[…] and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, […]
Zechariah 12:10 (KJV)
Whom – I can’t stress this enough. The translation you use is filled with biases and the predefined paradigms of those who translated it. And that’s okay when we’re reading for the milk of the word, but we need to get technical if we’re going to chew on the meat. To understand what I’m talking about, let’s breakdown this verse in Zechariah.
We begin with defining who “they” and “me” are. “They” is defined at the beginning of this verse.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, […]
So “they” are the house of David, David being from the tribe of Judah makes this an identical reference to the house of Judah, or as we refer to them today, the Jews.
The “me” is defined in verse 4.
In that day, saith the LORD, I will […]
The LORD, YHVH, is the one speaking here.
Now with this understanding, things get a little tricky. The verse in the King James basically says, […] the Jews will look upon YHVH whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for him […]. So the Jews pierced YHVH, but yet the verse changes point-of-view from first-person to third-person within the same sentence when it says they will mourn for him. The change in the point-of-view might cause you a bit of effort to try and figure out what’s going on here.
Trinitarians might assert that this is evidence that Yeshua is God in the flesh. They pierced YHVH. There it is. Or could this be a Trinitarian paradigm injected into the English translation? Whether you believe in the Trinity or not shouldn’t matter for this discussion. What matters is what this verse really says. Here’s the Hebrew. Remember to read it right to left.
This is pretty accurate with the King James version, right? But what’s that other word there in the middle? Why isn’t it translated?
Ready to get technical? We’d assume that “me who they pierced” is the object of the sentence, but it’s not an indefinite object. Since we assume we know the object is “me” (God), than it’s a definite object in grammar. In Hebrew, definite objects must have the et ( אֵת ) placed BEFORE them in the sentence. But notice that it’s being placed AFTER the object “me.” This changes everything, and this:
The very next part of the verse confirms this more accurate translation.
and they shall mourn for him, […]
Now this all begins to align. There are no underpinnings of a Trinitarian doctrine. But as I mentioned above, whether you believe in the Trinitarian doctrine or not is unimportant to this discussion. It’s just that this verse can’t be used to justify that doctrine.
This is why the details matter. This is why it’s good to get technical. Don’t rely on the paradigms of others to influence your understanding.