you
have probably discerned that the nail is Christ's appointed king, "he shall be for a glorious throne to his
father’s house." He shall bear the glory of the house of God, both the people that follow him and the
messages that preceded him, "they shall hang upon him all the glory of his father’s house, the offspring
and the issue, all vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons."
The glory of the children, the "offspring and issue," of the house of God is that the reborn saints, the
children of the resurrection will be among them. "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto
the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:36). The glory of
the "vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons," is that these
are containers of living water, the messages that preceded his ministry. Under the guidance of the Holy
Spirit, he will reconcile these messages, updating them for the unrolling of the scroll, and removing the
contradictions. He is acting as the "organizer," which is what Houteff called him, in his kingship and this
organization of the prophetic messages that precede his kingdom or originate in it. I do not have a clear
understanding of the removal of the nail, and will say no more about the nail.
That brings us to the third part of this prophecy, the "battle bow." Remember Houteff's comment about
the bow, "the Truth, or instrument by which to gain the victory over the Enemy." In fact, the battle bow is
the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, who brings us into ALL TRUTH. "But the Comforter, which is the Holy
Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your
remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto
you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of Me.
Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of
himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." (John 14:
26; 15:26; 16:13).
The Holy Ghost is also symbolized by the bow, which is a symbol of God's covenant with mankind. "And
the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant
between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth." (Gen. 9:16). The Holy Ghost is
the author of the prophetic covenant. "For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy
men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." (2 Peter 1:21). The prophetic covenant is part
of the covenant symbolized by the bow. "Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret
unto his servants the prophets." (Amos 3:7).
The Holy Ghost is also symbolized as a bow in the prophecy of a Messiah from Joseph, a prophecy of the
personal advent of the Holy Ghost Comforter. "Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well;
whose branches run over the wall: the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty
God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) even by the God of thy father, who shall
help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the
deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: the blessings of thy father have
prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they
shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his
brethren." (Gen. 49:22-26).
This branch (bough) is fruitful, has many children, "Joseph is a fruitful bough." This branch is a woman
with many strong, bright, and beautiful children, "the Almighty... shall bless thee with blessings of the
breasts, and of the womb." She is a spiritual leader with a living water message (well of living water) that
gathers many saints (fruits of the True Vine Christ, see John 15:1-8), she is "a fruitful bough by a well."
Her influence begins in the Kingdom of God, and spills out into the world, her "branches run over the
wall." (See No. 22, "The Holy Family" for more on the femininity of the Holy Ghost.)
Soon after her birth she begins to be persecuted, "the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him,
and hated him." But her covenant with God was everlasting, "his bow (covenant, weapon) abode in
strength." She is a battle bow, the weapon God uses to establish His Kingdom on earth. By God's design,
the hosts of God protect her and strengthen those who help her, "the arms of his hands (followers) were
made strong by the hands (hosts) of the mighty God of Jacob." Like Christ, she comes from God as both a
shepherd and a stone of Israel, "from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel." As God was the God of
her forefather Joseph, He will also help her, she will be strengthened "even by the God of thy father, who
shall help thee."
Besides the blessings of the breasts and of the womb (wonderful children), God will shower blessings on
her. Like Christ, she will have a place among the Holy Family in heaven, God tells her that she shall be
blessed "by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above." Although she will be a
shepherd for a vegetarian church, yet she will eat fish, fish are the "blessings of the deep that lieth
under." (Christ fed loaves and fishes to the multitudes, and spoke of fish as a good thing for children,
see Matt. 14:14-20; Luke 11:11-13).
The prophecies of Genesis 49 are spoken by Jacob, son of Isaac and grandson of Abraham. He spoke
them before his sons and before two of his grandsons, Joseph's children, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob
had just taken Ephraim and Manasseh as his sons, see Gen. 48:11-22. The blessing on Joseph, which we
are studying, therefore fell equally on Ephraim and Manasseh. The next blessing is a comparison, "the
blessings of thy father (Joseph) have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors (Abraham and
Isaac) unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills." She shall be the most blessed person on earth. All
these blessings shall be upon her because she was persecuted as a little child and separated from her
brethren, the blessings "shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was
separate from his brethren."
Finally, having explained the corner, the nail and the battle bow, we come to every oppressor. Houteff
has explained "oppressor" as "ruler." During the end time every enemy of God's Kingdom will help God's
people despite trying hard to do the exact opposite. So it is that the very oppressions designed to
destroy the Branch Davidian church established her role in fulfilling biblical prophecy, see No. 19,
"Prophecies Of The End Time Church." God is in control, even of persecutions.
"And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle:
and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded." (Zech.
Of this scripture, Houteff said: "The victory shall be so complete that even the demons who lead our
enemies in the conflict, will themselves be confounded." (Ibid, p. 8). I would add that the riders on horses
are a symbol of the great wicked men of the earth (few could afford to ride horses in biblical times). The
"they" who fight as mighty men are the nail (Christ's King) and the battle bow (the Holy Ghost) and God's
army, His hosts, who do the actual fighting. Their victory will confound their enemies.
"And I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph, and I will bring them again
to place them; for I have mercy upon them: and they shall be as though I had not cast them off: for I am
the Lord their God, and will hear them." (Zech. 10:6).
Houteff covered this when he said: ""The statements, "I will strengthen," instead of save, "the house of
Judah," and "I will save" instead of strengthen "the house of Joseph," imply that the house of Judah is
saved before the house of Joseph is, and to save the house of Joseph He strengthens the house of
Judah. The second fruits need to be saved, whereas the first fruits need to be fitted for service. Both are
gathered into one place, (the "barn," the Kingdom). The Lord extends this favor to both of them because
He has mercy upon them and will treat them as though they had never caused Him to cast them out.""
(Ibid, p. 9).
"And they of Ephraim shall be like a mighty man, and their heart shall rejoice as through wine: yea, their
children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the Lord." (Zech. 10:7).
Houteff said: ""The fathers shall rejoice and the children shall see it. He shall thus "turn the heart of the
fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers...." Mal. 4:6."" (Ibid, p. 9). Ephraim
was the ruling house of the ten lost tribes. The ten lost tribes were converted to Christ in the gentile
lands where they had been scattered. This verse is about the Christian church who are represented as
"The Lord sent a word (Christ the Word, see John 1:1,14) into Jacob (Christ taught among the men of
Judah who mostly rejected Him), and it (Christ the Word) hath lighted upon Israel (came to the lost ten
tribes where they were scattered in the Gentile lands). And all the people shall know, even Ephraim (royal
house of the ten scattered tribes)and the inhabitant of Samaria (the homeland of the scattered ten
tribes)..." (Is. 9:8,9). Christians will rejoice in God's Kingdom. And, as Houteff implies, there they will return
to the Law of Moses in response to an end time message.
"Remember ye the law of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the
statutes and judgments. Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and
dreadful day of the Lord, and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the
children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." (Mal. 4:4-6).
"I will hiss for them, and gather them; for I have redeemed them: and they shall increase as they have
increased." (Zech. 10:8).
Houteff said, ""They shall increase," that is, the second fruits are to be added to the "firstfruits." (Rev. 7:
4, 9)."" (Ibid, p. 9.10). The message that calls them is a hiss rather than a shout, because the message is
taught to a few at a time, in a quiet way.
"And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember Me in far countries; and they shall live
with their children, and turn again." (Zech. 10:9).
Houteff merely added comments in brackets to this verse. "And I will sow [multiply] them among the
people: and they shall remember Me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn
again [to their homeland]." I believe that this also refers to the 144,000 from the ten scattered tribes,
most found in the Christian church, who receive an inheritance in the nation Israel.
"And it shall come to pass, that ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers
that sojourn among you (the 144,000), which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you
as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes
of Israel." (Ez. 47:22).
"I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria; and I will bring them
into the land of Gilead and Lebanon; and place shall not be found for them." (Zech. 10:10).
Houteff commented: "The elect shall be gathered from everywhere, and shall spread as far as the land of
Gilead and Lebanon. But even then, the place shall be too small for them." (Ibid, p. 10).
In the end time Egypt symbolizes the part of the world where God's people live for pleasure, Assyria is
the part of the world where they are persecuted. So God's people are to be gathered from the whole
world. The elect are the persons that are gathered into the Kingdom of God. Israel will reclaim the
original land God granted to Israel in the time of Joshua, Moses' successor. This land included Gilead and
Lebanon. Still there will not be enough room for all the people who want to live in the area.
"And He shall pass through the sea with affliction, and shall smite the waves in the sea, and all the deeps
of the river shall dry up: and the pride of Assyria shall be brought down, and the sceptre of Egypt shall
depart away. And I will strengthen them in the Lord; and they shall walk up and down in His name, saith
the Lord." (Zech. 10:11,12).
Houteff said: "That is to say, the gathering of the people is to be unobstructed. Every hindrance is to be
removed. The reign of sin is to be brought to an end. The nations who have enslaved God's people are to
be humbled, and their scepters (thrones) are to be no more. Be strong in the Lord, walk up and down
happy and without fear, saith the Lord." (Ibid, p. 10).
Because of the residue of Israel that married into Egypt and stayed there during the hundreds of years
the tribes of Israel sojourned in Egypt, and those of Israel that fled into Egypt to escape the Babylonian
captivity, there is a substantial remnant of Israel in Egypt. Many members of the tribes of Israel also
stayed in Assyria after the end of the seventy year Babylonian captivity. For these reasons, God has a
special place in His heart for these two nations.
As a result of this special bond, prophecy indicates that Egypt will be joined to the God of Israel, as will
Assyria. "And the Lord shall smite Egypt: he shall smite and heal it: and they shall return even to the Lord,
and He shall be intreated of them, and shall heal them. In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to
Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall
serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, even a blessing
in the midst of the land: whom the Lord of hosts shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt My people, and
Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine inheritance." (Is. 19:22-25).
Assyria will be ruled by God, "the pride of Assyria shall be brought down." Egypt will choose to be ruled
by God rather that a man, "the sceptre of Egypt shall depart away." And people will walk in safety and
peace on God's highway, between the two, "in that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria,
and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with
the Assyrians." God claims all three nations: "Blessed be Egypt My people, and Assyria the work of My
hands, and Israel Mine inheritance."
The beginning of the prophecy gives a hint of when it occurs in the end time. In the prophecy, the sea
represents the church. "They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the Lord, they shall
cry aloud from the sea." (Is. 24:14). God will judge the church, "He shall pass through the sea with
affliction." The waves represent ungodly men in the church. "When the waves of death compassed me,
the floods of ungodly men made me afraid." (2 Sam. 22:5). "But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when
it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt." (Is. 57:20). God will cut off the wicked in the church,
He "shall smite the waves in the sea." There is also a natural phenomenon that takes place before this
prophecy is fulfilled, "all the deeps of the river shall dry up." Another prophecy of this natural
phenomenon: "And the Lord shall utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His mighty wind
shall He shake His hand over the river, and shall smite it in the seven streams, and make men go over
dryshod." (Is. 11:15).
Amo Paul Bishop Roden