“They shall look upon me whom they have pierced” (v. 10).
This prophecy is all future, referring to events that will occur “IN THAT DAY” (vv. 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11).
The Climactic Confrontation (vv. 1-3).
Verse 1: The Burden Messiah has long borne the heavy burden on behalf of Israel (Isaiah 53:4). It must be borne in spirit by the nation itself before it can enter into the blessing that God has decreed for it. But first the nation, which rejected Christ and will accept Antichrist, must plumb the depths of the “time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:1–9).
Israel God has the whole nation in view now, not just Jerusalem and Judah. Man is the highest point of God’s creation on earth. The spirit is the highest point of man; the part where man’s sinful rebellion against God is most sadly manifested and reaches its climax.
Verse 2: Jehovah takes complete control. Jerusalem is the focal point of God’s ways on earth. All Gentile nations will come against it to swallow it up. They will say, “We’ve had enough of this difficult, obstinate, infuriating nation. Let us deal with it once and for all.” But they will be caused to tremble in fear. Judah and Jerusalem will be the immediate objects of the siege, but will also be the “burdensome stone” by which the hostile nations from the South, North and the East will be crushed. Those from the West will have been dealt with previously when the Beast and Antichrist are removed summarily at the Appearing. They will have played a special role, against Judah, as such, not all Israel, and will suffer a special judgment. Jehovah delivers His people (vv.4–9).
Verse 4: “In that day” The discipline of Jehovah on His disobedient people will have been fully expended. The roles will now be reversed. God will now judge the nations at Jerusalem. They will be “astonished” startled, petrified (cf. Isaiah 52:15). They will suffer judicial blindness at the hand of God.
Verses 5–6: Governors of Judah The people of God are not completely passive at this stage of their deliverance. After the Appearing, Messiah will raise up, as leaders, but subordinate to Him, those whom He has specially fitted to take part in the vanquishing of the enemy.
Verse 6: “wood” and “sheaf” Ready for burning, in judgment (cf. the tares in Matthew 13:30). Jerusalem will be restored to “her own place”, which God has always had in mind for her—the hub of activities on earth, first in (purging) judgment (1 Peter 4:17), then in blessing.
Verses 7–9. The challenge cannot be ignored. Jehovah takes account of the remnant and delivers them first. Without His personal intervention their doom is inevitable and imminent. He says, “I will…destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
The revelation of Messiah to the delivered remnant, and the repentance produced (vv. 10–14).
Verse 10: spirit of (1) grace (pure divine favour) and (2) (dependent) supplication
All thought of deserving anything will have been abandoned. The grace that wrought their deliverance will have also wrought in their hearts. “They shall look on me, whom they have pierced.” Grace shows them Him Whom they had pierced. “They shall mourn” (repent). The cry of distress (for themselves) becomes a cry of repentance (for their sins). Deliverance in their circumstances gives them time to reflect on the reason for the situation from which they had been delivered. All their enemies, The Beast, Antichrist, the Nations, particularly the King of the North, have now been dealt with. No fear of subjugation, disciplinary judgment or punishment comes in to impair the character and reality of their sorrow (Isaiah 53:1–6). They now have eyes to see. They now accept their responsibility and mourn for their part in it. They now say “we” not “they”.
As for His Only Son, His Firstborn (cf. Genesis 22).
They will have deep sorrow that the One Who was now the object of their love and devotion had been so abused.
They shall mourn
The repentance is comprehensive, complete, thorough. They must and shall mourn (afflict themselves) as (1) Individuals, (2) Families, (3) A Nation. There could be no Feast of Tabernacles (Leviticus 23) without first The Great Day of Atonement (Leviticus 16).
National Repentance leads to National Blessing and Celebration.
Zechariah 12:10–14 leads to Zechariah 14:8–21.
They were unwilling and rejected Him in The Day of His Poverty (Psalm 109:21 – 31).
They are still unwilling now in The Day of His Patience (Psalm 110:1; 2 Thessalonians 3:5).
They shall be willing in The Day of His Power (Psalm 110:3).
Zechariah Chapter 13
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd” (v. 7).
Verses 1–5: The Basis of all Justice and Blessing. The deep, true repentance detailed in chapter 12:10–14 leads to the revelation of God’s work in them and for them in chapter 13.
The justice of God demands that sins are fully dealt with once and for all. This necessitates judicial cleansing, judicial expiation, by the blood of Christ, and gives a clear judicial standing before a righteous God we could never achieve for ourselves (1 John 1:7; Hebrews 9:14). We enter into the good of this by faith (Romans 5:1).
But that, in itself, is not sufficient. It is not only what we have done (our sins) that must be dealt with, but also what we are. Sin has corrupted our very nature. Wherever true repentance exists, a fountain is available to deal with this moral uncleanness. This is moral purification by the water of the word of God in the power of the Holy Spirit of God, conferring a new nature and a moral state we could never earn or deserve. It relates to what we are, rather than what we have done. It is complete moral cleansing, giving us the capacity to live a new life well pleasing to God in the power of the Holy Spirit.
This is foretold in Ezekiel 36:22–32 and made plain by the Lord Jesus to Nicodemus in John 3:1–8. What is necessary for us Christians as individuals now will be just as essential for Israel as a nation when they are brought to God by national repentance. The result is referred to in Isaiah 66:8: “In one day…shall a nation be born at once.” This is the national regeneration of Israel referred to in Matthew 19:28, Israel’s national equivalent of the new birth that we Christians must have as individuals now.
Verses 2–3 On the basis of the cleansing of the nation before God, inward purification leads to outward practical sanctification (Psalm 119:11). Impurity is no longer acceptable (Titus 1:15). What they (the remnant) have arrived at morally will show in what they do.
Verses 4–5: They no longer have high thoughts of self.
Verses 6–7: The shepherd slain The righteous basis on which blessing will be available to Israel is covered in what God did to the Lord Jesus (v. 7; Acts 2:23b) and in what man/the Jews did to Him (v. 6; Acts 2:23a). The sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man are both seen at the Cross.
Verse 7 “The man that is my fellow.” Jehovah so speaks of Messiah. The New Testament affirms that in Person the Son is in every respect co-equal with the Father. Equally true is the fact that in His holy manhood the Son is administratively subject to the Father.
Verses 8–9 give us the result of the Gentile invasion under the Roman Beast (cf. Ezekiel 20:34–38). That terrible time of persecution for Israel will result in the apostate two thirds of them being slain, only the faithful one third of them being spared.
Zechariah chapter 14
“His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives” (v. 4).
The Great Climax
- Jehovah and Messiah are spoken of synonymously and interchangeably throughout.
- Note Psalm 76:10 and Acts 4:26 – 28.
Verse 2: All nations with the King of the North at their head as the leading antagonist.
Verse 3: Only the direct intervention of Jehovah Himself prevents the utter defeat and complete extermination of His people.
Verse 4– 5b: Manner of Intervention and Identity of Deliverer (Isaiah 25:9).
Verse 5a: Method of escape. Earthly saints delivered from enemies. Heavenly saints manifested in glory.
Verses 6–11: Millennial conditions (see also chapter 8).
Verses 9, 16, 20–21 involve the Millennial Temple (Ezekiel 40:1 – 47:1).
Verses 12–15: Provision made for maintenance of due order (Chapter 10:4 Exactor).
Verse 16: Regulation of homage by the residual small proportion of these hostile nations (Psalm 76:10). The apparent obedience by some will be feigned, not real (Psalm 66:3). Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated and FULFILLED. Each nation will be represented each year in the celebrations (Revelation 21:24–26). God will be at rest among His people, and they in Him and with Him.
Verse 20: HOLINESS will be the norm. All will be according to God and demonstrably suitable to Him.
The Canaanite (the habitual enemy) will be “no more in the house of the Lord of Hosts.” They have always plagued the Land and its People. Never again! They will be finally and permanently expelled (Revelation 21:27).
As the poetess Mary A. S. Deck wrote:
Closed are its gates to sin;
Naught that defileth,
Naught that defileth.
Shall ever enter in.
Glory be to God!