Zechariah 12:11
In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
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Zechariah 12:11-14. In that day — When the Jews shall mourn for their sins, and for that great sin, the crucifying the Lord of glory; there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem — A mourning expressed by the greatest the Jews ever experienced, the mourning for Josiah slain in Hadadrimmon, a town in the valley of Megiddon. There the lamentations for that good prince began, and were continued for many days from thence to Jerusalem, whither his body was carried to be interred in the sepulchre of his fathers; and there all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for him, and appointed the day to be annually observed with lamentations: so that from thenceforward the mourning for Josiah became a proverb for an extraordinary lamentation. And the land shall mourn, every family apart — The whole land shall mourn in a most solemn manner: and every family shall sequester themselves from business and conversation for that purpose. The house of David apart, and their wives apart — Those of the royal family, who have rejected Christ, shall lead the way. Even husbands and wives shall abstain from each others company, as was usual in times of solemn humiliation. Or, as some learned men suggest, in solemn processions, it was usual for the several orders of men to go distinctly, and likewise for the women to go in ranks by themselves, each tribe, or order of men and women, using a distinct form of lamentation, and expressing their sorrow in different words. This was probably done in the mourning for Josiah, and observed in the times after the return from captivity: see 2 Chronicles 35:25, to which ceremonies the expressions of text may allude. The family of Nathan apart — David had a son named Nathan, 2 Samuel 5:14. This branch of the royal family seems to be here meant, as that by Solomon is implied in the preceding clause. “It is possible,” says Newcome, “that at the final restoration of the Jews, the genealogies of some tribes may be found to have been preserved; and that the family of David may be traced up to more than one of its collateral branches; each of which, on account of its distinguished eminence, is to mourn apart.” The house of Levi apart — If the tribe of Levi be intended, it may be observed, the sacerdotal tribe were the most bitter persecutors of Christ; they hired the traitor, they sought witnesses; the high-priest, the head of that family, condemned him to die: for all which sins they shall one day be called upon to reckon with God, and therefore, above other tribes, are particularly named as chief mourners, for their injustice and cruelty to their Messiah. But probably a Levi, mentioned Luke 3:29, is meant. The family of Shimei apart — For Shimei, the LXX., Arabic, and Syriac have Simeon. “As Nathan, Simeon, and Levi, are all reckoned among the progenitors of Christ, Luke 3:29-31, may not their families be mentioned by name as more particularly concerned in the guilt to be lamented? For neither did his brethren believe in him, John 7:5.” — Blayney. All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart — Thus, after the mention of four particulars, he completes the induction by a general clause. As if he had said, It would be tedious to mention every family and their wives, though but once, therefore a general comprehensive account may suffice: some of every family, of the whole remnant of Israel, shall mourn, look to, believe in, and obey Christ. Thus the mourning of the Jews for their Messiah shall bear some proportion to their violence and cruelty against him; and they, through faith, shall live by the death of him whom they slew, and rise to glory by him whom they loaded with reproaches! What will not grace do, when it converts, accepts, comforts, and glorifies such offenders!

12:9-14 The day here spoken of, is the day of Jerusalem's defence and deliverance, that glorious day when God will appear for the salvation of his people. In Christ's first coming he bruised the serpent's head, and broke all the powers of darkness that fought against God's kingdom among men. In his second coming he will complete their destruction, when he shall put down all opposing rule, principality, and power; and death itself shall be swallowed up in that victory. The Holy Spirit is gracious and merciful, and is the Author of all grace or holiness. He, also, is the Spirit of supplications, and shows men their ignorance, want, guilt, misery, and danger. At the time here foretold, the Jews will know who the crucified Jesus was; then they shall look by faith to him, and mourn with the deepest sorrow, not only in public, but in private, even each one separately. There is a holy mourning, the effect of the pouring out of the Spirit; a mourning for sin, which quickens faith in Christ, and qualifies for joy in God. This mourning is a fruit of the Spirit of grace, a proof of a work of grace in the soul, and of the Spirit of supplications. It is fulfilled in all who sorrow for sin after a godly sort; they look to Christ crucified, and mourn for him. Looking by faith upon the cross of Christ will cause us to mourn for sin after a godly sort.As the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon - This was the greatest sorrow, which had fallen on Judah. Josiah was the last hope of its declining kingdom. His sons probably showed already their unlikeness to their father, whereby they precipitated their country's fall. in Josiah's death the last gleam of the sunset of Judah faded into night. Of him it is recorded, that "his pious acts, according to what was written in the law of the Lord," were written in his country's history 2 Chronicles 35:26, 2 Chronicles 35:7; for him the prophet "Jeremiah wrote a dirge" 2 Chronicles 35:25; "all" the minstrels of his country "spake of him in their dirges" 2 Chronicles 35:25. The dirges were "made an ordinance" which survived the captivity; "to this day" 2 Chronicles 35:25, it is said at the close of the Chronicles. Among the gathering sorrows of Israel, this lament over Josiah was written in the national collection of "dirges" 2 Chronicles 35:25. "Hadadrimmon," as being compounded of the name of two Syrian idols, is, in its name, a witness how Syrian idolatry penetrated into the kingdom, when it was detached from the worship of God. It was (Jerome) "a city near Jezreel, now called Maximinianopolis in the plain of Megiddon, in which the righteous king Josiah was wounded by Pharaoh Necho." This "was 17 miles from Caesarea, 10 from Esdraelon." Its name still survives in a small village, south of Megiddon , and so, on the way back to Jerusalem. 11. As in Zec 12:10 the bitterness of their mourning is illustrated by a private case of mourning, so in this verse by a public one, the greatest recorded in Jewish history, that for the violent death in battle with Pharaoh-necho of the good King Josiah, whose reign had been the only gleam of brightness for the period from Hezekiah to the downfall of the state; lamentations were written by Jeremiah for the occasion (2Ki 23:29, 30; 2Ch 35:22-27).

Hadad-rimmon—a place or city in the great plain of Esdraelon, the battlefield of many a conflict, near Megiddo; called so from the Syrian idol Rimmon. Hadad also was the name of the sun, a chief god of the Syrians [Macrobius, Saturnalia, 1.23].

In that day, when the Jews shall know, own, and mourn for their sins and for that great sin in crucifying the Lord of glory, shall there be a great mourning; a very great mourning, which is expressed by the greatest the Jews ever were acquainted with. and which for its greatness grew up into a proverb:

The mourning of Hadadrimmon, or the mourning for Josiah slain at Hadadrimmon, a town in the valley of Megiddon. Of this mourning see 2 Chronicles 35:24,25.

In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem,.... Great numbers being awakened, convinced, and converted, and brought to true repentance:

as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. Lightfoot (i) thinks the prophet alludes to the two great and general lamentations of Israel; the one about the rock Rimmon, where a whole tribe was come to four hundred (it should be six hundred) men, Judges 20:47 and may be rendered, "the sad shout of Rimmon"; and the other in the valley of Megiddo, for the death of Josiah. Some take Hadadrimmon to be the name of a man, as Aben Ezra; and the Targum and Jarchi say who he was, and also make two mournings to be alluded to (k); paraphrasing the words thus,

"at that time mourning shall be multiplied in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Ahab the son of Omri, whom Hadadrimmon the son of Tabrimmon slew in Ramothgilead; and as the mourning of Josiah, the son of Amon, whom Pharaohnecho, or the lame, slew in the valley of Megiddo:''

and so the Syriac version renders it,

"as the mourning of the son of Amon in the valley of Megiddo.''

Of the first of these, see 1 Kings 22:31 and of the latter, 2 Kings 23:29 according to Jerom, it was the name of a place in the valley of Megiddo, near to Jezreel; and which, in his time, went by the name of Maximianopolis, called so in honour of the Emperor Maximian; it was seventeen miles from Caesarea in Palestine, and ten miles from Jezreel (l); and mention is made by Jewish (m) writers of the valley of Rimmon, in which place the elders intercalated the year; though Jerom elsewhere (n) says, that Adadrimon was a king, the son of Tabrimmon, who reigned at Carchemish, whom Pharaohnecho slew at the same time he slew Josiah. Both words, Hadad, or Adad, and Rimmon, are names of idols with the Syrians.

(i) Works, vol. 1. p. 46. (k) Vid. T. Bab. Megillah, fol. 3. 1. & Gloss. in ib. & Moed Katon, fol. 28. 2.((l) Vid. Reland. Palestina Illustrata, tom. 2. p. 892. (m) T. Hieros. Chagigah, fol. 78. 4. (n) Trad. Heb. fol. 86. I.

In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the {h} mourning of {i} Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

(h) They will exceedingly lament and repent for their offences against God.

(i) Which was the name of a town and place near to Megiddo, where Josiah was slain; 2Ch 35:22.

11. Hadadrimmon] This is generally supposed, on the authority of Jerome, to have been a city near Jezreel, called in his day Maximinianopolis, in the valley of Megiddo, and the place where Josiah was fatally wounded by Pharaoh-Necho, king of Egypt. Both accounts of Josiah’s death state that it was “at,” or “in the valley of” Megiddo, that his wound was received (2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:22), while the fuller account in the Book of Chronicles not only affirms the national character of the mourning for him at the time, “all Judah and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah,” but informs us that the prophet Jeremiah, probably in some dirge composed for the occasion, “lamented for him,” and that the anniversary of his death long continued to be observed as a day of national calamity. “All the singing men and the singing women spake of Josiah in their lamentations to this day, and (they) made them an ordinance in Israel; and behold they are written in the lamentations.” “The grief of the people at the fall of their brave and pious king at the age of thirty-nine years was extraordinarily deep. It seemed as though a gloomy foreboding would take possession of their minds that his fall really involved that of the realm itself, of which he had been the last great prop. Long years after, the elegies composed on him by Jeremiah, and sung among the people, were still preserved, and were repeated with a sad pleasure on the days set apart for the commemoration of the royal hero.” Ewald.

Verse 11. - As if the above comparisons were not strong enough, the prophet presents a new one, referring to an historical event, which occasioned a universal mourning in Jerusalem. As the mourning of (at) Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon. This is generally supposed to refer to the death of King Josiah of a wound received at Megiddo, in the battle with Pharaoh-Necho ( B.C. 60) ),and to the national lamentation made for him and long observed on the anniversary of the calamity (see 2 Kings 23:29; 2 Chronicles 35:20-25). This universal and perennial mourning is a figure of the continual remembrance of the death of Christ in the Church. There is a difficulty about the identification of Hadadrimmon. St. Jerome says it was a place in the Plain of Megiddo, near Jezreel, and known in his day by the name of Maximianopolis. This is supposed to be Rummaneh, seven miles northwest of Jezreel, on the southern edge of the Plain of Esdraelon. But the identification is far from certain. The Assyrian name given to the place may, as Lowe suggests, be a confirmation of the post-exilian origin of the prophecy. The site of Megiddo also is undetermined, though Condor suggests Mujedda, a ruined city about three miles south of Bethshean. The opinion that the name Hadadrimmon is that of a Syrian or Phoenician god, whose rites were celebrated as those of Adonis ("the weeping for Tammuz" of Ezekiel 8:14), is preposterous; and the idea that the prophet would thus refer to the worship of an abominable idol is one that could have occurred only to disbelievers in revelation. The LXX., mistaking the text, gives, ὡς κοπετὸς ῤοῶνος ἐν πεδίῳ ἐκκοπτομένου, "as mourning for a pomegranate cut off in the plain." Zechariah 12:11In Zechariah 12:11-14 the magnitude and universality of the mourning are still further depicted. Zechariah 12:11. "In that day the mourning in Jerusalem will be great, like the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddo. Zechariah 12:12. And the land will mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart. Zechariah 12:13. The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of the Shimeite apart, and their wives apart. Zechariah 12:14. All the rest of the families, every family apart, and their wives apart." In Zechariah 12:11, the depth and bitterness of the pain on account of the slain Messiah are depicted by comparing it to the mourning of Hadad-rimmon. Jerome says with regard to this: "Adad-remmon is a city near Jerusalem, which was formerly called by this name, but is now called Maximianopolis, in the field of Mageddon, where the good king Josiah was wounded by Pharaoh Necho." This statement of Jerome is confirmed by the fact that the ancient Canaanitish or Hebrew name of the city has been preserved in Rmuni, a small village three-quarters of an hour to the south of Lejun (Legio equals Megiddo: see at Joshua 12:21; and V. de Velde, Reise, i. p. 267). The mourning of Hadad-rimmon is therefore the mourning for the calamity which befel Israel at Hadad-rimmon in the death of the good king Josiah, who was mortally wounded in the valley Megiddo, according to 2 Chronicles 35:22., so that he very soon gave up the ghost. The death of this most pious of all the kings of Judah was bewailed by the people, especially the righteous members of the nation, so bitterly, that not only did the prophet Jeremiah compose an elegy on his death, but other singers, both male and female, bewailed him in dirges, which were placed in a collection of elegiac songs, and preserved in Israel till long after the captivity (2 Chronicles 35:25). Zechariah compares the lamentation for the putting of the Messiah to death to this great national mourning. All the other explanations that have been given of these words are so arbitrary, as hardly to be worthy of notice. This applies, for example, to the idea mentioned by the Chald., that the reference is to the death of the wicked Ahab, and also to Hitzig's hypothesis, that Hadad-rimmon was the one name of the god Adonis. For, apart from the fact that it is only from this passage that Movers has inferred that there ever was an idol of that name, a prophet of Jehovah could not possibly have compared the great lamentation of the Israelites over the death of the Messiah to the lamentation over the death of Ahab the ungodly king of Israel, or to the mourning for a Syrian idol. But the mourning will not be confined to Jerusalem; the land (hâ'ârets), i.e., the whole nation, will also mourn. This universality of the lamentation is individualized in Zechariah 12:12-14, and so depicted as to show that all the families and households of the nation mourn, and not the men only, but also the women. To this end the prophet mentions four distinct leading and secondary families, and then adds in conclusion, "all the rest of the families, with their wives." Of the several families named, two can be determined with certainty, - namely, the family of the house of David, i.e., the posterity of king David, and the family of the house of Levi, i.e., the posterity of the patriarch Levi. But about the other two families there is a difference of opinion. The rabbinical writers suppose that Nathan is the well known prophet of that name, and the family of Shimei the tribe of Simeon, which is said, according to the rabbinical fiction, to have furnished teachers to the nation.

(Note: Jerome gives the Jewish view thus: "In David the regal tribe is included, i.e., Judah. In Nathan the prophetic order is described. Levi refers to the priests, from whom the priesthood sprang. In Simeon the teachers are included, as the companies of masters sprang from that tribe. He says nothing about the other tribes, as they had no special privilege of dignity.")

But the latter opinion is overthrown, apart from any other reason, by the fact that the patronymic of Simeon is not written שׁמעי, but שׁמעני, in Joshua 21:4; 1 Chronicles 27:16. Still less can the Benjamite Shimei, who cursed David (2 Samuel 16:5.), be intended. משׁפּחת השּׁמעי is the name given in Numbers 3:21 to the family of the son of Gershon and the grandson of Levi (Numbers 3:17.). This is the family intended here, and in harmony with this Nathan is not the prophet of that name, but the son of David, from whom Zerubbabel was descended (Luke 3:27, Luke 3:31). Luther adopted this explanation: "Four families," he says, "are enumerated, two from the royal line, under the names of David and Nathan, and two from the priestly line, as Levi and Shimei; after which he embraces all together." Of two tribes he mentions one leading family and one subordinate branch, to show that not only are all the families of Israel in general seized with the same grief, but all the separate branches of those families. Thus the word mishpâchâh is used here, as in many other cases, in the wider and more restricted meaning of the leading and the subordinate families.

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