ZECHARIAH CHAPTER 14.
The Final Conflict and Triumph of God’s Kingdom.
THE JUDGMENT AND THE REDEMPTION — V. 1. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, a great Day of Judgment, and thy spoil, that gained by the enemies in overcoming Jerusalem, shall be divided in the midst of thee, the enemies being at leisure and secure in the conquered city. V. 2. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, the enemies being recruited from all countries of the world; and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished, a picture of an apparent complete overthrow of the Church such as she experienced during the dark ages; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, yielding to the power of Antichrist, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city, some at least would remain faithful to the true God in the Church of the Reformation. V. 3. Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle, on the many occasions when He went forth to battle with them and for them. V. 4. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, this location being considered the center of the earth and the throne of the Lord, as He makes ready for judgment, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, an earthquake having this effect as the earth trembled under the footsteps of Jehovah, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north and half of it toward the south, thus opening a road from Jerusalem straight toward the east. V. 5. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains, since it would offer safe hiding-places; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal, a small town east of Mount Olivet; yea, ye ‘shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah; and the Lord, my God, shall come, His advent being looked for by His children ‘with joyful expectation, and all the saints, the holy angels, with thee. The picture sketched by the prophet shows Jehovah preparing to judge the nations, while the believers flee to Him for refuge, knowing that their salvation is near. V. 6. And it shall come to pass in that day that the light shall not be clear, that is, there would not be full daylight, nor dark, literally, "the glorious things will withdraw themselves," evidently said of the lights of heaven, the sun, moon, and stars; V. 7. but it shall be one day, a most singular day in every way, which shall be known to the Lord, He alone being acquainted with its true nature, not day nor night, because the lights of heaven will have lost their power to shine; but It shall come to pass that at evening time it shall be light. This picture represents the Church of the Middle Ages gradually sinking into darkness as the light of the Word of God was obscured by its leaders. Fortunately, however, the Lord, through the Reformation, caused the glorious light of His Gospel to shine forth once more. V. 8. And it shall be in that day, after the restoration of the light of the Word in its original position, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, from the Church of the Lord in its renewed state, cp. Ezek. 47, 1; half of them toward the former sea, toward the east, and half of them toward the hinder sea, toward the west, so that the blessings of the Gospel would be distributed throughout the world; in summer and in winter shall it be, without intermission. V. 9. And the Lord shall be King over all the earth, as the Ruler of His Kingdom of Grace; in that day shall there be one Lord, the Triune God once more accepted by the Church as He had revealed Himself in Christ, and His name one, to be glorified wherever His Word is proclaimed. V. 10. All the land shall be turned as a plain, with no more mountains to obstruct the work of the Church, from Geba, some twelve miles north of Jerusalem, to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, at the southern border of Judah; and It shall be lifted up, Jerusalem alone being placed up on high, and inhabited in her place, or, "shall dwell in her place," from Benjamin’s gate, in the wall of the north side of the city, unto the place of the first gate, on the east or northeast, unto the corner gate, that on the west, and from the tower of Hananeel, on the northeast corner of the city, Neh. 3,1, unto the king’s winepresses, in the royal gardens on the south side of the city. V. 11. And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction, such as came upon the Church through the wickedness of Antichrist; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. The Church, as renewed by the Reformation, will, on the whole, remain in possession of the truth and its blessings.
THE REMNANT OF THE NATIONS SAVED. — V. 12. And this shall be the plague, the special infliction, wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem, those who oppose the Church and its work: Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, so that they would rot away in a living death, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth, all these punishments making them unfit for further attacks upon the city of God. V. 13. And it shall come to pass in that day that a great tumult, a confusion and panic, from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbor, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor. It has always been a matter of good fortune, so far as the Church is concerned, that its enemies disagree among themselves and thus often frustrate their own evil intentions. V. 14. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem, the Church itself taking part in the warfare against the enemies threatening her life; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, the treasures of the enemy, their most precious possessions, being taken by the Church, gold and silver and apparel, In great abundance. V. 15. And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague, so that the defeat of the enemy would be complete in every way. All the enemies of the Church of God who persist in their enmity will finally, inevitably, be destroyed. V. 16. And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, after the destruction of the enemies that would not repent, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, to join with the Church in its adoration of the one true God. V. 17. And it shall be that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain, the spiritual blessings of the Lord being withheld from them. V. 18. And if the family of Egypt, representative of all the world-powers and enemies that have tried to oppress the Church of God throughout history, go not up and come not that have no rain, or, the lack of rain would be its plague or infliction; there shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles, refuse to be received into the Church and take part in its worship. V. 19. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. It is a fact borne out by history and experience that the enemies of the Lord, in opposing His Church and refusing to accept His Word, entrench themselves behind a wall of their own foolishness and shut themselves out from the highest spiritual blessings. Meanwhile the Lord is building up His Church to a state of glorious perfection. V. 20. In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, those suspended from their harness, which tinkled as they marched forward in a triumphal procession, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the Lord’s house, used for the seething of the sacrificial meat, shall be like the bowls before the altar, in which the blood of the sacrifices was kept. In other words, the difference between the sacred and profane would be entirely eliminated, everything used in the service of the Lord being equally sacred in His eyes. Cp. 1 Tim. 4, 4. 5. V. 21. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts, all the distinctions of the Ceremonial Law being eliminated; and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them and seethe therein, preparing for the sacrificial feasts without fear of contamination; and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts, no openly godless people being permitted as members of the Church of God. The nearer the Church approaches its perfection, the clearer is shown the cleavage between those who are in truth the servants of the Lord and those who merely bear the name of His ministers; and the final revelation of those who in the accepted time, in the day of salvation, were for and against the Lord Jehovah will conic on the Last Day.