Zechariah Chapter 14: End Time Events

Jun 3rd, 2009 | By | Category: Psalm 83 and Gog & Magog, Verse by Verse --Studies led by Br. Frank Shallieu (Click on Book name)

Zechariah Chapter 14

Zech. 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Zech. 14:2 For 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.

Gog and Magog will come down into Israel and temporarily capture Jerusalem and be victorious. The spoil will be the rifling of the houses of Jerusalem and the taking of goods. (Verse 14 shows the opposite condition. When God fights for Israel, the Holy Remnant will take a spoil from the invading defeated Gentile enemies.)

Half of Jerusalem will go into captivity (exile); the other half will remain. Verse 2 shows a little time lapse during which part of the population of Jerusalem will be marched out of the city into exile. In other words, the entire city will be captured. However, the Old City, that which is inside the walls, will remain, whereas the New City, that which is outside the Jaffa Gate, will be taken into exile. The New City is the larger portion.

Zechariah 12:7 said that God will “save the tents of Judah first” lest the inhabitants of the Old City think too highly of themselves. Fighting and tumult will take place before the siege of Jerusalem. Now, in Zechariah 14, we are finding out how God will deal with the Old City, which will not be cut off.

Ezekiel 38:11,12 mentions the same spoil as Zechariah 14:1,2. “And thou shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages … to take a spoil, and to take a prey; to turn thine hand upon the desolate places that are now inhabited, and upon the people that are gathered out of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the midst of the land.” Gog and Magog will come down from the north because they are starving and want the produce of Israel. Even now many wonder how the people of Russia will survive the winter with so little food. This condition will continue until they are in desperate straits. Meanwhile, Israel will prosper materially more and more. Very hard times lie ahead for Russia.

Gog will temporarily acquire a booty in Israel, but then they themselves will become a booty. (Ezekiel 39:9 shows the weapons will be converted to farm implements.) The wealth of the invading force will become Israel’s spoil. Thus there are two spoils: (1) where Israel is the victim and (2) where the invading force is the victim.

Zech. 14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

God will fight against the invading nations under Gog as He did in the former “day of battle.” This will occur after Jerusalem has been captured and half of the city is taken into exile. Gog and Magog will appear victorious and will be helping themselves to the goods. Then God will fight for Israel to show this is His victory. God will simultaneously use the various miracles that were done on separate occasions in the past—for example, overflowing rain, earthquake, disease, confusion. The miracles will remind the Holy Remnant that God is fighting for them as in days of old.

God will fight through The Christ, who will act as His General. Saviors (plural, ie, The Christ) will arise on Mount Zion (Obadiah 21). The time setting is when Michael stands up (Dan. 12:1).

Zech. 14:4 And 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.

Zech. 14:5 And 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.

Jehovah’s feet will figuratively stand (be manifested) on the Mount of Olives through the earthquake. Stated another way, the earthquake will be seen as Jehovah’s acting on behalf of Israel. Verses 4 and 5 are literal. (Although a spiritual lesson can be drawn, the literal is the primary lesson.) God will establish and manifest His authority in the earthquake. There is even a faint possibility of a vision of God’s feet.

The valley that opens west to east, from the Old City to the Mount of Olives, will be an avenue of escape for the Holy Remnant. As the people fled before the literal earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah, so it will be again (Amos 1:1). Azal is probably the place where Jonathan had a secret meeting with David and shot the arrow before David fled for his life (1 Sam. 20:19).

As the Jews are fleeing to the Mount of Olives through the valley created by the earthquake, a hologram or vision of the Crucifixion will appear ahead of them. Up to this point in time the Holy Remnant will realize God is fighting for them, but the vision of Jesus on the Cross will reveal to them that Jesus is God’s Son and their Messiah. It will be an instantaneous conversion. The hologram will be a very large visual demonstration that all will see.

As the earthquake opens up the valley for fleeing and the Jews enter it, they will liken the opening to the opening of the Red Sea at the time of the Exodus. The former was the opening of water; now will come the opening of the earth. There is an earthquake fault in the Mount of Olives area. A verification of the fault is the earthquake that rent the Temple veil when Jesus died.

Isaiah 52:7 reads, “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!” In this verse the “feet” of God are The Christ, Head and body. The Christ will “publish” to all the world the plan of salvation. Here in Zechariah 14, God’s authority (“feet”) will be manifested through the miraculous events. It will be seen that the very God of nature is fighting on behalf of Israel, and the enemy host will realize, further, that it is the God of Israel who is fighting.

The Ancient Worthies will be resurrected at the “midnight” hour of Jacob’s Trouble (Psa. 119:62). In Old Testament times God spoke mechanically through the mind to the Ancient Worthies, so that they could actually hear a voice instructing them. They lived and died with the hope of a resurrection. Thus, when they are raised from the tomb, they will realize it is the resurrection, and they will be given instruction in a similar mechanical way.

Of the three texts that speak of Jehovah’s feet in connection with Israel in the near future, there is a slight distinction in the time settings. In all three, the “feet” of God are The Christ.

1. Zechariah 14:4 will take place during Jacob’s Trouble, that is, prior to the inauguration of the Kingdom. God’s authority will be manifested in a miraculous way.

2. Isaiah 52:7 is the official inauguration of the Kingdom. The “watchmen” in verse 8 are the Ancient Worthies. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; … for they shall see eye to eye, when the LORD shall bring again Zion.”

3. Nahum 1:15 states, “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace! O Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.” This text is similar to Isaiah 52:7.

Comment: In comparing verses 4 and 5 of Zechariah 14, verse 4 keeps referring to the “mount” or “mountain” (singular) of Olives. A great valley will open when half of the  mountain (singular) moves north and half moves south. Then verse 5 picks up with “mountains” (plural) because the earthquake has occurred. This is an interesting confirmation that the earthquake is literal.

The future earthquake will level Dome of the Rock but will not destroy the Temple Mount. The Temple Mount will be lifted up.

The end of verse 5 is a parenthetical insertion: “and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” The Revised Standard Version has “Then the LORD your God will come, and all the holy ones with him.” Zechariah 12:10 had correct pronouns in the King James, but here the Revised Standard has the right thought. (Old translations back up the Revised, even though the Hebrew agrees with the King James.) “All the saints” would be The Christ, who are the representatives of God. Hence The Christ will be involved with the miraculous intervention and the deliverance of Israel out of Jacob’s Trouble.

Q: Is the time frame the same as Matthew 25:31? “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory.”

A: Yes, that is the inauguration of the Kingdom. Then the division of sheep and goats will take place as a process throughout the Kingdom.

Signs and wonders will occur in the heavens in other nations, but especially in Jerusalem God will fight for His people and use great miracles in nature. In other nations it will appear that God is angry.

Q: Does the “sign” in Matthew 24:30 tie in with the hologram of the Crucifixion? “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

A: Yes, that “sign” can be the visual representation of Jesus and the Crucifixion in Jacob’s Trouble, which will convert the Holy Remnant to Jesus. It will be a sign of Jesus’ beginning his reign on behalf of the Father.

Comment: Spiritually, the Mount of Olives refers to the Millennial Kingdom. The north half represents the heavenly phase of the Kingdom. The south half represents the earthly phase of the Kingdom under the Ancient Worthies.

Reply: Yes, that would be the spiritual application. The “olive” is a symbol of peace and quietness. Fleeing through the valley symbolizes that under the culture and schooling of the Church and the Ancient Worthies (the north and south halves of the Kingdom) will come salvation for the world. But the literal application is the primary one.

Zech. 14:6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

The “day” is the “day of the LORD” of verse 1. During this day there will be unusual phenomena in the heavens, and God will work mighty miracles on behalf of the Holy Remnant.

Zech. 14:7 But 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.

This verse broadens the application. Phenomena will occur in God’s deliverance of Israel: earthquake, a darkening of the sun, hail, etc. Some of these signs will be seen in other parts of the world, but Israel will be different because of the multiplicity of signs concentrated in Jerusalem. In other words, Israel will be center stage, whereas the miracles and phenomena elsewhere will be sufficient for mankind to realize that something is happening.

Verses 6 and 7 can also be read as applying to the whole Kingdom Age. Those who come from the tomb will enter the Kingdom Age with no knowledge that the reign has begun, that Jesus is Messiah, etc. Hence they will have to be enlightened. However, by the end of the Kingdom, no one will have to say, “Know the LORD,” for all will know Him “from the least of them unto the greatest of them” (Jer. 31:34). Hence at “evening time” all will know, for “it shall be light.” It is like the “light of the sun” being increased “sevenfold” (Isa. 30:26). However, if verse 6 is separated from verse 7, then verse 6 can have a literal application.

The sky will be overcast, like twilight, for the duration of time that God works mighty miracles on behalf of Israel—whether that time is two days, five days, or whatever.

Q: Will the literal application be like a twilight condition around the clock?

A: Yes. For instance, at the time of hailstones, the sky is neither fully light nor fully dark but is overcast with clouds that drop hail. The “day” will not necessarily be a 24-hour day but a very short period of time. It will be the day of the Lord’s revealing and the day of His wrath when His fury comes up in His face (Ezek. 38:18).

The literal application of verse 6 ties in with verse 3 because the twilight condition around the clock will be a sample or a reoccurrence of a miracle that happened in the past, namely, Joshua’s long day. When the light dimmed or was prolonged into the night in Joshua’s long day, it seemed to the Amorites that their sun god had withdrawn his favor. Twilight, with clouds rolling in, portends something ominous.

Zech. 14:8 And 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.

The picture is broadened out into the Kingdom Age. Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem, half toward the Dead Sea on the east and half toward the Mediterranean on the west. Since the Temple will face toward the east, the Dead Sea is the front or “former sea.” The Mediterranean Sea to the west is in back or behind; ie, it is the “hinder sea.” The earthquake will set up conditions for the living waters to go out from Jerusalem, but the waters will not flow from beneath the threshold of the Third Temple until it is complete. These waters will go past the altar, out the gate, down into the Arabah, and finally into the Dead Sea.

For half of the living waters to go toward the Mediterranean Sea, the account implies the completion of a project Israel has long wanted to do but could not because their budget was slanted toward the military. The land is wonderfully suited to have a power dam because of the difference in elevation. The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, and the Jordan Valley is very low as it approaches the Dead Sea. Thus if water could be brought through a much higher level, there would be a natural power dam. The water would have to be brought from Haifa down the Esdraelon Valley or near Ashkelon. Israel, Syria, and Jordan all have serious water problems, and the population keeps increasing.

The earthquake will start some of these conditions going, especially the water flowing toward the Mediterranean Sea. When the earthquake splits the Mount of Olives, a ravine will open up, but the Temple water will come from the elevated portion of land upon which the Temple is built. The water that goes down into the Arabah from the Temple cannot start until the Temple is built, but the water going toward the Mediterranean Sea can flow sooner. The ravine that opens up when the Mount of Olives is split will not be on the Temple Mount but alongside it. The full fulfillment, where one stream goes in one direction and one in the other direction, awaits the building of the Temple.

Q: Will the water that comes out from the Temple be like a spring because it symbolically comes from The Christ, who supply living waters to mankind?

A: Yes.

Comment: Joel 3:18 speaks of a fountain: “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.”

Reply: The main volume of water that empties into the Dead Sea and brings fish will come from the Mediterranean. This water will go through the Valley of Shittim or the Arabah (acacia or shittim trees grow in the wadi) into the Jordan River and on into the Dead Sea. On the other hand, the Temple water will be shallow to start with but will then get deeper and larger: ankle deep, knee deep, hip deep, and then one will have to swim because of the depth. The water, which starts as a trickle, will indirectly join the other stream when they empty into the Dead Sea, so that symbolically it is the holy water of the Temple, in conjunction with the water the Lord causes to occur through natural phenomena, that will bring life. In other words, the union of these waters will bring life (or “fish”) both spiritually and literally.

Jesus said in Matthew 4:19, “I will make you fishers of men.” Just as believers are now called “fish,” so mankind can be likened to fish in the next age.

Thus we can see that the flowing of the “living waters” will not be sudden like the miraculous deliverance of the Holy Remnant, although the conditions for the Temple waters will be set up by the earthquake. In Solomon’s Quarries underneath the Temple Mount, there is a spring today. It is assumed that the Pool of Siloam is somehow connected to the spring and the upper end of Hezekiah’s Tunnel called the Virgin’s Fount. The spring suggests that a tremendous volume of water exists underground, of which only a trickle is currently coming forth. The fact that the water from the Temple goes east and west shows the source of the water is Jerusalem.

Other Scriptures imply that fish from the Mediterranean will go over to the Dead Sea. Wherever the “two rivers” go, there will be life (Ezek. 47:9; see also verses 6–12). A deeper ravine, which will bring the waters from the Mediterranean, is a lower, artificial sea-level canal through the Plain of Esdraelon and the Valley of Jezreel. The canal, in combination with a manmade tunnel complex, will eventuate in dropping the water Niagara Falls style into the Jordan powering turbines to provide electricity and irrigation as well as to bring fish from the Mediterranean as a side benefit. Separate waters will issue forth from the Temple toward the Dead Sea. Zechariah 14:8 speaks of the waters from Jerusalem flowing east to the Dead Sea and west to the Mediterranean, but only the eastward-flowing waters will go out from the Temple.

Q: Is the source of water from the Temple relatively small but with volume?

A: Yes.

Q: Will this smaller source intercept the major volume going from the Mediterranean to the Dead Sea?

A: Yes, but indirectly at the Dead Sea, as shown on the sketch.

Q: But will another water source go westward out of the city toward the Mediterranean?

A: The water is underneath the Temple area, basically speaking. When the whole plateau is lifted up by the earthquake, the Temple will be built on the top and the city at a lower level to the south. The water that comes up and issues forth from the Temple will go eastward toward the Dead Sea, but from that source underneath the Temple Mount, a portion will flow westward into the Mediterranean.

While the volume will be relatively small going east and west from the source under the Temple Mount, it is symbolically identified as coming from the Temple. In other words, the source of life is the Temple.

Q: In regard to the water that comes out from the spring underneath the Temple Mount, some will go all the way to the Dead Sea. But does the part that goes toward the Mediterranean go all the way to the Mediterranean or join with other water and thus change direction?

A: The tributary from the Temple will not join the larger volume of water until it gets near the mouth of the Dead Sea because the Temple water will flow down into the Arabah, whereas the other water will come from a level farther north and then down. Not only will the combined water dilute the Dead Sea, which is now so saline that no life is in it, but fish will find their way into the Dead Sea and survive. Only the south end of the Dead Sea will remain very salty and thus lifeless.

Q: What about the overflow?

A: The overflow can be controlled. The dam will regulate flow and thus control the rate of evaporation, etc.

Ezekiel 47:9 reads: “And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. “The [two] rivers” pertain to (1) the Mediterranean connection and (2) one of the two rivulets coming up from under the Temple Mount, the one going toward the east. Joel 3:18, Zechariah 14:8, and Ezekiel 47:9 must all be considered in order to get a rounded-out picture.

Ezekiel 47:1–12 tells of the water coming out visually from the Temple and the freshening of the Dead Sea. “Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under, from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar. Then brought he me out of the way of the gate northward, and led me about the way without unto the utter gate by the way that looketh eastward; and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side. And when the man that had the line in his hand went forth eastward, he measured a thousand cubits, and he brought me through the waters; the waters were to the ankles. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through the waters; the waters were to the knees. Again he measured a thousand, and brought me through; the waters were to the loins. Afterward he measured a thousand; and it was a river that I could not pass over: for the waters were risen, waters to swim in, a river that could not be passed over. And he said unto me, Son of man, hast thou seen this? Then he brought me, and caused me to return to the brink of the river. Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed. And it shall come to pass, that every thing that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many. But the miry places thereof and the marshes thereof shall not be healed; they shall be given to salt. And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.”

Zechariah 14:8 adds another detail: “in summer and in winter shall it be.” The waters will flow “in summer and in winter”—in other words, year-round. The waters will flow constantly, as pictured spiritually in Revelation 21:6, “I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.” As the people come forth from the grave, they will be able to drink “of the water of life freely,” thus getting instruction and learning of the Lord. Another way of saying the same thing is that the Temple gates will be open night and day.

In Ezekiel 47, the only reason the prophet went out the north gate in the vision is that the outer east gate will be closed for spiritual reasons. The closed east gate signifies that the Church is complete.

Zech. 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

In that day (the Kingdom) there will be one religion and one God.

Zech. 14:10 All 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.

The leveling and lifting of the land is limited to about a 30-mile circumference. Geba is north and Rimmon south, marking the outer boundaries of the land north and south to be elevated by the earthquake. The Tyropoean Valley will be pinched underneath by the earthquake and raised up. Of course the gates, which were familiar to Zechariah as landmarks, are unknown and uncertain to us today. The point is that the Old City will be rebuilt with more or less the same parameters but lifted up or elevated above the other hills.

The Dome of the Rock and the El Aksa Mosque will be leveled by the earthquake so that the Third Temple can be built. Around the Temple Mount there will be dwellings for people to live in (see Ezekiel 47 and 48). The priests and the Levites will be given specific places to live.

For the water to come up to the Temple level indicates it will be like a geyser and under pressure. This water (probably the half of the water not seen to come from the Temple) can be channeled off for living purposes.

Comment: As one approaches Jerusalem, the entire city will appear elevated, but the Temple Mount will be even higher to be the focal point of attention and silhouetted against the sky.

Reply: Yes, the city will be lower and south of the Temple. The “holy oblation” will be especially the Temple and the housing of the Levites and priests.

The rebuilt city of Jerusalem will have 12 gates, whereas the Temple will have only three. One of the three (the east gate) will be closed. Only the north and south gates will be open.

Zech. 14:11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

This verse will be fulfilled in the Kingdom Age.

Zech. 14:12 And 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.

By a “plague” God “will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem” so that their flesh will “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.”

Q: Does this verse refer to a nuclear explosion?

A: Although a nuclear explosion could do these things, that does not seem to be the case here. The account clearly states that this is a plague from the LORD. If a nuclear explosion caused the consumption, the people would not see it as a judgment from God. He will fight for His people as in days of old (Zech. 14:3). Although God could cause a nuclear explosion, that method was not used in the past and it might cause a misunderstanding—that is, it would look like man’s work.

An example of a plague in the past occurred in Hezekiah’s conflict with Sennacherib’s army (Isaiah 36 and 37). The latter was besieging Lachish near Jerusalem. When Sennacherib sent Rabshekah to threaten Israel with the consequences of not obeying, the common people of Israel heard, but God told Hezekiah through the Prophet Isaiah not to fear. The next day many thousands of Sennacherib’s army were dead of disease. In other words, the plague was sudden—it occurred in one night. Another example of sudden death is the tenth plague on the Egyptians at the midnight hour. And a relatively modern-day example is the bubonic plague, which killed people very suddenly. They just keeled over.

“And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem.” Notice that the plague will come against those who have already fought against Jerusalem. When Gog captures Jerusalem, Israel will be momentarily defeated. Then, at Israel’s moment of extremity, God will step in and fight for them. The term “all the people” should be modified because a series of events will take place to deliver the Holy Remnant and defeat Gog. In other words, only a certain segment of Gog will receive this particular judgment. The plague will overtake the enemy “while they stand upon their feet.” The thought is that while they are in motion, they will suddenly be overtaken. A related text is Ezekiel 38:22, which reads, “I [God] will plead against him with pestilence.”

Zech. 14:13 And 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.

Verse 13 mentions another type of judgment: confusion or anarchy whereby the enemy destroys itself. A companion text is Ezekiel 38:21, “And I will call for a sword against him throughout all my mountains, saith the Lord GOD: every man’s sword shall be against his brother.” In this “great tumult from the LORD … they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour.” And just as with the plague of verse 12, the great tumult will be “from the LORD.”

Note: Each of the coming dozen or so judgments would be sufficient to decimate the enemy, but Gog will be the recipient of many judgments. Some will die this way, some that way, etc. In retrospect, the Holy Remnant survivors will realize the Old Testament miracles were all true. This great battle of God Almighty will have greater significance along natural lines than anything in the past.

Q: Are verses 12 and 13 related? When the plague comes suddenly, mass panic will hit the forces of Gog, so that in their effort to flee and in the confusion that follows, they will slay one another.

A: Yes, partly. Such panic occurred in the incident with Gideon. When the Midianites heard the crashing of 300 vessels in the dark and then saw 300 lights, they thought each light represented a whole company of soldiers. In the ensuing panic, they slew one another.

Q: Is the tumult a result of the plague?

A: The tumult is a panic that will be created. God can create a panic in their hearts, for He has the power to greatly magnify the experience. For example, with Gideon a false impression entered their minds.

Zech. 14:14 And 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.

Comment: This is the second strong proof text in Zechariah to show that the holy Jew will engage in warfare. The earlier verse was Zechariah 9:15, “The LORD of hosts shall defend them; and they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones; and they shall drink, and make a noise as through wine; and they shall be filled like bowls, and as the corners of the altar.”

Reply: Yes, fighting is not morally wrong for the Jew. God will first save the “tents of Judah,” who are not the inhabitants of Jerusalem but the outlying districts of Judah (Zech.12:7). They will be given victories and marvels lest the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who will subsequently be MIGHTILY rescued by God, get heady and feel superior because of being within the sacred walls of the Old City. Even though Judah will fight on the outside to try to help their compatriots, their efforts will be meaningless with regard to the Old City of Jerusalem, for God will effect that victory.

Comment: Nevertheless, those of Judah who fight will display courage, for they will think they are committing suicide. The situation will appear to be hopeless.

Reply: Yes, it will seem hopeless because of the overwhelming numbers of the enemy. The fighters from Judah will feel that if Jerusalem perishes, they and Jewry perish too.

Comment: What a beautiful thought—and humbling too—for Judah to start to fight against overwhelming odds and then to realize their efforts are as nothing when the Lord takes over the battle.

Reply: Inferentially, not only does God earlier save the tents of Judah first lest the inhabitants of Jerusalem get high-minded, but also in this later case, God will do the fighting lest Judah gets high-minded.

Comment: In regard to the environs of Jerusalem, it sounds like hand-to-hand combat, which is a more primitive and personal level of fighting.

Reply: Yes. Wars today are fought more with tanks, airplanes, etc., and not so much with foot soldiers, but Jerusalem will be different when God delivers Israel.

Comment: The malfunctioning of the mechanical contrivances brought in by the enemy will force hand-to-hand combat.

Earlier in Zechariah 14 we saw that Gog will take a spoil when Jerusalem is captured and the houses are rifled. However, when God saves Israel, the reverse will be true. Then Israel will take a spoil. Ezekiel 38:12 shows Gog’s taking a spoil. Ezekiel 39:9,10 tells of Israel’s spoil. It will take seven years to convert Israel’s booty from weapons of war to farm implements. “And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD.” Burning the weapons will eliminate the need to cut down trees for firewood.

Comment: With their homelands in anarchy, Gog from Magog will be somewhat organized and traveling with earthly goods because they have no homes to return to. These possessions will be a source of wealth for Israel to spoil.

Reply: Yes, and much of the electronic equipment has gold, silver, crystals, and precious metals, which Israel will convert for peaceful purposes.

Zech. 14:15 And 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.

Verse 15 is the second use of the word “plague” in Zechariah 14. Here we are told that the electronics on the machinery and weapons will go askew. For example, in the Gulf War conflict with Iraq, Baghdad’s antimissile weapons misfired because the Americans put a virus in the computers the French sold to Saddim Hussein. The horse, mule, camel, and ass are Zechariah’s language to refer to the tanks, aircraft, etc., of today.

The “tents” would be camps and temporary dwellings set up in the field as the Gog host travels down to and into Israel. Gog will come with the purpose of acquiring “cattle and goods” (Ezek. 38:13). They will want to satisfy their stomachs. Also, with Israel dwelling in  the navel of the earth, Gog will want to extinguish Jewry and make Israel their permanent residence.

Zech. 14:16 And 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.

Zech. 14:17 And 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.

Zech. 14:18 And 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.

Zech. 14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

The punishment of Egypt and all nations that refuse to go up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles will be the withholding of rain. Egypt completely depends on the Nile, and the Nile completely depends on rain at its source. Hence a withholding at the source would be very effective in bringing these nations to their knees.

In verse 18 the word “plague” is used for the third time in this chapter of Zechariah. All three plagues are of the Lord: a sudden disease (verse 12), electronic failure of war equipment (verse 15), and the withholding of rain (verse 18). Whether the rain is literal or figurative or both, the withholding will be a plague to punish the nation(s).

Verses 18 and 19: The mention of “Egypt” and “nations” not coming representatively to Jerusalem suggests that some nations, as well as at least part of Egypt, will refuse to comply when the Kingdom is set up. (Other Scriptures show that another part of Egypt will readily fall in line and obey in the Kingdom.) Stripes will be necessary in recalcitrant cases to break the prejudice and bring the realization that salvation is of the Jew. Jerusalem will be the earthly source of life and hope.

Verse 16: The clause “every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem” refers to the one-sixth survivors of Gog (Ezek. 39:2), as well as those on the scene from Tarshish, Sheba, and Dedan, who will all go back to their homelands with eyewitness testimony. At least for a while at the beginning of the Kingdom, these individuals will have to return to Jerusalem to acknowledge the King at the Feast of Tabernacles. (The same idea occurs when veterans return to a place significant in a former battle.) From the first year on, the nations will have to send representatives annually in recognition of Israel’s being the center of God’s dealings and government on earth. It will be like sending ambassadors for an unusual occasion. However, the survivors of Jacob’s Trouble and the eyewitnesses will have to go back first. One reason for their return is to show their appreciation for being spared.

What is the purpose of the Feast of Tabernacles? It represents the world’s recognition of The Christ. The earlier Passover (lamb) focuses on Jesus, and the Feast of Pentecost focuses on the church of the firstborn, the two loaves being the Little Flock and the Great Company. Verses 16–19 help to elucidate the distinction between the three feasts every male Jew was required to attend. The Feast of Tabernacles obviously pertains to the world.

God is determined to gather “all nations” to Israel to battle. “For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle” (Zech. 14:2). However, the term “all nations” has to be modified, for nations such as Guyana and Peru will not be included. The thought is that from the extremities of the earth, nations will come to Jacob’s Trouble, to the climax of God’s war, where He will manifest Himself to the world and inaugurate the Kingdom.

Comment: It will be especially essential for the survivors of Gog to acknowledge the role of Israel because of their previous intention to destroy it.

Reply: Yes, upon them the recognition of Israel will be particularly incumbent. Gog will go down to Israel in an organized fashion, but the binding force will be their common hatred of the Jew. In this heterogeneous force, Gog will be noticeable as the chief enemy. Although Gog will not be organized in the sense of having a chain of command, their common hatred of the Jew will be the organizing factor. (With us the unifying factor should be the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit binds together Christians with different ethnicity through their common love for God and for Jesus, who was sent by God and who is the only channel in this or the next age for salvation.) When “all nations” go back to worship in Jerusalem, where will they go? The logical place is the Third Temple, which will be a physical-structure meeting place. Hence verses 16–19 support the idea of a literal temple.

Even to doubt there will be a literal temple shows a lack of familiarity with Scripture. We speak strongly because it is better to recognize a truth now and acknowledge a wrong teaching in the present life.

Several Scriptures in the minor prophets show that hatred of Israel will lead Gog to invade the tiny nation. There is a Satanic plan not only against the spiritual people of God but also against the natural people. Satan has multiple targets: (1) The Elect are his special targets. (2) The Great Company are next. (3) Finally, the Jews will be targets. Satan has blinded the minds of the people to the gospel, but he can also instill his evil spirit into the hearts of the people. The first two parts (the Little Flock and the Great Company) will be cut off, but the third part (Israel) will be brought through the fire (Zech. 13:8). The Adversary will be involved with all three parts. He crucified Jesus and he will crucify, as it were, the feet members, then the Great Company, then Israel. Satan will think he is successful until God fights for His people.

Zech. 14:20 In 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.

Zech. 14:21 Yea, 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.

“Bells of the horses” will be inscribed with “HOLINESS UNTO JEHOVAH.” “Bells” would be bells and bridles. Spiritually, “horses” are doctrines. When the “pure language” goes forth, there will be no more confusion or religious error (Zeph. 3:9). Just as bells on the high priest’s garment announced his presence in the Holy and Most Holy, so in the Kingdom the pure truth will be announced and recognized. Bridles are the controlling factor that will coordinate the doctrines and head them in the right direction.

This holy influence will be centered in Judah and Jerusalem. What happens in the capital (Jerusalem) will influence the whole earth. The word of the Lord (the pronouncements) will go forth from Jerusalem (Isa. 2:3).

The “house of the LORD” is the literal temple. The temple will have cooking chambers to “seethe” the meat. Another proof of a literal temple is the word “altar.”

“There shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.” “Canaanite” means trader. Hence never again will there be money dealing or a mixture where the priesthood oppresses and takes advantage of the people. Anything donated in that day will be either strictly mandatory according to the sin or a freewill offering by the individual. Merchandising will never again be permitted in the house of the Lord.

Q: If the house of the Lord, the altar, the pots, and seething the meat are all literal, would not the bells and horses also be literal?

A: The pots, bells, and horses are both literal in a figurative sense and symbolic possessing a spiritual meaning. The bells and horses being literal in a figurative sense signify that on special holidays all modes of transportation both to and from the Temple, such as buses and cars, will be decorated with colorful banners, ribbons, and sounding cymbals of some sort to convey happiness and joy as well as the opposite signs—that is, mourning—on more solemn occasions.

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