Zechariah Chapter 12

Chapter 9 is about the final judgement of the enemies of Israel.
Chapter 10 is about the promised restoration of Israel, not as two separate kingdoms.
Chapter 11 is about the doomed within the flock of Israel and leadership.
Chapter 12- When all is lost, God steps in.

Why has God not been thanked by us as individuals or corporately for the many times he has stepped in to make things right? We have discussed this topic before in ahabiblemoments articles. Here is another reason this chapter is an exclusive covenant to Israel. They failed and continue to fail through the ages, up to the writing of this article, to recognize God’s hand. We assume the good we experience is simply providential. Give me help until I see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. I will make it the rest of the way on my own. This is still the deluded but basic belief of Israelis. It was true in their wilderness wandering and remains true today.

ATTENTION PLEASE!

Chapter 12 speaks to this. Pay attention. This is exclusive to Israelis feeling this way, that is, this End Time discussion at this “in that day” moment in Zechariah. Believers (the real church) are raptured. They no longer are on earth at this prophetic point in Zechariah.

We seldom recommend the CEV (Contemporary English Version) as a primary Bible text, but it does make for simplified reading, often at the expense of full disclosure, the wrong wording or exclusions. Here is how the CEV opens Zechariah 12:1. It is good and simple and well worded for them.

“This is a message from the LORD about Israel: I am the LORD! I stretched out the heavens; I put the earth on its foundations and gave breath to humans” [CEV].

Simply put AND factual as a direct message from God to Israel (No church of Bible believers involved in this passage).  Christians be they Gentile or Jew are raptured by then. It leaves no doubt as to whom the target market is in Zechariah chapter 12:1. Do not spiritualize this passage in an unscriptural attempt to try and include the Church. This passage is to Israel, specifically Jerusalem. This passage is the definitive meaning of Romans 8:31b. “If God be for us, who can be against us”.

Zechariah 12:2 “to make Jerusalem a cup of trembling.” We have many life examples of paranoia; absolute fear of one thing or another. Zechariah 12 tells of a global fear of Jerusalem. God is now in the driver’s seat. Other nations who have aligned themselves against her are catatonic. They are frozen in place and shaking. We do not have a good English word for this but in Hebrew it is called ra‛al. This means one is not looking from a distance but is standing right in front of their reason for “shaking in their boots” [absolute paranoia].

Zechariah 12:3 “and all the nations of the world will be gathered against it” [Brenton Bible Version]. There are many times we try to spiritualize scripture to make it sound better, to be less threatening, just thought but not an actuality, to be more positive, perhaps analogous or meaning something else safer or less fatal by spiritualizing. The people of Jerusalem are strong because the LORD Almighty is their God. This is the essence of verses 1-5. Zechariah 12:3 is even more troubling.

How can the USA align itself against Israel? It seems impossible. How can the 6 or 7 million Jews in New York alone not speak up to defend their native promised homeland of Israel and Jerusalem. This time in scripture and Zechariah prophesy will be the mother of all deceptions.

ALL NATIONS

Verse 3, last line is not a metaphor. It says ALL NATIONS. The most recent 2020 USA national elections highly suggest that the USA is or already has produced a seismic shift away from Biblical standards. All nations cannot be redefined as meaning most nations. Not according to Zechariah 12:3. ALL NATIONS! Either America no longer exists or is aligned against Israel as part of ALL NATIONS. It should be genuinely concerning to believers. However, if believers are already raptured, this question is put to rest. Christians no longer occupy the earth as a body of believers.

But “God” we shout in today’s failure to take God at His word…there are many believers in America. God may respond…believers perhaps but are they absolute followers? Even the demons of Hell believe there is a Father God, Son Jesus Christ, and a real Holy Spirit. Yet they show no evidence of following in Christ’s footsteps. Aha-bible-moments suggests this is not an issue since the church of true believers is raptured before then.

Zechariah 12:4 [5, 6, &7] “In that day…” We continue to read these three words in Zechariah. Verse 4 begins with in that day as does verse 6. One should ask: what is THAT DAY? It is a day yet to be revealed. Not a 24-hour traditional day but a specific beginning to an end time series of events. No one will be guessing when THAT DAY reveals itself like the sun in the eastern horizon. All will see it, but few will have the Bible knowledge of what is happening in the sequence of historical events…End Time!

Verse 6 tells us that surrounding nations will be destroyed by God through the hands of “the captains of many” in Judah Israel. The Lord will save the tabernacles, tents, houses of Judah (Israel). The word used to describe these places is ‘ôhel. It can be translated places of worship, tents, homes, or people. To keep it within context since this is the Lord speaking in chapter 12, it means no one in Judah will think him or herself other than God is saving them. Not their missile defense, jets, rockets, powerful bombs, troops, or air force. Nothing with or of themselves will be their salvation at that moment of In ThatDay (V7).

Zechariah 12:8 & 9 is one statement. God will shelter those left in Jerusalem and will shâmad (annihilate) their enemies [cf. Zechariah 13:8]. The KJV says “to seek (bâqash) out and destroy.” It by no means suggests some aligned against Israel will somehow survive or hide from God’s wrath.

Here is insight for believers. The Hebrew word bâqash (seek) is analogous to how a believer is to worship God and pray!!!!! Do we get this? It is prayer and worship with fervor. Not a “Now I lay me down to sleep” type of praying or repetitious recital of the Lord’s Prayer. It is bâqash. Absolute commitment to worship and prayer. Is this missing in churches today? YES! Is it missing in Christians as individuals? Hmmm? Can bâqash be assigned a place in a bulletin?

The remainder of Zechariah is prophetic about the Christ (messiah) yet to come in Israel’s and humanity’s history. This is the New Testament being revealed in Old Testament scripture. Remember well. The original church after the death and resurrection of Jesus did not have a New Testament. They relied heavily upon scripture like Zechariah and Isaiah. This is an unconditional promise from God to Israel. He did send their [and our] Messiah but they crucified him. Gentiles crucify Him daily by not accepting Him as Lord, Savior, and living a life of prayer and worship. Too busy living “their” lives. One may also consider that many claiming believers also crucify him via their lack of a bâqash commiment.

In conclusion of Zechariah 12 we look at the only exception to covenants between God and mankind that is not conditioned with “if you____, the I (God)___”. It is Jeremiah 31:31. The NIV writes… “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah.” This is a one-way covenant and precisely what Zechariah is conveying. The only unconditional covenant this writer can find in scripture. Israelis will no longer need to first do this so God can do this or that. It is not a bargain or conditional covenant-promise. We know this from other passages of absolute support for this one and only unconditional covenant; one that is NOT conditioned upon us doing something first. Are there those who are Christian in name only? [cf. Romans 10:9]

JIV NOTE: For the bâqash Bible student inquiry, read Jeremiah 30 before delving into this verse in Jeremiah 31.

Ezekiel 37:24-25;

And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince forever. [Not a conditional covenant but one that will be fulfilled by God]

Jeremiah 23:3-4;

And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: they will fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither will the be lacking in anything says the Lord God. [Not a conditional covenant but one that will be fulfilled by God]

Hebrew 10:16

“This is the covenant I will make with them after that time, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.” After that time? This is when the “if you__, then I will covenant types” are no longer conditional. God himself is setting the table. It is the Millennial Reign. God is supreme and there are no more prerequisites for him or Jeremiah 31:31.

There are several other supporting verses. Do not simply take our word for it. Look them up and learn.

We teach-You Decide

Rev Dr. Jstark
2020

Our Study in Zechariah

To all and perspective students of Aha Bible Moments Studies

The following is a sneak preview of our Zechariah study. Fascinating and futuristic; i.e. End Time prophecies. We blog this to students so each, if desired and willing, can begin looking into the book seeing just how well it compares to New Testament references. Please feel free to share it with others who want a better understanding of the bible outside of the “stories” so easily recalled but lacking spiritual application, historical depth, insight and depth perception.

The book of Zechariah is considered complex. It has three major sections. He is contemporary with Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zerubbabel, and probably Ezekiel. Even though he was born in Babylon he joined the original group of Judean Jews that returned to Jerusalem; a place Zechariah had never seen before the release of the Judeans by King Cyrus. Zechariah was born in Babylon.

There is suggestions that his latter day prophecies, chapters 9-14, were simultaneous with the Book of Esther; she in Babylon and Zechariah in Jerusalem. These two books make the Book of Esther more significant once we compare the prophetic application of Zechariah and the historical facts of Esther as queen of Persia. Esther is resultant of the hundreds of thousands of Judean Jews who DID NOT return from Babylon after King Cyrus released them to go home.

The below is a handout and reference as we discuss commentary per Zechariah.

Old Testament Zechariah quoted or found in the New Testament

•         Zechariah 1:8 with Revelation 6:1-8
•         Zechariah 3:2 with Jude 9
•         Zechariah 3:9 with Revelation 5:6
•         Zechariah 8:16 with Ephesians 4:25
•         Zechariah 9:9 with Matthew 21:5; John. 12:14
•         Zechariah 11:12 with Matthew 27:9
•         Zechariah 12:10 with John 19:37; Revelation. 1:7
•         Zechariah 13:7 with Matthew 26:31; Mark. 14:27
•         Zechariah 14:11 with Revelation 22:3

Zechariah’s name means “The Lord Remembers.” The meaning of this name is even more significant in that the promises and insights given to Zechariah require that the Lord Remembers his covenants with Israel via Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with HIS son’s and eventually new covenants with the New Testament church of believers.

Zechariah, the 11th of the 12 Minor Prophets was a servant of God at a young age. He initially returned to a flattened Jerusalem and basically barren Judah with his grandfather Iddo the priest. This suggests his father Barachiah was no around or alive.

The book of Zechariah is fairly straight forward. He is contemporary with Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zerubbabel, probably Ezekiel and perhaps for a short time a very old Daniel. Even though he was born in Babylon he joined the small group of Judean Jews that returned to Jerusalem; a place Zechariah had never seen before the release of the Judeans by King Cyrus.

The possible latter half of Zechariah makes the Book of Esther more significant once we compare the prophetic application of Zechariah and the historical facts of Esther as Queen of Persia. Important to keep in mind that millions of Judeans we call Jews did NOT RETURN to Jerusalem when released by King Cyrus in 539 B.C. They remained in the Babylonian, Persian, Median, and Iraqi lands of old.

Although we have not independently verified the preciseness of the following dates (graph by alacin.blogspot.com) they broadly represent the sequence of events discussed in Ezra. Keep in mind that Ezra and Nehemiah were initially considered on book

Ahamoment: Queen Esther is also suggested by ancient regards to be entombed alongside or near where Daniel was buried. This is debatable but a true curiosity. They existed within a generation or two of each other in Persia. Daniel is one of a multitude of Judeans who did not return to Jerusalem even though it was he who petitioned King Cyrus I for the release of the Jews in Babylon. PS: There are over 26 Zechariah’s mentioned in the Bible. This is one major reason why sequencing and dates are important. PSS: Zechariah is also revered in Islam as a prophet.

JIV CAUTION: There have been and always will be biblical history revisionists. Wikipedia is often guilty of such even when it appears to only be a suggestion to question the accuracy or inerrancy of the Bible. Revisionists attempt to confuse the ignorant by suggesting the Zechariah slain between the Temple and the Alter was the father Zechariah of John the Baptist. Matthew 23:25 is clear. It is the Zechariah the son of Barachiah.

Caution #2: Wikipedia says:
“Although there is an indication in Targum Lamentations that “Zechariah son of Iddo” was killed in the Temple, [3] scholars generally understand this as a reference to the death of a much earlier figure, Zechariah ben Jehoiada. [4]” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zechariah_(Hebrew_prophet))

Again…Read Matthew 23:25! Deception comes with their above statement: “scholars generally understand”. We ask, WHAT SCHOLARS? [Matthew 23:25]

Rev. Dr. Jstark
2020