The Study of Last Things

In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. Zechariah 14:4

The Descent of Yahweh upon the Mount of Olives

The Second Coming of Christ in defense of Israel and in retribution upon the enemies of God and of Israel

The Battle at Christ's Return. Zechariah 14:1-15

    This passage is a key passage on the retributive aspect of Christ's Second Coming. This passage, like Isa. 63:1-6, is an OT passage, so it cannot possibly use the Greek word parousia, "coming" (3952). It is, nevertheless, a passage about Jesus' Second Coming, and it heavily emphasizes the theme of retribution rather than reunion. Being an OT passage, of course, it makes no predictions whatever about the Church. But it certainly discusses Jesus' Second Coming, though the main character is never referred to by that name.

    The prophet Zechariah is indisputably capable of identifying Jesus as Israel's king without mentioning him by name. Zion and Jerusalem are urged to rejoice greatly because her king is coming to her. "He is just and endowed with salvation, humble and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zech. 9:9). Two NT apostles indicate that Jesus fulfilled this prophecy at His so-called "Triumphal Entry" when He rode a donkey into Jerusalem (Matt. 21:5; John 12:15). (The extended passages narrating Jesus' entry are Matt. 21:1-11 and John 12:12-19. Mark 11:1-10 and Luke 19:28-44 also narrate Jesus' "Triumphal Entry," but neither cite Zech. 9:9.)

    The last three chapters of Zechariah (Zech. 12-14) are highly predictive, and most of the material is eschatological. The first section describes Jerusalem as attacked by United Nations forces and defended by Yahweh Himself in the Day of the LORD (Zech. 12:1-9). The second section speaks of Messiah revealed and bitterly mourned at His Second Advent in the Day of the LORD (Zech. 12:10-14). In the third section, Israel is cleansed, by Messiah's blood, of  idolatry and false prophets in the Day of the LORD (Zech. 13:1-6). In the fourth section, Messiah is executed at His First Advent as authorized and predicted by Yahweh (Zech. 13:7) The fifth section speaks of the refining of Israel during the Tribulation period. Two-thirds will perish; one-third will survive to be Yahweh's people (Zech. 13:8-9).

    In the final chapter of Zechariah (Zech. 14), the subject of our present study, (1) the United Nations troops will devastate Jerusalem and Israel in the Day of the LORD (Zech. 14:1-2). The land of Israel will be pillaged and its citizens robbed in the Day of the LORD (Zech. 14:1). God will "gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle" (Zech. 14:2). The UN troops will capture Jerusalem. They will plunder the Israeli houses and rape the Jewish women. Half the people of the city will captured and sent off as exiles to other nations. The other half of the people will somehow escape detention (Zech. 14:2).

    (2) Yahweh, in the person of Messiah, will provide deliverance at His Second Coming in Power (Zech. 14:3-5). He will go forth and fight against the anti-Israel nations (Zech. 14:3). That Messiah is the main character here is demonstrated from Zech. 14:4. "In that day" (the Day of the LORD), His "feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east ...." God is spirit (John 4:24), and spirits don't have feet. So this is a literal human being with literal feet standing on the Mount of Olives. The feet are those of Messiah Jesus. It is worth noting that Jesus ascended to heaven from Bethany (Luke 24:50-51) on the Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12). Angels announced to the apostles that Jesus would return in the same manner in which He had departed for heaven (Acts 1:9-11). He departed from the Mount of Olives, and He will return to the Mount of Olives. That this descent is to be taken literally is confirmed by the effect: "The Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley" (Zech. 14:4). The prophet explained further, "so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south" (Zech. 14:4). This valley will provide a route of deliverance from the enemy nations occupying Jerusalem. Presumably the half of the citizens of Jerusalem remaining trapped in Jerusalem (Zech. 14:2) will flee through that newly created valley (Zech. 14:5). This descent of Messiah upon the Mount of Olives marks the coming of "the LORD my God" along with all the "holy ones" accompanying Him" (Zech. 14:5). The designation "holy ones" almost certainly refers to angels who accompany Jesus (Matt. 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7; Rev. 19:14) as His army. It may also refer to departed, glorified saints who accompany Jesus back to earth to assist Him in His Millennial rule (cf. Matt. 19:28).

    (3) There will be changes in nature and topographical changes in the land of Israel at the Second Coming of the Messiah (Zech. 14:6-8).

        (a) Dramatically altered light. (Zech. 14:6-7). On the occasion of the LORD's return, light from the sun and moon will dim because they will congeal (Zech. 14:6). This will be a unique occasion known only to Yahweh. It will be neither day nor night. It will come about that at evening, when it should be darker, yet there will be light (Zech. 14:7).

        (b) Topographical changes (Zech. 14:8). In the Day of the LORD fresh flowing "waters of life" will originate from Jerusalem. Half of these waters will flow toward the Eastern Sea (i.e. the Dead Sea) and half toward the "Behind Sea" (i.e. the Mediterranean Sea when one faces Eastward, the preferred Semite direction - so BDB). This will be so both during summer (the dry season) and during winter (the rainy season). This revelation by Zechariah confirms that Ezekiel's detailed description of water emanating from the Millennial Jewish Temple (Ezek. 47:1-12) is not to be interpreted metaphorically, but literally. The prophet Joel also referred to the same feature (Joel 3:18). That the waters are life-giving waters is evident from the abundant fruit trees that will grow on either side of the river (Ezek. 47:7, 12) and from the fact that the Dead Sea will be swarm with a wide variety of fish (Ezek 47:8-11). The considerable attention to detail, particularly in Ezekiel 47:1-12, is meaningless if these passages are to be interpreted metaphorically.

    (4) Jesus the Messianic King will reign over the entire globe (Zech. 14:9). "And Yahweh will be King over all the earth" (author's translation). Yahweh, in the person of Jesus, whose name means "Yahweh is Salvation," will rule as King of the Earth. "Earth" is the noun erets (776), which can refer either to the entire globe (as in Gen. 1:1) or to a specific piece of land (as in Gen. 12:1). The context must determine which meaning is intended. Here, it must mean the whole earth, rather than merely the land of Israel. We know this is true because all nations will be subservient to Him (Zech. 14:16-19). In that day, Yahweh will be one and His name one. Jesus (whose name, again, means "Yahweh is Salvation", and who is the Personification of Yahweh) will be the only King. Furthermore, His name will be the only name. As reviled and blasphemed as is the name of Jesus now, in that day His name will be supreme. The names of other religious leaders, such as Muhammad or Buddha will disappear from peoples' vocabularies. Jesus will be the Supreme Ruler over the globe. His rule will be both a spiritual and a political rule, as the rest of this passage will confirm. He will rule from Zion here upon the earth.

    (5) There will be yet more topographical changes in the land of Israel. All the land (apparently referring to the area possessed by the ancient tribe of Judah) will become a plain (Zech. 14:10). The limits of the prophet's point of reference are stated: Geba was the Northeast boundary of  the tribe of Benjamin (Josh. 18:24) and apparently marked the Northern extent of the kingdom of Judah (2 Kings 23:8), at least in the days of Josiah. Rimmon obviously refers to a town to the South of Jerusalem, perhaps on the Southern border of the ancient tribe of Judah (Josh. 15:32; cf. Josh. 15:21-32). So the two towns, Geba and Rimmon, refer to the Northern and Southern extent of the Millennial plain.

    The next cartographic designations refer to Jerusalem proper. Benjamin's Gate (Jer. 37:13; 38:7) was probably on the Northern wall of the city (so Keil and Delitzsch). [1] We do not know the location of the First Gate. It probably was on the East or Northeastern corner of the city. The Corner Gate (2 Kings 14:13; Jer. 31:38) was  probably on the West or Northwestern corner of the city (so K & D). So the first two locations probably indicate the East to West extent of Millennial Jerusalem. The Tower of Hanenel (Jer. 31:38; Neh. 3:1; 12:39) was at the NE corner of the city. Most commentators believe the King's Wine Presses were located on the South side of the city. So the last two locators identify the North to South parameters of Millennial Jerusalem. The six geographical locators designated in this single verse argue strenuously against a metaphorical interpretation of the passage. If Zechariah were trying to indicate literal places (and I think he was), how much more specific would he have been? There is no reasonable answer to that question. Amillennialists, I fear, assume a certain eschatological position and then tailor-make their exegesis to fit that point of view. Their metaphorical interpretation does not withstand scrutiny, however. The meticulous attention to detail here argues, as I said, against a spiritualization of the passage. [2]

    The lone exception to this supernatural lowering of elevation will be Jerusalem proper. Jerusalem itself will rise in elevation, remaining where it is cartographically (Zech. 14:10). This rise in the elevation of Jerusalem is consistent with that which the prophets Ezekiel (Ezek. 40:2), Isaiah (Isa. 2:2), and Micah (Mic. 4:1) predicted. The visual effect of the lowering of the area surrounding the city and the raising of the city itself will be staggering. The ascent from the surrounding plain to the city of Jerusalem proper during Christ's Millennial Kingdom will be steep and arduous! And from afar it will provide a magnificent spectacle! Other topographical changes during the Millennial Reign of Christ are also predicted in Ezekiel 47:1-12, Joel 3:18, and in Zechariah 14:8.

    (6) Israelis will live in Jerusalem during Christ's Millennial Kingdom, and they will do so in security (Zech. 14:11). Jerusalem and the people of Israel will no longer be under the curse (cherem, 2764), or ban, devoted to destruction. This will be so because the people of Israel will be given a new heart of flesh with which they will lovingly serve Yahweh and His King, Jesus, the Messiah (Isa. 65:18-25; Jer. 31:31-34; Ezek. 11:19; 36:22-38; 37:24-28; Zech. 12:10-13:1). Because they will be devoted to God and to Jesus, their King, finally, they will be able to live in peace - peace with God and peace with their heretofore hostile Arab neighbors (Isa. 9:6-7; 2:1-4; 54:10; 66:10-14, 18-23).

    (7) King Jesus will utterly destroy the armies of the nations gathered in rebellion against Him at His return. These are the armies of the nations who have made war with Jerusalem (Zech. 14:12-15). At some point after His return (Zech. 14:4), Jesus will afflict these enemy UN troops with a terrible plague by virtue of a command from His lips (Rev. 19:15, 21). Their flesh will decay quickly while they are yet standing on their feet (Zech. 14:12). Their eyes will decay in their sockets and they will become sightless while they are standing  before Jesus (Zech. 14:12). Their tongues will decay in their mouths, and while they will be able, briefly, to scream, they will no longer be able to utter an intelligible word (Zech. 14:12).

    Additionally, a great panic from Yahweh will seize the enemy United Nations troops who have invaded Israel. These troops will seize one another and kill one another. Discipline among the invading troops will utterly break down and they will turn on one another and kill one another in a mindless panic (Zech 14:13).

    The Israelis will fight in battle against the enemy UN troops at Jesus' return, and, miraculously, they will win a compelling and overwhelming victory (Zech. 14:14)! The over-confident UN troops will have stored great wealth nearby. The Jewish troops will completely overrun the UN personnel guarding the storehouses of the UN troops. The Israelis will plunder the UN storehouses and amass great wealth, including various forms of currency, coins, and clothing (Zech. 14:14).

    The same plague that will afflict the humans who will fight against Israel will also decimate all the animals of the enemy UN troops. The animals destroyed by this plague will include beasts of burden as well as livestock used for food. The decimation of the UN troops will be complete and massive! Not one soldier will survive the onslaught from King Jesus (Zech. 14:15)!

    Some who hold to a non-literal interpretation of prophecy minimize the significance of references to animals in prophetic passages such as this one in Zechariah (Zech. 14:15) and others in the Apocalypse (Rev. 9:16-19; 14:20; 19:11, 14, 18-19, 21). Admittedly, some problems exist. But who of us knows the future? Who can predict the state of transportation that radical environmentalists will impose on the world in the future? Who would have predicted, fifty years ago, that a future US President would be shutting down coal mines through regulations in America? Who can predict whether terrorists will fire a nuclear weapon high in the atmosphere that will cripple electrical circuitry over a massive area and render useless computer-facilitated vehicles? And who can know what the final world government's sudden fiery destruction of the false religion of Babylon with all its economic implications will mean for the availability of petroleum products from that part of the world (Rev. 17:16-18:24)? If the refining of gasoline and diesel fuel is severely limited, perhaps mobility on horseback will be preferable to walking!

Conditions Existing During Christ's Millennial Kingdom Zechariah 14:16-21

    (1) Worship. Zechariah 14:16. There will be representatives from among the nations of the world who will survive the Tribulation period (Zech. 14:16; Matt. 25:31-34, 46). These will be they who did not participate in the Battle against Israel (Zech. 12:9; 14:2-3, 12-13; Rev. 19:19) and against Christ. Consequently they were not present when Jesus returned and annihilated the opposing UN troops gathered in Jerusalem and surrounding areas (Isa. 63:1-6; Zech. 14:4, 12-13; Rev. 12:21). Furthermore, these particular survivors will have refused to cooperate with the global identification system imposed by the Beast (Antichrist) and his False Prophet (Rev. 13:16). The Mark of the Beast will be an effort upon the part of the World Dictator to control all the people of Earth through his identification system. It will be sold as a necessary gateway for economic activity (Rev. 13:17). But the power to regulate is also the power to control and manipulate. This numbering system will seem to many to be the ultimate accomplishment of man - the ability to control, monitor, and identify (Rev. 13:18). The leftist elites around the world will applaud this measure. But the truth of the matter is that the Mark of the Beast will imply more than economic privilege. It also seems to imply idolatrous worship of the World Ruler (Rev. 14:9). To receive the Mark of the Beast is to provoke the wrath of God (Rev. 14:9-10; 16:1-2). It will also doom its users to an eternity in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone (Rev. 14:9-11). To refuse the Mark of the Beast will almost certainly mean death (Rev. 14:12). The vast majority of those who place their faith in Jesus as Messiah will pay for their refusal with their lives (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-17). Yet many believers in Jesus will survive the Tribulation. They will also survive the Judgment of the Non-Jewish survivors of the Tribulation. These believing Gentile survivors of the Tribulation will gladly go on a yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem to worship Jesus the King (Zech. 14:16). He will be identified as "Yahweh of Troops," a Sovereign, warlike designation. It appears the annual Jerusalem celebration most likely to be attended by most of the global community of believers will be the Feast of Booths (Zech. 14:16). This is especially appropriate since even Israeli believers will dwell in makeshift booths (Lev. 23:40-42). So during the Millennium, Gentile believers from around the world will join with Israeli believers in living in makeshift booths in the Jerusalem area during the eight days of the Feast of Booths (Zech. 14:16). And of course, they will worship King Jesus and listen to His public speeches in order to implement His program into their own lives and into the politics of their respective nations (Isa. 2:1-3; Micah 4:1-2).

    (2) National Discipline. Zechariah 14:17-19. The decree (Psa. 2:7-9) Yahweh issued to His Son, to be crowned King upon Mount Zion, Yahweh's holy mountain (Psa. 2:6), was this: (a) On the day of His coronation Yahweh would claim the Davidic King as His Son (Psa. 2:7). (b) Yahweh would give Him the nations as His inheritance, and the ends of the earth as His possession (Psa. 2:8). (c) The Messiah would break the nations with a rod of iron, and shatter them like earthenware (Ps. 2:9). When Jesus returns with great power and annihilates the UN armies opposing Him (Zech. 14:3, 12-13; Rev. 19:21), He will certainly shatter the nations like earthenware. When King Jesus institutes rigorous discipline in His reign, He will break the nations with a rod of iron. What will the King's discipline look like? One concrete example is given here in Zech. 14:17-19.

    If any of the "families (mishpachah, 4940) of the earth" fail to appear in Jerusalem annually to worship the King, "Yahweh of Troops," and to celebrate the Feast of Booths, they will receive no rain the following year (Zech. 14:17). Presumably the next year they will appear! This withholding of rain is described as being a "plague" (maggephah, 4046) (cf. Exod. 9:14).

    At least a couple of questions spring to mind. First, what is meant by the term "families" (
mishpachah)? The first time this word is used of humans in Genesis, we receive at least minimal insight into its usage. On one level it refers to individuals having a common ancestor and who speak the same language (Gen. 10:5, 18, 20, 31, 32). On another level the word refers to blood relatives (Gen. 24:38, 40, 41). Here in Zechariah 14 the term seems to apply to an outgrowth of the first level - a national grouping. The "family" (mishpachah) of Egypt (Mitsrayim, 4714) is given as an example (Zech. 14:18-19). The Egyptians are a "family" in that they descended from Mitsrayim, a son of Ham, and grandson of Noah (Gen. 10:6, 13). So if Egypt fails to appear at the Feast of Booths to worship King Jesus on a particular year, they will receive no rain as a penalty (Zech. 14:18, 19). The same will be true for any of the nations (goyim, 1471) who fail to appear at the Feast of Booths (Zech. 14:18, 19).

    Second, will it be required that entire nations appear at the Feast of Booths? Or will it be sufficient if a nation sends a sizable representation? The answer is that we do not know for certain. The text is not specific. A common sense tells us it would seem logistically impossible for all the individuals of all nations to congregate in Jerusalem at the same time. It would make more sense to assume that a sizably respectful delegation from each country could appear. That is an educated guess. The text does not tell us. Isaiah 2:1-4 and Micah 4:1-3 give us the impression of many people and many nations congregating in Jerusalem at Mount Zion.

    Third, why would any nations not want to send delegates to Jerusalem annually? Won't everyone in the Millennial Kingdom be a believer? The answer to that question must consider both the circumstances of the Kingdom and the passage of time. When Christ returns to earth, enemy troops gathered against Him will be summarily dispatched, as we have already indicated (Zech. 14:12-13; Rev. 19:21). Furthermore, all unbelieving survivors of the Tribulation will be identified at the Judgments of the Survivors. Those unbelievers will be executed and removed from the earth, prevented from participating in Christ's Kingdom (Ezek. 20:33-38; Matt. 25:31-46). Only those who are already believers in the Messiah will remain alive on the earth to participate in His Kingdom. They will delight in coming to Jerusalem to worship the King each year!

    But we must understand that they will live on earth in their natural bodies. They will have children. Some of their children will come to trust in the King and worship Him with delight also. But, unfortunately, not all of their children will personally place their faith in Jesus. They may submit outwardly, but inside their hearts there will be rebellion against the King and His strict rule. A thousand years (Rev. 20:1-6) is a long time, and over the course of time there evidently will be sufficient numbers of unbelievers that a particular nation or two will not bother to send delegates of a high enough rank or sufficient number. The King will know, and the next year, that nation or nations will receive no rain. The next year they will grudgingly send representatives.

    We do know that at the end of the thousand years, Satan, who will have been imprisoned in the Abyss for the thousand years, will be released from his temporary prison. When that happens, he will be permitted to go out upon the earth and deceive the unbelievers into revolting against King Jesus and His administration in Jerusalem. Fire will come down from heaven and destroy the rebels (Rev. 10:7-10). Satan himself will be deposited forever in the Lake of Fire and Brimstone.

    (3) Holiness in the Kingdom. Zechariah 14:20-21. Four examples of holiness in Christ's Millennial Kingdom are given.
    First, "In that day" (i.e. the extended day of Messiah's reign upon earth) the bells of the horses will have "Holy to the LORD" inscribed on them (Zech. 14:20). This means that there will be no distinction made between the sacred and the secular in the Millennial Kingdom. Under the Mosaic Covenant, the High Priest was to wear a turban.
A gold plate was to be affixed to his turban by means of a blue cord. On that gold plate were to be engraved the words, "Holy to the LORD" (Exod. 28:36-38). Under the New Covenant (Jer. 31:31-34), which will be in operation in Israel during the Millennium, there will be no distinction between the sacred and the secular, the holy and the profane. Then, not only will priestly apparel be "Holy to the LORD," but ornaments on transportation conveyances will also be "Holy to the LORD"! Does this mean we will see more horses than automobiles in the Millennium? I do not know the answer to that question. But I am convinced we will see horses with bells with "Holy to the LORD" inscribed on them.

    Second, "And the cooking pots in the LORD'S house will be like the bowls before the altar" (Zech. 14:20). Keil and Delitzsch [3] explain the statement as follows:

The pots in the sanctuary, which were used for boiling the sacrificial flesh, were regarded as much less holy than the sacrificial bowls in which the blood of the sacrificial animals was received, and out of which it was sprinkled or poured upon the altar. In the future these pots will be just as holy as the sacrificial bowls ....

Once again, in the Millennial Kingdom there will not be degrees of holiness. All items will be equally holy to the LORD. This passage confirms that the Temple described in Ezekiel (Ezek. 40-46) is a real Temple that will be built and used during Christ's Millennial Kingdom, not merely a symbol of "its messianic fulfillment in Jesus" (contra C. J. H. Wright). There will be sacrifices offered in this Millennial Temple (Zech. 14:20; Ezek. 43:13-27; 44:9-31; 45:13-25; 46:1-24), but they will commemorate the "once for all" sacrifice of Jesus on the cross (Heb. 7:27; 9:12; 10:10). After all, in the present Church era, we partake of the unleavened bread and fruit of the vine in commemoration of Christ's death (Matt. 26:26-29; Mark 14:22-25; Luke 22:17-20; 1 Cor. 10:16; 11:23-25).

    Third, "Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts ..." (Zech. 14:21). Everything in Christ's Millennial Kingdom will be holy to Yahweh of Troops, present in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Not only will there no distinction between the holiness of the cooking pots of the Millennial Temple and the holiness of the containers used to collect blood from the altar at the Temple, but there will be no distinction in holiness between any of the Temple vessels and any of the cooking pots used anywhere in any home in Israel during the Kingdom.
Those who slaughter animals for sacrifice in the Millennial Temple will bring cooking pots from home to boil the flesh of the animal sacrifices. There will be no graduated distinctions between the sacred and the secular. Holiness will be universal. 

    That same holiness will be evident in the judicial decisions of the King (Isa. 11:1-5), and it will be evident in the peace and harmony that will prevail in the animal kingdom (Isa. 11:6-9). That same holiness and peace will be global because "the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea" (Isa. 11:9). The reference to King Jesus as "the LORD of hosts" (literally, "Yahweh of Troops") (Zech. 14:21) even amidst the context of holiness is powerful testimony to the justice and severity of His reign. No one will be able to violate the standards of the King with impunity (Psa. 2:9; Isa. 11:4; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 1:16; 19:15, 21).

    Fourth, there will never again be a Canaanite in the house of Yahweh of Troops (Zech. 14:21). Though Israel had destroyed the bulk of the Canaanites when they conquered the promised land in the days of Joshua, there were still pockets that remained (Josh. 16:10; 17:12-13; Judges 1:27-33; Ezra 9:1). So this exclusion of Canaanites from the Millennial Temple may refer to blood descendants of those original Canaanites. But this seems unlikely for this reason: Yahweh had already stipulated that it was foreigners who were uncircumcised in heart as well as uncircumcised in flesh who would be excluded from the Temple (Ezek. 44:9). Furthermore, Yahweh had specifically welcomed into His House of Prayer foreigners who had joined themselves to Him, who loved His Name, and who kept His covenant (Isa. 56:3, 6-8). Quoting Isa. 56:7, Jesus Himself said that the Temple in Jerusalem was to be a House of Prayer for all nations (Mark 11:17). So it seems more likely that the exclusion of Canaanites from the Temple was an exclusion of anyone who remained a "Canaanite" in his heart. People who do not genuinely worship God and Jesus, His Kingly representative, will not be permitted to enter the Millennial Temple in Jerusalem. It will truly be a Holy Temple, but it will be a House of Prayer for all genuine worshipers of God and Jesus from all the nations on earth. God has always been a missionary God (Exod. 19:6!


Jesus Christ will come back to earth in power and great glory. This return is to be distinguished from the Rapture, which will occur at least seven years earlier and prior to the start of the Tribulation. The return of Christ described in Zechariah 14:1-4 is a return of Retribution. Jesus will destroy all the enemy troops fighting Him in battle (Zech. 14:12-15). There will be striking changes in nature both at Jesus' return and during His Kingdom (Zech. 14:4-8, 10-12). Jesus will institute His global reign (Zech. 14:9). He will ensure the loyalty of all the earth to Himself by withholding rain from nations that do not show Him proper deference annually (Zech. 14:16-19). Holiness will be the watchword of the Kingdom (Zech. 14:20-21).

WordExplain invites the reader to prepare for that Kingdom. The last thing you will want to hear the King say is, "Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matt. 25:41). This is a true statement: "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36).


[1] I am indebted to Keil and Delitzsch for most of the geographical references in Zech. 14:10 (Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament – Volume 10: The Minor Prophets).

[2] Note, for example, the spiritualization of the editors of the New American Bible, which appears on the Vatican Website. The footnote at the bottom of the page of Zechariah 14 consigns Jerusalem to being merely a non-literal "figure of God's elect." As is the case with so many non-literal interpreters, the Vatican editors wave the magic wand of the word "apocalyptic," and that justifies them in not taking the passage literally. I believe such a metaphorical interpretation is indefensible. We have an old saying, "The devil is in the details." Unfortunately, a nonliteral interpretation of the eschatological elements of the prophets does not deal well with the details. The details argue for a literal understanding, not a metaphorical understanding of the passage.

[3] Keil and Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament – Volume 10: The Minor Prophets.

(Scripture quotation taken from the NASB.)

Updated August 21, 2014

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