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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Bible prophecy, commentary, Minor prophets, zechariah

Zech 14:1-2

3/16/15

(1) This prophecy concerns the second coming of Christ. This day is the day of the Lord spoken of by many Bible prophets (Isa 2:12; 13:6, 9; Joel 2:31; 3:14; Mal 4:5; Rev 16:14 and more) and refers to judgment at the end of the world.

Had Israel followed God’s plans for them this prophecy could likely have been fulfilled long ago. It will still come true in principle for God’s people, though the details may not apply as specifically as they would have had the prophecy been fulfilled for ancient Israel.

In the last chapter the people of Jerusalem would suffer terrible trials after rejecting the Messiah and two thirds of them would disappear while one third would be tested and tried and purified by fire. Now in verse 1 the prophecy promises that this time of testing would not continue forever. Eventually the day would come when their possessions would be divided among them. It is unclear whether their possession are returned and are being divided among themselves or if their possession are taken and divided among their captors. Most translations leave it vague saying that the plunder would be divided in their midst. Either way will work. If the plunder is divided among the victors it is part of the ransacking of the city. If the plunder is divided among the victims then it is a promise of the fact that once God fights for them the time will come when their possessions will be returned to them.

(2) However, before God’s salvation would come to them, the attack on God’s people would be partially successful. This must be part of the purification process spoken of in the last chapter. The nations would gather against God’s people and the city would fall, be looted, the women raped, and half of the city would be exiled. But half of them, presumably those who trust in the Lord, would remain and would not be cut off. In other words, the remnant people of God will remain strong while those who are only superficially connected to God will fall away.

Jesus spoke of this final time of tribulation (e.g. Mark 13:19) and it would be at this time that the abomination that causes desolation would have set itself up as God (Matt 24:15, Mark 13:14). For the sake of the elect, though, Jesus promised that those days would be cut short (Matt 24:22).

However, the nations that arrive for the capture of Jerusalem do not realized that they have been summoned by God for the day of judgment (Zeph 3:8, 19; 12:3; Joel 3:2, 11; Rev 11:18; 16:16).

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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 12:12-14

3/5/15

(12) In Zech 7:3 the people referred to their custom of weeping and fasting during the exile. Then, however, the Lord pointed out that their weeping had not been sincere. In this situation the weeping will be sincere and universal. Ezek 20:43 predicted the time when the people would remember their conduct and loath themselves for the evil they had done.

And it will be a deeply personal experience with each family and each person weeping alone, and particularly husbands separated from wives.

The house of David is mentioned in particular, perhaps representing the royal line. The house Nathan is mentioned, perhaps representing the prophets (2 Sam 12:1). But more likely Nathan refers to the son of David (1 Chr 3:5) through whom Zerubbabel descended (Lk 3:27-31) because the next verse mentions Levi and his descendent Shimei.

(13) The house of Levi is mentioned, perhaps representing the religious leaders, and the family of Shimei, which the LXX renders as Symeon. Shimei was descended from Levi through Gershon.

(14) The emphasis on the separation and the specific mention of separation from wives may have some connection to abstaining from sexual relations during times of meeting with God (e.g. Ex 19:15, 1 Cor 7:5).

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

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Bible prophecy, Minor prophets, old testament, zechariah

Zech 9:10-11

1/7/15

(10) And when He comes He will cut off (LXX: destroy) the chariot from Ephraim and the war horse from Jerusalem, and He would cut off the battle bow. Ephraim represents the ten northern tribes of Israel and Jerusalem the two southern tribes. Mic 5:10 prophesied the same thing concerning Israel. Why would God destroy Israel’s defenses? Because the weapons we fight with are different (2 Cor 10:4-5). God had forbidden Israel to keep horses and chariots (e.g. Josh 11:6) because they would rely on them as the source of their strength rather than relying on God.

God had and still has an entirely different plan for His kingdom. His kingdom will be one of peace. This was what God had intended for Israel from the beginning and they got a glimpse of it under Solomon (1 Chr 22:9). Had Solomon and his sons after him continued to walk in the ways of the Lord this prophecy would have been realized long ago. But with the coming of the Messiah it was realized and will reach its full fulfillment at the Second Coming.

At the cross Satan was finished as ruler of this world and when Jesus comes again the final remnants of the controversy between He and Satan will come to an end and God will rule from sea to sea (the Red Sea to the Mediterranean, Ex 23:31) and from the River to the ends of the earth. The River is a reference to the Euphrates, which the LXX includes in Ex 23:31. These were figurative language for the entire earth.

God’s reign of peace and safety is constant theme in the Bible as is His desire that His people live in peace not just with enemies of other nations but with each other as well. Peace is the fruit of life in the kingdom of God. When we do not live at peace with each other then we make it apparent that we are keeping at least one foot in the kingdom of Satan.

(11) The blood of God’s covenant with His people refers back to most clearly to Ex 24:8, when Moses sprinkled blood on the people after writing down “all the Lord’s words and laws” and the people promised to obey all God commanded. But the context is much bigger than this one scene. From the beginning of sin God made a covenant with Adam (Gen 3:15) when God promised to send the Messiah. The Messiah was the one who would make the new covenant with His people (e.g. 1 Cor 11:25, Heb 12:24), which, in keeping with the peace theme, was His command to love one another (Jn 13:34). This was the essence of the new covenant predicted even in the OT (Jer 31:31). From the beginning God’s covenant was misunderstood by God’s people (Heb 8:8) because their adherance was only external. But the covenant was never designed to work that way. God’s plan from the beginning was that love would pour from the hearts of His people. Their mere obedience was never the important part of the covenant. It was their obedience rooted in love for God and fellow man that was and still is important (Deut 6:5, 10:12, 11:13, etc.)

When we live in that kind of covenant relationship with God then He promises to set the prisoners free from the waterless pit. Two stories, Joseph being thrown into a waterless pit (Gen 37:24) and Jeremiah being put into a waterless well (Jer 38:6) spring immediately to mind in such a context. In both cases they were faithful to God and were honored for that. This was an explicit work the Messiah would do, setting the prisoners free (Is 42:7, 49:9, 61:1, Lk 4:18).

Waterless Pit

Perhaps the fact that the pit is waterless is a symbol of the unjustice of what is happening to them. Water is often a symbol of God’s judgment or at least of troubles allowed by God. For instance, the flood was God’s judgment on the earth, the Red Sea was God’s judgment on the Egyptians, David often compared waters to trouble (2 Sam 5:20, 22:17, Ps 29:3, 32:6, 69:1, etc), Job speaks of waters of God’s wrath (Job 20:28), and more. So perhaps the picture is of God rescuing His faithful people from persecution that specifically is not a judgment from God but the work of their enemies.

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

For more information and to purchase books by Jeff Scoggins visit Skapto Publishing.

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