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II. The Messiah's Death and the General Resurrection

The Scriptures speak of the Messiah's death in Zech 12 &13, and Daniel 9. It speaks of the Messiah's everlasting rule in Daniel 7, and a general resurrection in Ezekiel 37, Isaiah 26, and Hosea 5-6. So in the most natural order of those events, the Messiah, whose kingdom is everlasting, would die and resurrect.

II.(A) Zechariah 12: Mourning for the Pierced One

According to Zechariah 12:8-13 (JPT):

8. On that day the Lord shall protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the weakest of them shall be, on that day, like David. And the house of David shall be like angels [or: “like a divine being” –1985 JPS], like the angel of the Lord before them.  

10. And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications. And they shall look to me because of those who have been thrust through [or: “because they have thrust him through” -1917 JPS], and they shall mourn over it [or: “them/him”] as one mourns over an only son and shall be in bitterness, therefore, as one is embittered over a firstborn son.  

11. On that day there shall be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the Valley of Megiddon.  

12. And the land shall mourn, every family apart: The family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart.  

13. The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeites apart, and their wives apart

Note: The Hebrew pronouns used to refer to the pierced one(s) can translate as either “those/them” or “he/him”, so it isn’t clear whether the pierced one is singular or plural. Also, the JPT has: “thrust through [with swords]” with brackets in Zech.12:10. But the passage doesn’t actually specify the weapon used to pierce, and when Zechariah 13:3 uses the verb “shall thrust through,” the JPT doesn’t insert “[with swords]”.

Zechariah 12 sounds Messianic because it describes the destruction of Judah’s enemies, the House of David being like a divine or angelic being, God pouring out a spirit of grace on Jerusalem, and those/him who was pierced causing Jerusalem to look to God. The pierced one(s) would have been responsible for this national redemption, because the scriptures say God would bless the people with a national redemption if they fully looked to him. (eg. Hosea 5-6).

Speaking of the "mourning of Hadadrimmon", Targum Jonathan (b.Meg 3a), a book of Rabbinical interpretations records that: "Rabbi Joseph [3rd century AD] said: Were it not for the targum of this verse, we should not know what it means. [the targum is]: 'In that day, the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great... as the mourning for Josiah son of Amon whom Pharaoh the Lame killed in the plain of Megiddo.'"  St Jerome(4th century) considered Hadad-Rimmon to be a city in the valley of Megiddo, which was where Josiah was killed. So both the Targum and St Jerome relate Zech.12:11 to Israel's annual ritual Lamentations over God's destruction of Josiah, Israel's most faithful king up to his time, described in 2 Chronicles 35 & 2 Kings 23.  Instead of "Hadad-Rimmon," the Aramaic copy of the Scriptures says "the son of Amon," meaning Josiah. Zechariah's comparison of Jerusalem's ruling Houses’ mourning for the pierced one to mourning for King Josiah indicates that the pierced one is a most faithful king. 

Some western scholars propose that Zech. 12:11 refers to ritual mourning for the Syrian's chief god Hadad-Rimmon, allegedly a dying-resurrecting sun-god. Since the House of David is a godlike being with a "spirit of grace" in Zechariah 12, this interpretation indicates that the mourning is for a pierced godlike being.
 Sukkah 52a of the 5th century Babylonian Talmud, or Rabbinical Oral Tradition, asks of Zechariah 12:10 : "What is the cause of the mourning? R. Dosa and the Rabbis differ on the point. One explained, The cause is Messiah the son of Joseph who was slain, and the other explained, The cause is the slaying of the Evil Inclination." The Talmud concludes: "It is best in accord with him who explains that the cause is the Messiah the son of Joseph who was slain, since that well agrees with the Scriptural verse; but according to him who explains the cause to be the slaying of the Evil Inclination, is this an occasion for mourning? Is it not rather an occasion for rejoicing? Why then should they weep?"

Here, the Talmud refers to its idea that there would be two Messiahs: a "son of Joseph" and a "son of David." But if Zechariah refers to a pierced Messiah, it’s more likely this means a “Messiah son of David”, because Zech 12:12 describes the House of David mourning like one mourns for an only son.  Zechariah's repetition of David's name four times, and mention of Nathan and Shimei who were associated with David, indicate that the pierced one would be a Davidic Messiah. Plus, David and Joseph belonged to different tribes, and it doesn’t mention a “House of Joseph” mourning.

It’s unlikely that the pierced one(s) in Zechariah 12:10 was “pierced” in battle, because the rest of the chapter only describes Judah’s princes consuming enemy nations (Zech 12:6), rather than the enemies conquering Judah and killing its rulers. Plus, “thrusting through” is not the only way people are killed in battle: there are also swipes and chops with axes and swords.

Instead, the families’ mourning for “pierced one(s)” like one mourns for a son is reminiscient of families’ piercing their sons whom they saw as false prophets a few verses later in Zech:13:3. If the pierced one in Zech. 12:10 is a prophet pierced in Zech 13:3, he could still be a Davidic Messiah. 2 Samuel 23:2 says that God's word was on David's tongue, making him a prophet, and Zechariah 13 says that if any prophet shall prophecy, he shall be thrust through. Zechariah 12:8 describes David's House in "that day" as a godlike being, and it would seem likely for a Davidic prophet to warn Israel of the coming troubles described of Zech. 13:8-9. So if the Davidic Messiah came during that time, He would likely prophesy and be pierced too.

Nonetheless, while the prophets’ “piercing” in Zech 13 provides context, it isn’t clear they include the pierced one(s) mentioned in Zech.12:10. For example, Zech 12 says that the mourning will be like mourning for an only son, instead of the mourning actually being mourning for an only son. Plus, as we shall see in the next section, it appears that the Messianic figure in Zech 13 is more clearly the Shepherd than the prophets, although they might not be mutually exclusive.


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