Zechariah 14:2 MEANING

Zechariah 14:2
Verse 2. - How this shall come to pass is now shown. For I will gather all nations. God uses the Gentile nations as his instruments in this trial of his people; they are the fires by which he refines and purifies his elect (Joel 3:2, 9-11). The city shall be taken. The outrages offered to the captive city are such as are indicated in the case of Babylon (Isaiah 13:16; comp. Lamentations 5:11, etc.). Half of the city. The term "half" must not be pressed, as if it contradicted the mention of the two-thirds that were to perish, according to the prediction in Zechariah 13:8. It is a mere rhetorical expression. Or it may apply to the city alone, while the other referred to the whole land. Shall not be out off. In the former captivity all the people were carried away; in this capture of the city a remnant shall be left therein. It is plain from this statement that the prophecy cannot apply to the destruction of the city by the Romans; for, according to the account of Josephus ('Bell. Jud.,' 6:09), the city itself was razed to the ground, and all the inhabitants were either put to the sword or sold for slaves.

14:1-7 The Lord Jesus often stood upon the Mount of Olives when on earth. He ascended from thence to heaven, and then desolations and distresses came upon the Jewish nation. Such is the view taken of this figuratively; but many consider it as a notice of events yet unfulfilled, and that it relates to troubles of which we cannot now form a full idea. Every believer, being related to God as his God, may triumph in the expectation of Christ's coming in power, and speak of it with pleasure. During a long season, the state of the church would be deformed by sin; there would be a mixture of truth and error, of happiness and misery. Such is the experience of God's people, a mingled state of grace and corruption. But, when the season is at the worst, and most unpromising, the Lord will turn darkness into light; deliverance comes when God's people have done looking for it.For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle,.... Meaning not the Romans, in the time of Vespasian, for they were not all nations; nor did a part of the city only go into captivity then, but the whole; nor did any remain in it: it seems right to refer it to the gathering of the kings of the earth to the battle of the Lord God Almighty at Armageddon, Revelation 16:14 unless it may be thought better to interpret it of the vast numbers, out of several nations, the Turk will bring against Jerusalem, to dispossess the Jews of it, by whom it will be again inhabited in the latter day; see Ezekiel 38:4 and Kimchi interprets it of the Gog and Magog army. The Jews, in their ancient Midrashes (d), apply it to the times of the Messiah; which is true, if understood not of the first times of the Messiah, whose coming they vainly expect, but of the last times of the Messiah.

And the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished, and half of the city shall go into captivity: this will be the time when the outward court shall be given, to the Gentiles, the Papists; the two witnesses shall be slain, and their enemies shall rejoice and send gifts to one another, Revelation 11:2 this will be a trying season, and such a time of trouble as has not been known:

and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city; there will be a remnant according to the election of grace; the city, the church, shall not be wholly extinct; Christ will reserve a seed for himself in those very worst of times, as he has always done: this cannot refer to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, for then all the inhabitants of the city were cut off, or carried captive, and none left; but, if literally to be understood, must refer to what will be, when the army of Gog shall come against it in the latter day; though these circumstances are not mentioned in Ezekiel.

(d) Shirhashirim Rabba, fol. 22. 3. & Midrash Ruth, fol. 33. 2.

Courtesy of Open Bible