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ch 12:1-9    Ch. 12:10-13

Jerusalem To Be Destroyed (ch.12:1 - 9)



Verse 1 tells us that this chapter is directed specifically to
Israel.  We do not have to guess or figure this out.  Some question whether Israel here refers to Judah, that is,  the southern tribes of Israel or Israel as a whole.  I suggest that it is all of Israel. 


Notice the word "LORD' here.  "LORD" is all capitalized, meaning, it is translated from the Hebrew word "Yahweh," meaning "I Am."


Also in verse 1 we learn three things about our God.   We first learn that He stretches out the heavens.  This statement is interesting since it seems to be a matter of physics and science, something that was not understood in the time period when this statement was written. For us today, it is the common understanding that the universe is progressively expanding, or as this text seems to imply, is being stretched out.  So when this verse says that the heavens are presently being stretched, this confirms what modern science says about our ever expanding universe, even though Zechariah had no scientific proof of this statement.  Note also the present tense of the word "stretches."   This is an ongoing process.


The second thing we learn about God in verse 1 is that He lays the foundation of the earth.  Here too we have the present tense of the word "lies."   Again, the prophet knows nothing about modern science and I don't believe the Bible is a scientific book.  It is a theological book.   That being said, it appears that God is still active in the very foundation of our earth.  I am not sure how or what that looks like, but it means He has not stepped back from the physical aspect of our planet, or the universe as the last statement makes clear.  He is still actively involved in the creative process, maybe deep in the earth centre of the earth where man has never been.  Deisism is not Biblical thinking.  A Deist is one who believes that God created all things but now has stepped back from His creation to let it exist and evolve on its own.  Christians are not Deists.  We believe that God is actively involved in His creation more than we cane ever know.  I will not comment on it here, but I suggest you read the first six verses of Hebrews 1.  It sheds much light on this thought.    


The last thing we learn about God in this verse is that He forms the spirit within man.  Once again we note the present tense in the word "forms."  It is my thinking that every baby that is conceives receives his spirit from God.  The Hebrew word "ruwach" is translated here into English as "spirit."  It means breath, as in the breath of life.  This certainly speaks volumes to how Christians should understand the abortion debate. 


When thinking of the above three aspects to the nature of God, a reading of the book of Job, especially chapter 38, gives us a bit of insight into how the ancient world understood God.  The book of Job is the oldest book in the Bible.  Job probably lived somewhere between four thousand to five thousand B.C.. 


In verse 2 we see that God Himself is going to make Jerusalem a place that will send the surrounding nations reeling.  The word "cup" is used in this respect.  The word "cup" in the Bible is often used in reference to God's judgment.  We see this in the case with Jesus when He asked His Father if "this cup" could be taken from Him.  Jesus was about to receive God's judgment on our behalf.  In Isaiah 51:17 and 22 we see that the cup is in reference to judgment falling on Jerusalem.


In this verse it is not Jerusalem or Judah that will receive the cup of judgment.  It is the surrounding nations that attack Israel that will receive this cup of judgment.  


At this point in history future both Judah and Jerusalem will be siege.  Israel, and especially Jerusalem, will be the centre of international conflict and war as the end of this age closes down. 


Note it is the "surrounding nations" that will be sent reeling because of Jerusalem.  If we take these words literally, the surrounding nations would not seem to be the entire entire world.  Therefore, these words may be speaking of the Arab and Muslim nations that presently surround Israel now.  It may be those nations in the Ezekiel 38 and 39 war.  Whether this verse is speaking of this war is hard to say, at least at the moment in time.    


These surrounding nations are sent reeling because as we will see, all the nations of the earth will attack Israel , and they, being on the borders of Israel get afraid, or are sent reeling.       


Verse 3 tells us that on that day, or the time of the end, all nations will be gathered together against Jerusalem , yet, God also says that He will make Jerusalem like an unmovable rock and any nation that tries to do harm to Jerusalem will “be injured” in the process.  Right now, in 2018 we see what might be the beginning of this happening.   That is speculation.  I know that, but, sooner or later, all nations will fight against Israel and Jerusalem, but will fail and be injured in the long run.  You can read Joel, chapter 3, to see this prediction again.     


In verse 4 we see God saying that He will keep a watchful`` eye over Israel.  He is doing that right now.  His eyes are on Israel .  He sees what is happening, as He says here.  When the time comes for the nations to attack His people, He will bring confusion to the attackers.  He will drive them mad.  The enemies of Israel will not succeed in their attempt to destroy God’s people.


We see horses mentioned here.  Does this mean that we should expect horses to be used in this war?  I do not think so.  Remember, we must understand this passage in light of the ancient times in which it was written.  Horses were the means by which men fought.  Horses were our modern day tanks and airplanes.  This prophecy is using ancient language to predict a future event.  I do not believe we should take horses to be literal in this situation.  This is one hermeneutical approach to Biblical prophecy.


In verse 5 we see what Paul concludes in his discourse on Israel in Romans 9 through 11.  God says that on this day Israel will finally be strong because the Lord Almighty is their God.  There are two sides to this.  God is with Israel , and Israel will have repented in order for God to have made them strong. Israel will finally be what God has wanted them to be all along.


Note in verse 5 the KJV uses the words "LORD of hosts" while the NIV uses the words "LORD Almighty."  I like the KJV rendering here because that seems to be what the Hebrew text says if you consider a word for word translation.  The word "host" means armies.  God is the God of armies.  In the sense maybe I can see the NIV's translation "LORD Almighty." 


Note also that the word "government" appears in the KJV and depending on what version of the NIV you are reading you may see the word "clan" or "leaders."  All three words may be appropriate.   


Verse 6 tells us that in that day Israel will consume the surrounding nations and that Jerusalem will be in tact.  Jerusalem will not be destroyed by its enemies.  When God says that Israel will overtake the surrounding nations, this might well be in reference to them getting the land they were originally promised, which they do not now possess.  When God promised Abraham a certain portion of land in what is called the Abrahamic Covenant, He will give it to them on that day.


We see the words "on that day" often in this chapter and the chapters to come.  God wants us to know that all this will happen on a specific day.  This does not necessarily mean a day of twenty four hours, but the time period of the end.  Of course, it will all end on one certain day, but all that happens at the end of this age takes time.  This time period is called "the Day of the Lord" in the Bible.  The Day of the Lord is seen in two ways.  It is seen as a period of time and also in one twenty four hour day.


God says in verse 7 that He will save the people in Judah first.  As in most cases, at least in Zechariah , Judah often is in reference to Israel , but, maybe in this instance it might refer to the territory the tribe of Judah once possessed, which is the land, province, Jerusalem was in.  It appears from this verse that God will save Israel before Jerusalem. The nation comes first. The city comes second, but both will be saved, and, we certainly do not know about any time period between these two aspects of Israel ’s salvation.  It could be a matter of moments.


In verse 8 we learn that on that day God will shield
those living in Jerusalem and the feeble ones in
the city will be very strong.  This might suggest that as God is saving the nation of Israel first, He will protect the city of Jerusalem.


Note the term "house of David in verse 8.  This speaks to the nation of Israel.  David is prophetic of Jesus.  Jesus was born in the lineage of David.    


Verse 9 says that on that day God will destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.  Not only will the nations be damaged as we saw earlier in this chapter, but they will be destroyed.  I suggest that when the text states that God will destroy the nations, that means He will destroy the armies of the nations that are attacking Israel, and not the nations the armies come from, except maybe, the immediate surrounding nations.  We will see later on in chapter 14 that there will be surviving nations that will be subject to Jesus during His thousand year rule on earth.       




Mourning For The One They Pierced (ch. 12:10 - 13)


In verse 10 we see a divine act of God.  He says that on that day He’ll “pour out a spirit of grace and supplication” on Israel .  This grace means that God will have grace and mercy towards the Jews.  Yet He will also pour out a spirit of supplication.  Supplication is a humble spirit of prayerful repentance.  God Himself will help Israel repent.  He will cause the events of the Great Tribulation to bring Israel to its knees in repentance.  This is what the Great Tribulation is all about.  Jeremiah 30:7 calls this period of time "the time of Jacob's trials."  Israel will repent, and God will be gracious to them.  To be clear, this repentance is an act of God's sovereign will to bring about the fulfillment of the promises He spoke to Abraham in what we have called the Abrahamic Covenant.     


When it comes to individual repentance, I believe the same is true.  God needs to help us repent as we come to Him with the willingness to repent.  We all need to seek God for a spirit of supplication.


God, and I say God, also says in verse 10, "they will look on me, who they have pierced."  This is an important verse because God says that the Jews pierced Him.  How could that be?  They pierced Jesus, not God.  Well, clearly this speaks to the deity of Christ. 


We should also think about the word “pierce” here.  If this refers to the piercing of Jesus’ side while on the cross, it wasn’t the Jews who pierced Jesus.  It was the Roman soldiers.  Yet it was the Jews who brought Jesus to the Roman soldiers to be pierced.  If not for the Jews, Jesus would not have been pierced.


The last part of verse 10 shows us the depth of the Jews repentance.  They will grieve and mourn once they see their Messiah.  They will grieve and mourn as if they had lost their only child.  This is true repentance. 


One thing we should note here is that Israel’s grieving is associated with the one they have pierced.  It seems to me that these Jews will see the nail prints in the hands of Jesus as He returns.  It will suddenly dawn on them that it was they who killed their Messiah centuries earlier.  I’m convinced, and especially as you see Jesus as the Lamb of God in Revelation 5, that Jesus will have the nail prints in His body throughout all of eternity, all because He loved us.


We should understand the term "House of David" to mean all of Israel ; Israel as a nation.  David was king over all of Israel , not just his tribe.  This term is important here in chapter 12.  Reference to David is important in Biblical prophecy because it speaks to the coming Messiah of Israel who King David is a living type of.  In other words, the life of David himself, to a degree, was prophetic of Jesus as He returns to earth.


The picture this prophecy paints of Israel's repentance is powerful.  It shows extreme sorrow.  The words "bitterly" and "grieve" make that clear.  This will be a nation time of mourning that has never been seen in the history of nations.  This will be one sight to behold.     


In verse 11 we see the words "Haddac Rimmon."  We just don't know what this is in reference to.  Some say it is the name of a place while others say it is the name of a person and that depends a lot on what translation of the Bible you are reading.  If it is indeed a place name as the NIV suggests, then it is in Megiddo , as the NIV states.  There is a valley that runs east and west, just north of Jerusalem .  It is often called "the Valley of Jezreel .  It is where the Battle of Armageddon will take place, or so most Prophetic Futurists believe.      


This reference Megiddo has historic significance as well.  It is where King Josiah died.  At that point there was also great weeping in Jerusalem.  King Josiah ruled Israel, Judah, from 640/641 B.C. to 609/610 B.C..  He brought a religious reform to Israel as has never been seen.  He died on the Battlefield of Megiddo by Egyptian troops on their way to fight the Babylonians.  Josiah became king after his father was assassinated.  He was only eight years old at the time.        


In verses 12 and 13 we see that all the clans, or all the families of Israel will mourn.  It is not only the head of the house that mourns.  The wives mourn as well.  This is the greatest national revival in all of history and it comes to Israel, and so Paul is right when he says that all Israel will be saved in Romans 11:26.


Note that this is a national revival, but this national revival occurs because of an individual revival of those living in Israel at the end of this age.  There is no national revival apart from individual revival, something I am not sure that people understand today as they pray for national revival.  It is not a nation that is revived.  It is people who are revived and thus sets the course of a nation on a new path.      


On thing we should note in this section of Zechariah is personal repentance that leads to personal salvation on part of the individual Jews, which in turn leads to national salvation. This salvation, as seen here, is not on obedience to Law but on obedience to Jesus.  This is in fact New Testament salvation, the same salvation that Peter preached on the Day of Pentecost that was rejected by much of the Jewish leadership.

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