Answering Islam - A Christian-Muslim dialog

The OT Prophets Testify that the Messiah
Is Equal to God the Father! Pt. 2

What the Commentators, Scholars, and Apologists Are Saying

Sam Shamoun

As promised, here we shall provide a host of citations taken from various apologetic and scholarly commentaries and books which affirm that Zechariah 13:7 explicitly teaches that the Messiah is the God-Man since he is described as a human being who at the same time is Yahweh’s equal.

even against the man [that is] my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; the human nature of Christ is signified by "the man"; not that he was really man before his incarnation, only in the purpose and covenant of God; and he often appearing in a human form; and the Scripture speaking of things future as present; though here it regards him in the days of his flesh, and as suffering: his divine nature is expressed by being "the fellow" of the Lord of hosts; not only being near to him in place and affection, but his equal, being truly a divine Person; of the same nature, glory, and majesty, with him, though distinct from him; and so fit to be the Shepherd of the flock: (The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible; underline emphasis ours)

Against the Man, My Fellow - that is, One united by community of nature. A little before, God had spoken of Himself as priced at "the thirty pieces of silver," yet as breaking the covenant which He had made with all nations for His people; as "pierced through, yet as pouring the spirit of grace and supplication" on those who pierced Him, that they should mourn their deed, and as, thereon, ever cleansing them from sin. As Man, God was sold, was pierced: "God, in flesh, not working with aught intervening as in the prophets, but having taken to Him a Manhood connatural with Himself and made one, and through His flesh akin to us, drawing up to Him all humanity. What was the manner of the Godhead in flesh? As fire in iron, not transitively but by communication. For the fire does not dart into the iron, but remains there and communicates to it of its own virtue, not impaired by the communication, yet filling wholly its recipient."

The bold language of the Fathers only expressed the actuality of the Incarnation. Since the Manhood was taken into God, and in Him dwelt all the fullness of the Godhead bodily, and God and Man were one Christ, then was it all true language. His Body was "the Body of God"; His flesh "the flesh of the Word"; and it was lawful to speak of "the flesh of the Deity", of "the Passion of the Word", "the Passion of Christ, my God", "the Passion of God", "God dead and buried", "God suffered", "murderers of God", "the Godhead dwelt in the flesh bodily, which is all one with saying that, being God, He had a proper body, and using this as an instrument, He became Man for our sakes, and, because of this, things proper to the flesh are said to be His, since He was in it, as hunger, thirst, suffering, fatigue and the like, of which the flesh is capable, while the works proper to the Word Himself as raising the dead and restoring the blind, He did through His own Body," is but a continuance of the language of Zechariah, since He who was sold, was priced, was Almighty God. Jesus being God and Man, the sufferings of His Humanity were the sufferings of God, although, as God, He could not suffer.

Now, conversely, God speaks of the Shepherd who was slain, as "My Fellow," united in Nature with Himself, although not the Manhood of Jesus which suffered, but the Godhead, united with It in one Person, was Consubstantial with Himself. The name might perhaps be most nearly represented by "connatural": When then the title is employed of the relation of an individual to God, it is clear that that individual can be no mere man, but must be one, united with God by unity of Being. The Akin of the Lord is no other than He who said in the Gospel "I and My Father are One" John 10:30, and who is designated as "the Only-Begotten Son, who is in the Bosom of the Father" John 1:18. The word, it seems, was especially chosen, as being used in the Pentateuch, only in the laws against injuring a fellow-man. The prophet thereby gives prominence to the seeming contradiction between the command of the Lord, "Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd," and those Of His own law, whereby no one is to injure his fellow.

He thus points out the greatness of that end, for the sake of which the Lord regards not that relation, whose image among men He commanded to be kept holy. He speaks after the manner of people. He calls attention to the greatness of that sacrifice, whereby He "spared not His own Son, but freely gave Him up for us all" Romans 8:32. The word “Man” forms a sort of contrast with "My Fellow." He whom the sword is to reach must unite the Human Nature with the divine. Jews too have seen that the words, "My Fellow," imply an equality with God; only since they own not Him, who was God and Man, they must interpret it of a false claim on the part of man, overlooking that it is given Him by God. (Albert Barnes’ Notes on The New Testament; bold emphasis ours)

man that is my fellow--literally, "the man of my union." The Hebrew for "man" is "a mighty man," one peculiarly man in his noblest ideal. "My fellow," that is, "my associate." "My equal" ([DE WETTE]; a remarkable admission from a Rationalist). "My nearest kinsman" [HENGSTENBERG], (Joh 10:30; 14:10, 11; Php 2:6). (Jamieson, Fausset & Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible; underline emphasis ours)

“… Except in this passage it only occurs in the Pentateuch:– Levit. v. 20, (English, vi. 2)… Lev. xviii 20… xix. 11… verse 15… verse 17… xxiv. 19… xxv. 14… These are the only places where it occurs, and in all these it is synonymous with brother, or fellow. It expresses the relation of fellow-Israelite, or fellow-man, and points out an identity of nature, which is the very ground on which doing evil to our neighbor is forbidden.  When, therefore, God calls any being ‘amiti ‘My fellow,’ it necessarily implies that that being stands in the same relation with God as one Israelite or man does to another; that is, that he is of the same nature or substance, that is, that he is very God. It cannot be urged that there is no being, who can be considered as God’s fellow, for Zechariah himself, in ch. ii and iii., speaks of a being who is sent, and is, therefore, the angel of the Lord, and yet who is the Lord, and we have shown, in the observation on ch. i, that this is the general representation of the Old Testament Scriptures. Neither can it be said that this divine character is inconsistent with the other representations of Messiah. Malachi says, ‘The LORD ha adon whom ye seek shall suddenly come to his temple,’ (Mal. iii. I), where the divine title adon with the article ha, which is never given to any being but God, is applied to the Messiah, as the Jewish commentators acknowledge. R. Alshech, in his Commentary on the passage, even goes so far as to assert that the coming of the Messiah includes the coming of God. He says, ‘It is well known that in the coming of the Messiah is [included] the coming of the blessed God into the world to fulfil the verse, “Arise, shine, for thy light is come,” and again, “I will dwell in the midst of thee.”’ And again, Jeremiah says, ‘This is his name whereby he shall be called, The LORD YHWH our Righteousness,’ (xxiii. 6), both of which names imply a participation of the divine attributes, as the same Rabbi well expounds in his Commentary on Jeremiah: ‘Messiah is called the Lord our Righteousness, that is to say, through the superabundance of his righteousness and purity, righteousness will be communicated to Israel from heaven. Messiah will be like a reservoir into which it is poured, and from whence it is spread amongst the people; and this is the meaning of “the Lord our righteousness.” That is to say, that as the LORD sends forth righteousness to him that comes to be cleansed, and still more to the clean, so also the Messiah shall be like the blessed God, and his name shall be called “the Lord our Righteousness,” for from Thee our righteousness shall be derived as from the Lord.’ Many other similar passages might be adduced, but these are sufficient to remove the objection that the description of divinity is foreign from Messiah’s character. The sum of all that has been said is, that the words, ‘Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and that the man that is my fellow–Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered,’ are spoken of the Messiah–that, therefore, Messiah was to come before the scattering of the sheep, i. e., before the destruction of the temple; that he was to be smitten, and that then the Jews were to be dispersed. It is very easy to show that these particulars were fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth. He came at the time predicted, he was smitten, and very soon after the Jews were dispersed, and remain dispersed to this day. (The Rev. A. M‘Caul, A.M., Rabbi David Kimchi's Commentary Upon The Prophecies Of Zechariah Translated From the Hebrew With Notes And Observations On The Passages Relating To The Messiah, pp. 175-176; bold emphasis ours)

“The shepherd of Jehovah, whom Jehovah describes as a man who is His next one (neighbour), cannot of course be a bad shepherd, who is displeasing to Jehovah, and destroys the flock, or the foolish shepherd mentioned in Zechariah 11:15-17, as Grotius, Umbr., Ebrard, Ewald, Hitzig, and others suppose; for the expression "man who is my nearest one" implies much more than unity or community of vocation, or that he had to feed the flock like Jehovah. No owner of a flock or lord of a flock would call a hired or purchased shepherd his ‛âmı̄th. And so God would not apply this epithet to any godly or ungodly man whom He might have appointed shepherd over a nation. The idea of nearest one (or fellow) involves not only similarity in vocation, but community of physical or spiritual descent, according to which he whom God calls His neighbour cannot be a mere man, but can only be one who participates in the divine nature, or is essentially divine. The shepherd of Jehovah, whom the sword is to smite, is therefore no other than the Messiah, who is also identified with Jehovah in Zechariah 12:10; or the good shepherd, who says of Himself, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). (Keil and Delitzsch, Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament; bold emphasis ours)

“Zechariah begins in verse 7 by stating, ‘Awake, O sword.’ The word ‘sword’ is a symbol of death and not the manner of execution, pointing out that the Messiah will be killed by violent means. The ‘sword’ is to awake 'against My Shepherd.' By calling Him ‘My Shepherd,’ God is emphasizing the humanity of the Messiah. The verse then states, ‘And against the man, My Associate.’ The phrase ‘the man’ once again emphasizes Messiah's humanity. He is also called ‘My Associate,’ which literally means ‘my equal’ or ‘my companion.’ This emphasizes the Messiah's deity as God's equal. Literally the passage reads, ‘Awake, O sword against My Shepherd and against the Man that is My equal.’ For this One to be God's equal means that He must be God Himself. The One who is going to be killed is the Good Shepherd, and He is both God and Man. So this verse speaks of the rejection of the Messiah at His first coming–a rejection by means of a violent death.” (The Popular Bible Prophecy Commentary: Understanding the Meaning of Every Prophetic Passage, eds. Tim F. Lahaye & Ed Hindson [Harvest House Publishers, 2006], p. 311; bold emphasis ours)

“The statement, ‘Sit though at my right hand until I make thine enemies thy footstool,’ must be studied with all its implications. In the preceding section we learned that Messiah, at the invitation of God, ascends to heaven after His resurrection. Hence the sitting mentioned in this quotation refers to His session at the heavenly court. As has already been noted, for a king to extend to another the honor of sitting at his right hand was, to the oriental mind, an acknowledgment of equality on the part of the sovereign. May I repeat with emphasis that to David’s auditors such language could mean nothing less. Since the Spirit of God would not lead a prophet to use language with a connotation different from that in ordinary use without indicating such a departure, it is absolutely certain that He used these words exactly as they were understood by the people of that day. Therefore this language in the mouth of David implies the equality of Messiah with the eternal God.

“The prophet Zechariah, in no uncertain sound, declared the same fact: hereb ‘uri ‘al-ro‘i wa‘al-geber ‘amiti ‘Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow’ (Zech. 13:7). In this passage He whom God terms ‘my shepherd’ is ‘the man that is my fellow.’ The word geber shows that this shepherd is a man; but He is more than a man. He is ‘amiti ‘my fellow,’ says God. The latter word occurs ten times in the Hebrew Scriptures: in this passage and nine times in the Book of Leviticus. In the nine other occurrences it is used as a synonym for ‘ach brother which refers either to a blood relative or to one who is living nearest to another. Since a man’s brother is of the same nature and essence as himself, the man whom God thus speaks as geber ‘amiti my fellow is of the same divine nature and essence as God Himself. Hence upon his return to the heavenly court He is given the honor of equality with the eternal God.” (David Cooper, Thm, PhD, Messiah: His Redemptive Career [Biblical Research Society, 1935], Chapter Three. The Outline of Messiah’s Career, 7. Messiah’s Session at the Right Hand of God, pp. 94-95; bold emphasis ours)

“In verse 7 we find three descriptive titles for the Messiah–‘shepherd,’ ‘man,’ and the one ‘who is close to me.’ The Messiah is called my shepherd, emphasizing strongly that he was chosen by the LORD Almighty. The word man (gever, ‘strong man’) indicates Messiah's humanity, whereas who is close to me (literally, ‘my associate, fellow, or relation’) SUGGESTS HIS DEITY. Elsewhere, the Hebrew term for ‘who is close to me’ appears only in Leviticus (twelve times) for a neighbor or fellow countryman (Lev. 6:2; 19:15; 25:15). THUS, THE LORD DECLARED THAT THE MESSIAH IS HIS EQUAL…” (Stephen R. Miller, Holman Old Testament Commentary - Nahum-Malachi, ed. Max Anders [Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2004], p. 292; capital emphasis ours)

“The expression 'who stands next to me' is used elsewhere only in Leviticus (e.g. 6:2; 18:12) to mean 'near neighbor'; similarly the shepherd is one who dwells side by side with the Lord, his equal.” (Joyce G. Baldwin, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi: An Introduction and Commentary (The Tyndale Old Testament Commentary Series) [Intervarsity Press, Downers Grove Il. 1972], pp 197-198; bold emphasis ours)

“… God also identifies him as ‘the man who is close to me,’ on which Baldwin, 197-198, comments: ‘The expression “who stands next to me” is used elsewhere only in Leviticus (e.g. 6:2; 18:20) to mean “near neighbor”; similarly the shepherd is one who dwells side by side with the Lord, His equal.’ The expression eventually leads to John 10:30: ‘I and the Father are one,’ and to John 14:9: 'Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father’ (cf. Jn 1:1-2).” (Kenneth L. Barker, Daniel--Malachi (The Expositor's Bible Commentary), eds. Tremper Longman III, David E. Garland, & Andrew E. Hill [Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI 2008], Volume 8, p. 821; bold emphasis ours)

“… Zechariah sought to set the shepherd in v. 7 apart from other shepherds in a truly unique fashion with the following phrase. The prophet further enhanced the status of the shepherd with the phrase ‘the man who is close to me.’ The Hebrew words geber ‘amiti occur elsewhere un the Old Testament only in Lev 6:2; 18:20. The Hebrew word for 'man' (geber) connotes someone who is young and strong (Prov 30:19). The term translated ‘close to me’ (‘amiti) conveys a far more significant theological point. The expression stresses community or close association with someone. In v. 7, ‘amiti paints a uniquely intimate relationship with the Lord himself.

“Interpreters do not always agree on the theological significance of the shepherd's close association with the Lord. Many suggest that the phrase means that the shepherd is the Lord’s equal. The word ‘peer’ communicates the idea of closeness well in modern parlance. This understanding also elevates the importance of the identity of the shepherd. The theme of God's shepherd who enjoys close association with the Lord grows out of the biblical message that the individual so chosen by God was the Lord's ‘son’ (2 Sam 7:14; Pss 2:7; 89:26-27).

Several factors also indicate that the shepherd in v. 7 is none other than the pierced one in 12:10. One of the more important points is the uniquely close association between God and the shepherd. Further, both figures in 12:10 and 13:7 serve God faithfully, and the death of both evokes mourning. The New Testament's appropriation of 13:7 also seems to ratify this identification. In Matt 26:31 and Mark 14:27 Jesus quoted Zech 13:7, clearly equating himself with the ‘shepherd’ in Zechariah. Jesus employed Zech 13:7 to predict and to explain the scattering of his disciples when his crucifixion was drawing near.

“Consequently, Barker takes ‘close to me’ as a reference to Christ, citing John 10:30, ‘I and the Father are one,’ along with John 14:9, ‘Anyone who has seen me as seen the Father.’ In the broader context of chaps. 12-13, this unity presents forgiveness and restoration as its aim. McComiskey states, ‘This discourse contains strong implications that the relationship between the Lord and the shepherd is one of cooperative redemption, for the restoration of God's people does not occur apart from the intervention of one who suffers the shedding of blood.’ Unger calls this prophecy ‘an unmistakable Old Testament reference to the deity of the Coming One, the Lord's Shepherd.’” (George L. Klein, Zechariah (New American Commentary Based On The New International Version) [B & H Publishing Group, 2008], Volume 21B, pp. 386-387; bold emphasis ours)

“… This verse is one of the most remarkable Messianic texts in the Old Testament.

“Zechariah was not prophesying about an ordinary sword and an ordinary shepherd. The shepherd was pointedly described as ‘the man that is my fellow’ by none other than ‘the Lord of hosts.’ If there were no similar verses in the Bible, 13:7 would suffice to prove the deity of Christ. No angel in the sky, no anointed cherub, no archangel, or shining seraph could be called God's ‘fellow’–His equal. The word translated ‘fellow’ occurs elsewhere in Scripture only in Leviticus (6:2; 19:11, 15, 17, for instance). Often translated ‘neighbor,’ the word conveys the thought of one united to another by the possession of common nature, rights, and privileges.” (John Phillips, Exploring the Minor Prophets: An Expository Commentary [Kregel Publications, 2002], pp. 302-303; bold emphasis ours)

“The Shepherd who is struck by the sword in Zechariah 13:7 is obviously the same as the one described as being pierced in 12:10 and as being rejected in chapter 11. There is, however, one major difference: this time Yahweh will wield the sword and smite the shepherd (13:7). The personal pronoun in ‘my shepherd’ (v. 7), as well as the ‘I’ of verses 7d, 9a-b, d-e, and the ‘my’ of verse 9d-e, all refer to Yahweh.

“Earlier the flock was destined for slaughter (11:4, 7). Then the sword was to strike the worthless shepherd (11:17). Next, the people wielded the sword against the one who was the source of grace and supplication, the Messiah himself (12:10). Now, once again, a sword is being called for. It will happen ‘on that day’ (13:4) that Yahweh himself will use the sword, figuratively speaking, for it will 'please the LORD to bruise him' (Isa 53:10a; NIV ‘it was the LORD’s will to crush him’).

“But who is this shepherd? Certainly he is no ordinary herder of sheep and goats, for he is called ‘my shepherd’ by the Lord (v. 7). Moreover, he is ‘the man who is close to me’ (v. 7b) (Heb. geber ‘amiti, ‘the man with me,’) or ‘the man who is my companion’). Surely this is high praise, for the term 'companion' or 'associate' refers to a close neighbor or close companion in Leviticus 6:2; 7:21; 18:20; 19:15; 24:19. Thus, the shepherd is one who is side by side with Yahweh; that is, he is his equal. Once again, this messianic prophecy is speaking about a human being (‘the man’ who is also divine (he is ‘close to me,’ or is ‘my associate’).” (Walter C. Kaiser, Jr., The Messiah In The Old Testament [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI 1995], IX. The Messiah in the Postexilic Prophets, B. The Messiah in Zechariah, pp. 226-227; bold emphasis ours)

“Zechariah has the impressive prediction, ‘Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts’ (13:7). Here the prophet speaks of the Messiah, not only as the coming shepherd, but as the One co-equal with God, ‘my fellow,’ one who is one with me yet who is also the man, ‘the man Christ Jesus,’ ‘equal with God.’” (Herbert Lockyer, All the Messianic Prophecies of the Bible [Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI 1973], p. 108; bold emphasis ours)

ZECHARIAH 13:7 is a one verse summary of the whole of Zechariah chapter 11. The Shepherd of verse 13:7 is the Good Shepherd of 11:4-14. This verse again states that Messiah will be a God-Man. The humanity of the Messiah is obvious: “…and against the man…” The words which follow are never adequately translated into English and so the divinity of Messiah is not made obvious. What is translated as “my associate” is, in the Hebrew, “my equal.” The verse should really read, “and against the man, my equal,” and of course in order to be equal with God, Messiah must actually be God. This may not be obvious in English translations, but is very close to in the original Hebrew.

This verse also emphasizes the violent nature of Messiah’s death and again states that His death will be the cause of the dispersion of Israel. The shepherd was struck in 30 A.D. when Jesus was crucified, and the sheep were scattered in 70 A.D. when Israel was dispersed. These are the words applied to Jesus’ disciples in Matthew 26:31-32 but the primary reference here is to the dispersion of 70 A.D. In verse 7b, even the little ones, the innocent common people, are to suffer because of the rejection of Messiah, the Good Shepherd, by the leaders of Israel. (Dr. Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, Messianic Christology [Ariel Ministries, 1998], p. 74; bold emphasis ours)

“Finally Zech 13:7 is a very potent reference in connection to God the Father and God the Son being equals…

“The third and fourth words are ‘man’ that is ‘My associate’ or mine equal. The Hebrew word is … ‘amith,’ which means ‘associate, fellow, relation,’ and is used in the Tanakh 11 times in Leviticus except this one in Zech 13:7. How does this word ‘amith’ or ‘associate’ relate to man and to Yahweh in this verse? First, the associate is a man, a human being that Yahweh designates as His associate. The word associate, as it is used in Leviticus, is a general term for ‘fellowman.’ Unger defines it as:

The Hebrew word employed, amith, is used to denote persons associated together under common love for the employment of common rights and privileges.

“In Leviticus ‘amith’ or ‘associate’ is used as a neighbor who is their equal. Here in Zechariah, God is calling His shepherd, His associate or His equal. Kaiser explains:

This Shepherd is One who is side by side with, or the equal of, the Lord! The term ‘associate’ (or companion) is used to refer to those who are close neighbors or close companions (Lev 6:2; 18:20; 19:15). The equality that such a relationship brings to mind is the equality claimed by Jesus in John 10:30 and 14:9. The Shepherd’s close association with the Lord strengthens the case for identifying him as the Shepherd of 11:4-14 and the One who was pierced in 12:10.

“What has been established is that Yahweh has a man who is His Associate or equal. He then instructs a weapon of death (sword) to be against His Shepherd or Associate. It is no coincidence that chapter 11 speaks of a good Shepherd who is paid 30 pieces of silver for his leadership among His people, as an insult. This Shepherd is the one who was pierced in Zech 12:10, and the one to whom the nation of Israel will look upon in the future. This Shepherd is a man, just as other Messianic prophecies predicted. But this man is also God, as Messianic prophecies predicted. Now this Shepherd, the man who is Yahweh’s equal, is having a sword instructed to be against Him.” (John B. Metzger, The Tri-unity of God is Jewish: A Theological Study on the Plurality and Tri-unity of God in the Hebrew Scriptures [Jewish Awareness Ministries, 2005], pp. 202-203; bold emphasis ours)

“… According to Zechariah, it was Jehovah Himself, the Shepherd that is Equal to another Jehovah (Zechariah 13:7; John 5:17, 18; 8:58; 10:30; Philippians 2:6) who was pierced through…” (Prof. Ford Wilson, M. Div., The Trinity As Revealed In The Old Testament [Xulon Press, 2007], p. 142; bold emphasis ours)

“This is the third oracle of Micah's which addresses the serious problems of Israel with prophecy about her future greatness and God's complete solution. All their political future depends upon the King who will be born in Bethlehem of Judah where David was born (not in the other Bethlehem of the tribe of Zebulon, Joshua 19:15, 16). We see again that the future Messiah would come from David's seed, (2 Samuel 7; 1 Kings 17:12; Isaiah 9:6, 7; 11:1ff; Matthew 1; 2). Further, as often noted before (Isaiah 9:6) there is an intimate connection between the Messiah-King and God Himself in this passage: ‘Yet out of you shall come forth to Me the One to be Ruler in Israel; Whose goings forth are from of old, from everlasting.’ Jesus is the center, the back bone of all of God's plans (Ephesians 1; Colossians 1; Hebrews 1; Revelation 19:10). He is equal to God, face to face with Him, during all eternity (John 1:1, 18; 10:30; Philippians 2:6; Zechariah 13:7).” (Ibid, p. 181; bold emphasis ours)

“N. T. apostles were expecting the second coming of the Lord Jesus because an angel had told them that, just as He had gone to heaven from the Mount of Olives in a cloud (Luke 24:50ff; Acts 1:1-11), He would come again in the same way. Jesus is ‘the Son of Man’, that in the N. T. and in Daniel 7:13ff, they expected to see descend in the clouds on the Mount of Olives. But in Zechariah 14:3, 4 we are told it will be Jehovah Himself Who will descend there. Remember that the One pierced by the Jews, is the same Jehovah speaking in Chapter 12 and the same One who pours out the Spirit on them (12:10 which we will see later). In 13:7 Jehovah calls Him ‘My Shepherd’, and ‘the Man who is My Companion’ (Someone equal to Me), Says the Lord of Hosts.' The Son of Man, the Shepherd, My Companion, Jesus, that is Jehovah will come with His holy angels (He is the Creator, Owner of the angels, therefore they adore Jesus in Hebrews 1), to save and judge.” (Ibid, pp. 188-189; bold emphasis ours)

“We see in all the prophecies that it is God who comes to reign and judge. Yet other passages show it is a Man from the lineage of David, who will be born and called ‘Jehovah our righteousness’ (Jeremiah 23:5, 6; Romans 1:16; 3:21-28; 9:30; 10:3, 4, 10). This Man will be equal to God (Zechariah 13:7). Passages on the incarnation of God manifest in the flesh include the following Matthew 1; 2; Luke 1; 2; John 1:14; 6:32ff; Romans 1:3, 4; 8:3, 4; 9:5; 2 Corinthians 8:9; Philippians 2:5-11; 1 Timothy 3:16 and Hebrews 2:5ff. Only this God/Man will be the divine ‘hiding place’ from earth’s tempests, hurricanes, and tornadoes, and God's hand of protection over us, like rivers of water in the desert, and the shadow of a great Rock in a weary, hot land (25:4; 28:2; 32:2). These promises are very real! Seek to live in God’s will, doing what pleases Him, giving to your local church, and you will be fully protected (Psalm 91).” (Ibid, p. 276; bold emphasis ours)

“Jehovah is speaking of Another called Jehovah in 12:1, 4ff. The parallelism of the Hebrew language declares (in 12:8) that the house of David in the future will be as strong as God, as strong as the Angel of Jehovah before them.  So the Angel is made again equal to God Almighty, being identical in nature, but distinct in their Persons. Then Jehovah says in 12:10 that He will pour out His Spirit on the house of David, the Spirit who inspires and sustains prayer and grace. But He will also reveal to Israel in the future that the One they pierced through the means of the Roman army, and unto Whom they shall fix their eyes of hope, was the same Jehovah Who is speaking in the prophecy of Zechariah ‘… they will look on Me Whom they pierced’  (see the oldest Greek Mss. on Acts 20:28 ‘the blood of God’). Thus the Jews, and every sinner, killed the Creator Himself, the Author of Life (John 1:1-5, 14, 18; 5:17, 18; 8:24, 58; 10:30; Acts 3:14, q5; Philippians 2:6; Hebrews 1; 2:10; 3:4-6). Also, as in Joel 2, it is the same Lord Jesus Christ Who baptizes and pours out the Spirit He receives from the Father. In 13:7 the Man, the Equal of Jehovah, is the Shepherd, Who we have seen from Genesis on, in Psalms, Isaiah, etcetera, a term applied equally to each of the three Persons of the Trinity and here, of course, to the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ibid, pp. 345-346; bold emphasis ours)

“The phrase geber ‘amiti, ‘the man of my community,’ illustrates the dual nature of the messianic agent. On the one hand, his humanity is emphasized (geber refers to both ‘human’ and ‘male’), and, on the other hand, the divine aspect is also underscored, because this agent is part of God's community–he is God’s ‘fellow man.’ This is reinforced in alternative and complementary texts. Note the Targum Jonathan’s reading of Zechariah 13:7, ‘against the ruler, his companion who is like him.’ As one can see, the Targum replaces geber, ‘man,’ with sltwn’, ‘ruler, rule,’ and the anthropomorphic ‘amiti, ‘my community,’ with a more abstract term hbr’, ‘companion, friend.’…

“This leader of the people is evidently very close to Yahweh on earth (as is every king in Israel, an adopted son of God [cf. Ps 2:7]), but is still far away from him. This binary and complementary relationship, near to God and yet far from him, is expressed by the phrase ‘my fellow man.’ That is, the subject is simultaneously ‘man’ and ‘my community’ (i.e., God’s)…

This text in Zechariah 13:7 was considered from a very early age in both the Christian and the Judaic traditions to be a messianic text. The premessianic age is seen as a national ordeal in which God plays an important role. For Christians this is an important text because it presents the Messiah as a man, but at the same time as very close to God. It is in the same vein of thought as Psalm 110:1, in which there is a mysterious, enigmatic person playing the role of counselor or confidant positioned between the king of Israel (David) and God. In Psalm 110 the intermediary is not portrayed as a man (that is, as a human), but certainly as close to God, and it is significant that this person is introduced as operative between God and his representative on earth, namely, David in Psalm 110.” (Eugen J. Pantiuc, Jesus The Messiah In The Hebrew Bible [Paulist Press, Mahwah, New Jersey 2006] pp. 151-152; bold emphasis ours)

“There is no stronger statement in the Old Testament regarding the unimpeachable deity of Israel's Messiah, the Son of God.” (Charles L. Feinberg, God Remembers: A Study of the Book of Zechariah [American Board of Missions to Jews, New York, 1965], p. 910)