Background Information: Zechariah was a priest and prophet to the Jews during the rebuilding and reestablishing of Jerusalem after Babylonian exile. He was the son of a prophet, which means he belonged to Aaron’s family. The Lord assigned Zechariah to encourage His people to continue rebuilding the second temple (the first temple was burned down by Nebuzaradan, Captain of the Guard, who served under King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon). The theme of Chapters 12 through 14 deals with Israel in the latter years, signifying the return of Jesus Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom on earth.
Zechariah Chapter 12
“Behold, I (the Lord) 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. (vs3) 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.”
Since Bible days, Israel has been hated of many nations–from Pharaoh of Egypt and King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon to ancient Rome, to Hitler, all the way to the modern day Palestinians and the Middle East. Israel has been a continuous problem of other nations for one reason or another. The Lord is saying for those nations that are “burdened” by Israel will live to regret it. The height of the Lord’s displeasure will result in His impelling all nations of the earth to meet in one place, Armageddon, for the ultimate showdown. Revelation 16:16 says, And he (The Lord) gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon. Please reference Revelation 19:19, Ezekiel 38:1-13 and 38:20-23.
“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.”
This text identifies with Ezekiel 38:21, And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. Revelation 19:15 says And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations . . . The Lord’s words will create mental confusion and disorientation for the military men, causing them to be incoherent in operating their machinery/weaponry. Since horses and chariots are no longer modes of transportation of modern-day armies, the Lord will cause the fighter jets and other aircrafts, submarines, and other vehicles to stall and malfunction.
“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. (vs6) 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 . . . and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.”
The hearts and spirits of Israel’s military officials and soldiers will be strengthened when they see the Lord of Hosts (The Lord as a Warrior) fight for them. Israel’s militia will gain the upper hand in killing every enemy in sight. Israel will rebuild and occupy their land in peace.
Note verse 9
“And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.”
We must pause to examine verse 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 pierced, and they shall mourn . . .”
In Matthew Chapter 27, the Bible records that Jesus was brought to Pontius Pilate, Roman governor of Judea, by the Jewish priests and elders. Pilate saw no fault in Jesus despite their accusations. Barabbas was a murderer who was in prison at that time. Pilate asked the Jews if they desired the release of Barabbas or Jesus; the chief priests and elders persuaded their people to ask for Barabbas. The Jews demanded that Jesus be crucified. Pilate saw he could not reason with them. In verse 24, the Bible says, he (Pilate)took water, and washed his hands before the multitude (the Jews), saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person (Jesus):see ye to it (crucify Jesus; it’s on you). Verse 25 reads, Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then the Roman soldiers took Jesus to a place called Golgotha and crucified him. We know that Jesus rose from the dead in Matthew 28:5-7 and ascended back into heaven in Acts 1:9-11.
Now read Zechariah 12:10 again.
The Lord says He will extend grace to His people; but when they see Him at Armageddon, they are going to mourn because the majority of them rejected Him as their Messiah, and their ancestors delivered Him to death over 2,000 years ago. When the Jews shouted, “His blood be on us, and our children,” they did not realize that these words would catapult their descendants into suffer mind-blowing atrocities, blood shed, and inconceivable deaths throughout the generations.
Revelation 1:7 says, Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, A-men.
God continues to say that all of the remaining families of Israel will mourn when they see Him (vs14).
Zechariah Chapter 13
Synopsis of verses 1-7
The Lord is going to cleanse the hearts of His people, removing from the land idol gods and false prophets.
Please take note of verse 8
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.”
Two parts of the Jewish nation has been killed off over the years (we can recall some of the horrific events). The Lord is saying he left a remnant (a remainder), which consists of 1/3 of the population. Please read an excerpt of Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans in Chapter 11: (vs1-2) I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. (vs2) God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. (vs5) Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
*Please see article from Haaretz.com
“And I will bring the third part (1/3) through the fire, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God.”
*Remember this text is only dealing with the end time days (now). The Lord is saying He is going to use the persecution of the Anti-Christ/World Leader during the 7-year Tribulation Period to cleanse and purify the hearts of His people, so they will come to know that Jesus Christ is their Messiah and the Savior of the world. The Lord will try them as gold is tried.
Daniel 8:23 says, And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to a full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. During the end time (now) the Anti-Christ will emerge, being very evil, deeply involved in the occult, and extremely deceptive and unrecognizable.
Revelation Chapter 12 metaphorically illustrates the Anti-Christ’s persecution of the Jews and how the Lord takes care of them. We will briefly highlight:
Verse 1: The woman clothed with the sun is Israel.
Verses 2-6: The woman (Israel) gives birth to her son (Jesus Christ); the red dragon, Satan, tries to kill Jesus.
Verse 13: “And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.” This scripture metaphorically states that Satan, through the Anti-Christ, is going to persecute the Jews.
Verse 14: “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half of time from the face of the serpent.” Due to the persecution of the Anti-Christ, the Jews are going to flee to Petra, Jordan where the Lord is going to supernaturally feed and take care of them during this time, and times, and half of time–the last 3 ½ years of the Tribulation Period (the Great Tribulation).
Ezekiel 39:22 says, So the house of Israel shall know that I am the Lord their God from that day and forward.
Paul the Apostle concluded by stating in Romans 11:26, And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion (Zion) the Deliverer (Jesus Christ), and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob (Israel): (vs 27) For this is my (The Lord) covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.
Zechariah Chapter 14
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh . . .” References the day Jesus Christ returns to the earth during Armageddon to destroy the enemy nations and ushers in His earthly Kingdom.
“For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle . . .” Please Reference Ezekiel Chapter 38 and Revelation 16:12.
“Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations . . .”
As previously discussed, Ezekiel 38:21 expounds on this text, And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord God: every man’s sword shall be against his brother. Revelation 19:15 says And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations . . . As previously discussed, the Lord’s words will cause the armies to turn on each other.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east . . . (vs5) And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains . . .” When the Lord descends from heaven to stop the battle of Armageddon, he will place his feet on the Mount of Olives. Verse 5 coincides with Revelation 12:14, which was pinpointed above.
The rest of verse 5 “. . . and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” The Lord will return with the saints who were raptured, and those who did not accept the mark of the beast, received Christ as Savior, and were killed as a result.
“And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.” Bible Scholars believe this is nuclear warfare.
“And it shall come to pass in that day. . . they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor.”
This text should sound familiar as you recall the Ezekiel 12:4 and 38:21.
And Judah also shall fight in Jerusalem . . .
Please refer to chapter 12:5-6 – The Lord will strengthen the spirits of Israel’s militia to fight their enemies.
These verses refer to the Millennial Reign in which the Lord Jesus will literally sit on the throne in Jerusalem and rule as King of kings for 1,000 years. The people of the nations will be required to go to Jerusalem to worship Him once a year. The 16th verse says, And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Those who do not go to Jerusalem to worship will suffer a plague according to verses 17-19 “. . . even upon them shall be no rain.” (vs 18) “. . . there shall be a plague.”
Please Know: There will be people who survive the calamities of the Tribulation Period. There is still life on earth—the world will not end! Jesus Christ’s Millennial Reign begins after the Battle of Armageddon!