The Word of the Lord to Zechariah

Chapter 12

Jerusalem a cup of trembling to herself, 1, 2, and a burdensome stone to her adversaries, 3-5. The victorious restoring of Judah, 6-9. The repentance of Jerusalem, 10-14.

1 [The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel.] Thus says the LORD who stretches forth the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him:

2 "Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people around, and it shall also be upon Judah in the siege against Jerusalem. 3 And in that day I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people. All who burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth are assembled against it. 4 In that day," says the LORD, "I will smite every horse with astonishment and his rider with madness. And I will open my eyes upon the house of Judah and will smite every horse of the people with blindness. 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.'

6 "In that day I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth of fire among the wood and like a torch of fire in a sheaf, and they shall devour all the people around, on the right hand and on the left. And Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem. 7 The LORD will also save the tents of Judah first so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not magnify themselves against Judah. 8 In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he who 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. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

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 mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him as one who is in bitterness for his first-born. 11 In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. 12 And the land shall mourn, every family separately: 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 Shimei by itself, and their wives by themselves; 14 All the families that remain, every family by itself, and their wives by themselves."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Zechariah, Chapter 12


John Gill's Chapter Summary

This chapter contains a prophecy of the defense, protection, and salvation of the church of God; and of the effusion of the Spirit; and of the conversion of the Jews in the latter day. It begins with a title and preface, describing the power of God, from the creation of the heavens and earth, and soul of man (verse 1); then follows the subject matter of the prophecy, in a way of judgment upon the enemies of the people of God, and in a way of salvation to them. The judgments on their enemies are signified by various metaphors: by Jerusalem's being a cup of trembling, a burdensome stone, and a hearth and torch of fire to them (verses 2-3, 6). The effects of which are to them astonishment, madness, blindness, and utter destruction; and to the people of God confidence in him, salvation from him, and strength and protection by him (verses 4-5, 7-8); and, at the same time that God will destroy all the enemies of his people, he will pour out his Spirit upon his chosen ones among the Jews; the consequence of which will be, their faith in Christ, signified by looking to him whom they have pierced; and their repentance toward God, expressed by mourning; and this illustrated by mourning for an only and firstborn son (verses 9-10); and which is further illustrated by the mourning for Josiah in the valley of Megiddon; and by an enumeration of the several families in Jerusalem, that should separately mourn on this account (verses 11-14).

[v.2] - "and it shall also be" - That is, either the cup of trembling, or the burden of the word of the LORD.

John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 1-6:

Grant, Almighty God, that inasmuch as the condition of all those who fight under the banner of the cross of Christ seems at this day hard and even miserable,— O grant, that relying on your promises, by which you encourage us, we may continually persevere, and not hesitate to remain in your fold, though wolves lie in wait for us on every side, and robbers also and thieves furiously assail us, so that we may ever remain under the protection of your hand, and never envy the children of this world on account of their pleasures, ease, and worldly advantages, but patiently bear to be agitated by constant fear, so that we may with quiet minds wait until you show to us, when we come to die, that our salvation is safe and secure in your hand; and having thus at length passed through all troubles, we may come to that blessed rest, which your only-begotten Son has procured for us by his own blood. Amen.

[v.10] - Quoted in John 19:37.

John Calvin's Prayer for Verses 7-10:

Grant, Almighty God, that as we are this day surrounded with enemies, and without any defense, so that our safety seems to be every moment in danger,— O grant, that we may raise up our hearts to you, and being satisfied with your protection alone, may we despise whatever Satan and the whole world may threaten us with, and thus continue impregnable while carrying on our warfare, so that we may at length reach that happy rest, where we shall enjoy not only those good things which you have promised to us on earth, but also that glorious and triumphant victory which we shall partake of together with our head, even Christ Jesus, as he has overcome the world for us, in order that he might gather us to himself, and make us partakers of his victory and of all his blessings. Amen.

[v.11-14] - John Calvin's prayer for verses 11-14 is included with the first verse of the next chapter. Therefore, the prayer is in the next chapter.