Devotional Commentary on Zechariah 14


This chapter is probably one of the hottest subjects of Zechariah among the different methods of interpretation of prophecy: idealism, historicism, futurism, preterism. The most popular historicistic interpreters are the Seventh-day Adventist explanations, and this is the one which is my own conviction. As a scholar and Semiticist I will give my own rendering of verse by verse here since some of the verses has caused a lot of debate in all denominations. There are even parachute groups that hold that the festivals should be still kept on the basis of this chapter.

What is important is to know the difference between post-millennialism and pre-millennialism. Post-millennialism is the Futurist way of expecting that the earth will improve to such a way and literal Jerusalem in Israel will be built to such an extend and acknowleged as the capital of the Jews that the Messiah will then come and do what is said in this chapter. Preterism seems to rather connect with Futurism but a general rule is not possible. There are preterists with strong historicistic views.

Pre-millennialism of the historicist kind wants the millennium to be after the Second Coming of Christ, so the Second Advent will be [pre- or before] the millennium. The Hell will be after the millennium.

The second point to know, is that when Zechariah wrote this chapter, he was busy talking about the Hell event. The Hell event is described with the different factions involved, basically those safe in the city of the New Jerusalem that is secure and cannot be hurt at all by the other faction, the evil nations surrounding it.

The third point is that the nations surrounding the New Jerusalem are all coming from Adam to the Second Coming periods.

Fourthly, some of the nations “rest” not ransacked in history between Adam and the Second Coming, are safely taken care of in the New Jerusalem.

Fifthly, Zechariah fluctuates with in some sentences from Hell event to history between Adam and Second Coming and then back to the main description of the Hell event.

This is just a highlight of what to expect, thus we can now go verse to verse to see it.

Sixthly, when Zechariah in this chapter talking navigationally about Mount of Olives, it will be when the Mount of Olives still exists and when the sea is mentioned, it is while it is still existing and not yet newly transformed in a plain and not yet ultimately removed by God’s new creation that will happen after the destruction of the wicked in the fire of Hell. Azal is not a name that will still be there but where that place position was navigationally in Zechariah’s time. New Jerusalem will replace the Old Jerusalem so that it will no longer exist. That Revelation says that there will no longer be a sea will then be considered theologically correct by John’s description and also by Zechariah. Zechariah does not say the sea remain there. Recreation is not finished yet when the wicked is still to be exterminated. Then when God creates anew, the sea will vanish.

This is just a highlight of what to expect, thus we can now go verse to verse to see it. 

Zechariah started the chapter mentioning an Eschatological Day of the Lord that is coming and he is not first to mention it: “Behold! The Day of the Lord is coming”. The Day of the Lord is Saturday the Seventh-day but that is not what is in mind here.

It is still future. A series of events will take place among the faithful and they are listed in a footnote following this opening statement.

“And your plunder shall be shared within your midst” (verse 1b). Köhler (1860) described this plundering not as the Targum had it, that it is booty from the evil to the inside of Jerusalem but booty that the evil plundered and then distributed in their presence before they left.

Christ will come but it does not say that plundering of the faithful will be a consequence here. One refers to the Hell event (verse 1a) and one is a footnote about historical events that could include any historical ransack of Jerusalem on earth.

Christ said that He will gather all the nations to [New] Jerusalem [in the Hell event after the millennium] to wage war (verse 2a).

Then followed a footnote again back into history before the Second Coming of Christ: “and the city [of earthly Jerusalem] shall be captured [as it was in Titus days also, 70-73 CE] and the houses shall be plundered, and the women shall be ravished and half of the city shall go forth into exile – and the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city” (verse 2b).

There are survivors from this historical war in our past.

Back at the Hell event, Zechariah supplies more detail: “And the Lord shall go forth and wage war with those nations [all those who ransacked earthly Jerusalem in the past: Ammonites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Arabs, Turkish-Ottomans and whomever is left out] like the day He waged war on the Day of the Battle” [a few historical battles are in the Old Testament where God was involved directly to miraculously help them].

Ellen White gives a scenario of the Hell event and Phillip Samaan cited here in 1989:

"Then at the close of the one thousand years, Jesus, with the angels and

all the saints, leaves the Holy City, and while He is descending to the earth

with them, the wicked dead are raised."—Early Writings, p. 53.

“Satan, the mightiest of warriors, leads the van, and his angels unite their forces for this final struggle. Kings and warriors are in his train, and the multitudes follow in vast companies, each under its appointed leader. With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface to the City of God. By command. of Jesus, the gates of the New Jerusalem are closed, and the armies of Satan surround the city and make ready for the onset." "In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch—Satan the root, his followers the branches.” Ellen White in The Great Controversy, pp. 664, 673.

Then Zechariah returned back to the Hell event after the millennium and said: “And on that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives which is before [historical] Jerusalem from the east” (verse 4). The issue is not whether earthly Jerusalem still exist. The issue is that it is the place from which the navigation is made for what is now going to happen.

A miracle happen and the mount of Olives is split in two (verse 4). The two halves are moving to the north and to the south . With this moving a very great valley is created east and west which means earthly Jerusalem, empty now of course without any inhabitants or only ruins, is scraped flat for this valley.

God then addresses the evil nations that He gathered against New Jerusalem now in process to take its place in the valley because it came from heaven with the faithful saints resurrected at the Second Coming in it.

Then follows a footnote about the wicked resurrected present after the millennium at the Hell event when the mountain miracle happens:

“And you [evil nations] shall flee to the valley of the mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach Azal.” Azal? Charles Bradford in a sermon on Youtube told about his early days in the Bronx when he use to train poor laymen on becoming elders. He made them read the Review and Herald devotionals. One laymen came to a word that is hard to pronounce and said: “Difficult word” and continued. Azal is a difficult word. It is a present geographical reference and presumably a long distance.

“And you [evil nations gathered by the Lord against heavenly Jerusalem at the Hell event] shall flee as you fled because of the earthquake in the days of Uzzia the king of Judah”. Of course not all the evil ones resurrected by the Lord and gathered are involved in sharing the experience what happened at the earthquake. But, there will be some.

Zechariah returns to the Hell event continuing with the actions of God during this event: “And the Lord my God shall come and the holy ones with You” (verse 5).

This is not the Second Coming of Christ but the resurrected saint lived for a millennium in the New Jerusalem in heaven and this mobile city will descend to the mount of Olives. Christ the Warrior Messiah now comes with them to the earth. Zechariah is speaking about Christ “my God” and with Christ “with You”. It is a spiritual matter. There is no confusion in the style here. It is acknowledgement that the One speaking with Him here these words is Jesus Christ, the very One that will come with the holy ones resurrected.

Verse 6 says that there shall be no light, only disappearing light and thick darkness [for the evil nations] but for the one’s in the city it shall be safe and secure.

In the eventide there shall be light. It is the Day of the Lord (verse 7).

Springwater shall come forth from the New Jerusalem and half of it shall go to the eastern sea and half of the water to the western sea. In all seasons “it shall be” (verse 8). It is of course a fastforward of a condition that shall be after the Lord has completed His battle with these nations and they all are eliminated.

“And the Lord shall become King over all the earth, on that day [Hell event] shall the Lord be one, and His name one”. This is not to say that the Trinity shall stop to exist. The Trinity will share in absolute unity of agreement “oneness” and the name is “one”, all Three are God.

The new creation of the earth is explained then in a fastforward description. “The whole earth shall be changed to be like a plain, from the hill of Rimmon in the south of Jerusalem but it [Jerusalem] wil be elevated high and remain in its old place” (verse 10).

This is interesting. A New Jerusalem in the air and an Old Jerusalem location on earth.

Various earthly locations are then given for navigation of an area known to Zechariah.

The faithful will dwell in these areas also “and they [faithful] shall dwell therein and there shall be no more destruction, but Jerusalem shall dwell in safety” (verse 11).

Then Zechariah went back to the Hell event, after he fastforwarded previously to this point, and explained what will happen to the evil nations at the Hell event: “and this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord shall smite all the nations who besieged Jerusalem: his flesh will waste away while he still stands on his feet; his eyes will waste away in their sockets and his tongue shall waste away in his mouth” (verse 12). This is the final absolute death of all evil.

Zechariah continued: “And it will come to pass on that day [Hell event] that there will be great consternation sent by the Lord upon them [evil nations], each one shall seize the hand of the other and his hand shall rise up against he hand of the other”. They will start killing each other. (verse 13).

The evil remnant or wayward remnant “even Judah will fight against [New] Jerusalem” (verse 14).

The wealth of nations will be gathered in very great abundance. Mammon is an aspect that the evil nations preparing for the war against the Warrior Messiah seemed not to have given up and the collecting of all this items is to burn it all forever. In abundance they will be brought together because mammon = money must serve the faithful also as a lesson of giving up empty dreams. That is the semantics of this symbolic act.

The plague of melting will also be with the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all animals that were used in their camps, similar to the plague of the people (verse 15).

Why are there still transportation animals in the millennium? They are created for some nations who did not live in the digimodernism and thus are only use to fighting with these animals of transport.

Zechariah then made a statement about certain people among the nations that are not with them because they were in history converted to God and are thus safe in the city New Jerusalem: “And it will come to pass that everyone left [from the burning, those in number except the ones who burnt, a number from the total of nations] of the evil nations who came up against [New] Jerusalem [in the Hell event].” Now Zechariah interrupted himself to qualify why these leftovers from the bad humanity is a good humanity and thus not destroyed:

“[the good left overs, or remnant] went up from year to year to prostrate himself to the King, the Lord of Hosts and to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles” [as one can see in the Ethiopian that was baptized in the book of Acts. Many proselytes converted to the truth and they are the left overs here. They would have died also but their conversion in history made them surviving in New Jerusalem instead of melting outside in the valley with the balance of the the majority of nations.

The principle is then spelled out by Zechariah for those in history from Adam to the Second Coming to survive is to “prostrate himself to the King [of Grace = Christ our Righteousness] the Lord of Hosts [angels] (verse 17).” Otherwise there is no Early Rain or Latter Rain of the Holy Spirit.

It is the same if a family out of Egypt do not prostrate before the Creator and accept Christ, then the Holy Spirit will not be given (verse 18).

“The Lord will plague the nations [melting event in Hell] who [those evil ones in history from Adam to the Door of Mercy closing] did not go up [y`lw] to celebrate the festival of Tabernacles” (verse 18). What is the issue here for us? Should we celebrate the festival of Tabernacles? No. There is no Temple any longer. Christ probably celebrated it but no mention is made in the New Testament about it. We read they kept the Sabbath. We read they baptized. But we do not read that they kept festivals. Paul eagerness to be in Jerusalem during a high-period is because he could see then all his relatives and also distribute to the leaders from far and near the money he brought.

Phillip Samaan in his Sabbath School Quarterly in 1989 cited Ellen White here about the Feast of Tabernacles:

“The Feast of Tabernacles was not only commemorative but typical. It not only pointed back to the wilderness sojourn, but, as the feast of harvest, it celebrated the ingathering of the fruits of the earth, and pointed forward to the great day of final ingathering, when the Lord of the harvest shall send forth his reapers to gather the tares together in bundles for the fire, and to gather the wheat into His garner. . . . But when the ransomed of the Lord shall have been safely gathered into the heavenly Canaan, . . . they will rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. Christ's great work of atonement for men will then have been completed, and their sins will have been forever blotted out.” Ellen White in Patriarchs and Prophets, pp. 541, 542.

“Such will be the punishment [Hell event melting] who did not go up to celebrate [in historical times before the closing of the Door of Mercy] the festival of Tabernacles” (verse 19). It is possible that our Camp-meeting system is the same as the Festival of Tabernacles and the meaning for both was to “prostrate before God” and to receive large portions of the Holy Spirit. This is essential for Christian sanctification and for Christian growth in Christ. And thus for final salvation to be found in the New Jerusalem.

Says Ellen White about the importance to prepare for His Second Coming: “I saw that the remnant were not prepared for what is coming upon the earth. Stupidity, like lethargy, seemed to hang upon the minds of most of those who profess to believe that we are having the last message. My accompanying angel cried out with awful solemnity, ‘Get ready! get ready! get ready! for the fierce anger of the Lord is soon to come.’” Ellen White in Early Writings, p. 119.

“On that day [Hell event] there will be bells of the horses “holy to the Lord” and the pots in the House of the Lord will be like the sprinkling bowls before the altar” (verse 20). Very beautiful.

“Yes, every pot in [New] Jerusalem and in Judah [portion that is faithful remnant] shall be holy to the Lord of Hosts” (verse 21).

“And all those who were sacrifizers [in historical time from Adam to Christ] will come and take of them” (verse 21). Instead of sacrifizing they will “cook in them”. “And there will be no longer a trafficker [migrant] in the House of the Lord of Hosts on that day” (verse 21). Why? Because all faithful are in the New Jerusalem and all evil are eradicated.


Dear Lord

We surrender and prostrate before You our King of Grace and King of Glory. Keep us close to You so that we may enjoy the New Jerusalem prepared for us. As SookYoung prayed in her devotional, ‘Help us Lord, to be part of that glorious scene! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever!Amen’.