When the Lord Jesus returns to earth to establish His Davidic and messianic rule, Zechariah 12:10 says: "And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him, like the bitter weeping over a first-born."
A question has been raised about the prepositional phrase "look on Me." Should this be "look on, upon Me" or "look unto Me"? Which is right, and does it make a big difference as to which translation would be correct?
Many prepositions are rather spongy and have shades of meaning that sometimes are difficult to make precise. Without question, the passage is saying that Israel, the Jews, will see Christ physically return to the earth to rule over the house of David (the kingly house) and over Jerusalem, the royal city, for carrying out the messianic reign. This is a settled issue and it makes those who do not take His return to reign over the literal messianic kingdom, which is actual and literal, look foolish. It is the covenant guys who deny the normal, natural meaning of this great passage. They deprecate the Word of God and take away the Lord's earthly reign as promised clearly in Scripture!
The proposition el at its first meaning is toward. Or, "to, on, upon." The great Jewish Rabbi Rashi says it should read "They shall look upon Me." Or, "They will turn to Me." Unger rightly puts it all together: "The pouring out of the Spirit upon the remnant will result in their looking 'upon' the Messiah, but the Hebrew 'they shall look' also includes the idea of 'looking to' Him in confidence and faith." By the way, it is God the Son who says in the passage "they shall look upon Me"!
The word "to look" in Hebrew is ne'bat in the hiphil verb form with the force of "they will be made to look." The Hebrew lexicon says the word is best translated "to look in a specific direction." Apparently when the Spirit of God touches the Jews as Christ arrives to reign upon His messianic throne, the people will be made to turn and look at His descending down to earth. This will cause them to cry out when they recognize Him as their rejected Messiah! The piercing of course refers to His crucifixion when the nation as a whole rejected Him as their Savior and King! --Dr. Mal Couch