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CRITICAL NOTES.] Day] specially appointed to inflict judgments and manifest his glory. Spoil] accumulated by inhabitants of Jerusalem and fit for the enemy.
Zechariah 14:2. Nations] to take and plunder the holy city, to rob houses and ravish women (cf. Isaiah 13:16). Half] The able-bodied sold into slavery or condemned to work in mines. Res.] Poorer not cut off] i.e. not transported, but permitted to perish in ruins.
Zechariah 14:3. Against] The enemy doomed in turn to destruction by Jehovah, as when he fought for Israel at Red Sea.
Zechariah 14:4. Mount] Which for situation and height is most convenient to help his people. His feet] touch, and the result is an earthquake (Psalms 68:8; Nahum 1:5). The mount is split through the middle latitudinally; one half falls to the north, and the other to the south. A great valley] is formed for the escape of God’s people.
Zechariah 14:5. The] Lit. my mountains—Zion and Moriah specially sacred to Jehovah [Moore]—or mountains formed by my power. He had given them separate existence. The level opening would extend to Azal] a place near Jerusalem, of which no trace exists at present. Like as] the flight from the earthquake—swift, universal, and in fear, as in the days of Uzziah (Amos 1:1). The Lord] The second person indicates the joy of the prophet in hailing the shining retinue of Jehovah’s appearance. Saints] Holy angels (Deuteronomy 33:2-3; Daniel 7:9-10; Matthew 25:31; Revelation 19:14). Some say redeemed men as well as holy angels.
Zechariah 14:6.] A period of unmitigated calamity, which comprehends the long centuries of oppression, cruelty, and scorn to which Jews have been subjected since the destruction of Jerusalem [Henderson]. Clear] Lit. precious, splendid (cf. Job 31:26). There the moon is described as walking preciously, or splendidly, i.e. in brightness; but dark] lit. condensed, from a word to contract, to draw together. “The words describe the passing or vanishing of the brightness of the stars, answering to the prophetic announcement that on the day of judgment sun, moon, and stars will lose their brightness or be turned into darkness” (Joel 3:15; Matthew 24:29) [Keil].
Zechariah 14:7. One day] Solitary in its kind, and unparalleled by any other; neither perfect day nor perfect night. “One continuous day without night (Revelation 22:5; Revelation 22:15). The millennium described” (Revelation 20:3; Revelation 20:7) [Henderson]. Known] only to Jehovah, and should restrain the curiosity of men.
THE GRAND ASSAULT AND THE WONDERFUL DELIVERANCE.—Zechariah 14:1-6
Interpreters take this chapter, some literally and others symbolically, believe it to have been partially or to be fulfilled wholly in future ages. In whatever sense explained, it sets forth the great contests of the Christian Church and the great principles of God’s moral government.
I. The grand assault. All nations are gathered together for battle against Jerusalem.
1. An assault at the appointed time. “The day of the Lord cometh.” God suffers his people to be reduced and to pass through fiery trials; but as “day” dawns after night, so a period is chosen to vindicate his judgment and punish his foes.
2. An assault in accordance with the Divine purpose. “For I will gather all nations.” God is supreme over “all nations,” and will accomplish his purpose in spite of the opposition and often by the wrath of man. Historians record events and look no higher. But prophecy exhibits “God in history.” He predicts, and he fulfils.
3. An assault with partial success. We have assault, capture, and plunder, and sad is the picture of rifled houses and dishonoured women. This should remind us of future conflict with the powers of darkness—teach us not to expect peace and calm. A fearful encounter may be at hand, the outlook may soon darken, and the onslaught may convulse the Church. But when the enemies seem to triumph victory will be snatched from them. “Then the Lord shall go forth and fight against those nations.”
II. The wonderful deliverance. God is not hidden in obscurity. He comes forth in wondrous deeds. “Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people.”
1. Deliverance by supernatural means. The mount was cleft asunder, “a very great valley” was made, and a place of escape was provided by the special power of God. Nothing can prevent the escape of God’s people. Mountains are removed and valleys are filled for the way of God’s redeemed. “Behold, the Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and will tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft.”
2. Deliverance under God’s leadership. God himself goes forth against the foe, and fights for his people.
(1) God was clad in awful majesty. Again, “the glory of the Lord stood” upon the mount; the earth quaked beneath his feet, and the stars above grew dim. The physical world marked the events in the spiritual.
(2) God was attended by splendid retinue. “My God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” Angels stand before his throne, wait orders, and fly on missions of mercy and judgment. They are represented as going with God for the execution of his purpose. They attended the first, and will come with the second appearance of the Lord Jesus. “Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment.”
THE REMARKABLE DAY.—Zechariah 14:6-7
Many refer these words to different periods, but we take them as connected with one event. The coming of the Lord will produce great changes in nature. The day will bring night, and the evening light. Its order will be reversed. When the natural course of events would bring darkness, a bright light shall dawn.
I. A day of mingled light and darkness. “Not the clearness of unclouded day,” says Wardlaw, from whom we borrow, “nor the darkness of a starless night. Something between both, or a combination of both—darkness here and light there.” A representation of the dispensation before and since the days of Christ. Mercy and judgments, comforts and afflictions in the Christian Church. In the world truth and error, Christ and antichrist in mighty conflict. Now night, and then day. “The light is neither clear nor yet dark,” “not day nor night;” but the darkness will pass away and the true light soon shine.
II. A day only. “It is one day.” Some say one long, continuous day of grief, which makes the saints cry, “How long?” But take it in another sense. Whatever be the length, it is only a day. In the darkness light is not wanting in which we may work and walk. The sun does nor entirely set. The clouds will soon be scattered. Brief, comparatively, is the period, though the joy of day and the repose of night be absent. This should uphold and console in our “fight of afflictions.”
III. A day of remarkable close. When evening is naturally expected, lo, the splendours of day break forth. “At evening time it shall be light.” To God’s people life may be clouded, and to God’s cause night may be dark. But ere long “the Lord shall be” their “everlasting light, and the days of” their “mourning shall be ended.”
IV. A day only known to God. “Which shall be known to the Lord.” Its changes and consequences, its precise duration, are not revealed to men. We should not be curious in asking, “O, my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?” Let us obey the injunction, “Go thou thy way till the end be,”—wait in patience and earnest preparation,—“for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days.” (Daniel 12:13).
LIGHT AT EVENING.—Zechariah 14:7
The promise or prophecy, says one on this verse, is that “light shall come at a time when it is not natural, when in the common course of things it is not looked for. It would be no surprise that light should come at noonday; we expect it then; it is just what we are accustomed to see. But if, when the twilight shadows were falling deeper and deeper, with a sudden burst the noonday light were to spread around, that would be a surprise. Lux è tenebris has received and continually receives manifold fulfillments” [Jacox].
I. In human experience. Few lives are spent from early day to evening time in the light of God. Sometimes at midday, and often in the night, light shines.
1. In the conversion of the sinner. Sin is darkness. The penitent struggling with sin and temptation, forsaking the world and turning to God, sees no light and often feels forsaken. At length hope dawns, a voice is heard, and mercy shines.
2. In the life of the Christian. Abraham learned that God could provide in extremity, “Jehovah Jireh.” Jacob found that things which appeared against him at one time were only passing clouds for a brighter light. Israel in Egypt and David in trial discerned “the silver lining.” God turns the shadows of life into morning, and to those who trust him the night shineth as the day. “Light is sown”—like seed cast into the ground—“for the righteous,” and will in due time, and after needful process, be reaped in golden harvest (Psalms 97:11).
II. In the history of the Christian Church. In Jewish and apostolic, in the dark and middle ages, in the Reformation and times of revival, this truth has been illustrated. The Church has passed through days of gloom and starless nights; dreary years of tempest, frost and snow, in wintry blasts and wearisome times, but light has come. God’s ways may seem dark and mysterious, impenetrable and hostile, but in him no darkness dwells. Light and truth will break forth from his word and providence to chase away superstitions and error, to make the world happy, intelligent, and pure. “At evening time,” improbable or impossible as this may appear, “it shall be light.” “The light of the knowledge of the glory of God shall cover the earth as the waters cover the seas.”
III. In the end of life. In “life’s evening” light is desired. “Nothing is more common than the craving and demand for light a little before death,” says an author. “Open the windows,” cried M. de Lescure, on his dying bed. Rousseau wished to have “a parting look at the glorious orb of day.” Goethe’s request was for “more light, more light.” Dark indeed has been the evening time to many. But as the sun often struggles through the clouds of day and sinks in brilliant light, so the chamber of death has been filled with light and glory from the Sun of righteousness. To Bunyan’s Mr. Fearing “all was well at last.” The gloom of the poet Cowper endured long, but passed away at length. Dr. Johnson dreaded death through life, but met it with hope and unusual patience (Secular Annotations). Happy those to whom the valley of the shadow of death is lit up with God’s presence! Unhappy those whose darkness is eternal night! “Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness.”
“Through night to light. And though to mortal eyes
Creation’s face a pall of horror wear,
Good cheer, good cheer! The gloom of midnight flies,
There shall a sunrise follow, mild and fair” [Rosegarten].
HOMILETIC HINTS AND OUTLINES
Zechariah 14:1 to Zechariah 5:1. God is supreme in the calamities of the Church and the events of nations.
2. His supremacy may be questioned through the triumph of the enemy and the inactivity of his people.
3. But a day will come when this supremacy will be finally settled, to the comfort of one and the destruction of the other. Christ must be acknowledged to be Lord of heaven and earth.
Zechariah 14:3. As in the day of battle. Former experience a comfort in after ages. What a fund of consolation in God’s past dealings for present use!
Zechariah 14:5. The Lord my God shall come. Bright visions in dark days. The prophet lifts up his head, sees the coming help, and joyfully exults in the vision.
1. The Lord shall come.
2. When he does come he is my help. “My God.” Hence some may deny and others scoff, but I will patiently wait and constantly trust in him.
Zechariah 14:1-7. God’s providence.
1. Strangely checkered.
2. Wonderfully perplexing.
3. Benevolently working. Or, “
1. The mixed condition of the righteous in this world: in knowledge, outward circumstances, inward comforts, and wavering holiness.
2. God’s wisdom in allowing it: to subdue their corruption, to exercise their graces, to bring them to dependence upon himself.
3. Our consolation under it: God notices it, the mixed events work together for good, the scene is short.
4. The happy termination of all: in a state of unmingled good, in an unexpected hour. Finally, Are we the people concerned in it? [Bradley].
ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 14
Zechariah 14:1-3. The Lord goes forth. How sweetly doth God dispose of all second causes, that while they do their own will they do his [Bp. Hall]. Didst thou never hear that things ill got had ever bad success? [Shakespeare].
Zechariah 14:4-5. Mountain removes. Nature is but a name for an effect whose cause is God [Cowper]. In nature things move violently to their place, and calmly in their place [Bacon].
Zechariah 14:6-7. Light. As surely as a good man’s sun goes down it shall rise again. If the darkness be caused by depression of spirit the Holy Ghost will comfort him; if by pecuniary loss or personal bereavement the presence of Christ shall be his solace; and if by the cruelty and malignity of men the sympathy of the Lord shall be his support. It is as ordinary for the righteous to be comforted as for the day to dawn. Wait for the light, and it will surely come; for even if our heavenly Father should in our last hours put us to bed in the dark, we shall find it morning when we awake [Spurgeon].
Zechariah 14:8. Living] i.e. running, perennial, refreshing; opposed to stagnant, noxious waters; an image of copious streams of gifts and grace from the Church, the source of all blessings. Eastern, i e. Dead sea; Western, i.e. Mediterranean.
Zechariah 14:9.] In consequence of the universal spread of the gospel. Jehovah will be king] i.e. supreme, and his name one]. Idolatry will cease, and the unity of the Godhead unanimously recognized.
Zechariah 14:10.] The whole land turned] levelled to a plain to elevate Jerusalem, which will be restored to its former grandeur (Micah 4:1). This figurative of spiritual elevation. The boundaries cannot be determined with certainty.
Zechariah 14:11. Dwell] securely, without fear of attack or captivity (Isaiah 65:19). Utter destruction] Exemption from curse the ground of this security. No more civil or national punishments on account of sin, implying that the nation is holy.
Zechariah 14:12-15.] The hostile nations forming the final confederacy will be punished (cf. Isaiah 59:18; Ezekiel 37:0; Revelation 19:0). Plague] always an infliction from God. This stroke most terrible. “A living death; the corruption (Galatians 6:8) of death combined in ghastly union with the conscious sensibility of life” [Fausset].
Zechariah 14:13. Tumult] Civil discord another way of destruction, created by panic (cf. Judges 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20). Lay hold] Seeking help, but finding arms turned against one another. “The grasp of the other’s hand is a hostile one in this case, the object being to seize him, and, having lifted his hand, to strike him dead” [Keil].
Zechariah 14:14. Judah] The whole covenant people will carry on the conflict at Jerusalem, seize as booty the costly possession of the heathen, and visit them with retribution for the plunder of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2).
Zechariah 14:15.] So complete will be the destruction, that beasts of burden, used in warfare, and all cattle will be destroyed by the same plague as men [Keil].
Zechariah 14:16.] Some heathen will be preserved, converted to God; go up] i.e. join in solemn acts of worship.
Zechariah 14:17. Not] come up; penalty will be inflicted upon absentees. Upon them no rain] i.e. the blessings of Divine grace will be withdrawn from them.
Zechariah 14:18. If] The menace repeated with special application to Israel’s hereditary foe. “Egypt will join the procession Zionwards, or feel the retributive curse.”
Zechariah 14:19.] Sin including its effects (cf. Numbers 32:23).
Zechariah 14:20. Bells] suspended from the neck, as tinkling ornaments. Holiness, &c.] The sacred symbol engraved upon the diadem of the high priest (Exodus 28:36). The distinction between sacred and profane would cease. The commonest things would be holy, because devoted to God. Pots] Vessels used for cooking would be as holy, be upon a par with those considered most sacred, viz. “the bowls before the altar.”
Zechariah 14:21.] The same idea carried out fully. Not only temple-pots would be equal to sacrificial bowls, but every common pot in the city and in the land would be deemed as holy as the utensils of the temple, and would be freely used for sacrifice. Canaanite] No more godless members of the covenant nation; all worshippers would be righteous and sincere, and “the whole kingdom of God will be transformed by the Lord into a holy of holies (see Revelation 21:22; Revelation 21:27)” [Keil].
THE LIVING STREAM.—Zechariah 14:8-11
The blessings which should diffuse themselves in their abundance and value are set forth under the image of a stream; a parallel to which is found in Ezekiel’s waters which swept through the desert, healing stagnant pools and fertilizing scenes of death (Ezekiel 47:1-12). Notice—
I. The source of the living stream. “Living waters shall go out from Jerusalem.” Connected with the Christian Church are all the means of grace and the blessings which result from the diffusion of Divine truth. “There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God.”
II. The direction of the living stream. “Half of them toward the former, i.e. the eastern or Dead Sea, into which they might naturally flow, and toward the hinder, i.e. the western or Mediterranean Sea, which natural waters could not reach.” It flows in all directions, without hindrance, “from sea to sea.”
III. The perpetuity of the living stream. The heat of summer shall not dry them, like the deceitful brook of Job; the frosts of winter will not bind them. These streams are not transient, like Cherith, nor muddy, like the Nile; but an unfailing supply in all seasons, turning the desolate heritages into the garden of the Lord. “In summer and winter shall it be.”
IV. The fertility of the living stream. The effect of this stream will be to subjugate the world to God. Idolatry will be renounced, and he will be acknowledged universal King. Kingdom after kingdom shall be won, until all willingly bow to him and crown him Lord of all. “All nations shall serve him.”
THE FUTURE EXALTATION OF ZION.—Zechariah 14:9-11
Nothing will prevent the perpetual flow of the living waters. The land will be levelled to a plain, the city elevated and restored to former grandeur. “Jerusalem, as the residence of the God-King, is the centre of the kingdom of God; and in the future this is to tower high above all the earth. The figurative description is attached to the natural situation of Jerusalem, which stood upon a broad mountain ridge, and was surrounded by mountains which were loftier than the city. The exaltation is a figurative representation of the spiritual elevation and glory which it is to receive” [Keil].
I. Zion will be completely restored. It will recover from the ruin of Zechariah 14:1. The rubbish of cities and countries in which God delights shall be taken away, and calamities end in the complete restoration of the Church. There will be a great moral awakening, from which streams of life shall issue to reconstruct society and change the world.
II. Zion will be securely inhabited. None shall go out by flight, nor be taken as captives (Zechariah 14:2; Zechariah 14:5).
1. The city will no more be exposed to danger. Neither captured nor plundered again. “No more utter destruction.”
2. The city will be no longer under a curse. Sin brought a curse, and a curse extermination (cf. Joshua 6:18). It will be holy, no more tainted with an accursed thing (Malachi 4:6), and a type of that city where “there shall be no more curse” (Revelation 22:3).
3. The city will be perpetually secure. No danger without from hostile assaults, no danger from desolation within; not only safely inhabited, but permanently secure from that time. “There shall be no more utter destruction.”
III. Zion will be gloriously exalted. “And it shall be lifted up.” Lifted up above danger and ruin into perfect security and glory.
1. Honoured above other societies and cities.
2. Honoured by the supremacy of Jehovah (Zechariah 14:9). Gross polytheism and refined idolatry will cease. No other object of worship, no other God but Jehovah will be acknowledged. Fading crowns encircle the brows of earthly monarchs, but an eternal diadem belongs to him “on whose vesture and thigh is written the name King of kings and Lord of lords.”
THE CHASTISEMENT OF THE ENEMY.—Zechariah 14:12-15
These words might be taken in connection with Zechariah 14:1-7, but the prophetic pause in description of the purified Church directs special attention to the chastisement of the hostile nations.
I. The enemy are smitten with the plague from God. The Lord smites “all the people that have fought against Jerusalem.” The picture is most horrible and appalling. While standing their flesh shall consume away, their eyes decay in their sockets, and their tongue petrify in their mouth.
II. The enemy are confused with panic among themselves. “A great tumult from the Lord shall be among them.” Fear will disturb their ranks. Each will find a foe in his comrade, and while grasping another’s hand for help will find “every man’s sword against his fellow.” “When there is no unity in God each seeks his own, suspects another, and is ready to be fanned into a flame.”
III. The enemy are completely frustrated in their designs.
1. They failed in their means of defence. The cavalry, mules and camels, the entire encampment shared in the consternation and destruction (Zechariah 14:15).
2. They were overcome by God’s people. “Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem.” The whole covenant people took part in the conflict, and were victorious through God.
3. They were robbed of all their spoil. The wealth and apparel which they had taken from others were taken from them. Whatever the world takes from the Church shall be regained, and converted nations shall bring their treasures for the adornment and defence of Zion (cf. Isaiah 60:16-17).
THE CONVERTED REMNANT.—Zechariah 14:16-19
The nations that have taken part against Jerusalem shall be humbled; a remnant will acknowledge Jehovah, and as friends and allies worship with the people whom they sought to destroy. Their conversion is described as going up yearly to the feast of tabernacles at Jerusalem.
I. They observe the feast in the spirit of unity. Homage will be paid to Jehovah by voluntary worshippers and “commissioned representatives” in communion with the chosen race. Religious ordinances will become as a bond of union among the nations of the earth, make them feel and act as one people. From all quarters will they come; not in the spirit of enmity as before, not as in the days of monkish superstition, but in the spirit of love and fealty.
II. They observe the feast in a spirit of gratitude. The great feast reminds them of past deliverances and mercies. “In like manner the nations will celebrate the goodness which has brought them through their tedious and perilous wanderings in this life to the true and everlasting kingdom of peace and rest” [Lange]. In every heart Zion will be enthroned as the city of the great King. Then shall prayer and praise wait for God, and the vow be performed. To all the members of God’s family on earth will “her walls become salvation, and her gates praise.”
III. Nations who refuse to observe the feast will be punished. A punishment which God alone is said to inflict.
1. Absence of rain to some. “Upon them shall be no rain.” God only “gives rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.”
2. Plague is threatened to others. “If the family of Egypt go not up there shall be plague.” This is accounted for by some in the natural peculiarities of the country, which was refreshed by channels cut in the ground (Deuteronomy 11:10). But Egypt was an old and special enemy of Israel, depended upon rain for the overflowing of the Nile, and must either join in procession to Zion or feel the curse of God. What a lesson for us! The worst are not excluded from hope, may join the Church of God and receive his mercy. But God will suspend his favours from those who despise his ordinances. No rain will fall upon those that refuse his grace. “The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish; yea, those nations shall be utterly wasted.”
THE HOLY CITY.—Zechariah 14:19-20
The meaning of these words seems to be, that the day will come when holiness will be the prevalent feature, and the actions of common life will be as much the worship of God as the sacrifices on the altar; when common things will be consecrated to God, and “Holiness to the Lord” inscribed everywhere.
I. The inhabitants of the city will be holy. “No more the Canaanite in the house.” No Canaanite in the Church, self-righteous in spirit and unholy in life; no Canaanite among the people. No godless member in the covenant nation; no people laden with sin and under the curse. “Upon Mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness.”
II. The transactions of the city will be holy. Business in the market will be as sacred as worship in the temple; the furniture of the house as holy as the vessels of the sanctuary. Wars and contentions will cease, trades and handicrafts will be hallowed, cooking-pots and drinking-cups consecrated to God. Restrictive ceremonies will be abolished, and everything in ordinary use will be employed in the spirit of devotion. “There shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth.”
RELIGION IN COMMON LIFE.—Zechariah 14:20-21
The holiness of that day penetrates things secular as well as sacred, and is set forth in three symbols. Bells upon the horses as holy as the mitre of the priest; the meanest vessels of the temple as sacred as the holiest; and the utensils of domestic life consecrated as sacramental cups. We adapt from Wardlaw.
I. The religious spirit will predominate in the ranks of common life. No Canaanite to make gain or take advantage; no enmity between priests and people, but all ranks of life bound together by loyalty to Jehovah.
II. The religious spirit will predominate in the actions of common life. “Men are not to become monks or anchorites; the ordinary conditions of human life are not to be reversed; but, on the contrary, the infusion of grace will be so large and general that every rank and class will feel it, and its effects will be seen in all the relations of life, purifying and elevating without upturning or destroying” [Lange].
1. There will be no divorce between secular and sacred things. No divorce between morality and religion, between domestic life and the service of God.
2. There will be a recognition of God’s claims in secular and sacred things. Nothing withheld from God. The most solemn acts of the temple and the common duties of life—the offering of sacrifices and the yoking of horses—will be done for God. Persons and property devoted to him, and every department of life under the domain of conscience. “Her merchandise and her hire shall be for holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured nor laid up” (Isaiah 23:18).
HOMILETIC HINTS AND SUGGESTIONS
1. The mercy of God (Zechariah 14:9-11).
2. The severity of God (Zechariah 14:12-15).
Zechariah 14:12-15. The precedent promises that were so great and glorious the prophet doth now further enlarge and illustrate. First the conquest of the enemies (Zechariah 14:12-15); next the profession of Christ among all nations of the world (Zechariah 14:16-19); and lastly the sanctity of the Church (Zechariah 14:20-21). The conquest of the enemies is set forth, first, by God’s strange judgments upon them (Zechariah 14:12); secondly, by the means—both they shall despatch one another, and Judah shall fight bravely against them (Zechariah 14:13-14); thirdly, their wealth and substance shall become a prey (Zechariah 14:14); fourthly, their horses of service and all the beasts they bring with them shall be as strangely plagued as the men themselves (Zechariah 14:15) [Trapp].
1. The worship of God’s house.
2. The holy character of its attendants.
3. The punishment of those who neglect. “Those who desire to partake of the grace and salvation provided by Christ must ‘come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God.’ They must partake faithfully, joyfully, and reverently of the word and sacraments and other means of grace, and the refreshing rain and dews of the Holy Spirit will fall upon them. But if they will not comply with these conditions their souls will be parched and will wither away with spiritual drought” [Wordsworth].
Zechariah 14:20. Prevalent holiness.
1. Holiness is the sweet result of all dispensations toward the Church. 2. Nothing is so profane but it may be sanctified and made holy.
3. Holiness doth then bear full sway when that which was against God shall be consecrated to him, for the bells of the horses had been employed against the Church [Hutcheson].
Zechariah 14:20-21. Three things specially characteristic of “that day”—the period of the restoration of Israel, and of the fulness of the Gentiles.
1. The cessation of all the distinctions of ceremonial holiness. The sanctity of mere things shall no longer exist. No places give holiness or acceptance to sacrifices. Men “everywhere lift up holy hands” and find the same acceptance.
1. The universal prevalence of personal and domestic consecration to God.
3. Purity of ministry and membership in the Church of God. Learn—
1. The necessity of seeking true holiness—holiness of heart.
2. Study practically the duty of carrying religion into everything.
3. Let the Churches of Christ aim more and more at scriptural purity of communion [Wardlaw].
Holiness to the Lord.
1. The aim of worship.
2. The beauty of common things.
3. The rule of daily life. “In days of yore nothing was holy but the beautiful” [Schiller]. Happy day when holiness shall mark the Church of God, when seen in every purpose and in every action! “Then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.”
ILLUSTRATIONS TO CHAPTER 14
Zechariah 14:8. Living waters. The grand feature of the latter day is copious and continuous effusions of grace; no longer intermittent and scanty, or of small extent, but radiating in all directions at once, permanently filling every channel, and limited only by the wants of the race. Quickly but surely, with the same noiseless energy with which the great providential forces work, do these spiritual agencies perform their work [Lange].
Zechariah 14:11. Safely. The weakest believer is safe, because, believing, he is within the strongest of all defences [Anon.].
Zechariah 14:12-15. Plague. It is one of the greatest praises of God’s wisdom that he can turn the evil of men to his own glory [Bp. Hall].
Zechariah 14:16-18.Worship. It is for the sake of man, not of God, that worship and prayers are required; not that God may be rendered more glorious, but that man may be made better, that he may be confirmed in a proper sense of his dependent state, and acquire those pious and virtuous dispositions in which his highest improvement consist [Blair].
“Look to thy actions well;
For churches either are our heaven or hell” [G. Herbert].
Zechariah 14:20-21. Holiness to the Lord. Zechariah is one of the most sublime and impassioned among “the goodly fellowship of the prophets.” It seems as if the Spirit designed to teach the world by him, the last but one in the prophetic line, that if prophecy was to become mute (as it became for about four centuries after Zechariah) its silence was not due to any failure or exhaustion of power in the Divine author of prophecy. No; the light of the sunset of prophecy in Zechariah is brilliant and glorious as its noonday splendours. He passes on to the evangelization of the heathen, the conversion of the Jews, to the last struggle and overthrow of all antichristian powers, and to the full and final victory of Christ and the everlasting glory and felicity of his Church [Wordsworth].
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Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on Zechariah 14". Preacher's Complete Homiletical Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25