ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 12.
Israel’s Conflict and Victory.
JEHOVAH’S SOLICITUDE FOR ISRAEL. — V. 1. The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, His almighty, creative power being in evidence at this point, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, a favorite picture to show the unlimited power of Jehovah, Is. 42,5; 44, 24, and layeth the foundation of the earth, which, if it were not upheld by His power, would wander from its orbit and fall into ruins, and formeth the spirit of man within him, controlling the thoughts and purposes of men so as to accomplish His own plans through them. V.2. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling, a vessel filled with the intoxicating beverage of His wrath, unto all the people round about, the neighboring nations reeling and falling in hopeless weakness and misery, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem, literally, “and also upon Judah shall it be in the siege of Jerusalem,” the entire country and its capital being involved in the severe trial which would come upon its neighbors. V. 3. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people, for those who attempt to lift and remove it; all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, suffering sprains and dislocations, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it, all the powers of evil being united in an effort to overthrow the city of the Lord. V. 4. In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, so that it would shy in terror, and his rider with madness, all the warlike forces finding themselves at a loss to effect their evil purposes; and I will open Mine eyes upon the house of Judah, with His protecting care, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness, so that the hostile forces would not be able to find their way. V. 5. And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, in the firm conviction which upholds them, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength, a reliable source of confidence, in the Lord of hosts, their God, because the Lord has chosen this city, His Church, and by virtue of this choice is bound to redeem His people. V. 6. In that day will I make the governors of Judah, the leaders of the people by the Lord’s choice, like an hearth of fire among the wood, so that they would consume their enemies like a basin of fire devouring fagots, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf, burning up the dry straw; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left, so that none of the adversaries can hold out against them; and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem, so that the renewed people could fitly become the nucleus of the New Testament Jerusalem, the Church of Christ. V. 7. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, the dwellings of the country outside of the capital with its stone palaces, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah, the house of David being the royal family as continued in the descendants of Zerubbabel. The meaning evidently is this, that Jerusalem would have no preference before the rest of the country at the approach of the enemies, but the entire covenant people would in the same degree enjoy the protection of the Lord. V. 8. In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, by a special strengthening against the foe; and he that is feeble among them, literally, “the stumbler,” one who can hardly hold himself up, at that day shall be as David, to the Jew the highest type of strength and courage; and the house of David shall be as God, like a supernatural being, as the Angel of the Lord before them, like the Son of God in His Old Testament form, whose power lived in His believers. V. 9. And it shall come to pass in that day, even while Jerusalem was exalted to a degree of strength and glory far transcending anything in its past experience, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem, this being the definite, energetic purpose of the Lord with regard to His people. It is a remarkable fact, one full of glorious comfort, that the Church of God has emerged from all its conflicts with renewed strength and power, that even in the worst persecutions, the blood of the Christians was the seed of the Church.
REPENTANCE AND CONVERSION. — V. 10. And I will pour upon the house of David, the entire royal family, the royal priesthood of the Church of the New Testament, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the members of His congregation in general, the Spirit of grace and of supplications, Him who works in the heart of man the certainty of the divine grace and urges him to seek forgiveness of sins by daily prayer; and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, as they nailed their Redeemer to the cross, John 19, 34; Rev. 1, 7, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourneth for his only son, acknowledging their transgression in killing the Prince of Life, Acts 3, 15, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn, almost the greatest grief and sorrow known to the Jews. V. 11. In that day, when the greatness of their crime in putting their own Messiah to death, would be brought home to some of the people, shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as is ever the case when men realize that their sins were the cause of Christ’s death, as the mourning of Hadad-rimmon, when the men of Judah mourned so bitterly over the death of their King Josiah, who was mortally wounded near that place in the Plain of Esdraelon, 2 Chron. 35, 22 ff., in the Valley of Megiddon, this being the name of the battlefield. V. 12. And the land shall mourn, every family apart, every section of the nation taking part in this expression of sorrow: the family of the house of David, those of royal descent, apart and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan, probably those belonging to the prophetic order, apart and their wives apart; v. 13. the family of the house of Levi, those belonging to the priestly family, apart and their wives apart; the family of Shimei, the teachers of the people, apart and their wives apart, so that two were of royal line and two of priestly descent; v. 14. all the families that remain, every family apart and their wives apart. Nor would this sorrow of true repentance be in vain. Chap. 13, 1. In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to the entire nation, as representative of the Church of the New Testament, in whose members the fruit of Christ’s redemption is realized, for sin and for uncleanness. The blood of Christ, shed for the sins of the whole world, has prepared a water of sprinkling which thoroughly cleanses sinners from their uncleanness. Cp. 1 John 1, 7. It is the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost which is shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ, our Savior, also in Holy Baptism. Titus 3, 5. 6.