Introduction to Chapter 12
the 12 chapter, Zechariah gives us the transition from the rule
of nations to the rule of Messiah. This chapter, and verse 10
in particular, is seen as an End-Times event by both
Orthodox Judaism and Christianity.
Both view the climax of this chapter as Messianic (vs. 10), with
the one pierced. The Jews see this person as Messiah
son of Joseph, while Christians see this as the Second
Coming of Jesus, who was pierced and crucified for the sins
of the nations.
In this amazing
chapter, we see the Second Coming of Messiah, before His first
Coming. The person who rescues the nation Israel surrounded by
the Gentiles (nations) is none other then the one pierced, the
rejected Servant Messiah, who entered Jerusalem on a
donkey (Zechariah 9:9). The same Shepherd Messiah, sold
by the nations for the price of a servant gored by a bull.
focus of world attention
1 The burden of
the word of the Lord against Israel. Thus says the Lord, who
stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and
forms the spirit of man within him:
2 "Behold, I
will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding
peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.
3 "And it shall
happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone
for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut
in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against
it. Zechariah 12:1-3
Burden: Chapter 12,
begins the final oracle of the book of Zechariah, the first
burden ( aXXmMassa) covers
chapters 9 through 11, dealing with mainly the first coming of
Messiah who was rejected, by the nation. The second propheticburden deals with return and the reign of Messiah as King
the Lord: The (rbdDabar) speech
or communication from Yehwah to Zechariah, regarding
Israel. The reference here is to the Word, is also the title
given to Jesus who is the chief focus here as the suffering
Messiah, pierced and rejected by the nation. (John 1:1,
Revelation 19:13) The Word in Revelation returns with power and
Israel: Israel as a nation ceased to exist in the Assyrian
captivity, Judah however remained until the Babylonian captivity
(605-586 B.C.). Scripture speaks of a united kingdom of Judah
and Israel (Joseph) prior to the coming of the Messiah (Ezekiel
36-39). The name for the nation in 1948 was prophetic, the name
Zechariah referred to was Israel, not Judah. Israel as a nation
had disappeared almost 200 years before Zechariah was a prophet.
The Lord identifies Himself with three events, 1. stretches out
the heavens (creator of the universe), 2. lays the foundation of
the earth (creator of earth) 3. forms the spirit of man within
him (creator of man and his spirit). The point being, He is the
one and only God, there is no other. (Isaiah 44:6-8, 41:4).
the sprit: This gives
us insight into man’s creation, when man is created at
conception, The Lord then forms the spirit inside the newly
formed human being.
will make Jerusalem: Here the Lord
is speaking first person, God Himself will make Jerusalem the
focus of the nations in the last days. Jerusalem, the focus of
the nations is clearly established in scripture.
Jerusalem according to scripture will be the capital city of
King Messiah, in the Millennium; from there He will rule the
nations. (Zechariah 9:9-10, 14:16-17,) Jerusalem, along with
the Jewish people, according to Daniel’s 70 Weeks (Daniel 9;
24-27) is the focus of God’s prophetic clock.
Jerusalem will be in the focus in the end times as the nations
lay siege to the city, the imagery of a cup of trembling
(from drunkenness) is translated from the Hebrew (l[rRa`al), meaning
to real or stumble as if drunk.
against: In the end, the
nations will attack the city of Jerusalem. Today, we see
Jerusalem as the center of world attention, because of Islamic
and the Western nations focus on the city. Islam with over 20%
of the Earth’s population, views the city as Islamic, rejecting
Jewish claims to the city. The Jews in the land today, look
back to their past, claiming a historical right to the city.
The West (Europe and US) have a cultural attachment to the city,
because of their Christian heritage, and Israel’s western
outlook. The demand for oil, Islamic populations in Europe and
Islamic hatred for the Jewish state, places the capital,
Jerusalem in the center of world attention.
In the End, the nations will come against the city and its end
time Jewish inhabitants, laying siege three separate times. 1.
Battle of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39) 2. Midpoint of the
Tribulation period (Zechariah 14:1-2, Matthew 24:15-21) 3. At
Armageddon, when the nations attack Jerusalem in their final
assault (Revelation 16:16, Revelation 19:18-21, Zechariah
Heavy stone: According to Jerome, the reference here is to the contest,
which young men held to measure their strength by lifting heavy
stones. In the same way the world, will try to lift Jerusalem,
into its mold. The stone will be too heavy, pitting the armies
of God against the armies of men. Jesus uses this same picture
of a heavy stone in Matthew 21:44, Isaiah refers to the stone of
Messiah in Isaiah 8:14. Isaiah also refers to the cornerstone
of Jerusalem, the precious stone of Zion.
thus says the Lord God: "Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a
foundation, A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure
foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily. Isaiah 28:16
In the end, the nations will be cut to pieces, which come
against Jerusalem to destroy the Jewish people and Jerusalem,
because following the national conversion of the nation Israel,
to the knowledge of the Messiah, the nations will be destroyed.
Even leading up to the end times event, Jerusalem
has caused problems for the world. In A.D. 638, the Musims
conquered Jerusalem from the Byzantine Romans (Christians).
This was followed by the Crusades ( A.D.1099-1187, 1229-39,
1240-44) when the nations of the West defeated Islamic power to
take control of Jerusalem back.
The Muslim nations rallied and drove the West
(Crusaders) from Jerusalem after a few hundred years. In World
War I, Islamic powers (The Ottoman Empire), was defeated after
they allied themselves with Germany. The West was again in
control of Jerusalem, the lands of the Ottoman Turks divided,
creating new nations, many given the names of their historical
past, including Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and
Jordan. Jerusalem and Palestine (Judah) were under the control
of the British, who because of Arab threats withdrew their
promise to establish a Jewish State.
A Jewish State only came into existence after World
War II, only after the nations (Gowy) voted one into
existence at the United Nations. In a war following the
establishment of a Jewish State (May 1948), Jerusalem was
conquered by the Jewish nation. Jerusalem was now a divided city
in the hands of Jews and Muslims. In 1967, following the
Six-Day War, Jerusalem was completely in the hands of the Jewish
people, for the first time in over 2000-years.
The conflict for Jerusalem continues to this very
day, fulfilling the words of Zechariah who wrote in 520 B.C.,
when Jerusalem future seemed bleak. History is a living
testimony to the words of Zechariah.
battle for Jerusalem
4 "In that
day," says the Lord, "I will strike every horse with confusion,
and its rider with madness; I will open My eyes on the house of
Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with
5 "And the
governors of Judah shall say in their heart, 'The inhabitants of
Jerusalem are my strength in the Lord of hosts, their God.'
6 "In that
day I will make the governors of Judah like a firepan in the
woodpile, and like a fiery torch in the sheaves; they shall
devour all the surrounding peoples on the right hand and on the
left, but Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own
7 "The Lord
will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the
house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem
shall not become greater than that of Judah.
8 "In that
day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one
who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and
the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the Lord
9 "It shall
be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that
come against Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:4-9
that day: This term
refers to the Day of Judgment, when the nations are gathered
against Jerusalem. The term is used throughout scripture (That
day), appears twenty times in the book of Zechariah alone,
referring to a special period, when God will judge the nations,
and establish His kingdom. This period, also referred to as,
the Day of the Lord is the transition between the rule of
the nations, to the rule of God. Zechariah and Joel both show
the before and after events of “That day”. After “that day” day
there will peace as the nations come under the rule of Messiah
18 And it
will come to pass in that day That the mountains shall drip with
new wine, The hills shall flow with milk, And all the brooks of
Judah shall be flooded with water; A fountain shall flow from
the house of the Lord And water the Valley of Acacias. Joel 3:18
nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall
become My people. And I will dwell in your midst. Then you will
know that the Lord of hosts has sent Me to you. Zechariah 2:11
that day, and part of the day, the Day of the Lord, the nations
are brought to Jerusalem for a final conflict. This final
conflict is also pictured here in Zechariah and Joel. When
nations are gathered for battle against the inhabitants of Judah
this among the nations: "Prepare for war! Wake up the mighty
men, Let all the men of war draw near, Let them come up. 10 Beat
your plowshares into swords And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, 'I am strong.' " 11 Assemble and come, all you
nations, And gather together all around. Cause Your mighty ones
to go down there, O Lord. 12 "Let the nations be wakened, and
come up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; For there I will sit to
judge all the surrounding nations.
13 Put in
the sickle, for the harvest is ripe. Come, go down; For the
winepress is full, The vats overflow-For their wickedness is
great." 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision!
For the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. Joel
The exact timing of events pictured here in Zechariah is not entirely
clear. Some see the events in verses 4-8 taking place at the
middle of the tribulation period (Daniel’s 70th
Week) others place these events, immediately before the return
of the Messiah, at His Second Coming.
We know from scripture, at the middle of the
tribulation, the abomination of desolation occurs when the
Antichrist enters the Third Temple, and proclaims his deity. In
the process, Jesus warns the nation to flee to mountains,
because “Great tribulation” will follow.
15 "Therefore when you see the 'abomination of desolation,' spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place" (whoever reads,
let him understand),
16 "then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.
17 "Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of
18 "And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
19 "But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies
in those days!
20 "And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 "For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since
the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall
be. Matthew 24:15-17
The Mount of Olives splits open creating a route of
escape for the nation. Those who heed the words of Jesus flee
into the valley created.
Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the
mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee As you
fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah.
Thus the Lord my God will come, And all the saints with You.
For the next 1260 days, (3.5-years, 42 months) a
portion of the nation is protected by the Lord, during this time
the nation (Israel) comes to terms with their Messiah,
concluding at the end of the 1260-days Jesus is Messiah
(Revelation 12:13-15,Zechariah 14:5). They then call out to Him,
Jesus the rejected messiah, who returns in glory and power
strike: God will
supernaturally intervene for the nation. God will cause the
horse and its rider to go blind, mad and confused. It is
important to note, God is doing the talking throughout the
chapter. God is supernaturally aiding his people.
eyes: The Lord at the opens his eyes, He becomes directly involved
in the conflict between the nations and His people.
Governors of Judah: The rulers of
will see the supernatural deliverance taking place and be
emboldened the heroics and the fall of the enemy. They will
understand the strength of the people come from the Lord. In
verse six, the heroics of the leaders are described as their
enemies are resisted, who surround Jerusalem.
a firepan: At this point
the nation fights off their enemies which surround the city.
The difficult in understand the timing of events relates to the nation,
which fled into the valley created when the Mt. Olives split
open. Either the events in verses 4 through 8 refer to the
initial battle for Jerusalem, at the middle of the tribulation,
or they apply to a battle at the end as Israel emerges from the
valley to repulse the armies of Antichrist occupying the lands.
Jerusalem: Here the Lord, assures Jerusalem’s position, the city will be
saved, and rescued regardless of the plans of the nations.
will save: This verse
looks forward to the reputation of the people, after their
salvation. So Jerusalem and the David’s descendents do not get
greater glory the rest of Judah. The land of Judah, the land
surrounding Jerusalem, their inhabitants will be the first to
supernaturally throw off their enemies.
David: The literal
descendents of David, who are in Jerusalem in the end times,
this does mean each descendent of David knows they are such.
God however, knows who in the whole process of redemption.
Inhabitants of Jerusalem: That all Israel
may share in the glory of redemption, or that Jerusalem’s
inhabitants do not become the focus, Judah is saved first.
Meaning, saved physically from the destruction of armies of the
Feeble among them: At this point,
the weak, or those who totter (lXkKashal)
become empowered to be like David. The word in Hebrew means,to
stumble, stagger, totter). In all probability, these events probably follow the national
descendents of David, will be supernaturally empowered that day,
physically their exploits will be angelic in power, like
to destroy: The Lord plans
to destroy the nations, which surround Jerusalem. It is at the
event known as Armageddon this takes place. (Revelation 16:16,
17 Then I
saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud
voice, saying to all the birds that fly in the midst of heaven,
"Come and gather together for the supper of the great God,
18 "that you
may eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of
mighty men, the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them,
and the flesh of all people, free and slave, both small and
19 And I saw
the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered
together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and
against His army. Revelation 19:17-19
Jerusalem: The armies of
the earth are gathered Jerusalem in the end. How Israel
reoccupies the city after the Abomination of Desolation is not
entirely clear. Either, maybe when the nation is supernaturally
empowered before the return of Christ, they are able to defeat
the armies of Antichrist, leading to the gathering of the
nations to eliminate the Jewish people at Armageddon.
The Salvation of Jerusalem
10 "And I
will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of
Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will
look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for Him as
one mourns for his only son, and grieve for Him as one grieves
for a firstborn.
11 "In that
day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the
mourning at Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo.
12 "And the
land shall mourn, every 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
family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by
themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by
14 "all the
families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by
themselves. Zechariah 12:10-14
will pour: Again, we see
the Lord is the source of the Spirits outpouring. Yehovah
clearly identifies Himself in this verse, as “Me whom they
David: Anybody of
Davidic descent would be considered part of the house of David.
God knows the family line of every human ever to live. Here the
descendents of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem are
The House of David, in particular to demonstrate God’s
faithfulness to David, and the linkage to Messiah, who is a “Son
Inhabitants of Jerusalem: Three and half
years before the 2nd coming, the inhabitants of
Jerusalem fled into Mt. Olives valley (Zechariah 14:5). Now in
their seclusion they call upon Jesus the Messiah, before His
"Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this
Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones
those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your
children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings,
but you were not willing!
Your house is left to you desolate;
39 "for I
say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, 'Blessed
is He who comes in the name of the Lord!' Matthew 23:36-39
of Grace…supplication: As a result of God’s Spirit, which is poured out on the
nation, they call out to Jesus the Messiah. The word (xwrRuwach) means wind,
breath, mind, spirit, the term also refers to the Holy Spirit.
In Hebrews 10:29 the Holy Spirit is called the Sprit of Grace.
Only through the Spirit can anybody find Jesus, this is true in
both the Old and New Testament period.
12 Now we
have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who
is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely
given to us by God.
things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches
but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things
the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of
God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them,
because they are spiritually discerned.
(!wnxtTachanuwn) is another way of saying prayer, but the prayer of request.
At this point, the nation cries out in repentance, calling on
the Lord to intervene with the nations. A picture of this end
times supplication can be seen in the book of Joel.
15 Blow the
trumpet in Zion, Consecrate a fast, Call a sacred assembly;
the people, Sanctify the congregation, Assemble the elders,
Gather the children and nursing babes; Let the bridegroom go out
from his chamber, And the bride from her dressing room. 17 Let
the priests, who minister to the Lord, Weep between the porch
and the altar; Let them say, "Spare Your people, O Lord, And do
not give Your heritage to reproach, That the nations should rule
over them. Why should they say among the peoples, 'Where is
their God?' "
18 Then the
Lord will be zealous for His land, And pity His people.
19 The Lord
will answer and say to His people, "Behold, I will send you
grain and new wine and oil, And you will be satisfied by them; I
will no longer make you a reproach among the nations. Joel
this prayer, like Paul the blinders are removed from the nations
eyes and they, as a nation, see Jesus as their Messiah, the
Redeemer of Israel.
19 So shall
they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from
the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The
Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. 20 "The
Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from
transgression in Jacob," Says the Lord. Isaiah 59:19-20
they will look: Following the prayer and supplication, the nation will see
Jesus as their Messiah, Christ will appear with the angelic
host, and descend with glory upon a nation calling out to their
Me….whom they pierced: Jesus Christ
descends with glory and power at the 2nd Coming, here
Jesus is clearly identified as Yehovah. If you follow the
person speaking and then telling the reader they shall look on
Me, one must come to the conclusion the one pierced is none
other then the Lord. When was the Lord pierced? At His first
coming, in the second He comes in glory and power.
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be
darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will
fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
30 "Then the
sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the
tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man
coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 "And He
will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they
will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end
of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31
31 "When the
Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him,
then He will sit on the throne of His glory.
32 "All the
nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them
one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the
goats. Matthew 25:31-32
for Him…only son: The Jewish nation will mourn their rejection of the First
Born, who was crucified. The time will be a period of
that day: In that day,
when Messiah comes in glory and power the nation will mourn.
Each family will mourn, and men and women apart will mourn.
land shall mourn: The nation will
mourn their rejection of the Messiah, who died for the sins of
the nation. The land of Israel will mourn lost years of the
relationship the nation could have had, if they were obedient.
The nation will mourn the death and destruction, which came upon
the world, by Israel not knowing their Messiah at His coming.
family: The mourning
will personal as each family will recount their own hardness in
rejecting the Messiah.
themselves: This will be a
time of self-reflection, the women and the men will be separated
as the nation mourns in holiness, this is not a time to be
distracted with sexual desire, but a time of examination.
the families that remain: According to
scripture, not everybody survives the tribulation, many die,
including families. The saved who die will be resurrected
(Daniel 12:13), but the wicked will be resurrected later to
shame and judgment (Daniel 12:2). Therefore, those families
which survive, they will mourn, the point being some families do