Zechariah Chapter Thirteen

Wounded Hands in the House of My Own Social Group

Zechariah Thirteen There is no need for a chapter break here. The context is still the "in that day" of the pierced Messiah continued from Chapter 12.

. Zec. 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

"In that day." The fountain will be opened in the period when the David prophecies are fulfilled according to what we have just read in the last few verses. The spirit of grace and supplication is linked to mourning as for the loss of a firstborn son.

The Messianic fulfillment of this passage is clear as are all the prophecies that link the Messiah to David. The suffering aspect of the Messiah who becomes an offering for sin is seen many times as in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53. He being struck is seen in verses 6 and 7 below. The Jewish student should not close his heart to these verses. Hopefully the place of Jesus of Nazareth in the plan of God and the Jewish nation will soon be accepted by more members of the nation than those who are presently including Jesus in their faith. It should be remembered that a Jew is grafted back into his own root. He has nothing to give up in the sense that a pagan does. A Jew does not have to give up his Jewishness.

Zec. 13:2 And it shall come to pass in that day, says 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. 13:3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say to him, You shall not live; for you speak lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother who begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesies.

"In that day." Since the day referred to is a Messianic day, this does not refer to the ideological perfection in the days following the totally restored nation, although it may be possible to describe the period in the same way when there was no longer a threat of idolatry and the canon of the Old Testament was closed. At that time the Scriptures became the ideological authority through the tradition of the weekly synagogue meeting because the office of prophet was extinct. But because of the Messianic context, it rather refers to the time of the Messianic kingdom, the church, when doctrinal perfection would be insisted upon and false prophets would be warned against.

Zec. 3:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he has prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive.

The vision now transfers from the above general references about the class of presumptuous, hireling prophets to an individual.

Zec. 13:5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.

What follows the context above is a reversion to the theme introduced in the first verse of the chapter: the fountain for sin linked to the David prophecies. The prophecy to follow is Messianic and is separated from the verses previous which describe the rejection of false and presumptuous prophets. The flight into mysticism is apparent in the imagery to follow, i.e. wounds in your hands, a sword against God's shepherd, the hero who is God's companion, the sheep scattered as a result of the smitten shepherd... None of these link back to verses 2-4. The descriptions find parallels in other passages linking the Messiah with suffering and rejection.

Zec. 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in your hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

Wounded Hands Among His Own Social Group

The NIV has an inexcusable variation from traditional and accurate translation to what is inaccurate and seemingly destructive of a fulfilled prophecy.

(Zec. 13:6) If someone asks him, `What are these wounds on your body?' he will answer, `The wounds I was given at the house of my friends.' (NIV)

The Hebrew word "yad," , means hand. The text here has "yadeyka," ; it is plural and had a second person suffix. It means "your hands." It may mean the hands including the wrists but not the body or bodies if the plural is followed. The Hebrew word for hand, "yad," , is not remotely related to "guph," , the word for body.

"The house of my friends." The word for "my friends," "me'ahavi," , here is one for a beloved companion and not a casual acquaintance. The same word is often translated love. The Shulamite/Solomon in Song of Solomon uses it for her/his beloved. (S. of Sol. 1:16)

Zec. 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man who is my fellow, says the LORD of hosts: strike the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn my hand upon the little ones.

God's Immediate Fellowship

"Against the man who is my fellow." This phrase describes the shepherd who is to be smitten. "Man" here is not the usual "ish" , but "gibor," , which may be simplified by the term "hero," but carries more dignity than a mere warrior. The word for fellow is a collective and is understood as fellowship. It is a cognate of "am," , meaning people. The word used, "amiytiy," , is a collective noun and would be "my fellows" or "my fellowship." Gibor is in construct which means that if it is translated literally and accurately it would have to be "the man of." "Gibor Amiytiy," , would more properly be rendered as "The man or hero of my social group." God does the speaking here and the relationship is therefore more profound.

"Strike the shepherd." Jesus quoted this passage and applied it to himself and the apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night he was betrayed. "Then said Jesus to them, All you shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad." (Mt. 26:31)

Zec. 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, says the LORD, two parts in it shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left in it.

The number of those lost exceeds the number of the saved. One would hope that as many as one third are to be saved.

Zec. 13:9 And 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.

Through much tribulation we enter into the kingdom of the Messiah. But the faithful continuance will be worth it.

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