"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14;
Hope of Israel

Note: Scriptures are blue.

What Are These Wounds
in Thine Hands?
Zechariah 13:6

By Charles J. Voss

"And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." (Zech. 13:6 KJV) 1

Ask almost any 'Christian' to read Zechariah 13:6 aloud and ask, "Who is this Scripture referring to?" They will look at you in shock and amazement and say, "Why this is obviously referring to 'Jesus Christ,' whose hands were pierced during his crucifixion!" 2

This verse from Zechariah is one of the most often misquoted texts used by 'Christian's to uphold their claim that 'Jesus' is the Messiah. Unfortunately for them, it is also one of the easiest to prove false.

A very popular method used by 'Christian's to attempt to prove any particular doctrine is to read an excerpt or part of a verse, usually completely out of context without any explanation to try to "prove" their point. This practice is called proof-texting.

The doctrine in question is the "Christian's" claim that 'Jesus Christ' was the Messiah of Israel. However, an examination of the entire thirteenth chapter of Zechariah is required in order to understand the storyflow of what is being stated. When the verses prior to verse 6 are read, the meaning of verse six becomes crystal clear.

We will begin by quoting the first six verses of Zechariah 13 in order to get an overview, and then examine each verse more closely:
1 "In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for purification and for sprinkling.
2 "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith YHWH of hosts, That I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered; and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
3 "And it shall come to pass that, when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begot him shall say unto him: 'Thou shalt not live, for thou speakest lies in the name of YHWH and his father and his mother that begot him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
4 "And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be brought to shame every one through his vision, when he prophesieth; neither shall they wear a hairy mantle to deceive;
5 "but he shall say: 'I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground; for I have been made a bondman from my youth.'
6 "And one shall say unto him: 'What are these wounds between thy hands?' Then he shall answer: 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." (Zec. 13:1-6 JPSA 1917)

The general time setting of this prophecy is given in verse one. The clue is the phrase "in that day." In other examples where this phrase is used (Hosea 2:16-17), most serious students of the Bible understand "in that day" to refer generally to the time of the Messianic age. One significant event that will occur during this coming age of peace and perfection is that the knowledge and understanding "of who the One True Creator of Israel is" will saturate the entire earth (Hab. 2:14). This will be accompanied by the removal of false understanding and the wrongful worship of false gods. It will also mean that the priests and prophets of the false religions will essentially be out of a job.

This concept is expounded further in verse two by stating that names of false gods (idols) will be cut off out of the land. To be "cut off out of the land" means to be destroyed or consumed. The names of these false gods will not even be allowed to be spoken (Hosea 2:17). After a time, their memory will even be forgotten. The prophets of these false religions will also be removed along with the unclean spirits which cause abnormal human behavior.

The penalty for someone who tries to teach others about false gods is stated in verse three. If anyone attempts to sway others away from the Holy One of Israel, that person should be put to death by his own parents.

Verse four tells how very embarrassed and ashamed every prophet or teacher of the world's false religious systems will feel. The words "hairy mantle" possibly have some reference to prophet to Elijah.

The false teachers, in verse five, will deny they taught others to embrace a false and useless religion. Remember that all five verses here are referring to false prophets, i.e. teachers and proponents of a false religion. A religion that teaches men to worship any god other than the Holy One of Israel is a false religion. This brings us to verse six, the verse in question:
6 "And one shall say unto him: 'What are these wounds between thy hands?' Then he shall answer: 'Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends." (Zec. 13:6 JPSA1917)

First, who is the "him" that is being referred to here? It is the same "him" who in verse 5 claimed not to be a prophet, but a farmer. It is the same "him" in verse 4 who is ashamed to have taught a false religion and a false god to the people. It is the same "him" as in verse 3 who is in danger of being put to death by his parents for trying to sway others away from Israel's Holy One. It is the same "him" in verse two who was cut off from the land because of his abominable teachings. In other words, the "him" in verse six is a false prophet, a teacher of myths and fables which have deceived the people of the earth and who is to be given the label of false teacher in due time. Now I ask you, is this the 'Jesus Christ' portrayed in the New Testament?

Furthermore, "wounds in thine hands" is a mistranslation. The Hebrew word for "wounds" is "makkah:"Strong's (#H4347) and is more accurately translated "to be smitten or stricken," i.e. "beaten."
The word for hands is "yad:" (#H3027) and can also mean "between the hands, i.e. "the breast or back." So another way to understand this verse is, "Why have you been beaten on your back?"

The answer to this question is given in the last part of verse six: "...I was wounded in the house of my friends," for being a false teacher which will simply not be tolerated during the Messianic age.

When these verses are read in context, it becomes very clear that verse six is not a reference to 'Jesus Christ' at all. In fact, this verse is not even a Messianic verse for that matter. It is simply a description of the fate of those false teachers who have deceived people into believing in a false god.

When the so-called prophecies, of the Old Testament which seem to point to 'Jesus' as the Messiah of Israel, are examined in context and in the original Hebrew; they can usually be put to rest rather quickly.


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Up1. Unless noted all Scriptures will be from The Holy Scriptures Jewish Publication Society, 1917 (Tanakh of 1917). Unless noted all emphasis are the author's.

Up2. The idea for this article came from part of a tape Proof-texting by Rabbi Michael Skobac of Jews for Judaism.