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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 goes on here with the same subject, — that the name of the only true God would be known throughout the whole world, so that all nations would unite in his worship, while the whole earth was before polluted with various superstitions, and every one followed his own god: but the more clearly expresses here than in the last lecture, that vengeance was prepared for all the despisers of the true God. He says then, that the curse of God is laid up for all those who would not come to Jerusalem humbly to worship God to there.

We have said that in these words is set forth the legitimate worship of God; for after the coming of Christ it was not necessary to ascend into Jerusalem according to what John says in John 4:21

“The time comes and now is, that the true worshippers of God shall worship God, neither in this mountains nor at Jerusalem;”

but in every part of the world. But the Prophets speak according to the state of things in their time, and always describe the spiritual worship of God according to the types of the law. To ascend then into Jerusalem amounts to the same thing as to embrace true religion and cordially to engage in the worship of the only true God, such as has been prescribed in his word. The meaning then is, — that all who despised the God of Israel would be accursed.

Then what follows is mentioned by the Prophet as a part for the whole; he declares that there would be no rain on the despisers of God; as though he had said, that they would perceive God’s vengeance, as he would take away from them all the necessaries of life; for by rain the Prophet means whatever is needful for the support of life. And we know that as to the blessings of God needful for the present life, the chief thing is, when he renders the heavens and the earth the servants as it were of his bounty to us: for how can we be supplied with food, except the earth by his command open its bowels and the heavens hear the earth, as it is said elsewhere, (Hosea 2:21;) so that rain may irrigate it, and render it fruitful, which must be otherwise barren?

We now then understand the design of the Prophet, — that in order to invite all nations to the pure worship of God, he declares that all who refused to serve the only true God would be accursed. He further intended by this prophecy to animate the Jews, that they might firmly proceed in the course of true religion until the coming of Christ, and never doubt but that the God whom they worshipped would be the supreme king of the whole world, though before hidden as it were in a corner of the world, while worshipped in Judea alone. The Prophet then intimates that though God had been despised by all nations, his name would yet be sanctified and adored; and also, that if any deprived him of his legitimate worship they would be visited with punishment, because they were destined to perish through famine and want, inasmuch as the heavens would deny rain to them, and the earth would not give them food.

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