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Zechariah Chapter 11


Introduction to Chapter 12


In 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. (Zechariah 11:12).                                            
Zechariah 12 

Jerusalem the 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

(1) 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 over Jerusalem. 

Word of 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 great glory.

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: (hwhyYehovah) 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).

Forms 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.

(2) I 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.

Siege 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 14:12).

(3) 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. 

16 Therefore 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

All nations: (ywgGowy) 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. 


The 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 blindness.

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 place-Jerusalem.

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 before them.

9 "It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  Zechariah 12:4-9

(4) In 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 (Christ).  

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


11 "Many 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


Prior to 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 and Jerusalem. 

9 Proclaim 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 3:9-14 

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 his house.

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. Zechariah 14:5 

                  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 (verse 10).

I will 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. 

My eyes:  The Lord at the opens his eyes, He becomes directly involved in the conflict between the nations and His people.

(5) 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.

(6) Like 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.

But Jerusalem:  Here the Lord, assures Jerusalem’s position, the city will be saved, and rescued regardless of the plans of the nations.

(7) Lord 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.

House of 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 Antichrist.

(8) 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 conversion.

Like God:  The descendents of David, will be supernaturally empowered that day, physically their exploits will be angelic in power, like superman.

(9) Seek 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, 19:17-19)


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 great."

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


Against 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 themselves;

13 "the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves;

14 "all the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves.  Zechariah 12:10-14

(10)I 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 pierced”.  

House of 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 referenced. 

            The House of David, in particular to demonstrate God’s faithfulness to David, and the linkage to Messiah, who is a “Son of David”.

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 return.

36 "Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

37 "O 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!

38 "See! 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

Spirit 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.

13 These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

14 But 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.

 I Corinthans2:12-14

 Supplication (!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;

16 Gather 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 2:15-17 

Following 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 

Then 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 Messiah.

On 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.


29 "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

Mourn 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 national examination.

(11) In 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. 

 (12) 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.

Every family: The mourning will personal as each family will recount their own hardness in rejecting the Messiah.

Wives by 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.

(14) all 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 not survive.