a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

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.

The Prophet in this verse promises two things, — that the city would be in a very prominent place, so as to be seen at a distance, and also, that it would be a secure and peaceable habitation.

With regard to the former part he says, Turned shall be the whole land into a plain 189189     I would render the words, —
   All around shall the whole land be like a plain.

   The verb [סב], means to turn or go round, to be in a circuit. — Ed.
We indeed know that Jerusalem was situated with mountains around it, its foundations, as it is said in Psalm 87:1, were on the holy mountains. As then the country was uneven on account of its many hills, the Prophet says, that it would become a wide plain, so that travelling would not be rough and difficult as before; and further, that Jerusalem would not be low in a deep place, but would be on a plain, which would not prevent it from being seen from whatever quarter the visitants might come. The whole land, he says, shall be a plain from Geba to Rimmon. As we do not fully know what sort of country that was, nor where Geba and Rimmon were, I shall not speak here particularly on every word; but it is enough for us to understand the design of what is said, which was to show — that steep places would become level ground, so that Jerusalem might be seen from far, and that the surface being level there would be no mountains to impede a distant view. 190190     “Geba” was in Benjamin, north of Jerusalem, Joshua 21:17; and “Rimmon” was in Judah, south of Jerusalem, Joshua 15:32. — Ed.

Then follows the second clause, Inhabited shall be Jerusalem in its own place; that is, though it was formerly pulled down, and now lies as it were dilapidated, and the buildings already begun are very imperfect, yet it shall on itself be inhabited, it shall have the same limits, the same boundaries: in short, the Prophet means, that the size of the city would be the same as it was formerly.

Zechariah, we know, performed the office of a teacher, when the Jews began, not without great hindrances, to build the city. They were not able at first to take in the whole compass; indeed they thought this impracticable, until they were encouraged by Ezra and Nehemiah, as we learn from the books of both. Since then the city they began to build was confined in its limits, Zechariah says, that there was no reason to despair, for in a short time it would again attain its ancient splendor, and be extended to all its gates, as it is afterwards stated. And a description of the ancient city, when destroyed, is no doubt given here when he says,

From the gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, (he mentions the place of the gate, for there was then no gate, as that part of the city remained as yet desolate,) to the gate of the corners, from the citadel of Hananeel to the wine-vats of the king. Though we know not fully now how far the ancient Jerusalem extended, or what was its exact situation, it is yet certain that the Prophet meant that such would be the greatness and magnificence of the city, that its condition would fully equal its ancient splendor which then had disappeared. The city, as it is well known, had been very large; though writers do not agree on the subject, yet it is commonly admitted, that it included 30 stadia. This was certainly no common size; and hence the Prophet states what all thought to be incredible, that though the extent of the city was small, it would yet become a new Jerusalem, not inferior to the former either in largeness or in magnificence, or in any other respect. But we must defer what remains till tomorrow.

VIEWNAME is study