Zechariah 12:14
All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
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12:9-14 The day here spoken of, is the day of Jerusalem's defence and deliverance, that glorious day when God will appear for the salvation of his people. In Christ's first coming he bruised the serpent's head, and broke all the powers of darkness that fought against God's kingdom among men. In his second coming he will complete their destruction, when he shall put down all opposing rule, principality, and power; and death itself shall be swallowed up in that victory. The Holy Spirit is gracious and merciful, and is the Author of all grace or holiness. He, also, is the Spirit of supplications, and shows men their ignorance, want, guilt, misery, and danger. At the time here foretold, the Jews will know who the crucified Jesus was; then they shall look by faith to him, and mourn with the deepest sorrow, not only in public, but in private, even each one separately. There is a holy mourning, the effect of the pouring out of the Spirit; a mourning for sin, which quickens faith in Christ, and qualifies for joy in God. This mourning is a fruit of the Spirit of grace, a proof of a work of grace in the soul, and of the Spirit of supplications. It is fulfilled in all who sorrow for sin after a godly sort; they look to Christ crucified, and mourn for him. Looking by faith upon the cross of Christ will cause us to mourn for sin after a godly sort.This sorrow should be universal but also individual, the whole land, and that, family by family; the royal family in the direct line of its kings, and in a branch from Nathan, a son of David and whole brother of Solomon 1 Chronicles 3:5, which was continued on in private life yet was still to be an ancestral line of Jesus Luke 3:31 : in like way the main priestly family from Levi, and a subordinate line from a grandson of Levi, "the family of Shimei" Numbers 3:23; and all the remaining families, each with their separate sorrow, each according to Joel's call, "let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber and the bride out of her closet" Joel 2:16, each denying himself the tenderest solaces of life.

Dionysius: "The ungrateful and ungodly, daily, as far as in them lies, crucify Christ, as Paul says, "crucifying to themselves the Son of God afresh and putting Him to an open shame" Hebrews 6:6. And on these Christ, out of His boundless pity, poureth forth a spirit of grace and supplication, so that, touched with compunction, with grieving and tearful feeling, they look on Christ, suffering with His suffering, and bewailing their own impurities."

Osorius: "The likeness is in the sorrow, not in its degree. Josiah had restored religion, removed a dire superstition, bound up relaxed morals by healthful discipline, recalled to its former condition the sinking state. In their extremest needs light shone on them, when there came his unlooked-for death, Therewith the whole state seemed lost. So in the Death of Christ, they who loved Him, saw His divine works, placed their whole hope of salvation in His goodness, suddenly saw the stay of their life extinct, themselves deprived of that most sweet contact, all hope for the future cut off: But the grief in the death of Christ was the more bitter, as He awoke a greater longing for Himself, and had brought a firmer hope of salvation."

14. All … that remain—after the fiery ordeal, in which two-thirds fall (Zec 13:8, 9). It would be somewhat tedious to repeat every family and their wives once, therefore a general comprehensive account may serve; some of every family of the whole remnant of Israel mourn, believe, look to, and obey Christ the Messiah. So the mourning for Christ bears Some proportion to their violent dealing against Christ, and they through faith live by the blood they did spill, and get to glory by him whom they loaded with reproaches. What will not grace do, when it converteth, accepteth, comforteth, glorifieth such offenders!

All the families that remain,.... That will be in being in those times;

every family apart, and their wives apart; for the whole nation shall be born at once, and converted, and all Israel shall be saved, Isaiah 66:8.

All the families that {o} remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.

(o) That is, who were elect by grace, and preserved from the common destruction.

Verse 14. - The families that remain. All the families that have not been mentioned already.

Zechariah 12:14In Zechariah 12:11-14 the magnitude and universality of the mourning are still further depicted. Zechariah 12:11. "In that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be great, like the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo. Zechariah 12:12. And the land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart. Zechariah 12:13. The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeite apart, and their wives apart. Zechariah 12:14. All the rest of the families, every family apart, and their wives apart." In Zechariah 12:11, the depth and bitterness of the pain on account of the slain Messiah are depicted by comparing it to the mourning of Hadad-rimmon. Jerome says with regard to this: "Adad-remmon is a city near Jerusalem, which was formerly called by this name, but is now called Maximianopolis, in the field of Mageddon, where the good king Josiah was wounded by Pharaoh Necho." This statement of Jerome is confirmed by the fact that the ancient Canaanitish or Hebrew name of the city has been preserved in Rmuni, a small village three-quarters of an hour to the south of Lejun (Legio equals Megiddo: see at Joshua 12:21; and V. de Velde, Reise, i. p. 267). The mourning of Hadad-rimmon is therefore the mourning for the calamity which befel Israel at Hadad-rimmon in the death of the good king Josiah, who was mortally wounded in the valley Megiddo, according to 2 Chronicles 35:22., so that he very soon gave up the ghost. The death of this most pious of all the kings of Judah was bewailed by the people, especially the righteous members of the nation, so bitterly, that not only did the prophet Jeremiah compose an elegy on his death, but other singers, both male and female, bewailed him in dirges, which were placed in a collection of elegiac songs, and preserved in Israel till long after the captivity (2 Chronicles 35:25). Zechariah compares the lamentation for the putting of the Messiah to death to this great national mourning. All the other explanations that have been given of these words are so arbitrary, as hardly to be worthy of notice. This applies, for example, to the idea mentioned by the Chald., that the reference is to the death of the wicked Ahab, and also to Hitzig's hypothesis, that Hadad-rimmon was the one name of the god Adonis. For, apart from the fact that it is only from this passage that Movers has inferred that there ever was an idol of that name, a prophet of Jehovah could not possibly have compared the great lamentation of the Israelites over the death of the Messiah to the lamentation over the death of Ahab the ungodly king of Israel, or to the mourning for a Syrian idol. But the mourning will not be confined to Jerusalem; the land (hâ'ârets), i.e., the whole nation, will also mourn. This universality of the lamentation is individualized in Zechariah 12:12-14, and so depicted as to show that all the families and households of the nation mourn, and not the men only, but also the women. To this end the prophet mentions four distinct leading and secondary families, and then adds in conclusion, "all the rest of the families, with their wives." Of the several families named, two can be determined with certainty, - namely, the family of the house of David, i.e., the posterity of king David, and the family of the house of Levi, i.e., the posterity of the patriarch Levi. But about the other two families there is a difference of opinion. The rabbinical writers suppose that Nathan is the well known prophet of that name, and the family of Shimei the tribe of Simeon, which is said, according to the rabbinical fiction, to have furnished teachers to the nation.

(Note: Jerome gives the Jewish view thus: "In David the regal tribe is included, i.e., Judah. In Nathan the prophetic order is described. Levi refers to the priests, from whom the priesthood sprang. In Simeon the teachers are included, as the companies of masters sprang from that tribe. He says nothing about the other tribes, as they had no special privilege of dignity.")

But the latter opinion is overthrown, apart from any other reason, by the fact that the patronymic of Simeon is not written שׁמעי, but שׁמעני, in Joshua 21:4; 1 Chronicles 27:16. Still less can the Benjamite Shimei, who cursed David (2 Samuel 16:5.), be intended. משׁפּחת השּׁמעי is the name given in Numbers 3:21 to the family of the son of Gershon and the grandson of Levi (Numbers 3:17.). This is the family intended here, and in harmony with this Nathan is not the prophet of that name, but the son of David, from whom Zerubbabel was descended (Luke 3:27, Luke 3:31). Luther adopted this explanation: "Four families," he says, "are enumerated, two from the royal line, under the names of David and Nathan, and two from the priestly line, as Levi and Shimei; after which he embraces all together." Of two tribes he mentions one leading family and one subordinate branch, to show that not only are all the families of Israel in general seized with the same grief, but all the separate branches of those families. Thus the word mishpâchâh is used here, as in many other cases, in the wider and more restricted meaning of the leading and the subordinate families.

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