Sacred Texts  Bible  Bible Commentary  Index 
Zechariah Index
  Previous  Next 

Notes on the Bible, by Albert Barnes, [1834], at

Zechariah Chapter 12


zac 12:0

Jerome: "from 'I will make Jerusalem' to 'Awake, O sword,' there is a threefold exposition. For some of the Jews say that these things have already been fulfilled in part from Zerobabel to Pompey who, first of the Romans, took Judea and the temple, as Josephus relates. Others think that it is to be fulfilled at the end of the world, when Jerusalem shall be restored, which the miserable Jewish race promiseth itself with its anointed, of whom we read above as the foolish shepherd. But others, that is, we who are called by the name of Christ, say that these things are daily fulfilled, and will be fulfilled in the Church to the end of the world."

Zechariah 12:1

zac 12:1

The burden of the word of the Lord for - Rather, "upon (see at Nah 1:1, p. 129) Israel." If this prophecy is a continuation of the last, notwithstanding its fresh title, then "Israel" must be the Christian Church, formed of the true Israel which believed, and the Gentiles who were grafted into them. So Cyril; "Having spoken sufficiently of the Good Shepherd Christ, and of the foolish, most cruel shepherd who butchered the sheep, that is, antichrist, he seasonably makes mention of the persecutions which would from time to time arise against Israel; not the Israel according to the flesh, but the spiritual, that Jerusalem which is indeed holy, "the Church of the Living God" Ti1 3:15. For as we say, that "he" is spiritually a Jew, who hath the "circumcision in the heart," Rom 2:29, that through the Spirit, "and not" in the flesh "through the letter;" so also may "Israel" be conceived, not that of the blood of Israel, but rather that, which has a mind beholding God. But such are all who are called to sanctification through the faith in Christ, and who in Him and by Him, know of God the Father. For this is the one true elected way of beholding God."

Since the Good Shepherd was rejected by all, except the "poor of the flock," the "little flock" which believed in Him, and thereupon the "band" of "brotherhood" was dissolved between Israel and Judah, "Israel" in those times could not be Israel after the flesh, which then too was the deadly antagonist of the true israel, and thus early also chose antichrist, such as was Bar-Cochba, with whom so many hundreds of thousands perished. There was no war then against Jerusalem, since it had ceased to be (see the notes on Mic 3:12).

But Zechariah does not say that this prophecy, to which he has annexed a separate title, follows, in time, upon the last; rather, since he has so separated it by its title, he has marked it as a distinct prophecy from the preceding. It may be, that he began again from the time of the Maccabees and took God's deliverances of the people Israel then, as the foreground of the deliverances to the end ).

Yet in the times of Antiochus, it was one people only which was against the Jews, and Zechariah himself speaks only of the Greeks; Zac 9:13; here he repeatedly emphasizes that they were "all nations" (Zac 12:2-3, Zac 12:6, Zac 12:9). It may then rather be, that the future, the successive efforts of the world to crush the people of God, and its victory amid suffering, and its conversions of the world through the penitent looking to Jesus, are exhibited in one great perspective, according to the manner of prophecy, which mostly exhibits the prominent events, not their order or sequence. : "The penitential act of contrite sinners, especially of Jews, looking at Him "whom they pierced," dates from the Day of Pentecost, and continues to the latter days, when it will be greatly intensified and will produce blessed results, and is here concentrated into one focus. The rising up of God's enemies against Christ's Church, which commenced at the same time, and has been continued in successive persecutions from Jews, Gentiles, and other unbelievers in every age, and which will reach its climax in the great antichristian outbreak of the last times, and be confounded by the Coming of Christ to judgment, is here summed up in one panoramic picture, exhibited at once to the eye."

Which stretcheth forth the heavens - God's creative power is an ever-present working, as our Lord says, "My Father worketh hitherto and I work" Joh 5:17. His preservation of the things which He has created is a continual re-creation. All "forces" are supported by Him, who alone hath life in Himself. He doth not the less "uphold all things by the word of His power," because, until the successive generations, with or without their will, with or against His Will for them, shall have completed His Sovereign Will, He upholds them uniformly in being by His Unchanging Will. Man is ever forgetting this, and because, "since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as from the beginning of the creation" Pe2 3:4, they relegate the Creator and His creating as far as they can to some time, as far back as they can imagine, enough to fill their imaginations, and forget Him who made them, in whose bands is their eternity, who will be their Judge. So the prophets remind them and us of His continual working, which people forget in the sight of His works; "Thus saith the Lord; He that createth the heavens, and stetcheth them out; He that spreadeth forth the earth and its produce, who giveth breath to the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein" Isa 42:5; and, "I am the Lord who maketh all things, who stretcheth out the heavens alone, who spreadeth abroad the earth by Myself" Isa 44:24; speaking at once of that, past in its beginning yet present to us in its continuance, but to Him ever-present present; and of things actually present to us, "that frustrateth the tokens of the liars" Isa 44:25; and of things to those of that day still future, "that confirmeth the word of His servant, and performeth the counsel of His messengers" Isa 44:26 : the beginning of which was not to be till the taking of Babylon. And the Psalmist unites past and present in one, "Donning light as a garment, stretching out the heavens as a curtain; who layeth the beams of His chambers on the waters, who maketh the clouds His chariot; who walketh on the wings of the wind; who maketh His angels spirits, His ministers a flame of fire; He founded the earth upon its base." Psa 104:2-5. And Amos, "He that formeth the mountains and createth the winds, and declareth unto man his thoughts" (Amo 4:13, add Amo 5:8); adding whatever lieth nearest to each of us.

And formeth the spirit of man, within him - Both by the unceasing creation of souls, at every moment in some spot in our globe, or by the re-creation, for which David prays, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me" Psa 51:10. He who formed the hearts of people can overrule them as He wills. Cyril: "But the spirit of man is formed by God in him, not by being called to the beginnings of being, although it was made by Him, but, as it were, transformed from weakness to strength, from unmanliness to endurance, altogether being transelemented from things shameful to better things."

Cyril: "It is the custom of the holy prophets, when about to declare beforehand things of no slight moment, to endeavor to show beforehand the Almightiness of God, that their word may obtain credence, though they should declare what was beyond all hope, and (to speak of our conceptions) above all reason and credibility."

Zechariah 12:2

zac 12:2

I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling - For encouragement, He promises the victory, and at first mentions the attack incidentally. Jerusalem is as a cup or basin, which its enemies take into their hands; a stone, which they put forth their strength to lift; but they themselves reel with the draught of God's judgments which they would give to others, they are torn by the stone which they would lift to fling. The image of the "cup" is mostly of God's displeasure, which is given to His own people, and then, His judgment of chastisement being exceeded, given in turn to those who had been the instruments of giving it . Thus, Isaiah speaks of "the cup of trembling." Thou, "Jerusalem, hast drunk the dregs of the cup of trembling, hast wrung them out. Therefore hear thou this, thou afflicted and drunken but not with wine. Thus saith thy Lord, the Lord, and thy God that pleadeth the cause of His people, Behold, I have taken out of thine hand the cup of trembling, the dregs of the cup of My fury; thou shalt no more drink it again: but I will put it into the hand of them that afflict thee" Isa 51:17, Isa 51:21-23. Jeremiah speaks of "the cup of God's anger," as given by God first to Jerusalem, then to all whom Nebuchadnezzar should subdue, then to Babylon itself Jer 25:15-26; and as "passing through" to Edom also Lam 4:21; Jer 49:12; Ezekiel, of "Aholibah" Eze 23:31-33 (Jerusalem) "drinking the cup of Samaria." In Jeremiah alone, Babylon is herself the cup. "Babylon" is "a golden cup in the Lord's hand, that made all the nations drunken; the nations have drunken of the wine; therefore the nations are mad" Jer 51:7. Now Jerusalem is to be, not an ordinary cup, but a large "basin" or vessel, from which all nations may drink what will make them reel.

"And also upon Judah will it be in the siege against Jerusalem, that is, the burden of the word of the Lord which was on Israel" should be "upon Judah," that is, upon all, great and small.

Zechariah 12:3

zac 12:3

I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone to all nations - What is "a stone to all nations?" It is not a rock or anything in its own nature immovable, but a "stone," a thing rolled up and down, moved, lifted, displaced, piled on others, in every way at the service and command of people, to do with it what they willed. So they thought of that "stone cut out without hands" Dan 2:45; that "tried stone and sure foundation, laid in Zion" Isa 28:16; that "stone" which, God said in Zechariah, "I have laid" Zac 3:9; of which our Lord says, "the stone, which the builders rejected, is become the head of the corner" Luk 20:17; "whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder" Mat 21:44; Luk 20:18. The Church, built on the stone, seems a thing easily annihilated; ten persecutions in succession strove to efface it; Diocletian erected a monument, commemorating that the Christian name was blotted out . It survived; he perished.

The image may have been suggested by the custom, so widely prevailing in Judaea, of trying the relative strength of young men, by lifting round stones selected for that end .

Jerome: "The meaning then is, I will place, Jerusalem to all nations like a very heavy stone to be lifted up. They will lift it up, and according to their varied strength, will waste it; but it must needs be, that, while it is lifted, in the very strain of lifting the weight, that most heavy stone should leave some scission or rasure on the bodies of those who lift it. Of the Church it may be interpreted thus; that all persecutors, who fought against the house of the Lord, are inebriated with that cup, which Jeremiah gives to all nations, to drink and be inebriated and fall and vomit and be mad. Whosoever would uplift the stone shall lift it, and in the anger of the Lord, whereby He chastens sinners, will hold it in his hands; but he himself will not go unpunished, the sword of the Lord fighting against him."

All that burden themselves with it will be cut to pieces - More exactly, "scarified, lacerated;" shall bear the scars. "Though" (rather, "and") "all the people (peoples, nations) of the earth shall be gathered together against it." The prophet marshals them all against Jerusalem, only to say how they should perish before it. So in Joel God says, "I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down to the valley of Jehoshaphat" , speaking of that last closing strife of antichrist against God. Wars against Israel had either been petty, though anti-theistic, wars of neighboring petty nations, pitting their false gods against the True, or one, though world-empire wielded by a single will. The more God made Himself known, the fiercer the opposition. The Gospel claiming "obedience to the faith among all nations" Rom 1:5, provoked universal rebellion. Herod and Pontius Pilate became friends through rejection of Christ; the Roman Caesar and the Persian Sapor, Goths and Vandals, at war with one another, were one in persecuting Christ and the Church. Yet in vain.

Zechariah 12:4

zac 12:4

In that day, saith the Lord, I will smite every horse with astonishment, stupefying - Zechariah revives the words concentrated by Moses, to express the stupefaction at their ills, which God would accumulate upon His people, if they perseveringly rebelled against Him. Each expresses the intensity of the visitation. "The horse and his rider" Deut. 27:28 had, through Moses' song at the Red Sea, become the emblem of worldly power, overthrown. That song opens; "I will sing unto the Lord; for He hath triumphed gloriously: the horse and his rider hath He cast into the sea" Exo 15:1. The scared cavalry throws into confusion the ranks, of which it was the boast and strength.

And on the house of Judah I will open My eyes - In pity and love and guidance, as the Psalmist says, "I will counsel, with Mine eye upon thee" Psa 32:8, in contrast with "the blindness" with which God would smite the powers arrayed against them.

Zechariah 12:5

zac 12:5

And the princes of Judah - He pictures the onemindedness of the Church. No one shall assume anything to himself; each shall exalt the strength which the other was to him; but all, "in the Lord. The princes of Judah" shall say "in their heart," not outwardly or politically, but in inward conviction, "strength to me" (all speak as one) "are the inhabitants of Jerusalem in the Lord of hosts their God." The highest in human estimation acknowledge that their strength is in those who are of no account in this world; as, in fact the hearts of the poor are evermore the strength of the Church; but that, "in the Lord of hosts;" in Him, in whose hands are the powers of heaven and earth, over against the petty turmoil on earth. God had chosen Jerusalem Zac 1:17; Zac 2:12; Zac 3:2; therefore she was invincible. "That most glorious prince of Judah, Paul, said, 'I can do all things in Christ who instrengtheneth me. '"

Zechariah 12:6

zac 12:6

I will make the governors of Judah like a hearth - or "cauldron" of fire large, broad, deep, and full of fire, among the wood which is prepared for burning, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf The fire could not kindle the wood or the sheaf, of itself, unless applied to it. All is of the agency of God: "I will make."

Ribera: "He foretells the increase of the Church, which by such persecutions shall not be diminished, but shall be marvelously increased. The preachers of the Church shall raise up all the peoples round about, shall destroy all unbelief, and shall kindle the hearts of hearers with the fire of the divine word." "On the right hand and on the left." Ribera: "He indicates the strength and success of the preachers, whom no one can resist nor hinder," as our Lord says, "I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist" Luk 21:15.

And Jerusalem shall again - Rather, "yet, be inhabited." "Yet" is a sort of burden in Zechariah's prophecies . Osorius: "They at once burned up by the flame all the defilement of vices, and kindled the minds of people with the torch of divine love; at once consumed the enemy and cast a heavenly fire into the human heart: 'yet;' in despite of all appearances, of all which is against her. 'She shall yet dwell in her own place in Jerusalem;' for, however the waves of this world chafe and lash themselves into foam against her, they break themselves, not her; as soon as they have reached their utmost height, they fall back; if they toss themselves, and, for a moment, hide her light, they fall down at all sides, and the ray shines out, steady as before; for she is 'founded on a rock,' against which 'the gates of hell' should not 'prevail' Mat 16:18.

Zechariah 12:7

zac 12:7

The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first - Still it is, 'the Lord shall save.' We have, on the one side, the 'siege,' the gathering of all the peoples of the earth 'against Jerusalem, the horse and his rider.' On the other, no human strength; not, as before, in the prophecy of the Maccabees, the bow, the arrow, and the sword, though in the hand of God Zac 9:13. It is thrice, 'I will make' Zac 9:2-3,; 'I will smite' (Zac 9:4 bis); and now, 'The Lord shall save.' By 'the tents,' he probably indicates their defenselessness. God would 'save' them first; that 'the glory of the house of David - 'be not great against' or 'over Judah,' may not overshadow it; but all may be as one; for all is the free gift of God, the mere grace of God, that 'he that glorieth may glory in the Lord' Jer 9:24; Co1 1:31; Co2 10:17, and both "may own that, in both, the victory is the Lord's" (Jerome).

Lap.: "In Christ Jesus is neither Jew nor Greek; neither bond nor free, neither rich nor poor" Gal 3:28; "but all are one," namely a new creation; yea in Christendom the poor are the highest, both because Christ "preached to the poor" Luk 4:18, and pronounced the "poor blessed" Luk 6:20, and He made the Apostles, being poor, nobles in His kingdom, through whom He converted kings and princes, as is written, "ye see your calling, brethren, that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called, but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise, and the weak things of the would to confound the things which fire mighty ..." Co1 1:26; and, "Hath not God called the poor in this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom, which God has promised to them that love Him?" Jam 2:5. The rich and noble have greater hindrances to humility and Christian virtues, than the poor. For honors puff up, wealth and delights weaken the mind; wherefore they need greater grace of Christ to burst their bonds than the poor. Wherefore, for the greater grace shown them, they are bound to give greater thanks unto Christ."

Zechariah 12:8

zac 12:8

In that day the Lord shall defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble, rather, he theft stumbleth among them, shall be as David - The result of the care and the defense of God is here wholly spiritual, "the strengthening of such as do stand, and the raising up of such as fall." It is not simply one feeble, but one "stumbling" and ready to fall, who becomes as David, the great instance of one who fell, yet was raised. Daniel says of a like trial-time, "And some of those of understanding shall stumble, to try them and to purge and to make them white, to the time of the end" Dan 11:35. Ribera: "Such care will God have of protecting the sons of the Church, when it shall be infested with persecutions, that he who shall have fallen through human infirmity, either deceived by heretics or overcome by fear of tortures, shall arise the more fervent and cautious, and with many tears shall make amends for his sins to God, as did David. "He who stumbled shall be as David," because the sinner returneth' to repentance. This is not said of all times, nor of all (for many have stumbled, who never rose) but chiefly of the first times of the Church and of people of great sanctity, such as were many then."

And the house of David shall be as God - They who stumbled became really like David; but he, though mighty and a great saint of God, though he once fell, was man. How then could the house of David be really like God? Only fully in Him, who, "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God" Phi 2:6; who said, "He who hath seen Me, hath seen My Father also" Joh 14:9; "I and the Father are one" Joh 10:30. And this the prophet brings out by adding, "as the Angel of the Lord before them," that is, that one Angel of the Lord, in whom His very Presence and His Name was; who went before them, to guide them (see "Daniel the prophet" pp. 519-523). Else, having said, "like God," it had been to lessen what he had just said, to add, "like the Angel of the Lord." Our Lord prayed for those who are truly His, "As Thou, Father, art in Me and I in Thee, that they may be one in Us; that they may be one as We are one, I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be perfect in one" Joh 17:21-23; and Paul saith, "Christ is formed in us" Gal 4:19; "Christ dwelleth in our hearts by faith" Eph 3:17; "Christ liveth in me" Gal 2:20; "Christ is in you" Rom 8:10; "Christ is our life" Col 3:4; "Christ is all and in all" Col 3:11; "we grow into Him which is the Head, even Christ" Eph 4:15; "we are in Christ" Rom 16:7; Co2 5:17; Gal 1:22; and Peter, we are "partakers of the divine nature" Pe2 1:4; and John, "As He is, so are we in this world" Jo1 4:17. Then in a degree the glory of Christ passeth over to those who dwell in Him, and in whom He dwells by the Spirit, as Paul says; "Ye received me, as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus" Gal 4:14.

Zechariah 12:9

zac 12:9

In that day, I will seek to destroy - Woe indeed to those, whom Almighty God shall "'seek' to destroy!" Man may seek earnestly to do, what at last he cannot do. Still it is an earnest seeking. And whether it is used of human seeking which fails, or which succeeds Sa1 14:4; Sa1 23:10; Ecc 12:10, inchoate or permitted Kg1 11:22; Zac 6:7, it is always used of seeking to do, what it is a person's set purpose to do if he can. Here it is spoken of Almighty God . Ribera: "He saith not, 'I will destroy' but 'I will seek to destroy,' that is, it shall ever be My care to destroy all the enemies of the Church, that they may in no way prevail against it: this I will do alway to the end of the world."

Zechariah 12:10

zac 12:10

And I will pour - As He promised by Joel, "I will pour out My Spirit upon all flesh" (Joe 2:28. See vol. i. pp. 193, 194), largely, abundantly, "upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem," all, highest and lowest, from first to last, the "Spirit of grace and supplication," that is, the "Holy Spirit" which conveyeth "grace," as "the Spirit of wisdom and understanding" Isa 11:2 is "the Spirit" infusing "wisdom and understanding," and the "Spirit of counsel and might" is that same Spirit, imparting the gift "of counsel" to see what is to be done and "of might" to do it, and the Spirit "of the knowledge and of the fear of the Lord" is that same "Spirit," infusing loving acquaintance with God, with awe at His infinite Majesty. So "the Spirit of grace and supplication," is that same Spirit, infusing grace and bringing into a state of favor with God, and a "Spirit of supplication" is that Spirit, calling out of the inmost soul the cry for a yet larger measure of the grace already given. Paul speaks of "the love of God poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given unto us" Rom 5:5; and of "insulting the Spirit of grace" , rudely repulsing the Spirit, who giveth grace. Osorius: "When God Himself says, 'I will pour out,' He sets forth the greatness of His bountifulness whereby He bestoweth all things."

And they shall look - with trustful hope and longing. Cyril: "When they had nailed the Divine Shrine to the Wood, they who had crucified Him, stood around, impiously mocking. But when He had laid down His life for us, "the centurion and they that were with him, watching Jesus, seeing the earthquake and those things which were done, feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God" Mat 27:54. As it ever is with sin, compunction did not come till the sin was over: till then, it was overlaid; else the sin could not be done. At the first conversion, the three thousand "were pricked 'in the heart.' "when told that He "whom they had taken and with wicked hands had crucified and slain, is Lord and Christ" Act 2:23, Act 2:36. This awoke the first penitence of him who became Paul. "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou Me?" This has been the center of Christian devotion ever since, the security against passion, the impulse to self-denial, the parent of zeal for souls, the incentive to love; this has struck the rock, that it gushed forth in tears of penitence: this is the strength and vigor of hatred of sin, to look to Him whom our sins pierced, "who" Paul says, "loved me and gave Himself for me." Osorius: "We all lifted Him up upon the Cross; we transfixed with the nails His hands and feet; we pierced His Side with the spear. For if man had not sinned, the Son of God would have endured no torment."

And they shall mourn for Him, as one mourneth for an only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him, as one that is in bitterness for a first-born - We feel most sensibly the sorrows of this life, passing as they are; and of these, the loss of an only son is a proverbial sorrow. "O daughter of My people, gird thee with sackcloth and wallow thyself in ashes," God says; "make thee the mourning of an only son, Most bitter lamentation" Jer 6:26. "I will make it as the mourning of an only son" Amo 8:10. The dead man carried out, "the only son of his mother and she was a widow," is recorded as having touched the heart of Jesus. Alb.: "And our Lord, to the letter, was the Only-Begotten of His Father and His mother." He was "the first-begotten of every creature" Col 1:15, and "we saw His glory, the glory as of the Only-Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth" Joh 1:14. This mourning for Him whom our sins pierced and nailed to the tree, is continued, week by week, by the pious, on the day of the week, when He suffered for us, or in the perpetual memorial of His Precious Death in the Holy Eucharist, and especially in Passion-Tide. God sends forth anew "the Spirit of grace and supplication," and the faithful mourn, because of their share in His Death. The prophecy had a rich and copious fulfillment in that first conversion in the first Pentecost; a larger fulfillment awaits it in the end, when, after the destruction of antichrist, "all Israel shall" be converted and "be saved." Rom 11:26.

There is yet a more awful fulfillment; when "He cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they which pierced Him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him" Rev 1:7. But meanwhile it is fulfilled in every solid conversion of Jew pagan or careless Christian, as well as in the devotion of the pious. Zechariah has concentrated in few words the tenderest devotion of the Gospel, "They shall look on Me whom they pierced." Lap.: "Zechariah teaches that among the various feelings which we can elicit from the meditation on the Passion of Christ, as admiration, love, gratitude, compunction, fear, penitence, imitation, patience, joy, hope, the feeling of compassion stands eminent, and that it is this, which we especially owe to Christ suffering for us. For who would not in his inmost self grieve with Christ, innocent and holy, yea the Only Begotten Son of God, when he sees Him nailed to the Cross and enduring so lovingly for him sufferings so manifold and so great? Who would not groan out commiseration, and melt into tears? Truly says Bonaventure in his 'goad of divine love:' 'What can be more fruitful, what sweeter than, with the whole heart, to suffer with that most bitter suffering of our Lord Jesus Christ? '"

Zechariah 12:11

zac 12:11

As the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon - This was the greatest sorrow, which had fallen on Judah. Josiah was the last hope of its declining kingdom. His sons probably showed already their unlikeness to their father, whereby they precipitated their country's fall. in Josiah's death the last gleam of the sunset of Judah faded into night. Of him it is recorded, that "his pious acts, according to what was written in the law of the Lord," were written in his country's history Ch2 35:26, Ch2 35:7; for him the prophet "Jeremiah wrote a dirge" Ch2 35:25; "all" the minstrels of his country "spake of him in their dirges" Ch2 35:25. The dirges were "made an ordinance" which survived the captivity; "to this day" Ch2 35:25, it is said at the close of the Chronicles. Among the gathering sorrows of Israel, this lament over Josiah was written in the national collection of "dirges" Ch2 35:25. "Hadadrimmon," as being compounded of the name of two Syrian idols, is, in its name, a witness how Syrian idolatry penetrated into the kingdom, when it was detached from the worship of God. It was (Jerome) "a city near Jezreel, now called Maximinianopolis in the plain of Megiddon, in which the righteous king Josiah was wounded by Pharaoh Necho." This "was 17 miles from Caesarea, 10 from Esdraelon." Its name still survives in a small village, south of Megiddon , and so, on the way back to Jerusalem.

Zechariah 12:12

zac 12:12

This sorrow should be universal but also individual, the whole land, and that, family by family; the royal family in the direct line of its kings, and in a branch from Nathan, a son of David and whole brother of Solomon Ch1 3:5, which was continued on in private life yet was still to be an ancestral line of Jesus Luk 3:31 : in like way the main priestly family from Levi, and a subordinate line from a grandson of Levi, "the family of Shimei" Num 3:23; and all the remaining families, each with their separate sorrow, each according to Joel's call, "let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber and the bride out of her closet" Joe 2:16, each denying himself the tenderest solaces of life.

Dionysius: "The ungrateful and ungodly, daily, as far as in them lies, crucify Christ, as Paul says, "crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh and putting Him to an open shame" Heb 6:6. And on these Christ, out of His boundless pity, poureth forth a spirit of grace and supplication, so that, touched with compunction, with grieving and tearful feeling, they look on Christ, suffering with His suffering, and bewailing their own impurities."

Osorius: "The likeness is in the sorrow, not in its degree. Josiah had restored religion, removed a dire superstition, bound up relaxed morals by healthful discipline, recalled to its former condition the sinking state. In their extremest needs light shone on them, when there came his unlooked-for death, Therewith the whole state seemed lost. So in the Death of Christ, they who loved Him, saw His divine works, placed their whole hope of salvation in His goodness, suddenly saw the stay of their life extinct, themselves deprived of that most sweet contact, all hope for the future cut off: But the grief in the death of Christ was the more bitter, as He awoke a greater longing for Himself, and had brought a firmer hope of salvation."

Next: Zechariah Chapter 13