Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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ZACHARIAS - Chapter 12

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Zacharias xii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. A lintel of surfeiting. That is, a door into which they shall seek to enter, to glut themselves with blood: but they shall stumble, and fall like men stupified with wine. It seems to allude to the times of Antiochus, and to the victories of the Machabees. (Challoner) --- Yet it indirectly relates to the last siege of Jerusalem, and to Jesus Christ establishing his Church. Hebrew, "a cup of drowsiness," or trembling. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "as courts (or thresholds; prothura) shaken." (Haydock) --- Jerusalem first drank the cup herself; and then under the Machabees, made others suffer. --- Juda. Never before Epiphanes had the Jews fought against their brethren. Then the apostates became most terrible, 1 Machabees i. 55., and ii. 7, 19. (Calmet) --- Thus none persecute the Catholic faith more than those who have perfidiously abandoned it. (Haydock) --- When the gospel began to be preached, the obstinate Jews opposed it, Acts iv., &c. (Worthington)

Ver. 3. Stone. It was customary to have such huge stones for people to try their strength. (St. Jerome) --- Ruptures and wounds were frequently the consequence, Ecclesiasticus vi. 22. The nations which attacked God's people, paid dear for their victory. (Calmet) --- All fight against the Church; (Menochius) yet she prevails. (Haydock)

Ver. 4. Blindness. The cavalry of the Syrians proved useless against a few (Calmet) champions under God's protection. (Haydock)

Ver. 5. Let. Septuagint, "We shall find for us the inhabitants of Jerusalem, in the Lord Almighty, their God." (Haydock) --- Judas always exhorted his men to trust in the Lord, 1 Machabees iii. 18. (Calmet) --- Mocbai, the initials of "who is like thee among the strong, (Alim) O Lord," (Exodus xv. 11.; Haydock) is supposed to have been his motto, (Calmet) written on his banners; and some assert, that it occasioned the appellation of Machabees. (Haydock) --- "Strengthen for me." (Aquila)

Ver. 6. Furnace. Septuagint, "firebrand among wood, and as a burning lamp amid straw." (Haydock) --- Left. The Samaritans shall fall as well as the Idumeans. --- Place. The temple and city had been deserted, while the troops of Epiphanes occupied the citadel, 1 Machabees iii. 45., and iv. 38.

Ver. 7. David. The Machabees were not of this family, but Levites, born at Modin, in Ephraim. (Calmet)

Ver. 8. Hath. Septuagint, "is weak." --- Offended. Such shall repent and be pardoned, like David. (Haydock) --- They shall imitate his valour. The posterity of David shall no more cause the people to go stray. --- Of God. He seems to allude to Christ's birth. David's offspring shall not ascend the throne; but their virtue shall be conspicuous; they shall give birth to Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. (Calmet)

Ver. 10. Prayers. Septuagint and Chaldean, "pity." (Haydock) --- After the Machabees more synagogues were erected, and the people were more faithful; yet this chiefly regards the new law, in which the spirit prays with us ineffably, Romans viii. 26. (Calmet) --- Me. So far the prophet speaks in Christ's name. He afterwards relates how the people will grieve for him, beating their breasts, Luke xxiii. 48. This was clearly verified in Christ, John xix. 31. (Menochius) --- But in the gospel we read, him whom they have pierced, as the context seems here to require. (Haydock) --- Some Hebrew copies read in like manner, (Calmet) the Erfurth Manuscript 2 having aliu, "on him," though Michaelis remarks not this important variation. The Jewish transcriber would not alter his text to make it conformable to the New Testament. (Kennicott) --- Septuagint, "they shall look upon me for having insulted," or skipped. (Calmet) --- Yet "St. John did not much regard what the Greek contained, but interpreted word for word as he had read in Hebrew," as the other sacred writers did when there was any material difference. St. Jerome, quoted by Kennicott. (Dis. ii. p. 347, &c.) (Haydock) --- Adopting this reading, we may explain this of Judas, whom the people greatly bewailed, 1 Machabees ix. 20. He was a figure of Christ, whom the prophet had chiefly in view. All the Jews who embraced the faith verify this prediction, (Calmet) as those particularly did who had been instrumental to the death of our Saviour, and afterwards entered into themselves, Acts ii. 37. Both Jews and Gentiles have all contributed by their sins to crucifying their Lord; and, at the last day, all shall look on him as their judge or as their deliverer. --- Pierced. Hebrew dakaru. (Haydock) --- Septuagint have transposed d and r, which are very similar, and read rokdu, "have danced," or derided. (St. Jerome) --- The original implies, have outraged or blasphemed, as well as pierced. They shall henceforward cease to despise God and his law. (Calmet)

Ver. 11. Adadremmon. A place near Mageddon, where the good king Josias was slain, and much lamented by his people. (Challoner) --- It was not far from Jezrahel, 2 Paralipomenon xxxv. The lamentation for Josias, represents that of impenitent sinners at the day of judgment. (St. Jerome) (Worthington) --- Septuagint translate the proper names, "of the pomegranate which is cut down in the field." (Haydock) --- All from ver. 8 may be explained of Judas.

Ver. 12. Apart. Bands of men and of women mourning, went with musical instruments separately through the streets, and into the country; as they still do in the East. (Calmet) --- On such occasions, as well as in times of prayer, continence is observed. (St. Jerome)

Ver. 13. Nathan. Zorobabel was his descendant. --- Semei, the son of Gershom, 1 Paralipomenon vi. 16. (Calmet) --- "From this tribe the doctors are chosen." (St. Jerome) --- The pious of all ranks bewail the death of Christ, and the share which they had in it. (Haydock) --- He had done good to many; and therefore we may presume that many would grieve in every tribe. (Menochius)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

God shall protect his Church against her persecutors. The mourning of Jerusalem.

1 The burden of the word of the Lord upon Israel. Thus saith the Lord, who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundations of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man in him:

2 Behold I will make Jerusalem a lintel of surfeiting to all the people round about: and Juda also shall be in the siege against Jerusalem.

3 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will make Jerusalem a burdensome stone to all people; all that shall lift it up shall be rent and torn; and all the kingdoms of the earth shall be gathered together against her.

4 In that day, saith the Lord, I will strike every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open my eyes upon the house of Juda, and will strike every horse of the nations with blindness.

5 And the governors of Juda shall say in their heart: Let the inhabitants of Jerusalem be strengthened for me in the Lord of hosts, their God.

6 In that day I will make the governors of Juda like a furnace of fire amongst wood, and as a firebrand amongst hay: and they shall devour all the people round about, to the right hand and to the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place in Jerusalem.

7 And the Lord shall save the tabernacles of Juda, as in the beginning: that the house of David, and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not boast and magnify themselves against Juda.

8 In that day shall the Lord protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and he that hath offended among them in that day shall be as David: and the house of David as that of God, as an angel of the Lord in their sight.

9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.

10 And I will pour out upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of prayers; *and they shall look upon me, whom they have pierced; and they shall mourn for him as one mourneth for an only son, and they shall grieve over him, as the manner is to grieve for the death of the first-born.

11 In that day there shall be a great lamentation in Jerusalem, *like the lamentation of Adadremmon, in the plain of Mageddon.

12 And the land shall mourn: families and families apart: the families of the house of David apart, and their women apart:

13 The families of the house of Nathan apart, and their women apart: the families of the house of Levi apart, and their women apart: the families of Semei apart, and their women apart.

14 All the rest of the families, families and families apart, and their women apart.



10: John xix. 37.

11: 2 Paralipomenon xxxv. 22.