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Zechariah12:10 - Who is pierced?

 

 

In this essay we will examine more claims of rabbi Tovia Singer and see if they are accurate. This time we are going to look at Zechariah 12:10. This verse is also quoted in the New Testament. Let’s take a look at it from Zechariah:

Wehibitu elai, et asher-daqaru, wesafdu alaaw, kemisped al-hayachid, wehamer alaaw, kehamer al-habechor
and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through; and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.

 

Charge #1: John needed to change Zechariah 12:10 to make it fit Yeshua. (2:45)  

This is the first claim of rabbi Tovia Singer. But did John really have to change the text? The way John quotes Zechariah 12:10 actually doesn’t change anything about the meaning of the verse. The point John wants to make is that Yeshua is the pierced one. It would have been a loose/loose situation anyway, cause had John quoted it as in Zechariah, then he would have been accused of trying to say that Yeshua was God and that therefore God was pierced, etc, you name the accusations. Instead, all John was trying to communicate to his readers is that Yeshua is the pierced one.

Notice also that John doesn’t quote the entire verse, but leaves out the mourning part. John is not saying that this prophecy is fulfilled there and then. He is trying to make clear that He is the one they will look upon, the pierced one. It is in Revelation that he actually quotes the entire verse including the mourning and then this prophecy will come to it’s fulfilment. But whether it says “they will look upon me” or, “they will look upon him” makes no difference to the message of John. Also the verse from Zechariah doesn’t say that they will look upon the pierced one there and then, meaning that the pierced one is pierced there and then. In order for them to look upon the pierced one, he must be pierced first and when this will happen is not told in the text. If this must still happen, then this will be very unusual in this time and age of guns and missiles. Rarely is someone in current wars being thrusted through. Bottom line is that John didn’t have to change anything to try to make Yeshua fit this prophecy. The point he wanted to make remains the same.

 

Charge #2: Et asher (11:20)

Rabbi Tovia Singer claims that the words “et asher” means “because of the one”. Is this true? And if it isn’t, is this just a slip of the tongue by the rabbi? Since there is an enormous pride in the anti-missionary community and an emphasis of knowledge of the Hebrew language, one may be lead to the logical conclusion that rabbi Singer either knows enough Hebrew to know what the meaning is or that rabbi Singer studied this out enough to know what he is talking about and, most importantly of course, we would find nothing to contradict that view the Tenach. The fact, however, is that rabbi Singer is completely wrong! The meaning of the words “et asher” is totally dependent on the context it is written in. Meaning, that it depends on whether it refers to a situation or it refers to a person. If it refers to a situation it means “because of” or “regarding” or “that which” (or anything similar), but if it refers to a person it means “whom” or “who” or “whosoever” (or anything similar).

I could find a total of 18 instances in 17 verses where the words “et asher” is used in relation to a person and I have noticed one thing: not 1 single instance can it be translated with “because of the one”, the translation rabbi Singer so confidently recommended, without making a total mess of the verse. I will give you some key examples of the application of “et asher” which clearly show the false claims of rabbi Singer:

 

 

The first example from 1 Samuel 16:3 is a striking example of what I have been saying above. The first “et asher” refers to a situation and is translated as “what”, whereas the second refers to a person and can’t mean “because of the one”, but plainly “whom”. The last example of Jeremiah has an exact same grammatical structure as Zechariah 12:10! I wonder how rabbi Singer can put his strongly suggested translation in this verse if “et asher” really means “because of the one”:

 

 

So where does this leave the claim of rabbi Singer? And I wonder how rabbi Singer can put his strongly suggested translation in this verse if “et asher” really means “because of the one”. How did he come to that conclusion? Fact is that rabbi Tovia Singer’s claim is false. The correct translation of this verse is:  “And they will look to Me, Whom/the One they have pierced, …”. Since rabbi Singer practically accuses others for not knowing Hebrew and therefore unable to know the true meaning of certain words, didn’t rabbi Singer really know the meaning of the simple Hebrew words “et-asher” himself? I will let you decide if this was just a “slip of the tongue” of rabbi Singer or that this was a deliberate attempt to misinform his audience. But to me, this reveals to what lengths he will go to try to disprove Messianic Jewish faith.

  

Additional comments

As for the interchangeable use of “Me” and “Him”, this is common in the Hebrew Bible. I would point you to Genesis 18:17-19

And YHWH said: 'Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing; seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, to the end that he may command his children and his household after him, that they may keep the way of YHWH, to do righteousness and justice; to the end that YHWH may bring upon Abraham that which He hath spoken of him.'

In addition, I would like to address a common charge of anti-missionaries. It goes “Jews never pierced Jesus, it were the Romans. So this prophecy couldn’t possibly be about Israel piercing Jesus because nothing like that ever happened.”

This argument is also contrary the testimony that the Hebrew Bible gives us. Let’s look at the story of David and Uriah in 2 Samuel 11. David sleeps with the wife of Uriah and wants to cover up his adultery, because he tried to have Uriah sleep with Batsheva so that people would think that Uriah was the father of the child she was carrying. But when Uriah didn’t go along with the game, David decided to get rid of Uriah in order to take Batsheva as his wife and all would be well. So he ordered to have Uriah put in the line of fire in the war with the Ammonites and make sure that he wouldn’t survive. And so happened. But look at how God thought about this act of David in 2 Samuel 12:9;

Wherefore hast thou despised the word of YHWH, to do that which is evil in My sight? Uriah the Hittite thou hast smitten with the sword, and his wife thou hast taken to be thy wife, and him thou hast slain with the sword of the children of Ammon.

So we see here that God smashes David for the death of Uriah although David was many miles removed from the battlefield. However God knows that David ordered and arranged the death of Uriah and God reckoned it as if David himself had personally slain Uriah. Likewise there is no denying that Yeshua’s death was ordered and arranged by leading men amongst the Jewish community.

 

Another common argument is the “mourning of the living”. This is how the anti-missionary argument basically goes: “If Jesus was to appear and we would see him alive, then why would we mourn? We would rejoice instead because Moshiach has finally arrived!”

I would say that, considering the way anti-missionaries think about Yeshua and all they have spoken against him and how they have resisted him to the extend that his name is even forbidden to be mentioned in a lot of traditional Jewish homes and is even a curse word! (Remember that Hitler and Muhammad are names that aren’t banned from Jewish homes and are persons that can be discussed freely!) If this same despised Yeshua would appear and reveal himself as Moshiach, whom the Jewish people have been longing for, for centuries and centuries and if everything we have said about him appears to be true and everything rabbinic Judaism has been saying about him appears to be wrong, from the moment he was rejected up until this day, do you really think that there would be a rejoicing? Just go to a search engine  on the internet and type in the word “anti-missionary” or “counter missionary” and go to those websites and see what is the basic consensus among those groups about Yeshua. Now bare in mind that those aren’t words just to be making a statement, casual words. Those are words from the very heart! If all that violent rejection of what would suddenly appear to be Moshiach [i.e. Moshiach of “… - Ani ma’amin…], all this time actually has been the rejecting of the Anointed of YHWH, I doubt very strongly that there would be any rejoicing whatsoever taking place. Just listen to the lectures of rabbi Tovia Singer and his insults when he repeatedly speaks about “leaving skid marks”! Just think about that, that when reality hits home and reality shows that Yeshua is the One, Melech Moshiach ben David. What will your reaction be?

 

What then do we make of rabbi Tovia Singer’s claims? They are totally untrue!

 

 

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