ZECHARIAH CHAPTERS 12
BY REV. ALLAN MOORHEAD
In these last three chapters of Zechariah we will learn about the redemption of Israel, the battle of Jerusalem, and the coming of the Messiah. For the most part I believe it is in chronological order. It is interesting to note that the phrase "In that day" is mentioned 16 times in these three chapters. "In that day" is referring to the day of the Lord. This teaching will go verse-by-verse, beginning with chapter 12 verse one.
Vs1: This verse tells us that this is an oracle of God. It is a prophecy. The LORD here identifies himself as the one who stretched forth the heavens and laid the foundation of the earth and gave the spirit to man so he could live.
Vs2: Here we learn that Jerusalem will be a cup of trembling (reeling, drunkenness, bewilderment) to all people round about. This group of people are laying siege against Judah and Jerusalem. All the people who have gathered against Jerusalem will feel the wrath of God. His cup of wrath will be poured out on them. This is the time that Isaiah 34:8 speaks of: "For it is the day of the LORD's vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion". The LORD will now settle a debt over all the controversy of Zion. For hundreds of years Jerusalem has had warfare and bloodshed. People have fought against Jerusalem and fought for it. No other city has seen so much warfare. Zion is Jerusalem in this case. Zion has many meanings. It can mean the land of Israel, Jerusalem itself, the church of Yeshua, the New Jerusalem, or even heaven. But in this case, it is the physical city of Jerusalem. Today there is a lot of controversy over Jerusalem. You read about it in the papers every day. Israel and the Palestinians want to divide the city and have it as their capital. This festering problem will not go away until Messiah comes. There may be times where this problem may seem to resolve itself, but it won't. Jerusalem will always be a controversy until the LORD returns. Why, because the nations will not allow Israel to control it. Jerusalem will always be a hot spot. Those that trouble themselves with it will be broken. This is not speaking of those who love Jerusalem. Notice that Zechariah also said that these people will also lay a siege against Judah. So it is not only the city that gets attacked but the land also. The nations of the world will come against the land, the people, and Jerusalem.
In Jeremiah 30:5-7 it says, "For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? Wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness? Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it." This time of "Jacob's trouble" is the final battle for the land of Israel and the attempted destruction of the Jewish people. It will be the Jewish people who will be in pain and fear as they see the nations gather against her. Nonetheless Jacob will be saved out of it.
Daniel 12:1 says, "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book". Daniel tells us that Michael will stand up. More than likely this phrase means to 'stand back or to leave' in this application, since these definitions can apply also for the Hebrew word 'amad'. Michael is protecting Israel and now he gets out of the way to allow the nations of the world, the beast of Revelation, demons, and bad angels to attack Israel, the Jewish people, and those that believe in Yeshua at that time. It is my opinion that it is Michael that must be removed before the Antichrist will be revealed. 2 Thessalonians 2:6-8 says, "And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming". Many say that it is the Holy Spirit that will be removed to allow the Antichrist to come. Some say it is the church. First of all it can't be the Holy Spirit because the spirit is filling Israel at this time as well as others who believe. It can't be the church because the church is never referred to as 'he'. The 'he' here I believe is Michael the Archangel. It is Michael who keeps the beast at bay until the appointed time. This is the beast of revelation who is an angel.
Back to Daniel, we find that that this is a time of trouble for the nation of Israel or like Jeremiah said, 'a time of Jacob's trouble'. In both Jeremiah and Daniel it is mentioned that God's people will be delivered as it does in Romans 11:26, "And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
However, Daniel 12:1 adds another statement to this concept, "every one that shall be found written in the book". Daniel is saying that all of God's people will be saved as long as they are written in the book of life. This means that the wicked Jews as well as anyone else, who is not written in the book of life, will not be saved.
Now back to Zechariah. The cup in Zechariah 12:2 will be like in Psalms 75:8, "For in the hand of the LORD there is a cup, and the wine is red; it is full of mixture; and he poureth out of the same: but the dregs (settlings) thereof, all the wicked of the earth shall wring (drain or squeeze) them out, and drink them". The LORD knows how to mix a drink. This drink is blood and the wicked will drink all of it even to the point of squeezing the dregs to get the last drop.
Vs3: In this verse God said he was going to make Jerusalem a burdensome (heavy) stone for all people. All who try to lift it will hurt themselves. They will be cut in pieces, rupture themselves, get hernias, dislocate their bones, and or be sore wounded as many other Bible translations and commentaries state. God says that all who burden (load or lift) themselves with Jerusalem will be broken. Micah 4:11 says, "Now also many nations are gathered against thee, that say, Let her be defiled, and let our eye look upon Zion". These wicked nations cannot stand what Jerusalem stands for. It is the city of our God. They come to fight against Jerusalem because they want to fight against God. Revelation 16:14 tells us that the kings of the earth and of the whole world will gather for that battle in the great day of God Almighty. One can assume that God will gather all of the nations and not just a few; although there are scriptures that indicate that some nations may not be involved.
Vs4: Here God says he will smite every horse with terror, panic, confusion, and the rider with madness. Horses are symbolic of a nation's power and military might. So it could be said that God will destroy the military of these nations that gather against Judah and Jerusalem. However, we can't forget that in the last days there will be horse and riders that are spiritual creatures seeking to destroy mankind. See Joel chapter two and Revelation chapter 6 and 9 to read about the spiritual creatures. We don't have time during this teaching to get into these horses.
Vs5 and 6: Here the leaders of Judah now find their strength in their own people who have found strength in the Lord. The people of Judah will now fight with supernatural strength. They will be like fire and devour their enemies that surround them. There are many scriptures that discuss this sudden power that Judah has over their enemies.
Zechariah 10:5 - "And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the LORD is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded."
Obadiah 1:18 - "And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau."
Haggai 2:22 - "And I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the heathen; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horse and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother." This is speaking of the brothers of Zerubbabel, governor of Judah. In other words, this is the house of Judah.
Micah 4:13 - "Arise and thresh, O daughter of Zion: for I will make thine horn iron, and I will make thy hoofs brass: and thou shalt beat in pieces many people: and I will consecrate their gain unto the LORD, and their substance unto the LORD of the whole earth."
Psalm 118:10 - "All nations compassed me about: but in the name of the LORD will I destroy them."
Vs7: The LORD comes for the tents of Judah first. Judah always goes first even before the tabernacle of God. Here the LORD wants to make sure that the house of David in Jerusalem doesn't boast. Judah is saved first and then Jerusalem.
Vs8: Now God comes to deliver Jerusalem. The house of David will fight like David did against his enemies as the angel of the LORD before them. Even the very weak will fight like David. Those without strength will now be mighty in the LORD.
Vs9: God will destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. The iniquity of the nations are at a full. There is a limit to God's great patience. He waited 400 hundred years before he brought his people out of Egypt to destroy the Amorites because their iniquity was full (Genesis 15:16). The Antichrist won't come until the transgressors are come to the full says Daniel in 8:23. How much longer do we have before the earth's transgression is full like Daniel said?
Vs10: Now we have God pouring out his spirit upon the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem. This is the fulfillment of Ezekiel 39:29. "Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the LORD God." It is also the final fulfillment of Joel 2:28, "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." Although this was partially fulfilled at Pentecost, it did not happen to all flesh until this point.
God's spirit was of grace and supplication. Suddenly, by God's spirit of grace, the house of David knew that they were forgiven of their sins and knew that they were saved. God doesn't let us guess whether or not we are saved. We can know. It's called blessed assurance. His spirit bears witness with our spirit that we indeed are sons and daughters of God. God's spirit of supplication now gave the house of David the ability to pray and know what to pray for. They now commune with God by the spirit.
The house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem will look onto him whom they have pierced. That is to say, that they will look to the one they had pierced, who was Yeshua. This is not necessarily a physical 'look to' but a spiritual one. Yeshua hasn't come yet. He doesn't arrive until chapter 14 of Zechariah. This is like when Yeshua cried over Jerusalem in Matthew 23:39, "For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." This is a messianic phrase calling for the messiah. Yeshua is saying that Jerusalem will have to call for him before he comes back. Many teach that the Jewish people will not believe in Yeshua until he arrives at the Mount of Olives. I believe this is incorrect. They will call (look to) him before he comes as stated in verse 10. Remember that Yeshua doesn't show up until chapter 14 of Zechariah.
The house of David will begin to mourn for him as one mourns for the loss of an only son. It is believed that mourning for the loss of an only son or the first-born son is the deepest mourning that can happen to a home. In Exodus 11:6 there was a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt such as there was none like it before or afterwards when they lost their first born through God's judgment.
Amos 8:10 speaks of this mourning of Zechariah's, "And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day."
Vs11-14: The mourning will be intense as in the days of Josiah's death. Josiah was a righteous king and sorely missed when he died in the valley of Megiddo. All the land will mourn with Godly sorrow. This kind of mourning can only come by the spirit of God when one realizes his or her deep need to get right with God which can only happen when the spirit reveals our wickedness and need of a saviour. This great repentance comes when the Jewish people realize that for over 2000 years they had missed the messiah. All of the denials, and persecutions as a result of rejecting Yeshua will suddenly come to mind. There will be great sorrow. So much so, that the families will separate from one another to mourn. Wives will separate from their husbands to mourn. Husbands will separate from their wives to mourn. This kind of mourning will create a contrite and humble heart, which is what God seeks from us all.
After speaking of great mourning Amos then says in 8:11 says, "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD."
First comes deep repentance of Godly sorrow then an unceasing desire to know God and his word. Godly joy will shortly follow repentance. Israel will soon begin singing songs of joy with everlasting joy.
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