Zechariah 12

The Salvation of Israel

“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Matthew 23:37-39

This passage is useful to understand the meaning of Armageddon, in Revelation 16:16, and the beloved City in Revelation 20:9.

Here, three different salvation events are described:

  1. The salvation of the Jews, which must precede Christ’s return.
  2. The salvation of the House of David, the gathering up of the elect, the Church, on the LORD’s Day, to escape flaming fire.
  3. The salvation of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the physical Jerusalem, that is attacked in the final Day. In verse 12, we will see that the “inhabitants of Jerusalem,” are not equated to the Church, the house of David.

2 “Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of reeling to all the surrounding peoples, and on Judah also will it be in the siege against Jerusalem.

Zech 12:2
behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness – this is an end time prophecy, as indicated in verse 3. Jerusalem can represent the New Jerusalem and the physical Jerusalem in the end days, as it does in Zechariah 14:2. Satan will deceive the nations to attack Jerusalem, as described in Revelation 20:8. The expression of “drunkenness” is also used to describe the deception of Satan in Revelation 17:2, and Isaiah 28:1. The nations will be like drunk men to attack Jerusalem.

3 It will happen in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all the peoples. All who burden themselves with it will be severely wounded, and all the nations of the earth will be gathered together against it. 

Zech 12:3
I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone – knowing that the Bible prophecies this as the ending conflict, it will be a heavy stone of judgment.

4 In that day,” says Yihvah, “I will strike every horse with terror, and his rider with madness; and I will open my eyes on the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the peoples with blindness. 

Zech 12:4
In that Day, I will strike every horse with confusion –  Joel 3:2 prophecies that all the nations will gather in the valley of Jehoshaphat, which means “Jehovah Judges,” see Joel 3:12. Ezekiel 38:21 describes this as the Day when the nations turn their swords against each other, as they did in the battle of Jehoshaphat in 2 Chronicles 20:23.

5 The chieftains of Judah will say in their heart, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength in Yihvah of Hosts their God.’ 6 In that day I will make the chieftains of Judah like a pan of fire among wood, and like a flaming torch among sheaves; and they will devour all the surrounding peoples, on the right hand and on the left; and Jerusalem will yet again dwell in their own place, even in Jerusalem. 

Zech 12:5-6
And governors of Judah shall say…the inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength – the government of Israel, the “official” Israel pays a high respect to Jerusalem, and the Judaic religion established there.

7 Yihvah also will save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem not be magnified above Judah.

Zech 12:7
the LORD will save the tents of Judah first – in other words, the Jews will be saved before the end day deliverance of the Church, and the protection of the residents of Jerusalem in the Day of the LORD.

8 In that day Yihvah will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He who is feeble among them at that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Yihvah before them. 

Zech 12:8
in that Day, Yihvah will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem – from the attack by the enemies described in Zechariah 14, Ezekiel 38, and Revelation 20:9.

the house of David will be like ELOHIM like the Angel of Yihvah before them – meaning that the House of David shall be the Body of Christ. This is one of many Old Testament passages where God called Christ, “ELOHIM.” See also Psalms 45:6, Hosea 1:7, Amos 4:11, and Exodus 3:15-16. The expression “David,” in end time prophecy, always refers to Christ, as in Ezekiel 37:24-25, and Hosea 3:5. The House of David is the House of Christ. The “House of David” is not equated to the “inhabitants of Jerusalem,” in verse 12. The “inhabitants of Jerusalem,” here, are the literal inhabitants of Jerusalem, and not the “New Jerusalem.”

9 It will happen in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 

Zech 12:9
in that Day, I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem – these are the nations described in Ezekiel 38, and Daniel 11:40-45. These are not all of the nations of the world.

10 I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they will look to me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and will grieve bitterly for him, as one grieves for his firstborn. 

Zech 12:10
I will pour on the house of David…the Spirit of grace – the expression “pour out,” in Joel 2:28,29, and Isaiah 44:3, describes the anointing of God poured out by Christ in Acts 2:33.

they will look on Me who they have pierced – the speaker is always the Word, the Angel of Yihvah, who normally speaks for God, but sometimes speaks as Himself, as we saw in Zechariah 3:2.

The Jews were first “cut to the heart” in Acts 2:37.

In Revelation 1:7, John applies this passage to the nations of the earth when Christ returns.

11 In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 The land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;13 the family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart; 14 all the families who remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

Zech 12:11-14
they will be great mourning – of repentance, when the Jews realize that they crucified their God.  This will be the final repentance of Israel before Christ returns, when all Israel is saved (Romans 11:26). In that Day, “whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved, for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance” (Joel 2:32; Romans 10:13).

like the mourning in Megiddo – which is Armageddon in Greek. Here, is the  likely meaning of Armageddon in Revelation 16:16.  The nations are gathered together when the inhabitants of Jerusalem repent, then the end will come.

This is a comparison to the mourning for King Josiah, who was slain by the King of Egypt in Megiddo , in 609 BC, as recorded in 2 Kings 23:29–30, and II Chronicles 35:20–25. For Josiah, the prophet Jeremiah “wrote a dirge,” 2 Chronicles 35:25; and all the minstrels of his country “spake of him in their dirges” 2 Chronicles 35:25.

the family of the house of David – Zechariah describes the repentance of all Israel, but not all Israel belongs to the Sanctified Church, not all belong to the elect, the 144,000. Here, the House of David represents the Church within Israel.

every family by itself – sanctification in the kingdom of heaven is for the household – “your children . . . are holy” ( 1 Cor 7:14).