Zechariah 13:6 – Wounds Between Your Hands

August 28, 2020 | by Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld

How do Jews interpret Zechariah 13:6? “And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your hands?’ And he will say, ‘That I was smitten in the house of those who loved me.’” I have heard Christians see it as a clear reference to Jesus, who was crucified by his fellow Jews. How do you understand it?

The Aish Rabbi Replies

Thank you for raising the interesting verse. In truth, the phrase “between your hands” more likely seems a reference to a person’s torso – perhaps referring to the lashes the courts administered to him for his behavior. (The judges are the ones who love the people ("those who loved me") – by offering rulings and at times punishments to lead the populace to improve.) That is how many of the commentators to that verse explain it (e.g. Rashi, Metzudat David). It is conceivable, though, that it refers to wounds on the hands, along the lines of crucifixion.

It’s odd that you raise this issue though. This is really the last verse Christians would want to apply to Jesus. If you look at the context, the discussion is the false prophets in the End of Days who will admit they were never truly prophets of God. One of them is the one of verse 6 who is (possibly) saying he was crucified for his heretical beliefs.

See this video on the topic.


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