Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Zechariah-Chapter 12

This chapter deals with Israel being refined and in turn being the instrument of judgment on the nations. It also deals with repentance and restoration (in the peshat level). Eschatologically, it definitely refers to prophecies about the war of Gog and Magog, the second coming, the false messiah and his problems, Israel and the Temple. There are many references to the “day of the Lord” which alludes to the last 1000-year period of time.  This chapter is the haftorah for the first day of Sukkot in Judaism.

v 1…The burden (Hebrew “masa” where we get the “Ma’aseh Merkaveh” in Ezekiel, meaning prophecy, vision) of the word concerning Israel. Thus says the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him (he reminds everyone, first of all, of his creative power and how he sustains his creation).

v 2… “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup (basin) that causes reeling (drunkenness, intoxication-Psa 75.8; Isa 51.21-23; Rev 18.3-6) to all the peoples (many nations can put their mouths to a basin at one time) around and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah (when the nations move against Judah and Jerusalem; eschatologically the rabbis taught that this alludes to the war of Gog and Magog, so this will allude to when Russia invades and again when the false messiah retreats to Jerusalem when confronted by the kings of the east and the south in the seventh year of the Birth-pains. In biblical eschatology, there is no such thing as a last, great battle of Armageddon. The last battle is in Jerusalem).

v 3…And it will come about in that day (idiom “when Messiah comes” and the day of the Lord) that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured (wrestlers in the ancient world would lift a stone to test their strength. Jerusalem will be a stone that will hurt you if you try to lift it, including the strongest of nations; they will be lacerated, cut to pieces. The “rock or stone” is also a term for God and the Messiah-Deut 32; 2 Sam 22; Matt 21.42-44; Dan 2.44-45; David killed Goliath-1 Sam 17.49). And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.

v 4…In that day (idiom for “when Messiah comes” and the day of the Lord), declares the Lord, I will strike every horse (idiom for “military might”) with bewilderment, and his rider with madness. But I will watch over the house of Judah, while I strike every horse of the peoples with blindness (a mental blindness to rush ahead to their own ruin-2 Kings 6.18).

v 5…Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the Lord of hosts (Yehovah Tzavaot or “Yehovah of the armies”-together they were strong in Yehovah their strength because he has chosen Jerusalem), their God.

v 6… In that day (idiom for when Messiah comes; day of the Lord) I will make the leaders of Judah (represent the nation as a whole) like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem (Jerusalem remains unconquered).

v 7…The Lord also will save the tents of Judah first (sooner than the buildings in the capital city) in order that the glory of the house of David (the royal line through Zerubbabel that continued to Yeshua) and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be magnified above Judah (because both will acknowledge that the victory belonged to Yehovah).

v 8…In that day (a term for when Messiah comes) the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the one who is feeble (weakest of the weak) among them in that day will be like David (the bravest warrior of Israel), and the house of David will be like God (superhuman being), like the angel of the Lord before them (who went before Israel against the Egyptians in Exo 23.20, and all of Israel’s enemies in Josh 5.12).

v 9…And it will come about in that day that I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

v 10…And I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem (representing the nation), the Spirit of grace (to experience it) and of supplication (a prayer to forgive their sin), so that they will look upon me (at this point, written in Hebrew, the “aleph-tav” is after the word “me”, referring to Yeshua, who said he was the “aleph and the tav” in Rev 22.13.  It means “head of the covenant.” It is translated in Greek as “alpha and omega” but it is aleph and the tav in Hebrew, the language that he was certainly speaking with John in Revelation) whom they have pierced (they realize that Yeshua is the Messiah-Ezek 39.22. He is not coming in the clouds yet, this is the nation believing when they see Russia defeated, and through the preaching of the 144,000 and the two witnesses); and they will mourn for him, as one mourns for an only son (which he was, of the Father) and they will weep bitterly over him (because of their sin), like the bitter weeping over a first-born (which Yeshua was).

v 11…In that day there will be great mourning (a depth and bitterness) in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the plain of Megiddo (a city where they mourned the death of the most pious of kings, King Josiah-2 Chr 35.22-25; compares his death with the lamentation for putting the Messiah to death).

v 12… And the land will mourn (a great national mourning), every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself (the highest rank of the royal order), and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan (David’s son, through whom Zerubbabel came; Mary came through this line-2 Sam 5.14; Luke 3.31; the lowest rank of the royal order) by itself, and their wives by themselves (two from the royal line);

v 13… the family of the house of Levi (the highest rank of the priestly order) by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites (the lowest rank of the priestly order-Num 3.18; 3.21) by itself, and their wives by themselves (two from the priestly line);

v 14…all the families that remain (in general), every family by itself, and their wives by themselves (this means that the small and great families as a whole, will bow and mourn over Yeshua and realize that he is the Messiah, not just the families mentioned. In 1 Chr 28.19 says that every aspect of the Temple was shown to David, so the Temple was divinely inspired. When constructing the Second Temple, the Jewish rabbis used these verses to get around David’s plan from God and installed balconies to separate men from women in the Azarah, or court, of the Women, even though they were never mentioned in God’s original floor plan. From there, walls of separation were added to synagogues, separating men from women).

Posted in Articles, Idioms, Phrases and Concepts, Prophecy/Eschatology, The Tanak, Verse-by-Verse Bible Studies

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