The Cultural Context of Zechariah 12:2-3 PART 1 OF 6

And What it Means to Our World Today—Right Now!

By Dr. Richard Booker

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem. And it shall happen in that day that I will make Jerusalem a very heavy stone for all peoples; all who would heave it away will surely be cut in pieces, though all nations of the earth are gathered against it” (Zechariah 12:2-3).

Americans were shocked when our President and State Department abstained in the declaration by the United Nations stating that Judea and Samaria, and even Jerusalem, should be taken from the Jews and given to the Arabs. We were further outraged when Secretary of State John Kerry delivered his hostile and distorted speech blaming the Jews for lack of peace with their neighbors. Now with the “Peace” conference scheduled in Paris for January 15, concerned Israelis and Americans are bracing for even more anti-Israel declarations and demands.

This has caused both Jews and Christians to open their Bibles to see if the Word of God says anything about this. And it says plenty. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the One True God, says over and over, and over and over, that He will preserve a remnant of the Jewish people in the nations and bring them back to their ancient land. While secular people may not understand this, you cannot be a faithful Jew or Christian without realizing that the modern ingathering of the Jewish people to a restored Israel is a work of God in fulfilling His Word. This is one of the major themes in the Bible which brings us to the prophecy of Zechariah.

Zechariah’s Prophecy

Zechariah’s name means, “Yahweh Remembers” and the theme of his prophecies was to encourage the people that “the Lord remembers Zion.” That should tell us something, don’t you think? He prophesied in the years of 520-475 B.C. to the Jews who had returned to Jerusalem from Babylon/Persia in 536 B.C. with the approval of King Cyrus. How ironic considering the issue of today’s Temple Mount that Zechariah’s primary message was to encourage the Jews who had returned to their land to rebuild the Temple. Think about that!

But Zechariah’s prophecies were not limited to his time and circumstances. He looked into the future and spoke about the time when Jews would return from all the nations. He spoke about our times but he did so using the cultural expressions of his time that we do not understand in our modern world. We must study the culture of the Bible to understand Zechariah’s words as his listeners would have understood them and their meaning for us today. Understood in their cultural context, his words are much more profound and have much more power than we realize. Their fulfillment will shake the nations and change the world. It may happen sooner than we think.

I would need to write a book to fully explain the depth of the cultural background and meaning of his words. In this presentation I can only share a brief, simplified overview. I am available to give the full lecture if anyone is interested.

I will explain the sacred nature of property in Part 2. Be looking for it.