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Here is the Hebrew text of Zec. 2:11 (2:15 Masoretic):

וְנִלְווּ גוֹיִם רַבִּים אֶל יהוה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְתוֹכֵךְ וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי יהוה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלָיִךְ

Here is my translation. I'm going to avoid capitalizing any word but the first letter of a sentence as well as proper names (i.e., Yahveh), as I wish to avoid influencing one's response. You may consult your preferred English translation if you wish.

And many gentiles shall be joined to Yahveh in that day, and they shall be my people, and I shall dwell in your midst, and you shall know that Yahveh of hosts sent me to you.

  1. When it says "and they shall be my people" (וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם), who does the possessive pronoun "my" refer to?
  2. When it says "and I shall dwell in your midst" (וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְתוֹכֵךְ), who is the subject of the verb וְשָׁכַנְתִּי (i.e., who does the pronoun "I" refer to)?
  3. When it says "and you shall know that Yahveh of hosts sent me to you" (וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי יהוה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלָיִךְ), who is sent by Yahveh of hosts (i.e., who does the direct object "me" refer to)?
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I would assign three speakers in this verse as follows:

וְנִלְווּ גוֹיִם רַבִּים אֶל יהוה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא (the prophet Zechariah)
וְהָיוּ לִי לְעָם וְשָׁכַנְתִּי בְתוֹכֵךְ (G-d)
וְיָדַעַתְּ כִּי יהוה צְבָאוֹת שְׁלָחַנִי אֵלָיִךְ (the Messiah)

The first sentence is typical language we would expect to see in any of the Prophetic writings. The second sentence is G-d speaking through Zechariah. G-d says I will dwell in your (f. sg.) midst, which is most likely a reference to Zion. Finally, the third sentence says that Zion will know that G-d sent the subject of the that sentence. It doesn't make sense that G-d is also the subject who sent himself (at least not from a Jewish theological point of view).

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  • Downvoter: Please leave a comment. – Tim Biegeleisen May 17 '16 at 0:55
  • I clearly stated that my refers to G-d regarding your comment. Did you read my answer? – Tim Biegeleisen May 17 '16 at 1:56
  • Okay, now I see my mistake. The first clause you listed is not something I asked about, but that's okay. I am curious though how you conclude that the Messiah is speaking in the third clause you listed, whereas in the clause immediately preceding, God is speaking (as you indicated). It seems your reasoning "it doesn't make sense...from a Jewish theological point of view" is not allowing the text to speak for itself, but rather, injecting theological bias into the interpretation. – user862 May 17 '16 at 2:04
  • It's impossible to not have a bias when rendering an explanation. Many Christians view the Messiah and G-d as one and the same, whereas Jews and other groups do not. This means that a Christian explanation could see G-d saying 2 (or even 3) of the verses, whereas a normative Jewish reading would see 3 distinct readers. – Tim Biegeleisen May 17 '16 at 2:08
  • It just seems there's no apparent reason for insisting that a change of speakers occurs within these clauses: "and they shall be my people, and I shall dwell in your midst, and you shall know that Yahveh of hosts sent me to you." These pronouns are all in the first-person: "my," "I," "me"; i.e., the pronouns refer to the same person. It seems to me that you're essentially saying that you can't accept what the text is saying because it does not accord with your religious belief. But, I'm concerned with what the text states, as this is BH.SE, not Mi Yodeya or Christianity.SE. – user862 May 17 '16 at 2:16

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