The Day of the Lord

14:1A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. 2I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city.

3Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle. 4On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will 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.

6On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. 7It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light.

8On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter.

9The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name.

10The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. 11It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure.

12This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13On that day men will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. 14Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. 15A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps.

16Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. 17If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. 18If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague He inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. 19This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

20On that day Holy To The Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. 21Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty.

At the end of chapter 13, Zechariah introduced the events he would describe (through the spirit of prophecy) in chapter 14. In fact, in verse 9 of chapter 13, the Lord Himself, through Zechariah, effectively summarizes chapter 14: "This third" (speaking of the remnant of the children of Israel), "I will bring into the fire; I will refine them like silver and test them like gold. They will call on my name and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God’" (Zech. 13:9).

Chapter 14 begins with Zechariah describing some of this "refining" and "testing" of the children of Israel: "A day of the Lord is coming when your plunder will be divided among you. I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city" (vss. 1-2). The children of Israel will face heavy trials and affliction, before the ultimate victory.

But the Lord will be with them in the end: "Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as He fights in the day of battle" (vs. 3). He will not only be with them spiritually, the Lord will physically appear and be with the children of Israel in battle: "On that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem" (vs. 4). In line with Zechariah’s prophecy that the Lord will "stand on the Mount of Olives", just after Jesus left earth and ascended into heaven, two angels prophesied that Jesus would return: "‘Men of Galilee,’ they said, ‘why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen Him go into heaven’" (Acts 1:11).

Accompanying our Lord’s return will be a miraculous rearrangement of the area’s geography: "…and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south" (vs. 4). This new valley will be used as a means of escape by the children of Israel from their enemies: "You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah" (vs. 5). The Lord will not be alone on that day: "Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with Him" (vs. 5).

In the spirit of prophecy, Zechariah speaks of some of what will happen in the last days: "On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light" (vs. 6). This agrees with John’s prophecy in the book of Revelation, that the main source of light after the Lord returns will be, not the sun or the moon, but the Lord Himself: "The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light and the Lamb is its lamp" (Rev. 21:23).

"On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea and half to the western sea, in summer and in winter" (vs. 8). This also agrees with a prophecy in the book of Revelation: "Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city" (Rev. 22:1-2).

But the most glorious thing about "that day" will be what Zechariah describes next: "The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and His name the only name" (vs. 9). Oh glorious day! The day when the Lord will reign on earth! The day we, as Christians, long for, and pray for, as we say, "Thy kingdom come!"

His kingdom will be forever, and He will rule from Jerusalem: "The whole land, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, will become like the Arabah. But Jerusalem will be raised up and remain in its place, from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. It will be inhabited; never again will it be destroyed. Jerusalem will be secure" (vss. 10-11).

Those who chose to fight against the people of the Lord will, in the end, suffer for it: "This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths. On that day men will be stricken by the Lord with great panic. Each man will seize the hand of another, and they will attack each other. Judah too will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of all the surrounding nations will be collected—great quantities of gold and silver and clothing. A similar plague will strike the horses and mules, the camels and donkeys, and all the animals in those camps" (vss. 12-15).

But in the end, even those from the rebellious nations will worship the True and Living God: "Then the survivors from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles" (vs. 16). The celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles is significant, here. The Feast of Tabernacles "was instituted as a memorial of the wanderings in the wilderness, and as an acknowledgment of the ingathering of the harvest" [Moore, 231]. The special celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles in the end-times will underscore the glorious fact for Israel that their wanderings will be complete, their harvest will be forever plentiful, and their King will be forever on the throne.

Those nations that refuse to celebrate this feast will not take part in the plentiful harvest that it commemorates: "If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord Almighty, they will have no rain. If the Egyptian people do not go up and take part, they will have no rain. The Lord will bring on them the plague He inflicts on the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles" (vss. 17-19).

The worship of the Lord will be rule of law, and the worship of the Lord will be the norm. The worship of the Lord will permeate every activity: "On that day Holy To The Lord will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, and the cooking pots in the Lord’s house will be like the sacred bowls in front of the altar. Every pot in Jerusalem and Judah will be holy to the Lord Almighty, and all who come to sacrifice will take some of the pots and cook in them. And on that day there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the Lord Almighty" (vss. 20-21). O great and glorious day! When the Lord will be worshiped everywhere, by everyone! Yes, Lord, come quickly!

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