John 19:37

37 And another scripture says, They will look at him whom they have pierced.

John 19:37 Meaning and Commentary

John 19:37

And again another Scripture saith
( Zechariah 12:10 ) which as the former is referred to on account of the not breaking of his bones, this is cited as fulfilled by the piercing of his side:

they shall look on him whom they pierced;
in the Hebrew text it is, "upon me whom they have pierced"; the reason of this difference is, because Christ, who is Jehovah, is there speaking prophetically of himself, here the evangelist cites it as fulfilled in him, that is, that part of it which regards the piercing of him; for that of the Jews looking upon him and mourning is yet to be fulfilled, and will be at the time of their conversion in the latter day, and at the day of judgment. And as the piercing of the Messiah has been literally fulfilled in Jesus, there is reason to believe, though the Jews are to this day hardened against him, that that part of the prophecy which concerns their looking to him, and mourning for him on account of his being pierced by them, will also, in God's own time, be fulfilled. Nor is it any objection to the application of this prophecy to our Lord Jesus, that not the Jews, but the Roman soldiers pierced him, since what one does by another, he may be said to do himself: though it was a Roman soldier that pierced the side of Christ, the Jews might desire and urge him to do it; and however, they agreed to it, and were well pleased with it; and just so Christ is said to be crucified and slain by them; though this was done by the above soldiers, because they prevailed upon Pilate to pass the sentence of death upon him, and to deliver him to the soldiers to be crucified. From the citation of this passage it appears, that the writers of the New Testament did not always follow the Greek version of the Old Testament, which here renders the words very differently, and very wrongly; but John cites them according to the Hebrew text, even which we now have, and which is an instance of the truth, purity, and integrity of the present Hebrew books of the Old Testament. The Jewish doctors F14 themselves own that these words respect the Messiah, though they pretend that Messiah ben Joseph is meant, who shall be slain in the wars of Gog and Magog; for since their disappointment, and the blindness and hardness of heart which have followed it, they feign two Messiahs as expected by them; one Messiah ben David, who they suppose will be prosperous and victorious; and the other Messiah ben Joseph, who will suffer much, and at last be killed.


F14 T. Bab. Succa, fol. 52. 1. & ex codem R. Sol. Jarchi, R. David Kimchi, R. Aben Ezra, & R. Sol. ben Melech. in Zech. xii. 10.

John 19:37 In-Context

35 The one who saw this has testified, and his testimony is true. He knows that he speaks the truth, and he has testified so that you also can believe.
36 These things happened to fulfill the scripture, They won't break any of his bones.
37 And another scripture says, They will look at him whom they have pierced.
38 After this Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate if he could take away the body of Jesus. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but a secret one because he feared the Jewish authorities. Pilate gave him permission, so he came and took the body away.
39 Nicodemus, the one who at first had come to Jesus at night, was there too. He brought a mixture of myrrh and aloe, nearly seventy-five pounds in all.

Footnotes 1

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