Study Notes

Zechariah 12:4-14


We saw in last week's study that Jerusalem was going to be made a cup of trembling to its neighbors, that it would be a heavy stone causing injury to all who tried to lift it, and that all the nations of the earth would one day be gathered against it.

Tonight, we continue in this prophecy given to Zechariah, and hear more about the time when the nations are gathered against Jerusalem...

12:4-9 Striking Every Horse And Rider

When the nations gather against Jerusalem, God is going to supernaturally intervene in the situation. There will be no earthly reason for the world's armies to fail, but fail they will. They will be made insane and blinded.

It will be just like in the days of the Old Testament, when God would intervene on behalf of His people by striking their enemies.

When the homosexual men in Sodom were trying to break into Lot's house, they were stricken with blindness (Gen 19:11).

You recall that when all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the sons of the east camped in the valley of Jezreel to attack Israel, Gideon took 300 men with lit torches inside of empty pitchers, and trumpets in their hands, and surrounded their camp.

Judg. 7:19-22 ...And they blew the trumpets and smashed the pitchers that were in their hands. When the three companies blew the trumpets and broke the pitchers, they held the torches in their left hands and the trumpets in their right hands for blowing, and cried, "A sword for the LORD and for Gideon!" And each stood in his place around the camp; and all the army ran, crying out as they fled. And when they blew 300 trumpets, the LORD set the sword of one against another even throughout the whole army...

God supernaturally confused them and caused them to fight each other.

When the Arameans had besieged Samaria, God supernaturally intervened. He...

2Kgs. 7:6-7 ...caused the army of the Arameans to hear a sound of chariots and a sound of horses, {even} the sound of a great army, so that they said to one another, "Behold, the king of Israel has hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us." Therefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents and their horses and their donkeys, even the camp just as it was, and fled for their life.

It will happen again as it has happened so often in the past: God will supernaturally intervene on Israel's behalf. The nations of the world will not have a chance against God's people.

Now some have said that this would be translated in modern days into every tank and driver, or plane and pilot. It is possible that the horses are used as idioms for any instruments of war. However, I have found that the biggest mistakes we make in our interpretation of the Scripture is to begin to allegorize statements that are not obviously figures of speech.

The argument against this is that modern warfare is fought with cruise missiles and hi-tech war machines, not with horses. But all I have to do is say, "Haven't you been watching the news from Afghanistan? While they may be carrying hand-held ground-to-air rocket launchers, but plenty of our allies are still on horseback!" I have no doubt that these will be very literal horses stricken with bewilderment and blindness, while their riders are made mentally insane.

Judah Saved First, Before Jerusalem

Now, before this happens, God makes a special point of mentioning that the tents of Judah are going to be saved before the inhabitants of Jerusalem.

As we will see in chapter 14, Jesus will not return to earth by landing on the Temple Mount, but instead, on the Mount of Olives, which is halfway between Jerusalem and Bethany.

Zech. 14:3-4 Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives...

The angels also told the apostles this on the day that Jesus ascended into heaven. Remember that Jesus...

Acts 1:9-12 ...was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was departing, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them; and they also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven." Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet...

Jesus would come in just the same way, and at just the same place!

It was on this same mountain that Jesus earlier had been sitting when the disciples came to Him privately, asking,

Matt. 24:3 ..."Tell us, when will these things be, and what {will be} the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

Jesus' response was complete and detailed, including the statement,

Matt. 24:27 "...Just as the lightning comes from the east, and flashes even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be."

Matt. 24:30 ...all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory."

He told them of His return to earth while sitting on the very mountain He would return to!

When Jesus Christ comes back to this earth physically, He will be coming to execute judgment. John wrote in the Revelation,

Rev. 19:11-19 And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war. And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself. And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses. And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God; in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great." And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.

This gathering of the kings of the earth and their armies will be in the place called Harmagedon (Rev. 16:16) - the mount of Megiddo. Megiddo is a valley that has factored in numerous Biblical and recent historical battles. When Jesus defeats them, the inhabitants of Judah will be saved first, before the people in Jerusalem.

12:10-14 Pouring Out The Spirit

God is going to deliver the Jews from the nations. You have to wonder why He chooses this time to do it. After all, He has used the nations to judge them - why will He do it now? Paul tells us in Romans 11:

Rom. 11:25-31 For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery, lest you be wise in your own estimation, that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in; and thus all Israel will be saved; just as it is written," THE DELIVERER WILL COME FROM ZION, HE WILL REMOVE UNGODLINESS FROM JACOB. AND THIS IS MY COVENANT WITH THEM, WHEN I TAKE AWAY THEIR SINS." From the standpoint of the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but from the standpoint of {God's} choice they are beloved for the sake of the fathers; for the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. For just as you once were disobedient to God, but now have been shown mercy because of their disobedience, so these also now have been disobedient, in order that because of the mercy shown to you they also may now be shown mercy.

Some Christians have a strange theology which says that the Jews are saved apart from belief in Jesus Christ. They point out that "all Israel will be saved." But when will Israel be saved? They are hardened of heart right now, and disobedient. But when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in, the Deliverer will come.

Why will He come? Because they will call out to Him, finally seeing Jesus as their Messiah, and mourning over what their forefathers did to Him.

Here's the mystery: Jesus said,

John 6:44 "No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him..."

God will pour out His Spirit on the Jews, so that they will call to His Son.

Ezek. 39:29 "...I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

They Will Look On Me Whom They Have Pierced

This is one of the most difficult passages for the Jews to explain away. After all, how can God be pierced? The explanation is of course simple to us. Just as it was prophesied,

Ps. 22:16 ...They pierced my hands and my feet.

Isa. 53:5 ...He was pierced through for our transgressions...

God's piercing occurred when He was hung on the cross, His hands and feet were pierced. Then, the soldiers came, and...

John 19:33-37 ...when they saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs; but one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately there came out blood and water. And he who has seen has borne witness, and his witness is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, "NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN." And again another Scripture says, "THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED."

They will look on Him again. Revelation says,

Rev. 1:7 BEHOLD, HE IS COMING WITH THE CLOUDS, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him...

Like The Mourning Of Hadadrimmon

They will mourn for Him. Their mourning is compared to the mourning in another place: Had-ad-rim-MONE. Had-ad-rim-MONE is a place in the valley of Megiddo.

Most of the commentaries say that this is referring to the mourning of the people of Israel after King Josiah was killed by the archers of Pharaoh Neco on the plain of Megiddo. But listen to the account:

2Chr. 35:22-24 However, Josiah would not turn away from him, but disguised himself in order to make war with him; nor did he listen to the words of Neco from the mouth of God, but came to make war on the plain of Megiddo. And the archers shot King Josiah, and the king said to his servants, "Take me away, for I am badly wounded." So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in the second chariot which he had, and brought him to Jerusalem where he died and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. And all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.

Notice that they mourned Josiah not on the plain of Megiddo, but in Jerusalem, where he died and was buried.

No, the Lord is making reference to the mourning that will be taking place after Armageddon. The people who remain alive will be overcome with the complete and utter destruction that the Lord exacts. The death toll will be in the millions, and the scene will be a gruesome image of death. The blood will flow...

Rev. 14:20 ...up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

But don't miss this: as terrible as the battlefield will appear, and just as intensely as they mourn over the loss of life, the Jews will mourn over their crucified Messiah.

I believe that when anyone sees Jesus, their first instinct is to mourn. Why? John wrote in Revelation 5, that when he saw Jesus, he saw...

Rev. 5:6 ...a Lamb standing, as if slain...

How could He be standing, if He appeared to have been butchered? When Jesus was arrested, He was tortured terribly and crucified mercilessly.

Isa. 52:14 ...His appearance was marred more than any man, and His form more than the sons of men.

His scalp was lacerated, His eyes blackened, His cheeks ripped apart, His back torn open, His hands, feet, and side punctured. It is unfortunate that the pictures hanging in the Sunday School classrooms show Jesus clean, healthy, and freshly showered. I don't believe this is the case.

I think the Scripture makes it clear that when Mary Magdalene saw Jesus in the garden, she

John 20:14 ...beheld Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus.

When Thomas wanted physical proof that Jesus was resurrected,

John 20:27 ...He said to Thomas, "Reach here your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand, and put it into My side..."

Realize that Jesus said, "Put your hand INTO My side." This wound from the spear is still open!

In chapter 13, we will see that...

Zech. 13:6 will say to him, "What are these wounds between your arms?"...

Jesus Christ is today the Lamb standing, but Who appears to have been slain. It is no wonder that we will mourn.

Mourning By Themselves

And notice this: Since Jesus is the Lamb Who has been slain, He is Who became the butchered sacrifice for our sins, we should be overcome with mourning. But that is something that no one can do for us. It is a place that is inside of us, a realization that must be made ourselves, by ourselves.

That is why I believe the communion table is so important, and why I make sure that it is available to you every Sunday morning.

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