I wrote this on Sunday, January 25, 2015 after attending a Torah study at a synagogue the day before:
What? Tanach study (Torah, Prophets, Writings)
When? Shabbat – Saturday January 24th, 2015
Topic: Zechariah chapters 12, 13, 14
Today our group read chapters 12, 13, and 14 from the book of the prophet Zechariah. A few people carried the discussion but no one expressed a confident understanding. One person suggested that the Torah (the five books of Moses) is the Word of G-d, but not the books of the prophets – they are merely the words of humans who claim to be prophets of G-d. Others suggested that these chapters may offer a glimpse into an as yet unfulfilled prophesy for mankind – a time when there will be peace – even a messianic time of justice and righteousness for mankind. In this they are correct.
In his second letter to Timothy, Paul, a Jewish Apostle of Jesus Christ, wrote “All Scripture is inspired by G-d and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of G-d may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB). So these two verses in the Word of G-d correct those who think that the Bible is merely a collection of books written and inspired by the ideas of men apart from the One True G-d.
The Holy Scriptures continue the revelation of G-d to mankind beginning with the book of Matthew and find their completion in the Revelation of Jesus Christ, the last book of the Bible. In chapter 24, verse 3 of the book of Matthew, we find Jesus sitting on the Mount of Olives answering a question asked by His disciples after Jesus prophesied that the Temple will be destroyed. His disciples asked “Tell us, when will these things happen, and what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?” Jesus began to answer His disciples by saying “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” (Matthew 24: 3-5 NASB).
In the book of Zechariah chapter 12 we find that the Word of G-d spoken through Zechariah the prophet concerns Israel – “The burden of the word of the Lord concerning Israel. Thus declares the Lord who stretches out the heavens, lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.” (Zechariah 12:1 NASB). “It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured. And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.” (Zechariah 12:3 NASB). “And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the House of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn.” (Zechariah 12:910 NASB). Reading through to the end of Zechariah chapter 12 we find that all the families of Israel will mourn as they realize by the Spirit of grace and supplication that Jesus, the One rejected by Israel so long ago, is indeed the Holy One of Israel.
The Holy One of Israel will return to set up His kingdom on the earth, centered in Israel, in Jerusalem, to be preceded by great judgements. “In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. ‘It will come about in that day,’ declares the Lord of hosts, ‘that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land. And if anyone still prophesies, then his father and mother who gave birth to him will say to him, ‘You shall not live, for you have spoken falsely in the name of the Lord’; and his father and mother who gave birth to him will pierce him through when he prophesies’. ‘It will come about in all the land,’ declares the Lord, ‘that two parts in it will be cut off and perish; but the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on my name, and I will answer them; I will say “They are my people”, and they will say, “The Lord is my G-d.”’” (Zechariah 13:1-3, 8-9 NASB). Here we make the connection between this prophesy and the words of Jesus as he began to answer His disciples after He was asked about the end of the age while sitting on the Mount of Olives outside Jerusalem – “See to it that no one misleads you. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many.” (Matthew 24: 3-5 NASB).
Zechariah continues, “Behold, a day is coming for the Lord when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south.” (Zechariah 14:1-4 NASB). The Revelation of Jesus Christ tells us this – “And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake was it, and so mighty. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. Babylon the great was remembered before G-d, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.” (Revelation 16: 18-19). “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of G-d. And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of G-d, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, ‘KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.’” (Revelation 19: 11-16 NASB). And Zechariah adds this – “And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.” (Zechariah 14:9 NASB).
So we see that the Bible itself is its own best commentary. Jesus is the Christ of G-d, and the Holy One of Israel, and He will return to earth to judge and rule all nations from Jerusalem in Israel on a day unknown to men but foretold long ago by the Jewish prophet Zechariah to G-d’s people Israel.