Scripture reading – Zechariah 13; Zechariah 14

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Today’s Scripture reading (Zechariah 13-14) concludes our study of Zechariah’s prophecies. Zechariah was the prophet to the post-exilic people of the Babylonian captivity. He was the LORD’s faithful servant, whose ministry was to encourage the Temple workers to finish the job.

He was also privileged to foretell some of the great Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament Scriptures. He foretold the Messiah would come to Jerusalem, “riding upon an ass, and upon the colt the foal of an ass,” and would be hailed as King (Zechariah 9:9; Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:37; Mark 11:7-11). He predicted the Messiah would be betrayed (Zechariah 11:12-13; Luke 22:47-48; Matthew 26:14-16) for the purchase price of a potter’s field (Zechariah 11:12-13; Matthew 27:9-10).

Zechariah 13

As He promised, when Christ returns to reign over the nations, there will be an ever-flowing fountain of God’s grace, mercy, and forgiveness (Zechariah 13:1). The land will be purged of idols and false prophets will be silenced (Zechariah 13:2-6).

A Prophecy of Christ’s Sufferings (Zechariah 13:7)

Drawing a prophetic picture of Christ’s betrayal and the disciples fleeing when He was arrested, we read, “Against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, Saith the Lord of hosts: Smite the shepherd [Christ], and the sheep [disciples] shall be scattered” (Zechariah 13:7).

A Prophecy of Jerusalem’s Suffering for Rejecting Christ

A Prophecy of Jerusalem’s Suffering for Rejecting Christ (Zechariah 13:8-9)


Zechariah 13:8-9 gives a graphic biographical portrayal of what I believe predicts the great assault upon Judah and Jerusalem by Rome in AD 70. The prophecy is that two-thirds of the people of Judah will be killed, and the third that survives will suffer a great affliction portrayed as a refining fire, and they will call to the LORD, who will hear their cries (Zechariah 13:9).  


Zechariah 14 – Armageddon and the Second Coming


Nations Aligned Against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:1-2)


The opening verses of chapter 14 foretold that the heathen nations of the world will overrun Jerusalem. Half the inhabitants of the city will be led away as spoils of war (Zechariah 14:1). Yet, the gathering of those nations will be a testimony of the sovereignty of God, for it is He that will “gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle” (Zechariah 14:2a). The Jews will suffer the ravages of war, as Jerusalem “shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; And half of the city shall go forth into captivity” (Zechariah 14:2).


Glorious Triumphant Return of Jesus Christ (Zechariah 14:3-7)


In the hour when all seems lost for Jerusalem, Zechariah foretold that the LORD will come roaring out of heaven “and fight against those nations” for it will be “the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3a). As conquering King, Jesus will stand upon the ridge of the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4a), and it will divide beneath His feet forming a great valley (the result of a great earthquake, Zechariah 14:4b; Isaiah 29:6; Revelation 16:18-19). The survivors of the siege of Jerusalem will flee to safety through the newly formed valley (Zechariah 14:5). On that day, “the light shall not be clear [i.e., no light], nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord” (i.e., a day unlike any other, Zechariah 14:6-7).

Conversion of the Nations to the LORD

Geographical Changes to Israel When Christ Returns (Zechariah 14:8-11)

Life-giving waters will flow from the Temple (Ezekiel 47:1-12; Joel 3:18) through Jerusalem. The waters will divide, flowing to the “former sea” (Dead Sea) and the “hinder sea” (i.e., Mediterranean Sea, 14:8). The topography of the land will be changed as the hills and mountains about Jerusalem will be laid level like a plain. Jerusalem will be lifted up (Zechariah 14:10). Because the LORD reigns in Jerusalem, there will be peace, and its people shall be safe (Zechariah 14:11).

Judgment of Israel and the LORD’s Enemies (Zechariah 14:12-15)

What becomes of those nations that gathered against Israel? All will be judged and afflicted by the LORD (Zechariah 14:12a). Some will suffer a flesh-eating plague that will consume their flesh (Zechariah 14:12b). Others will be afflicted with a disease when their eyes decay in their sockets (Zechariah 14:12c). The tongues of others will be consumed (perhaps a picture of cancer, Zechariah 14:12d).

All Israel will know that which afflicted their enemies was from the LORD, even as they turn against one another (Zechariah 14:13). Because the nations will pass through Judah to lay siege to Jerusalem, the people will seize the spoils of the heathen (Zechariah 14:14). The implements of war employed by Israel’s enemies will be destroyed (described here in terms the people in Zechariah’s day would understand, Zechariah 14:15).

Conversion of the Nations to the LORD (Zechariah 14:16-19)

Not all the people of the nations will be destroyed, for some will turn to the LORD, and come to Jerusalem to worship Him (Zechariah 14:16). Notice, too, that both Israel and the people of the earth will make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to observe the Feast of the Tabernacles in the Millennial Kingdom (Zechariah 14:16b; Leviticus 23:33-44).

Yet, there will be some who survived the Great Tribulation that will eventually fail to go up “to worship the King, the Lord of hosts,” and will be judged and suffer drought (Zechariah 14:17). A nation like Egypt, that depends upon irrigation rather than rain, will suffer plagues for failing to honor and worship the LORD (Zechariah 14:18-19).


A Perpetual Testimony to God’s Glory (Zechariah 14:20-21)

Everything about the Millennial Kingdom will be a testimony to God’s holiness. Even the bells on the harnesses of horses will give testimony as “HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD” (Zechariah 14:20a). The lowest pots in the LORD’s Temple will be equally holy as the “bowls before the altar” (Zechariah 14:20b). Indeed, everything “in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts” (Zechariah 14:21a). The Temple will be a holy place. No unclean people will enter and defile it (Zechariah 14:21b). Why will sacrifices be offered during Christ’s earthly kingdom? They will serve as a lasting memorial to Christ’s sacrifice for our sins and the sins of the world.


Closing thought

The book of Zechariah begins with the prophet calling God’s people to repent. It ends with Israel being a holy nation, Jerusalem a city of peace and the center of worship, and the LORD reigning on His throne in the Temple.

Revelation 19:11, 14, 1611And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war…14And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean…16And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

Copyright © 2024 – Travis D. Smith 

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