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Zechariah 12 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The Repentance of Judah

12 This is an oracle,[a] the Lord’s message concerning Israel: The Lord—he who stretches out the heavens and lays the foundations of the earth, who forms the human spirit within a person[b]—says, “I am about to make Jerusalem a cup that brings dizziness[c] to all the surrounding nations; indeed, Judah will also be included when Jerusalem is besieged. Moreover, on that day I will make Jerusalem a heavy burden[d] for all the nations, and all who try to carry it will be seriously injured;[e] yet all the peoples of the earth will be assembled against it. On that day,” says the Lord, “I will strike every horse with confusion and its rider with madness. I will pay close attention to the house of Judah, but will strike all the horses[f] of the nations[g] with blindness. Then the leaders of Judah will say to themselves, ‘The inhabitants of Jerusalem are a means of strength to us through their God, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.’ On that day[h] I will make the leaders of Judah like an igniter[i] among sticks and a burning torch among sheaves, and they will burn up all the surrounding nations right and left. Then the people of Jerusalem will settle once more in their place, the city of Jerusalem. The Lord also will deliver the homes[j] of Judah first, so that the splendor of the kingship[k] of David and of the people of Jerusalem may not exceed that of Judah. On that day the Lord himself will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so that the weakest among them will be like mighty David, and the dynasty of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them.[l] So on that day I will set out to destroy all the nations[m] that come against Jerusalem.

10 “I will pour out on the kingship[n] of David and the population of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication so that they will look to me,[o] the one they have pierced. They will lament for him as one laments for an only son, and there will be a bitter cry for him like the bitter cry for a firstborn.[p] 11 On that day the lamentation in Jerusalem will be as great as the lamentation at Hadad Rimmon[q] in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself—the clan of the royal household of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the clan of the family of Nathan[r] by itself and their wives by themselves; 13 the clan of the descendants of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; and the clan of the Shimeites[s] by itself and their wives by themselves; 14 all the clans that remain, each separately with their wives.

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 12:1 tn See note at Isa 13:1.
  2. Zechariah 12:1 tn Heb “who forms the spirit of man within him” (so NIV).
  3. Zechariah 12:2 sn The image of a cup that brings dizziness is that of drunkenness. The Lord will force the nations to drink of his judgment and in doing so they will become so intoxicated by his wrath that they will stumble and become irrational.
  4. Zechariah 12:3 tn Heb “heavy stone” (so NRSV, TEV, NLT); KJV “burdensome stone”; NIV “an immovable rock.”
  5. Zechariah 12:3 sn In Israel’s and Judah’s past they had been uprooted by various conquerors such as the Assyrians and the Babylonians. In the eschaton, however, they will be so “heavy” with God’s glory and so rooted in his promises that no nation will be able to move them.
  6. Zechariah 12:4 tn Heb “every horse.”
  7. Zechariah 12:4 tn Or “peoples” (so NAB, NRSV).
  8. Zechariah 12:6 sn On that day (referring to the day of the Lord) the Davidic monarchy will be restored and the Lord’s people will recognize once more the legitimacy and divine sanction of David’s dynasty. But there will also be a democratizing that will not give Jerusalem and its rulers undue priority over the people of the countryside (v. 7).
  9. Zechariah 12:6 tn Heb “a firepot” (so NASB, NIV); NRSV “a blazing pot”; NLT “a brazier.”
  10. Zechariah 12:7 tn Heb “the tents” (so NAB, NRSV); NIV “the dwellings.”
  11. Zechariah 12:7 tn Heb “house,” referring here to the dynastic line. Cf. NLT “the royal line”; CEV “the kingdom.” The same expression is translated “dynasty” in the following verse.
  12. Zechariah 12:8 sn The statement the dynasty of David will be like God is hyperbole to show the remarkable enhancements that will accompany the inauguration of the millennial age.
  13. Zechariah 12:9 tn Or “peoples.”
  14. Zechariah 12:10 tn Or “dynasty”; Heb “house.”
  15. Zechariah 12:10 tc Because of the difficulty of the concept of the mortal piercing of God, the subject of this clause, and the shift of pronoun from “me” to “him” in the next, some mss read אֶל אֵת אֲשֶׁר or אֱלֵי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (ʾel ʾet ʾasher or ʾele ʾet ʾasher, “to the one whom,” a reading followed by NAB, NRSV) rather than the MT’s אֵלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר (ʾelay ʾet ʾasher, “to me whom”). The reasons for such alternatives, however, are clear—they are motivated by scribes who found such statements theologically objectionable—and they should be rejected in favor of the more difficult reading (lectio difficilior) of the MT.tn Or “on me.”
  16. Zechariah 12:10 tn The Hebrew term בְּכוֹר (bekhor, “firstborn”), translated usually in the LXX by πρωτότοκος (prōtotokos), has unmistakable messianic overtones as the use of the Greek term in the NT to describe Jesus makes clear (cf. Col 1:15, 18). Thus, the idea of God being pierced sets the stage for the fatal wounding of Jesus, the Messiah and the Son of God (cf. John 19:37; Rev 1:7). Note that some English translations supply “son” from the context (e.g., NIV, TEV, NLT).
  17. Zechariah 12:11 tn “Hadad Rimmon” is a compound of the names of two Canaanite deities, the gods of storm and thunder respectively. The grammar (a subjective genitive) allows, and the problem of comparing Israel’s grief at God’s “wounding” with pagan mourning seems to demand, that this be viewed as a place name, perhaps where Judah lamented the death of good king Josiah (cf. 2 Chr 35:25). However, some translations render this as “for” (NRSV, NCV, TEV, CEV), suggesting a person, while others translate as “of” (KJV, NAB, NASB, NIV, NLT) which is ambiguous.
  18. Zechariah 12:12 sn By the time of Zechariah the line of descent from David had already been transferred from the Solomon branch to the Nathan branch (the clan of the family of Nathan). Nathan was a son of David (2 Sam 5:14) through whom Jesus eventually came (Luke 3:23-31). Matthew traces Jesus’ ancestry back through Solomon (Matt 1:6-16) but apparently this is to tie Joseph into the Davidic (and thus messianic) line. The “official” descent of Jesus may be viewed as passing through Solomon whereas the “physical” descent came through Nathan.
  19. Zechariah 12:13 sn The Shimeites were Levites (Exod 6:16-17; Num 3:17-18) who presumably were prominent in the postexilic era. Just as David and Nathan represented the political leadership of the community, so Levi and Shimei represented the religious leadership. All will lament the piercing of the Messiah.
New English Translation (NET)

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Zechariah 12 New International Version (NIV)

Jerusalem’s Enemies to Be Destroyed

12 A prophecy: The word of the Lord concerning Israel.

The Lord, who stretches out the heavens, who lays the foundation of the earth, and who forms the human spirit within a person, declares: “I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling. Judah will be besieged as well as Jerusalem. On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves. On that day I will strike every horse with panic and its rider with madness,” declares the Lord. “I will keep a watchful eye over Judah, but I will blind all the horses of the nations. Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.’

“On that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume all the surrounding peoples right and left, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place.

“The Lord will save the dwellings of Judah first, so that the honor of the house of David and of Jerusalem’s inhabitants may not be greater than that of Judah. On that day the Lord will shield those who live in Jerusalem, so that the feeblest among them will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord going before them. On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem.

Mourning for the One They Pierced

10 “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit[a] of grace and supplication. They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. 11 On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, 13 the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, 14 and all the rest of the clans and their wives.

Footnotes:

  1. Zechariah 12:10 Or the Spirit
  2. Zechariah 12:10 Or to
New International Version (NIV)

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