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"Mourning, Weeping and Revival are coming to Israel” says the Prophet





One of the most graphic and heartrending prophecies in Scripture focuses on God’s Spirit being poured on all Israel, and Israel’s humble, positive response. I am speaking about Zechariah 12:10-13:1. Let’s start with vv. 10-11.


And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son. On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be as great as the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo (vv. 10-11)

The passage begins with God’s Spirit being poured out on Israel.

  1. The word spirit in Hebrew could be spirit (attitude, disposition), a spirit (like a ghost or demon) or Holy Spirit. In Hebrew, there is no upper and lowercase. Therefore, spirit and Spirit are simply ruach רוח. But I agree with Kenneth Barker: “the Lord promises an effusion of his Spirit on his covenantal people. The imagery is doubtless that of water as an emblem of the Holy Spirit.”[1] It lines up with Joel’s prophecy of the Spirit being pour out and Ezekiel’s word, “I will put my Spirit in you,” referring to Israel.

  2. “House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” is another way of saying, from top to bottom, all Israel. We see that the mourning goes far beyond Jerusalem’s borders, all the way north to the “plain of Megiddo.” It lines up with Paul’s “all Israel will be saved” (Rom. 11:26).

  3. The Spirit pours out grace and supplication: Grace is initiated by God. God is wooing back his ancient people because of his great love. “Grace represents God’s favor granted to those who deserved anything but divine blessing. This grace led the people to repent for the sin of piercing the one whom God had sent to deliver them. Grace also moved the nation to seek forgiveness. In turn, the forgiveness that only the Lord could extend resulted in a restored relationship between God and his people.” [2] Supplication is a weak translation for tachnun תחנון. The word mitchanan (same root) means to beg. The ESV is closer. It says the Jewish people, “beg for mercy.” The same word is used in Psalm 28 where David says, “Do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help" (v. 1-2). There is real desperation. But why?

  4. Because in Zech.12:10 there is a corporate revelation that Yeshua, the One they rejected and delivered to the Romans for crucifixion, the One that centuries of Jews we're taught not to believe in, the One to whom they were blinded (Romans 11:25), is the Messiah. It is very much like Joseph's brothers when they realize that Joseph is the most powerful man in Egypt next to Pharaoh. The one they were going to kill but chose to sell as a slave, now holds their fate in his hands. But Joseph tells them that there is nothing to fear—being restored to them is all he wants. And this is what Yeshua has waited—not to judge Israel (his natural brothers)—but to restore her. (see Zech. 13:1).


Mourning for an only child

The anguish is so deep, it is like parents mourning for an only child. I mentioned last week that we walked with dear friends through the death of their son. I did not know it when I was writing, but that day was the 25th anniversary of his death (and eternal life in Yeshua). The grief and mourning over a son’s death is unmatchable and unbearable. It is every parent’s nightmare, and sadly, a reality for a few.


You may find that you also grieve for the hopes and dreams you had for your child, the potential that will never be realized, and the experiences you will never share. If you lost your only child, you may also feel that you have lost your identity as a parent and perhaps the possibility of grandchildren. [3]


It is with this pain—yes, even those young men who attacked my wife not long ago—that they will “grieve bitterly” over not just the death of Yeshua, but that they persecuted and rejected him; that they attacked those who believed. That is what Yeshua says to Saul when he knocks him down, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” (Acts 9:4b). How does Saul respond? “For three days he was blind, and did not eat or drink anything” (v. 9). This was no doubt a season of profound mourning for Saul. Have you ever gone a day, not just without food, but without water? Some have died without water for three days. “The general consensus is that people can survive for around three days without water, with estimates typically ranging from two days to a week.” [4]


John Polhill suggests, “That he neither ate nor drank for three days could be an expression of penitence on Paul’s part but is more likely the result of his shock, confusion, and utter brokenness of will.”[5] I vote “D,” all of the above. Imagine having killed people like Stephen, thinking you were doing the work of Yahweh, only to find out, that you were committing murder and working against God’s plan. For Paul, a religious zealot, this was beyond devastating and yet exhilarating, to discover that this Yeshua is the Messiah! This is why Paul speaks of himself as “the worst of sinners” (1 Tim. 1:16) “because I persecuted the congregation of God” (1 Cor. 15:9). “The raging persecutor had been reduced to a shambles.” [6]


The Mourning is Wide and Deep

And this is a picture of what is soon to take place in Jerusalem. Saul is a prophetic picture of Zechariah 12:10, of the wailing, mourning and bitter grieving which is to come to Israel.

The land will mourn, each clan by itself, with their wives by themselves: the clan of the house of David and their wives, the clan of the house of Nathan and their wives, the clan of the house of Levi and their wives, the clan of Shimei and their wives, and all the rest of the clans and their wives. (Zec 12:12–14)

The mourning will be nationwide. The word mourn appears five times in vv. 10-12. Here David, Nathan and Levi (and his grandson Shimei) represent the Davidic dynasty, the prophets and priesthood, while “rest of the clans and their wives,” represents all the people.


The pericope stresses the totality of mourning in Judah, from the highest levels of society to the common people who comprise the majority of the population. Royalty, priests, women, and everyone else will bewail their sinfulness and unwillingness to repent beforehand [7]

Like we mentioned last week with Hosea 3:4-5, this is a beautiful picture, like that of the prodigal son coming home.


Good news

Thankfully it doesn’t end there. As many of you know, the chapters and verses were added later. When the prophet wrote it, verse 14 went right in to 13:1.

On that day a fountain will be opened to the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and impurity.

Just as with Saul and Joseph’s brothers, there will be time to repent. The imagery of water coming from a fountain is consistent with the Ezekiel’s vision, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols” (Ez. 36:25). This could be what Yeshua meant when he told Nicodemus that he must be born of water and of the Spirit. Isaiah’s foresees Israel returning to God, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Is. 12:3).


How the New Testament views Zechariah 12:10

John refers to this passage in his Revelation. He sees it coming to pass at the second coming. Here is what I wrote on this in When Kingdoms Collide:


John alludes to the Zechariah prophecy in his revelation. In John 1:7, he says that when Yeshua comes in the clouds, “every eye will see him, even those who pierced him.” He continues, “and the peoples on earth will mourn.” But in Greek, it doesn’t say peoples on earth” but “tribes of the land.” It is a very clever way to say, not only will the nations mourn, but the Jewish people, as Zechariah prophesied, will grieve, as they understand Yeshua is the returning king of Israel, and they had rejected Him. In Hebrew, the phrase “the land” is how we say Israel. More often than not, if someone wants to know if I am in Israel (because I travel a lot), they will not ask, “are you in Israel?” but will ask, “are you in the land?” God slipped this double meaning into the passage. [8]

Zechariah 12:10-13:1 is just one of many passages that point to the coming end time awakening in the land of Israel. Let's continue to press into God in prayer, asking him to bring his word to pass.

[1] Kenneth L. Barker, “Zechariah,” in The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Daniel–Malachi (Revised Edition), ed. Tremper Longman III and David E. Garland, vol. 8 (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008), 817.


[2] George L. Klein, Zechariah, vol. 21B, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2008), 364.


[3] “Grieving the Loss of a Child,” Cancer.net, accessed June 18, 2023, https://www.cancer.net/coping-with-cancer/managing-emotions/grief-and-loss/grieving-loss-child


[4] “How Long Can You Live Without Water? Facts And Effects To Survive,” Svalbarði Polar Iceberg Water, accessed June 18, 2023, https://svalbardi.com/blogs/water/living-without#:~:text=The%20general%20consensus%20is%20that,and%203%20weeks%20without%20food.


[5] John B. Polhill, Acts, vol. 26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 235–236.


[6] John B. Polhill, Acts, vol. 26, The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1992), 236.


[7] George L. Klein, Zechariah, vol. 21B, The New American Commentary (Nashville, TN: B & H Publishing Group, 2008), 371.


[8] Ron Cantor, When Kingdoms Collide (Tel Aviv: Ron Cantor, 2022), 176-177.

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