“Awake, sword, against my shepherd.” The prophecy in Zechariah takes a dramatic turn in Zechariah 13:7. In the earlier verses we have seen the sin of Israel and the leaders, and see that it must be cleansed. Now we see how, the substitutionary death of God’s “shepherd,” the “man” who is close to him, the Messiah. Jesus understood this verse to apply to him, and knew both that he would be smitten and his flock would be scattered (Matt. 26:31; Mark 14:27). This verse is one of a number of verses in the Old Testament that show the Messiah would be a “man” close to God.
Here the sword is personified as if it had a mind of its own. For more on the figure of speech personification, see commentary on Proverbs 1:20.