WHAT IS THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF THE VERSE ZECHARIAH 12:10?
In Zechariah 12:10 it is written:
10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, 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 firstborn.
In the majority of the translations to English it is written “and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced”, because in the Masoretic Hebrew text it is written וְהִבִּיטוּ אֵלַי אֵת אֲשֶׁר דָּקָרוּ vehibitu elai et to asher daqaru, what means “and they will look upon me whom they have pierced”.
However, the correct punctuation (vocalization) of the Hebrew word אלי, in this case, is אֱלֵי (elei), and not אֵלָי (elai), because in this verse it is God who is speaking, so that the punctuation (vocalization) that the Masoretes have placed in the word אלי, in this in case, leads to absurdity, because אֵלָי (elai) means “upon me”, so that, with this punctuation (vocalization), it would be written that God said “and they will look upon me whom they have pierced”, what is an absurdity, because God cannot be pierced by anybody, because He is the Almighty, and He is not flesh, so that it is obvious that in this in case that the correct punctuation (vocalization) is אֱלֵי (elei), that means “upon”, so that the correct translation is “and they will look upon him whom they have pierced”.
The Hebrew alphabet, originally, only had consonants, and it was only from the century V EC on that the Masoretes invented the punctuation system (niqud, or nikud) to represent the vowels.
The sacred and divinely inspired text of the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) is composed only of consonants, because when the prophets wrote the sacred books (from the century XV AEC to the century V AEC) the Hebrew alphabet was composed only of consonants, and the Masoretic system of punctuation (niqud), to indicate the vowels, had not yet been invented.
The Masoretes, who have placed the vocalic signals in the text of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible), were not prophets, so that the vocalic signals that are found in the editions of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) occasionally can be mistaken, so that, when the vocalization (punctuation) that is in the Masoretic text is not correct, we must modify the punctuation (vocalization), correcting the error.
In the case of the verse Zechariah 12:10, the correct vocalization (punctuation) of the word אלי is אֱלֵי (elei), and not אֵלָי (elai), as demonstrated above, so that we must modify the punctuation of the word אלי, in order that it be אֱלֵי (elei) (that means “upon”) instead of אֵלָי (elai) (that means upon me).
So, the correct Hebrew text of the mentioned passage is וְהִבִּיטוּ אֱלֵי אֵת אֲשֶׁר דָּקָרוּ vehibitu elei et asher daqaru, that it means “and they will look upon him whom they have pierced”.
Therefore, the correct translation is “and they will look upon him whom they have pierced”.
Be noticed that in the Gospel according to John 19:37 the mentioned passage is translated as “they will look upon him whom they have pierced” (in Greek Ὄψονται εἰς ὃν ἐξεκέντησαν (ópsontai eis hon exekéntesan), what shows that in the verse Zechariah 12:10 the vocalization of word אלי as אֵלָי (elai) is so much absurd that even the author of the Gospel according to John, who wrote the mentioned book to try to convince the people that Jesus is God, vocalized the word אלי as אֱלֵי (elei) (that means “upon”) and not as אֵלָי (elai) (that means “upon me”).
The correct interpretation of the verse Zechariah 12:10 is the following one:
The verses Zechariah 12:1-9 show that there will be a war of all nations against Israel, and the verse Zechariah 12:10 shows that, in that war, a Jewish leader will be pierced by the armies of the nations and will die, and all the people of Israel will mourn for him, making a very great mourning.
It is obvious that the people who will pierce that man will not be the same people who will mourn his death, because the people who will pierce him will be his enemies, who will be wanting to kill him, so that, for those who will pierce him his death will be reason for rejoicing and not for mourning, and only for the people of Israel the death of that man will be reason for mourning.
The Christians interpret the verse Zechariah 12:10 saying that the one who was pierced is Jesus the Nazarene, who was pierced when he was crucified, and that the Jews will look upon resurrected Jesus and will mourn for him, but this interpretation is not logical, because if Jesus is already resurrected, there will be no reason to mourn for him. People only mourn those who died and are still dead. If the dead resurrects, there is no more reason for mourning, but for rejoicing over the resurrection.
Moreover, the Christians take advantage of the error of punctuation (vocalization) committed by the Masoretes, when they punctuated (vocalized) the word אלי as אֵלָי (elai) instead of אֱלֵי (elei), to say that Jesus the Nazarene is God, because, with this mistaken punctuation, it would be written that God said, "and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced". However, as was demonstrated above, the correct punctuation is אֱלֵי (elei), which means “upon", because the punctuation אֵלָי (elai), which means “upon me", leads to absurdity, because God cannot be pierced by anyone, because He is the Almighty, and He is not flesh.
Furthermore, it is absurd to say that Jesus the Nazarene is God, because God is the Creator of all things, and Jesus is a man, who is a creature, and it is completely impossible the creature to be the Creator, and it is completely impossible one person to be another person.
In addition, God said that He is one (Deuteronomy 6:4), so that the doctrine that says that God is two, or three, is a false doctrine.
For more details on this topic, see the page http://www.caraita.teo.br/is_jesus_god.htm .
Yahveh bless you.
João Paulo Fernandes Pontes (Hebrew name: Yochanan Ben Yosef).
Published in March 30, 2014.
Updated in August 24, 2015.