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Future Warfare and Final Victory


See, a day is coming for the L ord, when the plunder taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses looted and the women raped; half the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the L ord will go forth and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which lies before Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley; so that one half of the Mount shall withdraw northward, and the other half southward. 5And you shall flee by the valley of the L ord’s mountain, for the valley between the mountains shall reach to Azal; and you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. Then the L ord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

6 On that day there shall not be either cold or frost. 7And there shall be continuous day (it is known to the L ord), not day and not night, for at evening time there shall be light.

8 On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea; it shall continue in summer as in winter.

9 And the L ord will become king over all the earth; on that day the L ord will be one and his name one.

10 The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11And it shall be inhabited, for never again shall it be doomed to destruction; Jerusalem shall abide in security.

12 This shall be the plague with which the L ord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet; their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths. 13On that day a great panic from the L ord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of a neighbor, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other; 14even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected—gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever animals may be in those camps.

16 Then all who survive of the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the L ord of hosts, and to keep the festival of booths. 17If any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the L ord of hosts, there will be no rain upon them. 18And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then on them shall come the plague that the L ord inflicts on the nations that do not go up to keep the festival of booths. 19Such shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to keep the festival of booths.

20 On that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the L ord.” And the cooking pots in the house of the L ord shall be as holy as the bowls in front of the altar; 21and every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be sacred to the L ord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and use them to boil the flesh of the sacrifice. And there shall no longer be traders in the house of the L ord of hosts on that day.

Then he says, that this day is known to Jehovah, in order that the faithful night depend on his good pleasure, and not too anxiously enquire about an event hidden from them and the whole world. The day then is known, says Zechariah, only to God, though he speaks of things well known, and which the Jews had at length to know by experience. But his object must be regarded, for his purpose was to restrain the godly, that they might not unnecessarily torment themselves, for we are wont to be too curious to know things: when God’s design is to calm us, and to make us rely on his providence, then many thoughts come across our minds, and toss us here and there, and thus we torment ourselves with anxiety. As then it is disease is innate in human nature, the Prophet supplies a seasonable remedy, — that the faithful are to allow themselves to be ruled by God, and to follow the example of their father Abraham, “The Lord will provide:” when he was in extremity and no escape was open he committed himself to God’s providence. So also Zechariah says, that it would be entirely dependent on the will of God alone, now to cover the heavens with darkness, and then to restore the sun, and also to blend darkness with light; and nothing is better for men than to check themselves, and not to enquire more than what is right, nor take away anything from God’s power, for whenever men murmur against God’s judgments, it is the same thing as though they wished to penetrate into heaven, and concede nothing to him except what they themselves think right. Then, in order to check this presumption, the Prophet says, that this day is known to Jehovah, so that the faithful might patiently wait until the ripened end should come, for our curiosity drives us here and there, so that we always wish to be certain about the end, “How long is this to endure?” and thus we complain against God; but when we are not able to subordinate our minds to his will, then we break forth as it were into a furious temper.

We hence see how useful a doctrine this clause contains, where the Prophet sets God as the judge and the arbitrator of all events, so that he afflicts the Church as long as it pleases him, sets bounds to adversities, and regulates all things as it seemeth good to him; and he also covers the heavens with thick clouds, and takes away the sight of the sun. All this then is what the Prophet would have us to know is in God’s power, and directed by his counsel. It now follows-

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