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Zechariah 12:5-11

Context
12:5 Then the leaders of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are a means of strength to us through their God, the Lord who rules over all.’ 12:6 On that day 1  I will make the leaders of Judah like an igniter 2  among sticks and a burning torch among sheaves, and they will burn up all the surrounding nations right and left. Then the people of Jerusalem will settle once more in their place, the city of Jerusalem. 12:7 The Lord also will deliver the homes 3  of Judah first, so that the splendor of the kingship 4  of David and of the people of Jerusalem may not exceed that of Judah. 12:8 On that day the Lord himself will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the weakest among them will be like mighty David, and the dynasty of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them. 5  12:9 So on that day I will set out to destroy all the nations 6  that come against Jerusalem.”

12:10 “I will pour out on the kingship 7  of David and the population of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication so that they will look to me, 8  the one they have pierced. They will lament for him as one laments for an only son, and there will be a bitter cry for him like the bitter cry for a firstborn. 9  12:11 On that day the lamentation in Jerusalem will be as great as the lamentation at Hadad-Rimmon 10  in the plain of Megiddo. 11 

1 sn On that day (referring to the day of the Lord) the Davidic monarchy will be restored and the Lord’s people will recognize once more the legitimacy and divine sanction of David’s dynasty. But there will also be a democratizing that will not give Jerusalem and its rulers undue priority over the people of the countryside (v. 7).

2 tn Heb “a firepot” (so NASB, NIV); NRSV “a blazing pot”; NLT “a brazier.”

3 tn Heb “the tents” (so NAB, NRSV); NIV “the dwellings.”

4 tn Heb “house,” referring here to the dynastic line. Cf. NLT “the royal line”; CEV “the kingdom.” The same expression is translated “dynasty” in the following verse.

5 sn The statement the dynasty of David will be like God is hyperbole to show the remarkable enhancements that will accompany the inauguration of the millennial age.

6 tn Or “peoples.”

7 tn Or “dynasty”; Heb “house.”

8 tc Because of the difficulty of the concept of the mortal piercing of God, the subject of this clause, and the shift of pronoun from “me” to “him” in the next, many mss read אַלֵי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (’aleetasher, “to the one whom,” a reading followed by NAB, NRSV) rather than the MT’s אֵלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (’elaetasher, “to me whom”). The reasons for such alternatives, however, are clear – they are motivated by scribes who found such statements theologically objectionable – and they should be rejected in favor of the more difficult reading (lectio difficilior) of the MT.

tn Or “on me.”

9 tn The Hebrew term בְּכוֹר (bÿkhor, “firstborn”), translated usually in the LXX by πρωτότοκος (prwtotokos), has unmistakable messianic overtones as the use of the Greek term in the NT to describe Jesus makes clear (cf. Col 1:15, 18). Thus, the idea of God being pierced sets the stage for the fatal wounding of Jesus, the Messiah and the Son of God (cf. John 19:37; Rev 1:7). Note that some English translations supply “son” from the context (e.g., NIV, TEV, NLT).

10 tn “Hadad-Rimmon” is a compound of the names of two Canaanite deities, the gods of storm and thunder respectively. The grammar (a subjective genitive) allows, and the problem of comparing Israel’s grief at God’s “wounding” with pagan mourning seems to demand, that this be viewed as a place name, perhaps where Judah lamented the death of good king Josiah (cf. 2 Chr 35:25). However, some translations render this as “for” (NRSV, NCV, TEV, CEV), suggesting a person, while others translate as “of” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT) which is ambiguous.

11 map For location see Map1 D4; Map2 C1; Map4 C2; Map5 F2; Map7 B1.



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