Zechariah 12

CHAPTER XII

The first part of this chapter, with several passages in

chap xiv., relates to an invasion that shall be made on the

inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem in the latter ages of the

world, some time after the restoration and settlement of the

Jews in their own land. It also describes, in very magnificent

terms, the signal interposition of God in their favour. From

this the prophet proceeds in the latter part of the chapter,

10-14, to describe the spiritual mercies of God to converting

his people; and gives a very pathetic and affecting account of

the deep sorrow of that people, when brought to a sense of

their great sin in crucifying the Messiah, comparing it to the

sorrow of a parent for his first-born and only son, or to the

lamentations made for Josiah in the valley of Megiddon,

2Ch 35:24, 25.

A deep, retired sorrow, which will render the mourners for a

season insensible to all the comforts and enjoyments of the

most endearing society.

NOTES ON CHAP. XII

Verse 1. The burden of the word of the Lord] This is a new

prophecy. It is directed both to Israel and Judah, though Israel

alone is mentioned in this verse.

Which stretcheth forth the heavens] See on Isa 42:5.

Formeth the spirit of man within him.] Then it is not the same

substance with his body. It is a SPIRIT within HIM.

Verse 2. Jerusalem a cup of trembling] The Babylonians, who

captivated and ruined the Jews, shall in their turn be ruined.

I incline to think that what is spoken in this chapter about the

Jews and Jerusalem, belongs to the "glory of the latter times."

Shall be in the siege] This may refer to some war against the

Church of Christ, such as that mentioned Re 20:9.

Verse 3. A burdensome stone] Probably referring to that stone

which was thrown on the breast of a culprit adjudged to lose his

life by stoning, by which the whole region of the thorax, heart,

lungs, liver, &c., was broken to pieces.

Verse 4. I will smite every horse] Some apply this to the wars

of the Maccabees with the Syrians; but it is more likely to be a

prophecy not yet accomplished. The terms are too strong for such

petty and evanescent victories as those of the Maccabees.

Verse 5. The governors of Judah] This supposes a union between

the two kingdoms of Israel and Judah.

Verse 6. Jerusalem shall be inhabited again] This seems to refer

to the future conversion of the Jews, and their "return to their

own land."

Verse 7. The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first]

This, I suppose, refers to the same thing. The Gospel of Christ

shall go from the least to the greatest. Eminent men are not the

first that are called; the poor have the Gospel preached to them.

And this is done in the wise providence of God, that the "glory of

the house of David," &c., that secular influence may appear to

have no hand in the matter; and that God does not send his Gospel

to a great man, because he is such.

Verse 8. He that is feeble among them-shall be as David] Here is

a marked difference between Judaism and Christianity. So clear,

full, and efficient shall be the salvation of believers under the

Gospel, that the feeblest among them shall be as strong, as full

of courage, and as successful as David when he went against

Goliath. The least in the kingdom of heaven was greater than John

the Baptist.

And the house of David-as the angel of the Lord] The family, the

Church of the true David, the Lord Jesus, shall be as the angel

of the Lord; shall stand in the Divine presence like Gabriel; for

Christ hath said, "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall

see God." So "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the

glory of the Lord, are changed from glory into glory, as by the

Spirit of the Lord." Thus the house of David, the true Christians,

shall here walk with, after, and before God.

Verse 9. I will seek to destroy all the nations] When this time

shall arrive, all nations that "will not receive the faith of our

Lord Jesus" shall be destroyed, when the longsuffering of God

shall no longer wait upon them. This seems to belong to a period

yet very remote.

Verse 10. I will pour upon the house of David] This is the way

in which the Jews themselves shall be brought into the Christian

Church. 1. "They shall have the spirit of grace," God will show

them that he yet bears favour to them. 2. They shall be excited to

fervent and continual prayer for the restoration of the Divine

favour. 3. Christ shall be preached unto them; and they shall look

upon and believe in him whom they pierced, whom they crucified at

Jerusalem. 4. This shall produce deep and sincere repentance; they

shall mourn, and be in bitterness of soul, to think that they had

crucified the Lord of life and glory, and so long continued to

contradict and blaspheme, since that time.

Verse 11. A great mourning] A universal repentance.

As the mourning of Hadadrimmon] They shall mourn as deeply for

the crucified Christ as their forefathers did for the death of

Josiah, who was slain at Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

See 2Ch 35:24, 25.

Verse 12. Every family apart] The meaning of the word apart,

which recurs here so often, may be this: Their sorrow shall be so

deep and distressing, that every one will endeavour to avoid

another, and vent his grief and distress of soul in private. And

even husbands and wives shall separate from each other in this

general mourning, as they were obliged to do by law in certain

circumstances. See 1Co 7:5, and the note there.

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