[b-hebrew] Zechariah 12:1-2

Steve Miller smille10 at sbcglobal.net
Tue Jun 14 23:50:34 EDT 2005

 >> >>On 13/06/2005 22:06, Steve Miller wrote:
 > >>>Zechariah chapters 12-14 are "the burden of the word of Jehovah
 > >>>Israel" (12:1).   Putting 12:1-2 together could it also be rendered
> >>>burden of the word of Jehovah concerning Israel ... and also concerning
> > >>Judah"?
> > >>...
> > >>If  the 2nd עַל־ is translated "concerning" like the 1st, then it is
>>>> the
> > >>burden of the word of Jehovah which is on Judah, rather than the

> > >From: "Peter Kirk" <peterkirk at qaya.org>
 > >>The subject of the second part of verse 2 is an interesting question.
 > >>is not "they" as KJV, for it is singular. It is not YHWH for he is in
 > >>the first person. I think it must be the "cup of bewilderment". But it
 > >>cannot possibly be the burden, as this is far too remote. I think this
 > >>must be interpreted in the sense that whatever is against Jerusalem is
 > >>also against Judah, so meaning something like "this cup will also be
 > >>against Judah, a siege against Jerusalem".

 > >From: Steve Miller
 > >Thanks Peter. But, the cup of bewilderment is what Jehovah will put on
>> all
 > >the nations that come against Jerusalem. It is not the portion of
>> Jerusalem
 > >or of Judah.

 >From: Peter Kirk
> Indeed, my mistake as I was rushing this. I think in fact the subject of
> the clause must be impersonal, so meaning more like "Also against Judah
> will be the state of siege against Jerusalem", in other words not only
> Jerusalem but also Judah will suffer. NIV has "Judah will be besieged as
> well as Jerusalem", which gets my point.

Thanks again Peter. I have to agree with your argument, at least for now,
that "the burden" could not be the subject of  Zech 12:2b, because it is too
remote. If I had another passage where the antecedent is that far from the
verb, then I would have a case for "burden", but I don't.

If the meaning were "Judah will also suffer in the siege against Jerusalem":
 1) Why should the Bible, which doesn't waste a word, bother to say it at
 all? Isn't it obvious that if Jerusalem is besieged, the surrounding area
 will also suffer?
 2) Why should Zechariah say something so simple in such a
 difficult-to-understand way?

 The Stone Tanach translation gives the most straight-forward understanding,
 if you just read Zech 12:2 by itself. That impresses me, although I don't
think that is the right understanding because I don't see it supported in
 the rest of the passage nor anywhere else in the Bible.

 The KJV translation may be correct "when they [the peoples] shall be in the
 siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem." You objected to "they" as
 the subject for יִֽהְיֶה (shall be) because יִֽהְיֶה is singular. But the
 3rd masculine singular is used in Hebrew as the indefinite pronoun, which
 best translated in English as "they". Examples are:
 Zech 13:9 :
 וְהֵבֵאתִי אֶת־הַשְּׁלִשִׁית בָּאֵשׁ וּצְרַפְתִּים כִּצְרֹף אֶת־הַכֶּסֶף
 וּבְחַנְתִּים כִּבְחֹן אֶת־הַזָּהָב הוּא ׀ יִקְרָא בִשְׁמִי וַֽאֲנִי
 אֹתֹו אָמַרְתִּי עַמִּי הוּא וְהוּא יֹאמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהָֽי׃ ס
 “And I will bring the third part through the fire,
 Refine them as silver is refined,
 And test them as gold is tested.
 They will call on My name,
 And I will answer them;
 I will say, ‘They are My people,’
 And they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” (NASB)

 and Isa 7:14 DSS where Matthew translated וְקָרָא שְׁמֹו עִמָּנוּ אֵֽל׃ as
 "and they shall call His name Immanuel."
 -Steve Miller

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