Analysis of Zechariah 12:10

In this post, we take a closer look at what the text of Zechariah 12:10 really says. 

10. "I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication, and they will look onto Me whom (et asher) they have pierced and they will mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep for Him like the weeping over a first born. 11. In that day there will be a great mourning in Jerusalem like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12. and the land will mourn every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself; and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself; and their wives by themselves..."

The Christian reading of this passage is somewhat problematic. The words "Me" and "Him" makes it quite obvious that the text is speaking of two different subjects. The gospel of John acknowledged this and therefore rendered the passage as, "they shall look on Him whom they pierced." This New Testament mistranslation of Zechariah in and of itself demonstrates that the New Testament is fallacious.

To interpret this passage that at some future time the "Jewish people shall look unto Me (G-d/Jesus) whom they (the Jewish people) pierced" does not seem to be what John had in mind. It is important to note that according to John, Zechariah's prophesy was fulfilled at the time that the Roman soldiers pierced the side of Jesus. As it says in John 19:36, "For these things came to pass that the scripture might be fulfilled." John saw the two different subjects of Zechariah's passage as the Roman soldiers and Jesus.

"They (the Roman soldiers) shall look on Him (Jesus) whom they (the Roman soldiers) pierced. 

There is an additional problem in this passage. The Hebrew words "et asher" are not found very often in scripture. When they do occur together the phrase is read as "concerning whom" or "concerning that" but never as "whom". You can see this by reading the Hebrew original of Ezekiel 36:27. (It is also interesting to note that the Septuagint does not translate "et asher" as "whom." Its translation does not at all resemble the Christian interpretation.)

The correct translation of Zechariah 12:10 should be."they will look onto Me concerning whom they have pierced and they will mourn for him

This is consistent with the two subjects. By reviewing the context we can also understand of whom this passage is speaking. Starting with the beginning of Zechariah chapter 12 the prophet speaks of a time when the nations of the world will be gathered against Jerusalem to destroy it (Zec 12:3). On that day, G-d Himself will defend Jerusalem and destroy all of its enemies (Zec 12:4-9). G-d will pour out a spirit of grace and supplication toward the Jews. Grace is requested from G-d and supplication are directed to G-d.

This new spirit will motivate the Jewish nation to look towards G-d concerning those Jews (collective Jewish Martyrs) (see Hosea 11:1 for the Jewish people described as him. See Ex.1 etc. verbs of oppression in singular. Cf. Deut 32, Hos 8:3 and Ex. 19:2) who have been killed in battle prior to G-d's divine intervention in fighting our adversaries.

All the inhabitants of Jerusalem will mourn. This has obviously not yet been fulfilled, now or when the Roman soldier looked at Jesus. This understanding is validated by the scriptural description that this mourning in Jerusalem would be "like the mourning of Hadadrimmom in the Valley of Magiddo." This refers to the death of King Josiah who was killed in battle with Pharaoh Neco (2 Kings 23:29-30). After his death all of Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him (2 Chron 35:22-25). In the same way that the Jews mourned over King Josiah who died in battle so too will the Jewish people in the future mourn over their war dead.