Sunday, October 16, 2016

Zechariah 12:10 - The One Pierced

Zechariah 12:10
"They will look at the one they stabbed to death."- The Bible in Living English, Byington
"They will look at him they have pierced."-Living Bible, Taylor
"They will look at the one whom they stabbed to death."- Today's English Version
"They will look at the one whom they have pierced".- The Jerusalem Bible
"They shall look on whom they have thrust through."-New American Bible.
"They shall look on him whom they stabbed."-Moffatt
"They shall look at him whom they have stabbed."-American Translation, Goodspeed
"They shall look upon Him who they have pierced."-Modern language Bible
"When they look on whom they have pierced."-Revised Standard Version
"Their eyes will be turned to the one who was wounded."-Bible in Basic English
"When they see the one they pierced with a spear."-Contemporary English Bible
It is claimed by some that Zechariah 12:10 gives proof that Jesus was Jehovah in the flesh, since in Zechariah it is supposedly stated that Jehovah is the one pierced, but John in the New Testament applies this to Jesus. One, by comparing Zechariah 12:10 with Revelation 1:7, boldly makes the claim: "God is saying that He is Jesus Christ." Is that what Jehovah actually said? We note that John's inspired rendering of this verse is not "they looked upon me", but rather "they looked upon him", and John applies it to Jesus, not Jehovah. -- John 19:37.

See the online interlinear at:
According to that interlinear, the phrase in question is transliterated as "wə·hib·bî·ṭū ’ê·lay ’êṯ ’ă·šer", corresponding respectively to Strong's #s: 5027, 413, 853, and 834. Links to the defintions of these words follow:

The construct of the word in Zechariah, however, is often presented as "look at me", although it may be rendered otherwise.  Not all translators render it as "look at me", and there are some Hebrew manuscripts that actually have it as "look at him".

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar says:
138. The relative Pronoun... (2) Not depending on a governing substantive, but itself expressing a substantial idea. Clauses introduced in this way may be called independent relative clauses. This use of ["asher"] is generally rendered in English by he who, he whom, &c... In Z[echariah] 12:10 also, instead of the unintelligible ["elai eth asher", "to me whom"], we should probably read ["el asher", "to him whom], and refer this passage to this class [of 'independent relative clauses'].== -- pages 444,445,446.
John plainly shows how Zechariah 12:10 should be understood by quoting it at John 19:37, where we find the words in our collection of English Bible versions reads, not "me," but "him," "the man," or, "the One." Jehovah is a spirit being and never became a man, and "No man has seen [him] at any time," and thus Jehovah was not the one physically pierced through.

The following are the words F .F. Bruce:
This has been done with Zech. 12:10, which foretells a day of great mourning in Jerusalem and the surrounding territory when, as the Masoretic Hebrew text puts it, "they shall look unto me whom they have pierced" (so R.V.). The passage is quoted once and echoed once in the New Testament, and in both places the pronoun is not "me" but "him". This is not so significant in the place where the passage is merely echoed (Rev. I : 7, " and every eye will see him, every one who pierced him"), for that is not an exact quotation. Here the predicted looking to the one who was pierced is interpreted of the Second Advent of Christ. But in John 19:37 the piercing is interpreted of the piercing of Christ's side with a soldier's lance after His death on the cross, and here Zech. 12:10 is expressly quoted: "And again another scripture says, 'They shall look on him whom they have pierced'." It is a reasonable inference that this is the form in which the Evangelist knew the passage, and indeed the reading "him' instead of "me" appears in a few Hebrew manuscripts. The R.S.V. thus has New Testament authority for its rendering of Zech.12:10 , "And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of compassion and supplication, so that, when they look on him whom they have pierced, they shall moum for him, as on e mourns for an only child, and weep bitterly over him, as one weeps over a first-born." Why then is the R.S.V. criticized for conforming to the New Testament here? Because, if the reading "me" be retained, the reference would be to the speaker, who is God, and in view of the application of the passage in the New Testament, there are some who see here an anticipation of the Christian doctrine of our Lord's divine nature. The reading "me" is certainly quite early, for it appears in the Septuagint (which otherwise misses the point of the passage); but the New Testament seems to attach no significance to Zech. 12:10 as providing evidence for the deity of Christ,.... And, whoever the pierced one is, the fact that he is referred to elsewhere in the verse in the third person ("they shall mourn for him....and weep bitterly over him") suggests that he is Jehovah's representative (probably the anointed king), in whose piercing Jehovah Himself is pierced. - History of the Bible in English, pages 199, 200, Lutterworth Press, 1979 third edition.
It is reported that there are 45 Hebrew manuscripts that read *el asher* instead of "elai eth asher" in Zechariah 12:10; as yet, however, I have not found any more information concerning these manuscripts. Bruce refers to a "few" Hebrew manuscripts that do read "him" instead of "me."

The following quote has been given to us from The Interpreter's Bible:
Both translation and interpretation of these verses are difficult. It is possible to read, "they will look to me whom they have pierced," meaning that David's house and Jerusalem had pierced Jehovah. But piercing [Heb. daqar] elsewhere in the O.T. always means physical violence and usually death (e.g., Num. 25:8; 1 Sam 31:4); it does so expressly in 13:3. The mourning described in vv. 10b-12 is mourning "for him," the one pierced or stabbed. It seems preferable to take the MT's object marker before the relative pronoun as indicating an accusative of respect, allowing one to translate "concerning the one whom they pierced" (cf. LXX.). - The New Interpreter's Bible, p.828
Whatever is meant in Zechariah 2:10, we know that it is not stating that it was Jehovah who was physically pierced for our sins. It was not God who sinned and brought death upon mankind, it was a man, and thus it was also a man who died for our sins, paying the wages of sin for Adam and all who are dying by means of Adam's sin. (Romans 5:12-19; 1 Corinthians 15:21,22) If it was God Almighty who died, then we have no condemnation of sin in the flesh, for such would have not provided such a condemnation, for only a sinless man could provide such by being fully obedient to God. (Romans 8:3) It is because Jesus was a man, who, unlike Adam, proved himself obedient, even suffering as though his flesh was sinful, that God is found to "be just, and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus." (Romans 3:26) On the other hand, if Jesus is Jehovah, and thus it was Jehovah who was pierced, then such would, rather than condemn sin the flesh, would actually justify sin in the flesh; it would prove that sinless Adam would have needed to have been Jehovah in order to not disobey Jehovah.

Since Jehovah never has been nor is a man of flesh, nor has Jehovah ever been physically pierced through, if Zechariah 12:10 is referring to Jehovah as the one being pierced through, it would have to be as stated by A. E. Kirkpatrick: "It is Jehovah who has been thrust through in the Person of His representative." - The Doctrine of the Prophets, page 472.

This same line of thought is what Jesus expressed when he stated: "I tell you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." -- Matthew 25:42.

Thus, we see that Zechariah 12:10 does not give evidence that Jesus is Jehovah, as claimed by some believers in the trinity or oneness doctrines.

Some others who have presented similar evidence as I have presented; I do not necessarily agree with all conclusions given by these authors:

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