Zechariah 12

Zechariah 12

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The Lord Will Give Salvation

12 The oracle of the word of the LORD concerning Israel: Thus declares the LORD, who stretched out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the spirit of man within him: “Behold, I am about to make Jerusalem a cup of staggering to all the surrounding peoples. The siege of Jerusalem will also be against Judah. On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All who lift it will surely hurt themselves. And all the nations of the earth will gather against it. On that day, declares the LORD, I will strike every horse with panic, and its rider with madness. But for the sake of the house of Judah I will keep my eyes open, when I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. Then the clans of Judah shall say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem have strength through the LORD of hosts, their God.’

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a blazing pot in the midst of wood, like a flaming torch among sheaves. And they shall devour to the right and to the left all the surrounding peoples, while Jerusalem shall again be inhabited in its place, in Jerusalem.

“And the LORD will give salvation to the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not surpass that of Judah. On that day the LORD will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them on that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the angel of the LORD, going before them. And on that day I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

Him Whom They Have Pierced

“And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and pleas for mercy, so that, when they look on me, on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a firstborn. On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. The land shall mourn, each family by itself: the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself, and their wives by themselves; and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.

(ESV)


Zechariah 12 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Some call it Armageddon.  Others refer to it as the Great Final Battle.  It is the time prophesied here and through other prophets and John in Revelation of the final siege of Jerusalem by her enemies.  Although details are not as graphic as through other writings, the same message is there:  A large battle will take place.  The Holy Fear of the Lord is prevalent.  Destruction in time will come to these who oppose God’s people.

The interesting thing within these verses is there will come a moment for each and all that they realize who Jesus is, who He said He was from the beginning.  And as this passage states, they will mourn.  All will realize He is the King of whom they pierced and killed.

It’s a pretty dramatic thought to consider what this will look like.  Most consider how frightening world events marching toward this will be and what it will look like or how it affects us personally.  But within even this prophecy it speaks of God sending His Spirit to strengthen His children throughout the time.  And in the end, this promise is what we must cling to – His Spirit will bring the strength and endurance no matter what.


Zechariah 12 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Zechariah’s name means “The Lord Remembers” and in this chapter, we get a striking image of God remembering His Jewish people. Theology is not the most important thing here, but it does determine what you will end up believing about a chapter such as Zechariah 12.

It is commonly agreed upon that this chapter is centered on the end times. Zechariah’s prophecy is speaking directly to the Jews and the city of Jerusalem. There is no mention of the Gentile nations or the church. This is all about Israel and Judah. So, because many of us have been raised to believe in the rapture of the church, we naturally may try to place this event on a timeline based on what we have grown up knowing. I want to distance myself from that type of thinking because I believe it’s important to read the text just as it is and let that begin to reshape some of the presuppositions we entertain during our study of the end times.

So, we don’t know if there has been a rapture, or if the church is still functioning as God intended, but our involvement in such a prophecy is really irrelevant to the interpretation. In Romans, Paul enlightened us to a mystery. He wrote of a time when the Jewish hearts would be opened to Salvation through the Messiah and this passage really sets the stage for Zechariah 12.

So that you will not be conceited, brothers, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery: A partial hardening has come to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.  26  And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The Liberator will come from Zion; He will turn away godlessness from Jacob.  27  And this will be My covenant with them when I take away their sins.

Romans 11:25-27 HCSB

The Liberator is clearly Jesus, because there is no Salvation apart from Him. So, in context, we can understand this to mean Jesus’ Second Coming. This will be the trigger for Israel to begin understanding and even mourning their rejection of Him. Enter Zechariah…

The City of Jerusalem

“Look, I will make Jerusalem a cup that causes staggering for the peoples who surround the city. The siege against Jerusalem will also involve Judah.  3  On that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who try to lift it will injure themselves severely when all the nations of the earth gather against her.

Zechariah 12:2-3 HCSB

Jerusalem has occupied a significant role in world relations for centuries and this is not a coincidence. David Guzik outlines some brilliant thoughts on the history of Jerusalem.

“The Dome of the Rock was built not because of the Koran, but because the Muslim ruler Abdal-Malik wanted to gain revenue from pilgrims and worshippers, and because he wanted to prevent the rebuilding of a Jewish Temple. Islamic passion for Jerusalem is indeed like drunkenness. This is exactly fulfilled in modern Jerusalem. In recent peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Israel was willing to concede almost everything to the Palestinians in an amazing willingness to make peace. The only thing Israel would not concede was sovereignty over Jerusalem, and the entire deal was ruined over that one point. The problem between Jews and the Arab world has boiled down to one point: Jerusalem.”

David Guzik

So God will defend His city. He will strike down, once and for all, the enemies of Jerusalem. But the prophecy is far from over. There is still the issue of the nation’s hardened heart toward their Messiah Jesus Christ.

“Then I will pour out a spirit of grace and prayer on the house of David and the residents of Jerusalem, and they will look at Me whom they pierced. They will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only child and weep bitterly for Him as one weeps for a firstborn.

Zechariah 12:10 HCSB

In the middle of God defending them, the Holy Spirit will descend and open their eyes and their ears to the One who was pierced. What an amazing prophecy! The first time Jesus came, He came as a Lamb and accomplished Salvation through death resulting in faith for all those who would believe. When Jesus returns, He will come as a Lion and defend the apple of His eye, His people who placed Him on that cross the first time. In both scenarios, it is the Holy Spirit who triggers the act of first looking at Jesus and then the act of responding in mourning and repentance for what has been done.

Repentance

What I love so much about this prophecy is that it does not stray from the Gospel we have come to know and believe in. Just like our hearts and minds were opened up to mourning our sin and rebellion of God, so too will the people of Israel experience this Godly sorrow.

The land will mourn, every family by itself: the family of David’s house by itself and their women by themselves; the family of Nathan’s house by itself and their women by themselves;

Zechariah 12:12 HCSB

The important detail to note is that this will not only be a national Salvation but will penetrate deep into the people’s hearts on an individual level. Again, this is consistent with our understanding of the Gospel. We are not saved based on our nationality but based on our individual response to God working in our heart. The Bible consistently makes claims too remarkable to believe without faith. To think that the nation of Israel would bow down and humble themselves before Jesus is astounding, however, this is exactly what Zechariah is writing.

Knowing this, we can celebrate the future coming of Christ believing that in the end, everything He has claimed will come true. He will wipe every one of your tears. He will destroy every ounce of evil and suffering. He will prepare a place for us to commune intimately with God the Father. He will make all things new.

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