Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:13-14

3/25/15

(13) As a result of the plague(s) falling upon them, the wicked will be seized with panic. In their panic they will seize each other’s hands and will raise their hands against each other. This means that they will begin to fight against one another. This is what happened in the story of Gideon (Judg 7:22) and the story of the Ammonites, Moabites, and Mount Seir (2 Chr 2:23). It is also Isaiah’s prediction in Isa 13:4 and Jesus’ predictions in Matt 24:7, Mark 13:8, and Luke 21:10; and also in Revelation when the ten horns destroy the scarlet beast in Rev 17:16. In the end the wicked turn on each other. Ezekiel’s prediction in Ezek 38:17-22 concerning Gog has so many parallels to Zechariah’s prophecy that it is clearly speaking of the same event, at least in general terms.

(14) Judah will also fight in or at Jerusalem. This seems to parallel Zech 12:5-7 where Judah and Jerusalem are cooperating in their fight against their attackers. This, it seems to me, is continuing the scenes of verses 1 and 2, which is of the purifying tribulation of God’s people. Probably the story of the Aramean siege of Jerusalem is in the background here. Jerusalem was nearly starved when God miraculously sent the Aramean’s fleeing and the people of Jerusalem went out and plundered the camp in great abundance.

Isa 23:18 also speaks about how the harlot’s wages will be devoted to the Lord and how her spoil will be given to God’s people. So once again we see the picture of how in the end God will bring His people through the final events of earth’s history and will reward them lavishly for their faithfulness.

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A Simple Guide to Paul's EpistlesYou Can Understand the Book of Revelation

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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:9-11

3/23/15

(9) Then the Lord will be the one and only king and one and only name over all the earth just as Daniel’s prophecy foretold (Dan 2:44) along with the other prophets as well (e.g. Ps 2:6-8, Isa 2:2-4, Isa 54:5, Mic 4:1-3).

A plain

(10) The landscape will be changed in the vicinity of the the holy city. Whether this happens at the time when the feet of Christ descend on the Mount of Olives (verse 4) or whether it is an additional restructuring as part of recreating the earth is not stated. Either way, though, this mountainous region will be transformed into a huge plain.

Geba to Rimmon

Geba indicates the northern extreme of the plain and Rimmon the southern. The SDA Comm identifies Geba with modern Jeba’, about 9 km NE of Jerusalem, and Rimmon it identifies with En-rimmon, about 14 km NE of Beersheba. This indicates the north and south borders of Judah, as did Geba and Beersheba in 2 Kings 23:8.

Jerusalem will rise

Jerusalem, it seems, will be situated higher than the rest of the plain. This fits also with the predictions of Isa 2:33, Ezek 40:2, and Mic 4:1. Here God’s promise in Ezek 37:26 to place a sanctuary in their midst forever is fulfilled. Also Joel 3:17 is fulfilled along with many others.

The gates

The gates, the Tower of Hananel and the king’s wine presses mark the boundaries of the city proper. Several OT passages mention these landmarks.

Curse

(11) God’s people will live in the city, there will be no more devoted thing, and they will be secure. Devoted things were things that were placed under a curse. During the conquest of Canaan the cities that were utterly destroyed were cherem, devoted to destruction. In the New Jerusalem there will be no such thing. The curse of sin will be gone as well as the curses of the covenant. The LXX uses the word anathema, which means accursed. Rev 22:3 also says that there will no longer be any curse.

Security

Security is one of our most basic needs right after the air we need for breathing. Nothing else is important when we are afraid for our lives. Right at the beginning of Zechariah the promise was made that Jerusalem would be a city without walls and filled with people (Zech 2:4). Isa 26:1 and Ezek 34:25 also promised security. Zech 3:15 and Zech 9:8 promised that they would no longer fear disaster and oppression.

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A Simple Guide to Paul's EpistlesYou Can Understand the Book of Revelation

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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:8

3/22/15

Living water

(8) Ezekiel also saw water flowing from Jerusalem with its beginning in the temple itself (Ezek 47:1-12). This living water would make the seas fresh and give life to trees and sea creatures. That this is the river of life of the New Jerusalem is clean in Ezek 47:12 because the leaves and fruit of the trees will not fail. They will bear fruit every month for food and the leaves will be for healing. Rev 22:1-2 presents the same picture.

Living water is a prominent theme, particularly in the NT because Jesus spoke about it often (John 4:10, 14; 7:38), and Revelation’s final invitation is to come drink of this water without cost (Rev 22:17).

Former and latter seas

The river would flow out of Jerusalem toward the former sea and the latter sea, which refers to the Mediterranean and the Dead Seas to the east and west of Jerusalem.

Summer and winter

This river would be unceasing, flowing summer and winter. The LXX says summer and spring. Lack of water was a constant problem for Israel. Isaiah makes it clear that their unfaithfulness to God brought about this curse but that God would restore water to them and their lands if they would be loyal to Him (Isa 35:7; 41:17-18; 49:10; 58:11).

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A Simple Guide to Paul's EpistlesYou Can Understand the Book of Revelation

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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:6-7

3/20/15

(6) That great day of the Lord will be unlike other days. It says literally that the precious ones will congeal. This is variously interpreted. Some understand it to mean that the sun, moon, and stars will not shine or will be darkened (NASB, AMP). Some see it as a simple absence of light (YNG). Others understand qapa’ to indicate frost, and a slight change in the Hebrew can change the meaning of yeqar to cold (ESV, NIV, NRSV). The KJV says that the light will be neither clear nor dark. The LXX says that there will be no light, cold, or frost.

(7) It will truly be a unique day this day of the Lord. It will be neither day nor night, but when evening comes light will arrive. The overall impression is that at the third coming of Christ after the millennium the natural order of things will be changed. The day/night cycle will change, at least for that day; but the lack of light does not bring with it the cold and frost that would normally accompany the darkness. At the time of evening, however, light comes upon the earth. Since this is connected with the descent of the New Jerusalem it seems reasonable to understand that this is the fulfillment of passages like Isa 60:1-3, 19-20; Luke 1:78, Rev 21:23-25, 22:5. The glory of the New Jerusalem and the throne of God brilliantly arrives and settles on the plain.

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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:5

3/18/15

(5) A vowel point change in the word nastem changes the word from flee to stop up or block (SDA Com). The LXX used the latter rendering of the word while most modern commentators use the former. The verse says that “you will flee,” but who is “you?” It would seem at first that you would refer to those to whom the prophecy was spoken. In that case then this valley creates an escape for the people, enabling them to flee from the nations that have come against them or it becomes a stronghold that protects them. However, you could also refer to the wicked. In verse 3 the Lord will fight against the nations, so you could be speaking to those nations. At the third coming of Christ, according to the description in Revelation 20-22, the holy city will come down (Rev 21:1) out of heaven to rest on a broad plain where the resurrected wicked will surround and attack the city (Rev 20:7-9).

The background of this verse is rooted in the story of the flight of the people before the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah. Amos 1:1 refers to an earthquake around that time, but unfortunately we don’t know this story. Knowing it would surely help us clarify this statement to some degree. Another parallel may be when God descended on Mount Sinai and the mountain quaked violently. Revelation also speaks of earthquakes connected to the end of the world (Rev 6:12, 8:5, 11:13, 16:18-21).

The meaning of the word Atzel is unknown. It seems that it must be a city or region to which the valley would extend. Some have suggested that it could be Wadi Yasol, based on the LXX rendering of the word. This was a tributary of the Kidron (EBC-R).

Then the Lord would come, all His holy ones with Him. These are also the armies of heaven pictured in Rev 19:14 and Enoch spoke of as well (Jude 14). Since it appears we are dealing with the time after the millennium, however, these holy ones would refer also to the people of God who were rescued from earth. We will return with God in that day when He will put a final end to the wicked.

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A Simple Guide to Paul's EpistlesYou Can Understand the Book of Revelation

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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:3-4

3/17/15

(3) The Lord would fight for Jerusalem on the day of the Lord. It is a day that other prophets connect with the day of His wrath when He will destroy the wicked (Isa 63:1-6, 66:15-16; Dan 2:34-35; Joel 3:2, 9-17; Ezek 30:3, Rev 11:18). The attack of Gog in Ezek 38:18-23 and Rev 20:7-9 in particular seems to parallel this description, which means that this verse has moved beyond the Second Coming to the Third Coming. Such “telescoping” of final events is common, particularly in the OT. In other words, like mountains from a distance look like they are stacked two dimensionally upon each other, so events at the end of time are often dealt with together as though happening at the same time, even though in reality there is distance between the events.

(4) The Mount of Olives is mentioned only here and in one other place in the OT. However, it figures prominently in the NT, particularly in relation to Jesus. It it was predicted that Jesus would come back in the same way that He went, which evidently includes descending upon the same mountain.

On this day of final judgment Christ would come and stand on the Mount of Olives on the east of Jerusalem and the effect would be that the mountain would split down the middle from east to west with half the mountain moving toward the north and the other half toward the south creating a large valley or a plain (verse 10). Again, this is the way the scene would have played out had Jerusalem been faithful to God and lasted until the end of the world. Much of this description will still take place at the end of the millennium with the New Jerusalem, but not in every detail since God’s original plans were foiled by Israel’s disobedience.

The mountain becoming a plain or valley casts back to Zech 4:7 where the mountain would become a plain for Zerubbabel. In the same way Christ will rebuild the earth to the shouts of His people. Mic 1:3-4, Nah 1:5, also Hab 3:6 also predicted the mountains melting, dissolving, and shattering under Him.

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A Simple Guide to Paul's EpistlesYou Can Understand the Book of Revelation

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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 13:8

3/14/15

(8) Then it would happen that two parts in it, which refers to two thirds of the scattered flock, would be cut off and die. Ezek 5:2-4, 12 has interesting parallels to this verse. Ezekiel was told to shave his hair and divide it into three piles. One pile he was to place in the middle of his model of the city of Jerusalem to be burned, one pile he was to strike with a sword around the city, and one third he was to scatter to the wind. Zechariah prophesied the same scenario. Two thirds would be cut off and die and on third would be left in the city to be tried by fire (verse 9). Zech 11:9 also has the thirds in it because some would die, some would be annihilated, and some would live to eat each other, as happened in the sieges of Jerusalem. Thus would be fulfilled what Dan 9:27 predicted. The Anointed One would be cut off in the middle of the week and the abomination that causes desolation would come to destroy.

It is also likely that there are eschatological connotations as well because in Rev 8:7-12 we see thirds of the earth being destroyed by the judgments of God. Also in Rev 16:19 Babylon, the counterpart to Jerusalem, splits into thirds when it is destroyed.

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A Simple Guide to Paul's EpistlesYou Can Understand the Book of Revelation

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