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  • JAMIESON-FAUSSET-BROWN - ZECHARIAH 14
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    CHAPTER 14

    Zec 14:1-21. LAST STRUGGLE WITH THE HOSTILE WORLD-POWERS: MESSIAH-JEHOVAH SAVES JERUSALEM AND DESTROYS THE FOE, OF WHOM THE REMNANT TURNS TO THE LORD REIGNING AT JERUSALEM.

    1. day of the Lord--in which He shall vindicate His justice by punishing the wicked and then saving His elect people (Joe 2:31; 3:14; Mal 4:1, 5).
    - thy spoil . . . divided in the midst of thee--by the foe; secure of victory, they shall not divide the spoil taken from thee in their camp outside, but "in the midst" of the city itself.

    2. gather all nations, &c.--The prophecy seems literal (compare Joe 3:2). If Antichrist be the leader of the nations, it seems inconsistent with the statement that he will at this time be sitting in the temple as God at Jerusalem (2Th 2:4); thus Antichrist outside would be made to besiege Antichrist within the city. But difficulties do not set aside revelations: the event will clear up seeming difficulties. Compare the complicated movements, Da 11:1-45.
    - half . . . the residue--In Zec 13:8, 9, it is "two-thirds" that perish, and "the third" escapes. There, however, it is "in all the land"; here it is "half of the city." Two-thirds of the "whole people" perish, one-third survives. One-half of the citizens are led captive, the residue are not cut off. Perhaps, too, we ought to translate, "a (not 'the') residue."

    3. Then--In Jerusalem's extremity.
    - as . . . in . . . day of battle--as when Jehovah fought for Israel against the Egyptians at the Red Sea (Ex 14:14; 15:3). As He then made a way through the divided sea, so will He now divide in two "the Mount of Olives" (Zec 14:4).

    4. The object of the cleaving of the mount in two by a fissure or valley (a prolongation of the valley of Jehoshaphat, and extending from Jerusalem on the west towards Jordan, eastward) is to open a way of escape to the besieged (compare Joe 3:12, 14). Half the divided mount is thereby forced northward, half southward; the valley running between. The place of His departure at His ascension shall be the place of His return: and the "manner" of His return also shall be similar (Ac 1:11). He shall probably "come from the east" (Mt 24:27). He so made His triumphal entry into the city from the Mount of Olives from the east (Mt 21:1-10). This was the scene of His agony: so it shall be the scene of His glory. Compare Eze 11:23, with Eze 43:2, "from the way of the east."

    5. ye shall flee to the valley--rather "through the valley," as in 2Sa 2:29. The valley made by the cleaving asunder of the Mount of Olives (Zec 14:4) is designed to be their way of escape, not their place of refuge [MAURER]. JEROME is on the side of English Version. If it be translated so, it will mean, Ye shall flee "to" the valley, not to hide there, but as the passage through which an escape may be effected. The same divinely sent earthquake which swallows up the foe, opens out a way of escape to God's people. The earthquake in Uzziah's days is mentioned (Am 1:1) as a recognized epoch in Jewish history. Compare also Isa 6:1: perhaps the same year that Jehovah held His heavenly court and gave commission to Isaiah for the Jews, an earthquake in the physical world, as often happens (Mt 24:7), marked momentous movements in the unseen spiritual world.
    - of the mountains--rather, "of My mountains," namely, Zion and Moriah, peculiarly sacred to Jehovah [MOORE]. Or, the mountains formed by My cleaving Olivet into two [MAURER].
    - Azal--the name of a place near a gate east of the city. The Hebrew means "adjoining" [HENDERSON]. Others give the meaning, "departed," "ceased." The valley reaches up to the city gates, so as to enable the fleeing citizens to betake themselves immediately to it on leaving the city.
    - Lord my God . . . with thee--The mention of the "Lord my God" leads the prophet to pass suddenly to a direct address to Jehovah. It is as if "lifting up his head" (Lu 21:28), he suddenly sees in vision the Lord coming, and joyfully exclaims, "All the saints with Thee!" So Isa 25:9.
    - saints--holy angels escorting the returning King (Mt 24:30, 31; Jude 14); and redeemed men (1Co 15:23; 1Th 3:13; 4:14). Compare the similar mention of the "saints" and "angels" at His coming on Sinai (De 32:2, 3; Ac 7:53; Ga 3:19; Heb 2:2). PHILLIPS thinks Azal is Ascalon on the Mediterranean. An earthquake beneath Messiah's tread will divide Syria, making from Jerusalem to Azal a valley which will admit the ocean waters from the west to the Dead Sea. The waters will rush down the valley of Arabah, the old bed of the Jordan, clear away the sand-drift of four thousand years, and cause the commerce of Petra and Tyre to center in the holy city. The Dead Sea rising above its shores will overflow by the valley of Edom, completing the straits of Azal into the Red Sea. Thus will be formed the great pool of Jerusalem (compare Zec 14:8; Eze 47:1, &c.; Joe 3:18). Euphrates will be the north boundary, and the Red Sea the south. Twenty-five miles north and twenty-five miles south of Jerusalem will form one side of the fifty miles square of the Lord's Holy Oblation (Eze 48:1-35). There are seven spaces of fifty miles each from Jerusalem northward to the Euphrates, and five spaces of fifty miles each southward to the Red Sea. Thus there are thirteen equal distances on the breadth of the future promised land, one for the oblation and twelve for the tribes, according to Eze 48:1-35. That the Euphrates north, Mediterranean west, the Nile and Red Sea south, are to be the future boundaries of the holy land, which will include Syria and Arabia, is favored by Ge 15:8; Ex 23:31; De 11:24; Jos 1:4; 1Ki 4:21; 2Ch 9:26; Isa 27:12; all which was partially realized in Solomon's reign, shall be antitypically so hereafter. The theory, if true, will clear away many difficulties in the way of the literal interpretation of this chapter and Eze 48:1-35.

    6. light . . . not . . . clear . . . dark--JEROME, Chaldee, Syriac, and Septuagint translate, "There shall not be light, but cold and ice"; that is, a day full of horror (Am 5:18). But the Hebrew for "clear" does not mean "cold," but "precious," "splendid" (compare Job 31:26). CALVIN translates, "The light shall not be clear, but dark" (literally, "condensation," that is, thick mist); like a dark day in which you can hardly distinguish between day and night. English Version accords with Zec 14:7: "There shall not be altogether light nor altogether darkness," but an intermediate condition in which sorrows shall be mingled with joys.

    7. one day--a day altogether unique, different from all others [MAURER]. Compare "one," that is, unique (So 6:9; Jer 30:7). Not as HENDERSON explains, "One continuous day, without night" (Re 22:5; 21:25); the millennial period (Re 20:3-7).
    - known to . . . Lord--This truth restrains man's curiosity and teaches us to wait the Lord's own time (Mt 24:36).
    - not day, nor night--answering to "not . . . clear nor . . . dark" (Zec 14:6); not altogether daylight, yet not the darkness of night.
    - at evening . . . shall be light--Towards the close of this twilight-like time of calamity, "light" shall spring up (Ps 97:11; 112:4; Isa 30:26; 60:19, 20).

    8. living waters-- (Eze 47:1; Joe 3:18).
    - former sea--that is, the front, or east, which Orientalists face in taking the points of the compass; the Dead Sea.
    - hinder sea--the west or Mediterranean.
    - summer . . . winter--neither dried up by heat, nor frozen by cold; ever flowing.

    9. king over all . . . earth-- Isa 54:5 implies that this is to be the consequence of Israel being again recognized by God as His own people (Da 2:44; Re 11:15).
    - one Lord . . . name one--Not that He is not so already, but He shall then be recognized by all unanimously as "One." Now there are "gods many and lords many." Then Jehovah alone shall be worshipped. The manifestation of the unity of the Godhead shall be simultaneous with that of the unity of the Church. Believers are one in spirit already, even as God is one (Eph 4:3-6). But externally there are sad divisions. Not until these disappear, shall God reveal fully His unity to the world (Joh 17:21, 23). Then shall there be "a pure language, that all may call upon the name of the Lord with one consent" (Zep 3:9). The Son too shall at last give up His mediatorial kingdom to the Father, when the purposes for which it was established shall have been accomplished, "that God may be all in all" (1Co 15:24).

    10. turned--or, "changed round about": literally, "to make a circuit." The whole hilly land round Jerusalem, which would prevent the free passage of the living waters, shall be changed so as to be "as a (or the) plain" (Isa 40:4).
    - from Geba to Rimmon--Geba (2Ki 23:8) in Benjamin, the north border of Judah. Rimmon, in Simeon (Jos 15:32), the south border of Judah; not the Rimmon northeast of Michmash. "The plain from Geba to Rimmon" (that is, from one boundary to the other) is the Arabah or plain of the Jordan, extending from the Sea of Tiberias to the Elanitic Gulf of the Red Sea.
    - it shall be lifted up--namely, Jerusalem shall be exalted, the hills all round being lowered (Mic 4:1).
    - inhabited in her place-- (Zec 12:6).
    - from Benjamin's gate--leading to the territory of Benjamin. The same as Ephraim's gate, the north boundary of the city (2Ki 14:13).
    - the first gate--west of the city [GROTIUS]. "The place of," &c. implies that the gate itself was then not in existence. "The old gate" (Ne 3:6).
    - the corner gate--east of the city [GROTIUS]. Or the "corner" joining the north and west parts of the wall [VILLALPANDUS]. GROTIUS thinks "corners" refers to the towers there built (compare Zep 3:6, Margin).
    - tower of Hananeel--south of the city, near the sheep gate (Ne 3:1; 12:39; Jer 31:38) [GROTIUS].
    - king's wine-presses-- (So 8:11). In the interior of the city, at Zion [GROTIUS].

    11. no more utter destruction-- (Jer 31:40). Literally, "no more curse" (Re 22:3; compare Mal 4:6), for there will be no more sin. Temporal blessings and spiritual prosperity shall go together in the millennium: long life (Isa 65:20-22), peace (Isa 2:4), honor (Isa 60:14-16), righteous government (Isa 54:14; 60:18). Judgment, as usual, begins at the house of God, but then falls fatally on Antichrist, whereon the Church obtains perfect liberty. The last day will end everything evil (Ro 8:21) [AUBERLEN].

    12. Punishment on the foe, the last Antichristian confederacy (Isa 59:18; 66:24; Eze 38:1-39:29; Re 19:17-21). A living death: the corruption (Ga 6:8) of death combined in ghastly union with the conscious sensibility of life. Sin will be felt by the sinner in all its loathsomeness, inseparably clinging to him as a festering, putrid body.

    13. tumult--consternation (Zec 12:4; 1Sa 14:15, 20).
    - lay hold . . . on . . . hand of . . . neighbour--instinctively grasping it, as if thereby to be safer, but in vain [MENOCHIUS]. Rather, in order to assail "his neighbor" [CALVIN], (Eze 38:21). Sin is the cause of all quarrels on earth. It will cause endless quarrels in hell (Jas 3:15, 16).

    14. Judah . . . fight at Jerusalem--namely, against the foe: not against Jerusalem, as MAURER translates in variance with the context. As to the spoil gained from the foe, compare GOTO NEXT CHAPTER - D. J-F-B INDEX & SEARCH

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