This chapter deals with Jerusalem’s being under siege when the Messiah returns. Jerusalem is mentioned 10 times in this chapter and “in that day” is mentioned 7 times.
“In that day” is a reference to “the Day of the L-rd” which begins with “the Tribulation Period” and goes into the millennial kingdom of Yeshua.
“The Day of the L-rd” is the theme of Joel’s book.
In Malachi 4:5 we read, “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the L-RD:”
It is also known as “the time of Jacob's trouble”
Jeremiah 30:5-7 For this says the L-RD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace. Ask and see: Can a man bear children? Then why do I see every strong man with his hands on his stomach like a woman in labor, every face turned deathly pale? Alas! For that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he will be saved out of it.
Among the rabbis it is a common teaching that the six days of Creation were metaphors that pointed to six thousand years of history. The Jewish People wrote that Moses established the concept of these millennial days. The seventh day concerned the seventh millennium.
Moses wrote about the day of rest to help Tanakh prophets explain events that would come to pass during the coming seventh millennium when “the day of the L-rd is at hand”
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the L-RD is at hand; it will come as a destruction from the Almighty.
Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of your people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, every one that will be found written in the book.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the L-rd so cometh as a thief in the night.
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the L-RD for Israel, says the L-RD, which stretches out the heavens, and lays the foundation of the earth, and forms the spirit of man within him.
Burden - means a prophecy; a judgment
Zechariah is telling the Israelites that the L-rd’s judgment will come upon them. However, we will see that the L-rd Himself rescues them.
The L-rd is described as 1) which stretches out the heavens (the creator of the universe) 2) lays the foundation of the earth (specifically the creator of earth) 3) forms the spirit of man within him (the creator of man and the spirit inside him.)
Psalms 19:1The heavens declare the glory of G-d; and the firmament shows his handiwork.
Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling to all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
A cup - (bowl, goblet, or mug)
A cup of trembling - “a goblet of intoxication” or “a goblet of staggering”
Jerusalem is in the news daily. It has become a very delicate issue in world affairs, and Zechariah said it would happen over 2,400 years ago. Jerusalem will continue to be “a cup of trembling” in the future. This passage is speaking about the events, which occur at the time when Yeshua returns.
Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
Burdensome - heavy. The nations of the world are now looking at Israel and trying to come up with a plan to solve the conflict there. In this verse G-d tells us that those that go against Israel will be destroyed. The people of the earth will gather against Jerusalem at the Battle of Armageddon in Rev 16:16. (In the valley of Meggido)
Zechariah 12:4 In that day, says the L-RD, I will strike every horse with confusion, and his rider with madness: and I will open My eyes upon the house of Judah, and will strike every horse of the people with blindness.
G-d will bring mass confusion on the enemies of Israel. Some believe that the horses referred to here in a figurative sense only. Others believe the troops will arrive on horseback.
Zechariah 12:5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, the inhabitants of Jerusalem will be my strength in the L-RD of hosts their G-d.
Jerusalem will become a refuge for G-d’s people on earth.
Zechariah 12:6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they will devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem will be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem.
G-d’s power us compared to a fire consuming the enemies of Israel.
Zechariah 12:7 The L-RD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
G-d will first deliver the area around Jerusalem before delivering Jerusalem. This will be done so that the people of Jerusalem will not think that they are superior to the rest of the nation.
Zechariah 12:8 In that day will the L-RD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day will be as David; and the house of David will be as G-d, as the angel of the L-RD before them.
Adonai will make the weakest resident of Jerusalem like Israel’s most famous of warrior, David.
Zechariah 12:9 And it will come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
For more details of the Battle of Armageddon. (See Dan 11:40-44; Rev 9:13-16, 14:20; 16:12-16)