Zechariah 12:10-14 When They Look on Him Whom They have Pierced

the-son310 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication (grace), so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born.  11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning for Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.  12 The land shall mourn, each family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself, and their wives by themselves;  13 the family of the house of Levi by itself, and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shime-ites by itself, and their wives by themselves;  14 and all the families that are left, each by itself, and their wives by themselves.  Zech. 12:10-14

Grace and Finding Favor

Now the subject changes abruptly from the previous verse of the victorious battle against the Greeks c. 167 B.C. to one of deep mourning in 30 A.D. We see the joy of victory turning to the deep sorrow of the mourning over sin and causing the death of the redeemer, our Messiah.

Those who were willing to look at the Scriptures, would understand what a terrible deed has been committed.  For salvation comes only to those who realize that all of us individually are responsible for the cross.  Many teach that this is about Jewish salvation and Jewish salvation alone.  Further, that Jews are saved differently than others.  That their sin is corporate and so is their punishment and salvation.   Our sins and our sins alone were enough to require the suffering.  We might not be strong enough to drive those nails in ourselves, but we would have cried, “crucify Him” right along with everyone else.  We are all that wicked.  Look at what we have done.  Salvation is the same for all.  We all have to look upon Him who we have pierced.  We are all responsible.

“you are either the thief on the right, or the thief on the left”.  Choose.

The Weeping

The image is one of losing an only child in death; bitterly weeping.

This weeping will be greater than the weeping over a Godly king, Josiah.  Josiah had cleansed the land of idolatry, turning the hearts of the people back to their God.  The One who is greater, the Messiah, shall cause a greater weeping because of the greater cleansing. The One who will open a fountain of permanent cleansing is our prophet, priest and king.

The implication is that only those of the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem who have this compassion and grace will mourn.  For the piercing has clearly been fulfilled.

And again another scripture says,  “They shall look on him whom they have pierced.”  John 19:37.

With the apostle John saying that the prophecy is fulfilled, that is past tense, the idea that it is of a time future to us would make him wrong.  The second rule of hermeneutics is that the Scriptures do not contradict themselves.  If there is a contradiction, then something is wrong with the interpretation, and not the text.

The house of David would be the descendants of David .  Other than Mary, Joseph, and their children history knows of no other Ben David’s.  By the time of the crucifixion, Joseph is dead, and Messiah’s siblings think that He might be crazy[Mark 3:21].  With the burning of the temple in 70 AD. all the genealogical records have been lost.  There is no way for Jews, i.e. those of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin, and Simeon, to prove their lineage.  Only some Levites and Cohens, i. e. priests, know who they are.

FYI: On that day, is a phrase which essentially means when this happens at a particular time or events that are related to each other.

The reference to the mourning on the plain of Meggiddo was for the death of King Josiah.  Josiah was one of the few good kings of Judah (2 King 22) and was loved.  He cleared out all the pagan altars and idols [2 Kings 23:4-14]. He was a righteous king and he cleansed the land.

In his days Pharaoh Neco king of Egypt went up to the king of Assyria to the river Euphrates. King Josiah went to meet him; and Pharaoh Neco slew him at Megiddo, when he saw him.  And his servants carried him dead in a chariot from Megiddo, and brought him to Jerusalem, and buried him in his own tomb. And the people of the land took Jehoahaz the son of Josiah, and anointed him, and made him king in his father’s stead.  2 Kings 23:29-30

So his servants took him out of the chariot and carried him in his second chariot and brought him to Jerusalem. And he died, and was buried in the tombs of his fathers. All Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah.  Jeremiah also uttered a lament for Josiah; and all the singing men and singing women have spoken of Josiah in their laments to this day. They made these an ordinance in Israel; behold, they are written in the Laments. 2Chr. 35:24-25 

Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo?

There is no mention of a place called Hadad in the historical accounts.  Why the addition of a name, and an ancient king of Edom at that [Gen 36:39; 1 Chron 1:50]?  Zechariah has done this before, he has played with the meaning of the names (see chapter 6).  It is very likely a metaphor. So let’s just look at those names.

Hadad means loud noise, thunderer. Rimmon means pomegranate.

bells2The mention of pomegranates brings to mind the office of Priest that the Messiah fulfills. The High Priest wore ornaments of pomegranates and bells around the him of thier tunics. These camel bells didn’t have clappers, the gold pomegranates functioned as the clappers for the bells [Ex. 28:33].   The tradition is that if something went wrong when the High Priest was in the Holy or Holies they would know, because they would no longer hear the bells.

“Great thundering pomegranates, Batman, we are now all an royal priesthood [1Pet. 2:9], that many will make a thunderus sound when we move.”

batman_and_robin_tv_showThe valley of Jezreel is in several places in the Scripture to stand for a place of choosing.   The plain of Megiddo is the name of the place where this weeping is mentioned. It means the place of cutting, or division. We might suggest it is a place of choosing righteousness or unrighteousness. In ancient times, Megiddo was never referred to as a mountain or Har-Megedon.  At an important crossroads, it was a natural place for enemies to meet. Again, we are given the imagery of a place of choosing, a place of choice between good and evil.

FYI: Rimmon is the name of a city south of Jerusalem settled by the tribe of Judah. It was first established when the Israelites came into Canaan  [Joshua 15:32].  The 600 Benjaminites hid at the rock of rimmon [Judg. 20:47] in retreat from the conflict over the rape of the Levite concubines.

Megiddo is also mentioned as the place of battle which is commonly known as Har-Megedon (Rev 16:16).  This is the final place of a great battle between God Almighty and the kings of the earth.

The Names

First there is David the king and then there are two prominent Nathans in the Scriptures, the prophet, the son of David by Bathsheba, who was the pro-generator of Messiah, on Mary’s side.  The Shime-ites were the sons of Gershon, the sons of Levi, who had the responsibility to move the tabernacle, tent of meeting and the screen and the door [Num. 3:21-26].  And Levi, who the LORD said belonged to Him [Num. 3:12].  They don’t seem to be conected in any real way.  Almost random.

This is an interesting group of people who are named.  Taking the names listed here and determining if a metaphor is apparent, may give us a meaning to the One who is the object of the mourning. It points to the One who is prophet, priest and king, the one whom they pierced.

David’s name means beloved

 and lo, a voice from heaven, saying,  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” Matt. 3:17

Nathan’s name means given or gift

 And he took bread, and when he had given thanks he broke it and gave it to them, saying,  “This is my body which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.”  Luke 22:19

Shimi’s name means my name, or reputation

And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 

Levi’s name means my joined

 in whom the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; Eph. 2:21

Roughly, the metaphor would be: We must be joined to the beloved name of the given.  This is an important prophecy of the nature of salvation in the Messiah; the One who we must be joined to, grown into a holy temple with, the beloved one who was given for us.

and all the families that are left

Seems only small groups of people actually embrace the Messiah. Many times “by themselves” is mentioned; each family recognizes the Messiah, not the nation as a whole.

You are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God gave to your fathers, saying to Abraham,  ‘And in your posterity shall all the families of the earth be blessed.’ Acts 3:25  

Leave a Reply