In the course of these articles we are going to analyze each passage in these three terminal chapters to bring clarity to our understanding, just as the Scriptures teach. We are not going to “go with the flow” of any traditional or popular interpretation – as a famous theologian once suggested. There aren’t any “new” revelations in or out of scripture. But there is better understanding as time passes and our historical and archaeological understanding improves.
Over the centuries, every possible variation of Scripture has been considered. Today, we have a flurry of opposing prophetic views taught by prophecy teachers from different seminaries, denominations, and traditions. Each has their own heavily biased opinion – mostly because they have cherry-picked verses to support their tradition’s view and not because they actually follow Scripture. In this series of articles my attempt will be to not “cherry-pick,” but to follow Scripture to wherever it leads – actually, to where it is leading Israel who is the subject of all prophecy.
Yes, that is correct! Outside of the Pauline epistles, the biggest mistake expositors make (as do all of us) is to think that “we” are the focus of Scripture. We arrogantly tend to believe it is all about “us.” True, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2Ti 3:16-17 KJV). But it MUST be taken in CONTEXT. An honest reading of the Bible “from cover to cover” makes it clear that prophecy simply isn’t about the Church Age or the Dispensation of Grace. As an old Jewish rabbi said, “Context!” and shaking an old, tattered Bible over his head, he concluded, “. . . THIS is the Context!” Yes, the whole book from beginning in Genesis through the new beginning in Revelation. Survey shows that more than 70% of Christians haven’t read the Bible and 82% only read it in a church service – Ponce Foundation.
Deliverance of Jerusalem in the “Day of the LORD”
“The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him [that is, the spirit is separate and apart from our physical bodies]. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it. In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. And the governors [clans] of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God. In that day will I make the governors [clans] of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.” Zechariah 12:1-7 (KJV).
In context, this is obviously the “Day of the LORD.” The clans of Judah fighting alongside Jesus as he comes to Edom and from Bozrah to rescue the “remnant of Israel, Isaiah 63:1. Pay particular attention to verse 5 and 6, the governors or clans of Judah. Compare this with Ezekiel 38:21, “. . . I will call for a sword against him . . . .” Contrary to most opinions, in this battle Jesus is not fighting alone. He has summoned the “clans of Judah” to fight alongside of Him.
Jesus Christ seen and recognized, fighting against the nations and for Jerusalem
“In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” Zechariah 12:8-9 (KJV).
As we can see from the text – God’s Word – Messiah has come, His second advent, to defend His people and fight with them against the Gog-Magog invaders.
Israel and Judah in deep mourning over Messiah. They realize with broken hearts what they have missed and what they have done by rejecting Christ
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. And the land shall 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; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.” Zechariah 12:10-14 (KJV)
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him . . .” Revelation 1:7. The nations of the earth shall also wail because of him, Rev 6:14-17.
Cleansing of the Remnant
“In that day there shall be a fountain [metaphorically – for cleansing] opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.” Zechariah 13:1 (KJV).
False Prophets – Cleansing of Jerusalem and the hearts of the people
Verses 2-6 are false prophets, NOT Jesus. It is the false prophets who have the wounds in their hands
“And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive: But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth. And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands?” Zechariah 13:2-6 (KJV).
Concerning false prophets see: 2Kings 9:24; 1Kings 18:28; Jeremiah 48:37.
Here is where the Western mind gets really fuzzy and weird because Prophecy is NOT linear. In the Jewish mindset “Prophecy is pattern.” At verse 7 the text jumps back to the Crucifixion and then to 70 A.D. This is a difficult concept for our Western self-centric minds to grasp, but prophetically speaking, there is no Church age – the prophetic text actually fits neatly and nicely together if we ignore the dispensation of grace. Had Israel accepted their Messiah and King, Judgment would have come immediately upon the world and there would not have been the “dispensation of Grace.”
Below is a typical dispensational chart:
Messiah Crucified – Israel scattered
“Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.” Zechariah 13:7 (KJV)
Keep in mind that from Zechariah’s viewpoint the prophecy is future – from our viewpoint verse 7 is historical. Both the shepherd and the “fellow,” or companion, are Jesus Christ—an expression of Divine closeness and unity. Naturally, the sheep in this verse are the faithful, the remnant, the true Israel.
“Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.” Matthew 26:31 (KJV)
In 70 A.D. Israel is punished for rejecting Messiah, but she is not forgotten. She is purged and cleansed over the following 2000 years, until Christ’s second advent. Chapter 13:7 through 14:2 is the destruction of Jerusalem and devastation of Israel by the Romans two-thousand years ago. When reading Scripture always keep in mind that the numbering system (chapter and verse) is manmade and completely arbitrary. Many chapters and verses begin and end where the shouldn’t. Use your judgment and common sense to judge were each should begin and end.
The past two millennia have been the time of Jacob’s Trouble-Jeremiah 30:7. This chapter can be a little daunting. Read it totally and carefully. Israel is often referred to as “Jacob” when in disobedience to God. In CONTEXT, Jacob’s Trouble is their suffering while ostracized from God’s family, but even then, they are still under His care. Notice carefully in Jeremiah 30 that the “Day of the Lord” is upon the nations – verses 8-10. Although Jacob is chastised (for 2000 years) the “Day of the Lord” is their redemption, not their punishment.
Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does!