Zechariah 14 Bible Commentary

John Darby’s Synopsis

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(Read all of Zechariah 14)
The final results before full blessing

Chapter 14 announces the final events that shall bring in this result, as chapter 13 had especially detailed that which regarded Christ. The two subjects of chapter 12 are thus resumed in detail.

We may remark here, that the effect of the staff being broken, which united Judah and Israel, is here realised. The prophet speaks only of Judah, of the people who in the land were guilty of rejecting the Messiah, and who will suffer the consequence of so doing in the land during the last days, the mass of them at that time joining themselves to Antichrist. Jerusalem, as we have said, forms the centre of the prophecy. No prophet could perish outside her borders. What a terrible thing to be outwardly near God when one is not so inwardly, and when the heart invests itself with the name of God as with a cloak of pride—as a buckler, so that His arrows no longer reach the conscience!

Jerusalem taken: Jehovah's intervention in the Person of Christ on the Mount of Olives

Nevertheless, in spite of her pride and her confederacy with evil, Jerusalem shall be taken in the last days. We have seen, when studying the other prophets, that this will be the case; and then afterwards, when again besieged, Jehovah will intervene for the destruction of these enemies. This is very distinctly announced here. The nations shall be assembled by Jehovah; the city shall be taken and the houses rifled, and half the people led captive. Jehovah will then come forth against those nations, as we read in chapter 12 (compare Isaiah 66 and Micah 4). He comes in the Person of Christ to the Mount of Olives, whence He ascended. The Mount of Olives cleaves in the midst, forming a great valley, spreading terror among the people who are there. But if Jehovah identifies Himself thus, so to speak, with the meek and lowly Jesus formerly on the earth, in order that the identity of the Saviour and Jehovah should be clearly acknowledged, it is not the less true that He will come from heaven in all His glory (as He Himself predicted, as well as the prophets beginning with Enoch). The heavenly saints will accompany Him in His public manifestation to the eyes of an astonished world. Marvellous glory for those that are His, with whom He will manifest Himself before all the wicked! For here it is Jehovah's public coming to the earth, as the righteous Judge, making war upon all that rebel against Him.

Jehovah's coming to the earth as the Righteous Judge: His visible relationship with Judah

I do not see that the last-mentioned event follows that which precedes it in the chapter. There is a division in the middle of verse 5. "And Jehovah my God shall come" begins a fresh subject, introducing a grand distinct event, which affects the whole earth in a manner that characterises its future existence. The presence of Jehovah upon the Mount of Olives renews, we may say, His visible relationship with Judah. This part of the subject closes with the words, "Uzziah, king of Judah." That which follows is intimately connected with the return of Christ to the Jews, in the very spot from which He left this earth; but it looks at it from a higher point of view, and takes up the subject of the relationship of Jehovah with the whole earth, when He comes from heaven with the saints. This is another part of the subject and a very important one.

The day of mingled light and darkness

The meaning of the rather difficult passage that follows has, I think, been given, as to its general sense, by Martin in his French translation. The Hebrew is acknowledged to be obscure. It may be, perhaps, translated, "there shall not be a precious light [which] shall be withdrawn." It is "a light of preciousness and denseness"; the last word may be taken for "shall be withdrawn." It shall not be a day of mingled light and darkness, but a day appointed by Jehovah, a day characterised by His intervention and His mighty presence, and that could not be characterised by the ordinary vicissitudes of night and day; but, at the moment when the total darkness of night might be expected, there should be light. Living waters should flow from Jerusalem towards the east and towards the west, into the Dead Sea and into the Great Sea. The heat of summer should not dry up their source.

"One Jehovah, and His name one": universal holiness

Jehovah shall be God over all the earth; there shall be but one Jehovah, and His name one. It shall be truly one universal religion, the dominion of the one Jehovah, the God of the Jews, over all the earth. The land round Jerusalem shall be entirely peopled, and Jerusalem lifted up and securely inhabited in her place. There shall be no more any destruction of the city which Jehovah has chosen. A deadly plague shall smite all those that have fought against her. They shall mutually destroy each other. Judah shall also fight against them, and their riches shall be her prey. The remnant that are spared among the nations shall come up to Jerusalem, to the feast in which the entrance of God's people into their rest is celebrated. And all shall be holiness; everything in Jerusalem shall be consecrated to Jehovah.