Zechariah 12

Chapter 12

The Lord Undertakes Defense of Jerusalem.1 An oracle: the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus says the Lord, who spread out the heavens and founded the earth and formed the human spirit within:

2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup that will intoxicate all the surrounding nations, and Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. 3 On that day, when all the nations of the world are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples. All those who try to lift it will hurt themselves seriously, even though all the nations of the earth will be massed against her.

4 On that day, says the Lord, I will strike all the horses with panic and their riders with madness. Further, I will strike blind all the horses of the peoples, but I will keep a watchful eye on the house of Judah. 5 Then the people of Judah will say to themselves, “The inhabitants of Jerusalem derive their strength from the Lord of hosts, their God.”

6 On that day, I will make the families of Judah like a brazier burning in a woodland, like a torch aflame among sheaves, and they will consume all the surrounding nations on their right and on their left, while the people of Jerusalem will reside peacefully in their city. 7 The Lord will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not surpass that of Judah. 8 On that day, the Lord will shield the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The weakest of them will be like David when that day comes, and the house of David will be godlike, with the angel of the Lord at their head.

9 On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

10 They Will Cry over Him Whom They Have Pierced.[a] Further, I will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem so that they will look on me, the one whom they have pierced, and mourn for him as one mourns for an only son, and they will grieve over him as one grieves over a firstborn.

11 On that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be as great as the mourning over Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.[b] 12 And the land will mourn, each family individually:

The family of the house of David by itself,
and their women by themselves;
the family of the house of Nathan by itself,
and their women by themselves;
13 the family of the house of Levi by itself,
and their women by themselves;
the family of the house of Shimei by itself,
and all their women by themselves;
14 all the remaining families by themselves,
and their women by themselves.

Footnotes

  1. Zechariah 12:10 The passage repeats thoughts expressed in the Servant Song in the Book of Isaiah (Isa 52:13—53:12): suffering rather than victory is the source of salvation, and those who were preparing the Servant’s downfall were in fact preparing the triumph of God. St. John (Jn 19:37) cites Zec 12:10 in connection with the piercing of the dead Jesus’ side with a lance.
  2. Zechariah 12:11 Probably a reference to the disaster that caused the death of Josiah, the reformer, near Megiddo (2 Ki 23:29). Others think the reference is to the celebration of a Canaanite rite in honor of the god Hadad-rimmon.

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