Zechariah 13 (National repentance and forgiveness)
(13:1) After a nation repentance, the nation of Israel will experience widespread forgiveness for their sins. This aligns with Paul’s teaching about the nation coming to faith at the end of history (Rom. 11:25-29).
(13:2) Idolatry and false prophecy are predicted in other parts of Scripture (Mt. 24:4-5, 11, 15, 23-24; 2 Thess. 2:2-4; Rev. 9:20; 13:4-15).
(13:3) False prophecy will be so serious that even parents will execute their own children for committing this crime.
(13:4-5) Consequently, false prophets will want to stay evasive and secretive.
(13:6) Some take this to be a prediction about Jesus, because it comes immediately before as messianic prediction (v.7). Moreover, the mention of marks between his arms could refer to the whipping and lashing that Jesus took.
We disagree with this interpretation. In context, the false prophet is still speaking. The “wounds” likely refer to self-inflicted wounds performed in occultic practice (1 Kings 18:28; Lev. 19:28; 21:5; Deut. 14:1; Jer. 16:6; 41:5; 48:37). By contrast, verse 7 is a clear break in context, even changing to the imperatival form and poetic form.
(13:8-9) God will preserve a third of the people who will be a believing remnant. This could be the 144,000 of Revelation 7:1-8; 14:1-5. They swear allegiance to God, so they will be true believers.
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