The One Who Was the Weakest
According to Zechariah 12:8-12 (Jewish Publication Society):
8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that stumbleth among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as a godlike being, 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 supplication; and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; 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 first-born...
12And the land shall mourn, every family apart: the family of the house of David apart
Zechariah 8 is also translated as:
(King James Version) 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.
(Judaica Press Tanakh) On that day the Lord shall protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the weakest of them shall be, on that day, like David. And the house of David shall be like angels, like the angel of the Lord before them.
How could one who stumbles, or is weak, be "as David"? The answer I see is that David describes himself in the Psalms as one who suffers, is persecuted, and has troubles. In Psalm 22 (Septuagint, Syriac Manuscripts, and Dead Sea Scrolls), David even describes his hands and feet as "pierced", like the pierced one in Zechariah 12.
Could the one who "stumbles" among Jerusalem's inhabitants be Jesus who stumbled among Jerusalem's crowds with a cross? Was he the "weakest of them" when he was rejected as a blasphemer and crucified? Did Christ not become the weakest when he took on the stripes of Adam, before "entering into his glory"?
Saying that the House of David will be as a Godlike being sounds like a reference to the Messiah, who is of the House of David, and 2 Samuel 11-14 says will be God's Son.
And logically speaking, wouldn't the pronoun "him", as in "they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him
through," naturally refer to a previous noun in the paragraph?
The Traditional Christian View?
But the general Christian interpretation I find on the internet is that the one who is weak and stumbles refers to Jerusalem's inhabitants at a future time. "That day" when God destroys nations that attack Jerusalem is supposed to be a future Apocalyptic "Day of Atonement", because Revelation 1:7 (KJV) 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. concerning him. Yes and amen.
So is the traditional Christian interpretation that only in That Day, the Apocalyptic Day of Atonement, will David's House be a Godlike being, and the one who stumbles will be as David?
The Day of Atonement, the Pentecost, or Another "Day"?
But What about how the Holy Spirit poured down its spirit, "a spirit of grace and supplication" (Zechariah 12:10), on Jerusalem at the Pentecost?
Following Zechariah 12, Zechariah 13(JPS) continues:
2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that... I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land. Maybe "That Day" is the Day of Atonement after all:
3 And it shall come to pass that, when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begot him shall say unto him: 'Thou shalt not live, for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD'; and his father and his mother that begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be brought to shame every one through his vision, when he prophesieth; neither shall they wear a hairy mantle to deceive;
5 but he shall say: 'I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondman from my youth.'
6 And one shall say unto him: 'What are these wounds between thy hands?' Then he shall answer: 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.'
7 Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is near unto Me, saith the LORD of hosts; smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; and I will turn My hand upon the little ones.
It is strange to read about prophets who are thrust through by their parents, who say to them that they lied. And it's strange to read about prophets who are ashamed, won't deceive, and say their friends wounded their hands. This suggests to me false prophets who had their hands wounded to deceive people that they fulfilled Psalm 22 ("they have pierced my hands and my feet.")
This doesn't sound like Christ's time, does it? I am not aware of Christ supposedly admitting that his hand wounds were fakes made by his friends.
It sounds more like a future time about people admitting their Stigmata
were fakes, doesn't it?
And when did God defend Jerusalem against invading armies?But Maybe "That Day" Is the First Thousand Years of Christianity:
Zechariah 13:1 says:
"In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for purification and for sprinkling."
Was there not such a fount available to them when the disciples baptized, when Christ preached, and when the Holy Spirit descended at Pentecost?
2 Peter 3:8(KJV) says:
But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day [is] with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
And Psalm 90:4 (JPS) says:
For a thousand years in Thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night
It's true that in the first thousand years of Christianity the inhabitants of Jerusalem did become Christian and mourn for Christ as for a first-born.
On the other hand, while the descendants of the Old Testament prophets were sorry that they had killed Christ, I don't think they mourned after him like a first born. But maybe if you pick apart Zechariah 12:12, you can say that it doesn't explicitly say whether the mourning houses of the prophets were mourning for Him as for a first-born, or if those who mourn for Him as for a first-born were just Jerusalem's inhabitants.
Perhaps Jesus Christ spoke of "That Day" in Matthew 26:31-31 (KJV) as a day in which He woud be crucified:
31 Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad.
32 But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee.
Jesus here spoke of Zechariah 13:7 ("smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered"). Ezekial 34:23-24 describes the Messiah son of David as a shephard.
But maybe Zechariah 13:7-9 is a separate paragraph from the rest of Zechariah and doesn't mean that the Shephard happens on that Day?Was "That Day" in Zechariah 12-13 the Day of Atonement, the Pentecost, the first thousand years of Christianity, or another day?