Zechariah 12 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Zechariah 12)

Verse 2

[2] 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.

Jerusalem — That weak, unwalled city, and much more the church which is the antitype of Jerusalem.

In the siege — Now when all this is in readiness, and no visible means of escape, then will God make them drink the wine of astonishment.

Verse 3

[3] 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 — The day of the full accomplishment of this prophecy is a day known to the Lord.

A burdensome stone — Too heavy for them, though many join together to remove it.

Verse 4

[4] 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.

I will open mine eyes — I will watch over my people for good. This eye of God open upon his people, is his wise, powerful, gracious providence for them.

With blindness — All their warriors in their consults shall have as little of foresight, as a blind man hath of sight.

Verse 5

[5] And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.

The inhabitants of Jerusalem — Though but few, and poor, yet they shall be my strength. Not in their own power, but in the power of the Almighty Lord of all.

Verse 6

[6] In that day will I make the governors 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.

Like a hearth — A hearth on which fire is thoroughly kindled.

In her own place — Not built as Nineveh, Babylon, or Rome, in some place near old cities, but in the very same place where old Jerusalem stood.

Verse 7

[7] 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.

The tents — The unfenced places, the open country, the cottages, or tents.

First — First the weaker are saved, next the stronger.

The glory — That the illustrious house of David, and the glorious citizens of Jerusalem may not boast of their power, policy and courage.

Verse 8

[8] 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.

As David — A mighty man of valour.

The house of David — Those of the royal line shall be for prudence, and prowess in the conduct of the armies of Israel, most excellent; exprest here in an hyperbole.

As the angel — Nay, like the angel of the Lord, like Christ who is captain of our salvation.

Verse 9

[9] And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

I will seek — I will purposely and effectually do it.

Verse 10

[10] 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.

I will pour — This was fulfilled on Christ's exaltation, when he sent the Comforter to his disciples, it is daily performed to the children of God, and will be continually, 'till we are brought to be with Christ for ever.

The house of David — The whole family of Christ, his house who was the seed of David, and who is called David, Ezekiel 37:24.

The spirit of grace — Which is fountain of all graces in us.

Pierced — Every one of us by our sins pierced him, and many of the Jews literally.

Mourn — They shall literally lament the crucifying of the Lord Jesus.

In bitterness — True repentance will bitterly lament the sins which brought sorrows and shame upon our Lord.

Verse 11

[11] In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

In that day — When the Jews shall mourn for their sins, and for that great sin, crucifying the Lord of glory.

A great mourning — A mourning exprest by the greatest the Jews ever were acquainted with, and which for its greatness grew into a proverb. The mourning for Josiah slain at Hadadrimmon, a town in the valley of Megiddo.

Verse 12

[12] 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 house of Nathan — The royal family in both branches of it, Solomon's and Nathan's.

Verse 13

[13] The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;

The house of Levi — The sacerdotal tribe were the most bitter persecutors of Christ, they hired the traitor, they sought witness; the high priest, (head of that family) condemned him to die, for all which they shall one day reckon with God, and therefore above other tribes they are particularly named as chief mourners for their cruelty to Christ.