Zechariah 14: 1-11 Commentary
I am finally returning to finish what I had started so many months ago, to comment on the book of Zechariah. With all the events happening in the world today between viruses and rioting in the streets of America, God has kept me fairly quiet, at least on the social front.
This week is verses 1-11. Next week (hopefully) I will finish the rest of the chapter and thus finish the book of Zechariah.
Zechariah 14:1 – Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.
The ESV says this is a day for the Lord. Other translations say that “the day of the Lord is coming.” This is a time when God will show wrath toward heathen. This is meant to be the establishment of the millennial kingdom on earth.
Jerusalem will be overtaken and split up among its enemies. This will be the trigger for the Day of the Lord. Many think this is the time around 70 AD when Rome came against Jerusalem with a multinational army. But the deliverance that is listed by Zechariah doesn’t happen during the 70 AD event.
Zechariah 14:2 – For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
The brutality that will happen during this time will be beyond compare. The brutalities are typical hostilities that happen when hatred reigns in a person’s heart. After the brutality, half of the people will be taken into captivity and then a remnant will remain.
Zechariah 14:3 – Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.
Like throughout all of Biblical, and even modern, history, the Lord shows up gloriously when it seems all hope is lost. Think of the Israelites during the Exodus, they could not see the waters part until their had wet feet. Or I think of Paul & Silas in prison. Again, when all hope seemed lost, God showed up in a glorious way. I immediately go to the Revelation, chapter 14 verse 14 or Ezekiel 38:21.
Zechariah 14:4 – On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that 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 move northward, and the other half southward.
It is interesting to note that there is a fault line that runs across the Mount of Olives, fairly close to the temple mount. This earthquake is seen in Revelation 16.
This place holds so much significance in Biblical history. Ezekiel saw the glory of God departing from this mountain. The Garden of Gethsemane is here as well, where Jesus shed tears and was grieved to the point of death. And it was from this place that Jesus ascended into heaven.
Zechariah 14:5 – And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.
As we notice in the book of Amos, there is an earthquake described. This mountain is split from east to west and the mountain will move north and south. It will create a valley that will reach to a place east of Jerusalem called Azal. This is a parallel quake to the book of Amos, when king Uzziah reigned in Judah.
Zechariah 14:6 – On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.
It is interesting to note, as both verse 6 and 7 go together, that this is the Day of the Lord. The sources of light and dark that we know today won’t exist, but….
Zechariah 14:7 – And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.
…it will be replaced with the Light of Christ alone. I look to Isaiah 30:26 and Malachi 4:2 as Biblical references here.
This day, only the Lord knows.
What Zechariah set up in the beginning of this chapter he describes in detail for the rest of it. Just what is going to happen on that “unique day?”
Zechariah 14:8 – 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.
Jerusalem’s highest point is almost 300 feet lower than the Mount of Olives. But what will happen on that day is remarkable! The waters will flow to both the Dead Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
One other thing to note is that in the summer, most Palestinian creeks, rivers, and waterways dry up. But this tells us that it will continue year-round.
Joel 3:18 tells us that water will flow from under the temple. In Ezekiel 47 we see that trees of all kinds bear fruit year round because of the water that flows from the sanctuary.
Psalm 46:4 tells us about this river of God. It is something that can only be created by His moving, by God’s power alone.
There are MANY verses that allude to this “river of God.” It can be tied back to the original Eden from Genesis 2:10. Then, there are so many others that talk about it in the millennial sense: Isaiah 33:21 and Revelation 22:1 come to mind immediately.
Could this river of God be the essence of God Himself? I know that is a very dangerous statement to make, but if I read my Bible directly, this river proceeds directly out of the throne room of God!
This is the Living Water we so closely associate with.
Zechariah 14:9 – And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.
The false religions are going to be taken away. All the covenants will be fulfilled:
Abrahamic – giving the nation of Israel and a land given to Abraham
Davidic – A king from the tribe of Judah and the line of David
New – Spiritual redemption of both Jew and Gentile
Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of all covenants.
Zechariah 14:10 – 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 winepresses.
The surrounding areas to Jerusalem will be leveled and become a plain and Jerusalem will be lifted above it all.
Many of the prophets said that in the latter days Jehovah’s house would be built on top of the mountains.
Zechariah 14:11 – And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction. Jerusalem shall dwell in security.
Jerusalem has been fought over more than any other city on earth. That will be no more. There will be safety and security in Jerusalem.
Again, many of the prophets spoke of the blessings of a restored Jerusalem.
Zechariah 10 Commentary
This is a continuation of the last few verses of chapter 9. The blessings for Israel is the topic of this chapter.
Zechariah 10:1 – Ask rain from the Lord in the season of the spring rain, from the Lord who makes the storm clouds, and he will give them showers of rain, to everyone the vegetation in the field.
Zechariah is telling the people of Israel to request God’s favor. While the rain will come in what we consider the later spring, as is shown in Isaiah 35, the request they are making is both physical and spiritual in nature, as is seen in Hosea 6.
Think of the verse that says, “ask and you shall receive.” This is talking about both the promised rain that comes from obedience, but it also talks about the latter rains of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The day of Pentecost.
Zechariah 10:2 – For the household gods utter nonsense, and the diviners see lies; they tell false dreams and give empty consolation. Therefore the people wander like sheep; they are afflicted for lack of a shepherd.
I am preparing a sermon on Matthew 9:35-38 and this reminds me a lot of those verses. Jesus had compassion on the people because they were like sheep without a shepherd. The people of God have been left like sheep without a shepherd because of their confidence in the “household gods,” the diviners and the false dreams.
Many times with ancient Israel we saw them listen to the oracles, or the Teraphim. These were typically heathen oracles, or diviners, or prophets. The Israelites sole hope was in God alone.
Just like today, as Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, our sole hope is in Christ alone.
Zechariah 10:3 – “My anger is hot against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; for the Lord of hosts cares for his flock, the house of Judah, and will make them like his majestic steed in battle.
The anger of the Lord will be against the foreign and heathen rulers against Israel. And God’s flock, His sheep, is Israel, and He will make them not just like His sheep, but as a horse for war!
This is running parallel to Ezekiel 34where God says what He will do to the shepherds that hurt His sheep. Look at Ezekiel 34:23. God will set up a shepherd over them. The book of Ezekiel was written somewhere around 600 years before Christ. It was written about 80-90 years before Zechariah.
The shepherd that Ezekiel is mentioning is THE Shepherd, the Messiah.
Zechariah 10:4 – From him shall come the cornerstone, from him the tent peg, from him the battle bow, from him every ruler—all of them together.
We immediately see the reference to Christ in the cornerstone. Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Kingdom of God.
The tent peg, also translated as “nail” in some texts, is what Israel will hang all their hopes on. This cornerstone will be the sole hope for God’s people.
The battle bow and the mention of rulers show the idea of Revelation 19. Jesus shall be the one who places all the battles and all the rulers in place.
Zechariah 10:5 – They shall be like mighty men in battle, trampling the foe in the mud of the streets; they shall fight because the Lord is with them, and they shall put to shame the riders on horses.
The first thing we notice is that the Lord is with them. The mighty men are typically foot soldiers. These foot soldiers are seen taking out the cavalry, which is a feat unto itself. God’s armies will take out even the strongest of armies.
Zechariah 10:6 – “I will strengthen the house of Judah, and I will save the house of Joseph. I will bring them back because I have compassion on them, and they shall be as though I had not rejected them, for I am the Lord their God and I will answer them.
Jeremiah 32 tells us that God will reunite the northern and southern kingdoms. Zechariah reinforces that statement here by saying that God will strengthen Judah and save the house of Joseph.
God reiterates His commitment to his covenant. He is bringing them back together to show His faithfulness to His promises.
Even in the New Testament, Peter reinforces this message in the book of Acts when he tells the people they are still able to receive the promise because of the Abrahamic covenant.
Zechariah 10:7 – Then Ephraim shall become like a mighty warrior, and their hearts shall be glad as with wine. Their children shall see it and be glad; their hearts shall rejoice in the Lord.
The reuniting of the northern and southern kingdoms will be a joyous day and people will seem like they are drunk in the way they are celebrating it. This particular verse is speaking of the Northern kingdom. They went into captivity over 130 years before the southern kingdom.
The rest of this chapter focuses on the combined kingdoms of north and south. There will not be any more differentiation between them.
Zechariah 10:8 – “I will whistle for them and gather them in, for I have redeemed them, and they shall be as many as they were before.
God is calling for His people and, as the Abrahamic covenant specified, they will have the numbers they did before.
Zechariah 10:9 – Though I scattered them among the nations, yet in far countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall live and return.
God has placed His people all around the world. This is part of His plan to save people from all tribes and nations. The Word of God brings people to Him because of those He has scattered.
Zechariah 10:10 – I will bring them home from the land of Egypt, and gather them from Assyria, and I will bring them to the land of Gilead and to Lebanon, till there is no room for them.
All of the lands that are mentioned here are seen as the heathen, or unsaved, world. God will be bringing people from all around the unsaved world to His kingdom and there will be more people than there is room to place them.
Zechariah 10:11 – He shall pass through the sea of troubles and strike down the waves of the sea, and all the depths of the Nile shall be dried up. The pride of Assyria shall be laid low, and the scepter of Egypt shall depart.
The two empires that are mentioned here are seen as the leading Gentile, or heathen, empires. This is alluding to how God gave them escape from Egypt many years prior to show that His power is eternal. There will be nothing that can stop His power from saving His people.
Zechariah 10:12 – I will make them strong in the Lord, and they shall walk in his name,” declares the Lord.
This is the final victory. This is the time in which His people will be protected as they walk the streets. God strengthens His people. See Ephesians 3 or Ephesians 6. Look at Philippians 4. God strengthens us as we seek Him. And we are given the ability to walk in His name.
I really appreciate you sharing this!