Debunking 365 Messianic Prophecies – Zechariah – Part 3 – Rabbi Michael Skobac

And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your hands?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’ – Zechariah 13:6

Join us as we continue to investigate the alleged 365 messianic prophesies in the Tanakh that Jesus supposedly fulfilled in the New Testament!

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  1. Juris says

    Dear Rabbi and Jono!

    I have been lostening to your programms lately quite a lot and like them. But would like you to clarify some things from Zechariah 12:10. Some Jewish translators, including Rabbi Singer, think that in this passage the most closest translation of the werb translated as “pierced”, should be “thrust through”. Of course, it could mean the same thing as pierced in certain circumstances. Still, it would require specification if one wants to use this phrasal werb in the meaning of piercing with spear or knife etc. Like -the spear was theust through bla bla. And in this case it is not the case.

    So what if, assuming that this is the best interpretation, it could be closer to the meanings such as – “pushed away” or “rejected”, or “pushed aside”…?

    In this case the passage could go like this:
    …and they shall look unto Me because they have thrust him through (pushed aside or rejected)…; and they shall mourn for him, 


    …and they shall look towards me, regarding those (or the one) whom the nations (some Jewish translations have the word nations added) have thrust through (rejected or dismissed). And they shall mourn for him…

    The singular version in my view would make more sense combined with the following sentence. But it is not for me to say since I do not speak Hebrow.

    The socond thing is about your comment about muslims calling Abraham muslim. You seem to know a lot about christians and not to much about Islam. If you knew you would know that according to definitions anyone, including Jews and Christians can be called muslims for it does not mean a follower of Muhammad.

    Wikipedia says that the meaning of the word Islam is – voluntary submission to the God. And muslim is simply follover this philosophy. So anyone who voluntarily submiss his life to the God or God’s will is muslim. So there should be no daubt that Abraham and Noah did just that. Since the view that they are muslims.

  2. Sophiee Saguy says

    The verb דקר means to stab, not “to pierce”. ‘

    This passage describes how before the “Time of the End” the non-Jewish nations will lay siege to Jerusalem, but these enemies will eventually be themselves destroyed and Jerusalem will regain its freedom.

    G-d will then intervene and all the enemies attacking Jerusalem will be miraculously wiped out, and then G-d will “pour out a spirit of graciousness and prayer over the Royal Dynasty and all the people living in Jerusalem and the peace that will follow this upheaval will be so complete, says G-d, that “they” [the Jews] “will gaze towards Me” [in astonishment] “because of” [even one person] “whom they” [the enemies] “have stabbed” etc.

    As the rabbi pointed out, this has not happened yet and it certainly did not happen 2000 years ago.

    This paste from UriYosef’s article on Zechariah 12:10 may help you:

    At issue is the mistranslation of the Hebrew expression אֵת אֲשֶׁר־דָּקָרוּ (et asher-daqaru) found at Zechariah 12:10B(i), the correct translation of which is: because of (or, concerning) him who they pierced [or, alternatively, because of (or, concerning) the ones who they pierced].

    The Hebrew words אֵת (et) [אֶת־ when in a hyphenated phrase] and אֲשֶׁר (asher) are ubiquitous in the Hebrew Bible. אֵת is a preposition that serves as the marker of a definite direct object of a verb. In its root form, it is similar to the definite article “the” in English. However, unlike the case of the English language, אֵת can be inflected, and thereby it becomes the objective case of the respective pronoun, such as אוֹתִי (oti), me (1st-person, singular, masculine or feminine pronoun; as in “He taught me.”), אוֹתְךָ (otcha), you (2nd-person, singular, masculine pronoun; as in “He taught you.”), etc. The word אֵת may also serve as the preposition with, and it can be inflected in that context as well, albeit differently, such as, אִתִּי (iti), with me, אִתְּךָ (itcha), with you, etc. The Hebrew word אֲשֶׁר (asher) is a conjunction, a part of speech that connects other words or phrases. אֲשֶׁר can mean that or which, who or whom, because or for, as to or regarding, and it may take on other meanings when combined with prepositions.

    אֵת and אֲשֶׁר also combine into the phrase אֵת אֲשֶׁר (et asher) [also אֶת־אֲשֶׁר]. This phrase, too, can take on several different meanings, as the grammatical syntax of a sentence, or verse, dictates. The major difference between the term אֲשֶׁר and the phrase אֵת אֲשֶׁר is that the preposition אֵת adds “new” specificity, since it is the marker of a definite direct object of the verb, and the particular translation depends on the context of the specific passage. In the case of Zechariah 12:10B(i), the phrase אֵת אֲשֶׁר must be read as,

    because of/concerning/regarding him [or them] that [or who] [verb], or simply because [verb] him [or them], but not just as whom or the one, which is common among Christian translations.

    The following example demonstrates this usage in another passage in which the grammatical syntax is similar to that found at Zechariah 12:10B(i):

    1Samuel 30:23 – And David said, “You will not do so, my brothers, concerning that which [אֵת אֲשֶׁר] the Lord has given us, and He watched over us, and delivered the troop that came against us into our hand.

    That the KJV and several other Christian “Old Testament” versions translate this passage in a manner that is close to being correct:

    1Samuel 30:23(KJV) – Then said David, Ye shall not do so, my brethren, with that which the LORD hath given us, who hath preserved us, and delivered the company that came against us into our hand. [See also the American Standard Version, 21st Century King James Version, Darby Translation, and Young’s Literal Translation for similar renditions.]

    The meaning of the phrase אֵת אֲשֶׁר at Zechariah 12:10B(i) appears to have been better understood by the authors of the Christian Septuagint (LXX):[5]

    Zechariah 12:10B(i)(LXX) – and they shall look upon me, because they have mocked me,

    These examples demonstrate that the common Christian translations of Zechariah 12:10B(i) are inconsistent with its Hebrew text and overall context.

  3. Juris says

    Dear Sophiee,

    Because they have mocked me…

    I do not have a clue about Hebrow but how come that even Hebrow translations translate the place as pierced or rather thrust throug?

    For there is a hell of difference in my view between those words.

    And did you mean in the beginning of your comment that there should be stabbed instead of pierced?

    Rabbi Singer translates that place as thrust through. English is not my first language so I went to dictionaries to learn more about this thrust through and it does not meand pierced or stabbed.

    These are examples I was given:
    The front end of the car thrust through the side of the house.
    The stock clerk’s knife thrust through the box, ruining the packages of noodles inside.
    I thrust Larry through the open door and followed along quickly.
    Ann thrust the wad of papers through the opening.

    And in my view, even though it can mean some piercing, it must be specified. Like thrust through the knife. And it can mean forcing sth/sb out also. Like when rejecting or turning away and dissmissing. Any chance this view holds the water?

  4. Michael Skobac says

    Shalom Juris: I’m aware of the fact that according to Islam, Abraham was not the only one they would consider to be Muslim, and that it refers to one submitting to the Almighty. I just referred to Abraham as an example and did not imply that this was exclusive to him.

  5. Sophiee Saguy says

    Juris, until recently Hebrew “translations” into English were actually the King James — or a lightly modified King James. It is only in the last 20 years or so that decent translations into English have become available. If you search the internet you’ll find that many have the JPS (Jewish Publication Society) translation from 1917 — and this is just a lightly modified King James.

    The verb דקר means to stab, not “to pierce”.To pierce would be לפירס.

    Secondly, this passage describes how before the “Time of the End” the non-Jewish nations will lay siege to Jerusalem (this did not happen in Jesus’ lifetime).

    If you check the Judaica Press translation (online for free) you will see that they translate Zechariah 12:10 as “And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications. And they shall look to me because of those who have been thrust through [with swords], and they shall mourn over it as one mourns over an only son and shall be in bitterness, therefore, as one is embittered over a firstborn son.”

    The Artscroll Stone Edition has “I will pour out upon the House of David and upon the inhabitant of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplications. They will look toward Me (G-d) because of those whom they have stabbed; they will mourn over him like the embitterment over a (deceased) firstborn.

    The Artscroll footnote syas “The salvation will be so complete that people will be astonisehd if even one man is killed by the enemy (Radak).

    The 1985 JPS (which I do not recommend) has “But I will fill the House of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem with a spirit of pity and compassion; and they shall lament to Me about those who are slain, wailing over them as over a favorite son and showing bitter grief as over a first-born.”

    So at least three modern Jewish translations do not have pierced: the Judaica Press, the Artscroll Stone Edition and the 1985 JPS.

    Pierced is a Christian mistranslation — yet another example of them tampering with their translations to try to make them fit Jesus. There is a much bigger problem in the Christian mistranslations and that is them translating it as “They will look on[b] me, the one they have pierced” when it does not say that AT ALL. The actual passage says that the inhabitants of Jerusalem will look toward Me (G-d) BECAUSE OF THOSE WHOM THEY HAVE STABBED.”

    The Christian mistranslation makes it seem that those who did the stabbing are looking at the one they stabbed. Not even close.

    Also, note that Zechariah says that all the inhabitants of Jerusalem will mourn — so bitterly it is as if it was the death of a firstborn child. This has obviously not yet been fulfilled, now or when the Roman soldier looked at Jesus. It didn’t happen (per the Christian bible) with Jesus.

  6. Sophiee Saguy says

    Juris, just to clarify — a “King James Version” is a Christian translation of the bible done in England in the 17th century under the orders of the then King. The English had expelled the Jews from England and they did not have access to a real T’nach or Torah.

    The KJV translators were living in England in the 17th century. Along with keeping in mind that English words have changed in meaning since then, you have to remember that the world itself was a different place. No internet. No mass access to publications. Only the very rich had books or could even read!

    The KJV translator(s) had limited access to Jewish manuscripts. Since we’d been murdered so often for “denying” Jsus we tried to avoid the Christians. Many countries had killed us or thrown us out (remember all the Jews were deported from England in 1290. So now circa 17th century where are the English going to find Jews let alone a Jewish copy of the “bible”?

    Christians, naturally. Who else?

    The Second Rabbinic Bible was the source the KJV translators used. It had been put together from multiple Hebrew sources (more on this in a minute). It was NOT put together by rabbis BTW — the title is a misnomer.

    Along with that remember that since they werent Jews just how well did they know Hebrew? And there were no Jews around (remember — they were thrown out in 1290). So who taught them Hebrew? At what age did they learn it? Did they have a chance to actually SPEAK it?

    The KJV was published in 1611 and the Jews were not formally readmitted to England until 1656 when Cromwell (who won the civil war and beheaded King Charles I) issued a decree. So there were no educated Jews around to help the KJV translators. (Oh, there were a few Jews here and there but most were converts to Christianity like Elizabeth Is doctor who was tried and hanged for crimes against the state. He was a convert BTW).

    There is a huge difference from someone who takes Spanish 101 as a freshman in college compared to a person born in Spain who grows up speaking the language. So the Christian translators were at a disadvantage because of their lack of native Hebrew knowledge.

    Back to an earlier point. The KJV was NOT based on the masoretic text and as most Christians think. Most as modern translations (both Jewish and Christian) are based on the MT

    The Second Rabbinic Bible was the creation of Yacov ben Chaim Ibn Adonijah who was a Jew who converted to Christianity. He did not merely publish an MT in Hebrew, he actually compiled his work from pieces of the Tanach he didnt have one complete MT. So he used many sources, none of which he documented. As mentioned this was the Second version by Bomberg. Here is a little information on the first one which preceded it by a few years.

    From the Jewish Virtual Library: “In 1516, a wealthy Venetian, Daniel Bomberg who had been born in Antwerp, was granted the privilege of publishing Hebrew books in that city. Among the first he published was a folio edition of the entire Bible with the leading commentaries, Mikraot Gedolot (Rabbinic Bible), which came off the press in 1516-17. Pope Leo’s imprimatur was sought and granted, and Felix Pratensis, a monk born a Jew, was its editor. . . editorship by an apostate and the blessing of the Pope made Jews avoid the edition. . .”

    He even dedicated it to Pope Leo! Bombergs second edition was edited by another apostate Jew who became a Christian Ben Chaim. It was this second work that became the basis of the KJV.

    Needless to say, this Second Rabbinic Bible was no such thing. It was not a Jewish work and it was not accepted by Jews. Neither Jew nor gentile has any idea what sources he used since he hobbled together his version from multiple sources. He gave no footnotes or references as to which sources he used!

    My point being that the 1917 JPS which most people THINK is a Jewish translation, is really just a lightly reworked King James. No translation is perfect because both the syntax for Hebrew is different and some words simply don’t have a comparable word in English. . . but even so the Judaica Press Translation, free online, is the best one to use for free.

  7. Juris says

    Hi Sophiee!

    Thanks a lot for all your hard work! I really appreciate it!

    As it happened I am using this translation a lot and I am following site. I have watched nearly all videos from Rabbis Skobac and Singer and even have Rabbi’s Singer books. I do not have any illusion about christian translations. Still, Jewish translations differ as well and are, sometimes, pure interpretations willing to tell particualr story instead of conveying the direct form of what the prophet has said. The good example is the famous and recently covered topic by Jono and Michael – Zechariah 12:10.

    In it says –
    …and they shall look to me because of THOSE who have been thrust through [with swords]…

    Rabbi Singer translates this place this way –
    …and they shall look to me because of (or concerning) the ONE who was thrust through…

    As you can see there is singular and plural. Clearly one is interpretation of what the prophet may have meant… But has he??? In my view, even if he has meant plural but wrote it in singulat it should not be changed. If someone feels it must be clarified he can write a comment on it, but not change the translation itself.

    Some other Jewish translations even go further and translate it as if Nations will thrust through the many… Interpretation can not be translation. For if Jews themselves are doing it a lot, why they find it to be a problem from christians, right?

    By the way. I have found on this chabad site interpretation in Isaiah 53:9 that struck me and made me see something interesting in it. And I have never heard anyone considering it being interpreted this way by anyone. I have written about it to Rabbis Skobac and Singer but they do not respond on this one, so I would like to hear your view on this.

    And so the translation of Isaiah 53:9 from
    9. And he gave his grave to the wicked, and to the wealthy with his kinds of death, because he committed no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.

    I have read it for many times but only recently the idea struck me that it could be speaking about sth else than assumed all the time by all different parts. Of course, if the interpretation is correct.

    And so, all of a sudden I have got this idea that this passage speaks about the grave that is meant to be for the servant but given to the wicked and rich in their kinds of death by Hashem Himself. You must agree that at least this interpretation in English really suggests that it sounds like this.

    So my question is – if this is the most correct translation of the literal grammar from Hebrow, which can be put under questioning because of the way the Zechariah 12:10 is translated, than maybe there is a point to consider a new look to whole chapter 53 of Isaiah? And those Jews that see there nation could move back from their assumptions for IT IS AN ASSUMPTION and nothing in the text itself clearly say that it is about the nation and even less that Gentile kings are speaking. For I can see speaking Isaiah describing a vision he has seen about what is to come. And, I believe, surprised will be all, including Jews. For if Jews are and have been right all the time, why they have not been redeemed as it is promissed? For the Redemption and Salvation will take place only when Jews will trully and fully embrace the righteousness and teach it to the whole world. But Jews dont know what to tell them. They dont have this understanding, this knowledge. They are glued to Tora of Moses and reject anything else. So what they can teach to the nations.

    Even worse. Jewish Rabbis, many of them and on of them I watched even this very morning, believe that all will stay as it is just the Jews will be released from the CAPTIVITY OF GENTILES, and gentiles will be crashed… Not a word about becoming righteous and bringing righteousness to the world… Not a single word.

    Of course, there are many Rabbis who would completely disagree with this view. Still, who is the Jew, who is the right Jew? And if there are so many different Rabbis, some of them.embracing christianity, some Islam, some simplu quarreling among them about what is what on really big issues, than maybe Isaiah in his 53 has spoken about them more than about Gentiles when saying that we all went astray like sheep… Especially interesting it is with some Rabbis declaring that in the time of Redemption absolutely all Jews from all walks and times will be saved…, which is clearly wrong. For Jews have villains as many as all other nations have and no unclean thing will enter the kingdom of God…

    Looking forward for your response.

  8. Juris says

    …just to continue my last comment…

    The interpretation of Isaiah 53:9 in the way I did would correlate with what David, if I am correct, himself said – …sit at my right hand while I make your enemies a footstool for you…, or whatever the line says.

  9. Sophiee Saguy says

    Juris, you are sure jumbling a number of “proof texts” together (your last comment relates to T’hillim / Psalm 110 for example).

    Let’s stick, first, with Zechariah 12:10. There is an ambiguity in the Hebrew, meaning it could be translated as an individual or a group — hence the Chabad says “those” while R’ Singer said “one.” There are two ways to interpret the passage — and both are consistent with Hebrew.

    The “singular pronoun scenario” depicts a great hero (moshiach ben yosef) who will fall in the battle of the nations against Jerusalem just before the messiah actually appears. This is described earlier (Zechariah 12:3).

    In the “plural pronoun scenario”, the singular pronoun is applied to a group of Jewish people, a usage that is common in the T’nach [for example, in Sh’mot / Exodus 1:11 the Jewish people, i.e., the nation of Israel, are referred to by the same singular pronoun עָלָיו (a LAV), over/upon/for him ].

    In either case, it does not fit Jesus. It might be moshiach ben yosef, or it might be the Jewish nation — but both interpretations relate to the final battle (if it happens) prior to the messianic era.

    Isaiah 53:9 is speaking of the innocent person being led to his grave without protest. The Artscroll translation has “He submitted himself to his grave like wicked men; and the wealthy (submitted) to his executions for committing no crime and with no deceit in his mouth.”

    Their footnote says: “Ordinary Jews chose to die like common criminals, rather than renounce their faith; and wealthy Jews were killed for no reason other than to enable their wicked conquerors to confiscate their riches (Radak).”

    Rabbi Moshe Shulman brings up a remakable parallel to Isaiah 53:9 in Zechariah 3:12-20 12. “And I will leave over in your midst a humble and poor people, and they shall take shelter in the name of the L-rd. 13. The remnant of ISRAEL shall neither commit injustice nor SPEAK LIES, NEITHER SHALL DECEITFUL SPEECH BE FOUND IN THEIR MOUTH… 15. The L-rd has removed your AFFLICTIONS; He has cast out your enemy… 19 Behold, I wreak destruction upon all those who have AFFLICTED you at that time. And I will save the one who LIMPS, and I will gather the stray one, and I will make them a praise and a name throughout all the land where they SUFFERED SHAME. 20. At that time I will bring them, and at that time I will gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all the peoples of the earth when I RESTORE your captivity before your eyes, said the L-rd.”

    The people who are not deceitful, this is G-d’s holy remnant.

    The missionaries also need to note that the rest of Isaiah 53:9 doesn’t fit Jesus either. According to the Christian bible Jesus was killed beside two thieves, but buried in the tomb of a rich man. Yet Isaiah 53:9 says that the servant’s grave (Heb. kever) is with the wicked, and his death(s) (Heb. meisav) – PLURAL – are with the rich.

    I find it very hard to believe that any rabbi would revel in the fate of non-Jews being “crashed.” There is a midrash where the angels sing songs of praises when the Egyptians drown in the Red Sea as they try to follow the Jews. . . G-d say “my servants die and you sing songs of praises???”

    All of us are G-d’s children. None of us glory in the death of any person. Every soul is precious to Him. He wants all of us to do good and to find Him. It is the role of the Jew to help people find Him. We do not rejoice when people fail in that goal and we most certainly do not revel in any one of his creature’s perishing.

  10. Juris says

    Hi Sophiee!

    Thanks a lot again!!!

    And of course Hashem is the Lord of the whole world and, after all, it is written – …and they all will be My People…

    Dont have time for full response at the moment. Will have some comments though later.

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