Zec 14:1-21. Last Struggle
with the Hostile World-Powers:
Messiah-Jehovah Saves Jerusalem and
Destroys the Foe, of Whom the Remnant Turns to the Lord Reigning at
1. day of the Lord—in which He shall
vindicate His justice by punishing the wicked and then saving His elect
people (Joe 2:31; 3:14; Mal 4:1, 5).
thy spoil … divided in the midst of
thee—by the foe; secure of victory, they shall not divide the
spoil taken from thee in their camp outside, but "in the midst" of the
2. gather all nations, &c.—The
prophecy seems literal (compare Joe 3:2). If Antichrist be the leader of the
nations, it seems inconsistent with the statement that he will at this
time be sitting in the temple as God at Jerusalem (2Th 2:4); thus Antichrist outside would be made
to besiege Antichrist within the city. But difficulties do not set
aside revelations: the event will clear up seeming difficulties.
Compare the complicated movements, Da 11:1-45.
half … the residue—In Zec 13:8,
9, it is "two-thirds" that
perish, and "the third" escapes. There, however, it is "in
all the land"; here it is "half of the city." Two-thirds
of the "whole people" perish, one-third survives. One-half of
the citizens are led captive, the residue are not cut off.
Perhaps, too, we ought to translate, "a (not 'the') residue."
3. Then—In Jerusalem's extremity.
as … in … day of battle—as
when Jehovah fought for Israel against the Egyptians at the Red Sea
14:14; 15:3). As He then made
a way through the divided sea, so will He now divide in two "the Mount
of Olives" (Zec 14:4).
4. The object of the cleaving of the mount in
two by a fissure or valley (a prolongation of the valley of
Jehoshaphat, and extending from Jerusalem on the west towards Jordan,
eastward) is to open a way of escape to the besieged (compare Joe 3:12,
14). Half the divided mount
is thereby forced northward, half southward; the valley running
between. The place of His departure at His ascension shall be the place
of His return: and the "manner" of His return also shall be similar
1:11). He shall probably
"come from the east" (Mt 24:27).
He so made His triumphal entry into the city from the Mount of Olives
from the east (Mt 21:1-10). This was the scene of His agony: so it
shall be the scene of His glory. Compare Eze 11:23, with Eze 43:2, "from the way of the east."
5. ye shall flee to the
valley—rather "through the valley," as in 2Sa 2:29. The valley made by the cleaving asunder
of the Mount of Olives (Zec 14:4) is
designed to be their way of escape, not their place of refuge [Maurer]. Jerome
is on the side of English Version. If it be translated so, it
will mean, Ye shall flee "to" the valley, not to hide there, but as the
passage through which an escape may be effected. The same divinely sent
earthquake which swallows up the foe, opens out a way of escape to
God's people. The earthquake in Uzziah's days is mentioned (Am 1:1) as a recognized epoch in Jewish
history. Compare also Isa 6:1:
perhaps the same year that Jehovah held His heavenly court and gave
commission to Isaiah for the Jews, an earthquake in the physical world,
as often happens (Mt 24:7),
marked momentous movements in the unseen spiritual world.
of the mountains—rather, "of My
mountains," namely, Zion and Moriah, peculiarly sacred to Jehovah
[Moore]. Or, the mountains formed by
My cleaving Olivet into two [Maurer].
Azal—the name of a place near a
gate east of the city. The Hebrew means "adjoining" [Henderson]. Others give the meaning,
"departed," "ceased." The valley reaches up to the city gates, so as to
enable the fleeing citizens to betake themselves immediately to it on
leaving the city.
Lord my God … with thee—The
mention of the "Lord my God" leads the prophet to pass suddenly to a
direct address to Jehovah. It is as if "lifting up his head" (Lu 21:28), he suddenly sees in vision the
Lord coming, and joyfully exclaims, "All the saints with Thee!" So
saints—holy angels escorting
the returning King (Mt 24:30, 31; Jude 14); and redeemed men (1Co
15:23; 1Th 3:13; 4:14).
Compare the similar mention of the "saints" and "angels" at His coming
on Sinai (De 32:2, 3; Ac 7:53; Ga 3:19; Heb 2:2). Phillips thinks Azal is Ascalon on the
Mediterranean. An earthquake beneath Messiah's tread will divide Syria,
making from Jerusalem to Azal a valley which will admit the ocean
waters from the west to the Dead Sea. The waters will rush down the
valley of Arabah, the old bed of the Jordan, clear away the sand-drift
of four thousand years, and cause the commerce of Petra and Tyre to
center in the holy city. The Dead Sea rising above its shores will
overflow by the valley of Edom, completing the straits of Azal into the
Red Sea. Thus will be formed the great pool of Jerusalem (compare Zec 14:8; Eze 47:1, &c.; Joe 3:18). Euphrates will be the north boundary,
and the Red Sea the south. Twenty-five miles north and twenty-five
miles south of Jerusalem will form one side of the fifty miles square
of the Lord's Holy Oblation (Eze 48:1-35). There are seven spaces of fifty miles
each from Jerusalem northward to the Euphrates, and five spaces of
fifty miles each southward to the Red Sea. Thus there are thirteen
equal distances on the breadth of the future promised land, one for the
oblation and twelve for the tribes, according to Eze 48:1-35. That the Euphrates north,
Mediterranean west, the Nile and Red Sea south, are to be the future
boundaries of the holy land, which will include Syria and Arabia, is
favored by Ge 15:8; Ex 23:31;
De 11:24; Jos 1:4; 1Ki 4:21; 2Ch 9:26; Isa 27:12; all which was partially realized in
Solomon's reign, shall be antitypically so hereafter. The theory, if
true, will clear away many difficulties in the way of the literal
interpretation of this chapter and Eze 48:1-35.
6. light … not … clear …
Syriac, and Septuagint translate, "There shall not be light,
but cold and ice"; that is, a day full of horror (Am 5:18). But the Hebrew for "clear" does
not mean "cold," but "precious," "splendid" (compare Job 31:26). Calvin
translates, "The light shall not be clear, but dark" (literally,
"condensation," that is, thick mist); like a dark day in which you can
hardly distinguish between day and night. English Version
accords with Zec 14:7:
"There shall not be altogether light nor altogether darkness," but an
intermediate condition in which sorrows shall be mingled with joys.
7. one day—a day altogether
unique, different from all others [Maurer]. Compare "one," that is, unique (So 6:9;
Jer 30:7). Not as Henderson explains, "One continuous day,
without night" (Re 22:5; 21:25); the millennial period (Re 20:3-7).
known to … Lord—This truth
restrains man's curiosity and teaches us to wait the Lord's own time
not day, nor night—answering to "not
… clear nor … dark" (Zec 14:6); not altogether daylight, yet not the
darkness of night.
at evening … shall be
light—Towards the close of this twilight-like time of
calamity, "light" shall spring up (Ps 97:11; 112:4;
Isa 30:26; 60:19, 20).
8. living waters—(Eze 47:1; Joe
former sea—that is, the front,
or east, which Orientalists face in taking the points of the compass;
the Dead Sea.
hinder sea—the west or
summer … winter—neither dried up
by heat, nor frozen by cold; ever flowing.
9. king over all … earth—Isa 54:5 implies that this is to be the
consequence of Israel being again recognized by God as His own people
2:44; Re 11:15).
one Lord … name one—Not that He
is not so already, but He shall then be recognized by all
unanimously as "One." Now there are "gods many and lords many."
Then Jehovah alone shall be worshipped. The manifestation of the
unity of the Godhead shall be simultaneous with that of the unity of
the Church. Believers are one in spirit already, even as God is one
4:3-6). But externally there
are sad divisions. Not until these disappear, shall God reveal fully
His unity to the world (Joh 17:21, 23). Then shall there be "a pure language,
that all may call upon the name of the Lord with one consent" (Zep 3:9). The Son too shall at last give
up His mediatorial kingdom to the Father, when the purposes for which
it was established shall have been accomplished, "that God may be all
in all" (1Co 15:24).
10. turned—or, "changed round about":
literally, "to make a circuit." The whole hilly land round
Jerusalem, which would prevent the free passage of the living waters,
shall be changed so as to be "as a (or the) plain" (Isa 40:4).
from Geba to Rimmon—Geba (2Ki 23:8) in Benjamin, the north border of Judah.
Rimmon, in Simeon (Jos 15:32),
the south border of Judah; not the Rimmon northeast of Michmash.
"The plain from Geba to Rimmon" (that is, from one boundary to
the other) is the Arabah or plain of the Jordan, extending from the Sea
of Tiberias to the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea.
it shall be lifted up—namely,
Jerusalem shall be exalted, the hills all round being lowered (Mic 4:1).
inhabited in her place—(Zec 12:6).
from Benjamin's gate—leading to the
territory of Benjamin. The same as Ephraim's gate, the north boundary
of the city (2Ki 14:13).
the first gate—west of the city [Grotius]. "The place of," &c. implies that
the gate itself was then not in existence. "The old gate" (Ne 3:6).
the corner gate—east of the city
[Grotius]. Or the "corner" joining the
north and west parts of the wall [Villalpandus]. Grotius thinks "corners" refers to the towers
there built (compare Zep 3:6,
tower of Hananeel—south of the city,
near the sheep gate (Ne 3:1; 12:39; Jer 31:38) [Grotius].
king's wine-presses—(So 8:11). In the interior of the city, at Zion
11. no more utter destruction—(Jer 31:40). Literally, "no more
curse" (Re 22:3;
4:6), for there will be no
more sin. Temporal blessings and spiritual prosperity shall go together
in the millennium: long life (Isa 65:20-22), peace (Isa 2:4), honor (Isa 60:14-16), righteous government (Isa 54:14;
60:18). Judgment, as usual,
begins at the house of God, but then falls fatally on Antichrist,
whereon the Church obtains perfect liberty. The last day will end
everything evil (Ro 8:21)
12. Punishment on the foe, the last
Antichristian confederacy (Isa 59:18; 66:24; Eze
38:1-39:29; Re 19:17-21). A
living death: the corruption (Ga 6:8) of death combined in ghastly union with
the conscious sensibility of life. Sin will be felt by the sinner in
all its loathsomeness, inseparably clinging to him as a festering,
13. tumult—consternation (Zec 12:4;
1Sa 14:15, 20).
lay hold … on … hand of …
neighbour—instinctively grasping it, as if thereby to be
safer, but in vain [Menochius]. Rather,
in order to assail "his neighbor" [Calvin], (Eze 38:21). Sin is the cause of all quarrels on
earth. It will cause endless quarrels in hell (Jas 3:15, 16).
14. Judah … fight at
Jerusalem—namely, against the foe: not against Jerusalem, as
Maurer translates in variance with the
context. As to the spoil gained from the foe, compare Eze 39:10, 17.
15. The plague shall affect the very beasts
belonging to the foe. A typical foretaste of all this befell Antiochus
Epiphanes and his host at Jerusalem (1 Maccabees 13:49; 2 Maccabees
16. every one … left—(Isa 66:19, 23). God will conquer all the foes of
the Church. Some He will destroy; others He will bring into willing
from year to year—literally, "from the
sufficiency of a year in a year."
feast of tabernacles—The other two
great yearly feasts, passover and pentecost, are not specified,
because, their antitypes having come, the types are done away with. But
the feast of tabernacles will be commemorative of the Jews' sojourn,
not merely forty years in the wilderness, but for almost two thousand
years of their dispersion. So it was kept on their return from the
Babylonian dispersion (Ne 8:14-17). It was the feast on which Jesus made
His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:8); a pledge of His return to His capital
to reign (compare Le 23:34, 39, 40, 42; Re 7:9;
21:3). A feast of peculiar
joy (Ps 118:15; Ho 12:9). The feast on which Jesus gave the
invitation to the living waters of salvation ("Hosanna," save us
now, was the cry, Mt 21:9;
compare Ps 118:25, 26) (Joh 7:2, 37). To the Gentiles, too, it will be
significant of perfected salvation after past wanderings in a moral
wilderness, as it originally commemorated the ingathering of the
harvest. The seedtime of tears shall then have issued in the harvest of
joy [Moore]. "All the nations" could not
possibly in person go up to the feast, but they may do so by
17. no rain—including every calamity
which usually follows in the East from want of rain, namely, scarcity
of provisions, famine, pestilence, &c. Rain is the symbol also of
God's favor (Ho 6:3). That
there shall be unconverted men under the millennium appears from the
outbreak of Gog and Magog at the end of it (Re 20:7-9); but they, like Satan their master,
shall be restrained during the thousand years. Note, too, from this
verse that the Gentiles shall come up to Jerusalem, rather than the
Jews go as missionaries to the Gentiles (Isa 2:2; Mic 5:7). However, Isa 66:19 may imply the converse.
18. if … Egypt go not up—specified
as Israel's ancient foe. If Egypt go not up, and so there be no rain on
them (a judgment which Egypt would condemn, as depending on the Nile's
overflow, not on rain), there shall be the plague … .
Because the guilty are not affected by one judgment, let them not think
to escape, for God has other judgments which shall plague them. Maurer translates, "If Egypt go not up, upon
them also there shall be none" (no rain). Ps 105:32 mentions "rain" in Egypt. But it is not
their main source of fertility.
19. punishment—literally, "sin"; that
is, "punishment for sin."
20. shall there be upon the
bells—namely, this inscription, "Holiness to the Lord," the
same as was on the miter of the high priest (Ex 28:36). This implies that all things, even the
most common, shall be sacred to Jehovah, and not merely the things
which under the law had peculiar sanctity attached to them. The "bells"
were metal plates hanging from the necks of horses and camels as
ornaments, which tinkled (as the Hebrew root means) by
striking against each other. Bells attached to horses are found
represented on the walls of Sennacherib's palace at Koyunjik.
pots … like … bowls—the
vessels used for boiling, for receiving ashes, &c., shall be as
holy as the bowls used for catching the blood of the sacrificial
victims (see on Zec 9:15; 1Sa 2:14). The priesthood of Christ will be
explained more fully both by the Mosaic types and by the New Testament
in that temple of which Ezekiel speaks. Then the Song of Solomon, now
obscure, will be understood, for the marriage feast of the Lamb will be
celebrated in heaven (Re 19:1-21), and on earth it will be a Solomonic
period, peaceful, glorious, and nuptial. There will be no king but a
prince; the sabbatic period of the judges will return, but not with the
Old Testament, but New Testament glory (Isa 1:26; Eze 45:1-25) [Roos].
21. every pot—even in private houses, as
in the temple, shall be deemed holy, so universal shall be the
consecration of all things and persons to Jehovah.
take of them—as readily as they would
take of the pots of the temple itself, whatever number they wanted for
no … Canaanite—no unclean or
ungodly person (Isa 35:8; 52:1; Joe 3:17). Compare as to the final state
subsequent to the millennium, Re 21:27; 22:15. Maurer
not so well translates "merchant" here, as in Pr 31:24. If a man would have the beginnings of
heaven, it must be by absolute consecration of everything to God on
earth. Let his life be a liturgy, a holy service of acted worship