1. What city was named to be judged in this day of the Lord?
Jerusalem: “(1) Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. (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” (Zechariah 14:1-2).
- With chapters 11-13 having various references that brings Jesus to our minds, we have to part way with that here. This is a physical battle and judgment (see vs. Zechariah 14:3). Though some of the language could be confusing, the phrase “no more Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts” (Zechariah 14:21), is not New Testament teaching (Mark 16:15-16 and Hebrews 3:1-6).
- Also, there is a keeping of the feasts of tabernacles (Leviticus 23:34) that will go forth in Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:16). This too is not New Testament teaching (Colossians 2:12-17).
- The emphasis here is on Jerusalem as a place of worship (Zechariah 14:17). Again, we know this is not New Testament teaching (John 4:20-24).
- What this chapter does fit into is the time period of the Grecians that Daniel wrote of (Daniel 8:1-12:13).
- All they that sacrifice is also mentioned in this chapter (Zechariah 14:21).
- So, let’s look at the first two verses. “The day of the Lord” is judgment language we see throughout many Old Testament judgment days (Isaiah 13:6, Isaiah 13:9, Isaiah 34:8, Ezekiel 13:5, Ezekiel 30:3, Joel 2:1-11, Joel 2:31, Joel 3:14, Amos 5:18-20, Zephaniah 1:7-2:3, etc.).
- Spoil divided in this prophesy as we have seen occur in the past (II Chronicles 24:20-27).
- Jerusalem had seen this before (Jeremiah 18:11 and Jeremiah 34:1-7) and had just come out of it in the days of Zechariah (book of Ezra; cf. Ezra 5:1).
- Houses rifled [plundered; spoiled] should scream to them as their houses had been destroyed before (II Kings 25:9).
- Women ravished again (Lamentations 5:11-12).
- Captive again showing the future of sin ahead of them (Ezekiel 39:23).
2. After gathering all nations against Jerusalem to battle, what did the Lord say He would do next?
Fight against those nations: “Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle” (Zechariah 12:3).
- Again, this is history repeating itself (Jeremiah 25:9-38, Jeremiah 46:28, Joel 3:1-2, and Micah 4:6-13).
- cf. Zechariah 2:8-9
3. What description was given for that day of battle?
“(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. (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. (6) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: (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. (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. (9) And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. (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” (Zechariah 14:4-10).
- Who does “His feet” refer to? The Lord is the reference in vs. 3. This language is magnificent and not unique to this prophecy (Deuteronomy 33:1-2, Joshua 10:1-15, Psalms 46:1-11, Micah 1:3-4, Nahum 1:2-6, and Jude 1:14-15).
- When you look at times past, the Lord fought but that did not mean the battle was not in the hands of the people of Israel (Joshua 10:38-43).
- This battle is the Lord’s. Angels can be sent (I Chronicles 21:15). Man enabled (I Samuel 17:38-47 and II Chronicles 20:1-34). God was going to let them fall and them cause them to rise again in the future.
- At this future time, they were going to flee as they had in past occasions (Jeremiah 4:29).
- A notable earthquake had occurred in the past (Amos 1:1).
- That day was not going to be normal. Not daytime and nighttime. The Lord’s might was going to be shown as it was in past times (Exodus 10:21-23, Joshua 10:12-15, and Amos 8:9).
- Ezekiel had a vision of waters coming forth from Jerusalem (Ezekiel 47:1-12). Joel spoke of similar things (Joel 3:18-21).
- One Lord for all as is stated throughout other O.T. texts (Psalms 86:8-10, Isaiah 24:1-14, and Ezekiel 38:14-23).
- Lest one jump to the New Testament, which could be easy to do, this text says Jerusalem was going to be safely inhabited (VERSE 11). That does not fit the first century (Matthew 23:37-24:34).
- Mountains had surrounded Jerusalem (Psalms 125:2). This figure exalts the city as though it were in the plains rather than surrounded by mountains (Psalms 102:16, Psalms 135:21, Isaiah 40:9, etc.). Jerusalem is significant until the prophesies of old are fulfilled (i.e. Isaiah 2:2-3, Micah 4:1-2, Luke 24:44-47, etc.).
4. After this battle, what was going to happen in Jerusalem?
Safely inhabited: “And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited” (Zechariah 14:11).
- This had happened (Zechariah 8:1-8) and is now prophesied to be in the future again after this contextual judgment.
- These people were familiar with God’s mercy for Jerusalem (Ezra 9:9) as Jerusalem was His chosen city during the Old Testament times (I Kings 14:21 and Jeremiah 3:17).
5. What plague was going to smite those that fought against Jerusalem?
“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” (Zechariah 14:12).
- YIKES (Psalms 90:11)!
- Plauges as punishment from God happened from many, many years ago for various reasons on various people (Genesis 12:10-17, Exodus 9:14, etc.).
- Horrible things like bowels falling out have happened to the enemies of the Lord our God (II Chronicles 21:5-20).
6. In that day, who caused the great tumult?
The Lord: “(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. (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” (Zechariah 14:13-14).
- Similar things have happened before (Ezekiel 38:21).
- The Lord did not want Jerusalem to magnify themselves against the rest of Judah (Zechariah 12:5-7).
- Then there is the spoils of war (cf. Numbers 31:53).
7. What was going to happen to the horse, mule, camel, etc.?
Plagued: “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” (Zechariah 14:15).
- These were beasts of travel (Esther 8:10). So, this is the cutting off of travel.
8. After all of those things happened, who would be coming to Jerusalem to worship and sacrifice?
“(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. (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. (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. (19) This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. (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. (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” (Zechariah 14:16-21).
- When we come into the New Testament we see a practice that obviously began before wherein people came, even if they could not enter the temple assembly, to Jerusalem to worship (i.e. Acts 8:27; cf. Deuteronomy 23:1).
- Lest someone twist this (II Peter 3:15-17), this is NOT Acts 2 and forward. When the church in Jerusalem was established, the people stayed. They did not come just once a year (Acts 2:1-6:7). Furthermore, no one was punished in carnal ways for not coming to worship God. This is an inter-testament period series of events. It was God humbling the enemies of His people as God long promised if His people obeyed Him (Psalms 81:10-16).
- The temple was still there. That was the house of the Lord, as mentioned earlier in these notes, that the Gentiles could not be in (Lamentations 1:10 and Ezekiel 44:7).
- Even in the first century, a Gentile was not welcome in the temple of the Jews (Acts 21:28-29).
© 2022 This study was prepared for a Bible class with the Sunrise Acres church of Christ in El Paso, TX by Brian A. Yeager.