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Bible Commentaries

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary
Zechariah 14

 

 


Verse 1

CONTENTS

In this Chapter the Prophet closeth his predictions; and a blessed close he makes of them. Great events are foretold in the Church of Jesus; in the coming of Christ, and the blessed effects thereof.


Verses 1-5

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 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. 3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle, 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. 5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

The wonderful events spoken of in this Chapter, require great grace, and the divine teachings of God the Holy Ghost to understand. Whether the things promised refer to the first coming of Christ only, or whether they respect in part his second coming; it would be presumption in me to speak positively. Those circumstances which plainly respect the days of Christ's flesh, we cannot hesitate to decide upon; since we who live in the present hour of Gospel truth, have seen the fulfillment of them in Christ, and his Apostles. But we may humbly express our apprehensions concerning such also as have their tendencies to the event of Christ's second coming, when we merely send them forth as enquiries, and not as so many determinations. In the opening of this Chapter, the promise is of the Lord's coming in the flesh. This hath been fulfilled. The miseries of Jerusalem follow in the second verse. And the events here recorded, we may very safely refer to the memorable destruction which took place after Christ's return to glory; and which Christ himself foretold. Matthew 24:2-21. A ruin so great, as (according to the great historian of the Jews,) was never equalled in all the annals of mankind. The third and fourth verses of the Lord's going forth to battle, and his fast standing upon Mount Olives, must refer to a subsequent history. For though he often visited this Mount in the days of his flesh, yet certain it is, he did not stand there openly and personally to the view of his people, at the siege of Jerusalem; neither indeed did he give the least reason to his disciples to expect he would. It is therefore probable, that the Prophet in those verses, might be looking so far forward as to our Lord's second coming; and if so, there is a correspondence between this scripture, and what the angels said to the astonished disciples at our Lord's ascension. See Acts 1:11-12. See Jude 1:14-15; Job 19:25. In respect to what is said about the days of Uzziah, Amos, the Prophet, gives some account of it, Amos 1:1. And Isaiah talks of the fleeing of the people from the glory of his majesty, when the Lord ariseth to shake terribly the earth. See Isaiah 2:10-22.


Verse 6-7

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

By these verses, it should seem is intended to shew, that this great day of the Lord will be ushered in, with a season remarkable neither for brightness nor darkness. The divine manifestations to the Church, and to individuals, will not be so clear as the Church might wish; neither so dark as to induce fear that Christ's spirit had left the earth. Such as it is, in the experience of God's people, a mingled state of grace and corruption. But, as it is well known to the Lord, he will brighten up the dark shades, and when the season is at the worst, and most unpromising, the Lord will turn our darkness into light. Observe, Reader! the thing itself is miraculous, and therefore it must be the Lord's own work. And this is the character of grace, from beginning to end.


Verse 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.

The living waters, flowing from the Lord giving life, comes in here, to the relief of the dark and dying frames of his people. The Gospel, with all its influence, will flow in all directions, as the Lord shall appoint, both in winter and in summer. Ezekiel's vision was to the same amount. Ezekiel 47:1, etc. So was the beloved Apostle's. Revelation 22:1. But, both these have a reference, as hath been generally supposed, to the latter day glory. Hence therefore, this seems to be a confirmation to what was said before, in the opening of this Chapter. The Reader will not forget the Lord's conversation with the woman of Samaria. John 4:1.


Verse 9

And the Lord shall be King over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name One.

Here again surely the spiritual kingdom of the Lord Jesus is plainly marked. In the present hour, what endless varieties of sects, even among Christians, do we meet with. But, when this blessed period shall arrive, Jesus will be the one Universal Monarch, and his dominion from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth. Psalms 72:8. And what is beautifully connected with this view of Christ's universal kingdom, is, the glorious doctrine of the Unity of the Godhead, existing in the threefold character of person, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, will be the religion of the whole earth. For it is said, the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea. Isaiah 11:9.


Verses 10-15

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 wine-presses. 11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited. 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. 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 everyone on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour. 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. 15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

The beloved Apostle John, when in a vision he saw the new heaven, and the new earth, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, tells us, that the first heaven, and the first earth, were passed away, and that there was no more sea. Revelation 21:1-2. Whether this hath a spiritual meaning, that the old world's corruptions are removed, or whether this be a literal truth, I dare not, indeed I cannot determine. But one thing at least is certain, there will be a wonderful change in the circumstances of mankind. The expression is very strong to imply a literal sense of the passage, for it is said, that all the land, south of Jerusalem, shall be lifted up and inhabited. The blessings to the Lord's people, and the awful judgments on the enemies of Christ, are strongly marked.


Verses 16-19

And it shall come to pass, that everyone 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. 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. 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. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

I beg the Reader to remark, somewhat more particularly, the honor put upon the least of tabernacles. This feast, if the Reader will consult Leviticus 23:34. he will discover, that it was intended evidently to typify the human nature of Christ. For as Israel then abode in a tabernacle, so God in our nature, in the person of Christ, would substantially dwell with us. Hebrews 8:2. Now, wherefore was this feast to be so eminently distinguished in this latter day dispensation, but in honor of Christ's tabernacling in our nature? Is not this a further confirmation, how much this concluding Chapter of the Prophet was looking into more distant times, than the first open manifestation of Christ? Revelation 21:3. And the contempt of it, having no influence of the Spirit, of which rain was a type and emblem, is very striking also.


Verse 20-21

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. 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.

As in the kingdom of grace, the glorious King, and High Priest of Zion, hath made all his redeemed Kings and Priests to God and the Father; holiness unto the Lord shall be even upon the bells of the horses, as well as upon the mitre of his people. Christ is the holiness of his people, and therefore all, and everything in his kingdom is made holy in him. By the Canaanite being destroyed out of the land, is meant everything that is unclean, or that loveth, or maketh a lie. Revelation 21:27. The term Canaanite is evidently made use of to imply this, for the kingdom of Canaan itself hath been destroyed time immemorial; so that it would be nothing new to say, there should be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord, for that hath long since ceased. But, the sense is, everything shall be holy, in the holiness of Jesus, and the Church of Christ in the earth is delivered from all corruption. Oh! blessed period! Oh! dearly to be longed for hour! Lord, hasten it! Thy kingdom come!


Verse 21

REFLECTIONS.

Reader! take a short review of the wonders contained in this Chapter, with which the Prophet closeth those rich visions of God. Mark well the characters by which the great day of God is here spoken of. See, if the gracious visit of our Jesus, when at his incarnation he tabernacled among us, can be supposed to be the only thing implied in what is here said. It is true indeed, Zechariah delivered this scripture under the spirit of prophecy, somewhat more than five hundred years before the Lord Jesus came openly, in substance of our flesh. And no doubt, that coming, laid the foundation of all our blessings in time, and to all eternity. But, when we have considered what is here said, and connected the whole with the blessings, both of his first and second coming; it should seem, that many blessed things are here delivered, still to be accomplished. The Lord prepare both Writer and Reader for this great day of God! And the Lord bless every ministry of his servants, both Prophets and Apostles, to this end. Farewell Zechariah! We find abundant; cause to praise our God for having raised thee up in his Church, to the blessed use of giving his Church this sweet portion of prophecy. But, while we give due honor to the servant, we would give all the glory to the Lord. Hail! thou glorious Lord Jesus, thou Almighty Prophet of thy people! Condescend, great God, by the ministry of these thy servants, still to teach and instruct thy Church, until that great day here spoken of arrives, and thy feet shall again stand upon Mount Olives; and until all the great events of thy kingdom of grace be completed, and thy kingdom of glory be fully come. Then, O Lord, will the whole choir of angels cry aloud, the heavens, and all the powers therein. The goodly fellowship of the Prophets, Apostles, and all the ransomed sons of Zion, in one hymn of praise to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; Israel's Jehovah ascribe praise forever! Amen.

 


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Bibliography Information
Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Zechariah 14:4". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/zechariah-14.html. 1828.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2020
the First Week of Advent
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