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

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

By Dr. Richard Booker

PART 6 OF 6

“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).

Jerusalem – God’s Blood-Stained Threshold

The word “thresh” when applied to people means to violently beat, to hit, to punch or to strike. The word brings to mind a boxer hitting his opponent as hard and as fast as he can or someone interrogating a prisoner. We would say that he bloodied his opponent. Or we might say that he gave his opponent a “good thrashing.” This brings me to the second Hebrew word translated as threshold. The word is miphtan (pronounced as miftawn).

People in Bible times understood that the threshold was more than just the bottom of the doorway entrance into their house. It was also the altar to their god. As I mentioned previously, the threshold was made with a hole or groove where the blood was poured when the sacrifice was made dedicating their house and themselves to their god. This is what was happening in Egypt at Passover.

An important resource for understanding words in the Bible is the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew-English Lexicon. This reference says that miphtan in Hebrew means “crossbar.” In Arabic miphtan means “carpenter.”  A carpenter is one who threshes and carries wood such as a crossbar.

Did you get that? To followers of Jesus, the blood-stained threshold at Passover was a picture of a carpenter who had been beaten, punched, struck, bloodied, and made to carry a crossbar. He did this in Jerusalem, God’s threshold city. So not only did God give Jerusalem to the Jewish people as an everlasting possession, Jerusalem is where Jesus was threshed by the shedding of his own blood. Jerusalem is God’s threshold city and the Temple Mount is where Jesus was crucified.

So when the Muslims say that the Jews never had a Temple on the Temple Mount, they are denying both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. Shouldn’t this be just as important to Christians as it should be to Jews?

What this means is that the battle for Jerusalem (and the Temple Mount) is a spiritual battle. It is a battle between the One True God and the demonic spirits of this world. It is a battle between the God of the Bible and the god of the Koran. It is a battle between the God of Israel and the god of Arabia. It is a battle between the God of love and life and the god of hate and death. It is a battle between the living resurrected Jesus of Nazareth and the dead and buried Mohammed of Mecca. And the outcome is certain.

Zechariah explains, “In that day [our times?] the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; the one who is feeble among them in that day shall be like David, and the house of David shall be like God, like the Angel of the LORD before them. It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem” (Zechariah 2:8-9).

The prophet Joel speaks about the same spiritual battle and puts it in our times, “For behold, in those days and at that time, when I bring back the captives of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and bring them to the Valley of Jehoshaphat; and I will enter into judgment with them there on account of My people, My heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations; they have also divided up My land” (Joel 3:1-2).

What Does this Mean?

It is clear that if you want God’s blessings you must bless Israel and the Jewish people. Genesis 12:3 is still in place today where God says He will bless those who bless the Jewish people but He will curse those who curse them. We bless Israel and the Jewish people by praying for (actively seeking the good, well-being of) Jerusalem, making a pilgrimage to Israel and the Feast of Tabernacles, supporting legitimate organizations that support Israel, learning the issues and speaking out against anti-Semitism and Israel-thrashing.

We must also leave any organization such as political parties, churches and synagogues and any other organization that does not support the rights of the Jewish people to live safely and securely in Judea and Samaria, their ancient God-given homeland, with Jerusalem as their eternal, undivided capital. Either stand with the God of Israel and His people or fall under the weight of God’s judgment.

While the nation’s rage and world leader’s scheme and make their speeches, God is in the heavens laughing. The prophet Joel explains God’s response to foolish UN resolutions, “The LORD also will roar from Zion, and utter His voice from Jerusalem; the heavens and earth will shake; but the LORD will be a shelter for His people, and the strength of the children of Israel. So you shall know that I am the LORD your God, dwelling in Zion My holy mountain. Then Jerusalem shall be holy, and no aliens shall ever pass through her again” (Joel 3:16-17).

Jerusalem – the Throne City of God

When all is said and done, Zechariah tells us “the rest of the story” you will not hear on the evening news, “Thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Peoples shall yet come, the inhabitants of many cities; the inhabitants of one city will go to another saying, ‘Let us continue to go and pray before the LORD, and seek the LORD of hosts. I myself will go also.’ Yes, many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the LORD of hosts.’

“Thus says the LORD of hosts: In those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve [tzitzit] of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have hear that God is with you’” (Zechariah 8:20-23).

Jeremiah gives the last word, “At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the LORD, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the LORD, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts” (Jeremiah 3:17).