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Zechariah Twelve

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

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Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.

word of the Lord for Israel. These words introduce the last section of the book of Zechariah (chapters 12-14), one of the most remarkable prophetic sections in the Bible. Its climax is the great victory of God over all His enemies, and the fulfillment of all His promises to Israel. As such, it appropriately begins with a reminder that the God of Israel is none other than the mighty Creator of the universe and of every human being.

Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.

Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.

burdensome stone. For many centuries, Jerusalem and its people have been “an astonishment, a proverb, and a byword, among all nations” (Deuteronomy 28:37), “a reproach and a proverb, a taunt and a curse, in all places” (Jeremiah 24:9). But “in that day,” it will become “a burdensome stone” to all these peoples, and God will judge the nations in relation to their treatment of Israel. Many such nations have already been judged (ancient Assyria, imperial Rome, Czarist Russia, Nazi Germany). The kingdom of the Beast will have its turn as well.

Zechariah 12:4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.

Zechariah 12:5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.

Zechariah 12:6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.

Zechariah 12:7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.

Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.

Zechariah 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

destroy all the nations. “In that day” is generally synonymous with “the day of the Lord.” Certainly in this context, it points forward to the great end-time invasion of Israel by the multi-national armies of the Beast (see also Isaiah 63:1-6; Micah 5:5-15; Matthew 24:15-21; Revelation 12:13-15; 13:7; 16:13-16; 19:19; etc.).

Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

the spirit of grace. This is the final reference to “grace” in the Old Testament (the first is in Genesis 6:8). Despite the widespread opinion that “grace” is strictly a New Testament concept, there are at least sixty-eight occurrences of “grace” and ninety-eight of “graciously” in the Old Testament. The related concept of “lovingkindness” or “mercy” (same Hebrew word) occurs over two hundred times.

pierced. This is the great day when Christ returns in glory, and Israel will finally recognize Him as her Messiah, seeing the spear wound yet in His side (Zechariah 12:10 is quoted in John 19:37 and Revelation 1:7) and the nail prints in His hands (Zechariah 13:6). By His “Spirit of grace and of supplications” God will open their eyes and hearts, and “all Israel shall be saved” (Romans 11:26).

Zechariah 12:11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

great mourning. When their national age-long sin is finally recognized and confessed, there will indeed be great mourning, but also great joy (Zephaniah 3:14-20).

Hadadrimmon. Hadadrimmon was a town in the valley of Megiddo (same as Armageddon). The last of the godly kings of Israel and Judah, good King Josiah, was slain by the Egyptian army at Megiddo (2 Chronicles 35:20-25), and there was great mourning. There may also be a possible suggestion of great mourning at Armageddon over the multitudes slain there when Christ returns (Revelation 14:14-20).

Zechariah 12:12 And the land shall mourn, every family 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;

Zechariah 12:13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;

Zechariah 12:14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.