The book of Zechariah begins with a title verse providing information concerning the date, authorship, and source of the revelation. It states that the prophecy occurred in the eighth month of the second year of Darius (vs 1). The biblical material likely dates the prophetic message according to the regnal year of the Persian king because there was no king in Judah during that time. Judah had been conquered by Babylon, which in turn had been taken over by Persia (Daniel 5:30-31).
The term prophet [“nābî” in Hebrew] means “proclaimer” or “forth-teller.” It describes someone who received a call from God to be God’s spokesman. A prophet was God’s emissary. He had a particular calling to see or hear what God was saying, live it out in his life, and proclaim it to the people roundabout. That means the prophet could not speak from his authority and was not free to say what he pleased. Rather, he was to discern what God thought about a given situation, what His attitude was toward the people’s behavior in the past, what He required of them in the present, and how He would act in their favor in the future.
In Zechariah 12, the Suzerain God shifts from pronouncing a time of judgement and now promises to defend Judah and deliver her from all hostile nations. He will elevate her to prominence and defeat the nations who rise against her. Moreover, He will bestow a spirit of grace and supplication on all the Judeans, causing them to mourn bitterly for rejecting Him. At that time, all the clans of Judah will repent and turn to God in genuine faith. The passage’s outline is as follows:
This prophecy likely looks to a siege in the End Times, where Jesus will save His people from their enemies (Revelation 16:16, 19:16, Zechariah 14:1-4). The section about Israel mourning that they pierced God is a clear allusion to the future event of Israel one day recognizing Jesus as their Messiah and repenting for rejecting Him. It seems that in doing so, then Jesus will return and deliver Israel, and rule as her King and God.