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14. The Lord Comes and Reigns

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

4And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, 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, 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. 5And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: 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, and all the saints with thee. 6And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: 7But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light. 8And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be. 9And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. 10All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses. 11And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

12And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. 13And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 14And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance. 15And 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.

16And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17And 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. 18And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

20In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE Lord; and the pots in the Lord’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. 21Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.

Zechariah pursues the same subject as in the preceding chapter: for having promised a joyful and happy state to the faithful, who despising their indulgences in Chaldea had returned to their own country, he now reminds them that their peaceful condition in Judea would not be without many trials and troubles; and therefore he exhorts them to patience, lest they should faint in their adversities, and repent of their return.

Some apply this chapter to the time of Antichrist, some refer it to the last day, others explain it of the destruction of the city which happened in the reign of Vespasian; but I doubt not but that the Prophet meant here to include the calamities which were near at hand, for the city had not yet been built, 178178     This was not done till the time of Nehemiah, who returned to Judea about ninety years after the first return under Zerubbabel, and several years, probably thirty or forty, after the date of this prophecy. — Ed. the Jews having been much harassed by their neighbors; and we also know how atrocious was the tyranny which Antiochus exercised: in short, there was a continued series of evils from the time the city and the temple began to be built till the coming of Christ. As then the Jews, who had preferred foreign countries to their own, might have boasted of their lot and despised their brethren, as though they had foolishly and thoughtlessly removed from foreign lands, and had been too precipitate in returning, God designed to declare by the mouth of Zechariah what evils were at hand, that the faithful might with a courageous mind be prepared to undergo their trials, and that they might never succumb under any evils, for the Lord had promised more to them than what they could have attained in Chaldea and other countries. Having now explained the meaning of the Prophet, I shall come to the words. 179179     Dathius truly says, that interpreters have toiled much in the explanation of this chapter, some taking the words in a spiritual sense, others maintaining that what is here said was fulfilled before the coming of Christ, and a third party holding that all is as yet unfulfilled. He was disposed on the whole to assent to the opinion of Grotius, the same in part with that of Calvin — that this prophecy, as well as some in the preceding chapters, were fulfilled in the times of the Maccabees. See 1 Maccabees 6:26, etc. He indeed admits that this theory does not remove all the difficulties, but leaves less than any other.
   Marckius doubted not but that the beginning of this chapter is a prophecy concerning the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, and he quotes Jerome, Cyril, and Theodoret as having expressed the same opinion. Lowth, Scott, Adam Clarke, and Henderson take the same view. But the sequel of this chapter may be better explained by the events which followed the attacks of the Greco-Syrian kings on Jerusalem, (see 2 Maccabees 4,) than by the events which followed the ruin of that city by the Romans. Blayney viewed the contents of this chapter, and much of what is found in the preceding chapters, as yet unfulfilled: and so does Newcome in part.

   Henry is doubtful whether this chapter and the preceding are to be understood of the whole period from the Prophet’s days to the days of the Messiah, or to some events during that time, or to Christ’s coming and the setting up of his kingdom upon the ruins of the Jewish polity. — Ed.

Behold, he says, the day shall come to Jehovah, and divided shall be thy spoils in the midst of the city. By the demonstrative particle Behold, the certainty of the prophecy, as it has been elsewhere said, is intimated; for the Prophet points out as by the finger what could not yet be comprehended by human minds. And he says, that the day would come to Jehovah, that they might know that they would suffer a just punishment when the Lord treated them in this manner; for men, we know, indulge themselves and seek pleasures, and when God seems not to deal kindly with them, they raise a clamor as though he were too severe. Hence the Prophet reminds them, that so great a calamity would not come without a cause, for God would then execute his judgment. He does not expressly describe it, but he speaks as though he summoned them before God’s tribunal. Now when we understand that we have to do with God, it avails us nothing to murmur. It is then better to be silent when God is set forth as being in the midst of us, for it is certain that he will not in chastising us exceed what is just.

But here is described a hard affliction; for Zechariah intimates that the city would be exposed to the will of enemies, so that they would divide at pleasure their spoils in the very midst of it. What conquerors snatch away, they afterwards in private divide among themselves; and we know that many cities have been plundered, when yet the conquerors have not dared to expose to view their spoils. But the Prophet means here that there would be no strength in the Jews to prevent their enemies from dividing the spoils at their leisure in the midst of the city.

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