“He is righteous, and having salvation.” The word “salvation” throughout the Old Testament often refers to physical deliverance, and that is the way people of the Old Testament times would have understood it here, especially since Zechariah 9:10 speaks of destroying the weapons of war and establishing a peaceful reign on earth. The people were expecting the Messiah to deliver them from all their oppressors and also from the general evils of life. Zechariah 9:9-10 is one of the many places in the Old Testament that connect Jesus’ first coming, when he was crucified, and his second coming, when he will come as the conquering king, without any indication that Jesus would die, be raised, ascend to heaven, and then a period of time would elapse (now some 2,000 years) before he would come as the conquering king.
Actually, there are many Scriptures in the Old Testament that speak of the coming of Christ and God’s vengeance on the wicked as if they were going to happen at the same time (cp. Isa. 9:6-7; 11:1-9; 61:1-3; Micah 5:2; Zech. 9:9-10; Mal. 3:1-3; 4:1-3). Those many Scriptures, along with the fact that there are no clear Scriptures that portray the two comings of Christ, are the reason that at the time of Christ people did not think that Christ would die (cp. Matt. 16:21-22; Luke 18:31-34; 24:19-21, 44-46; John 12:34; 20:9). [For more on Scriptures that directly connect the coming of Christ with him conquering the earth, see commentary on Isa. 61:2].