Zechariah 14 – “An Eschatological Vision”

Hebrew-English Text
I. Summary
Zechariah predicts a time when God will perform miracles, destroy Israel’s enemies, and be worshiped by the nations in Jerusalem.

II. Photo
Zechariah has a prediction: “In that day, there shall be neither sunlight nor moonlight, but there shall be a continuous day.” (v. 6)

III. Select Verses
1-2: Lo, a day of the LORD is coming when your spoil shall be divided in your very midst! For I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem for war: The city shall be captured, the houses plundered, and the women violated; and a part of the city shall go into exile. But the rest of the population shall not be uprooted from the city.
3-5: Then the LORD will come forth and make war on those nations as He is wont to make war on a day of battle. On that day, He will set His feet on the Mount of Olives, near Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives shall split across from east to west, and one part of the Mount shall shift to the north and the other to the south, a huge gorge. And the Valley in the Hills shall be stopped up, for the Valley of the Hills shall reach only to Azal; it shall be stopped up as it was stopped up as a result of the earthquake in the days of King Uzziah of Judah. — And the LORD my God, with all the holy beings, will come to you.
6-7: In that day, there shall be neither sunlight nor cold moonlight, but there shall be a continuous day — only the Lord knows when — of neither day nor night, and there shall be light at eventide.
16-17: All who survive of all those nations that came up against Jerusalem shall make a pilgrimage year by year to bow low to the King LORD of Hosts and to observe the Feast of Booths. Any of the earth’s communities that does not make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to bow low to the King LORD of Hosts shall receive no rain.

IV. Outline
1-2. Jerusalem will be plundered
3. God’s approach
4-5. The splitting of the Mount of Olives
6-8. Supernatural events
9. God’s dominion
10-11. Jerusalem’s security
12-15. A plague will defeat Jerusalem’s enemies
16-19. The nations must worship God in Jerusalem
20-21. Everything in Jerusalem will be consecrated to God.

V. Comment
The book of Zechariah ends with an apocalyptic vision. As was noted in the comment to the previous chapter, the nature of prophecy changes with the onset of the postexilic period. Collins writes: “This concluding oracle [= Zechariah 14] is in some ways typical of the anonymous oracles that have survived from the Second Temple period. Increasingly, these oracles are concerned not with the events of the time when they were composed but with the final resolution of history, the end of days. They reflect the dissonance between the glorious promises of the Scriptures and the diminished existence of Judah under the Persians and later the Greeks, and a yearning for a time when the kingship of [the God] of Israel would be revealed in all its splendor. Such oracles are sometimes called ‘proto-apocalyptic,’ and they bear some resemblance to apocalyptic visions.” (415) In other words, prophets begin to speak about major upheavals in the natural world, not specific events or miracles.

VI. Works Used
(see “Commentaries” page)
Collins, John J. “Introduction to the Hebrew Bible,” (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2004).
Smith, Ralph L. “Micah – Malachi” World Biblical Commentary v. 32 (Word Books: 1984).
Photo taken from http://files.myopera.com/J-G/albums/572881/yellow_sky.jpg

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