The Meaning of Zechariah 12:10 Explained

Zechariah 12:10

KJV: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

YLT: And I have poured on the house of David, And on the inhabitant of Jerusalem, A spirit of grace and supplications, And they have looked unto Me whom they pierced, And they have mourned over it, Like a mourning over the only one, And they have been in bitterness for it, Like a bitterness over the first-born.

Darby: And I will pour upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit of grace and of supplications; and they shall look on me whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for an only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

ASV: And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication; and they shall look unto me whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.

What does Zechariah 12:10 Mean?

Verse Meaning

The Lord also promised to pour out on the Davidic rulers and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, representing all the Israelites, a spirit of remorse. Grace would be the motive for this outpouring, and supplication to God (for what the Jews had done to their Messiah) would be the result. This God-given conviction would cause them to mourn when they looked (in faith) to Him (better than on Him) whom they had formerly pierced (i.e, slain; cf. Numbers 21:9; Isaiah 45:22; Isaiah 53:5; John 3:14-15; John 19:34).
"It is not so much a mourning for the act committed, but for the Person involved. Compare John 19:37; Revelation 1:7." [1]
"The idea is that they will humble themselves and recognize that they were saved by another whom they pierced." [2]
They would mourn as one mourns over the death of one"s only (beloved, cf. Genesis 22:2; Jeremiah 6:26; Amos 8:10) son or his or her firstborn son.
"It is a picture of penitence as vivid and accurate as any found anywhere in the Scriptures." [3]
The Jews will do this either just before the Messiah returns to the earth or when He returns to the earth (cf. Isaiah 27:9; Isaiah 59:20-21; Jeremiah 31:31-37; Amos 9:11-15; Romans 11:25-27; Revelation 1:7). The spirit in view will be a result of the ministry of the Holy Spirit who conveys grace (compassion; cf. Hebrews 10:29) and calls forth supplication (prayer; cf. Isaiah 32:15; Isaiah 44:3; Isaiah 59:20-21; Jeremiah 31:31; Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 36:26-27; Ezekiel 39:29; Joel 2:28-29). The coming of the messianic kingdom is contingent on Israel"s repentance, God"s sovereign control, and the Spirit"s enabling grace. [4]
The unusual combination "they will look to Me whom they have pierced" and "they will mourn for Him" suggests two different individuals, but the deity of the Messiah solves this problem. Yahweh Himself would suffer for the people in the person of Messiah. The suffering could be figurative (they wounded His holiness) or substitutionary (He died in place of others). Other references to this text point to a substitute suffering (e.g, John 19:37; Revelation 1:7; cf. Isaiah 53:5; Isaiah 53:8).
". . . like Thomas their excruciating and inexpressibly penetrating cry of deepest contrition will be, "My Lord and my God!" ( John 20:28)." [5]

Context Summary

Zechariah 12:1-14 - Jerusalem's Day Of Mourning
This vision refers to a time yet future, when the Jews shall have returned to their own land, but still in unbelief; and will be assailed by their foes, though in vain, Zechariah 12:2-3; Zechariah 12:6. The Lord will defend them, Zechariah 12:7-8. Then the nation will mourn. Their repentance will be universal, from the highest to the lowest; lonely, and on account of the sufferings they inflicted on Jesus. The Agent of this mourning will be the Holy Spirit; and it will eventuate in the full forgiveness of sin through the blood of atonement and an entire cleansing from idols. [source]

Chapter Summary: Zechariah 12

1  Jerusalem a cup of trembling to herself,
3  and a burdensome stone to her adversaries
6  The victorious restoring of Judah
10  The repentance of Jerusalem

What do the individual words in Zechariah 12:10 mean?

And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication then they will look on Me - whom they pierced and Yes they will mourn for Him as one mourns for [his] only [son] and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn
וְשָׁפַכְתִּי֩ עַל־ בֵּ֨ית דָּוִ֜יד וְעַ֣ל ׀ יוֹשֵׁ֣ב יְרוּשָׁלִַ֗ם ר֤וּחַ חֵן֙ וְתַ֣חֲנוּנִ֔ים וְהִבִּ֥יטוּ אֵלַ֖י אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁר־ דָּקָ֑רוּ וְסָפְד֣וּ עָלָ֗יו כְּמִסְפֵּד֙ עַל־ הַיָּחִ֔יד וְהָמֵ֥ר עָלָ֖יו כְּהָמֵ֥ר עַֽל־ הַבְּכֽוֹר

וְשָׁפַכְתִּי֩  And  I  will  pour 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, first person common singular
Root: שֶׂפֶק 
Sense: to pour, pour out, spill.
בֵּ֨ית  the  house 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: בַּיִת 
Sense: house.
דָּוִ֜יד  of  David 
Parse: Proper Noun, masculine singular
Root: דָּוִד  
Sense: youngest son of Jesse and second king of Israel.
וְעַ֣ל ׀  and  on 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Preposition
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
יוֹשֵׁ֣ב  the  inhabitants 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Participle, masculine singular construct
Root: יָשַׁב 
Sense: to dwell, remain, sit, abide.
יְרוּשָׁלִַ֗ם  of  Jerusalem 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: יְרוּשָׁלַםִ  
Sense: the chief city of Palestine and capital of the united kingdom and the nation of Judah after the split.
ר֤וּחַ  the  Spirit 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: רוּחַ  
Sense: wind, breath, mind, spirit.
חֵן֙  of  grace 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular
Root: חֵן  
Sense: favour, grace, charm.
וְתַ֣חֲנוּנִ֔ים  and  supplication 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine plural
Root: תַּחֲנוּן  
Sense: supplication, supplication for favour.
וְהִבִּ֥יטוּ  then  they  will  look 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Conjunctive perfect, third person common plural
Root: נָבַט  
Sense: to look, regard.
אֵלַ֖י  on  Me 
Parse: Preposition, first person common singular
Root: אֶל  
Sense: to, toward, unto (of motion).
אֵ֣ת  - 
Parse: Direct object marker
Root: אֹות 
Sense: sign of the definite direct object, not translated in English but generally preceding and indicating the accusative.
אֲשֶׁר־  whom 
Parse: Pronoun, relative
Root: אֲשֶׁר 
Sense: (relative part.).
דָּקָ֑רוּ  they  pierced 
Parse: Verb, Qal, Perfect, third person common plural
Root: דָּקַר  
Sense: to pierce, thrust through, pierce through.
וְסָפְד֣וּ  and  Yes  they  will  mourn 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, third person common plural
Root: סָפַד  
Sense: to wail, lament, mourn.
עָלָ֗יו  for  Him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
כְּמִסְפֵּד֙  as  one  mourns 
Parse: Preposition-k, Noun, masculine singular
Root: סָפַד  
Sense: to wail, lament, mourn.
הַיָּחִ֔יד  [his]  only  [son] 
Parse: Article, Adjective, masculine singular
Root: יָחִיד  
Sense: only, only one, solitary, one.
וְהָמֵ֥ר  and  grieve 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Hifil, Infinitive absolute
Root: מָרַר  
Sense: to be bitter.
עָלָ֖יו  for  Him 
Parse: Preposition, third person masculine singular
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
כְּהָמֵ֥ר  as  one  grieves 
Parse: Preposition-k, Verb, Hifil, Infinitive construct
Root: מָרַר  
Sense: to be bitter.
הַבְּכֽוֹר  a  firstborn 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: בְּכֹר  
Sense: firstborn, firstling.