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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.

Zechariah concludes what he said in the last verse by saying, that Jerusalem when restored by God to its pristine state would be a populous city, for the indefinite verb here used means the same as though he had said, that the number of people would be as great as it had been before, though a small portion only had returned. We indeed know how difficult it is to fill a city with inhabitants when once deserted, especially after a long interval of time. But the Prophet here exhorts the Jews to entertain hope, for the Lord would gather again a large number of men, so as to fill the city with inhabitants.

He adds, there shall be no more utter destruction 191191     Rendered “a curse — [ἀνάθεμα],” by the Septuagint, by Marckius, Newcome, and Henderson,—”slaughter — occisio,” by the Targum. The verb means especially two things — to devote a thing to God — and to devote a thing to death, or to entire ruin. From this latter meaning has come the idea of a curse and destruction, which is evidently what is intended here. The Jews were not to be a curse so as to be utterly destroyed, though they were to be subject to many evils. They are not utterly cut off even now according to the doctrine of St. Paul. — Ed. By the word חרם, cherem, I have no doubt, the Prophet means all utter ruin, such as had happened when the people were driven into exile. And for this reason and in the same sense, Isaiah says, that God had sworn that the destruction of the city would be like the deluge of Noah, (Isaiah 54:9;) for he should never again bring such a grievous and dreadful vengeance on his people. But we learn from the whole passage, that this prophecy extends to the kingdom of Christ; for though Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus, it is yet true that God bad been the perpetual guardian of that city, inasmuch as the fullness of time had come when Christ was revealed. It is then the same as though the Prophet had said, that such should be the moderation of God’s anger, that the name of the city would wholly perish, nor the whole people be forced to migrate. This then is what he understands by חרם, cherem

He now adds, that those who returned thither shall dwell safely in Jerusalem, for the Lord would protect them, and by an extended hand defend them against all enemies. We have elsewhere reminded you of the Prophet’s object; for he wished to goad the tardiness and sloth of those who made so much of their pleasures in Chaldea, that to return to the inheritance promised them from above was unpleasant and grievous to them. Hence he shows of how great a benefit of God they had deprived themselves; for being dispersed among the heathen nation they knew not that God’s aid was provided for them. They indeed deprived themselves of that promise which especially belonged to the remnant who dwelt at Jerusalem. The Prophet had also a particular regard to those miserable inhabitants of the land, who having been stimulated by God’s promises, had despised all dangers and all difficulties, and then had undergone, not grudgingly, vast troubles that they might possess their own country. The Prophet then shows that they had no reason to repent, for the Lord would bless them, and make them to dwell safely in the midst of enemies, by whom we know they were on every side surrounded, and further, that the city would become populous, though they were not then many in number. It follows —

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