Monday, July 24, 2006

Who are They?

And I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look on me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. Zechariah 12:10

Who is Zechariah referring to in this passage? Has this prophecy been fulfilled yet? If so, when?

If you have an answer that makes sense please let me know. I am interested in hearing the reformed view of this passage.

28 comments:

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

This refers to the remnant of Israel, probably the same as the 144,000 who are converted at the Second Coming of Christ.

God Bless

Matthew

Rose~ said...

It says right in the passage. Unless, of course, there is a "deeper, hidden, spiritual meaning".

the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem

Oh, sorry, you were interested in the reformed view. :~) ;~)

Jim said...

Matthew, sometimes I laugh at your unassuming brevity.

You have the answers to every question, no doubting there. :)

Rose,

I was hoping to get an enlightened look into the esoteric understanding of these verses.

God bless,
Jim

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

As I said before, I have 98% of it all figured out.

If you want a Reformed answer, you may have to be patient. Most of these Reformed types cannot bring themselves to abandon Premillennialism.

God Bless

Matthew

Jim said...

Matthew, don't you mean Amillenialism?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

No, Premillennialism.

Amillennialism is the Reformed position, but the Reformed Baptist types that domminate the Christian blogsphere for the most part seem quite unwilling to go the whole hog and adopt Reformed eschatology.

God Bless

Matthew

Jim said...

I see, are you saying that the two are inextricably linked?

Is Amil the natural progression of reformed doctrine?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Not necessarilly. But I thought when you said you wanted a Reformed viewpoint that you were looking for a traditional Reformed Amillennial interpretation.

God Bless

Matthew

Jim said...

Yes Matthew, that would be rather interesting to hear from one of them. I am curious as to their views on this subject.

Even So... said...

It is my contention that some in the reformed baptist camp are indeed on their way to amill, - please forgive me for not providing "proof", just be looking for it, it is becoming more apparent by what topics are coming to the fore.

Boy that ought to stir the pot considering, well, let me stop right there...

agent provocateur signing out

Even So... said...

ahhhh, one more....

Jesus IS coming very soon....

Jonathan Moorhead said...

Matthew, nobody bit on your 144,000 comment!

Jim said...

JD,

Am I to assume you are a premil, calvinist?

Jim said...

Jonathan,

Care to leave a thought on this one?

jazzycat said...

Matthew said...."As I said before, I have 98% of it all figured out."

Matthew, considering your 'Zanitized' view, that would mean the great theologians of the reformation only had about 2% figured out at best.

Jazzycat

Jim said...

Oh come on Jazzcat, you must know he's joking...I hope. :(

Do you have an articulate answer for this verse?

jazzycat said...

Jim,
I thought he must be joking and my reply was also tongue in cheek.... with a little bite of course.

I have stated many times that I admire many of Matthews qualities to which he will testify.

On the verse: I would like to defer to Daniel, Bluecollar, Jonathan, etc. who would be far more qualified than me. My eschatology knowledge is very weak (hows that for leading with your chin).

Jazzycat

Jim said...

Jazzy, is that an admission that this verse is future tense?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

John Wesley wrote:

"I will pour - This was fulfilled on Christ's exaltation, when he sent the Comforter to his disciples, it is daily performed to the children of God, and will be continually, 'till we are brought to be with Christ for ever. The house of David - The whole family of Christ, his house who was the seed of David, and who is called David, Ezekiel 37:24. The spirit of grace - Which is fountain of all graces in us. Pierced - Every one of us by our sins pierced him, and many of the Jews literally. Mourn - They shall literally lament the crucifying of the Lord Jesus. In bitterness - True repentance will bitterly lament the sins which brought sorrows and shame upon our Lord."

Matthew Henry wrote:

"(1.) It is a mourning grounded upon a sight of Christ: They shall look on me whom they have pierced, and shall mourn for him. Here, [1.] It is foretold that Christ should be pierced, and this scripture is quoted as that which was fulfilled when Christ's side was pierced upon the cross; see John 19:37. [2.] He is spoken of as one whom we have pierced; it is spoken primarily of the Jews, who persecuted him to death (and we find that those who pierced him are distinguished from the other kindreds of the earth that shall wail because of him, Revelation 1:7); yet it is true of us all as sinners, we have pierced Christ, inasmuch as our sins were the cause of his death, for he was wounded for our transgressions, and they are the grief of his soul; he is broken with the whorish heart of sinners, who therefore are said to crucify him afresh and put him to open shame. [3.] Those that truly repent of sin look upon Christ as one whom they have pierced, who was pierced for their sins and is pierced by them; and this engages them to look unto him, as those that are deeply concerned for him. [4.] This is the effect of their looking to Christ; it makes them mourn. This was particularly fulfilled in those to whom Peter preached Christ crucified; when they heard it those who had had a hand in piercing him were pricked to the heart, and cried out, What shall we do? It is fulfilled in all those who sorrow for sin after a godly sort; they look to Christ, and mourn for him, not so much for his sufferings as for their own sins that procured them. Note, The genuine sorrows of a penitent soul flow from the believing sight of a pierced Saviour. Looking by faith upon the cross of Christ will set us a mourning for sin after a godly sort."

Jim said...

Matthew, what exactly are you saying by these quotes?

I would see both of these commentaries as rather amil in their interpretation of this text.

While it is true that we all (mankind) have pierced Christ by our sins, this passage refers specifically to the Jewish nation, and in particular those dwelling in Jerusalem, the spiritual capital and seat of government.

The question then, is when did, has, or will this prophecy been fulfilled?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I posted them to give you their views.

Matthew Henry was Postmill and believed that Israel would be restored to their land and converted in the last days.

I think John Wesley also had hopes for the conversion of Israel, but he was a sort of weird hybrid of the Premill and Postmill positions.

Every Blessing in Christ

Matthew

Jim said...

Well we definitely have the advantage of hindsight.

Historical developments have also had some influence upon our understanding of eschatology.

But where are the Amil advocates to give us their take?

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I suppose the Amillennialist would say that the main fulfillement of this is in those Jews who repented at Pentecost, though later conversions of Jews might also be a fulfillment.

God Bless

Matthew

Daniel said...

John 19:31-37 (ESV) - Since it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. He who saw it has borne witness--his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth--that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: "Not one of his bones will be broken." And again another Scripture says, "They will look on him whom they have pierced." (emphasis added)

John is saying that the piercing took place to fulfill Zachariah's Messianic prophesy.

That being the case, I would probably presume that this prophesy was fulfilled begining with the cross and ending at pentecost.

The end of the world isn't going to be a time of "grace and supplication" - that should have been our first clue.

Eschatology isn't my bag, but I am certainly not dispensational or covenant, definitely not pre-trib, or even pro-trib. I think it will all pan out in the end, and a lot of us will go "oh, I get it now."

Jim said...

Daniel, thanks for the contribution. You have pinpointed an obvious reference to Zechariah.

One thing though, I am confused why the light attitude regarding eschatology? For someone who seems to value detailed exegesis, to forsake the study of a large portion of scripture seems rather careless?

I understand your desire to avoid confrontation and speculation, however is not all scripture given for our admonition, instruction, and revelation.

Yes, I agree we will certainly see things clearly when Christ is revealed, and the main goal is to live for Christ obeying His explicit commands to us.

Perhaps you can shed more light on this?

God bless,
Jim

Even So... said...

Jim,

Yes, premil, and yes, Christian, I mean, Calvinist (ha ha)...

...man that was a cheap shot...oh well, that's what you get when you don't have water at 5am, and now I must go repent...

Daniel said...

Jim,

There was a time when I thought that I ought to try and "figure out" the book of revelations - and more generally, what I think is going to happen in the end times. I read through the book of revelations, Daniel, the "pertinent" parts in the gospels, and Thessalonians, etc. over and over, prayerfully considering what I had read.

At the end of that I didn't have a detailed eschatological framework, but it did punch a lot of holes in some of the frameworks that others adhere to.

Truth be told, I prefer to read the whole bible, start to finish, and see what the Holy Spirit within illumines for me, and that is my normal course of study. I read the bible, then when I am finished, I read it again, and again. Often I change versions each time, KJV, then the ESV, then the NKJV, then the NET, then the HCSB, then the NASB, etc.

I leave it in God's hands therefore, to teach me eschatology, and I take heed to what I understand in scripture as coming from God's own hand. It has pleased our Lord I suppose, to keep me from finding any one framework accurate enough to cling to.

Is the tribulation a seven year period, the last of the seventy weeks? I am sceptical. Will Christians be raptured before this tribulation - absolutely not, they will go through it just as the Jews went through the plagues of Moses - present but separated from the wrath. The details of Christ's return I am less inclined by virtue of ignorance to really speculate on. The "thousand year" reign and the first and second resurrections, the 144,000 etc. These too are still in a state of flux in my own understanding.

There was a time when I thought it was imperative that I jump on the "figure out your eschatological view" band wagon - but I made a conscious decision to let God figure it out for me, and to be satisfied that he will do so in his own time, as long as I am faithful in studying His word - the truth will be given. For me at least, to embark on a formal quest for this would be to pump at the well instead of waiting for the artesian waters of the Lord.

That is not to poo-poo anyone who has been given light in this area - it is simply my own apology as to why I lack illumination. It isn't that I haven't studied, it is that my studies haven't yeilded a detailed framework that I can share with people. I can hear something and say, "Pffft, that's not right. Over here it says such and such..." but I find that, at least for now, I can't do much more.


My attitude I suppose is not so much "light on eschatology" as it is simply failing to be "heavy" on it. It is scripture, and ought to be studied with gusto - and I do that - but I don't study it outside the context of the whole of the bible, just as I don't study anything outside the context of the whole bible. If I know anything, it is not because I sat down and found all the proof texts for an idea, collated them together and drew an opinion - it is rather that I remember reading scripture here and there, and being instructed out of scripture thus I come to some conclusion.

In the case of eschatology, I have learned to be content with the light I have, and not to speculate beyond it - or at least try not to.

We look at something like the prophesies about Alexander the Great - you know, they are so accurate now that we know what they are talking about - but prior to Alexander the great can you imagine the Jews speculating about what this and that was going to mean? I am sure they had great and godly teachers who had mapped it all out and these same teachers had their fans - and they all felt sure that this represented such and such. When the truth came, all the false systems came to nothing, except that they represented a great and worthless effort in those who pursued them.

"This is what the prophet Joel spoke" - recall those words...? Peter knew Joel's prophesy, and surely there was speculation about it in his day - perhaps Peter had himself made some speculation about it or believed it to mean something at one time - but when it was fulfilled - WHAM! they understood it. I think knowing the prophesies is important, but I think sometimes the right understanding comes later, and sometimes and for some generations it doesn't come at all. I think therefore that mapping it all out can get a little pretentious if we are not careful.

I chalk up my hesitation therefore, not to indifference or a light attitude, but to a diligence and care that I think the scriptures demand. I concede, It must seem overly cautious by some standards, but I am content and even comfortable with waiting for revelation if that makes any sense.

Jim said...

Daniel, I respect that attitude greatly! If you are completely open to the Spirit's revealing, He will indeed show you much.

Indeed the blessing is for those who read the words of the book, as John points out.

When we immerse ourselves in the Word, the Holy Spirit then has the necessary materials to enable us to see the mysteries Christ has hidden for those who seek.

God bless,
Jim