Bible Commentary

Zechariah 14

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of Zechariah 14)

Verse 1

[1] Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

The day — Of vengeance, Joel 2:1,2, cometh, or will soon overtake you, O sinful, unthankful! bloody! Jews.

Thy spoil — All thou hast, O, Jerusalem, shall become a prey to thine enemy.

Verse 2

[2] For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

All nations — The Romans who at that time had the rule over all the nations of that part of the world.

The residue — That small number of the Jews who were spared by Titus.

Shall not be cut off — Were not forbidden to dwell about the city.

Verse 3

[3] Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

Then — After he hath sufficiently punished the Jews.

As when he fought — As in those days when he fought for his people.

Verse 4

[4] And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

Shall cleave — Sinai melted, at the presence of the God of the whole earth.

Great valley — So rich shall be a plain access from the place of the feet of the Lord unto Jerusalem.

Verse 5

[5] And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

The valley of the mountains — A place provided of God for their safety.

O Lord my God — As if it were said, though it will, O Lord, put us into fear; yet without such wonderful works we shall not see thy salvation; therefore, O Lord my God come, and bring thy holy ones with thee.

Verse 6

[6] And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

In that day — While God is fighting with the enemies of his church, the nations that fought against Jerusalem.

Nor dark — There shall be some mercy to allay the bitterness of judgment, and some judgment with our mercy.

Verse 7

[7] But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

One day — One continued day, no setting of the sun to make it quite night: God will always act in order to the full salvation of his spiritual Jerusalem.

Known unto the Lord — The Lord knows when it shall begin, and how, and when it shall end.

Verse 8

[8] And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

In that day — When the days of ignorance, and idolatry shall end.

Living waters — The quickening, saving truths of the gospel, with all its ordinances in purity.

From Jerusalem — The church of Christ, the true Jerusalem.

The former sea — Or eastern sea.

The hinder sea — Or western sea.

In summer and in winter — Perpetually, without intermission, these waters shall never dry away, or lose their healing virtue.

Verse 9

[9] And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

In that day — All men shall agree in worshipping one God, in one way of spiritual worship, and hearty obedience.

Verse 10

[10] All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.

All the land — The whole land of Judea, a type of the whole earth, shall be filled with the knowledge of God.

As a plain — All high, uneven places, all rocky and barren grounds, shall be changed into fruitful vineyards. So the church of Christ shall be fruitful, humble and lovely.

Geba — The north boundary of the land.

Rimmon — The south boundary of Judea.

Jerusalem — Which taken mystically, is the church of Christ, and by the repair of all to this Jerusalem, is shadowed out of the compleat building of the church on all sides, north, south, west and east.

Lifted up — Raised out of the dust.

Benjamin's gate — Benjamin's gate north-east, corner-gate north-west; Hananiel's tower south, wine-presses north; that is in brief, compleatly around the city.

Verse 11

[11] And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

And men — Many for number, eminent for worth.

Utter destruction — There may be afflictions but no utter wasting of Jerusalem; the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

Verse 13

[13] And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

A great tumult — Confusion.

Shall rise up — From murmurs one against another they shall at last run into civil wars, and so destroy themselves, and revenge Jerusalem.

Verse 14

[14] And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.

Judah — The Jews, and possibly Judas Maccabeus might be intended.

Verse 15

[15] And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

The horse — Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely destroyed.

Verse 16

[16] And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

That is left — That escapes the stroke.

To worship — By a ceremonial usage which shadowed out a better worship, the prophet foretells the constant zeal of the converted Gentiles to worship the Lord.

The feast of tabernacles — One solemn festival is by a figure, put for all the days consecrated to God for holy worship.

Verse 20

[20] In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD's house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

Shall there be — Written as it were on every common thing.

Holiness unto the Lord — Their persons shall bear the dedicating inscription of holiness to the Lord, and by their study of holiness they shall make good their motto.

The pots — Which were used in the kitchens of the temple, and were not accounted so sacred as the utensils near the sacrifices, and altar.

The bowls — Which received the blood of the sacrifices, were esteemed more holy; so shall thy holiness in these days exceed the holiness of those former days.

Verse 21

[21] Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

Every pot — The utensils of private houses shall be all dedicated to God's service.

That sacrifice — So the prophet expresses all religious affections, practice, and worship, which shall be as pleasing to God, as were the sacrifices of his people offered up with divine warrant and approbation.

Seethe therein — That part of the sacrifice which pertaineth to the priests, and to the offerer to feast on.

The Canaanite — Any of the accursed nation, or one who makes merchandise of religion. But all shall know that the Lord hath the greatest pleasure in upright, and sincere love and holiness.

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