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Author Topic: Judaic and Christian views on the Shepherd of Zechariah 13  (Read 883 times) Average Rating: 0
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rakovsky
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« on: September 10, 2010, 03:03:18 AM »

Who do you believe is the Shepherd in Zechariah 13 (KJV)?

Quote
1In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

 2And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.

 3And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat 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 begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.

 4And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:

 5But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

 6And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

7Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.

 8And 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.

 9And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, 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.

After reading a few Judaic and general Christian articles on the topic, I will summarize below what makes more sense, and generally reflects their perspectives. The purpose is to have a discussion to come to a better knowledge of the truth.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2010, 03:06:28 AM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: September 10, 2010, 04:33:13 AM »

Judaism's View of the Shepherd of Zechariah 13

St Jerome explains that the "prophets" in the chapter are false prophets. False prophets are the context of the chapter.

Judaism points to Jeremiah 50, describing the sheep as misled by shepherds:

Quote
5 They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

6 My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray

Quote
Counterargument:
Jeremiah 50 describes the aimless sheep wandering after forgetting the covenant. But Zechariah 11 contrasts bad shepherds with a Shephard who is rejected and abolishes His covenant. This suggests that the sheep in Jeremiah 50 were wandering after the good shepherd's rejection.



Next, Judaism points out that Isaiah 1 says God will punish Israel's wayward rulers (its shepherds) and "turn his hand upon them" - the same phrase as in Zechariah 13. The bad shepherds' abuse of the poor of the flock is similar to that in Zechariah 11

Quote
Isaiah 1:
21How is the faithful city become an harlot! it was full of judgment; righteousness lodged in it; but now murderers.

23Thy princes are rebellious, and companions of thieves: every one loveth gifts, and followeth after rewards: they judge not the fatherless, neither doth the cause of the widow come unto them.

24Therefore saith the LORD... I will ease me of mine adversaries...

25And I will turn my hand upon thee, and purely purge away thy dross, and take away all thy tin.

Quote
Counterargument:
Christianity recognizes that God would replace the bad rulers. This doesn't show that the Shepherd in Zech. 13 is a bad ruler.
Plus, Zechariah 13 talks about turning the hand against the little ones, but Isaiah 1 turns it against the rulers.



Zechariah 11 leads up to Zechariah 13, and describes the bad shepherds, their abuse of the flock, and the narrator (who is the good shepherd) cutting off the bad shepherds.

Quote
3There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

 4Thus saith the LORD my God; Feed the flock of the slaughter;

 5Whose possessors slay them, and hold themselves not guilty: and they that sell them say, Blessed be the LORD; for I am rich: and their own shepherds pity them not.

 6For I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith the LORD: but, lo, I will deliver the men every one into his neighbour's hand, and into the hand of his king: and they shall smite the land, and out of their hand I will not deliver them.

 7And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.

 8Three shepherds also I cut off in one month; and my soul lothed them, and their soul also abhorred me.

 9Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another.


Quote
Counterargument: Zechariah 11 speaks of 3 bad shepherds, but Zechariah 13 only speaks of one shepherd, so He is not one of them.

Like the shepherd in Zechariah 13 who is close to God and struck with a sword, Zechariah 11 next speaks of the antichrist as a shepherd from God who shall be struck with "the sword." Further, Zechariah 13 begins by speaking of idols being destroyed, and Zechariah 11:17 describes him as an "idol shepherd."

Quote
15And the LORD said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.

 16For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.

 17Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened.

This is rather persuasive, although:

Quote
Counterargument: Zechariah 11 describes the shepherd as one who leaves the flock. But Zechariah 13:7 describes a shepherd from whom God's sword scatters the flock, suggesting that the shepherd of Zechariah 13 was still with the flock when God scattered it.

It is strange for God to tell the narrator, who was the Good Shepherd who fed the flock of slaughter, to take up the instruments of a foolish shepherd. The Bible often uses foolish as a synonym for wicked. Perhaps it simply means that the narrator is a prophet, who in the course of making a prophecy, puts himself in the mindset of the vision of a foolish shepherd.

By the way, if "the sword" dries up his arm and darkens his eye, then the antichrist shepherd is probably not one of those who was pierced in Zechariah 12:10.



I describe this as the Judaic view, but it was also the view of the 17th century Protestant Arminian theologian Hugo Grotius, among a few other later Protestant theologians, that Zechariah 13:7 didn't apply to Christ.

Next I will write about the Christian view, but hope that you can write some more counterarguments.

Thanks.
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« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2010, 12:53:22 AM »

Four Timelines From Four Shepherd Stories

1. Jeremiah 50:2-36 says that the bad Israelite shepherds have caused the sheep to go astray into the mountains where they were devoured by gentiles, but that "the Sword" will be on Babylon who "broke their bones" (v.17), and then the sheep will return and seek out God for a new, everlasting covenant.

Quote
35A sword is upon the Chaldeans, saith the LORD, and upon the inhabitants of Babylon, and upon her princes, and upon her wise men.

 36A sword is upon the liars; and they shall dote: a sword is upon her mighty men; and they shall be dismayed.

                                                [skip to top]

 2Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces.

 4In those days, and in that time, saith the LORD, the children of Israel shall come, they and the children of Judah together, going and weeping: they shall go, and seek the LORD their God.

 5They shall ask the way to Zion with their faces thitherward, saying, Come, and let us join ourselves to the LORD in a perpetual covenant that shall not be forgotten.

 6My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace.

 7All that found them have devoured them: and their adversaries said, We offend not, because they have sinned against the LORD, the habitation of justice, even the LORD, the hope of their fathers.


Counterargument:
Quote
A Judaic website (http://www.drazin.com/chap12.phtml) points to Jeremiah 50 as a proof against Christianity, saying that this means the shepherds are bad before the sheep scatter. The Shepherd of Zechariah 13:7 ruled the sheep before they scattered, so he must be one of them.

Favoring the Judaic viewpoint that this applies to the Messianic Age: after suffering from bad shepherds, the oppressor is struck, and the sheep come to a new covenant, as in Ezekial 34.

Against the Judaic viewpoint: the bad shepherds who scattered the sheep are distinguished from the gentile oppressors who then found and ate them, and on whom the Sword fell. Zechariah 13, on the other hand says that the Shephard is the one who the sword strikes.

The big problem with using Jeremiah 50 is that it explicitly describes Jews and Israelites' return to God from the Babylonian exile.

Zechariah on the other hand, is writing after the Babylonian exile ended, and making a future prophecy about the day when prophets shall be ashamed, etc.

Ezekial is still writing during the exile, but gives an overall, longterm prophecy of the sheep thrusting away other diseased sheep and the Davidic Shepherd coming to rule them.



2. Ezekial 34 describes bad shepherds over Israel, but says that Israel, the sheep, have no primary "Shepherd."

Ezekial (KJV) then says:

Quote
21 Because ye have thrust with side and with shoulder, and pushed[or "gored"] all the diseased [or "weak"] with your horns, till ye have scattered them abroad;

22 Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall no more be a prey; and I will judge between cattle and cattle.

23 And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David

25And I will make with them a covenant of peace, and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the land: and they shall dwell safely in the wilderness, and sleep in the woods...

30Thus shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people, saith the Lord GOD.

Ezekial 34 sounds very close to the timeline of Zechariah 13, where some prophets are "thrust through" by others, and then a primary Shepherd is mentioned. But Zechariah 13 adds on that the Shepherd is smitten with God's sword, and then the sheep scatter.

3. Zechariah 11, on the other hand, describes bad shepherds, then a good primary Shepherd who gets rid of them, then the good Shepherd breaks his covenant, the Good Shepherd gets His severance pay, the Good Shepherd breaks the brotherhood between Judah(the Jews) and Israel(God's people), then a foolish primary Shepherd who leaves his sheep replaces Him, and the foolish Shepherd is struck by God's sword.

4. Zechariah 13 describes "you lie" at the end of the prophets' prophesying when parents telling prophets who prophesy, the smiting of The Shepherd, which causes the sheep to scatter, the death of 2/3 of the sheep, and the refining of the remainder as gold.


The Timelines

The Scriptures gives four timelines. To see what the scriptures say, we must put them in order.

Jeremiah 50:2-36 (Ending of Babylonian Exile)

1. bad Israelite shepherds cause sheep to go astray
2. the gentile oppressor Babylon who broke their bones will be struck by The Sword
3. sheep return to the land of Israel and seek out God for new eternal covenant.

Ezekial 34 (Overall Timeline)

1. bad shepherds and no primary Shepherd
2. God stops the bad shepherds from eating the sheep and takes the flock from them:  "I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them." At the same time, God searches for the scattered flock and delivers them from the people, and he will deliver them because the sheep have already thrust the diseased sheep away with their horns(v.21-22)
4. God puts the Davidic Good Shepherd over them
5. Good Shepherd makes covenant of peace with sheep and protects them.
6. "Thus,"(because of the covenant) they know God their Lord is with them.

Zechariah 11 (Post-exile period)
1. bad shepherds
2. Good Shepherd obeys God, comes, and fires the bad shepherds
3. Good Shepherd breaks his first staff, which breaks the covenant, saying "that is to be cut off, let it be cut off."
4. Good Shepherd's employment is severed
5. Good Shepherd breaks his other staff, which breaks the brotherhood between Judah(the Jews) and Israel(God's people).
6. A foolish shepherd comes who does not remember "Those that are cut off."
7. The Sword strikes the worthless shepherd's arm and eye, drying up the arm and blinding the eye.

Zechariah 13 ("That Day" = Messianic Age)
1. the parents of prophets who prophesy say to them that they lie, and thrust them through
2. the prophets give up their positions and "shall not wear a rough garment to deceive"
3. God's sword smites "the Shepherd"
4. The Shepherd's smiting causes the sheep to scatter.
5. 2/3 the sheep will be cut off and die, and the third shall be tried like gold.
6. the sheep call on God, who takes them back.

Putting the Timeline Together:

Jeremiah, writing during the captivity describes:
1. bad Israelite shepherds lead the sheep (Israel) astray. (Jer. 50:6)
2. gentiles eat them and Babylon breaks their bones (Jer. 50:7, 17)
3. Babylon is struck by The Sword (Jer. 50:35-36)
4. The sheep return and start seeking an eternal covenant (Jer. 50:5)

Ezekial and Zechariah, prophesying about the coming of "That Day"(Zechariah 13), which is the Davidic Messianic Age (Ezekiel 34:23-24), give this timeline:

1. bad shepherds and no primary Shepherd (Ezekial 34:2-6, Zech 11:3-5)

2. a fount opens, idols are destroyed, parents thrust through "any" who still prophesy, all prophets cease prophesying and won't wear robes to deceive (Zech 13:1-5); The sheep thrust the diseased/weak sheep away with their horns, and God later saves and/or judges them for this. (Ezekiel 34:12,16,20-22)

3. God saves the flock from the bad shepherds, brings in "that which was driven away", sets "up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David... and he shall be their shepherd", and gives them a covenant of peace protecting them from the gentiles forever. (Ezekiel 34:16, 22-31) God appoints a Good Shepherd who fires the bad shepherds, feeds the flock, "even the poor of the flock." (Zech 11:4-5,7-8)

4. The Good Shepherd breaks his first staff to break the covenant, which makes the poor of the flock know that the breaking was "the word of the Lord" -the first time any of the sheep acknowledge God. The Good Shepherd gets severance pay. (Zech 11:6,9-14). "Thus" because of the covenant's protective relationship "they shall they know that I the LORD their God am with them, and that they, even the house of Israel, are my people." (Ezekiel 34:30). God tells "the Sword" to awaken against "the Shepherd and against the man who is my equal." ("equal"=relative, close companion). (Zechariah 13:11)

5. The Good Shepherd breaks his second staff, which breaks the brotherhood between Judah and Israel(God's people). In breaking his first staff, the Good Shepherd had said: "that is to be cut off, let it be cut off." (Zechariah 11:9-14) Smiting "the Shepherd" causes the sheep to be scattered. (Zech 13:7)

6. A Foolish Shepherd comes who does not remember "those that are cut off," heal them, "nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces."(Zech 11:16). "Two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver." (Zech 13:8-9)

7. "The Sword" goes "upon [the] arm, and... eye" of the Foolish "Idol Shepherd," drying the arm up and blinding the eye. Zechariah 11 doesn't say that it smites the Idol Shephard or kills him, like a sword normally would. (Zech 11:17)

8. Only the poor of the flock recognized the Lord's word in the covenant's breaking. But after the refining, God "will say, It is my people: and they [the sheep] shall say, The LORD is my God." (Zech 13:9) The people know that "the LORD their God [is] with them," and God says: "ye my flock... are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord GOD." (Ezekiel 34:31)

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« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2010, 01:56:33 AM »

SUMMARY OF INFORMATION FROM THE TIMELINE:

Thus, Ezekiel, living in the Babylonian captivity predicted that the scattered Israelite sheep would leave the captivity, God would free the sheep from the bad Israelite shepherds, and give them David as The Shepherd and a new covenant. Then they would recognize God.

Zechariah lives after the exile is over. But it sounds like he saw lots of unacknowledgement of God. He predicted that the Israelites would have a falling out with the Davidic Shepherd, who would break the covenant and be smitten. Then they would go through troubles under a foolish shepherd. They would be refined and then they would call on God.

FULFILLMENT

It's surprising to see similarities with what happened around Jesus' time. The era of prophecy ended. Christ died and the brotherhood between Judah and Israel was broken, which I assume means the brotherhood between the Jews and God's people. The Jews were scattered, and Jesus dispersed His disciples amongst the nations.(I think this counts as scattering).

SURPRISE

After reading the Judaic and Christian viewpoints, I was confused about Zechariah 13:7.

The Judaic view was that in Zechariah 11, after describing the bad shepherds' removal, "The Sword" smites the Foolish Shepherd's arm and eye. So then when Zechariah 13 describes all the prophets giving up their trade, and the Sword smiting the Shepherd, this must be the same Shepherd.

The Judaic explanation sounded like it made at least as much sense as what I found on the 20+ Christian sites I read, if not more.

The Christian websites' explanation was that Zechariah 11 mentions a Good Shepherd being rejected, plus the Shepherd in Zech. 13:7 is God's "equal". That's what I found most compelling.

But Judaism's connection of the Shepherds being smitten with "the Sword" in Zechariah 11 and 13 seemed more persuasive.

It was only when I laid out the matching events of Ezekiel 34, Zechariah 11, and Zechariah 13 in a timetable that it became so obvious that according to the Scriptures, the Shepherd who God smites in Zechariah 13:7 is the Good Shephard, God's "servant David," who makes a covenant in Ezekiel 34 and breaks it in Zechariah 11.

I spent a day putting that timetable together, but it was worth the laughs. It was funny for me to see the timetable work out to show Jesus was right in his understanding of Zech 13:7 despite what the Teachers of the Law say.

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. (Matthew 26:31)

I am glad God has a sense of humor.

All the best.
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« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2010, 03:12:59 AM »

Christianity's View of the Shepherd of Zechariah 13

What else needs to be said?

Zechariah 3:7 says to smite the Shepherd and "the one who is my equal." "Equal" here is "amiyth", which literally means equal, but also means companion, relative, or someone close.

The term "that day", as in Zechariah 12-13 often refers to the Messianic age, as in Hosea 2:
Quote
18. And it shall come to pass on that day, says the Lord, you shall call [Me] Ishi, and you shall no longer call Me Baali.
20. And I will make a covenant for them on that day with the beasts of the field and with the fowl of the sky and the creeping things of the earth; and the bow, the sword, and war I will break off the earth, and I will let them lie down safely.


So here in Zechariah 12-13 we hear about the Messianic age, so it seems the Messiah should be one of the figures in it.

The Good Shepherd in Zechariah 11 is good because
"a shepherd should have a symbiotic relationship with his sheep. He gives them care, guidance and attention and receives substance in return." (http://www.dabhand.org/Essays/OT590B%20Zechariahs%20Shepherds.htm)

The scattering of the sheep at the time it strangely pleases God to bruise His Servant is what happens in Isaiah 53. And in Daniel 9 the anointed one is cut off and will have nothingness to himself, before Israel is attacked by a prince.

If the good Shepherd was a slain Messiah, it would make sense that he could be the pierced one in Zechariah 12:10 who cause people to turn to God.

Regarding the prophecy's fulfillment, one Protestant website writes (www.apocalypseproject.com/index.php/zechariah-13):

Quote
we no longer see the temples to idolatry that was found during the rule of the Grecian and Roman empires...
prophecies ended in the days of the Messiah. While prophets were used in the laying of the foundation of the kingdom (Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11), they would no longer be needed when the word of God was fully revealed. The purpose and definition of a prophet is to be a mouthpiece for God. Now that God has spoken through His word, the prophets would not longer be necessary.

But is that true? Haven't there been many holy people in Orthodoxy who have made prophecies? Maybe it is better to say that among the Jews, or in the land of Israel - which is what Zech 13 says- prophets will be ashamed of their visions.

Somehow it seems this shouldn't include Orthodox holy people, even though it speaks of all prophets.

Plus, something might be wrong about this interpretation, because it appears that some people even today do have unclean spirits, yet the Protestant apologetic writes:

Quote
Zechariah says that the unclean spirits would be cut off “in that day.? I believe this is a very useful passage in answering those who ask if demon possession still occurs today. God said that unclean spirits would be removed in the same days as when the prophets were removed from the land. Verses 3-6 seem to further prove that the prophets have been cut off from the land. Notice in verse 3 that if anyone prophesies, it will be said to him “you have spoken lies in the name of the Lord.? Anyone who claims to have the power of prophecy is a false prophet. These false prophets will be unable to deceive anyone who compares their words to the revealed word of God.

The site writes about Zechariah 13's prediction about many Jews/Israelites dieing:

Quote
Following the death of Messiah, the Romans killed over 1 million Jews in A.D. 70. Sixty-three years later during the time of Hadrian another 580,000 were killed in A.D. 135, the survivors were scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Jewish people today, are the descendents of these events.


The Timetable was the most persuasive.
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« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2010, 04:19:19 AM »

Zec. 12 it`s about the Messianic Age, the age of the Church and the Second Coming.. Zec is all about the Messianic Kingdom which starts with the Church.. Zec 12 refers to the birth of christianity which sprang forward from Jerusalem.. And to Jerusalem and Israel as a means of sanctification for all the nations.. To the coming of christianity first to Israel and than to the nations.. To the second coming of Christ and to the lamentation of His seight..

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« Reply #6 on: December 30, 2010, 01:24:11 AM »

Hello Azul!

Thanks for writing your ideas. I think that the discussions we have on OC.net are special, since alot of times I think in everyday life we don't discuss our Orthodox faith.

You are right that Zec. 12 is about the Messianic Age, since it talks about one who is pierced, and because of whom people look to God at a time when the House of David is like a godlike being, and while people mourn for Him as for an only child.

I am not sure that it's about "the age of the Church and the Second Coming. Zec is all about the Messianic Kingdom which starts with the Church... To the second coming of Christ and to the lamentation of His seight.."

It names certain Houses of Israel, and Jerusalem's residents, and their lamenting about the pierced Messiah. However, I don't think it says that everyone of Israel would mourn, so I am not sure that it is talking about the Church. In Old Testament terms, if the Church was mentioned in the Old Testament, I think that the Old Testament would refer to the Church as the Messiah's children, as His followers, or as Israel, since in spiritual terms, Christians are Christ's children and followers, and it seems to me that St Paul explained in Galatians and Romans that Christians having faith in Israel's Messiah made them by adoption part of His people Israel.

Also, I am not sure that it refers to the Second Coming, since I am not sure that it specifies that the Messiah would have come back at that point. It seems that there could be a situation where Jerusalem's residents were mourning over the Messiah, but He hadn't come back yet.

At the same time, I am not sure that "Zec 12 refers to the birth of christianity which sprang forward from Jerusalem.." The passage could refer to a time that is after the birth of Christianity and not actually to the birth of Christianity. It seems that it could refer to a time after the birth of Christianity when Jerusalem's inhabitants would recognize that the Messiah had been killed, rather than to the birth of Christianity, when Jesus' followers were still few.

Plus, it seems contradictory to propose both that "Zec 12 refers to the birth of christianity which sprang forward from Jerusalem" and that "it`s about... the Second Coming"

It's true that the Messianic Kingdom would start from the Church, though.

Also, I am not sure that it specifically refers "to Jerusalem and Israel as a means of sanctification for all the nations.. To the coming of christianity first to Israel and than to the nations", since the passage doesn't seem to mention the nations in such a sense, except to say that at one point they would descend on Jerusalem, which sounds somewhat hostile, since it also says that God would defend Jerusalem. It would be nice if such a reference simply referred to the nations getting Christianity, but at least the most obvious meaning seems to be that the nations would descend on Jerusalem in the sense of attacking it, and that God would defend it, it doesn't seem to have such a positive, sanctifying meaning regarding the nations, but rather a hostile one.

By the way, I do have some trouble with the part of the passage where it talks about the nations descending on Jerusalem and God defending Jerusalem. If the nations had come to believe in Israel's Messiah and God at that point, then why are they attacking it and God defending it against them? At least on the surface, this part seems to fit the idea of apocalyptic-Armageddon Christian Zionism view. But I need to remember that the scriptures don't always say what they might appear on the surface to say. For example, perhaps Jerusalem could refer to a Christian community, poetically described as Jerusalem. Jesus after all told Christians in Matthew that they were a "city on a hill."

Plus, such a view, that it means that the nations, which by then have accepted Israel's God, is to put the verse at a certain period in time, assuming that it refers to an era when the nations have in fact accepted Israel's God. Another problem is that it describes such an event at a point when David's House would be like a godlike being. I doubt that in such a situation Christian nations would be attacking Jerusalem, and I also doubt that at the moment when it was like a godlike being, David's House would be non-Christian.

Anyway, I am basically thinking out loud, and haven't read different commentaries of the verse describing the nations descending on Jerusalem and God defending it. Rather than analyzing views on Armageddon, eg. Christian Zionist apocalyptic views, the point I am trying to make is that it isn't clear to me that the passage specifically refers to the nations' sanctification and their coming to Christianity.

However, I do agree that Zechariah 12 refers to Christ and lamentation over Him, as I wrote alittle bit on my website rakovskii.livejournal.com

Happy Nativity.
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2011, 04:42:43 PM »

Are all the prophets mentioned in Zechariah 13:2-6 false prophets?
I heard an interpretation that verse 6 in particular may describe Christ's wounds.
Plus, the families' piercing is reminiscient of the families' mourning over the pierced one(s) a few verses earlier in Zechariah 12:10.

Zechariah 13:1-6(JPT) says:
1. On that day, a spring shall be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for purification and for sprinkling.
2. And it shall come to pass on that day, says the Lord of Hosts: I will cut off the names of the idols from the earth, and they shall no longer be mentioned. And also the prophets and the spirit of contamination I will remove from the earth.  
3. And it shall come to pass, if a man still prophesies, that his father and his mother-his parents-shall say to him, "You shall not live, for you have spoken falsely in the name of the Lord." And his father and his mother-his parents-shall thrust him through because of his prophesying.  
4. And it shall come to pass on that day that the prophets shall be ashamed, each one of his vision when he prophesies; and they will not wear a hairy mantle in order to lie.
5. And he shall say, "I am not a prophet! I am a tiller of the soil, for a man entrusted me with his cattle from my youth."  
6. And one will say to him, "What are these wounds between your hands?" And he shall say, "That I was smitten in the house of my friends."


(1) Is the fountain for purification and sprinkling the blood of the prophets?
Sometimes the OT talks about purification and cleansing and sprinkling with blood, like in atonement rituals.
But must cleansing and sprinkling necessarily done with blood? Aren't there Old Testament references to cleansing, purification, and sprinkling with water?

(2) When it mentions the prophets in the same sentence as the idols and contamination, does that mean it is only talking about false prophets?

(3) When it talks about all the prophets being ashamed, does that mean all the prophets at that point are false?
After all, why would they be ashamed if their visions were honest?
Bible.cc says that the word, or root word, for "ashamed" here actually means "put to shame" about 1/3 of the time it is used in the Bible. (http://strongsnumbers.com/hebrew/954.htm)
Maybe because the Hebrew term for "ashamed" here means that they would be humiliated by people who rejected them, not that their visions were false and embarrassing?


(4) Note that Verse 5 ("I am not a prophet") doesn't actually mean that the person saying this wasn't a prophet, since this verse parallels Amos 7:14. There, the prophet "Amos answered Amaziah, 'I was neither a prophet nor a prophet's son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees.'"
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 05:05:57 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2011, 05:24:35 PM »

Additionally, verse 12:6 is strange, because, it apparently means "Lovers", rather than simply friends: "There are 16 applications of this noun, in various conjugations, in the Hebrew Bible, where in all cases it is used with the romantic connotation that goes along with sexual desire or lust."
(http://www.thejewishhome.org/counter/Zech13.pdf)

So it sounds like: instead of admitting that he is a prophet and was punished for prophesying, the person is following Amos' example and denying he was a prophet, and makes up excuses about the flogging.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2011, 05:26:28 PM by rakovsky » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2011, 05:28:48 PM »

Is OC.net your personal blog now?
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2011, 05:40:03 PM »

Is OC.net your personal blog now?

Nicholas,

I enjoy reading about the scriptures, because they are so deep and beautiful. And people on the forum are very knowledgeable, and I hope they can shed some light to help me understand them.

By the way, your icon about Enoch sounds kind of cool.
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