Zechariah 12

 

מַשָּׂא דְבַר־יְהוָה עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל נְאֻם־יְהוָה נֹטֶה שָׁמַיִם וְיֹסֵד אָרֶץ וְיֹצֵר רוּחַ־אָדָם בְּקִרְבּוֹ׃   12:1

Zech. 12:1   The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel:

                       Declares the Lord, Extender of the heavens

                               and Founder of the earth,

                       and Fashioner of the spirit of a human within him:

הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שָׂם אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַם סַף־רַעַל לְכָל־הָעַמִּים סָבִיב וְגַם עַל־יְהוּדָה יִהְיֶה בַמָּצוֹר עַל־יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃   12:2

Zech. 12:2   “Behold, I shall be making Jerusalem a reeling bowl

                               for all the peoples on every side, and also,

                       about Judah, it shall be in the siege against Jerusalem.”

וְהָיָה בַיֹּום־הַהוּא אָשִׂים אֶת־יְרוּשָׁלִַם אֶבֶן מַעֲמָסָה לְכָל־הָעַמִּים כָּל־עֹמְסֶיהָ שָׂרֹוט יִשָּׂרֵטוּ   12:3        וְנֶאֶסְפוּ עָלֶיהָ כֹּל גֹּויֵי הָאָרֶץ׃

Zech. 12:3   “And it shall be in that day, I shall make Jerusalem

                                a burdensome stone for all the peoples;

                      all loaded down by it shall be deeply cut;

                                and all the nations of the earth shall be gathered against it.”

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא נְאֻם־יְהוָה אַכֶּה כָל־סוּס בַּתִּמָּהֹון וְרֹכְבֹו בַּשִּׁגָּעֹון וְעַל־בֵּית יְהוּדָה אֶפְקַח אֶת־עֵינַי וְכֹל   12:4 סוּס הָעַמִּים אַכֶּה בַּעִוָּרֹון׃

Zech. 12:4   “In that day,” declares the Lord, “I shall strike every horse with bewilderment

                                and its rider with madness,

                       and I shall open My ‘eyes’ upon the house of Judah,

                                and shall strike every horse of the peoples with blindness.”

אָמְרוּ אַלֻּפֵי יְהוּדָה בְּלִבָּם אַמְצָה לִי יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלִַם בַּיהוָה צְבָאֹות אֱלֹהֵיהֶם׃   12:5

Zech. 12:5   “Then the leaders of Judah shall say in their heart,

                                ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength,

                      because of the Lord of hosts, their God.’”

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא אָשִׂים אֶת־אַלֻּפֵי יְהוּדָה כְּכִיֹּור אֵשׁ בְּעֵצִים וּכְלַפִּיד אֵשׁ בְּעָמִיר וְאָכְלוּ עַל־יָמִין   12:6                 וְעַל־שְׂמֹאול אֶת־כָּל־הָעַמִּים סָבִיב וְיָשְׁבָה יְרוּשָׁלִַם עֹוד תַּחְתֶּיהָ בִּירוּשָׁלִָם׃

Zech. 12:6   “In that day I shall make the leaders of Judah

                                like a pan of fire in woods and like a fiery torch in a swath of grain,

                      and they shall consume on the right and on the left,

                               all the peoples, on every side,

                      and Jerusalem shall yet dwell in her place, in Jerusalem.”

וְהֹושִׁיעַ יְהוָה אֶת־אָהֳלֵי יְהוּדָה בָּרִאשֹׁנָה לְמַעַן לֹא־תִגְדַּל תִּפְאֶרֶת בֵּית־דָּוִיד וְתִפְאֶרֶת יֹשֵׁב   12:7        יְרוּשָׁלִַם עַל־יְהוּדָה׃

Zech. 12:7   And the Lord shall save the tents of Judah at the start,

                               so that the honor of the house of David would not be magnified,

                       or the honor of any inhabitant of Jerusalem, above Judah.

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יָגֵן יְהוָה בְּעַד יֹושֵׁב יְרוּשָׁלִַם וְהָיָה הַנִּכְשָׁל בָּהֶם בַּיֹּום הַהוּא כְּדָוִיד וּבֵית דָּוִיד   12:8             כֵּאלֹהִים כְּמַלְאַךְ יְהוָה לִפְנֵיהֶם׃

Zech. 12:8   In that day the Lord shall cover

                               each inhabitant of Jerusalem round about;

                      on that day even the stumbler among them shall be as David,

                               and any of the house of David as gods,

                      as an angel of the Lord before them.

וְהָיָה בַּיֹּום הַהוּא אֲבַקֵּשׁ לְהַשְׁמִיד אֶת־כָּל־הַגֹּויִם הַבָּאִים עַל־יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃   12:9

Zech. 12:9   “And it shall be on that day I shall seek to annihilate

                                each of the nations coming against Jerusalem.”

וְשָׁפַכְתִּי עַל־בֵּית דָּוִיד וְעַל יֹושֵׁב יְרוּשָׁלִַם רוּחַ חֵן וְתַחֲנוּנִים וְהִבִּיטוּ אֵלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דָּקָרוּ וְסָפְדוּ   12:10 עָלָיו כְּמִסְפֵּד עַל־הַיָּחִיד וְהָמֵר עָלָיו כְּהָמֵר עַל־הַבְּכֹור׃

Zech. 12:10   “And I shall pour out a spirit of grace and supplications

                                 upon the house of David and upon inhabitant of Jerusalem,

                         and they shall look to Me, that they had thrust through,

                                 and they shall mourn over him as one mourning over the only one,

                         and the bitterness over him shall be

                                 as the bitterness over the first born.”

There’s a lot to wonder about in this verse.  First, much discussion has been inspired by it among both Christians and Jews as to who is thrust through.  After centuries of debate, often quite vitriolic, the prevailing view now among most scholars is that it is not Jesus, but Israel.  The nations would have previously thrust Israel through, and at that time the remnant of the nations (that were to be destroyed, as mentioned in v. 12:9), and Israel as well, would be in deep mourning over the nations’ behavior.  Second, it seems likely that the expression “that they had thrust through” belongs to the previous line, and refers to the house of David and Jerusalem’s inhabitants.  Then who is the first born?  That answer is relatively easy.  Observe that the Lord calls Israel His first born in Exod. 4:22.

בַּיֹּום הַהוּא יִגְדַּל הַמִּסְפֵּד בִּירוּשָׁלִַם כְּמִסְפַּד הֲדַדְ־רִמֹּון בְּבִקְעַת מְגִדֹּון׃   12:11

Zech. 12:11   “In that day the mourning in Jerusalem

                                  shall become greater than the mourning

                         of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Meggidon.”

Who is Hadad-rimmon?  No one knows.  The name is not mentioned anywhere else in the bible.

וְסָפְדָה הָאָרֶץ מִשְׁפָּחֹות מִשְׁפָּחֹות לְבָד מִשְׁפַּחַת בֵּית־דָּוִיד לְבָד וּנְשֵׁיהֶם לְבָד מִשְׁפַּחַת בֵּית־נָתָן   12:12 לְבָד וּנְשֵׁיהֶם לְבָד׃

Zech. 12:12   “And  the land shall mourn families, families apart,

                                 the family of the house of David apart and their wives apart,

                         the family of the house of Nathan apart and their wives apart,

מִשְׁפַּחַת בֵּית־לֵוִי לְבָד וּנְשֵׁיהֶם לְבָד מִשְׁפַּחַת הַשִּׁמְעִי לְבָד וּנְשֵׁיהֶם לְבָד׃   12:13

Zech. 12:13   the family of the house of Levi apart and their wives apart,

                                 the family of the Shimeites apart and their wives apart,

כֹּל הַמִּשְׁפָּחֹות הַנִּשְׁאָרֹות מִשְׁפָּחֹת מִשְׁפָּחֹת לְבָד וּנְשֵׁיהֶם לְבָד׃   12:14

Zech. 12:14   all the families remaining, families apart, and their wives apart.”

The meaning of these last three verses is thought to be that the men and women will be segregated in their mourning.  The Shimeites (v. 12:13) were a clan of the families of Levites.  Nathan (v. 12:12) is thought to be either the prophet (see 2Sam. 12:25) or the son of David (see 2Sam. 5:14).

 

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