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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 speaks here no doubt on the same subject; for he adds, that there would be an intestine war between the country and the city, though they were but one body, and since their return they were under the same Divine banner: God had indeed been their leader in their journey, and was in short the only remaining glory of the people. It was then something horribly monstrous, that Judah should join himself to enemies in order to destroy the city: yet the Prophet says that this evil, as well as other evils, would soon be witnessed; so that they would have not only to sustain the assaults of enemies, who would come from far, but would also find their brethren hostile and hurtful to them: Fight then shall Judah against Jerusalem 194194     Most commentators render this line, “And Judah shall fight in Jerusalem,” but contrary to Scripture usage. The verb used here for “fight,” when followed by [ב], almost invariably means to “fight against.” The exception which Henderson makes as to place, is not well founded. The very same form of words occurs in Nehemiah 3:8 and the rendering is, “against Jerusalem.” See also 1 Samuel 23:1. The history of the Jews, as detailed both by Josephus and the Maccabees, fully bears out what is here said: and this corresponds with what is said of Judah in chapter 12:2. Whatever view may be taken of this and the preceding chapters, it cannot be denied but that there is a striking coincidence between what they contain, and the events connected with the Jews from the time of Ezra to the coming of Christ. — Ed.

At what time this happened, it is well known; for under Antiochus we know that both the city and the whole land were full of traitors; inasmuch as hardly one in a hundred continued to follow true religion. Thus it happened, that almost all were trodden under foot. It was not then without reason foretold by Zechariah, that the Jews would become cruel enemies to their own brethren.

He then adds, Collected shall be the armies of all nations. The word חיל, chil, means forces, wealth and strength. I am disposed to follow what I have already said, — that the army or strength of all nations around would be collected to overthrow Jerusalem. The Prophet intimates in these words that the Jews would apparently be the most miserable of men, were their condition estimated by their state at that time; for there would be harassing traitors within, so that they had to fear intrigues and hidden dangers, and many people also from every part would unite to destroy them. Nothing can be imagined more miserable than to be assailed from within and from without by almost the whole of mankind. But there will presently follow a consolation; and hence we must bear in mind what I have said, that threatening are given by way of warning, that the faithful might courageously bear those ruinous attacks, relying on the hope of a better state of things, according to what God had promised.

When afterwards he mentions gold, and silver, and garments, he intimates that the enemies, whom he speaks of, would not come, as though they were hungry, running to the prey; but that they would be so savage as to seek nothing but blood; for they would be furnished with necessaries, having an abundance of gold and silver. For what purpose then would they come? Not to satiate their avarice, but only to gorge human blood, and thus to extinguish the memory of the chosen people. Even to hear this was terrible; but it was necessary to warn the faithful, lest they should be surprised by any sudden event. He afterwards adds —

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