Zechariah 14

CHAPTER XIV

The commencement of this chapter relates to the destruction of

Jerusalem by the Romans, and to the calamities consequent on

that event. From this great Jewish tragedy the prophet

immediately passes to the utter extermination of the enemies of

Christianity in the latter days.

God will display his power in behalf of his people in a manner

so astonishing and miraculous, that even they themselves, and

much more their enemies, shall be struck with terror, 4, 5.

The national prosperity of the Jews shall then be permanent and

unmixed, 6, 7;

and these people shall be made the instruments of converting

many to the faith of the Messiah, 8, 9.

The great increase and prosperity of the Christian Church, the

New Jerusalem, is then described in terms accommodated to

Jewish ideas; and the most signal vengeance denounced against

all her enemies, 10-19.

From that happy period God's name will be honoured in every

thing, and his worship every where most reverently observe,

20, 21.

NOTES ON CHAP. XIV

Verse 1. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh] This appears to be

a prediction of that war in which Jerusalem was finally destroyed,

and the Jews scattered all over the face of the earth; and of the

effects produced by it.

Verse 2. I will gather all nations] The Romans, whose armies

were composed of all the nations of the world. In this verse there

is a pitiful account given of the horrible outrages which should

be committed during the siege of Jerusalem, and at its capture.

The residue of the people shall not be cut off] Many were

preserved for slaves, and for exhibition in the provincial

theatres.

Verse 3. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those

nations] Against the Romans, by means of the northern nations; who

shall destroy the whole empire of this once mistress of the world.

But this is an obscure place.

Verse 4. And his feet shall stand] He shall appear in full

possession of the place, as a mighty conqueror.

And the mount of Olives shall cleave] God shall display his

miraculous power as fully in the final restoration of the Jews, as

he did when he divided the Red Sea that their forefathers might

pass through dry-shod. Some refer this to the destruction of the

city by the Romans. It was on the mount of Olives that Titus

posted his army to batter Jerusalem. Here the tenth legion that

came to him from Jericho was placed. JOSEPH. De Bello, lib. vi. c.

3. It was from this mountain that our Lord beheld Jerusalem, and

predicted its future destruction, Lu 19:41, with Mt 24:23; and

it was from this mountain that he ascended to heaven, (Ac 1:12,)

utterly leaving an ungrateful and condemned city.

And half of the mountain shall remove] I really think that these

words refer to the lines of circumvallation, to intrenchments,

redoubts, &c., which the Romans made while carrying on the siege

of this city; and particularly the lines or trenches which the

army made on Mount Olivet itself.

Verse 5. Ye shall flee to the valley] Some think this refers to

the valley through which Zedekiah and others endeavoured to escape

when Nebuchadnezzar pressed the siege of Jerusalem: but it appears

to speak only of the Jewish wars of the Romans.

Azal] This, as a place, is not known. If a place, it was most

probably near to Jerusalem; and had its name from that

circumstance.

Verse 6. The light shall not be clear, nor dark] Metaphorically,

there will be a mixture of justice and mercy in all this; or a

bright light and darkness. Mercy shall triumph over judgment.

There shall be darkness-distress, &c.; but there shall be more

light-joy and prosperity-than darkness.

Verse 7. At evening time it shall be light.] At the close of

this awful visitation, there shall be light. The light of the

glorious Gospel shall go forth from Jerusalem; and next, from the

Roman empire to every part of the earth.

Verse 8. Living waters shall go out] There shall be a wide

diffusion of Divine knowledge, and of the plan of human salvation,

which shall go out by apostles and preachers, first from

Jerusalem, then to Syria, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, the isles of

the sea, Britain, &c.

The former sea, and-the hinder sea] The Dead Sea and the

Mediterranean; see on Joe 2:20. These are metaphors.

In summer] In time of drought; or in the countries where there

was no knowledge of God, there shall these waters flow. The stream

shall never cease; it shall run in summer as well as winter.

These are living waters-perennial, incessant, and waters that

shall preserve life. See Joh 7:37.

Verse 9. And the Lord shall be King] When this universal

diffusion of Divine knowledge shall take place. Wherever it goes,

the laws of God shall be acknowledged; and, consequently, he shall

be King over the whole earth.

One Lord, and his name one.] There shall be in those blessed

days, only one religion, and one form of religion. There shall not

be gods many, and lords many. All mankind shall be of one

religion, the essence of which is, "Thou shalt love the Lord thy

God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength; and thy

NEIGHBOUR as thyself."

Verse 10. All the land shall be turned as a plain] Or rather,

"He shall encompass the whole land as a plain." He shall cast his

defence all around it; from Geba, in Benjamin, north of Jerusalem,

(Jos 21:17,) to

Rimmon in Judah, to the south of Jerusalem, Jos 15:32.

It shall be lifted up] The city shall be exalted.

And inhabited in her place] Jerusalem, shall be rebuilt in the

very place in which it originally stood. From Benjamin's gate,

which was probably on the north side of Jerusalem, unto the place

of the first gate, supposed to be that called the old gate,

Ne 3:6; 12:39, placed by

Lightfoot towards the southwest.

Unto the corner gate] See 2Ki 14:13.

The tower of Hananeel] This tower and the corner gate seem to

be placed as two extremities of the city.

Unto the king's wine-presses] Near to the king's gardens,

southward.-See Newcome.

Verse 11. There shall be no more utter destruction] After this

final restoration of Jerusalem it shall never more be destroyed;

but as this was the first city of the living God upon earth, so

shall it be the last; it shall be safely inhabited. It shall see

war no more.

Verse 12. And this shall be the plague] All her enemies shall be

destroyed.

Their flesh shall consume away] These are the effects of famine

which are described in this verse.

Verse 13. A great tumult from the Lord] Among those enemies of

his Church, who shall engage and destroy each other.

Verse 14. And Judah also shall fight] They shall have little

else to do than take the spoil, the wealth of all the heathen

round about; gold, silver, and apparel.

Verse 15. So shall be the plague of the horse, and the mule]

There shall be plagues on the substance of the enemies of the

Church, as there were on the cattle and goods of the Egyptians.

Verse 16. Shall even go up from year to year] The Jews had three

grand original festivals, which characterized different epochs in

their history, viz.:-

1. The feast of the passover, in commemoration of their

departure from Egypt.

2. The feast of pentecost, in commemoration of the giving of the

law upon Mount Sinai.

3. The feast of tabernacles, in commemoration of their wandering

forty years in the wilderness.

This last feast is very properly brought in here to point out

the final restoration of the Jews, and their establishment in the

light and liberty of the Gospel of Christ, after their long

wandering in vice and error.

Verse 17. Upon them shall be no rain.] Those who do not worship

God shall not have his blessing; and those who do not attend

Divine ordinances cannot have the graces and blessings which God

usually dispenses by them. On such slothful, idle Christians,

there shall be no rain!

Verse 18. If the family of Egypt] This may allude to those Jews

who, flying from the persecution of Antiochus Epiphanes, settled

in Egypt, and built a temple at Heliopolis, under the direction of

Onias, son of the high priest. Joseph. Antiq. lib. xiii., c. 6,

and WAR, lib. vii., c. 36. If these do not rejoin their brethren,

they shall have no rain, no interest in the favour of God.

Verse 19. This shall be the punishment-of all nations that come

not up] God will have his public worship established everywhere,

and those who do not worship him shall lie under his curse.

Verse 20. Upon the bells of the horses] They appear, formerly,

to have had bells on horses, camels, &c., as we have now, to amuse

the animals, and encourage them in their work. In some very fine

Asiatic paintings now before me, I see bells both on horses,

mules, and camels; little bells tied to their legs, and larger

ones about their necks, particularly in the representation of a

caravan passing through the valley of serpents, in the island of

Serendib, now Ceylon. The margin reads bridles.

HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD] As the Gospel is a holy system,

preaching holiness and producing holiness in those who believe, so

all without, as well as within, shall bear this impress; and

even a man's labour shall be begun and continued, and ended in the

Lord; yea, and the animals he uses, and the instruments he works

with, shall be all consecrated to God through Christ.

The pots] "The meanest utensil in the house of God, Ne 10:29,

shall be as the vessels of silver, and gold used in solemn

sacrifice; they shall be like the bowls before the altar."-See

Newcome.

Verse 21. Yea, every pot in Jerusalem] "The utensils of the Jews

shall be treated as holy, and the worshippers shall use them

reverently. The idea of preparing food in them (they that-seethe

therein) is taken from the custom of feasting after sacrifice. And

no trafficker (see Eze 18:4) shall pollute the house of God, as

was the custom when our blessed Lord cleansed the temple."-See

Newcome. This is what is called the Canaanite in the house of

God. The Canaanite is the merchant; and where such are tolerated

in a place dedicated to Divine worship, that is not the house of

the Lord of hosts. In churches and chapels, collections may be

made for the simple purpose of supporting and extending the

worship of Jehovah; but for no other purpose, especially on the

Lord's day. Amen.

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