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Bible Commentaries

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Zechariah 12

Verse 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; Greek: 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)

Verse 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)

Verse 4

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

Verse 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)

Verse 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.

Verse 7

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

Verse 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)

Verse 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)

Verse 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.

Verse 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)

Verse 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)

Verse 17

CHAPTER XII.

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Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Zechariah 12". "Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/hcc/zechariah-12.html. 1859.