ZECHARIAH 14  


 

ZECHARIAH 14
This continues from the DELIVERANCE mentioned at verse 13:9.
"They will call on My name and I will answer them."

The deliverance will come through Messiah's victory on all fronts during the Armageddon campaign. This subject was introduced at Zechariah 12.

The last three chapters of the book form a separate unit that deal ONLY with the second coming of the Messiah at the Day of the Lord, with only a small section that looks to the first advent of the Messiah.

The book of Zechariah has THREE points of focus.
1. The period the restoration of Judah from the Babylonian captivity during the 2nd to 4th year of the reign of Darius (520-518 BCE/3605-3607 AH). Zechariah 1:1; 7:1.
   A. Encouragement to the Jews concerning the building of the
      temple in Jerusalem, which will be accomplished in just a few
      years (516 BCE). Verse 1:16-17, "I will return to Jerusalem with
      compassion;
       My house will be build in it, declares Yahweh of Hosts."
      "My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and Yahweh
       will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem."

   B. Promise of judgment on the nations that oppressed
Israel
      during their time of discipline.
      Zechariah 2:6-7
      "Ho there! Flee from the north, for I have dispersed you as
      the four winds of heaven. Ho Zion! Escape you who are living
      with the daughter of
Babylon. For thus says Yahweh of Hosts,
      After glory He has sent me against the nations which plunder
      you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.
      For behold, I will wave My hand over them, so that they will be
      plunder for their slaves. Then you will know that Yahweh of
      hosts has sent me."

      This will occur in just two years (in 518 BCE) when Babylon is
      devastated after  revolting against Darius.

2. The first advent of the Messiah.
    Before there can be a SECOND coming, there must be the FIRST coming.
    Zechariah 9:9, the first advent
    Zechariah 9:10, the second advent and kingdom.
    Zechariah 11:1-14, Messiah's arrival, betrayal and the judgment
    on the temple
(Verses 15-17, the false prophet during the tribulation)

3. The second advent of the Messiah and the Armageddon campaign
    Usually this is designated by the term, the day of the Lord.  Zechariah does not use that term, but everything that happens "in that day" is based on His initial coming, which later is summarized at Zech. 14:5b, "Thus Yahweh my God will come and all the holy ones with Him."
    Zechariah 2:10-13, Arrival and kingdom
    Zechariah 3:9-10, Restoration and kingdom
    Zechariah 8:3-8, Restoration and kingdom
    Zechariah 10:8-12, Re-gathering and kingdom
    Zechariah 12-14, Second advent, Armageddon and Kingdom.

    As with all the prophets, the FOCUS shifts from contemporary
    issues to the second advent, with quite often, only a subtle
    indication that the shift has been made. And even some subtle
    references to the first advent of the Messiah.

Usually, the prophets introduce their proclamations about the last days with a reference to the day of the Lord. Zechariah does not.
In fact, the term does not even occur in the book.
However, we learn from the other prophets that the events in Zechariah 12 and 14 will not occur UNTIL that initial arrival of the day of the Lord; the second coming of the Messiah.
Zechariah 12 and 14 develop events that will occur AFTER the arrival of the Messiah and the start of the day of the Lord judgments. It will be shown that those events are actually the final ones leading directly into the last great battle at Armageddon.
However, the "coming" at verse 2:10 still should be seen as a summary statement of His initial arrival; the arrival that will begin the day of the Lord.
And the "day" of Zech. 14:1 although looking forward to the defeat of the invading armies, still must FIRST indicate His initial arrival.


THE TIME FRAME
It is a prophecy of events that will occur during the day of the Lord judgments. And specifically when the nations of the world will invade Palestine and oppress the city of Jerusalem.
Verse 1-2, "Behold, a day is coming for Yahweh when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you."
This will occur in connection with the 6th trumpet judgment of Rev.9:13-21 (invasion of the king of the North) and the invasion of the Gog alliance of Ezekiel 38:10-12.
This is what the Lord God says: "It will come about on that day, that thoughts will come into your mind and you will devise an evil plan, and you will say, 'I will go up against the land of unwalled villages. I will go against those who are at rest, who live securely, all of them living without walls and having no bars or gates, to capture spoils and to seize plunder, to turn your hand against the ruins that are now inhabited, and against the people who are gathered from the nations, who have acquired livestock and goods, who live at the center of the world.'
And Ezek. 39:10, "
They will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, because they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoils of those who plundered them and seize the plunder of those who plundered them," declares the Lord God."

Zechariah 14:2, "For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be taken, the houses plundered, the women raped, and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be eliminated from the city."

That means that these events will occur after the 6th seal arrival of Jesus which will initiate the day of the Lord.
And that means that verse 3, when "Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations" will occur AFTER the previous arrival of the Messiah at the 6th seal.

The arrangement of information in Zechariah chapter 14 is as follows.
1. Verses 1: The summary of the benefits of victory.
2. Verses 2-3: The gathering of the nations and the descent of the Messiah.
3. Verses 4-5a: The descent to
Jerusalem and the great earthquake that begins the battle of Jerusalem.
4. Verses 5b-7:
Summary statement of the initial arrival of the Messiah at His second coming along with the "darkness" that is part of the signs of the day of the Lord (Joel 2:31; Mat. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-14; Isaiah 13:9-10) It is this initial coming of the Messiah that is the basis for the battles that follow. The Messiah will first arrive in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory and all His holy angels with Him. This will begin the day of the Lord judgments. It is during these judgments that He will stand on the Mount of Olives.
5. Verses 8-11: After Armageddon, Jesus will set up His kingdom. These verses summarize the establishment of the kingdom and life within the kingdom.
6. Verses 12-15: These verses back-track and summarize the battle of Jerusalem.
7. Verses 16-21: These verses then jump forward again to describe life during the Messiah's kingdom on the earth.

Zechariah 14:1:  This states what will be the final result of the defeat of Israel's armies at the battle of Jerusalem and the battle of Armageddon.

Verse 1
"Behold, a day is coming for Yahweh when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you."

This starts with stating the FACT of the coming of a special day during which the Messiah will accomplish victory in the Battle of Jerusalem. From there it will "back-track" to the details.

The result of defeating Israel's enemies will be the acquisition of an abundance of material resources. This will be described in more detail at verse 14.

When the nations, specifically the King of the North (Northern alliance, Ezekiel 38:4-6), invade Jerusalem, they will PLUNDER the city, oppress the people (rape, etc.) and confiscate the wealth of the people. But when the victory is won, and the invading armies are defeated, the people of Israel will not only RE-gain their own wealth, but acquire much wealth from the invaders.

Zechariah 14:14
"And Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance."

Ezekiel 39:10
"And they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them, and seize the plunder of those who plundered them."
Isaiah 33:23,
"Then the prey of an abundant spoil will be divided;
the lame will take the plunder."

ATTACK OF THE NATIONS

Zechariah 14:2-5a: This summarizes the gathering of the nations into Palestine, and the physical descent of the Messiah ONTO the earth to confront them.

"For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished, and half of the city will go into the exile, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city."

The phrase, "all the nations" is hyperbole, but indeed, it will be the large majority of nations that gather at that time in order to gain for themselves economic security in view of the devastating effects the day-of-the-LORD judgments will cause.
See Topic:
The seventh seal

THE ARMIES MOVE

FIRST: The king of the North and the nations aligned with it.
   Ezekiel 38-39; Dan. 11:
SECOND: The kings of the East will gather. Revelation 16:12-16
THIRD: The kings of the whole world will gather. Rev. 16:14
FOURTH: The king of the West, which will already have a presence there, will move to protect itself.

FIFTH: The king of the South "will collide with" the king of the West in the Palestinian area. Daniel 11:40.

All this movement of armies will culminate with the battle of Armageddon which is seen at Revelation 19:17-21; Joel 3:9-16; Ezek. 38:17-23 and 39:1-5, 17-20. That will occur in the massive valley North and West of Jerusalem in the plains of Megiddo.

However, Zechariah 14:2b focuses on a specific attack on the city by a large military body that plunders, rapes and takes captive.

Toward the end of the 70th week of Daniel and during the DAY OF THE LORD judgments, there will be an advance of the king of the North throughout the world and into Palestine. This is portrayed at the 6th trumpet judgment of Revelation 9:13-21 and Ezek. 38-39.

The Northern alliance will be comprised of many nations as listed at Ezekiel 38:2-6.

This invasion of Palestine and specifically the city of Jerusalem by the king of the North, will trigger the gathering of the other nations into Palestine. This will then lead up to the final confrontation in "the valley of The Verdict" (Joel 3:14), when Jesus will destroy all the invading armies. 

The advance of the King of the North is described at Jeremiah 25:15-38; Joel 2:1-11 and Ezekiel 38-39.

The gathering of the other nations into Palestine is described at Joel 3:2, 9-14; Revelation 16:12-16 and Revelation 19:17-19.

So, many nations are gathered into Palestine in an attempt to "de-throne" the beast (the king of the west), and to gain material resources for themselves. But it is only the king of the north, and the nations in the Northern alliance that invade Jerusalem.
1. The city will be taken by the invaders.
2. The wealth of the city will be confiscated.
3. Women will be raped.
4. Half the city will go into exile: The idea of exile is removal. It refers to an exodus from the city because of the presence of the invading army. This probably refers to all the people who leave at verse 5a.
5. However, before complete control of the city can be accomplished two things will happen.
    A. The king of the West will split the Northern army into two halves.
    B. Jesus will arrive from Edom and split the Mount of  Olives into two halves, and the CITY will be split into three parts. Rev. 16:19a.

At some time during this invasion by the Northern army, the king of the West will set up his camp between the Mediterranean Sea (the seas) and the city of Jerusalem (the beautiful holy mountain). Daniel 11:45a
"And he will pitch the tents of his royal pavilion between the seas and the beautiful Holy Mountain."

This effectively splits the Northern army into 2 sections according to Joel 2:20. And in this condition the invading troops in it will perish as Israel fights against them in the battle of Jerusalem.

"But I will remove the northern {army} far from you,
And I will drive it into a parched and desolate land,
And its vanguard into the eastern sea,
And its rear guard into the western sea.
And its stench will arise and its foul smell will come up,
For it has done great things."

The half that is driven west will likely be among those who gather in the Valley of the Verdict (Joel 3:9-14). There they will be destroyed by the power of Jesus as He pours down upon them "a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone." (Ezek. 38:22). Ezekiel 39:4, 17-20; Revelation 19:21.

The half that is driven east will be in Jerusalem between the city and the north end of the dead sea. These will be defeated by the inhabitants of Jerusalem and the clans of Judah. Zech. 12:4-8; 14:14.

THE PHYSICAL DESCENT OF MESSIAH

Zechariah 14:3
"Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle."

When these nations are sufficiently gathered into Palestine, and the invasion of Jerusalem well under way, Shortly after the king of the west divides the northern army, Jesus (Yahweh) "will go forth and fight." He will leave His "seat" in the clouds and physically descend ONTO the earth.
 

THE SECOND COMING

Before His physical descent ONTO the earth, Jesus will have RETURNED in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. It is THIS arrival that is the OFFICIAL second coming and the start of the day of the Lord (DOL).
This initial arrival of Jesus is summarized at Rev. 19:11-16.

There are three STAGES to the second coming of the Messiah.

(1) His arrival in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory: This arrival will in the sky ONLY. From his position in the clouds or ON THE CLOUD (Rev. 14:14) He will pour out the judgments from God's wrath through the trumpets and bowls recorded in the book of The Revelation.  There four phases to it.
    (A) The SIGNS phase. Joel 2:30-31; Mat. 24:29-31;
          Rev. 6:12-14; Isaiah 13:10, 13;
    (B) The arrival phase.
           Mat. 24:30;
16:27; Rev. 6:15-16; Isaiah 30:27-30; 60:1-2;
           Ps. 96:13; Rev. 19:11-16; 2Thes. 2:6-10.
    (C) The rapture phase. Matthew 24:31-44; John 14:1-3;
          1Thes.  4:14-17; 1Cor. 15:51-52
    (D) The judgment phase. Rev. 6:15-17; 1Thes. 5:1-2; 2Thes. 1.

(2) The second stage is His physical descent TO the earth at which time He will personally confront the armies of the world that are gathered into Palestine to loot and destroy the people of Israel. Through His physical descent to the earth He will rescue the Jews and prepare for His earthly kingdom.
"Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations."
Zech. 14:3.
There are four phases to it.
    (A) The descent to Edom. Isaiah 34:6; 63:1-6; Hab. 3:3
    (B) The descent to Jerusalem. Isaiah 63:1; Zech. 14:4; Joel 3:16.
    (C) The descent to the Valley of Megiddo (Armageddon).
          Joel 3:9-16;
    (D) The separation phase: when all unbelievers will be removed
          from the earth and only believers will be left alive to dwell on
          the earth in Christ's kingdom.
          Ezek. 34:17-22; Mat. 25:31-46.

(3) The KINGDOM stage when Jesus sets up His 1000 year earthly reign.
There are three phases to it.
    (A) The cleansing phase: Ezek 39:9-16.
    (B) The building phase: Isaiah 60:4-11; 61:4; Ezek. 43:10-18;
          Dan. 8:15-26.
    (C) The reigning phase: Isaiah 9:7; Jer. 23:5-6; Ezek. 37:24-28;
          Dan. 7:13-14.
   

The Old Testament prophets viewed the second coming and the arrival of the DAY OF THE LORD as having one starting point. They
did not make a distinction between the Messiah's initial arrival IN THE CLOUDS and His subsequent PHYSICAL descent to the earth. They viewed the second coming as His arrival to the earth that will begin the Day of the Lord.

Sometimes the prophets focused on the inception of the day of the Lord; sometimes on some aspect of the judgment that will happen DURING the day; and sometimes on the kingdom blessing that will follow the judgment.

But it is not until the New Testament teaching by Jesus and the apostles that we learn that Jesus will FIRST arrive in the clouds of the sky as an event that will precede His physical descent ONTO the earth.

When Jesus first "arrives" at the Day of the Lord, He will come in THE CLOUDS of the sky/heaven (ouranos) with His angels and in power and great glory (Mat. 16:27; 24:29-30). At Rev. 19:11-16 John sees "the sky" (ouranos) opened and the arrival of Jesus with His army of angels.
At that time He will use the angels to gather the saints from the earth through the rapture, and they will be taken to heaven (Mark 13:27, "from the farthest end of earth UNTO the farthest end of heaven/sky, ouranos"; 1Thes. 4:13-17; John 14:1-3). Following the removal of the believers, Jesus will remain in the clouds, or rather, "sitting on the cloud" (Rev. 14:14), and will begin His judgment agenda to "destroy those who destroy the earth" (Rev. 11:18).

But before He begins to pour out the wrath of God, He will await the conversion of the 144,000 Jewish bond-servants who will trust in Christ almost immediately after the arrival of the Lord and the rapture of the saints. Revelation 7:1-8.

REVELATION 14

After the conversion/sealing of these bond-servants, Jesus will pour out God's wrath upon the kingdom of the beast, using angels for various administrations of judgment. This is represented symbolically with the 7 trumpet judgments and the 7 bowl judgments (Rev. 8-9, 16:1-21).

At Revelation 14:1-7, the 144,000 Jewish servant/evangelists are seen after their conversion as servants of Jesus "The Lamb," prepared to carry the everlasting gospel to "those who live on the earth" (verse 6).

The urgency of the gospel proclamation is "because the hour of His judgment has come" (verse 7).
This is the same scenario that is shown at Rev. 7:1-3. After the conversion of the 144k servants, the wrath of God will be poured out.

In verse 8, the proclamation of impending judgment is made upon the age-old Babylonian religious evil that has been in opposition to God's viewpoint and policy since its inception through Nimrod.
That final judgment on Babylonian evil will be through the 7th bowl of Rev. 16:17-19.

In verses 9-12 the proclamation of judgment is made against all who worship the beast and take his mark.

At verse 13, a special pronouncement of blessing is made. During the time period from the arrival of the Lord until the completion of Christ's judgment agenda, there will be many believers who die for their faith. These will come under a special blessing as they will have endured and remained faithful unto death. Revelation 2:10.

THE WRATH OF GOD

The time from the arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky is the time when the wrath of God will be poured out on the earth dwellers.

This is "the hour of judgment" of Revelation 14:7. It will begin with the seven trumpets of Rev. 8 and 9, and be finished through the seven bowls of Rev. 16. This will start shortly after the rapture, and it is from this that the people are urged to escape through trusting in "the everlasting gospel" that the 144k Jewish bond servants will be proclaiming.

The hour of judgment is described at verse 15 as "the hour to reap."
THE HOUR TO REAP
The use of the word, "hour" is simply to indicate that it is now TIME.
At Rev. 11:18, we are told that "the time came . . . to destroy those who destroy the earth."
At Rev. 14:7, the urgency of the gospel message is "because the hour of His judgment has come." That means that it is here and upon us. This is expressed after the rapture, and after the salvation and sealing of the 144,000 bond servants of God, and refers to the trumpet and bowl judgments.

This is the same thing that was shown at the 6th seal vision of Rev. 6:12-17. The Lord arrives; the people see him and recognize that it is now time - "for the great day of their wrath has come."

Then at Rev. 15:1 and 5-8, preparation is made for the FINAL outpouring of God's wrath.

That final wrath of God that will come through the seven bowls as introduced at Rev. 15:1, "seven plagues which are THE LAST, because in them the wrath of God is FINISHED."
These judgments will be executed from His "seat" in the clouds without "touching down" to the earth.

So in view of the arrival of "the hour of judgment" John is shown a vision of The Son of Man sitting on a cloud. The angel announces that "the hour to reap has come," and exhorts the Son to put in the "sharp" sickle and reap the "ripe" harvest of the earth.


Rev. 14:14-16
"And I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and sitting on the cloud {was} one like a son of man, having a golden crown on His head, and a sharp sickle in His hand.
(This should be seen as the SAME CLOUD of Mat. 24:30 and Acts 1:9-11).
And another angel came out of the temple, crying out with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, 'Put in your sickle and reap, because the hour to reap has come, because the harvest of the earth is ripe.'
And He who sat on the cloud swung His sickle over the earth; and the earth was reaped."

In view of the chronology, this seems to be a vision of the inception of the day of the Lord judgments through the trumpets.
The wicked "wheat" of the earth are now going to experience the wrath of God.
The expectation of judgment is portrayed at Rev. 19:11-16 where the symbols of judgment are "judges and wages war," "fire," "blood," "sword," "smite the nations."

After the 6th seal arrival of Jesus, the church is removed and seen in heaven at Rev. 7:9ff.
At the same time, the earth dwellers see Him and know that His wrath has come. (Rev. 6:17-19).
The wrath will be delayed until the 144k Jewish bond servants are sealed and saved. Rev. 7:1-3.
After they are sealed, the 7th seal will be broken and the fire of God's wrath will be poured out on the earth through the trumpets (Rev. 8).

This then is the same time line that is portrayed in Rev. 14.
The 144k bond servants are seen on the earth. Rev. 14:1
The raptured saints are seen in heaven playing harps and singing.
Rev. 14:2-3.
The announcement of God's judgment is made at Rev. 14:6-7.
And the judgment begins at Rev. 14:14-16.

Looking ahead to the second reaping at 14:17-20, it is seen to be a reference to the final battle of Armageddon.
That reasonably indicates that the the first reaping involves all the judgments that precede that final confrontation in the valley of Megiddo.


Some interpret verses 14-16 to refer to the rapture itself. However, if Revelation chapter 14 is viewed as chronological, beginning with the presence of the 144,000 at verses 1-5, and ending with the battle of Armageddon at verses 17-20, then the rapture cannot be in view. The rapture takes place BEFORE the conversion of the 144,000.

In fact, the raptured saints are seen IN HEAVEN at Revelation 14:2-3 playing harps and singing the new song. If the rapture has already occurred based on the saints location in heaven, the reaping of verses 14-16 cannot be portraying the rapture.
These harpists are the same ones of Rev. 15:2-4 who are standing on the sea of glass that is before the throne. (Rev. 14:3; 7:9; 4:6).

Revelation 14:17-20
"
And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, and he also had a sharp sickle. And another angel, the one who has power over fire, came out from the altar; and he called with a loud voice to him who had the sharp sickle, saying, 'Put in your sharp sickle, and gather the clusters from the vine of the earth, because her grapes are ripe.' And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered {the clusters from} the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.
And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles."

This final act of "reaping" occurs through the final stage of the Armageddon campaign; The battle of Megiddo. The "gathering" is through the influences of demons and man's sin nature that will bring the world's armies into the land of Palestine. This is represented symbolically by the 6th bowl judgment of Revelation 16:12-16.

BOWL #6:
This judgment portrays the gathering of the kings of the whole world together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty in the valley of HarMagedon (verses 14 and 16).
"The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river, the Euphrates; and its water was dried up, so that the way would be prepared for the kings from the east. And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the entire world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. ('Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and people will not see his shame.') And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon."

And this results in Revelation 19:19, And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse, and against His army.

BOWL #7
Bowl #7 represents a summary of the final outpouring of God's wrath onto the world. It is directed against the homelands of the nations, and against the armies of the nations that are gathered in the valley of Megiddo.
At this point, the angel proclaims, "it is done."
This is a 3rd person singular of ginomai in the perfect tense. It is a word of completion. It thus brings to completion the statement of verse 15:1, "the 7 plagues which are the LAST, because in them the wrath (thumos) of God is FINISHED."

Bowl #6 already saw the armies gathering to Har-Magedon.
And Rev. 14:19 already showed John the massive destruction of the armies in the vast valley outside of Jerusalem; the Valley of Megiddo. Both bring us to the final battle. Called at Joel 3:14, "the valley of the verdict."

It seems then, that it is while this movement of armies is occurring, and they are pushing and shoving against each other, that Jesus will
descend ONTO the earth (Zech. 14:3, "then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations"). He will go first to Edom and then to Jerusalem (Hab. 3:3-7; Is. 63:1-6) to stand on the Mount of Olives.
The result will be the the three judgments described at Rev. 16:19-21.

Zech. 14:4, "and in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives . . . and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle."

Through the 7th bowl there will be THREE aspects of judgment on the world. Rev. 16:19-21, "The great city was split into three parts, AND the cities of the nations fell. AND Babylon the great was remembered in the sight of God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath. And every island fled, and no mountains were found. And huge hailstones, weighing about a talent each, came down from heaven upon people; and people blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because the hailstone plague was extremely severe."

(1)Jerusalem is split into three parts.
Verse 19a, "
The great city was split into three parts."
This is probably the result of Christ's descent onto the Mount of Olives that splits it down the middle as stated at Zech. 14:4.

(2) All the nations throughout the world are ruined and experience a final demonstration of divine power. Vs. 19b, "and the cities of the nations fell."
And 16:20-21.
Earthquakes everywhere and huge lightning and hail storms everywhere.
Ezek. 39:6, "
And I will send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the Lord."
It seems that this will be further judgment on the nations while the armies are maneuvering in and around Palestine.

(3) The headquarters of the Babylonian system of evil receives it's final destruction. The location and exact identification of this system is uncertain at this time, but the language seems to be referring to the city and/or system rather than a person. Notice the difference between "her smoke rises up" and "the smoke of THEIR TORMENT goes up" (V. 14:11).
Verse 19c and 18:20-24, "her smoke rises up forever and ever."
(to the ages of ages is an idiom that indicates a very long time, the duration of which is defined within the context where the expression occurs). Thus, throughout the time span of the earthly kingdom, the evidence of her destruction will be visible to the inhabitants of the earth. Edom will receive the same kind of judgment. Isaiah 34:10.

The visions shown to John at the 7th bowl and after that, up through Rev. 19:10, culminate with Armageddon and the world-wide results of Christ's physical descent to the earth. After Armageddon is resolved and the final judgment on Babylonian evil is complete, the scene in heaven is the time for the marriage of the Lamb. The bride is seen, prepared, and the guests are invited.
The scene of this glorious event is then ended and is not shown again until Rev. 20-21.

John is next shown a vision of the visible arrival of Jesus out from the sky/heaven (ouranos) that in actuality will have already occurred in the Revelation time line at the 6th seal. The vision at Rev. 19:11 is another recap, and shows what is the basis for all the judgment events that had previously been seen in John's visions. It is the initial arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky in power and great glory with all His angels. It is that event which began the day of the Lord in the vision of the 6th seal at Rev. 6:12-17.
And it is the same event described by Jesus at Mat. 24:29-31.
And it is the same event described by Paul at 2Thes. 1:6-10.

Rev. 19:11-16
"And I saw the sky (ouranos) opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. His eyes are a FLAME OF FIRE, and on His head are many crowns; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. He is clothed with a robe dipped in BLOOD, and His name is called The Word of God. And the ARMIES which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses. From His mouth comes a sharp SWORD, so that with it He may strike down the nations, and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce WRATH OF GOD, the Almighty. And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written: "KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

It is this arrival out from the sky/heaven (ouranos) that is portrayed throughout the Bible as a coming in judgment.

2Thes. 1:7-8, He is coming with the angels of His power in flaming FIRE" to bring JUDGMENT on the unbelievers.

Isaiah 66:15-16, "
For behold, the Lord will come in fire,
And His chariots like the whirlwind,
To render HIS ANGER with fury,
And His rebuke with FLAMES OF FIRE.
For Yahweh will execute judgment by FIRE
and by His SWORD on humanity,
And those put to death by Yahweh will be many."


Matthew 16:27, "
For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and will then repay every person according to his deeds."

1Thes. 3:13, "the coming of our Lord Jesus with ALL His holy ones."
(Jude 14; Mat. 25:31).

In between this initial arrival in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory, and the battle of Armageddon, the trumpet and bowl judgments will occur. And at the 7th bowl judgment, Jesus will descend physically ONTO the earth.

At the physical descent of Jesus ONTO the earth, there will be world wide catastrophes as described in the 7th bowl.
There is much more detail provided in the Old Testament concerning Christ's physical descent onto the earth. There we learn that Christ will first go to Edom, then to Jerusalem, and finally to Megiddo to resolve "the war of the great day of God, the Almighty" in a place called "Har-Magedon" (Rev. 16:14,16).

This physical descent of Jesus ONTO the earth is what we see in the vision of Zechariah 14:3ff.


THE PHYSICAL DESCENT OF JESUS ONTO THE EARTH

Zechariah 14:3, Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle.

This refers to the physical descent of Jesus from his seat in the clouds onto the earth. It has four phases to it (1) To Edom, (2) To Jerusalem, (3) To Megiddo, and (4) the separation phase when Jesus will separate all the unbelievers from the believers and remove the unbelievers from the earth. The New Testament does not show us the descent to Edom or to Jerusalem. It focuses on the final location, which is the valley of Megiddo, or as Revelation 16:16 designates it, "Har-Magedon."

The common presentation by the Old Testament prophets was a GENERAL arrival of the Messiah to the earth to bring the day of the Lord judgments and deliverance for the nation of Israel. Then, more details were added depending on what specific aspect of judgment or deliverance the prophet had in view. Revelation 19:11 does the same thing.  It is referring to the initial and specific arrival of Jesus "from" or "in" the sky (ouranos). Then, while skipping over the details of the trumpet and bowl judgments, the details for Armageddon are added at verse 17.

Here at Zechariah 14:4 the prophet sees specifically, Messiah's arrival at the battle of Jerusalem, which is described in more detail at 12-15 and 12:4-8. In conclusion, when all the passages are compared together, it can be determined that the best order for the three "descents," is that He first goes to Edom, then to Jerusalem, and then to Megiddo.

Zechariah does not mention Christ's descent to Edom. At verse 14:3, he makes a general statement of Christ's descent to confront all the invading armies.  "Then Yahweh will go forth and fight against those nations."

Zechariah then summarizes the descent to Jerusalem and the battle of Jerusalem at verses 4-5a and 14. He gave many more details about this specific battle IN and around the immediate vicinity of Jerusalem at Zechariah 12:2-8.

But first, before He descends to the Mount of Olives, He will go to Edom to judge the nations that are gathered South and East of Jerusalem.

 THE BATTLE OF EDOM
See
Isaiah 34:5-15 

The Old Testament teaches that Jesus will go to Edom to destroy the unbelievers of that area and rescue the Israelites who are hiding in the mountainous wilderness. These will have fled the oppression of the beast at the midpoint of the 70th week.

It seems that the best TIMING for this arrival to Edom will be the first of the three phases.

(1) The Lord descends first to Edom: This is because Isaiah 63:1 shows us the Lord coming FROM Edom when He comes to deliver the Jews in Jerusalem and Judah.
And because at Joel 3:16 shows us the Lord coming FROM Jerusalem when He goes to confront the world's armies at Armageddon.
(2) Thus, from Edom He descends to Jerusalem and stands on the Mount of Olives to motivate the Jews to wage the battle of Jerusalem.
(3) And from there He goes to the valley of Megiddo for the battle of Armageddon.

This will occur AFTER Jesus physically descends to the earth in Jerusalem and stands on the Mount of Olives. This serves as a catalyst for the clans of Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to fight the invading army. Zechariah 12, 14.

ZECHARIAH 14:4-5a

The descent to Jerusalem and the great earthquake that begins the battle of Jerusalem.

MOUNT OF OLIVES
Verse 4
"And in that day His feet will stand on the
Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south."

Jesus will come FROM Edom and arrive in Jerusalem to "fight against those nations" and will stand on the Mount of Olives, splitting it into two sections, and actually dividing the city into three parts.

This splitting of the mountain will cause a great earthquake.

The splitting of the mountain will create a huge valley extending about 6 miles west of Jerusalem to Azel.
Habakkuk talks about this earthquake at Habakkuk 3:6b, after the Messiah is shown to have come FROM the area of Edom (V. 3, "God comes from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran").

"Yes, the perpetual mountains were shattered, 
The ancient hills collapsed. 
His ways are everlasting."

The earthquake is also described at Revelation 16:17-20 in connection with the final bowl judgment.

"And the seventh {angel} poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done."
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake {was it, and} so mighty. And the great city was split into three parts. . ."

(1) There it says that "the great city" (Jerusalem) was split into three parts. This is not inconsistent with the splitting of the mount of Olives down the middle. Zechariah's facts do not require ONLY a two-part division of the city. John's vision simply adds additional details to the results of the earthquake that will occur when Jesus stands on the mount.

There is a difference of opinion as to the identification of "the great city." It seems that since Babylon is mentioned in the next sentence as coming under a separate judgment, the mention here of "the great city," refers to Jerusalem which is identified as "the great city . . . where also their Lord was crucified," at Rev. 11:8.

(2) ". . .and the cities of the nations fell."
We have dramatic affects worldwide, from this earthquake.
This
does not contradict the context of Zechariah 14, but simply extends the effects of the earthquake to a world-wide context. The focus of Zechariah's prophecy is not worldwide.

(3) "And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath."

This is the ultimate judgment on Babylon (Babylonian evil), the ideology that empowers and controls the king of the west (beast) through the influence of Satan himself. The history of that ideology and its final demise is later summarized in Revelation chapters 17 and 18.

However, this does not refer to the conquering of the capital city of Babylonian Evil by the beast at the midpoint of the week (Rev. 17:16-18). That will be a HUMAN take over of the Babylonian system of evil. The 7th bowl judgment is a DIVINE destruction of the city and system of Babylonian evil.

And of course, at Armageddon, the beast ruler will be ruined and cast into the lake of fire as described at Revelation 19:20 and 2Thes. 2:8.

(4) "And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found."

This is hyperbole. The significance is that every island and every mountain are AFFECTED so that they are NOT as they were before. It does not mean that the land is now "flat as a pancake." Even Olives is not "flattened." It simply says that the mountain is split in half.

(5) And huge hailstones came down from heaven upon men (about 100 pounds each).
This seems
to be something that does not occur in the context of Zechariah 14, the battle of Jerusalem. But it could be coming upon the rest of the world during that battle.
Because of this the unbelievers are given further occasion to attack the character and plan of God.  "And men blasphemed God because of the plague."

Zechariah 14:5a

"And you will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.

After the earthquake, Zechariah tells us that the people will flee out of the city through the valley that will be formed. This refers to the elderly, the children, and any women who will not be fighting.

During the battle that follows His descent to Olives, the men will be fighting in and outside of the city. Zech. 12:5-8; 14:14.

As indicated above, the arrangement of information in Zechariah chapter 14 is as follows.

1. Verses 1-5a: This describes Messiah's physical descent ONTO the earth; the arrival of the Lord to Jerusalem, and the battle of Jerusalem.


2. Verses 5b-7, THUS, Yahweh my God will come," is the summary statement of Christ's arrival at His second coming.
It summarizes the INITIAL arrival of Christ at the day of the Lord, when He comes in the clouds of the sky, which of course, is the basis for everything else. Such a recap and summary statement is typical of the Old Testament prophets.
This is the view I favor.

(However, for consideration, there is another choice.
It could be a summary statement of His physical descent ONTO the earth which seems to be in view at Zech. 14:3, "And Yahweh will go forth and fight.")


3. Verses 8-11: look to the establishment of the earthly kingdom. These verses summarize the establishment of the kingdom and life within the kingdom.
4. Verses 12-15: These verses back-track and summarize the battle of Jerusalem.
5. Verses 16-21: These verses then jump forward again to describe life during the Messiah's kingdom on the earth.

 THE BATTLE OF JERUSALEM

From Edom, Jesus goes to Jerusalem
to fight with the armies gathered there. Isaiah 63:1-6; 34:6; Hab. 3:3.


He will stand on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem and cause a great earthquake. Zech. 14:4.
"And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south."

Verse 5 mentions that the civilian population will be able to escape.
Verse 2 indicates that about half of the population will not be captured or cut off from the city. It is from among these people that "the inhabitants of Jerusalem"
take up arms and fight against the invading army. Zech. 12:8, "
On that day the Lord will protect the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them on that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Yahweh before them."

The splitting of the mountain and the great earthquake, as well as the unusual "rotting" plague, will cause great panic to fall upon the enemy troops who are still alive. This will aid the fighters in Jerusalem and outside the city to fight the invaders.

Zech. 14:12-15 describes what will happen DURING the battle of Jerusalem.

THE PLAGUE
Verse 12
"Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth."

This plague will begin in the Jerusalem vicinity but will also affect the armies gathered in the valley of Megiddo (verse 15).

Zechariah 12:3-4 focuses on the plague as it affects the invaders in the city. Zechariah 14:12-15 extends the plaque beyond Jerusalem to all the armies that are gathered into Palestine.

This is NOT use of a nuclear weapon because the casualties are selective rather than total. We know this because there will still be some "hand-to-hand conflict going on between the invaders and the Israelites at this time. It might be some kind of "selective" or "individual" biological weapon, but whatever it is, it will cause a great panic among them so that they are even confused about who they should be fighting.  Zech. 14:13

"And it will come about IN THAT DAY that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another's hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another."

As seen at Zechariah 12:5-8, the Jews will win the battle of Jerusalem through Messiah's support. But it seems that it is WHILE they are engaged in this battle, Jesus will move on to Megiddo to destroy all the other nations that have assembled in Palestine
.

"Then the clans of Judah will say in their hearts, ‘A strong support for us are the inhabitants of Jerusalem through the LORD of hosts, their God.'
"In that day I will make the clans of Judah like a firepot among pieces of wood and a flaming torch among sheaves, so they will consume on the right hand and on the left all the surrounding peoples, while the inhabitants of Jerusalem again dwell on their own sites in Jerusalem.
"The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first in order that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem may not be magnified above Judah.
"In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David {will be} like God, like the angel of Yahweh before them.

Verse 12:7
"The LORD also will save the tents of Judah first, so that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem will not be magnified above Judah."

It appears that the plague will first affect the invaders who are outside the city, so that the clans of Judah will be able to defeat them and move into the city to rescue it from the invading troops that are still there.

Verse 12:8
"In that day the LORD will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of Yahweh before them."

The clans of Judah will move into the city and be the Lord's instruments of victory as they fight like David the warrior.


Zech. 14:14
And Judah also will fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance."
 

This states the end-result of the entire conflict.
After the invaders in Jerusalem are defeated and the nations at Megiddo are defeated, there will be an abundance of material resources to be gathered by the peoples.
 

ZECHARIAH 14:5b-7
I see this as a summary statement of the initial arrival of Jesus at His second coming.

Zechariah 14:5b

"Thus (and), Yahweh, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him."
Verse 7, "a unique day which is known to Yahweh."

Hebrew style allows for this to be a summary statement.
The "and" (waw) can properly be translated as "THUS."
And that is exactly what is most reasonable for the immediate context and the overall context of both Testaments.
"Thus, Yahweh my God will come and all His holy ones with Him."

Zechariah already showed us the physical descent of the Lord at verse 3, "and Yahweh will go forth and fight." And the descent to the Mount of Olives at verse 4. In other words, in the flow of the narrative, the Lord is already there. This then seems to be a summary statement of His arrival.

KEY FACTOR#1: The statement, "and ALL the holy ones (angels) with Him," is always associated with the initial arrival of the Messiah at the start of the day of the Lord.
KEY FACTOR#2: The statement, "known to the Lord" is a strong reference to the "unknown day and hour" factor of Christ's initial arrival at the start of the day of the Lord.

AMPLIFICATION AND CONSIDERATIONS

Thus, Yahweh, my God, will come:
This is probably a summary statement concerning the coming of the Lord as is prophesied all throughout the Old Testament. In this context, He will have ALREADY come at verse 3, "and Yahweh will go forth and fight." This is something that He will do BECAUSE He will already have arrived in the clouds of the sky. And He will already have come and stood on Olives at verse 4. So verse 5 is probably not talking about another "coming" after that.

However, it could refer to His advance from Jerusalem to confront the armies at Megiddo.
So for consideration, it appears to be either:
(1) a summary statement of the ARRIVAL at the inception of the day of the Lord, which will trigger all the subsequent events.
Or
(2) it could be a summary of His physical descent several months later.
(3) Or it could be a statement of advance from Jerusalem to confront the armies in Megiddo.

In the old Testament, when the arrival of the Lord or the arrival of the day of the Lord is mentioned, sometimes it refers to the initial arrival in the clouds of the sky in power and great glory, as taught by Jesus at Matthew 24.
Sometimes a mention will refer to some event that will occur at  that initial arrival, during, or as an end result of that arrival.
Sometimes a mention will be a summary that takes us BACK to the initial arrival.

IN THAT DAY
At 14:1, "behold a day is coming" refers to the coming of the day of the Lord, during which God will deliver His people and judge their enemies.
The term, "in that day" refers to some event that is indicated in whatever particular context it appears. It does not always refer to the day of the Lord, but usually does.
In Zechariah 14 and in chapter 12, it refers to the time DURING the day of the Lord when the armies of the world gather in Palestine as indicated at verse 12:2 and 14:1, "a day is coming."

Here at Zechariah 14, "in that day" is used in reference to:
A. His stand on the Mount of Olives to initiate the battle of Jerusalem AFTER He defeats the armies at Edom. Verse 4
B. 14:5b-7, a summary statement of the initial arrival of the Messiah at the day of the Lord, and the SIGNS (darkness, etc.)
that will attend that arrival.
C. 14:8-11, life in the earthly kingdom after Messiah's victory.
D. 14:12-14, used to describe what will happen during the battle of Jerusalem.
E. 14:16-21, used to describe life in the earthly kingdom.
F. In chapter 12, the phrase is used to describe -
   1. The battle of Jerusalem: vs. 5-8
   2. The battle of Armageddon: vs. 2-4, 9
   3. The remorse of the nation at the start of the earthly kingdom.
       Verses 10-14.


RECAP

This mention at Zechariah 14:5b is a summary statement
that refers to the initial ARRIVAL at Christ's second coming.
The prophet's message is looking back to that event which will trigger everything else; the arrival of the Lord in the clouds of the sky with power and great glory, bringing all His angels with Him. 


KEY FACTOR#1: The statement, "and ALL the holy ones (angels) with Him," is always associated with the initial arrival of the Messiah at the start of the day of the Lord.
KEY FACTOR#2: The statement, "known to the Lord" is a strong reference to the "unknown day and hour" factor of Christ's initial arrival at the start of the day of the Lord.

Since verse 4 shows Him descending upon the Mount of Olives, which will be phase 2 of His descent ONTO the earth, verse 5b makes a summary statement of a previous event. That previous event will be either,

(1) The initial arrival of Messiah at the day of the Lord, which is described at Mat. 24:29-31 and at the 6th seal of Rev. 6:12-17.
And the summary "recap" description at
Revelation 19:11-16.

OR, which is not likely,
(2) The physical descent ONTO the earth from His seat on the cloud (Rev. 14:14) that is described i
n connection with the 6th and 7th bowl judgment. And which is indicated at Zech. 14:3.

The physical descent onto the earth has three phases to it. He first descends to Edom, then dramatically to Jerusalem, and finally, to the Valley of Megiddo.  Since there are clearly, three separate "engagements," with His enemies, we should be careful to place them in the proper order.
 

At Zechariah 14 there are THREE "arrivals."
One, at verse 3, when He goes forth to fight; one when He lands on the Mount of Olives at 14:4 and causes a huge earthquake;
and one, at verse 5b when He comes with all His holy ones.

After the earthquake, Zechariah writes, "Thus (and) the LORD, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him."
 

Zechariah's primary focus is on His arrival in Jerusalem to defeat all the armies that are gathered in Palestine.
That arrival is in view at verse 14:3, "Yahweh will go forth and fight."
At verse 14:5b, he then gives a summary statement.

However, if an interpreter insists on making the phrase, "and the Lord my God will come" consecutive, following upon His standing on the Mount, then that makes TWO descents. (1) to the Mount for the battle of Jerusalem, and (2) His descent to the valley of Megiddo for the Armageddon confrontation.
But the language used at verse 14:5b is more consistent with His initial arrival that starts the day of the Lord.

We know that when Jesus physically descends ONTO the earth He first goes to Edom. Habakkuk 3:3-4; Isaiah 63:1.

Zechariah 14:4-5a has Him arriving in Jerusalem and standing on the Mount of Olives, which must be after the battle of Edom.
At verse 5b, the prophet writes, "And the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him."

The question is, is this arrival the same kind of summary statement of Christ's initial arrival in the clouds as seen at other places in the Old testament, and at Rev. 19:11?

Choice #1: Zech. 14:5b is a summary statement of His initial arrival at the day of the Lord. Is. 13:9-10; 66:15-16

Then at Zech. 14:6-7, "in that day" stays with the over all context and refers to the PERIOD of time of the Messiah's presence, which was first indicated at verse 14:1.
Verse 14:6 then refers to the darkness as part of the DOL signs, as at Zephaniah 1:14-18.
Zeph. 1:14-15,
"The great day of Yahweh is near, Near and coming very quickly;
Listen, the day of Yahweh! In it the warrior cries out bitterly.
That day is a day of anger, A day of trouble and distress,
A day of destruction and desolation, A day of darkness and gloom,
A day of clouds and thick darkness."

OR
Choice #2: Zech. 14:5b is a summary statement of 14:3 when He "goes forth to fight."  That is, when He leaves His seat on the cloud and "rides" out of the sky going to Edom first, then to Jerusalem, and then to Megiddo.

Choice #3: Zech 14:5b is AFTER He has left his seat in the cloud; after the battle of Edom; and describes His arrival at Megiddo. 

How does this relate to Rev. 19:11?
I see Rev. 19:11-16 as a summary statement of Rev. 1:7, and it refers to the initial arrival of Jesus in the clouds of the sky in power and great glory as at Mat. 2:29-30 and 2Thes. 1:6-10.

Verse 4 and verse 5b cannot BOTH refer to Rev. 19:11.
there are three possible placements for it as it relates to Revelation 19:11.

But the "consecutive" idea is not required as I pointed out above.
So, viewing the "and" of verse 5b as "thus," introducing a summary statement, the coming of the Lord at that time refers to either -
1. His initial ARRIVAL in the clouds of the sky at the inception of the day of the Lord.
2. His PHYSICAL descent from His seat on the cloud as described at Zech. 14:3.

In either case, there are angels coming with Him. This is not any basis for equated the two "comings" for there is a clear distinction between them.

The whole land of Palestine will be covered in darkness so that "at evening time there will be light" and His descent will thus be very visible. Not to mention the attention that the earthquake will garner.

When He "goes forth to fight against those nations" (Zech. 14:3), He will first go to Edom to accomplish the prophesied judgment on the land and people of that area.
After leaving Edom He will go to Jerusalem and stand on the Mount of Olives, splitting it into two halves. Zech. 14:4.
At this point Jesus will survey the nations that are assembled around Jerusalem and they will be startled by His presence.
Habakkuk 3:6-7, "He stood and surveyed the earth; He looked and startled the nations."

The focus in Habakkuk is His arrival FROM the land of Edom and the judgment on that land area that was accomplished when He was there rather than what He does WHEN He gets there. This is seen at verses 3:3-5.
Verse 3:3, "God comes from Teman and the Holy One from Mount Paran.

It seems best to see verse 3:6 as what happens after Jesus leaves Edom and when He stands on the Mount of Olives. It just seems more likely that the survey would be from the mountain over the assembly of nations in the valley of Megiddo rather than from a point in Edom.

Joel speaks of Him coming FROM
ZION at Joel 3:16, "The LORD roars from Zion," as He goes to "the valley of Yahweh's judgment" (verse 3:12); "the valley of the verdict" (verse 3:14).

Revelation 19:11-16

"And I saw the heaven (sky) opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it {is} called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war.
And His eyes {are} a flame of fire, and upon His head {are} many diadems; and He has a name written {upon Him} which no one knows except Himself.
And {He is} clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called The Word of God.
And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white {and} clean, were following Him on white horses.
And from His mouth comes a sharp sword, so that with it He may smite the nations; and He will rule them with a rod of iron; and He treads the wine press of the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty.
And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS."

This is a summary statement of Rev. 1:7 and what is portrayed at the 6th seal of Rev. 6:12-17.

 AND ALL THE HOLY ONES WITH HIM

The "holy ones" that come with Him refers to His army of angels.
The adjective, "all," indicates that it certainly refers to angels, for there is no event in Scripture where Jesus will come with ALL His saints.

There are also references in the New Testament that tell us Jesus will come with His angels. (Mat. 16:27; 24:31; 25:31; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26; Jude 14)
1Thes. 3:13, "at the coming of our Lord Jesus with ALL His holy ones."
2Thes. 1:7-10.
Verse 7, "at the revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of His power in flaming fire."
Verse 10, "when He comes to be glorified by His holy ones on that day, AND to be marveled at among all who have believed."

Besides the fact that there is no place that says Jesus will come with ALL His saints, it seems very unlikely to me that Jesus would bring His bride into battle with Him. It is much more likely that she waits in heaven for His victory and the preparation of the earth for His kingdom. In fact, the narrative makes it perfectly clear that AFTER Christ's victory at Armageddon and the establishment of His earthly reign, then the bride comes down out of heaven as is described at Rev. 21:2.
"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband."

This is further confirmed at Rev. 21:9-14, where the wife of the Lamb is clearly identified as the New Jerusalem. Thus, it is clear that the wife of the Lamb is NOT an "army" that follows Him into battle, but a "bride in waiting" in her heavenly city until the Groom secures a safe place for them to live.

Later, these angels will participate in a "gathering" of unbelieving souls OUT FROM the earth after the great slaughter is accomplished (Mat. 13:40-43).

THE UNIQUE DAY
Zechariah 14:6-7, "And it will come about in that day that there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle.
For it will be a unique day WHICH IS KNOWN to the LORD, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light." (NASB)

This refers to part of the cosmic signs that will attend the arrival of the Messiah. Mat. 24:29-30; Joel 2:31; Rev. 6:12-14.
Joel 2:31, "
The sun will be turned into darkness, And the moon into blood,
Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes."

Mat. 24:29, "But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken."

These cosmic signs as a prelude to the arrival of the day of the Lord are also mentioned at Joel 3:14b-15.
This passage is another SUMMARY of the arrival of the day of the Lord. In connection with the battle in the valley of the verdict, the prophet declares, "
 For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of the decision. The sun and moon grow dark And the stars lose their brightness.

The day of the Lord is near IN THE VALLEY, but it is already here.
The mention of the cosmic signs is a summary of the signs that will precede and portend the arrival of the day of the Lord as at Joel 2:31.

Joel 3:9-14a describes the battle of Armageddon.
Verse 14b-15 indicates that this is part of the day of the Lord, which when it arrives will be attended by the cosmic signs.

Then verse 16, states that the battle will begin after the Messiah first leaves Jerusalem.

Joel 3:16
"And the LORD roars from Zion
And utters His voice from Jerusalem,
And the heavens and the earth tremble.
But the LORD is a refuge for His people
And a stronghold to the sons of Israel."

The order of movement is first to Edom (not mentioned here); then to Jerusalem and then FROM Jerusalem He goes to the valley of the decision. We know that location to be the valley of Megiddo.
 

Isaiah also summarizes the arrival of the day of the Lord indicating the same cosmic signs that will attend it.
Isaiah 13:9-10, "
Behold, the day of the Lord is coming,
Cruel, with fury and burning anger, To make the land a desolation;
And He will exterminate its sinners from it. For the stars of heaven and their constellations Will not flash their light; The sun will be dark when it rises And the moon will not shed its light.

And the fulfillment of the arrival of the day of the Lord is symbolized at the 6th seal of Rev. 6:12-14, "And I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became as black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."

Zechariah 14:8-11
These verses skip forward from the arrival of the Messiah to the establishment of the earthly kingdom. This is a common pattern of several of the day of the Lord passages. The arrival of the Lord is stated and then the blessing of the earthly kingdom is mentioned.

 

 

the prophets
THE BATTLE OF ARMAGEDDON

It seems that while the Jews are fighting in Jerusalem, Jesus will go on to Megiddo and destroy all the armies there.

ZECHARIAH 14:12-15: These verses back-track and summarize not only the battle of Jerusalem, but also beyond the city in the valley of Megiddo. Details were also seen in chapter 12:4-8

Verse 12
Now this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples who have gone to war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongue will rot in their mouth.

The exact nature of this plague cannot be determined with certainty, but it appears to be some kind of biological weapon, since it will affect the animal life in the area as well, as seen at verse 15.

Verse 15
"So also like this plague will be the plague on the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey and all the cattle that will be in those camps."

It also seems to be selective, since there will still be many who will be fighting even though many will be blind and panic-stricken.

Verse 13
It will come about in that day that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another's hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another.

Zechariah 12:4
"In that day, declares the Lord, I will strike every horse with bewilderment, and his rider with madness."

Verse 14a
"Judah also will fight at Jerusalem."

This "neutralized" condition of the invading armies will still require the people of Israel to fight and destroy the troops. The details of this battle are found at chapter 12:5-8.



I will let the very Scriptures themselves describe what happens, with very little commentary.

Rev. 19:19
And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, assembled to make war against Him who sat upon the horse, and against His army.

Here the armies of the East, West and North have regrouped to join forces against the Son of God. Once gathered here, God will judge the assembled nations and destroy them.

Joel 3:12-14
Let the nations be aroused And come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat (Yahweh's judgment), For there I will sit to judge All the surrounding nations. Put in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe.

Come, tread, for the wine press is full; The vats overflow, for their wickedness is great. Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.

Zechariah 14:12-13


That which causes the various nations involved to move into
Palestine, is the political, military, religious and economic influences placed upon them by the demonic powers that control the beast and the false prophet.

Rev. 16:13-14, 16
And I saw {coming} out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty.
And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Harmagedon.

DINNER TIME!
The peoples who are assembled in the valley are to be physically killed through the military prowess of the Lord Jesus as He wields the sword of His mouth and scatters the enemy on the face of the battlefield. Since the bodies of the dead will be left lying on the ground for later burial by the Jews at the beginning of the Kingdom, it provides an abundant food source for the scavengers of the animal kingdom. Thus, they are called to gather in anticipation of the divine meal that will be provided to them.

Rev. 19:17-18
And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in mid-heaven, "Come, assemble for the great supper of God; in order that you may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of commanders and the flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses and of those who sit on them and the flesh of all men, both free men and slaves, and small and great."

Ezek. 39:17-21
"And as for you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD, ‘Speak to every kind of bird and to every beast of the field, "Assemble and come, gather from every side to My sacrifice which I am going to sacrifice for you, as a great sacrifice on the mountains of Israel, that you may eat flesh and drink blood.
"You shall eat the flesh of mighty men, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, as {though they were} rams, lambs, goats, and bulls, all of them fatlings of Bashan.
"So you will eat fat until you are glutted, and drink blood until you are drunk, from My sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you.
"And you will be glutted at My table with horses and charioteers, with mighty men and all the men of war," declares the Lord GOD.

As already observed, total darkness will envelop the whole land of Palestine. At "evening time," Jesus breaks through the heavens with His own glory piercing the darkness, and all the nations see Him coming upon them.

MESSIAH'S PERSONAL VINTAGE

Revelation 14:19-20
And the angel swung his sickle to the earth, and gathered {the clusters from} the vine of the earth, and threw them into the great wine press of the wrath of God.
And the wine press was trodden outside the city, and blood came out from the wine press, up to the horses' bridles, for a distance of two hundred miles.

This distance of 200 miles includes the entire area affected by the influx of nations into Palestine. The land of Israel itself is only 160 miles from North to South, but this number should probably be taken as "square mileage" covering all directions from Jerusalem.

Rev. 19:21
And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat upon the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh.

The summary of this final battle finds ALL the people who have gathered, killed and placed on the "table" of the battlefield as a divine meal for all the predatory animals that have been invited.


THE DESTRUCTION OF THE NORTHERN ARMY
Ezekiel 38:18-23; Joel 2:18-20; Zech. 12:2-9; 14:12-15;

Through both the battle of Jerusalem and the battle of Armageddon, the Northern army will be totally destroyed. This army receives special attention in the Scriptures since it will have accomplished such a devastating ruin in Israel.
Although viewed separately, by comparing Scripture with Scripture, it can be determined that the destruction of the Northern army takes place at the final battle described above.

Ezek. 38:18-20
"And it will come about on that day, when Gog comes against the land of Israel," declares the Lord GOD, "that My fury will mount up in My anger.
"And in My zeal and in My blazing wrath I declare {that} on that day there will surely be a great earthquake in the land of Israel.

This is the earthquake that occurs when Jesus stands on the Mount of Olives.

"And the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all the creeping things that creep on the earth, and all the men who are on the face of the earth will shake at My presence;"

The extent of this earthquake will be such that there will be massive destruction both of natural and manmade structures.

"the mountains also will be thrown down, the steep pathways will collapse, and every wall will fall to the ground."


As already noted, one result from this earthquake will be the panic among the invading soldiers.

Ezek. 38:21, "And I shall call for a sword against him on all My mountains," declares the Lord GOD. "Every man's sword will be against his brother.

Zech. 14:13, And it will come about in that day that a great panic from the LORD will fall on them; and they will seize one another's hand, and the hand of one will be lifted against the hand of another.

Ezek. 38:22
"And with pestilence and with blood I shall enter into judgment with him; and I shall rain on him, and on his troops, and on the many peoples who are with him, a torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone.

This language describes the "physical" mechanics of destruction.
Revelation 19:21 says that they were killed by the "sword which came from the mouth" of Jesus. The word, "sword" is symbolic speaking of the actual physical destruction that will be accomplished by the "torrential rain, with hailstones, fire, and brimstone."

This torrential rain will also fall throughout the world as "the cities  of the nations" are judged.
Rev. 16:17-21
And the seventh {angel} poured out his bowl upon the air; and a loud voice came out of the temple from the throne, saying, "It is done."
And there were flashes of lightning and sounds and peals of thunder; and there was a great earthquake, such as there had not been since man came to be upon the earth, so great an earthquake {was it, and} so mighty.
And the great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. And Babylon the great was remembered before God, to give her the cup of the wine of His fierce wrath.
And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
And huge hailstones, about one hundred pounds each, came down from heaven upon men; and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail, because its plague was extremely severe."

EZEKIEL 39 repeats and amplifies relating it to the gathering at Armageddon.

Ezek. 39:1-5
"And you, son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, "Behold, I am against you, O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech, and Tubal;
and I shall turn you around, drive you on, take you up from the remotest parts of the north, and bring you against the mountains of Israel.
"And I shall strike your bow from your left hand, and dash down your arrows from your right hand.
"You shall fall on the mountains of Israel, you and all your troops, and the peoples who are with you; I shall give you as food to every kind of predatory bird and beast of the field.
"You will fall on the open field; for it is I who have spoken," declares the Lord GOD.

In addition, the homelands of the Gog alliance will come under judgment from God.

Ezek. 39:6
"And I shall send fire upon Magog and those who inhabit the coastlands in safety; and they will know that I am the LORD.

An important factor concerning the Gog invasion is the time that it occurs. There is much debate as to whether it occurs prior to the 70th week of Daniel, during the first half of the week, last half, or at the end in association with the battle of Armageddon. Ezekiel 39:7-8 is valuable in placing the timing for this invasion.

"And My holy name I shall make known in the midst of My people Israel; and I shall not let My holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.
"Behold, it is coming and it shall be done," declares the Lord GOD. "That is the day of which I have spoken.

It is stated that after the defeat of Gog in Israel, that God will not let His holy name ever be profaned again. Were this invasion and defeat to occur prior to the 70th week, then after the beast begins to reign and throughout the Armageddon campaign, God's name will continually be profaned and violate this promise. It is therefore not likely that this invasion should be placed prior to the 70th week. Furthermore, the burial of bones that takes place for 7 years requires a peaceful environment which will not exist until after Armageddon (Ezek. 39:12-16).

Ezek. 39:9-10
"Then those who inhabit the cities of Israel will go out, and make fires with the weapons and burn {them,} both shields and bucklers, bows and arrows, war clubs and spears and for seven years they will make fires of them.
"And they will not take wood from the field or gather firewood from the forests, for they will make fires with the weapons; and they will take the spoil of those who despoiled them, and seize the plunder of those who plundered them," declares the Lord GOD.

All the plunder of the invading armies will belong to Israel.
Furthermore, there will be an abundance of flammable items which the people of Israel will use in place of firewood - perhaps for cooking purposes or heating. Whether this will be "needed" during the first 7 months of the kingdom age or not, is a side issue. The language otherwise communicates a "closure" that can only come at the completion of Armageddon.

CLOSURE AND GLORIFICATION

Ezek. 38:23
"And I shall magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the LORD."'

Ezek. 39:21-24
"And I shall set My glory among the nations; and all the nations will see My judgment which I have executed, and My hand which I have laid on them.
"And the house of Israel
will know that I am the LORD their God from that day onward.
"And the nations will know that the house of Israel went into exile for their iniquity because they acted treacherously against Me, and I hid My face from them; so I gave them into the hand of their adversaries, and all of them fell by the sword.
"According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions I dealt with them, and I hid My face from them."'"

The nations will see and understand. That is, those survivors of the nations who have trusted in Christ as the Savior.
Zech. 14:16
"Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths."

Ezek. 39:25-29
Therefore thus says the Lord GOD, "Now I shall restore the fortunes of Jacob, and have mercy on the whole house of Israel; and I shall be jealous for My holy name.
"And they shall forget their disgrace and all their treachery which they perpetrated against Me, when they live securely on their {own} land with no one to make them afraid.
"When I bring them back from the peoples and gather them from the lands of their enemies, then I shall be sanctified through them in the sight of the many nations.
"Then they will know that I am the LORD their God because I made them go into exile among the nations, and then gathered them {again} to their own land; and I will leave none of them there any longer.
"And I will not hide My face from them any longer, for I shall have poured out My Spirit on the house of Israel," declares the Lord GOD.

ZECHARIAH 14:8-11: After Armageddon, Jesus will set up His kingdom. These verses summarize the establishment of the kingdom and life within the kingdom.

Verse 8
"
And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter."

This describes the wonderful agricultural environment that will exist during the Messiah's kingdom. The LIVING waters from two rivers will provide a FRESHENING effect on the polluted water of the Dead Sea, so that the water will be healed and become fresh, and spawn many kinds of fish. This will also results in an abundance of fruit trees growing beside the two rivers. "The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing." The details of this are described at Ezekiel 47:1-12. Revelation 22:1-2

Verse 9
"And Yahweh will be king over all the earth; in that day Yahweh will be the only one, and His name the only one."

This is a simple and concise statement of the sovereign rule of the Messiah. Isaiah 9:7;

The emphasis on Him and His name being the "only one" restates the truth of chapter 13:2

"It will come about in that day," declares the LORD of hosts, "that I will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered ; and I will also remove the prophets and the unclean spirit from the land.

This of course, is how the kingdom of the Messiah will begin. There will be no unbelievers. Only believes will enter into the kingdom. However, as years go by and people are born, the sin nature will still deceive and influence the soul of people to eventually reject even the personal presence of the Messiah on the earth. Throughout the years, people will once again turn to false gods and false prophets. But these people will be severely punished as indicated at chapter 13:3-6.

Verse 10
"All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses."

This describes the land transformation that makes the wilderness and desert areas wonderfully functional in an agricultural economy. Isaiah 35:1-2

Verse 11
"People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. "

1. The removal of the curse in the land of Israel:
   A. Removal of the "national" curse. This was described at Zechariah 8:13 that indicates, Israel will now be a source of great blessing for all the nations.
   B. Removal of the "physical" curse on the land: Revelation 22:3; Isaiah 11:6-8; 64:25;

2. The security of Israel: Israel will never again be oppressed by other nations and peoples.

   Isaiah 65:21-23; 33:20; Ezekiel 39:26;

Verse 14b

"and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered, gold and silver and garments in great abundance."

After the defeat of the invading armies, there will be an abundance of material resources that Israel will claim for itself. This was already discussed at verse 1.

ZECHARIAH 14:16-21: These verses then jump forward again to describe life during the Messiah's kingdom on the earth.

Chapter 12 did the same thing in verses 10-14.

Verse 16
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths.

The ones who are left are ones who have not been killed in the battle. But more than that, they are the survivors of the Lord's evaluation process after the battle of Armageddon. It is at that time that all the people of the world will be gathered before the Lord (either symbolically or literally) and all the unbelievers will be removed. This will leave only believers to go alive into the Messiah's earthly kingdom. This is described by Jesus at Matthew 25:31-46, and is known as the "sheep and goat judgment."

As a result, the peoples of the nations will come to Jerusalem and worship AT LEAST once a year at the Feast of Booths (tents, tabernacles).

Verse 17
"And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them."

The kingdom will begin with believers only. However, after many years, there will be many people born and who will grow up as unbelievers.

Eventually, these will influence various nations to resist worshipping the Messiah in Jerusalem. The judgment from Christ at that time will be to judge their economy. The language that is used is in the context of an agricultural economy. When it actually happens, the judgments will be based on the nature of the world's economics at that time.

Verses 18-19
"If the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, then no rain will fall on them; it will be the plague with which the LORD smites the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths. This will be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all the nations who do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Booths."

This is stated simply to indicate an EXAMPLE of what might happen.

Verses 20-21a

The focus now is on the spiritual life of the people of Israel.
"In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, "HOLY TO THE LORD." And the cooking pots in the LORD'S house will be like the bowls before the altar.
"Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them."

The whole of secular life will be devoted to worship as it was originally intended through the social and religious code of the Mosaic law.

However, before their worship routine is established, there will be the initial NATIONAL mourning of the people of Israel. They will realize fully that Jesus, whom their forefathers had rejected, is indeed the promised Messiah. Zechariah 12:10-14 describes this initial sorrow.

It will come after they are in the kingdom. The Holy Spirit will be poured out upon all the people of Israel and they will fully understand the failures of the past.

This pouring out of the Spirit and the resultant mourning will not happen prior to the kingdom. There is no "time" or "opportunity" for the formal mourning of the nation, as is described by Zechariah, to occur prior to the defeat of the invaders and the establishment of the nation as secure on its own land.

Verse 21b
"And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day."

Of course, the Canaanite people have long been destroyed, but the term is used to REPRESENT those who are in rebellion against the Lord; those who actively engage in idolatrous activity. They are described by Ezekiel as foreigners who are "uncircumcised in heart." (Ezek. 44:7). Only those who are RIGHT with God will be allowed to enter into the temple of God.

Joel 3:17, "So Jerusalem will be holy,

And strangers will pass through it no more."

Revelation 21:27
"And nothing unclean and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life."

 

 
 

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