This Revelation Timeline Decoded Bible study provides Matthew Poole’s Commentary On Zechariah 12-14.
As tensions are high in the Middle East and WW III is on the horizon, people, mainly futurists, are applying verses in Zechariah 12 and 14 to the modern state of Israel.
I’ve written many articles about the Jews in Israel, which are listed on the top of the Revelation Timeline Decoded home page. They definitely fulfill a role in the end times, but it’s not a positive one.
I’ve read through the Zechariah 12-14 Bible commentaries from Adam Clarke, Albert Barnes and John Gill, but Matthew Poole’s explanations resonate with me. Keep in mind that Poole wrote in the 17th century, so he had no concept of the Jews in modern-day Jerusalem.
You can reference Matthew Poole’s English Annotations on the Holy Bible on the Studylight page.
When we read about Jerusalem in Zechariah, we naturally associate it with the city in the Middle East. But Scripture is telling a different story.
In Romans 9 and 11, the Apostle Paul tells us that not all Israel is Israel. He says that the physical Jews are not the people of God, but that it is the believing Jews and Gentiles who are the chosen ones.
The true Israelites, called Holy Jerusalem, are the believing Jews and Gentiles who are spread around the world.
Per Galatians 4:22-31, the unbelieving Jews in modern-day Jerusalem are spiritually Hagar, the bondwoman. Paul refers to the believing Jews and Gentiles as being citizens of Jerusalem which is above, heavenly Jerusalem.
So when we get to passages like Zechariah 12:6, which mentions Jerusalem twice, it doesn’t make sense that both references are to the physical city. What makes more sense is that Messiah’s Ekklesia of saints, called Holy Jerusalem, will once again inhabit physical Jerusalem when things are made anew.
When you read the book of Revelation, you see that the bride of Messiah is symbolically called Heavenly Jerusalem.
And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. Revelation 21:2-3
John proclaims that the bride of Messiah is the holy city, the new Jerusalem:
Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb’s wife. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. Revelation 21:9-10
The city of Elohim is no longer the physical city of Jerusalem, but the heavenly Jerusalem, which is populated by His set-apart people.
But, ye came to Mount Zion, and to a city of the living God, to the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of messengers, to the company and assembly of the first-born in heaven enrolled, and to God the judge of all, and to spirits of righteous men made perfect, and to a mediator of the renewed covenant–Jesus, and to blood of sprinkling, speaking better things than that of Abel! Hebrews 12:22-24
Wherefore, also Jesus–that he might sanctify through his own blood the people–without the gate did suffer; now, then, may we go forth unto him without the camp, his reproach bearing; For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come. Hebrews 13:12-14
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible Hebrews 13:14
For here have we no continuing city – Here is an elegant and forcible allusion to the approaching destruction of Jerusalem. The Jerusalem that was below was about to be burnt with fire, and erased to the ground; the Jerusalem that was from above was that alone which could be considered to be permanent. The words seem to say: “Arise, and depart; for this is not your rest: it is polluted:” About seven or eight years after this, Jerusalem was wholly destroyed.
Abraham was not focused on earthly Jerusalem as being his inheritance, but rather the heavenly Jerusalem.
For he (Abraham) looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Hebrews 11:10
The writer of Hebrews recalled the belief of Enoch, Noah, Abraham and Sarah; and then proclaimed:
But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city. Hebrews 11:16
Hebrews 13:12 tells us that Messiah did not die in the city of Jerusalem, rather He died outside of the city.
Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible on Hebrews 13:12
That he might sanctify the people – That he might consecrate them to God, and make an atonement for their sins, he suffered without the gate at Jerusalem, as the sin-offering was consumed without the camp when the tabernacle abode in the wilderness. Perhaps all this was typical of the abolition of the Jewish sacrifices, and the termination of the whole Levitical system of worship. He left the city, denounced its final destruction, and abandoned it to its fate; and suffered without the gate to bring the Gentiles to God.
Hebrews 13:13 tells us that we are not to seek out or pray for the physical city of Jerusalem, for it has been condemned.
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the Bible on Hebrews 13:13
Let us go forth therefore unto him – Let us leave this city and system, devoted to destruction, and take refuge in Jesus alone, bearing his reproach-being willing to be accounted the refuse of all things, and the worst of men, for his sake who bore the contradiction of sinners against himself, and was put to death as a malefactor.
Hebrews 13:14 declares that the physical city of Jerusalem is not the city that we should seek after.
For here have we no continuing city, but we seek one to come.
Coke’s Commentary on the Holy Bible on Hebrews 13:14
For here we have no continuing city,— When the apostle said, Let us go forth unto him without the camp, he speaks as if we were in our wilderness state, travelling toward the place of our rest. In the wilderness the Jews were obliged to dwell in tents, and had no fixed place of abode; we who believe in Christ, are but strangers here, travelling to the heavenly Jerusalem.
Heavenly Jerusalem has always been the destination of the hearts of Elohim’s people.
With that thought in mind, consider that Zechariah 12-14 may be pointing to an end-times scenario when the enemy seeks to attack Holy Jerusalem, as Satan seeks to wipe out Messiah’s Ekklesia of saints.
This is what is being described in Revelation 19-20. The narratives aren’t a perfect match and I’m still studying the explanation and praying for insight, but it gives you something to think about.
I’ve added some notes and Scriptures in blue, to help you make comparisons.
Zechariah 12 Introduction
Jerusalem a cup of trembling, and a burdensome stone, to the confusion of her adversaries, Zechariah 12:1-5. The victorious restoring of Judah, Zechariah 12:6-9. The repentance of Jerusalem, Zechariah 12:10-14.
Zechariah 12:1 The burden of the word of the LORD for Israel, saith the LORD, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him.
The burden of the word of the Lord: see this whole passage Zechariah 9:1.
For Israel; or touching, concerning, as the Gallic version; upon, against, the Hebrew bears it; and some take it in one, some in the other sense, though I think the main of the chapter persuades it is to be rendered, for, in the behalf of Israel, i.e. the church of Christ among the Jews until their rejection, and among the Gentiles ever since their vocation; both have their concern in the things here foretold.
Saith the Lord; who giveth out promises of great things to a people in a very low state, and therefore to raise their hope tells them by his prophet what he hath done.
Which stretcheth forth the heavens, as a curtain, saith Isaiah, Isaiah 40:22; who did more easily spread abroad the heavens, than any creature can spread forth a curtain about your bed, or a canopy over your head; by an almighty power going along with the act of his will, saying, Let it be, all that immense body of the material, visible heavens immediately spread forth itself.
And layeth the foundation of the earth, upon his own almighty word; on that the chief corner-stones thereof do lie, Job 38:4-6; Isaiah 51:13.
Formeth; in admirable wisdom, and with more especial artifice, framed, so the Hebrew imports, as Isaiah 43:7; Isaiah 46:11.
The spirit; the immortal soul, that spiritual being which animateth us. Who hath done all this he can do all that is here promised for Israel, and threatened against Israel’s enemies.
Zechariah 12:2 Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.
I will make Jerusalem; that weak, unwalled, poor, and thinly inhabited city, type of the church; and much more the church, which is antitype to Jerusalem.
A cup of trembling; they shall drink their own bane whose swords be drinking the blood of the inhabitants of this Jerusalem; there is poison mixed in the cup of the wrath of God, which he will put into the hands of such wicked ones, and they must drink it off.
Unto all the people round about; to the heathen round about, to all of them; all have more or less at one time or other molested Jerusalem, and God remembers it, and hath provided for them a cup of astonishment against the day in which they besiege her, thinking then to finish all their attempts against Jerusalem.
When they shall be in the siege: strange siege laid against a whole country, and mighty powers will be little enough to do this, it requires a most extraordinary provision; now when all this is in readiness and no visible means of escape, then will God make them drink the wine of astonishment and cast them into a dead sleep.
Against Judah; the land of Judah.
Against Jerusalem; typical and mystical, the church of Christ.
Zechariah 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
In that day; in the times of the heathens afflicting the church, from the repair of Jerusalem till Christ’s coming in the flesh, and in succeeding times since; but the day of the full accomplishment of this prophecy is a day known to the Lord. A burdensome stone; too heavy for them, though many join together to remove it.
For all people; though all people of this known world should burden themselves with her. Shall be cut in pieces: they would be crushed to pieces, as a man that falls under a weighty and massy stone.
Though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it: many nations have been confederate, now if you would suppose all through the whole world in league against Jerusalem, yet they could not stand under the weight of his displeasure, who is provoked by such attempts, he would grind them to powder.
Zechariah 12:4 In that day, saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah, and will smite every horse of the people with blindness.
In that day: see Zechariah 4:3.
I will smite every horse: horses are of very great use in wars; they were the main strength of Antiochus Epiphanes, his best preparations. With astonishment; a dull, sottish fear and perplexity.
And his rider with madness; an impotency of mind both in the understanding, which is folly and imprudence, and in the will and resolution, which is either cowardice or unconstancy, like madmen that neither know how to resolve or act. God will turn all their counsel into foolishness, their strength into weakness, their courage into fear, and so overturn them all.
I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah; a while I seemed as one that slept or winked at the proceedings of my church’s enemies, yet now I will open mine eyes, and see all that is going forward against them, and I will watch over my people for good; against their enemies, to confound and destroy them and their enterprises: this eye of God open upon his people is his wise, powerful, gracious providence for them, Psalms 31:22; Jeremiah 24:6.
I will smite every horse of the people with blindness; all their warriors in their projecting and consults shall be as full of improvidence, and have as little foresight, as a stark blind man hath of sight to see by.
Zechariah 12:5 And the governors of Judah shall say in their heart, The inhabitants of Jerusalem shall be my strength in the LORD of hosts their God.
The governors of Judah, the counsellors and rulers at home, and the leaders and captains abroad, the Maccabees and others, every one for himself,
shall say in their heart; shall think, believe, and reckon upon it, and be hearty in it.
The inhabitants of Jerusalem, though but few and poor, yet they shall be my strength: and these shall be ready and forward to go forth against their enemies, with a handful of men to encounter mighty and numerous armies, because their strength and help lieth in the name of the Lord of hosts; not in their own power, but in the power of the almighty sovereign Lord of all, who can save by few as by many. And because
their God he will give them victory.
Zechariah 12:6 In that day will I make the governors of Judah like an hearth of fire among the wood, and like a torch of fire in a sheaf; and they shall devour all the people round about, on the right hand and on the left: and Jerusalem shall be inhabited again in her own place, even in Jerusalem
The governors: see Zechariah 12:5.
Like a hearth of fire; a hearth on which fire is thoroughly kindled.
Among the wood; the more is laid on, the more is consumed and burnt up: so the enemies of Judah and Jerusalem shall be, their multitudes shall no more save themselves than much wood cast on a great fire in the hearth can preserve itself.
Like a torch of fire in a sheaf; which immediately sets the whole sheaf on fire, and it is consumed.
They shall devour, & c.; the governors of Judah with their handful of men shall thus surely and speedily consume their enemies which set upon them.
Jerusalem shall be inhabited again; as indeed it was, and continued so till Christ’s death, and forty years after; for of these times doth the prophet speak, and not of times still to come.
In her own place; not built as Nineveh, Tyre, Babylon, or Rome, in some place near to the old cities of that name, but in the very same place where old Jerusalem did, shall re-edified Jerusalem again stand.
Even in Jerusalem; so you shall find Jerusalem in Jerusalem; or thus, spiritual Jerusalem shall be that Jerusalem in which you ought to look, and where you shall find the old typical Jerusalem, which though it lie waste, and I fear must never be built, yet is in more ample manner built up in the church, spiritual Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12:7 The LORD also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah.
Shall save; rescue from the power and rage of the Antiochuses, nay, subdue their armies, and put them to flight before the Jews.
The tents; the unfenced places, the open country, the shepherd-like cottages or tents of Judah.
Of Judah first; before he saveth Jerusalem, before he put Jerusalem into arms, or bring her inhabitants into the field, to fight, and help the country and its inhabitants; first the weaker are saved, next the stronger.
That the glory of the house of David, that the illustrious house of David, and so the glorious citizens of Jerusalem,
do not magnify themselves against Judah; boast of their power, policy, courage, and forwardness, and how much Judah owed to these for their deliverance: this would exasperate Judah, and provoke God, who would do all this: so that all might magnify their God, none think greatly of themselves.
Zechariah 12:8 In that day shall the LORD defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the LORD before them.
In that day: see Zechariah 12:3.
Shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: as he had defended and saved Judah, anti the tents thereof, so will he also defend Jerusalem and its inhabitants against all their enemies, during the Persian, Grecian, and beginnings of the Roman empire, during which days many wars were raised against the Jews; but most visible was this, when the Maccabees succeeded so far, as to restore religion, and cleanse the temple.
He that is feeble, reeleth through weakness,
shall be as David: a mighty man of valour was David; so these, through faith, of weak became strong, as Hebrews 11:34.
The house of David shall be as God; those of the royal line shall be, for prudence and prowess in the conduct of the armies of Israel, most excellent, expressed here in a hyperbole.
As God; or, as angels, so Elohim is translated Psalms 8:3; and so I find the French reads it, cornme des anges. Nay, like the Angel of the Lord, which is head of principalities; like Christ, who is Captain of our salvation. In these exploits and in this deliverance of the church they were types, and so must have somewhat in them which may be sufficient to resemble them to him.
Before them: these excellent ones of the royal line were to be leaders and commanders in these wars, and in their conduct they should show prudence and valour like that of an angel, rather than that of an ordinary man.
Zechariah 12:9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
And it shall come to pass; this also shall certainly come to pass.
That I; God, the Defender and Saviour of Israel.
Will seek: this speaks not any difficulty to God in the work, as with men, who sometimes do seek to do what they cannot do; but this implieth God would thoroughly do it, his right hand should find out these his enemies, he will hunt them ont.
To destroy; not to restrain, but to overthrow and destroy.
All nations; without partiality, every nation that sets itself to oppress and destroy Jerusalem; God, viii pay them in their own coin: they said, Blot out her name; but God will blot out theirs. Let us, say they, cut them off from being a nation; but this God will turn upon their own heads.
That come against; combine, and attempt to destroy her; and this was evidently seen upon those that sought to destroy Jerusalem and the second temple before Christ’s incarnation; for by the Romans God destroyed the Antiochian power which had often mischiefed the Jews, and destroyed the other kingdoms which had been enemies to the Jews, who were never in danger of being cut off from being a nation, till their horrid murdering of the Lord of life.
Jerusalem; literally and historically the city which the captives returned from Babylon did build; but mystically the catholic church, which God will never suffer to be destroyed, he will rather destroy all nations than suffer them to destroy his church.
In Revelation 19-20, we see two occasions when the enemy tries to attack Messiah and His saints.
In Revelation 19, the two leaders of the end-times Roman beast kingdom, the antichrist beast pope and false prophet Jesuit Superior General, use the kings of the earth to try to attack Messiah’s saints.
In Revelation 20, Gog and Magog, Lord Rothschild and the Khazar Jews, are stirred up by Satan to try to attack Messiah’s saints, who are Holy Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
And I; God the Father, so Acts 2:17, Acts 2:18; Isaiah 44:3.
Will pour, in plentiful measures, as a plentiful rain is poured forth on a thirsty ground: this was fulfilled on Christ’s exaltation, when he received gifts for men, and, being glorified, gave the Spirit, sent the Comforter to his disciples and believers; this is daily performed to the children of God, and will be continually performed till we all are made perfect, and are brought to be with Christ for ever.
Upon the house of David; on some of that royal family; or, typically considered, it is the whole family of Christ, his house, who was the seed of David, and who is called David their king, Ezekiel 37:24; Hosea 3:5. Upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem; literally understood it was fulfilled extraordinarily, Acts 2:4, Acts 2:5; and, no doubt, in the ordinary manner to many of whom no mention is made: mystically, the inhabitants of Jerusalem are all the members of Christ, all believers of all ages.
The Spirit of grace; which is the fountain of all graces in us, and which makes us lovely in the eye of our God; grace to purify us and to beautify us, that God may delight in us.
And of supplications, or prayer, which is an early, inseparable fruit of the Spirit of grace: by the Spirit we cry, Abba, Father, and are helped to perform this duty, Romans 8:26.
They, all those who have received this Spirit, shall look upon me, with an eye of faith, and turn to Christ, love, obey, and wait for him.
Whom they have pierced: every one of us by our sins pierced him, but many of the Jews nailed him to the cross, and actually murdered the Lord of life. This, as foretold, so was very punctually fulfilled, and recorded in the account of his death given by John, John 19:34, John 19:35, John 19:37; this hath then a particular respect to the Jews, though not confined to them.
They shall mourn for him; grieve, and heartily lament the crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ, not only as the sinful, cruel act of their fathers, but as that in which their sins had a great share.
As one mourneth for his only son; with a very great and deep, with a long and continued sorrow, with an unfeigned and real sorrow, such as is the sorrow of a father in the death of an only son; they shall retain it inwardly, and express it outwardly, as in the funeral mournings on such occasions.
Shall be in bitterness for him: this speaks the inwardest affection of the mourner; there may be tears in some cases without grief or bitterness in the spirit, but here both are joined; true repentance will bitterly lament the sins which brought sorrows and shame upon our Lord.
As one that is in bitterness for his first-born: this bitterness is compared to the grief of one who loseth his first-born, to confirm and illustrate what he had just before spoken of Christians mourning for Christ.
Zechariah 12:11 In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddon.
This brings to mind Revelation 16:16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.
The enemy will seek to make war with Messiah’s saints, who are called Holy Jerusalem.
In that day, when the Jews shall know, own, and mourn for their sins and for that great sin in crucifying the Lord of glory, shall there be a great mourning; a very great mourning, which is expressed by the greatest the Jews ever were acquainted with. and which for its greatness grew up into a proverb:
The mourning of Hadadrimmon, or the mourning for Josiah slain at Hadadrimmon, a town in the valley of Megiddon. Of this mourning see 2 Chronicles 35:24, 2 Chronicles 35:25.
Zechariah 12:12 And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart;
The land; land put for the inhabitants of it, the land in general for the land of Judea, or that where the Jews dwelt, who should every where bear a share in this mourning. Thus some of the Jews from every country where they dwelt, being met at Jerusalem, were pricked at heart, and did mourn over the crucified Messiah, Acts 2:5, Acts 2:37, Acts 2:41.
Every family apart; or family by family, expressed in Hebrew, families, families. The royal family in both branches of it, Solomon’s and Nathan’s. This family, as having greatest portion in Christ, should have been most tender of him, who had been heir on the throne if his kingdom had been of this world, and by descent from David: but since they forgot him, neglected to do their duty to him alive, they remember him, and do their duty towards him, dead; they mourn really and truly.
Their wives apart: the manner of the Jews in mourning was by shutting up themselves, retiring from company and pleasure; here families retire, nay, in the family, wives retire to bewail their sin and their fathers’ sin in rejecting Christ. Some there were of this family who believed in Christ, and mourned, when the gospel was first published to the Jews before it was carried to the Gentiles.
Zechariah 12:13 The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart;
The sacerdotal tribe were the most bitter and fierce persecutors of Christ, they hired the traitor, they sought witness; the high priest (head of that family) condemned him to die; for all which they shall one day reckon with God, and therefore above other tribes they are particularly named as chief mourners for their injustice and cruelty to Christ. Here is one particular branch of Levi’s family mentioned, the family of Shimei, of whom 1 Chronicles 6:17; 1 Chronicles 23:10. These two families had been deeply guilty; now they do as eminently concern themselves to mourn for him, to lament the sin, deprecate the fierce wrath of God, and submit to his kingdom, which their fathers did not, would not do. In this family, where most were bitter, bloody enemies to Christ, some had other thoughts of him, and mourned for him.
Zechariah 12:14 All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.
It would be somewhat tedious to repeat every family and their wives once, therefore a general comprehensive account may serve; some of every family of the whole remnant of Israel mourn, believe, look to, and obey Christ the Messiah. So the mourning for Christ bears Some proportion to their violent dealing against Christ, and they through faith live by the blood they did spill, and get to glory by him whom they loaded with reproaches. What will not grace do, when it converteth, accepteth, comforteth, glorifieth such offenders!
Zechariah 13 Introduction
The fountain of purgation for Jerusalem, Zechariah 13:1. The extirpation of idolatry and false prophecy, Zechariah 13:2-6. The death of Christ, and the saving of a third part after a severe trial, Zechariah 13:7-9.
Zechariah 13:1 In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.
In that day; when the Lamb of God shall be offered up a sacrifice for mankind, and the gospel shall be preached in which the glad tidings of our redemption are published.
A fountain: by water and ceremonial washings was legal pollution in many cases purged away, and much of the legal service stood in divers washings; but all these were shadows and types; here is that they typified, the matchless healing and purging fountain, i.e. the blood of Christ; here is the true Siloam, which never failed to heal any that rightly used it; it is Christ.
Opened: the spouse is to Christ a fountain sealed, but Christ is to sinners a fountain opened: under the law he was as the waters of the temple, for the Jew; but now he is opened to us Gentiles, free to all, and of easy access, and of sovereign virtue to heal.
To the house of David; he was every where nearest to them, and though his own kindred did some of them slight him, and not believe in him, yet some others did, and it may intimate to us the first tender of grace made to his own, to whom he came, though they received him not; or the royal family some of them will be benefited by it, and all of them need it; no outward privilege can secure us against the poison of sin, grace alone, this fountain only, can purge it away in great and noble, or mean and base.
To the inhabitants of Jerusalem; to all the Jews before the Gentiles,
To you first, saith the apostle,
God hath sent his Son; but in that it is opened, it is to us Gentiles also. Jerusalem, as image of the whole church, takes in the Gentiles; so inhabitants of Jerusalem are all to whom the gospel is preached, all penitents.
For sin and for uncleanness; for purging away of all manner of sins and uncleannesses, of which men repent, and from which they depart, according to that Proverbs 20:9; 1 John 1:9.
Zechariah 13:2 And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.
In that day: see Zechariah 13:1.
I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land; utterly destroy idols and idolatry.
The harlot Roman Catholic Church of the antichrist beast popes, the tares church of the enemy which is toxic as it teaches a false gospel and false intercessor in Mary, will be judged and her idols destroyed.
Revelation 18:2-3, And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.
Revelation 19:2 For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand.
Satan fell from heaven like lightning, as Christ tells us, when the gospel was preached by those he sent; and it is known the birth of Christ silenced the devil, that he could no more give answer to those that inquired at his oracles: the light of the gospel is such, that none of the idols can bear it. The devil put it into the heads of the Romans to keep Christ from being received by public allowance for a God, because he would turn out all the rest of them.
They shall no more be remembered, with veneration, sacrifices, gifts, erecting of temples, depending on or consulting with them; they shall be remembered and abhorred, whereas before they were remembered and adored.
Revelation 18:21-23 says, And a mighty angel took up a stone like a great millstone, and cast it into the sea, saying, Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all. And the voice of harpers, and musicians, and of pipers, and trumpeters, shall be heard no more at all in thee; and no craftsman, of whatsoever craft he be, shall be found any more in thee; and the sound of a millstone shall be heard no more at all in thee; And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom and of the bride shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived.
The prophets; either those that, being priests to idols, did consult with them, and pretend to foretell future events; or more likely the false prophets among the Jews, who are prophets as idols are gods.
The unclean spirit, i.e. the devil, which sets the false prophets on work. Christ cast many out of persons possessed, and by his doctrine still doth east out Satan.
Zechariah 13:3 And it shall come to pass, that when any shall yet prophesy, then his father and his mother that begat him shall say unto him, Thou shalt not live; for thou speakest lies in the name of the LORD: and his father and his mother that begat him shall thrust him through when he prophesieth.
When any shall yet prophesy; whosoever he be that shall pretend hereafter to prophesy through the instigation of that unclean spirit, for it can be from no other, when the Lord shall have fully revealed his mind to us.
His father and his mother that begat him; his dearest friends, they who are by nature/nearest to him, who begat him.
Shall say unto him; shall discourse to him, and inform him what the law of Moses directeth in this case.
Thou shalt not live; which I take to be not the sentence condemnatory, for, being private persons, they could not condemn him; but it is a repetition of the law which saith such shall not live, and then it amounts to this: A false prophet ought not to live, Deuteronomy 13:6, Deuteronomy 13:8; what then dost thou do to break this law, and endanger thy life? Their oughtest to die for this by the law. The father and mother thus should admonish and show the matter of law and danger, but not judicially pass sentence, and determine what shall be done.
Thou speakest lies in the name of the Lord; thou fallest under that law, Deuteronomy 13:6.
Shall thrust him through; or, wound, chastise with stripes that may leave their marks behind them; or rather, shall sharply reprove him, and with cutting words terrify him from the like practice. You read of words that are piercing words, Proverbs 12:18, words that run through as a sword; and the Chaldee paraphrast on this of our prophet allows the father and mother to deal sharply with their son, they shall rebuke cuttingly. Besides, if it were to be understood of killing, the law directs to stone such a one, Deuteronomy 13:10, not to run him through with lance or sword.
Zechariah 13:4 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied; neither shall they wear a rough garment to deceive:
It shall come to pass; by this means it will come to pass, such sharp reproofs, such impartial threats, such convincing arguments, will have a good effect.
The prophets shall be ashamed; these prophets will see their error, and be ashamed, and give over what they blush at, and is their shame.
Neither shall they wear a rough garment: such garments the true prophets were wont to wear, and these cheats had used them for a cover to their juggling hypocrisy; but when thoroughly convinced, none shall need pull, they will themselves cast off those garments.
To deceive; by first seeming to be more holy and strict than they are; and next, on such ill-grounded opinion of the holiness of their persons, draw them into their opinions, religion, and practice. It is an excellent work of the grace of God to recover deceivers, and to make them turn off the deceiver, and deal plainly and faithfully with others and themselves.
Zechariah 13:5 But he shall say, I am no prophet, I am an husbandman; for man taught me to keep cattle from my youth.
This verse is this reclaimed man’s recantation, or renunciation of his former course, and his solemn promise to take up his own calling, and become a plain honest man, and live upon his labour, to which he was trained up from his youth, and is sorry he ever left it.
Zechariah 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.
This verse continueth the account of the reclaimed prophet, and supposeth, what is usual, that some will inquire what was the meaning of the marks or impressions on his hands, whether they were not such as appropriated him to an idol, or declared him a professed diviner.
Then he shall answer, plainly and fully, Not such as you imagine, but
those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends; the scars of the wounds my stubbornness deserved, and the love of my friends gave me under a severe discipline, to recover me from mining myself and others by impostures and lies.
Zechariah 13:7 Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones.
Many words are spent by interpreters to show what they think to be the connection of the words; it is easier to say what are the contents and design of them. It is possible they are subjoined to the former to vindicate Christ from the suspicion of an impostor, though he was wounded, for this his Father did foretell by Zechariah four hundred and ninety years, more or less, beforehand, so that these wounds are not marks of an impostor, but testimonies of his truth, and that he is the Messiah.
Awake: it is God commission, or rather prediction, the imperative put for the future.
O sword; i.e. afflictions, persecutions, and the cross.
Against my shepherd; who is my faithful Shepherd, and will lay down his life for my sheep; who became man, that he might be my servant and die.
My fellow, or my equal, who was ever with me, and my delights, Proverbs 8:30. Man my fellow speaks Christ man with us and God with his Father, God-man in one person. Smite the shepherd; this great and good Shepherd shall be smitten, i.e. die for my sheep, and before he dieth shall suffer much for them.
The sheep shall be scattered; as affrighted, destitute of one to look after them, and which must be partakers in sufferings with their Shepherd.
I will turn mine hand: God will, say some, turn his hand against the little ones, smite them too; but others say this turning the hand is in favour, and for protection; it is a hand turned over them, as if he would keep the blow off them, while others, fitter to bear it, do suffer.
Upon the little ones; new, and therefore weak converts and disciples.
Zechariah 13:8 And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein.
This verse may be a prediction of the great slaughter Titus made among the Jews, and also an emblem of the multitudes of them that perish, and paucity of them that are saved.
In all the land of Judea, or the whole world.
Two parts; not precisely two, but, more largely, the greater part by far.
Shall be cut off and die, a temporal death, by the sword of Titus, or an eternal death under unbelief and rejecting Christ.
But the third, i.e. a remnant, the lesser part, yet as many as are chosen, shall be left therein; shall escape or be preserved and saved.
Zechariah 13:9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.
I will bring the third part through the fire; that part that is preserved shall be brought into afflictions, hot as fire.
And will refine them as silver is refined; these afflictions shall purify them, and so better them, as silver and gold are bettered by the furnace, made fitter to be vessels of honour.
They shall call on my name; pray to me, and own me for their God.
I will hear; I will answer them, and own them for my people, my purified people, &c.
Zechariah 14 Introduction
The destruction of Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:1,Zechariah 14:2. The coming of Christ, the graces of his kingdom, and the restoration of Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:3-11. The plague of Jerusalem’s enemies, Zechariah 14:12-15. The remnant shall turn to the Lord, Zechariah 14:16-19. The holiness of all that belongeth to them, Zechariah 14:20, Zechariah 14:21.
Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
Behold: here are things of very great importance, and of very mysterious nature, proposed by the Lord to us, and therefore we are called upon to attend to them.
The day of the Lord, the day which the Lord hath appointed for punishing the sins of his ancient people, day of his sacrifice, Zephaniah 1:8, of vengeance, Joel 2:1, Joel 2:2.
Cometh; hasteth, or will soon overtake you, O sinful, unthankful, bloody Jews, who first despised and next murdered the Messiah!
Thy spoil, all thou hast, O Jerusalem, shall become a prey to thine enemy.
Shall be divided in the midst of thee: thy conquering enemies shall be such absolute masters of thee, that in greatest security they shall divide among themselves what they take from thee, in the very place where they take it: Jerusalem is their own, and all in it, and where they find their own they will take it; so they reckon.
Zechariah 14:2 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.
For: this gives not the reason why, but introduceth an account how, this thing shall be done.
I will gather: God will summon and bring together his army. They do it themselves by their own counsels, for their own works and ends; God also hath his work for them to do, and by his counsel and at his call they shall come.
All nations; the Romans, with the power of their empire, which at that time had the rule over all the known world, or over all the Nations of that part of the world.
Against Jerusalem to battle; to make war with the Jews, which lasted some years, and cost many thousand lives, and ended at last as our prophet foretold.
The city shall be taken, by assault and force, whereby all lay at mercy of the soldiers, who showed little to those who first refused the mercy of their God, and, justly given up by God to their own blind, obstinate wills, refused the mercy of their enemy also.
The houses rifled; all houses pillaged, and all in them Worth taking was taken away.
The women ravished; wives, widows, and virgins barbarously violated.
Half of the city; a certain part for uncertain, or, in common speech, many; were it one half precisely it would be but a sixth part of what were before the wars; two-thirds being cut off, as Zechariah 13:8, and one-third remaining, of which one half is for captivity.
The residue of the people; that small number of the Jews which fled to Pella, and who were spared by Titus.
Shall not be cut off from the city; literally, were not forbidden to dwell in or about the city; mystically, were not cut off from the church, nor ceased to be a church; this the more likely, for Titus utterly ruined the city.
Zechariah 14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
Then, after that he hath sufficiently punished Jerusalem and the rest of the Jews,
shall the Lord go forth, out of his holy place, (spoken after the manner of men,) as a warrior prepared for battle.
Fight against those nations, which had sacked Jerusalem, and oppressed his people.
As when he fought in the day of battle; as in any of those days past, when God fought for his people and gave them great victories.
Zechariah 14:4 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.
Zechariah 14:3, the Lord is said to dome forth to fight for his people, this 4th verse tells us where he will take his post, or make a stand, viz. on Mount Olivet, which for its situation, in its height, and nearness to Jerusalem and the temple, might appear a convenient post for succours to post themselves on. God (speaking after the manner of men) promiseth succours to his church, and assureth her of his nearness to her, and of the prospect he hath over all that is about her, or in her; that she might be encouraged to wait on God, who is so near to her.
Before Jerusalem on the east; a geographical description of the situation of this mountain with respect to Jerusalem.
Shall cleave in the midst thereof; as if it were sensible of the majesty of God, who stands upon it: this cleaves, Sinai melted, at the presence of the God of the whole earth.
A very great valley; the consequent of this dividing of the mountain, a mighty valley appears running straight from east to west; so there should be plain and easy access from the place of the feet of the Lord unto Jerusalem.
Half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south; as if it knew how to comply with the design of God, and withdraw on each hand far enough out of the way, and be no hinderance to the intended relief of the church. So I judge (if these things were not by vision represented to the prophet, which I will not avow, though I may think so) the prophet doth parabolically set forth the future preservation and deliverance of the church of Christ: and suppose we then what wonderful effects the presence of God wrought of old whenever he appeared to rescue his people; how mountains fled, or melted, or sunk into plains, or, as here is said, divided, and made a deep and large valley, i.e. how every obstacle removed, that the relief might be sure and easy; so shall it be with the church of Christ, the gospel Jerusalem, in all times of its troubles; and though Jewish Jerusalem, that ancient city, be ruined, never to be built, yet a more excellent city, the Christian Jerusalem, shall be built, guarded, rescued, and never ruined; for the feet of the Lord shall stand so near to her, as Olivet to Jerusalem, and the way plain and easy before him on purpose to save her. In this manner I understand somewhat of the text, but I cannot suit it with particular accommodation of the events here mentioned, if I look on it as a prediction of what shall be done according to the letter, or be matter of history. Nor do I meet with any that do tell me any such thing hath been done between the time of Zechariah’s prophesying and Titus wasting and sacking Jerusalem, nor shall any such thing ever be if material Jerusalem never be built.
Zechariah 14:5 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.
And ye, you that are members of the church, and whom God doth in wonderful power and majesty come to save,
shall flee; filled with apprehensions of such strange things, and troubled at the convulsions and strugglings of nations against God and you, shall, as in a great fear, flee to some place of safety and repose; you will flee the valley itself which God maketh: by terrible things in righteousness doth God answer, and his people tremble before him when he cometh to save them. So here are represented to us a people wonderfully saved, and astonished at the methods of it; God makes valleys in the midst of mountains, and they (for whose good they are made) flee those valleys. So the words were better read; our marginal readings and the Gallic version do so read it.
valley reach unto Azal, which speaks, say some, a separate place, i.e. provided of God for their safety a Zoar for Lot, or Pella for the citizens of Jerusalem. They shall, as is usual in great frights and consternation of mind, not see how safe they are, or whither to go, but some will run for a while from or beyond their refuge.
As ye fled from before the earthquake: this was some dreadful earthquake, and put the people into a mighty fear, and made them flee in all haste; it is mentioned Amos 1:1; and the prophet tells us, that when God shakes the kingdoms of his enemies, to make a plain and level way for his ransomed ones, it shall make them flee for fear too.
The Lord my God shall come: as thus rendered it gives reason of this commotion of mind and this hasty flight. But it would be plainer if it were, as it may be, I think, read, and, or yet, O Lord my God, come, and bring all the saints with thee. As if it were said, Though it will, O Lord, put us into such fears; yet without such wonderful works we shall not have our hopes, nor see thy salvation; therefore, O Lord my God, come, and bring thy saints, holy ones, angels, with thee: and so will this be like that of St. John, Revelation 22:20, shutting up the visions of the new heaven and the new earth, and the appendages of them, with, Come, Lord Jesus.
Zechariah 14:6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
In that day; whilst God is fighting with the enemies of his church, the nations that fought against Jerusalem.
The light; good estate, peace, and welfare.
Shall not be clear; unmixed good, all light, it will not be so well with the church.
Nor dark; not so sad as all darkness, there shall be a temper of both, some peace with some trouble; some prosperity with some adversity; some mercy in midst of judgment to allay the bitterness of judgment, and some judgment with our mercies to allay their sweetness.
Zechariah 14:7 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.
It shall be 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, how long last, and how and when it shall (not as other days, end in a night, but) end in glorious light; till then it is enough for us that our God knows this day that is mixed of trouble and of peace.
At evening time, when other days end,
it shall be light; this shall be all light and glory, Isaiah 58:8; Psalms 97:11.
Zechariah 14:8 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 gospel shall be preached, and the days of dark ceremonies among the Jews, and darker ignorance and idolatry among the heathen, shall end.
Living waters; not only such as springs and fountains afford, living waters in opposition to standing, muddy, and dead waters; but such as give life, Ezekiel 47:1, Ezekiel 47:6, Ezekiel 47:7; the quickening, saving truths of the gospel, with all its ordinances in purity.
Revelation 22:1 says, And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.
Shall go out, spread themselves or flow down as currents from good springs,
from Jerusalem; the church of Christ, the true Jerusalem.
Toward the former sea, or eastern sea, so far eastward as the sea will give leave; and who knows that sea?
Toward the hinder sea, or western sea. Synecdochically it is both east, west, north, and south: so from Jerusalem, i.e. the church. the doctrine of the gospel is preached abroad, and runs down as doth living water.
In summer and in winter shall it be; perpetually, without intermission or interruption, these waters should never dry away, nor ever lose their healing virtue.
Zechariah 14:9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
The Lord; God, Father, Son, and Spirit,
Shall be King; acknowledged to be, men shall confess, that as he only is, so he ought to be owned, only true God, and King of his church.
Revelation 22:3 says, And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him.
Over all the earth; over the heathen. the Gentiles or Roman empire, as well as once over the Jewish state.
In that day of deposing idols, and advancing the true God, all his churches shall east off idolatry, and agree in worshipping one God, in one way of spiritual worship and hearty obedience.
Zechariah 14:10 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, here, is type of the whole earth, seat of the catholic church, filled with the knowledge of God. and abounding in multitudes of converts.
Shall be turned as a plain; all high, uneven places, all high thoughts and imaginations, all rocky and barren ground, changed into fruitful vineyards. So the church of Christ shall be fruitful, humble, and lovely. as pastures rich in sheep, and rich for sheep.
From Geba, the north boundary of the land, to Rimmon, the south boundary of Judea.
Jerusalem; which taken here not literally, but mystically, is the church of Christ in gospel days; and by the repair of all parts of this Jerusalem, as were described, is shadowed out the full and complete building of the church on all sides, north, south, west, and east.
Revelation 21:1-2 says, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
It shall be lifted up; raised out of the dust and rubbish to which enemies had brought her, through God’s permission; but never should be able to keep her in that low state, since God was resolved to raise her.
And inhabited in her place: still it is emblematical of the Christian church.
Benjamin’s gate north-east,
Hananeel’s tower south, wine-presses north; that is, in brief, completely round the city.
Zechariah 14:11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
Men, i.e. many for number, or eminent for worth,
shall dwell in it: as it was type, this was verified, say some, when in league with Bacchides and succeeding kings. But in the antitype, to which Zechariah looks, it is now, as it hath been, fulfilled, and more fully shall be, when the fulness of the Gentiles cometh in.
There shall be no more utter destruction; there may be afflictions and troubles, but no utter wasting of Jerusalem; the gates of hell shall not prevail.
But Jerusalem, the antitype, the gospel church,
shall be safely inhabited; not secure from troubles, but secure enough from total destruction.
Revelation 21:23-27 says, And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
Zechariah 14:12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
That have fought against; maliciously to destroy, and waste, and extirpate Jerusalem; the ringleaders, especially such as Antiochus, Herod, &c.
Their flesh shall consume away; when they are fat, fleshy, and strong, their flesh or strength shall utterly perish.
While they stand on their feet; either in arms ready to fight, or so suddenly they shall not have time to sit down; a very sudden death is threatened to them.
Their eyes shall consume away in their holes; a dreadful and exemplary blindness shall seize them.
Their tongue shall consume away in their mouth; in which member, by strange judgments on them, some persecutors also have felt God’s hand.
Zechariah 14:13 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.
In that day; when God punisheth those that invaded and wasted Jerusalem, his church.
A great tumult; confusion, vexation, and inclination to turn all upside down.
From the Lord; from the just displeasure of God, and in revenge on them for troubling his people.
Shall be among them, the bloody, cruel, and insatiable enemies of Jerusalem.
His hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour; from murmurs and grudgings one against another, they shall at last run into civil wars, and fight one with another, and so destroy themselves, and revenge Jerusalem. As they did, Judges 7:22; Judges 9:23.
Zechariah 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 particularly those of the tribe of Judah, and possibly Judas Maccabeus might be intended too, as those who in that day were valiant warriors, and successful: against the church’s enemies. And many such have been among the Christians too since those days.
Shall fight, with courage, good conduct, and success.
At Jerusalem; both in the land of Judea, and also at Jerusalem.
The wealth of all the heathen; the nations round about them, who having by foreign war peeled and robbed many nations, had brought it herod, and now God gave it to the Jews; and in like manner have many Christians spoiled those that spoiled them.
Zechariah 14:15 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.
Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of against the church, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely either destroyed or made useless, neither fit to annoy the church nor to benefit their owners. As God destroyed much of the cattle of the Egyptians by hail, and murrain, &c.; so now shall it be with the cattle of these persecutors, they shall perish with their masters. The horses, as the horsemen, were drowned in the Red Sea.
Zechariah 14:16 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.
Every one that is left; such as escape the stroke, and are by mercy reserved, very many of them, among all the nations, shall consider God’s hand, repent, and submit themselves to his law; they shall, (as many did,) on sight of God’s hand for the church, and against the church’s enemies, convert, become proselytes and Christians.
Shall even go up from year to year to worship: by a ceremonial phrase and usage, which shadowed out a better worship, the prophet foretells, the constant zeal and care the converted Gentiles should have to worship the Lord.
To keep the feast of tabernacles; one solemn festival, by a figure, put for all the days consecrated to God for holy worship, and this perhaps with an eye to Christ’s tabernacling with us, and may point to the Christian sabbath.
Zechariah 14:17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
Whoso will not come up, if there be any more remiss than they ought herein, and neglect to worship the Lord, even upon them shall be no rain; they shall be punished with want of rain, and with want of the blessings which plentiful and seasonable rain produceth, their land shall be barren.
Zechariah 14:18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
Egypt should think, though they had no rain, they should not be much losers by that, having the Nile to water their ground and make it fruitful. God by his prophet answers them, they shall fall under penury and famine, the very selfsame punishment which shall fall on other nations, if they neglected his worship. The Lord hath more ways than one to withhold the fruits of the earth, and send famine among people.
Zechariah 14:19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
And what he saith of Egypt, he saith of all contemners of his law and worship; their sin is the same, their punishment shall be the same, for with God is no respect of persons.
Zechariah 14:20 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.
In that day; when the nations are converted to God, as it is Zechariah 14:16.
Shall there be upon the bells of the horses; written as it were on every common thing; such as the bells, bridles. or collars, or stables of horses; in these very things, i.e. the use of them, they should make it appear they were for God and for his worship, wheresoever these things may serve or promote it.
Holiness unto the Lord: this was the inscription on the rich mitre of the Jewish high priest, denoting the great holiness of his office, and how lie was dedicated to God, and that he ought to keep himself holy in all things, especially in things of Divine worship. Now in these days of the gospel, when Gentiles are converted to Christ, made priests unto God, are made holy nations, a royal priesthood, the grace of God shall so abound and prevail, that common, ordinary things in the hands of Christians, much more their persons, shall hear 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, for the use of the priest, and were not accounted so sacred as the utensils nearer to the sacrifices and altar.
Shall be like the bowls; which received the blood of the sacrifices, and retained it, until the ministering priest had finished his service, and sprinkled it as commanded: now these, as appropriated to be used nearer to the altar, were more esteemed as more holy; so should holiness in these days spoken of exceed the holiness of those former days.
Zechariah 14:21 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 so dedicated to God’s service, that without scruple they shall on occasion be used, or might be used, in the worship of God.
In Jerusalem and in Judah; the types, but the gospel church is the antitype; in the times hereof every family shall be a temple in which God shall be worshipped, and their house-pots in the worship of God shall be in extraordinary cases used without scruples.
Holiness unto the Lord of hosts: see Zechariah 14:20.
All they that sacrifice: in allusion to sacrifices, the prophet expresseth 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.
Shall come and take of them, freely, without scruple,
and seethe therein; seethe that part of the sacrifice which pertaineth to the priests and to the offerer to feast on, in their house-pots.
There shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts; any of the accursed nation, or one who makes merchandise of religion. In a word, by allusion used here, we understand that time will come, when scrupulous adhering to ceremonies shall not be, as formerly it was, deemed so necessary, so material in the worship; but all shall know that the Lord hath greatest pleasure in upright, hearty, and sincere love and holiness.
Related Study: Messiah Set Up His Kingdom