Zechariah 12:10. And I will pour, &c. God’s signal interposition in behalf of Judah and Jerusalem, after their future restoration, having been foretold, the prophet proceeds to foretel their conversion to Christianity. But though the prophet speaks of this after he has foretold their restoration, it does not follow that it shall take place after that event. It is certainly much more probable that they will first be brought to repentance for the sin of rejecting and crucifying their Messiah, and to believe in him with their heart unto righteousness, and then that God will bestow upon them that great mercy of re-establishing them in the possession of Canaan: see note on Zechariah 12:2. “The Jews had stumbled and fallen at the stone of stumbling and rock of offence, the Messiah, in his humble appearance, as Isaiah foretold. That no one might be surprised at this sudden change of their affairs, [namely, their restoration to their own land, and their prosperity therein,] Zechariah tells us, they should themselves be first changed, and repent heartily of that sin which had been the cause of their fall, for God should pour out on them the spirit of grace and supplication, that they might look with compunction of heart on him whom they had pierced; and he should, by his Spirit, improve those good dispositions into a thorough conviction of his being the Messiah, whom they had rejected: for this they should weep bitterly, Zechariah 12:11, and make earnest supplications till received again into his grace and favour. This done, it follows, Zechariah 13:1, In that day shall a fountain be opened, &c. Now who were they whose sin and uncleanness were washed away, but the house of David, and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the same who had sinned, and mourned, and repented, and were therefore pardoned? What did they mourn for, but for him whom they had pierced, and whose death they had bewailed with all the solemnities of true mourners? It was then the act and sin of the house of David, and of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, that they pierced and slew him whom they now looked upon; for which their land was treated as polluted, and removed out of God’s sight into captivity, not to be restored to them till their sin was remitted upon their true repentance. Thus much is evident from the context:” see Chandler’s Defence, and Dodd.
But though this passage may chiefly relate to the future and general conversion of the Jews to the Christian faith, Which St. Paul calls life from the dead, and therefore will not receive its full accomplishment till that event takes place; yet it may also be understood of some other prior conversions of the Jewish people, and particularly of those of the many thousands brought to repentance by the preaching of John the Baptist, of Christ, and his apostles. For it appears from the accounts we have in the New Testament, that though the rulers and leading men among the Jews were not converted in that age of the Christian Church, yet a vast number of the people were. So that this prophecy has, in some degree at least, been already fulfilled, and the spirit of grace and supplication hath been poured out in a measure, if not upon the house of David, yet upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem. In the expression, They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, (the words being spoken by God,) is implied, that in the piercing of Christ, God himself, figuratively speaking, was pierced through the wounds of his beloved Son, he being infinitely dear to his heavenly Father, and his cause the cause of God. This passage is undoubtedly cited in St. John’s gospel, John 19:37. Οψονται εις ον εξεκεντησαν , They shall look on him whom they have pierced. For although the present Hebrew text is, הבישׂו אלי , They shall look unto me, between forty and fifty MSS. are produced which read אלוו , unto him, with the concurrence of other authorities. They shall mourn for him They shall heartily lament the crucifying of the Lord Jesus, not only as the sinful, cruel act of their fathers, but as that in which their sins had a great share. As one mourneth for his only son With an unfeigned and real, a great and long-continued, a deep and lasting sorrow, such as is the sorrow of a father on the death of an only son: they shall retain it inwardly, and express it outwardly, as in the funeral mournings on such occasions. And shall be in bitterness for him True repentance will bitterly lament the sins that brought sorrows and pain upon the Son of God.
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