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Title: Studies in Zechariah
Author: Gaebelein, Arno C.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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STUDIES

IN

ZECHARIAH.


BY

A. C. GAEBELEIN.

_EIGHTH EDITION._

PRINTING BY

FRANCIS E. FITCH, INC,

47 BROAD ST., NEW YORK.



Copyright 1911, by A. C. Gaebelein.



FOREWORD TO THE EIGHTH EDITION.

This little exposition of the Prophecies of Zechariah was written
almost 15 years ago. We are thankful to God that it has been a help
to so many. The sixth edition has been sold and a seventh has become
necessary.

We were somewhat reluctant to print another edition. When this book
was written the writer did not at all have a clear vision in the
prophetic Word concerning the great predicted end events of the times
of the Gentiles. Like so many others he did not distinguish between
the personal Antichrist and the King of the North. He then held the
view, which is still taught by many, that the first beast in
Revelation xiii is the personal Antichrist. This belief led into
incorrect views about that part of Revelation.

Since writing the book it has pleased the Lord to give the writer
better light on these great prophetic unfoldings and for this reason
some of the interpretations given, especially on pages 135, 136 and
137, are no longer looked upon by the author as being scripturally
correct. In our later books "The Harmony of the Prophetic Word"
"Joel," and especially "Exposition of Daniel," the truth as revealed
in Prophecy concerning the two beasts and the King of the North, is
given. We therefore request the reader to consider this when studying
this volume.

We are sure the Lord will continue to bless the simple unfolding of
the greatest Post exile Prophet. So little is written on this great
book that we feel that we should not withhold this imperfect
exposition from the students of the Word of Prophecy. May the Lord
continue to bless it.

A. C. GAEBELEIN.

Sept. 30, 1911.



INTRODUCTION.

Zechariah, the name of the prophet whose visions and prophecies we
desire to study, is not an uncommon name in divine history. Its
meaning is _Jehovah remembers_. He is called the son of Berachiah,
_Jehovah blesses_, the son of Iddo, _the appointed time_. There is
here, as in many other instances in the Bible, a great significance
in the Hebrew names. The name of the grandfather of Zechariah (who
probably brought him up, as his father must have died early), his
father's name and his own read in English translation, _the appointed
time_, _Jehovah blesses_, _Jehovah remembers_. The Holy Spirit has
inspired these very names; they are in themselves a commentary to the
prophecies and visions God gave to Zechariah, for they speak of an
appointed time of God's blessings for Jerusalem and of His loving
remembrance.

Zechariah was born in Babylon in the captivity, for when he returned
to the land of his fathers he was but a child. Like some other
prophets he was a priest as well as a prophet. His work as a prophet
was commenced by him when he was a young man, for thus he is called
in one of the visions. The time of his opening address to the people
is two months after Haggai had opened his lips in Jehovah's name.
Haggai received the word of the Lord in the sixth month in the second
year of Darius, and Zechariah in the eighth month of the same year of
the reign of that King, about 520 before Christ.

Both prophets had the same thought given, namely, to encourage the
Jewish remnant in the blessed work of rebuilding the house of the
Lord. This work had suffered an interruption; the Samaritans were the
cause of it. They had applied to join in the work, but as the remnant
considered them idolators and as not belonging to God's people, the
application was rejected. These Samaritans tried after that in
various ways to hinder the rebuilding, which had so blessedly begun.
At last they succeeded in obtaining a decree which forbade the
building of the Temple. All work had to be stopped and ceased for
about fourteen years. But when the King who had forbidden the
prosecution of the work had died and Darius became King, the building
of the Temple was once more made possible. The leaders of the people
in the enterprise were Serubbabel and the High Priest Joshua. But
again they were hindered from the outside, while on the other hand
the people themselves had lost much interest and possessed no longer
that love and zeal for God's house, which was so prominent after
their return. Thus Haggai said: _This people say, It is not the time
for us to come, the time for the Lord's house to be built. . . It is
a time for you to dwell in your ceiled houses, while this house lieth
waste_. Haggai, chapter 1.

In that critical moment these two prophets made their appearance, and
God gave them visions of comfort and glad tidings to encourage the
disheartened, selfish and unbelieving people.

The visions and prophecies of Zechariah, however, do not only give an
assurance that there could be no failure in the work the remnant had
taken up anew, but more than that in them the glorious future of
Jerusalem and Zion is unfolded. They lead up to the grand finale of
the history of God's ancient people, the time when Israel, redeemed
and restored forever, will sing the grand and glorious Hallelujah.

It is, of course, true that Zechariah did a blessed work for the
people who lived in his day; he had a special mission to perform and
succeeded in it, but the Spirit of God in the message of comfort for
that time gives the history of events then in a distant future. The
Babylonian captivity of Israel foreshadows their greater dispersion
in which they are to-day wanderers all over the earth, and the
restoration which took place in the time of Zechariah is highly
typical of that coming restoration for which we hope and pray.

Zechariah may therefore be fitly called the Prophet of the
Restoration. Surely it is a deplorable blindness in some teachers of
the Word, who see in the book of Zechariah nothing but past history,
and who claim that all has been fulfilled in the return of the small
Jewish remnant from the captivity, and whatever promises of mercy
given to Jerusalem and the land of Judah find now their spiritual
fulfilment in the church.

It will be our aim in a series of studies in Zechariah to consider
mostly the relation of these visions to the end of this age, and the
beginning of the next, the millennial glory. We shall find that
instead of the book of Zechariah being all fulfilled prophecy, as
some would have it, it is indeed mostly unfulfilled, and even some of
the prophetic promises which on the surface seem to have been seen a
fulfilment, were only in part realized. And how important at this
time to study the book of Zechariah! We are living in the time when
that greater restoration with all its events forerunning and
connected with it are about to come to pass. It is needless to say
that we firmly believe that Zechariah wrote all of the book which
bears his name.

Several of the Jewish commentators confess an inability to explain
the book. The well-known Jewish commentator Solomon Ben Jarchi
(generally known by the name Rashi), says: "The prophecy (of
Zechariah) is very dark, for it contains visions much like dreams,
which want interpreting, and we will never succeed in finding the
true meaning until _the Teacher of righteousness arrives_." Abarbanel
makes a similar confession.

We praise God that the Teacher of righteousness has come, even the
Spirit of Truth, who guides into all truth and reveals the things to
come.



CHAPTER I.

_The Opening Address of the Prophet to His Nation. The Night Visions
and Their Meaning. The First Night Vision._

The opening address of the prophet (chapter i: 1-6) forms an
excellent introduction to the visions of comfort and warning which he
had and revealed to the people. It is a very pointed and earnest call
to repentance: _The Lord has been sore displeased with your fathers._
They were disobedient and stiff-necked. The former prophets, Jeremiah
and Isaiah, had called them to turn from their evil ways, but they
did not hear. And now, where are the fathers? They had passed away
like the disobedient ones in the wilderness; God's judgment and
displeasure had overtaken them. But the faithful God of Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob, whose gifts and calling are without repentance,
comes once more to His chosen people, the seed of Abraham, and the
Spirit, through Zechariah, speaks a direct message to return, and
utters the promise that the Lord will also return unto them. _Thus
saith the Lord of Hosts: Return unto me saith the Lord of Hosts, and
I will return unto you saith the Lord of Hosts._

The name Jehovah appears three times in this short exhortation. Each
time the name is in another connection. Jehovah speaks, they are to
return to Jehovah, and Jehovah will return to them. Surely in profane
literature such a repetition would be rejected as useless and
superfluous, but in the Book where every word and phrase is
God-given, we cannot pass it by as having no significance. Like in
many other passages in the Old Testament we have here a revelation of
the one God as Father, Son and Spirit. This revelation was often made
in divine history, and when the measure of Israel's apostacy was at
last filled up, they had indeed rejected Jehovah in rejecting
Jehovah-Jesus, and also Jehovah, the Spirit. And while this
exhortation was one for Zechariah's contemporaries, it is the great
exhortation to the Jewish remnant for all times. The nation having
forsaken Jehovah in His revelations as Father, Son and Spirit, will
have to return and listen to Jehovah who speaks, to Jehovah whom they
rejected, and Jehovah in His merciful and loving manifestations will
return to them as a nation and to their land.

This return of Israel to which Zechariah exhorts will take place in a
set order clearly revealed throughout the word of God. We hear in
Romans ii. that Paul speaks of a remnant according to the election of
grace. That remnant is the remnant which turns to Jehovah now during
this dispensation, and, of course, all Jews who are now turning to
Jehovah-Jesus, and to whom Jehovah, the Spirit, also comes, are
_members of the body of the Lord Jesus Christ_. As soon as the
_church_, the witnessing body in the earth, is removed by that
glorious event which is our blessed hope, another Jewish remnant is
called, and that remnant will be Jewish throughout, "keeping the
commandments and having the testimony of the Lord Jesus Christ." Of
course that remnant will have returned to Jehovah, and will be the
witnessing and the _suffering_ body in the great tribulation. The
believing and longing cry of that remnant, "Blessed is He that cometh
in the name of the Lord," will at last welcome Him, the Pierced One
and King of Israel as well as King of Glory, to this earth, and then
the remnant of the nation in all lands will turn to Him. This is the
divine programme for Israel.

After these opening words, delivered probably to the assembled
people, Zechariah received his wonderful night visions. They were not
mere dreams, but the events which he describes passed before him in
visions. He saw them all in one night. They are eight in number, and
have not found many interpreters. They were not only given in one
night, but just as one followed rapidly the other, so are they all
closely connected, and giving events which are to follow one after
the other. That we have here a revelation which may fitly be termed
_the Apocalypse of Zechariah_ is unquestionable. After all these
visions had passed, Joshua, the High Priest, is crowned with two
crowns foreshadowing Him who is to be a Priest upon His throne. This
crowning is a climax in Zechariah's night visions which lead up to
that coronation. Divine interference in behalf of Jerusalem and the
land of Judah, God's displeasure upon the nations for their
abominations, and the overthrow of Israel's enemies are clearly
depicted in the first two night visions, while in the others we see
the promised prosperity returning to the land, God's glory appearing
once more, the nation once more inhabiting the land and cleansed from
their guilt, filled with the Spirit, wickedness judged, Babylon set
up and overthrown, and the chariots of God appearing.

The first night vision is especially suited for a close study for our
times, for the events and conditions in that first vision are a true
picture of the peculiarities of the times in which we live. Indeed we
are rapidly nearing the fulfillment of this first night vision.

This is the vision: Zechariah sees a man riding upon a red horse and
he halts in a valley among myrtle trees. He is surrounded by a large
army of angels upon red, sorrel and white horses, and the man upon
the red horse becomes the centre of the hosts of heaven. The angels
give their reports unto the man in the midst, who is also called the
Angel of the Lord. These angels had walked to and fro through the
earth (like the evil spirit and his demons, Job i., so the good
angels walk to and fro through the earth), and they report to the
Angel of the Lord, telling him that all the earth sitteth still and
is at rest. Prosperity and peace seems to be what the angels saw, but
over against this bright picture there is the dark scene--Jerusalem
trodden down, the house of the Lord unfinished, a persecuted
suffering remnant.

And now the Angel of the Lord becomes the intercessor for Jerusalem
and turns to Jehovah, the Lord of Hosts sitting upon His throne. _O
Lord of Hosts, how long wilt Thou not have mercy on Jerusalem and on
the cities of Judah against which Thou hast had indignation these
three score and ten years?_ He receives an answer of comfortable
words. God is once more jealous for Jerusalem, and very angry and
sore displeased with the nations, the nations who are in greater part
responsible for the condition of His inheritance--they _have helped
forward their affliction_. God promises to return to the city with
prosperity, and that the house shall be built in it, and the Lord
shall yet comfort Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem.

The first question which arises in the interpretation of this vision
is concerning the person who leads the angelic hosts. He is called a
man riding upon a red horse. This does not mean that he was nothing
but a man, but it means that he appeared in the vision to Zechariah
as a man, he had a human body. Later he is called the Angel of the
Lord, and as such, he acts as successful intercessor for Jerusalem,
and receives a loving answer from Jehovah. The leader must have been
a divine person incarnate. The name Angel of the Lord is one of the
Old Testament names for the _Son of God_, and there can be only one
satisfactory interpretation of who the rider upon the red horse is,
and that is, He must be the Son of God. There are three chief reasons
for this interpretation. In the first place, the color of the horse
which He rode was red; this denotes blood, and is the color of the
Son of God, for He is the Lamb of God slain from the foundation of
the world, and He is the Lion from the tribe of Judah, who will arise
and slay His enemies, coming to judge the nations (Isaiah lxiii). He
is the Leader as well as the Centre of the heavenly hosts, for to Him
all power is given in _Heaven_ and in the earth, and all things are
in His hands; and in the third place, the intercession which the
Angel of the Lord makes is the intercession which belongs to the Son
of God. The heavenly company comes to a stop in a deep valley, and
the Angel of the Lord stands there among the myrtle trees.

Jewish interpretation (in the Yalkut) says: He was staying among the
myrtles which were in the _Metzullah_ (depths). Now myrtles
(Hadassim) mean nothing else than saints, as it is said (Esther ii:
7), and He was bringing up Hadassah (Esther), and the depths means
nothing else than Babylon. We believe this as correct an
interpretation as any. Myrtles denote lowliness and sweetness, and
the dark, dreary valley stands for persecution, suffering, and being
outcast. All this was true of the remnant, and it is true as well of
the church. What a comfort it must have been to the patriotic prophet
and to all true believers among the returned exiles, to learn that in
that vision it was made so clear that Jehovah, the Angel of the Lord,
was with them in all their lowliness and suffering. The Angel, who so
wonderfully delivered their father Jacob, and whom he called the
Angel the Redeemer, and who had so often appeared in the miraculous
events of the past, this same Angel, with all the army of heaven at
His command, was still with them, though the cloud of glory was
missing.

May we not forget that the Angel of the Lord, the Son of God, our
blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is still with His people
Israel. He has indeed not cast them away, whom He foreknew. He is
their King and their Priest, and for all we know, the mighty angels
who are under His direction, may be assembled now as they were in
Zechariah's vision, and He Himself ready to reveal His love and mercy
to Jerusalem.

And what is the report of the angels to their leader? They have
walked to and fro through the earth, they have found nothing but
prosperity. All the earth sitteth still and is at rest, the nations
at ease, a perfect picture of prosperity. The nations are seen in a
flourishing state, but His nation is in trouble and His inheritance
laid waste, the nations having like wild beasts trampled it into the
dust. While the large cities of the nations are increased and have
plenty, the city of a great King is forsaken. History shows that
indeed at that time there was no war, but peace everywhere and
prosperity enjoyed selfishly by the nations. Should not these nations
have an interest in that land and in that people? But they were
living for their own ease and comfort. What does it matter if there
is yonder a poor and suffering people?

Prosperity, universal prosperity, and with it universal peace, is the
cry at the close of another century, and will be more so as we
advance towards the end of this age. Civilization, world conquest,
commercial extension and a universal peace, seem to be the leading
thoughts among the nations of our times. Truly it is realized by some
that our boasted civilization, liberty and prosperity is nothing but
a smouldering volcano which may burst open at any moment and make an
end of all boasting, but the majority of the people even in
Christendom are sadly deluding themselves with idle dreams. And what
of God's thoughts and His eternal purposes? What of His oath-bound
covenant promises? They are being misinterpreted, set aside and
forgotten. Thus it will continue till the climax is reached, so
clearly foretold in the second Psalm,

   "Why do the nations rage
   And the peoples imagine a vain thing?
   The kings of the earth set themselves
   And the rulers take counsel together,
   Against the Lord and against His anointed.
   Let us break their bands asunder
   And cast away from us their cords."

This is a true picture of the nations as the King of Kings at last
will find them when He returns with and in His glory. The great sin
of the nations, which is _Anti-Semitism_, will be considered later.

The nations at ease, prosperous and increased, and Jerusalem trodden
down, the land waste and desolate, in the hands of the enemy, is the
mark of this age up to its end.

But now comes the interference of Him who sitteth in the heavens. The
angel of the Lord intercedes and cries to the Lord of Hosts, "How
long?" It has been so much overlooked that He who is our Intercessor,
the Great High Priest in the Heavens, is, according to the flesh, of
the seed of Abraham, and He stands there in His place in His
glorified humanity. If the High Priest in the Old Testament carried
upon a breast-plate nearest to his heart the names of the twelve
tribes of Israel, may we not assume that the true High Priest, who is
the King of Israel as well, has them just as near to His loving
heart? He loves His own, and longs for the time when they will crown
Him Lord of all. And is it not very significant that the Spirit at
this present time teaches so many children of God to pray for the
peace of Jerusalem, that He may establish and make Jerusalem a praise
in the earth? The Spirit and the Bride say "Come," and surely the
dearest thought in the Saviour's heart is being laid upon the hearts
of His children, in whom the Spirit dwells, to pray and intercede
with Him for the peace of Jerusalem. This prayer, heard from so many
lips to-day in the church waiting for her Lord, is but an echo of His
"How long?" and prayer for His people.

The interceding angel of the Lord is not left without an answer from
the Lord of Hosts whom he has addressed in behalf of Jerusalem. It
must be noticed that the answer is not the one which Jehovah gives to
the angel of the Lord, but the answer is transmitted by the Lord
through another angel who talked with the prophet. _So the angel that
talked with me said unto me, Cry thou, saying, Thus saith the Lord of
Hosts: I am jealous for Jerusalem and for Zion with a great
jealousy._ Then follows the message in its details. _And I am very
sore displeased with the nations that are at ease: for I was but a
little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction. Therefore
thus saith the Lord: I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies; my
house shall be built in it, saith the Lord of Hosts, and a line shall
be stretched forth over Jerusalem. Cry yet again, saying, Thus saith
the Lord of Hosts; My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread
abroad; and the Lord shall yet comfort Zion, and shall yet choose
Jerusalem._ We desire to take up separately some of these comfortable
words. We firmly believe that the time of their fulfillment is not
only at hand, but that we are really living in the days when God once
more remembers His suffering people and is about to rise in judgment
upon His and their enemies, and turn in mercy to Zion.

First then stands the declaration that God is jealous for Jerusalem
and for Zion with a great jealousy. The word used in the original for
jealous means burning, and is correctly translated with that word,
for jealousy is a burning emotion. Men are jealous of that which is
their own when it is in the hands of another or in danger of being
taken away and misused. In this sense God is likewise jealous of His
own. Jerusalem is His city, the city of a great king; Zion is His
holy hill, and Israel His own people. All has fallen into the hands
of the Gentiles and is injured by them. His people scattered and
dispersed, the holy hill desecrated and Jerusalem trodden down by the
Gentiles. True, God has permitted it all, prophets have spoken of it,
and their prophecies concerning Jerusalem's desolation have all been
literally fulfilled, but now God is seen to rise and to claim once
more in great jealousy that which is His Own. We look away from the
partial fulfillment of this prophecy in Zechariah's time. God looked
down from heaven then, and His eyes beheld the sad picture of the
desolate land, the unfinished temple and the disheartened and
punished people. At the end of our dispensation, God looks down from
heaven, and while the nations are prosperous and at ease, He sees His
city controlled by His enemies. The holy hill of Zion, where Jehovah
revealed Himself so often, has become the place of idolatry. His name
is not honored but dishonored. Indeed, the Land and Jerusalem
attracts once more the attention of the world. Nations are desirous
of owning the Land and gaining a foothold there. The visit to
Palestine of the German Emperor, the representative of Lutheranism
and the avowed friend of one of the darkest characters of our times,
the man whose throne seems almost unshakable, and who holds the Land
in the grasp of his bloody hands, is highly significant. All the
other nations have watched this visit, and Zionism especially
rejoices in the fact of the friendship of the Protestant Emperor with
the Sultan and hopes much from it for the realization of its well
planned schemes. It is to be expected that as the end draws nearer,
Palestine will become the great centre around which the nations
gather. Scheming nations, religious and political ambitions for world
rule and world power, and connected with it Commercialism, which
seems to become more and more the god of this world, are the
programme for the near future, and upon the entire scene are the eyes
of the covenant-keeping God of Abraham, and with His burning eyes He
looks on with jealousy for Jerusalem and very great jealousy for
Zion. (Joel ii: 18.)

These are only the opening words of the revelation which is given to
Zechariah. It is God's attitude. Zechariah hears now a very plain and
important statement from the lips of the interpreting angel. The
statement is threefold.

1. _I was but a little displeased._ Jehovah is speaking concerning
His inheritance that He was, on account of their apostasy and
idolatry, but a little displeased. This was primarily true of the
Babylonian captivity. It was but for a moment God was angry. It is so
now, though the children of Israel have been in dispersion for
well-nigh twenty centuries, but still it is true even now. _For a
small moment have I forgotten thee. In overflowing wrath I hid my
face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I
have mercy on thee, saith the Lord, thy Redeemer._ His displeasure
with His people is never final, it is only temporary. This is clearly
seen in the entire Word of God. If it were final, if God would be
displeased forever with Israel, we might just as well close the
Bible, join the higher critics and end in unbelief, apostasy and
perdition. _I will make a full end of all the nations whither I have
scattered thee, but I will not make a full end of thee; but I will
correct thee with judgment and will in no wise leave thee
unpunished._ (Jeremiah xxx: 11.)

2. _They have helped forward their affliction._ The Lord is now
speaking of the nations who are at ease. He holds them responsible
for a greater affliction than He really had designed to come upon His
people. By their attitude towards chastised Israel they have made
their affliction much worse than God meant it to be. Of course, it
was true during the seventy years God's people spent in Babylon, but
how much more true is it in the dispersion which has been their lot
for so many sad centuries.

Where shall we begin in treating the awful truth which is put here in
such simple language? Where shall we find words earnest enough to
picture the terrible facts in connection with it and sound a warning
for our times? Some time ago a person said, "The Jews are to-day more
stiff-necked and blinder than ever before." Who has made them thus?
Surely judicial blindness and hardness of heart; ears which do not
hear are given by God, but, alas, the nations, or so-called
Christendom, have helped forward their affliction; they have made
matters worse a thousand times, and Satan, who hates Israel, has been
the author of all things calculated to increase the affliction of
poor down trodden Israel. Surely the increased stiff-neckedness and
the increased blindness is one which is traceable to the nations.
Every reader knows something of the history of the Jews, what it has
been since they left the home land--a long, long tale of suffering,
tears and blood. Most unjust outrages have been committed against
them; torture upon torture; the stake and worse than that; and all in
the name of Jesus. It is a shameful history. Many a time Jews, after
hearing the Word preached, have stood up and opened in answer this
awful book of history with its blood-stained pages, asking the
question, "Can He be our Redeemer, whose followers have treated us
thus in His name?" And not a few can tell us of their own sufferings
in being banished from foreign lands. Hardly a month passes without
some new outrage upon the generally harmless and innocent people in
Eastern Europe. Cruelty, injustice, wickedness and crime are
practiced against them, and thus their affliction has been increased.

The same is true of the counterfeits of the Christian religion. Is it
a wonder that the Jew turns away in disgust from religions which
demand worship of pictures, statues, holy places, etc.? Satan has
used it all to keep Israel from a true knowledge of Him, who is the
King of Israel. And in Protestant lands the Jew does so rarely see
that pure and true love of Him who came to fulfil the law and in whom
God as love has been manifested. Instead of treating the Jew as a
brother, beloved for the Father's sake--nay, for Jesus' sake, who was
a Jew according to the flesh--he has been despised, ridiculed,
ostracized and treated as inferior to Gentiles. Still there are worse
days coming yet. The nations of Christendom in the past have helped
forward their affliction, but Satan, through these very nations, will
once more afflict Israel--once more stretch out his hand to touch the
nation of destiny. As never before in the history of the world, God's
own chosen people--the Jews--make themselves felt, and correspondingly
as never before the Gentile nations are getting ready to rise up
against the Jew to down him if it were possible. The enemy, thus
prophecy tells us, will try to exterminate the wonderful nation
through nations who are doomed to destruction. This is still future.
However, these coming events are rapidly approaching. Anti-Semitism
is increasing all over the world, and only God's Spirit and the
prayer of the Church keeps back the outbreak which will mark the
beginning of Jacob's trouble. (Jeremiah xxx: 7.)

3.--_I am very sore displeased._ This is God's anger with the nations
who have sinned against His people. The crowning sin of the nations
is Anti-Semitism, which means anti-Bible, anti-Christ and anti-God.
If Christendom would believe the Word of God it could never be the
enemy of Israel. Our age will end in the judgment of nations, and
that judgment will be on account of the sins committed against His
people. For behold in those days and in that time when I shall bring
again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all nations
and will bring them down into the valley of Jehosophat, and I will
plead with them there for my people and for my heritage, Israel, when
they have scattered among the nations and parted my land. (Joel iii:
1-3.) Haste ye and come all ye nations round about and gather
yourselves together thither; cause thy mighty ones to come down, O
Lord; let the nations bestir themselves and come up to the valley of
Jehosophat; for there will I sit to judge all nations round about.
Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe; come, get ye down, 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. The sun and the moon
are darkened, the stars withdraw their shining, and the Lord shall
roar from Zion and utter His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens
and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be a refuge unto His
people and a stronghold to the children of Israel. (Joel iii: 17,
etc.) For behold the Lord will come with fire, and His chariots shall
be like the whirlwind, to render His anger with fury and His rebuke
with flames of fire. For by fire will the Lord plead and by His sword
with all flesh, and the slain of the Lord shall be many. (Isaiah
lxvi: 15.) This judgment of nations is likewise referred to in
Matthew xxv. by the lips of our Lord. Generally the last part of that
chapter is taken to mean the universal judgment, the great white
throne. This is an error. _The Son of Man shall come in His glory and
all the angels with Him._ Thus the passage reads: _Then shall He sit
on the throne of His glory, and before Him shall be gathered all the
nations, and He shall separate them one from another as the shepherd
separateth the sheep from the goats._ The judgment takes place and
nations are punished and rewarded according to their treatment of the
brethren of the Son of Man, the King of Glory.

At that time, when the enemies of Israel are overcome and punished
for their wickedness, Israel, once more miraculously saved, will
break forth in praise of the Lord and sing the glorious psalms of
victory which to-day are still prophetic. If it had not been the Lord
who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they would
have swallowed us up alive when their wrath was kindled against us;
then the waters would have overwhelmed us, a stream would have gone
over our soul; then the proud waters would have gone over our soul.
Praise to Jehovah! who has not given us as prey to their teeth. Our
soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowler! The snare
is broken and we are escaped. Our help is in the name of Jehovah, who
has made heaven and earth. (Psalm cxxiv.)

The words which follow, and which are really the good and comfortable
words, contain the divine programme of the restoration of His people
Israel. What is mentioned here in a few sentences is given in detail
in the fourth and fifth night vision as well as in the closing
chapters of the prophet. _I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies._
This does not mean a spiritual return or a return of God's mercies to
Jerusalem only, but it means likewise His literal return when He
appears the second time; and connected with this second appearing of
the great Jehovah in Jesus Christ will be seen the Shekinah cloud as
Israel had it in the wilderness and the first temple. This is seen in
the second chapter. The Lord had withdrawn from His people. _I will
go away and return to my place._ (Hosea v: 15.) _For behold your
house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see
me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the
name of the Lord._ (Matthew xxiii: 38, 39.) The Lord being absent in
His person from His people, Israel is forsaken, the land desolate.
There can be no true restoration of Israel till He has come whose
right it is.

So many good people think that the present Zionistic movement of the
Jews is that promised salvation for the scattered nation. This is not
so. It is an attempted restoration. Here in the good and comfortable
words Zechariah hears, the return of the Lord stands first. Then His
house is to be built. While it meant in the prophet's time the
building of the second temple, it means in connection with the coming
restoration the building of that great millennial temple which
Ezekiel saw in visions and describes in detail--the temple which will
be indeed a house of prayer to all nations, and the glory of this
latter house shall be greater than the former. The rebuilding of the
city of Jerusalem is next in order. A line is to be stretched forth
upon Jerusalem. The city is enlarged, for from henceforth Jerusalem
is to be the centre of the earth. (Ezekiel xxxviii: 12.) _My cities
in prosperity shall overflow._ The blessing will not be confined to
the Temple and to Jerusalem, but there will be an overflow, and all
the cities in the land will flow over with prosperity. _For the Lord
shall comfort Zion; He will comfort all her waste places, and He will
make her wilderness like Eden and her desert like the garden of the
Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the
voice of melody._ (Isaiah li: 3.)

Oh, happy time! when wilt thou come? Even so come, Lord Jesus, our
Lord and Israel's King! Other visions will show us that Jerusalem
will then indeed be a praise in the earth, for many nations will then
be joined to the Lord, and the streams of living waters will overflow
and bring joy, salvation and healing to the nations around who join
in the Hallelujah chorus of Jeshurun.



CHAPTER II.

_The second night vision. The four horns and the four smiths. The
third vision. The man measuring Jerusalem. Restoration and glory of
Jerusalem foretold._

The second night vision of Zechariah is closely connected with the
first. In the first vision the time is given when the Lord will turn
in mercy to Jerusalem--the time when the nations are at ease, and,
having helped forward the affliction of His people, are ripe for
judgment. The scenes have passed away, and now the prophet lifts his
eyes again and he sees _four horns_. The question he asks of the
angel is answered by him, that _these are the horns which have
scattered Judah, Israel and Jerusalem_. Then _four smiths_ appear,
and the angel informs the prophet that _these are come to fray them_
(the four horns), _to cast down the horns of the nations which lifted
up their horn against the land of Judah to scatter it_ (chapter i:
18-21.) The four horns are the powerful and proud enemies of the
people of God. Why four horns? Some have said because the enemies of
Israel have come against the land and Jerusalem from all four
cardinal points of the compass, and have scattered the people east
and west, north and south. Others mention different nations who were
at Zechariah's time in existence and instrumental in scattering
Israel. The horn is a symbol of power and pride, and in prophecy
stands for a kingdom and for political world power. The ten horns
which Daniel saw on the terrible fourth beast rising from the sea
denote ten kingdoms, and in Revelation xvii: 12 we read, "The ten
horns that thou sawest are ten kings." The four horns in this second
vision must be therefore kingdoms--world powers. The number four, as
it is well known to every student of the prophetic Word, is found
twice in the book of Daniel. Nebuchadnezzar's great image was divided
into four parts, each standing for a world power, namely: the
Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Graeco-Macedonian and the Roman
power. The latter is still in existence and will be till the stone
smites the image at its feet and pulverizes it. Daniel's vision
(chapter vii) brings before him four mighty beasts, the last having
ten horns, just as the limbs of the image ended in feet with ten
toes. With such a revelation in the book of Daniel it is very easy to
understand that the four horns can mean nothing else than the same
powers of Gentile rule and supremacy existing during the entire time
when the kingdom has been taken from Israel. These four world powers
are horns. They unite strength and pride, and are bent upon
scattering Israel. They are the enemies of Israel, and therefore the
enemies of God. And now the four smiths appear on the scene to fray
them--to cast down the horns of the nations. Four horns are overcome
and broken down completely by four smiths. It does not follow that
the four smiths must be four other powers. The vision seems to teach
two facts: first, the horns will be broken and cast down; and in the
second place, God has for every hostile power which has sinned and
sins against his people a corresponding greater power to overcome it,
break it into pieces and cast it down. However, we believe the vision
will have its fulfillment in the time of Jacob's trouble. The
elements of all the four world powers will then in some way be
concerned in the onslaught on Jerusalem--a confederacy of nations;
representatives of many nations will come up against Jerusalem, and
it will be then that the four horns are broken by the four smiths and
the casting down will be done.

The third night vision is one of the most interesting and
instructive. As the third one, it forms the climax of the good and
comfortable words which were spoken concerning Jerusalem. The number
three stands in the Word of God for resurrection, life from the dead.
Thus in Hosea, concerning Israel, "After two days Thou wilt revive
us, and on the third day Thou wilt raise us up" (Hosea vi: 2). In
this third vision Zechariah sees the glorious restoration of Israel,
which has been the burden of so many prophecies, and the glory which
is connected with that restoration. In this night vision Zechariah
hears of a restoration and of a glory which has never yet been
fulfilled in the history of God's people. Those teachers of the Word
who see in Zechariah's night visions nothing but fulfilled prophecy,
cannot answer certain questions satisfactorily, and their only refuge
must be a spiritualizing of this restoration. Another thought before
we take up this third vision. The vision of restoration comes after
the enemies of Israel have been cast down. That prophecy might be
fulfilled; prophecy about a believing, suffering Jewish remnant;
prophecy concerning Jacob's trouble, etc., a mock restoration,
generally termed a restoration in unbelief, is to take place. There
can be no doubt whatever that we are privileged to see the beginning
of this restoration of part of the Jewish nation to the land of the
fathers in unbelief: It is one of the signs of the nearness of that
event for which the Church hopes, prays and waits--"our gathering
together unto Him." The world and the lukewarm Christian does not see
it, but he who loves the Word and lives in the Word, has eyes to see
and a hearing ear and knows what is soon coming. The true
restoration, however, will only come as it is seen so clearly in
these night visions after the enemies have been overcome, the horns
cast down, the image smashed--in other words, after the Lord has
come.

We may divide the third night vision into two parts. In the first
part a man is seen with a measuring line measuring Jerusalem, and the
restoration of the city and its enlargement is promised; and in the
other part promises of blessings are given as well as glimpses of the
glory which will attend the restoration.

Zechariah sees a man with a measuring line in his hand. The prophet
asks him, Whither goest thou? And he answers, _To measure Jerusalem,
to see what is the breadth thereof and what is the length thereof._
There is nothing here which indicates that the man who starts out to
measure the city is identical with the man on the red horse of the
first vision. This man here seems to be only a person appearing to
impress the coming enlargement of Jerusalem upon the prophet's mind.
Similar visions where measuring takes place are found in Ezekiel xli,
where the temple of the Millennium is measured, and in Revelation xi,
where a reed is given to John to measure the temple of God, which is
the temple standing in Jerusalem during the time of Jacob's trouble.
Here in Zechariah's vision it is the measuring of Jerusalem. What
Jerusalem is it? Of course, the Jerusalem in Palestine, which will,
in its restoration, become the centre of the earth. In the new earth,
after the thousand years, there will be another Jerusalem in the
earth, the new Jerusalem come down out of heaven from God (Rev. xxi:
2). Of this new Jerusalem we read, "And the city lieth four square,
and the length thereof is as large as the breadth: and he measured
the city with a reed twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the
breadth and the height thereof are equal" (Rev. xxi: 16). Here is the
measurement of the new Jerusalem: As long as it is broad and
extending upward into the air. What a wonderful city that will be,
the glorious centre of a new heaven and a new earth, our home for all
eternity! The man in Zechariah's third vision measures only the
length and the breadth of the city because in the coming restoration
of Jerusalem there is no height to be measured.

Now follows the appearing of another angel who meets with the one who
had been speaking to Zechariah, and he brings from the throne of God
a message for the prophet. He said, _Run, speak to this young man
saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as villages without walls, by
reason of the multitude of men and cattle therein._ The influx of men
and cattle to Jerusalem will be so enormous that the city must be
enlarged and it will spread out into the plain. Another prophet, the
seer of Israel's glorious future, Isaiah, has spoken likewise of this
enlargement in the following beautiful words: "As for thy waste and
desolate places, and thy land which has been destroyed, surely now
shalt thou be too strait for the inhabitants, and they that swallowed
thee up shall be far away. The children of thy bereavement shall yet
say in thine ears, The place is too strait for me, give place to me
that I may dwell" (Isaiah xlix: 19, 20). Notice the city is to be
inhabited as villages. This denotes the peace which Jerusalem will
then enjoy. A blessed security for the city which for so long a time
was trodden down by the Gentiles. There will be no walls. No need of
walls to shelter men and cattle, for the enemies of Israel have been
scattered and broken down, the warfare of Jerusalem is accomplished.
At the end of the Millennium, which will have been a thousand years
of unbroken peace for the land which for thousands of years knew no
peace, Satan, with Gog and Magog, will come against the land and its
inhabitants. This last final struggle the Holy Spirit revealed
through the prophet Ezekiel (chapters xxxviii and xxxix). It is
interesting to notice there the condition of the land and the people
as the enemy who comes up against the land finds them: Thus says the
Lord God: It shall come to pass in that day, that things shall come
into thy (enemy) mind, and thou shalt devise an evil device: and thou
shalt say, I will go up to the land of unwalled villages. I will go
to them that are quiet, that dwell securely, all of them dwelling
without walls, and having neither bars nor gates: to take the spoil
and to take the prey: to turn thine hand against the waste places
that are now inhabited, and against the people that are gathered out
of the nations, which have gotten cattle and goods, that dwell in the
centre of the earth (Ezekiel xxxviii: 10-12). What a wonderful Word
our God has given us! How everything is harmony! Zechariah's vision
shows what Jerusalem will be in the beginning of the Millennium, and
Ezekiel, by the Spirit of God, puts before us the same conditions at
the end of the thousand years.

The reason of Jerusalem's peace, security and prosperity will be the
glory of the Lord. This glory will be in the midst of the city, and
will also form a wall of fire around the city. For I, saith the Lord,
will be unto her a wall of fire round about the city, and I will be
the glory in the midst of her. Glory and defence are here combined.
They always go together. This has been in a degree already the happy
lot of Israel in the past, for He guided them with His glory. It was
a cloud by day and a fire at night by which the Lord had revealed
Himself to His people, and out of that glory cloud He protected them
and punished their enemies. How much greater will that glory and
defence be in that time of fullness when Israel is no longer a
disobedient, stiff-necked people, but the holy people, the kingly
nation. What a glory that will be when the King comes back with His
kingly glory, attended by the many, many brethren who have suffered
with Him and now share His glory! What a glory that will be when He,
who is our life, will be manifested, and we with Him in His glory! It
will be unspeakable glory. Cry aloud and shout thou inhabitant of
Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee. And
it shall come to pass, that He that is left in Zion and he that
remaineth in Jerusalem shall be called holy, even every one that is
written among the living in Jerusalem when the Lord shall have washed
away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the
blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the blast of judgment
and burning. And the Lord will create over the whole habitation of
Mount Zion and over her assemblies a cloud and smoke by day, and the
shining of a flaming fire by night, for over all the glory shall be
spread a canopy. There shall be a pavilion for a shadow in the day
time from the heat, and for a refuge and for a covert from storm and
from rain. (Isaiah iv.) This glory during the Millennium will no
doubt not only hover over the land, but will be visible over the
entire earth, and the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cover
the earth as the waters the sea.

It is interesting to see how Talmudical literature falls in with
these thoughts. A few quotations from these old writings of the Jews
will no doubt be acceptable to the reader. Rabbi Isaac Napcha says:
The Holy One said, I kindled a fire in Jerusalem (in wrath) Lament.
iv: 11, and I am going to build her up again with fire, as it is
said, "I will be unto her, saith the Lord, a wall of fire round
about. He that kindled the fire shall surely make restitution." The
Pesikta Rabethi has this: What is this: "And for a Glory I am in the
midst of her." Is it not the case that the glory of the Holy One is
none other than on high, as it is said, "His glory is above the
heavens." The glory is in order to show every creature in the
universe the superior excellence of Israel, since it is on their
account that the Holy One brings down the Shekinah from the highest
heaven and lets it dwell in the earth.

We have now in the vision a continued description of that happy
condition of Jerusalem and all that is connected with it. First, we
notice the summons for the Jews who are then still in dispersion.
_Ho, ho, flee from the land of the North, saith the Lord, for I have
spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord.
Ho, Zion, escape that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon._

It is not to be expected that when the glory appears and the King of
Glory comes again and His feet stand there on the Mount of Olives,
that the entire Jewish nation will then live in the land. This will
not be the case; only a part of the nation was restored in unbelief,
and in the midst of them a believing remnant, whose faith, suffering
and salvation we hope to describe later. Two-thirds of all the
inhabitants of the land will be swept away in the great tribulation.
After the Lord has come, the others will be restored. It is
significant that the land of the North is mentioned here, Late; in
the eighth chapter, we read: "I will save my people from the East
country and from the West country," but those living in the land of
the North come first. Of course, Babylon was meant as far as this
vision had anything to do with the restoration which had taken place
in part from the Babylonian captivity. The North country, which
figures in the coming restoration, is not Babylon, but another land.
Russia is directly north of Palestine, and in this northern land, the
territory once inhabited by Gog and Magog, about one half of the Jews
now living have their homes. About six millions of Jews are living
to-day in European and Asiatic Russia. Their deplorable condition in
that land of the North is well known, and there, likewise, the
national awakening has been the most marked and Zionism has its most
ardent advocates. A large multitude is getting ready in the North
country for a mighty exodus. Like their forefathers in Egypt, they
will flee from the land of the North, and thus prophecy is literally
to be fulfilled.

Zion is to separate from the daughter of Babylon. What is Babylon? We
hope to answer this question and give a description of her when we
come to consider the seventh night vision, the woman in the Ephah. In
this third vision of restoration we hear next what is to take place
after the glory. The expression "after the glory" means undoubtedly
the glorious appearing of the Lord coming with all His saints,
sitting upon the throne of His glory, and His glory thus manifested.
_After the glory hath He sent Me to the nations which spoiled you:
for he that toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye._ Who is the
one who is being sent to the nations? It is without a question He,
whom the Father sent. He sent Him once, the only begotten, into the
world in the form of a servant, when He made Himself of no
reputation, but Jehovah will send Him again. And when He again
bringeth in the Firstborn into the inhabited earth He saith, And let
all the angels worship Him. (Heb. i: 6, 7.) The Father sends Him
again to establish His glory, and after the manifestation He is sent
to the nations which spoiled Israel. All Scripture speaks of this.
While He will in His coming overcome the armies of nations who are
gathered in that day against Jerusalem, He will likewise continue,
after His glory, to judge nations. He will rule in the midst of His
enemies. He will do that among the nations what the second psalm
declares, thou shalt break them with a rod of iron, Thou shalt dash
them in pieces like a potter's vessel. _For, behold I will shake Mine
hand over them, and they shall be a spoil to those that served them._
In this rule and judgment the Lord of glory will be assisted by the
saints. Know ye not that the saints shall judge the world? (1 Cor.
vi: 2.) Israel will likewise be used in that judgment. While He is
the lion of the tribe of Judah who now roars to the dismay of all His
enemies, Israel, His people, becomes the lioness. "Behold the people
riseth up as a lioness, and as a lion does he lift himself up. He
shall not lie down till he eat the prey and drink the blood of the
slain." (Numbers xxiii: 24.) Israel will then no longer be the tail
but has become the head. The true form of government for the earth
has been restored, a Theocracy through His chosen and restored
people, the seed of Abraham. Things will then be changed completely.
The nations shall take them (the children of Abraham) and bring them
to their place, and the house of Israel shall possess them in the
land of the Lord for servants and for handmaids, and they shall take
them captive whose captives they were, and they shall rule over their
oppressors. (Isaiah xiv: 2.) Strangers shall stand and feed your
flocks and aliens shall be your vine dressers. (Isaiah lxi: 5.)

We must not overlook the loving words concerning Israel, He that
toucheth you toucheth the apple of His eye. Israel is the apple of
the eye of God. Through Moses God declared the same truth. He kept
him as the apple of His eye. (Deut xxxii: 10.) In Hebrew the pupil of
the eye is called the gate, because through it enters the light. Thus
Israel is the pupil, the gate, through which the light has come and
comes, for salvation is of the Jews. And what is so sensitive, so
delicate and easily injured as the apple of the eye? And against this
apple of the eye of God the nations and Christendom have sinned. May
we believing Gentiles understand more fully that Israel is the
beloved one and may we be kept from doing harm to His people.

The overcoming of the enemies of Israel, the spoiling of these
nations which spoiled Israel, and all that is connected with it by
the sent One of God, the Son of God will be the evidence for Israel
that Jehovah has sent Him. _And ye shall know that the Lord of Hosts
has sent Me._ The same statement is repeated in this vision, but we
shall see in another connection. It is, so to speak, constitutional
with the Jew that he wishes to see and then believe, and surely he
will see and believe, or rather know, when the Lord comes.

In the tenth verse of the second chapter of Zechariah we read now
that the daughter of Zion will sing and rejoice. The reason of her
song and joy is, _For lo, I come and I will dwell in the midst of
thee._ To-day orthodox Jews are chanting in Hebrew the magnificent
psalms which speak of a coming deliverance and manifestation of God's
glory, but it is only with their lips, and the heart is still
hardened and the eye blinded. The dark night is rapidly approaching,
the night in which a believing remnant of Jews will fulfill much of
that suffering, waiting, and blessed assurance of salvation which is
so clearly outlined in the psalms. And after that, the whole nation
will break out in mighty songs of joy, and while there, in the
Father's house, the blood-bought hosts will sing their hallelujah, a
delivered, cleansed and spirit-filled nation in the earth will shout
her hallelujah, in which nation after nation will join, till at last
it has been done what seer after seer saw and heard, the earth as
well as the heavens filled with His glory, the Kingdom come, and His
will done in the earth as it is done in Heaven.

Again, the promise is given that the Lord will dwell in the midst of
her. How is this to be understood? Will the Lord dwell continually in
person, after his second coming, in Jerusalem? Will He be seen there
in His Holy Temple by all who come up to Jerusalem? Some Scriptures
indicate that He will be present in His blessed person at different
seasons. The strongest statement in this direction is Zechariah xiv:
16. In this passage we have the fact of a yearly coming up to
Jerusalem of nations (probably representatives of nations) to worship
the King, and that at the feast of tabernacles. His throne, no longer
His Father's throne, upon which He sits now, but his own throne
during the Millennium, will no doubt be in the New Jerusalem which,
as a bright and glorious vision, will be seen then by all who live in
the earth way up in the firmament, and the angels of God _ascending_
and descending upon the Son of Man. A vice-regent, a Son of David,
will occupy David's throne in Jerusalem. The Glory of the Lord will
appear in the Holy City, and the new name of Jerusalem will be
Jehovah Shamah, the Lord is there. It is impossible to give the
details of these glories, for they are not clearly revealed. It is
enough to know that the Church, His Body, shall truly be united with
her glorified head, and meet her Beloved, her Bridegroom and her
Lord. It is enough to know that Israel will surely see the King in
His beauty and crown Him Lord of all. Even our brightest imaginations
will not reach the glories of that day. Indeed, not half has been
told.

The Lord cometh to dwell in Zion. _Many nations shall join themselves
to the Lord in that day and shall be My people._ This promise is
likewise followed that this will be evidence from which the people
will know that the Lord of Hosts has sent Him. How often the orthodox
Jew has come to us and told us that when Messiah comes all their
enemies will be cast down--there will be peace for Jerusalem and the
nation Israel; and then saying, Ah, where is that peace?--behold our
enemies! When Messiah comes we shall know Him by what He does for us
in overcoming our enemies. Likewise the orthodox Jew will say, Where
are the many nations who join themselves to the Lord, the nations who
worship the Lord of Hosts? When Messiah has come, he will say, We
will know Him by the fact that nations shall join themselves unto the
Lord. It will hardly do to tell the well informed Hebrew that there
are now Christian nations in existence. Thus the Jew waits for the
fulfillment of these prophecies at some future time, and seeing them
accomplished he hopes to know then his Messiah and King. Only the
small remnant, according to the election of grace, sees Him now by
the eyes of faith--Him who is altogether lovely, and in whom alone
these prophecies can find their fulfillment. To-day individuals from
Jews and Gentiles are joining themselves to the Lord, but in that day
of His appearing and manifestation nations will be converted, and
many nations shall go and say, "Come ye and let us go up to the
mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will
teach us His ways and we will walk in His paths." "Lift up thine eyes
and see: they all gather themselves together--they come to Thee. Thy
sons shall come from far and thy daughters shall be carried in the
arms. Then thou shalt see and be lightened, and thine heart shalt
tremble and be enlarged, because the abundance of the sea shall be
turned unto thee. The wealth of the nations shall come unto thee, the
multitudes of camels shall cover thee--the dromedaries of Midian and
Ephah, they all shall come from Sheba; they shall bring gold and
frankincense, and shall proclaim the praises of the Lord." (Isaiah
lx:4-7.) Only then will India and China, South America and Africa be
won to Christ and the world converted to God. But the land of Judah
is to be the portion of the Lord (verse 12).

This vision of restoration and the coming of glory ends with one of
the sublimest exhortations in the Word of God. _Be silent, all flesh,
before the Lord, for He is waked up out of His holy habitation._ The
exhortation does not belong really to the restoration. It is an
appeal to all flesh to be silent before the One who is raised up--the
coming One. Now is the time when God is silent. He is silent to the
wicked deeds of men. He is silent in regard to the nations who are
treading down Jerusalem and who are scattering Israel. The flesh
speaks now and is not silent, and the language it speaks is rebellion
against God and against His Anointed. And louder and louder speaks
all flesh, and in the midst of a boasted civilization, at the dawn of
a new century, the days of Noah and the days of Lot are at hand.
Gain, pride, possession, expansion, is the universal cry--a mad hunt
after Mammon is seen in individuals and in nations; and while the
flesh speaks thus, and its language becomes more and more defiant,
God keeps silence. But our God shall come and keep silence no longer.
Rapidly His day--the terrible day of the Lord--is approaching; the
day in which He will roar out of Zion. Oh, what a hush there will
come upon those that dwell in the earth when the darkened sun and the
falling stars will herald the approach of a God who will keep silence
no longer. Oh, dear reader, Jew or Gentile, listen! The signs of the
times truly tell us that the Lord who is to come must have already
_risen_ from His holy habitation. He is coming. Soon He will gather
His saints unto Himself before the day of wrath breaks, when neither
gold nor silver will deliver. Wilt thou not become silent before Him,
the coming One? Will not every reader yield himself to that wooing
spirit of Him, whose power does silence the flesh? Be silent all
flesh! He is waked up out of His holy habitation!



CHAPTER III.

_The fourth vision.--Joshua the high priest accused by Satan, but
cleansed by the angel of the Lord--The branch.--The stone and the
sewn eyes upon it.--The coming peace._

The fourth vision is like the first and second, closely connected
with the foregoing one. It gives the crowning event of Israel's
restoration. The prophet recognizes in the figure which is seen by
him Joshua the high priest, who is standing before the angel of the
Lord, while at his right hand stands Satan to oppose him. Joshua was
not clothed with his clean, priestly robes, but he wears filthy
garments. Jehovah rebukes Satan and terms Jerusalem a brand plucked
from the fire. After the accuser is rebuked, the filthy garments of
the high priest are removed, his iniquity is forgiven, and he is
clothed with festal raiment. The prophet is so carried away with the
vision that he asks that a clean mitre is to be put upon his head.
And now, after the high priest is thus clothed, the angel of the Lord
charges him with an important message: If thou wilt walk in My ways
and keep My charge, thou shalt judge my house and also keep my
courts. I will give thee access among those standing here, etc. The
servant--the branch--is promised, and the stone which is laid before
Joshua is to have seven eyes. The iniquity of this land is to be
removed in one day, and the vision closes with the peaceful scene,
every man inviting his neighbor under the vine and under the fig
tree.

The authorized version has a superscription for this chapter. "Under
the type of Joshua the restoration of the _church_ is promised." This
is not alone very misleading but also erroneous. No restoration of
the church is necessary, and as far as fallen, apostate Christendom
is concerned, there is no promise of restoration, but the Lord will
spew her out of His mouth. Others speak of this vision as a type of
the justification of the sinner, but we need not spiritualize Old
Testament visions to get assurance of our justification. The Epistle
to the Romans is sufficient for that. The High Priest Joshua stands
here for Jerusalem and for the sinful nation Israel. The calling of
Israel to be a nation of priests is too well known, so we need not to
enlarge on it. But it is a nation stiff-necked, disobedient, unclean
and defiled. Disobedience and sin have been the cause of Israel's
misfortune and Jerusalem's ruin. What would be a restoration of
Israel to the land without a healing of their sins and a regeneration
of the nation? It is this divine forgiveness and cleansing of the
nation, which so many prophets uttered in Jehovah's name, which is
here so wonderfully shown in this vision. Like the priests in the
temple, standing before Jehovah, thus Joshua and Israel is before the
Lord. Though Joshua is standing before the Lord in filthy garments,
yet he is still the High Priest. The filthy garments do not change
the office to which God had called him. Oh, wondrous truth, which we
meet all through the Word! Israel, though in dispersion and in sin,
is still the priest, called by Him who is a covenant-keeping God! And
is it not a perfect picture of Israel as it is yet to-day? A priest,
but defiled and unclean. In Isaiah lxiv we have part of that
wonderful prayer which the remnant of Israel is yet to utter. It
begins with that sublime prayer, Oh, that Thou wouldest rend the
heavens, that Thou wouldest come, that the mountains might flow down
at Thy presence. And then follows the confession: We are all become
as one that is unclean, and all our righteousness is as a polluted
garment. Alas, how little Israel knows at this present time of such a
confession. On the day of atonement the lips confess sin and
unrighteousness in similar words, but it is still the lips and not
the heart. But at last Israel will confess her guilt and the
bloodguiltiness like David did.

In the vision Satan is seen. This is not the enemy who at Zechariah's
time tried to hinder the rebuilding of the temple, but it is Satan,
the old serpent, the accuser of the brethren, the adversary. He is
the enemy of Israel. He has tried in the past to hurt and to destroy
the nation of destiny. He knows the purposes of God concerning Israel
better than many a learned doctor of divinity, and therefore, he has
opposed that people and opposes them still. His opposition has been
mostly through nations. How much could be said on this topic! The end
of this age will reveal the enemy of Israel, the adversary, as never
before in the history of the world. There is to be war in heaven;
Michael and his angels going forth to war with the dragon; and the
dragon warred, and his angels, and they prevailed not, neither was
their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast
down, the old Serpent, he that is called the Devil and Satan, the
Deceiver of the whole world, he was cast down to the earth and his
angels were cast down with him. (Rev. xii: 7-9.) His wrath will be
directed against Israel and Jerusalem. It is the time of which Daniel
spoke. And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince
which standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a
time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to
that same time. (Daniel xii: 1.) Once more Satan will try to destroy
the people, but the Lord shall rebuke him. Israel will be again, as
so often before, like a brand plucked out of the fire. So it has been
in the past. Way back when Israel was in Egypt and God was about to
send the deliverer, He called Moses from out of the burning
bush--Israel's true type, burning, but never consumed. Oh, how the
fire of persecution and adversity has been raging, but again and
again the hand of God snatched the burning brand out of the fire at
the right moment. The Lord who hath chosen Jerusalem will rebuke
Satan. This has not yet come. The coming Lord will commission an
angel out of heaven, having the key of the abyss and a great chain in
his hand. And he will lay hold on the dragon--the old Serpent which
is the Devil and Satan--and bind him for a thousand years, and cast
him into the abyss and shut it and seal it over him. (Rev. xx: 1, 2.)
Then follows the cleansing of Israel and the new charge, all so
clearly given in this vision.

The filthy garments are removed by those that stand before the angel
of the Lord. The iniquity is taken away, and in place of the filthy
garments there is the rich apparel and the fair mitre upon the head.
How blessedly all this is waiting for its fulfillment in Israel's
regeneration! When He appears after the times of overturning, He
whose right it is, His people Israel will be found by Him in true
penitence, acknowledging their offence. It will be a national
repentance, a mourning on account of Him, which Zechariah describes
in detail in the twelfth chapter.

This will be followed by national cleansing, forgiveness of sin for
the entire remnant which is left, and the new birth of the nation by
the outpouring of the Spirit. Israel is the nation to be born in a
day (Isa. lxvi: 8). This great miracle of divine grace, the
regeneration of Israel by the blood of the once rejected King, is
spoken of again and again in the Word. The Church has taken it all
for herself or spiritualized these promises. We can refer only to a
few: "He will turn again and have compassion upon us; He will tread
our iniquities under foot; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the
depths of the sea" (Micah vii: 19). "I will take you from among the
nations and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into
your own land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall
be clean. (How _ridiculous_ that teachers and preachers refer to this
text in defence of _sprinkling_ as a mode of baptism.) From all your
filthiness and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart
also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I
will take away the stony heart out of your flesh and I will give you
a heart of flesh" (Ezek. xxxvi: 24-26). "I, even I, am He that
blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and I will not
remember thy sins" (Isa. xliii: 25). "I have blotted out, as a thick
cloud, thy transgressions, and as a cloud thy sins; return unto Me
for I have redeemed thee. Sing, oh ye heavens, for the Lord has done
it; shout ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing ye
mountains, oh forest, and every tree therein; for the Lord has
redeemed Jacob and will glorify Himself in Israel" (Isa. xliv: 22,
23). And this is Israel's triumphant song: "I will greatly rejoice in
the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for He has clothed me
with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of
righteousness, as a priest decketh himself with a garland, and as a
bride adorneth herself with her jewels" (Isa. lxi: 10).

And now comes a very solemn charge. _Thus saith the Lord of Hosts: if
thou will walk in my ways, and if thou will keep my charge, then thou
also shalt judge my house, and shalt also keep likewise my courts, I
will give thee places to walk among these that stand by._

Israel was disobedient and did not keep the first charge. It is now
repeated. It is likewise conditionally as was the first, but no
apostasy can follow, for a complete healing has made that impossible.
In analyzing this charge, we see clearly what Israel's earthly
calling is and wherein Israel's millennial glory and work will
consist: (1) _Judging_ in the house of the Lord, and from there
ruling and judging of nations, by Israel the head of the nations. The
Church will be higher than this, sitting with Him in His throne, and
likewise judging, being with the glorified Head over it all; (2)
Israel will _keep His courts_. In the new millennial temple there
will be ordinances, and that temple will be a house of prayer for all
nations, while the Church will be in the temple above; (3) Israel
will have _places to walk_ among these that stand by. This may have a
double meaning--walking among the ministering angels which will
ascend and descend upon the Son of Man, and places to walk among
those that stand by--the nations. Israel's cleansing will take place
not in heaven but in the earth, and nations as well as angels will be
witnesses of it. Among these nations redeemed Israel will have places
to walk. The Church will occupy the many mansions in the Father's
house, and go in and out in blessed fellowship with the Lord of glory
and all His saints; and, perhaps, for all we know, there may be
places to walk for the Church in distant worlds.

The whole redeemed and restored nation will then be a miracle. _Hear
now, O Joshua, the high priest, thou and thy fellows that sit before
thee, for they are men which are a wonder: for behold I will bring
forth my servant the Branch._

The Jews are now God's standing miracle, but how much more will they
be a wonder when the Spirit has filled them! They will heal the sick
and do the same works Jesus their Elder Brother did. What will then
come to this sin-cursed earth through Israel's fullness? A
miracle--life from the dead. But never before He, whose name is the
Branch, appears. Oh, how necessary it is for us to be reminded that
it will take place when He appears and the Branch is brought forth.

Next comes the _stone laid before Joshua_, and upon the stone seven
eyes, and engraving is seen on it. Generally this stone is
interpreted as meaning Christ. One of the names of Christ is--a
stone, a rejected stone, corner stone, a precious stone, etc. The
true believers are likewise termed stones, living stones. The stone
in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, falling out of heaven, smashing the image
and becoming a great mountain which filled the entire earth, is both
Christ and His kingdom, which is not of this earth (it is and comes
from above). However, it seems to us that the only correct
interpretation of the stone upon which are the seven eyes is that it
means Israel restored, and as such, the nucleus of the kingdom of God
and His Christ in this earth. The seven eyes speak of the sevenfold
Spirit which will be upon Israel; the engraving of the stone stands
for the beauty and glory with which God will bless His covenant
people. That this interpretation is the only correct one becomes at
once evident when we reach the closing sentence of the ninth verse,
_and I will remove the iniquity of that land one day._ What land? It
is Israel's land, and therefore the whole vision must stand in vital
connection with His people. The one day, of course, in the first
line, must be that day when Christ died for our sins and Israel's
sins as well, when the veil was rent. But alas, the Jews cried then,
"His blood be upon us and upon our children!" How terribly this awful
prayer has been answered! Truly the blood has been upon them and
their children. But soon--oh may it be very soon--another day will
come when the blood shall be once more upon them and their
children--when the blood shall cleanse and wash away Israel's
sin--one day when Calvary's blood, the blood of the Son of God, will
remove the iniquity of that land and its inhabitants.

All is waiting for that. There can be no kingdom of God in the earth,
no conversion of the world, no millennium before Israel has been
cleansed, redeemed, restored, and the iniquity of the land is
removed. This all-important truth is likewise mentioned in a few
words at the close of this, the fourth night vision of the prophet:
_In that day, saith the Lord of Hosts, shall ye call every man his
neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree._ This is the picture
of prosperity, peace and love. No prosperity and peace till the
millennium has come, no millennium until Israel is restored; no true
restoration of Israel until the Lord comes with His saints. What
Zechariah hears about that blessed time of peace Micah and other
prophets received also from God, "Every man shall sit under his vine
and under his fig tree; and none shall make them afraid" (Micah iv:
4).



CHAPTER IV.

_The fifth vision.--The candlestick and the two olive trees.--The
great mountain becoming a plain.--Zerubbabel the prince finishing the
house of the Lord._

The first three chapters of Zechariah are the foundation of the
entire book. The events in these chapters are again and again touched
upon in the following visions and prophecies of Zechariah. For this
reason have we paid special attention to these three chapters, which
speak so clearly of the time of Israel's restoration, the restoration
itself and the different events connected with it, and much which
might be said on the visions of the prophet which now follow can be
omitted, as the reader has the key to the situation in the studies
made.

There was a rest for the prophet between the fourth and fifth night
vision. He had fallen into a deep sleep. He may have been overcome by
the grand and important visions, and is now awakened by the angel
with the question, "What seest thou?" The new vision is a very
striking one. A golden candlestick appears before the seer. An oil
receiver is seen on top, from which the oil flows to the seven lamps
of the candlestick through seven pipes. Two olive trees stand
alongside of the candlestick and hang their fruit-laden branches over
the golden bowl, filling it with oil, which flows through the seven
pipes into the seven lamps. The question of the prophet, "What are
these, my Lord?" is answered by the angel with this statement, "This
is the word of Jehovah to Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might and not by
power but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts. Who art thou, oh
great mountain, before Zerubbabel? Be a plain! He shall bring forth
the topstone with shoutings of grace, grace unto it. The hands of
Zerubbabel who have laid the foundation shall also finish it, and
they shall rejoice and see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel
--even the seven. The eyes of the Lord shall run to and fro through
the entire earth." For the third time the prophet asks for information
about the two olive trees and receives the answer: "These are the two
sons of oil, that stand by the Lord of the whole earth."

The vision of the candlestick and the two olive trees is one of the
most difficult in the Bible and needs prayerful and thoughtful study.

The general interpretation is that the golden candlestick represents
the Church, that she is the golden light-bearer, so valuable and
precious. She is the light in the dark world. The oil and the seven
pipes are the Holy Spirit who fills the lamps of the candlestick; the
two olive trees, Joshua and Zerubbabel, Priest and King. The victory
which the Church is to gain is one not by power or might but by His
Spirit, etc. This interpretation seems to fit in with a number of
passages in the New Testament, the seven candlesticks in Revelation
first chapter and the teaching of the New Testament about the Holy
Spirit and His work. However, it is hardly a satisfactory
explanation. We do not doubt for a moment that the Church is
represented by a candlestick, especially the Churches; or rather, the
Church in her seven periods. Of course the Holy Spirit's type is oil,
and He is the one who accomplishes the work, etc. All this we do not
and cannot doubt for a moment, but after considering it all it does
not satisfy us, and we feel that we must look for a better and a
deeper meaning of the fifth night vision. If its fullest meaning is
the Church and the work of the Holy Spirit in the Church, how could
it be then harmonized with the first night visions of Israel's
restoration? The above interpretation seems to us overlooks entirely
the fact that the vision of the candlestick being given with the
others in one night, must be connected with them in some way. In
other words, the vision of the golden candlestick must have some
relation to the restoration of Israel.

We desire to call attention to the fact that the vision is one which
speaks of perfection, completion, fullness. The perfect and divine
number seven is found three times in the vision, seven lamps, seven
pipes, and seven eyes. The seven lamps are united to one stem, this
is union, and above it, is a golden bowl. The Spirit conquers, and
not power or might does it, but His power. The great mountain becomes
a plain. The topstone is brought forth and crowns the building which
is finished by Zerubbabel. Shoutings, "Grace, grace, unto it," are
heard, and the seven eyes run to and fro the whole earth. It is a
vision of fullness and accomplishment. The candlestick shines and
sheds its glorious light, its pure gold glitters and reflects the
light of the seven lamps. The bowl is filled with oil, and the two
olive trees give a continual supply. The high mountain removed, the
temple finished, joy and victory abound. The candlestick in the
vision is exactly like the one in the tabernacle, only the two olive
trees are something new. The candlestick in the tabernacle represents
Christ, the Light of the world, and is likewise a type of the Jewish
theocracy. Theocracy, the government of this earth by the immediate
direction of God, is once to be established, and when it is, it will
be like a bright and glorious candlestick shedding light and
dispersing the darkness. We think the _Yalkut_ on Zechariah (a Hebrew
commentary), is not so very far out of the way when it says, "The
golden candlestick is Israel." It seems to us very clear that the
vision represents the Jewish theocracy restored, Israel in their
glorious inheritance as the light of the world. But what about the
Church as a candlestick? The Lord is seen in Revelation to walk among
_seven_ candlesticks, which represent the seven Churches and
prophetically the seven periods of this dispensation, ending with
Laodicea. The end of this age will not be a bright and glorious
candlestick, filled with oil, conquest and glory, but it will be
failure and the removal of the candlestick which failed in giving the
light. The nominal Church is far from being the light of the world,
and Christendom nears rapidly a dark and dreary night. The true
believer, who is filled with the Spirit, of course, is the light of
the world as an individual, he reflects the light and glory of His
Master, and thus every child of God is a light. But the home of the
true Church, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, is not the earth, to
remain here permanently, but her home is the Father's house, her
destination, union with her glorified Head and sharing His glory.
Israel and Gentiles will be left in the earth, while the Church is
with her Lord. When He appears, the King of Israel and King of Glory,
it will not be to re-establish the Church in the earth, for she is to
sit with Him in heavenly places, but Israel, His beloved people, will
become the light-bearer, the light which is to enlighten the Gentiles
and fulfill its original calling. It is a true saying, whatever is
spoken of Christ is also spoken of His Church, and it is just as
true, whatever is spoken of Christ is also spoken of Israel. Of the
coming Messiah, we read in Isaiah xlix., "I will give thee for a
light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end
of the earth," but this is likewise true of his brethren according to
the flesh, Israel will be a light to the Gentiles.

The candlestick of pure gold, precious, and uniting seven lamps
filled with oil, represents Israel's glorious fullness. All will be
united under one Head, and no longer seven candlesticks and confusion
of religions teachings, but there will be one Shepherd and one fold.
This will be accomplished not by power or might but by His Spirit. He
will accomplish God's blessed purpose in Israel by the wonderful
outpouring which is promised through Joel, and which was only
partially fulfilled on the day of Pentecost in Jerusalem, and never
since. The Jew feels still in some degree his mission, and what else
is this awakened national life as it is now known by the name of
Zionism, than a reaching out for it. But there is still the blinding,
money, political powers, in reality their enemies, different
influences and combinations are looked upon by them as the means to
bring about that which is born into every Jewish heart--supremacy and
rule. It is not by power or might, but by the Spirit. He will come
yet upon the nation and fill them with His blessed power as He filled
once their own rejected Brother Jesus, and what He was Israel will be
for the nations left in the earth. Zerubbabel, who is now mentioned,
was Israel's prince at the time of Zechariah. A mountain is seen
which is before him, a mighty obstacle, but it sinks and falls,
becomes a plain. The Hebrew has it in the form of a command--"Be a
plain!" The mountain represents a kingdom, a power, and seems to
stand here for anti-Christ and His power. Zerubbabel as prince is the
type of the Prince of Peace, Israel's King. His hands have laid the
foundation, just as Zerubbabel had laid the foundation of the temple,
and just as Zerubbabel finished it, bringing forth the headstone
which crowns the new house of the Lord, thus Jesus of Nazareth, the
King of the Jews, who has laid the foundation and who is the
foundation, the precious stone, He will finish it. He is the Author
and Finisher, and it is all grace. When the foundation of the temple
was laid there were mighty shoutings, and likewise when it was
finished. The priests and the Levites sang one to another in praising
and giving thanks unto the Lord, for He is good, and His mercy
endureth forever toward Israel, and all the people shouted with a
great shout (Ezra iii: 11). What shoutings there will be when at last
the fullness of the Gentiles is come in and all Israel is saved, when
the headstone will be brought forth, what mighty hallelujahs will be
heard in the heavens and in the earth, praising--grace--all of grace.
Without pointing out the other details of this vision which are now
easily understood, we desire to make a few remarks on the two olive
trees standing at the right and at the left of the candlestick
supplying the same with oil. There can be no doubt that these sons of
oil, as they are called, represented Joshua and Zerubbabel, living at
the time of Zechariah, the one the priest and the other the king.
What deeper meaning is here? It is probably the easiest explanation
to say that these two olive trees are types of Him who is a Priest
upon His throne and whose blessed Person will supply the candlestick
with the oil, His own Spirit!

These two olive trees are likewise seen in Revelation, the eleventh
chapter. Here they are the two witnesses who give their testimony
during the great tribulation in Jerusalem, and who stand in direct
relation to that theocracy which is then about to be established in
Israel. We believe that these two witnesses are Moses and Elijah, the
same who appeared with our Lord upon the mountain of transfiguration.



CHAPTER V.

_The vision of the flying roll--The vision of the woman in the
Ephah._

The three remaining night visions are of a different character. The
first visions the prophet had were visions of comfort for Jerusalem
and the dispersed nation, the overthrow of Babylon and all their
enemies, divine forgiveness and the theocracy restored. Now follow
the last three visions, and these are visions of judgment. Judgment
precedes Israel's restoration, and is very prominently connected with
it.

The sixth night vision is the one of the flying roll. The prophet's
eyes seem to have been closed after the fifth vision, for we read,
"And I lifted up my eyes again." The flying roll he sees is twenty
cubits long and ten cubits broad. The interpreting angel tells the
prophet that it is the curse that goeth forth over the face of the
whole land; for every one that stealeth shall be cut off on this side
according to it, and every one that sweareth shall be cut off on that
side according to it. The Lord of hosts has brought it forth and it
is to enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him
that sweareth by His Name to a falsehood, and it shall lodge in the
midst of His house and consume it, both its wood and its stone.

That this vision means judgment is evident at the first glance.
Ezekiel had a similar vision. "And when I looked, behold, an hand was
sent unto me; and, lo, a roll of a book was therein; And he spread it
before me; and it was written within and without: and there was
written therein lamentations, and mourning, and woe" (Ezek. ii: 9,
10). Ezekiel was to eat that book. This reminds us at once of the
books in Revelation (chapters v. and x.), which are likewise
connected with God's judgments in the earth. The flying roll is
written on both sides, signifying the two tables of stone, the law of
God. Stealing and swearing falsely are mentioned because the one is
found on the one side of the two tables of stone, and the other on
the other side. However, it is no longer "Thou shalt not," but on the
flying roll are written the curses, the awful curses against the
transgressors of God's law which are now about to be put into
execution. The curse is found in its awful details, as it refers to
an apostate people, in Deuteronomy xxvii. and xxviii. The roll is of
immense size, and on it are the dreadful curses of an angry God. The
vision must have been one of exceeding great terror. Imagine a roll,
probably illumined at night with fire, moving over the heavens, and
on it the curses of an eternal God--wherever it moves its awful
message is seen; nothing is hid from its awe-inspiring presence. It
reminds one of the fiery handwriting on the wall in the king's
palace. Surely such an awful judgment is coming by and by, when our
God will keep silence no longer. One of the sublimest judgment
Psalms, the fiftieth, mentions something similar to this flying roll.
"When thou sawest a _thief_, then thou consentedst with him, and hast
been partaker with adulterers. Thou givest thy mouth to evil, and thy
tongue frameth deceit. Thou sittest and speaketh against thy brother;
thou slanderest thine own mother's son. These things hast thou done,
and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such a one
as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before
thine eyes" (Psalm 1: 18-21). The flying roll stands undoubtedly in
connection with wickedness, theft and false swearing, as it is found
in so many forms in unbelieving Israel, but it finds also a large
application in the judgment of wickedness throughout the earth in the
glorious day of His appearing.

But the roll enters the house of the evil doer and remains there to
punish not only the wicked persons but also to consume the timber and
the stone. This may stand for the two facts: the secret places will
be entered in that judgment, and it will be a thorough judgment which
will consume all that is connected with wickedness. In Leviticus xiv.
we read of the cleansing of the leper, that the leper's house which
was infected was completely destroyed. Elijah's sacrifice was
consumed by fire, and not alone the sacrifice but also the wood and
the stones and the very water. God's fire will again fall from heaven
to consume the wood, hay, and stubble, nothing will be hid. Oh, what
a burning day that day of the Lord will be when His well earned
curses will be carried out, and none can escape.

Another application still of this vision of the flying roll may be
made in connection with the established theocracy during the coming
age. However, space forbids an enlargement.

The next vision is one of great interest and not a little difficulty.
It claims our attention more than any of the other visions. In it we
see again wickedness and judgment. The angel now calls the prophet's
attention to some startling vision. He sees an ephah going forth. And
he said, this is their aim (literally _aijn_ eye) in all the land.
And, behold, a round piece of lead was lifted up, and this is a woman
sitting in the midst of the ephah. And he said, This is wickedness;
and he cast her in the midst of the ephah, and cast the weight of
lead in its mouth. And I lifted up mine eyes and saw, and, behold,
two women came forth, and the wind was in their wings, and they had
wings like stork wings, and they lifted up the ephah between earth
and heaven. And I said to the angel that talked with me, Whither are
these taking the ephah? And he said to me, To build for her a house
in the land of Shinar; and it shall be established and settled there
upon its own base.

That we have here a most striking and intensely interesting vision is
at once evident. Alas! that so few students of the Word should pass
it by without digging down to the depths and comparing scripture with
scripture to find its true and final meaning! The vision is generally
taken to mean wickedness in connection with Israel, and having its
fulfilment in their captivity. Many other interpretations have been
advanced which are, however, unsatisfactory. We have to look deeper
and give this vision a very prayerful study. After much study and
research we believe that the whole vision is identical with the final
_Babylon_, the great harlot of Revelation, her fall and judgment, and
all that is connected with it--wickedness put away, sealed up, the
wicked one destroyed, and Satan chained.

What are the leading figures in the vision? An ephah--which is a
Jewish measure standing here for commerce. The aim (eyes) of all the
land (or earth) are upon it. Commercialism is very prominent in
Revelation in connection with the full measure of wickedness, the
climax of ungodliness. In Revelation xviii merchants are mentioned
who have grown rich through the abundance of her delicacies. Then the
merchants are seen weeping, for no man buys their merchandise any
more. And then a long list follows, including _all the articles of
modern commerce_. Compare this with the awful description of the last
times in James v. Rich men are commanded to weep and howl, for
miseries are come upon them. They heaped treasure together for the
last days, and it was a heaping together by fraud, dishonesty in
keeping back the hire of the laborers. They lived in pleasure
(luxuriously) and been wanton. Indeed, here is that burning question
of the day, capital and labor, and its final outcome, misery and
judgment upon commercialism, riches heaped up, and all in wickedness.
In Habakkuk ii: 12 the woe of judgment of that coming glory of the
Lord is pronounced upon him that buildeth a town with blood and
establisheth a city by iniquity! The people are seen laboring for the
fire and wearying themselves for vanity. Luxuries, increase, riches,
etc., are mentioned in the second and third chapters of Isaiah,
chapters of judgment. Other passages could be quoted, but these are
sufficient for our purpose. They show us that the climax of
wickedness as it is in the earth when judgment will come, and
Israel's time commences once more, will be connected with commerce,
riches and luxuries. The ephah points to this.

In the second place let us notice that in the _midst_ of the ephah
there is seen a _woman_. She is called wickedness. The Hebrew word
wickedness is translated by the Septuagint with "_anomia_". We find
that the Holy Spirit uses the same word in 2 Thes. 2: 8, and then
shall be revealed the wicked one (anomos) whom the Lord Jesus will
slay with the Spirit of His mouth. The woman in the ephah personifies
wickedness. She has surrounded herself with the ephah and sits in the
midst of it. Have we not here the great whore having a golden cup in
her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication?
Undoubtedly. This woman is the type of evil and wickedness in its
highest form. Let us glance at that wonderful description of that
woman in Revelation. She is the great whore sitting upon many waters.
She sits upon a scarlet colored beast, full of names of blasphemy,
having seven heads and ten horns. The woman is arrayed in purple and
scarlet decked with gold, precious stones and pearls. Upon her
forehead is seen her name, Mystery, BABYLON the Great, the mother of
harlots and abominations in the earth. She is drunk with the blood of
the saints. The woman in the ephah represents the same great whore,
Babylon the great. This becomes at once clear when we take into
consideration that the woman in the ephah is carried swiftly away and
a house is built for her in the land of _Shinar_, and it shall be
established, and set there upon her own _base_. Now the land of
Shinar is _Babylonia_. There it is where the God-opposing power has
its home and when it will end in final and total destruction.

But it is certainly worth the while to follow this up. The first city
erected after the judgment of the first age was the city in the plain
of Shinar. There they built a city and in it a tower, whose top was
to reach into the heavens, to make themselves a name. Self, worship
of the creature, had reached its climax, and confusion and judgment
came swiftly. The Babylon of the Revelation is the very same attempt,
only in its fullest development. It is Cain's city--human strength,
human wisdom, stored in it. A number of the wicked generation, after
the confusion of tongues, remained in the land of Shinar as
inhabitants of Babylon. In it wickedness, idolatry, luxuries, earthly
glory and commerce prospered. Only a few of the inspired descriptions
of ancient Babylon may be mentioned here: The Golden City, Isaiah
xiv: 4. The lady of Kingdoms, Isaiah xvii: 5. Stand now with thine
enchantments, and with the multitudes of thy sorceries, wherein thou
hast labored from thy youth, Isaiah xlvii: 12. The praise of the
whole earth, li: 41. Babylon! a golden cup in the Lord's land, that
made all the earth drunken, the nations have drunken of her wine,
therefore the nations are mad, Jeremiah li: 7. It is the land of
graven images, and they are mad upon their idols, Jeremiah l: 38. O
thou that dwellest in many waters, abundant in treasures, Jeremiah
li: 13. Babylon was in splendor and outward glory for the kingdoms of
the world, God opposing what Jerusalem was for the land. Jerusalem is
the city of a great King and Babylon may be termed the city of the
prince of this world. According to Herodotus, the walls of Babylon
were 60 miles in circumference. They were 87 feet thick and 350 feet
high. The city had 25 gates made of solid brass. The city contained
676 squares, beautifully and symetrically arranged. The river ran
through the city, surrounded by high walls, and in it were brass
gates and steps leading to the river banks. A wonderful bridge
spanned the river. No such city ever stood in the earth again. Even
the great cities of our days--Paris, London, New York and Berlin--do
not reach the splendor, luxury and wealth of ancient Babylon. The
king's palace had a wall around it six miles long. The hanging
gardens were considered the wonder of the world. The waterworks of
Babylon, supplying the immense city and its hanging gardens from the
river Euphrates, were more powerful and larger than any modern water
supplies. A Roman historian gives a vivid description of the city.

Nothing could be more corrupt than its morals, nothing more fitted to
excite and to allure to immoderate pleasures. The rites of
hospitality were polluted by the grossest and most shameless lusts.
_Money dissolved_ every tie, whether of kindred, respect or esteem.
Drunkeness and the grossest immoralities were practised in public.

The worship of Babylon was idolatry, and it is a fact that all
idolatry can be traced to Babylon. She is the mother of all
abominations. Babylon was destroyed, but has a promise of restoration
and return of her glory before her final and total destruction comes.

Roman Catholicism is generally taken to be the Babylon of the
Revelation. It is more correct to say Rome is an offspring of
Babylon. Ancient Babylon had a religious ceremonial like the Rome of
to-day, Indeed, the ancient Babylonian worship is revived in modern
Rome. Babylon is the mother and Rome is the living daughter; while
Rome again has her daughters--the "isms" of Christendom. Babylon
means concentration and confusion. A boasting, high minded
Christendom--Roman and so-called "Protestant"--is rapidly nearing its
awful apostacy and judgment. The cry, so popular in our times--the
Fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of men and of a social
Christianity--is really the cry of old, Let us make us a name; it is
concentration. Money, riches and commercialism play a very important
part in the popular religious enterprises. All is getting ready for
Laodicea--increase in riches and proud boastings. Influential men,
money, etc., control the affairs of Christendom. Error and loose
morals are spreading in every direction. Great schemes are planned;
institutions of learning--in which infidelity, in the form of higher
criticism, is taught--are erected and endowed by the "church" with
millions of dollars, as if this earth were to be the home of the
church for ever. The twentieth century is prophesied to become the
most glorious, and one would not know where to stop if all the
beautiful air castles and promises of would-be prophets were to be
named. The supremacy of the Anglo-Saxon race, its civilising
influences and power for good, etc., are harped upon at present as
being a mighty factor in the final conversion of the world. But in
the midst of this boasting Christendom, heaping their bricks together
for their proud tower, blindness has already become greater than the
blindness of the Jews. In the midst of Christendom, the sorceries and
idolatries of ancient Babylon are being strangely revived and leading
many astray. The luxuries of Babylon, fostered by modern inventions
and commercialism, are seen on all hands. One only needs to study
statistics to see what this "Christian nation" expends a year for
luxuries and what for the preaching of the gospel, the only power for
salvation. The near future will undoubtedly bring the long looked-for
union of churches, concentration for reformation, lifting up of
humanity, etc., etc., and when man in his own thoughts and making
himself a name seems almost to have succeeded, He who sitteth in the
heavens and who laughs at their foolish efforts will no longer laugh
but will speak once more in His wrath, and Babylon will fall. Whoever
has eyes opened by the Word and the Spirit, must see how well the
_woman_ has succeeded in putting the leaven of error and wickedness
into the fine flour, and the leaven is doing its perfect work in
leavening the whole lump.

But we must return to the vision. The ephah is carried, and in it the
woman, by two women with wings of storks into the land of Shinar, and
there a house is built and it is established on her own base. Babylon
as it is described in the Revelation xvii and xviii can hardly mean
exclusively corrupted ecclesiastical systems, apostate Christendom as
it is seen to-day. The Babylon of the Revelation is still future, and
its fullest development falls in the time when the body of the Lord
Jesus Christ is no longer in the earth.

It is remarkable that certain prophecies concerning Babylon in Isaiah
and Jeremiah have not yet been fulfilled. If we hold to a literal
interpretation of the Scriptures then of necessity Babylon is to be
rebuilt. The desolations of Babylon prophesied by these two prophets
have not yet taken place. The destruction is to be suddenly by fire,
and that destruction has never been. Still more startling is the fact
that the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah concerning Babylon and its
final destruction are identical with Revelation xvii and xviii. The
vision of the ephah and the woman in it being swiftly carried to
Shinar and housed there upon her own base, as well as other
prophecies concerning Babylon, point to an actual rebuilding of
ancient Babylon as a great commercial center and world power as well
as religious centralization. There are many indications in this
direction in our times. Railroads are planned to India. Russia is
advancing in the same direction. Maybe the restoration of the Jews in
_unbelief_ as it has commenced will hasten such a project as it has
been already mentioned by statesmen, an international center for
commerce and arbitration in central Asia. It concerns the true
believer very little what the final Babylon will be. He does not
belong to it, neither to the present Babylon as it exists in
Christendom; nor will he see the future Babylon, for the Lord will
then have gathered His saints. The removal of the church from the
earth will bring about a great change, and all that is to be done
will be done swiftly, indicated by the stork's wings. What men in
that gross darkness, when the light of God, His Spirit, and His
praying church is removed, will do in their rebellion against God and
His Anointed no human being can now estimate or imagine. Finally, the
vision of the ephah and the woman, so to speak, sealed up in it, may
denote also the overthrow and judgment of wickedness. Babylon fallen,
cast down. Anti-Christ, the man of sin, slain by the brightness of
His coming. Satan chained in the pit for a thousand years. The last
vision of the prophet is likewise a vision of judgment, followed by
the crowning of Joshua with the double crowns of silver and gold.



CHAPTER VI.

_The Last Night Vision of the Prophet.--The Vision of the Four
Chariots Coming from Between the Mountains of Brass.--The Crowning of
Joshua with Crowns._

The prophet lifts up his eyes again and sees four chariots which come
out from between two mountains which were of brass. In the first
chariot the horses are red, in the second they are black, in the
third white, and in the fourth speckled bay. The angel explains that
these are the four spirits of the heavens which go forth from
standing before the Lord of all the earth. The black and the white
horses go forth into the north country, the speckled go to the south
country, and the bay went forth and sought to go that they might walk
to and fro through the earth, and so they did. The last verse of the
vision reads: "And he called me and spake to me, saying, Behold,
these that go forth in the land of the north have caused my spirit to
rest upon the land of the north."

We notice first the similarity of the last vision with the first
contained in the opening chapter of Zechariah. The visions opened
with the hosts of heaven upon red, speckled and white horses, having
walked to and fro through the earth. We learned from the first vision
that its meaning was judgment; that God was displeased with the
nations, and is once more jealous for Jerusalem and ready to turn in
mercy to Zion, and the hosts of heaven are seen in that first vision
preparing for judgment. In the last vision the chariots of judgment
are seen coming forth to sweep over the earth, to be followed by the
crowning with crowns of the high-priest. The riders of the first
vision may be termed the advance guards of the judgment, but the
chariots now put the divine decrees into execution. The riders halted
in a valley amidst a myrtle grove, but the chariots rush forth to
execute their terrible work from between two mountains of brass.
These mountains mean undoubtedly Mount Moriah and the Mount of
Olives. They rush through the Valley of Jehoshaphat. The brass is
mentioned to denote the firmness and stability of these mountains,
which shall never be moved. We do not think that in the four chariots
there is an allusion to the four world-powers. The judgment of them
is now come. The stone is falling and smiting the image at its feet
and pulverizing it, putting it completely out of existence. The
chariots are God's powers, agencies for judgment in the earth, which
will pass swiftly along, shown by the fast running chariots. In Rev.
vi the seven seals are opened, and there go forth the four terrible
riders upon white, red, black and pale horses. The riders in the
Apocalypse are the riders which go through the earth during the great
tribulation, but in the eighth night vision of Zechariah we see the
chariots of God's wrath. The vision falls in the time when heaven
opens and He appears riding upon a white horse, His name Faithful and
True, coming in righteousness to judge and to make war. Wonderful
vision of Him who is clothed with a vesture dipped in blood! He is
followed by the armies of heaven upon white horses, all clothed in
fine linen white and clean. "And out of His mouth goeth a sharp
sword, that with it He should smite the nations, and He shall rule
them with a rod of iron, and he treadeth the winepress of the
fierceness and wrath of almighty God" (Rev. xix). Immediately after
the appearing of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords with all His
saints, "An angel is seen standing in the sun, and he cried with a
load voice, saying, to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven,
Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
that ye may eat the flesh of kings and the flesh of captains and the
flesh of mighty men and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit
upon them, both free and bond, both small and great." How terrible
that wrath will be, what awful work these chariots will work in
slaying the ungodly, rebellious people, and spoiling the armies of
military Christendom no human pen can describe. "Before Him went the
pestilence, and burning coals went forth at His feet. He stood and
measured the earth. He beheld and drove asunder the nations; and the
everlasting mountains were scattered, the perpetual hills did bow.
The sun and the moon stood still in their habitation. Thou didst
march through the land in indignation. Thou didst thresh the nations
in anger" (Hab. iii). O how our hearts as believers should praise our
God and our Lord Jesus Christ who has delivered us from that wrath to
come. And while the tribulation is not yet, and wrath will come after
the tribulation, how should we redeem the time and witness of that
great salvation to Jew and Gentile, and teach in the words of the
second Psalm, "Kiss the Son." His wrath shall soon be kindled. The
time is short, and soon the scenes of terror, tribulation, and wrath
will be enacted in the earth. The removal of the Church from the
earth will be the signal for the beginning.

The angel interprets to the prophet that the chariots are the four
spirits of the heavens which go forth from standing before the Lord
of the earth. These agencies for wrath were with God standing before
Him the Lord of all the earth, but now at His command they descend to
scatter death and destruction. They go forth in sets, and the north
country and south country both so prominent in the prophetic word are
mentioned. The bay horses, however, are not confined to one
direction, they go through the entire earth. At last in the judgment
of the land of the north the Spirit is caused to rest. The overthrow
of the enemies of Israel is complete and the Spirit is quieted. How
long may the wrath last and for how long may the chariots do their
deadly work? Perhaps longer than we now think. The millennial reign
of Christ, as foreshadowed in the bloody rule of David, followed by
the peaceful reign of Solomon, may teach us lessons in this
direction. The night visions have ended. They may be termed the
Apocalypse of Zechariah. Daniel, Zechariah and Revelation go together
in a wonderful harmony and explain each other. Alas! that just these
three parts of the Bible should be so little studied and so little
understood.

The long night of visions for the young prophet Zechariah had passed
by and the noise of the speeding chariots had left his ears. The
morning must have been when he opened his eyes after beholding such
wonderful things, and now the Word of the Lord comes to him.

A command is given to the prophet, which has a sublime prophetic
meaning. The command will surely be once more carried out by Israel
on that glorious morning when the Sun of righteousness has risen
after a dark and dreary night of sin and tribulation as well as wrath
is past. What is the command? Take from the exiles, from Cheldai,
from Tobiah, and from Jedaiah, and go thou on that day, go into the
house of Josiah the son of Zephaniah, whither they have come from
Babylon. Take silver and gold and make crowns, and set them upon the
head of Joshua the son of Josedek, the high priest, and speak to him,
saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold a man whose
name is Branch, and from his place he shall grow up and build the
temple of Jehovah. Even He shall build the temple and bear majesty,
and shall sit and rule upon His throne, and shall be a priest upon
His throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. And
the crowns shall be to Chelem, and to Tobiah, and to Jedaiah, and to
Hen, the son of Zephaniah, for a memorial in the temple of Jehovah.
And they that are afar off shall come and shall build in the temple
of Jehovah, and ye shall know that the Lord of Hosts has sent me to
you, and it will come to pass if ye will hearken unto the voice of
Jehovah your God.

Some consider this to be the ninth vision of the prophet. It is,
however, the Word of the Lord which comes to the prophet. There can
be no doubt but the command was actually carried out and Cheldai
(robust), Tobiah (God's goodness), and Jedaiah (God knows), gave
their silver and gold, and crowns were made out of it and placed upon
the head of Joshua the high priest. But the action had a much deeper
meaning. It was a highly typical one. It must have astonished Joshua
and the people to hear such a command, for the royal crown did not
belong to the high priest but to the descendant of David. He must
have understood that the whole command had a symbolical bearing.
Joshua hears it from the Word of the Lord that another person is only
typified by him, "Behold the man whose name is the Branch." It is
this man the Branch who will be a priest upon the throne. This, of
course, is our Lord Jesus Christ. The name of the high priest Joshua
is in itself very significant, for the meaning is, God is salvation,
Saviour, Jesus. Pontius Pilate was fulfilling prophecy when he stood
there leading out Jesus of Nazareth before that tumultuous multitude,
and when he said "Behold the man." If the assembled Jews had known
the Scriptures they would have recognized the phrase. But how did he
then come forth? He wore a crown of thorns upon His meek and loving
brow, and the people gazed into the blood-stained face of the Lamb of
God now ready to be placed upon the altar and slain. But once again
it will sound forth, "Behold the man," for when He appears it will be
after He has gathered His saints, and then He will come as the Son of
Man in the heavens, and the sign of the Son of Man will be seen
there. He will be crowned again, too, but not with the crown of
suffering and shame, but with the crowns of glory. Thus he is seen in
Revelation xix: 12 as wearing many crowns.

He comes to build the temple of Jehovah, bearing majesty, sitting and
ruling upon His throne. He is now the builder of the spiritual temple
which is composed of living stones (Eph. ii: 21; 1 Peter ii: 5). But
when He comes again there will be the building of another temple. It
is now no longer His Father's throne but His own, upon which He is a
priest as well. The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords has now taken
possession of His inheritance. The times of overturning are over and
He whose right it is has come. There is a very instructive thought in
the fact that the persons of the exile, as mentioned above, were to
bring the silver and the gold out of which the crowns were to be
made. The time will come when the whole exiled nation, so long
scattered and peeled, though even in dispersion, the richest nation
of the earth, will bring their silver and gold, their glory and their
all and lay it at the feet of the King.

The CX Psalm will then find its fulfillment: "Thou art a priest
forever after the order of Melchizedek." Melchizedek united the
offices of a king and a priest in one person. "For this Melchizedek,
king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning
from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him; to whom also Abraham
gave a tenth part of all; first, being by interpretation King of
Righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is King of
Peace. Without father and without mother, without descent, having
neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but made like unto the
Son of God; abideth a priest continually" (Heb. vii: 1-3). The whole
will be realized in the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. Perhaps
the fourteenth verse will also find a literal fulfillment then after
the crowning of the King by His own people who rejected Him once, and
a memorial of that event will be seen in the temple throughout the
millennium.

They that are afar off are now seen coming, and build not the temple
of the Lord but in the temple. The Gentiles, of course, are they that
are afar off and who are even now building in a certain sense in the
temple of the Lord, but when He has returned and sits upon His throne
this prophecy will find its final fulfillment. And when shall it all
come to pass? An answer is given which refers us to the opening words
of the first chapter. "And this shall come to pass, if ye will
diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God."

In the whole command of the crowning of the high priest, Israel's
future glory is likewise seen. Their great and high calling will be
realized in that day when the man the Branch comes forth and turns
away ungodliness from Jacob. Israel will be as His earthly people
like the Priest upon His throne, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a
peculiar people. The kingdom has then come, and the will of God is
being done in earth as it is done in heaven. And oh how blessedly for
the believer's heart to think God's own thoughts and move in the
purposes of God. Our own individual salvation eternally assured, we
ought to cry continually "Even so, come Lord Jesus."--Amen, Amen!



CHAPTER VII.

_The question put to the Prophet concerning the Fast.--The Rebuke
given and their Failure shown._

The night visions had come to an end. In them, as we have seen, the
whole future of Israel, their restoration to the land and
regeneration, as well as the theocracy and the judgments connected
with it, were revealed. Nearly two years had passed by since that
memorable night of visions, and during these two years the people
had, obedient to the heavenly visions and encouraged by them, built
the house of the Lord. Soon the temple was to be completed and
worship once more to be restored. A question rose then in the minds
of some of the people about the keeping of certain fast days by which
they commemorated events of judgments upon their nation and city. The
principal day of fasting was the day set apart for remembering the
destruction and burning of the city of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.
This day was kept by the Jews on the tenth day of the fifth month.
Messengers are sent with this question to the prophet, and this
occasion is used by the Lord to give a new message to the nation
through the prophet.

The seventh chapter is divided into three sections. 1. The occasion
for the prophecy (verses 1-4). 3. The rebuke (verses 4-8). 3. Looking
over the past (verses 8-14). But the seventh chapter does not answer
the question put to the prophet. If a reader of the word stops
reading with the seventh chapter, and does not continue to read the
eighth, he will be much perplexed. The seventh and eighth chapters of
Zechariah go together; in fact they should form only one chapter. The
eighth chapter contains two sections. 1. Promises of blessings again
and teachings concerning their walk (verses 1-17). 2. The solemn fast
days will be no more; instead of them there will be feast days. Whole
nations will seek the Lord and be joined to Israel. Thus the end of
chapter eight answers the question of the people concerning the fast
days. At the first glance we notice that these two chapters, though
starting from a desire of the people in the prophet's day, are yet
awaiting their final and greatest fulfillment. Israel still fasts and
is still the forsaken. Still there is mourning and weeping over the
departed glory, and once a year is the solemn fast kept which reminds
the seed of Abraham of the sad fate of Jerusalem and the Temple,
twice destroyed on the same day.

But let us glance at these sections in these chapters, and make a
short comment on them.

_Chapter VII: 1-4. The question_--It comes from the people of Bethel.
The two men who represent the people have Assyrian names--Sherezer,
meaning prince of the treasury, and Regemmelech, the official of the
King. Perhaps they were born in exile and received their names there,
and may have held the position indicated by their names. Their
concern for a human institution not at all commanded in the word of
the Lord, as it was the case with the fast day in question, shows the
lack of spirituality in them. They should have been more concerned
about true obedience than with an insignificant ceremony. It has
always been so with the people. When the Lord came He said to the
leaders, "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a
camel" (Matthew xxii: 24). And they are still concerned with
ceremonials and know not the true obedience. But the same conditions,
alas! exist too in Christendom. The question itself about weeping on
that day for so many years shows that they were tired of it. It was a
burden to them. If they had the true faith and in it obedience, they
would not have come with that question at all, but with joy and
gladness would they have looked to the future, and known that the
promised restoration as seen by the prophet was surely to come.

_II. The reproof. Verses 4-7._--The word of the Lord comes now to the
prophet. The message is for all the people and for the priests. The
two fasts are mentioned. The one in the fifth month as already stated
was the one in remembrance of the destruction of the city. The fast
of the seventh month was kept on the anniversary of the murder of
Gedaliah at Mizpah (Jeremiah xli). But why did they keep these fast
days? Why do they keep these days indeed still? The Lord asks, "Is it
unto me, unto me?" No, it was not for the honor and glory of God, but
their own selfish interests were at the bottom of it. Indeed God had
never asked them to fast. These institutions were manmade, and highly
displeasing to Jehovah. And is it not so now, not alone with the Jews
but with Christendom? Oh, the manmade institutions and outward
observances which only dishonor God and are for the selfish interests
of the people! The eating and drinking, the fast being over, was not
unto the Lord, but unto themselves. It was obedience the Lord
required. Had they listened to the words spoken by the prophets they
would not have been in captivity, there would have been no need for a
solemn fast. Unbelief was at the bottom of it all, and so it is still
with the nation in dispersion.

III. The closing verses of the seventh chapter _look over past
history_. In the first place the Lord says what he desires to see
done by them: True judgment executed, mercy and truth shown by every
man to his brother, oppress not the widow and the fatherless, the
stranger nor the poor, let none of you imagine evil against his
brother in your heart. These precepts were spoken to them by the
prophets before the captivity. "Wash ye, make you clean; put away the
evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to
do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless,
plead for the widow" (Isaiah i.) But they did the very opposite, and
continued in an outward service without obedience of the heart.

This disobedience became their ruin and brought on the disaster. The
description of their waywardness fits that people in their entire
history. They refused to attend and offered a rebellious shoulder.
They made their ears too heavy to hear, their heart they made an
adamant that they might not hear the law and the words which Jehovah
of hosts sent by His Spirit. These conditions prevailed in a still
intenser form when our Lord Jesus Christ appeared among them. At last
God Himself put judicial blindness upon them and still their heart is
like adamant, but that heart of stone will be removed at last by the
Spirit of God and a heart of flesh given in its place. (Ezek. xxxvi).

And now follows the manifestation of the wrath of Jehovah of hosts.
He had cried and they did not hear, and now they called but He did
not hear. The prayers of orthodox Judaism especially on their fast
days are beyond description and pleading for mercy. Still there is no
answer to the many prayers. "Your new moons and your appointed feasts
my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you;
yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear; your hands are full
of blood." (Is. i: 14, 15. ) Alas! it is worship with the lips. The
believing remnant alone in the future will be heard in their
pleadings, and the Lord will send at last the salvation out of Zion,
and the Deliverer will come who turns away ungodliness from Jacob.
The fourteenth verse puts the dispersion and the judgment before us
in a nutshell. They are whirled among all the nations whom they know
not. The land itself becomes desolate behind them. As soon as the
people leave whose land it is, the land flowing with milk and honey
becomes a wilderness, and when they return it will be again the land
of blessing.

What a testimony the land and the people is! Both speak of God's
righteous judgment, and the truth of His word. A whole nation
scattered among all the nations and still kept intact. Their land
trodden down by the Gentiles, waste and desolate. The land mourneth,
indeed. Prosperity will come to that land again, but not by human
efforts and human wisdom. The attempts of unbelieving Israel now in
transforming the wilderness may prove successful, and colonies after
colonies will be established. The time of Jacob's trouble, however,
will sweep it all away.

The question concerning the fast is answered in the next chapter. The
great and wonderful future of the land, the people, and of Jerusalem,
prosperity and blessing is clearly shown in it. No more mourning, but
joy; no more shame, but honor; no desolation, but restoration and His
people saved from the East and West, nations at last being converted
through Israel's blessing and testimony. We will look at these
promises and let them pass before us in our next chapter.



CHAPTER VIII.

_The Gracious Answer to their Question.--Promises of Blessing,
Restoration, Prosperity and Salvation.--No more Fast Days.--Nations
to be added to Jerusalem._

The eighth chapter contains the most blessed promises concerning the
future of Jerusalem and the people Israel. Now the question
concerning the fasts is answered in a way the petitioners never
expected. The promises which are given in this chapter were only
partially fulfilled in Zechariah's day in the returned and believing
remnant, the actual fulfillment is still future. In the first night
vision we heard the words, Cry yet saying, Thus says the Lord of
hosts, My cities through prosperity shall yet be spread abroad, and
the Lord shall yet comfort Zion and shall yet choose Jerusalem. The
eighth chapter gives the details of the promised prosperity. The
perfect picture of Jerusalem's glorious future is unrolled before our
eyes. Though still future, with the eyes of faith we can look at it
and rejoice in the vision when at last the covenant keeping God of
Abraham has established Jerusalem and made her a praise in the earth.
It is a grand and glorious prophecy which is before us, and while we
now consider it as believers and members of His heavenly people, we
may well think of the time when He, who is our Lord and Israel's
King, shall come and we with Him, and when in Him all these blessings
will be carried out. Not long ago we saw teachings on this chapter
consisting of entirely spiritual applications for believers' comfort,
prosperity and increase, etc. The New Testament contains all the
comfort and blessing for believers, and we need not rob Israel of
promises belonging to them and connected with their future.

We divide the chapter into eight sections, which we will now briefly
review:

1. _The Restoration Announced._ Verses 1-3. The jealousy of the Lord
for Jerusalem is again stated, like in the first chapter, I am
jealous for Jerusalem (14th verse). Here, however, is the word fury
added. The Hebrew verb signifies, I have been and am still jealous of
her with great fury. The fury denotes the wrath which fell upon the
ungodly nations, the horns of the second night visions, which are now
passed out of existence, broken to pieces. Now to Jerusalem, no
longer trodden down by the Gentiles, the enemies being scattered, the
Lord Himself has returned and His glory is seen there again. It had
departed, but now the sign of his presence and favor is again given.
The city becomes a new city, called The City of Truth. How different
this name is from the others which Jerusalem bore and which so
fittingly described her fallen condition and abomination. She was
called the city which had grievously sinned, like an unclean woman
(Lament. i: 8, 17), a harlot and a murderer (Isaiah i: 21)
spiritually called Sodom and Egypt (Rev. xi), but now a new name is
given her, The City of Truth. He who is the Truth has turned the lie
and ungodliness from Jacob, and truth is the characteristic of the
city. The mountain of the Lord of hosts becomes the holy mountain.

2. _Jerusalem will have Rest and be Largely Inhabited._ Verses 4 and
5. What a picture in comparison with the former desolation! Jerusalem
was forsaken and a desolation, a city of heaps. It is even so now,
few cities of the earth present such an awful misery as modern
Jerusalem does. It will all be changed, and just as great as the
misery and desolation was the blessing and the increase will be. Old
men in the streets, bowed down by old age, and alongside of them boys
and girls who run about in childish play. No more fear, they shall
dwell safely and none shall make them afraid. The increase in
descendants is even now very great among the Jews and the city is
rapidly becoming a Jewish city again, and thus everything is
preparing for the final conflict. Only after Jerusalem's warfare is
ended will there be peace.

3. _They are Brought back from the Captivity._ Verses 7, 8. When they
heard of a restoration they thought this very marvelous. Had they not
been scattered into the four winds? Could they ever be brought
together again? Therefore the Lord says, Because it is marvelous in
the eyes of the remnant of this nation in those days, shall it be
marvelous in My eyes also? saith the Lord of hosts. At this present
time Jews and Gentiles doubt the promises of restoration, it is
marvelous in their eyes. But He who scattered Israel will gather them
again. He knows also where the so called Lost Tribes are, the house
of Israel, and we need not try to help God to find them. When the
time comes He will bring them all back. In the second chapter we
noticed that the North Country is mentioned, and we called attention
to the fact that the North Country, Russia, is inhabited by nearly
one-half of the entire Jewish race. In that land the persecutions are
the greatest and also the desire for a return to the land. The
restoration in unbelief is one especially from the Jews in the North
Country. Here in the eighth chapter the East and the West countries
are mentioned, the far East, India, China, etc., and the West, our
own country and the isles of the sea. The rich Jews may now be
satisfied in the countries, away from the homeland, where they
prospered, but at last they will return and the Lord will send
fishers to fish them and hunters to hunt them out. (Jer. xvi: 16.)
The Gentiles will bring them back to their own land (Isaiah lxvi:
20). All will then be His people and He will be their God.

4. _The Land is Blessed.--Fruitfulness and Plenty.--The Remnant to
Possess all these Things._ Verses 9-12. What a contrast there is now
seen! For before these days there was no hire for man, nor any hire
for beast. . . Little fruit was had from the ground, there was
nothing for man and beast. . . Neither was there any peace to him
that went out or came in on account of the affliction. . . There was
no rest, no peace, but uncertainty and affliction. Those that went
out from the land had no peace, and they that came into the land
found no peace. The curse said, No rest for the sole of their feet,
and how literally it has been fulfilled. Again the people seek a
resting place in the land without their God and their Saviour, all in
the confidence of the flesh. They will succeed in their restoration
plans only to find themselves at last in greater difficulties and
facing worse afflictions than ever before. Then every one will be
against his neighbor (verse 10). Money spent by the millions in
building channels for irrigation, planting of trees and vines,
building railroads, etc. (just what modern Zionism proposes and has
undertaken to do), may succeed in transforming the land in spots into
a fruitful garden, but the time of Jacob's trouble will sweep that
all away. The Lord will be gracious to the very land in the day of
His manifestation. There will be a seed of peace, the vine will give
her fruit, the ground her increase, the heavens their dew. They shall
build houses and inhabit them, they shall plant vineyards and eat the
fruit of them (Isaiah lxv: 21). For ye shall go out with joy and be
led forth with peace, the mountains and the hills shall break forth
before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap
their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the firtree, and
instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle tree, and it shall be
to the Lord for a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut
off (Isaiah lv: 12-13). The remnant of the people left after the
great tribulation will inherit this all.

5. _The Curse Changed into Blessing._ Verses 13-15. They had been a
curse among the nations, but now at last the nations of the earth
blest in the seed of Abraham. As He had punished them so He blesses
them now. Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, says your God, speak ye
to the heart of Jerusalem and cry unto her, that her warfare is
accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, for she has received of
the Lord's hand double for all her sins (Isaiah xl: 1, 2). Literal
were the curses threatened concerning Israel and Israel's land,
literally they were all fulfilled. And are there not many more
promises of blessing for the people and for the land spoken by the
same true and faithful God who uttered the threatenings and carried
them out to the very last? And will not the Lord fulfill these
promises of blessing literally to the minutest details? Assuredly He
will. It is remarkable that this simple truth is not seen and
understood in Christendom of to-day. According to the popular idea
God has punished the Jews and will continue to do so, and the church
has taken Israel's place and inherited all the blessings. It is this
false notion which is responsible in a great measure for the dreadful
confusion existing in Christendom. The thing against which Paul
warned is practiced in Christendom, Boast not against the branches. .
. Be not highminded, but fear. For if God spared not the natural
branches (Jews) take heed lest He also spare not thee (Gentiles). God
is able to graft them (Israel) in again. (Romans xi.)

6. _Israel will be a Holy People._ Verses 16 and 17. These are the
words ye are to do, speak ye every man the truth to his neighbor,
execute the judgment of truth and peace in your gates; let none of
you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor and love no
false oath, for all these are things which I hate, saith the Lord.
Untruth, false oath, speaking one against the other are
characteristic sins of Israel. But the character of the nation is now
to be entirely changed. They are now indeed to be a holy people, with
hearts circumcised, loving God with all their hearts and their
neighbors as themselves. A new heart also will I give you, and a new
spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart
out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will
put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye
shall keep my judgments and do them. (Ezekiel xxxvi: 26, 27.)

7. _No more Fast Days, but Feast Days._ Verses 18 and 19. The fast of
the fourth month and the fast of the fifth and the fast of the
seventh and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy
and gladness and cheerful feasts; therefore love the truth and the
peace. This is now the answer to their question. The fasts of the
fifth and seventh month were the fasts commemorating the burning of
the temple and the taking of the city by Nebuchadnezzar, and the
other the anniversary of the murder of Gedeliah and his friends. The
fast of the tenth month was kept in remembrance of the siege of
Jerusalem which was commenced in that month and the fast of the
fourth month was kept on account of the taking of Jerusalem. These
fasts commemorated therefore all national calamities. A greater
calamity happened of course later when at the same time Jerusalem was
destroyed by the Roman armies, the temple and the city burned to the
ground and not a stone left upon another. The Jews are still keeping
national fasts on account of these calamities. Not alone in Jerusalem
are there Jews and Jewesses going to the small piece of ancient stone
masonry, which is said to be all left of the magnificent temple in
Jerusalem, to mourn there especially on the ninth day of Ab, but the
mourning among the orthodox Jews on that day is world-wide. In the
synagogues of Russia and New York, San Francisco and in South Africa,
everywhere where there are orthodox Jews the Lamentations of the
prophet Jeremiah are chanted in a mournful tone. But the time is
coming when all will be changed. With Jerusalem rebuilt and
peacefully inhabited, a temple full of God's glory, and over it all
the heavenly glory and the angels of God ascending and descending
upon the Son of Man, there will be no more need of fasting and
mourning, but all will be changed in gladness and joy. The Songs of
praise which are found at the close of the book of Psalms will then
undoubtedly be sung by restored Israel.

8. _The Conversion of the World and Conquest for the Lord will follow
Through Converted and Restored Israel._ Verses 20-23. These verses
have often been spiritualized. How much harm there is done by taking
such words and promises out of their connections and fitting them to
a time and people for which they were never meant. Can God give His
blessing to such teaching of His Word? We believe not. Thus saith the
Lord of hosts, It shall yet be that nations will come, the
inhabitants of many cities. And the inhabitants of one city shall go
to another saying, Let us go speedily to pray before the Lord and to
seek the Lord of hosts: I will go also. And many peoples and strong
nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and to pray
before the Lord. This the world has not yet seen. Individuals have
turned to the Lord, and His own are gathered out of all nations and
languages, but such a picture as it is seen here has not yet been
seen. The conversion of peoples and strong nations is still future.
It will not come by modern missionary efforts, consisting not alone
of preaching, but as it is done to-day, by educational work in
heathen countries, as well as other humanitarian institutions, such
as hospital work, orphanages, etc. Nations can never be converted by
these efforts, nor has God given His Church promises that nations and
the world is to be converted by the preaching of the Gospel of grace.
Individuals, of course, are converted and will be converted by the
Word faithfully preached. A people is thus taken out for His name.
And to this agree the words of the prophets, as it is written, After
this I will return and will build again the tabernacle of David,
which is fallen down (Israel's time commencing again, in restoration
and regeneration) and I will build again the ruins thereof and I will
set it up; that the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all
the nations upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth
all these things. (Acts xv: 14-17.) It is sad to think that
Christendom ignores such a revelation of the divine purpose and order
and goes on in entirely different lines. We are living now in the
time of the outcalling of a people, the Church, the body of the Lord
Jesus Christ is formed. When that body is completed, which does not
mean the conversion of the world, the Lord will come for His
outcalled saints and then with His saints in glory. This will be
followed, according to the words of the prophets, as we have so
clearly seen in these studies by the building again of the tabernacle
of David and all that is connected with it, and then the residue of
men, the nations, will seek the Lord. It is also to be noticed that
these nations will seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem and worship
there before Him. This means that Jerusalem will become the great
center of not alone world government but also of worship. The last
chapter in this book of Zechariah shows nations coming up to
Jerusalem on the feast of tabernacles.

The last verse of the eighth chapter is the grandest of all. Thus
saith the Lord of hosts, in those days it shall be that ten men shall
take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold
of the skirt of him that is a Jew saying, we will go with you for we
have heard that God is with you. This shows clearly what so often is
doubted, namely, that the Jew converted and filled with the Spirit
will be the instrument for the conversion of the nations. At this
present time when a poor Jew shows himself, even in a so-called
Christian (?) land like ours, he will occasionally be followed by ten
men or more who will mock him and call him names and perhaps assault
him (by no means a rare occurrence). But it will all be changed in
the day of Israel's glory. It will then be known that Israel is the
blessed people, and ten men out of all languages will beseech the Jew
to take him along to the most blessed spot in the earth, to
Jerusalem.

Thus ends one of the most striking prophecies concerning the future
of the Seed of Abraham and Abraham's land. How strange that so few
Christian people care to study these sublime revelations, which tell
us how true and faithful our God is and which make it so clear and
plain that the Bible is divine, the Word of God. May He teach us, who
love these truths, who love Him and His appearing, who is not only
Our Hope but Israel's Hope as well, may He teach us more and more to
know His thoughts and purposes and to find our delight in them.



CHAPTER IX.

_The Second Part of the Prophecies--The First Burden--Judgment upon
Hadrach, Hamath, Tyre and Sidon--His People Kept--The King of Peace
and Righteousness Announced--Victory over the Enemies._

With the ninth chapter begins the second part of the book. In it God
shows through the prophet new and glorious visions of the Kingdom,
the conflicts which His people Israel will have, their victories and
final deliverance, ending with the sublime visions in the fourteenth
chapter. The Deliverer, the King Messiah, is seen here likewise,
suffering, rejected, pierced and slain, the Shepherd is smitten and
rejected, false shepherds take charge of the flock, and calamities
follow till the true Shepherd appears again and they look upon Him
whom they pierced. The Gentiles are seen at last coming up to
Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts. Like the first part
of the book, we have in the second a series of prophecies which are
progressive, leading up higher and higher till the whole purpose of
God is made known, and the summit of Glory to God in the Highest,
Peace on earth, is reached, in the establishment of the Throne of
Jehovah in and over the earth. Oh, how blind man is! that he passes
by the thoughts of his God and does not consider them, nor find
delight and pleasure in them. The words of man are read and studied,
and the Word of God is set aside. The great mass in Christendom is
wise in their own conceits and hastens on to the great waking up,
when it will be too late. It is for the few to look into these things
and to know the secrets of our God. Let us do it faithfully and
prayerfully.

Twice in this second part of Zechariah we meet with the phrase "The
burden of the Word of Jehovah." The first time it stands in the
beginning of the ninth chapter, and the second time in the twelfth
chapter. We may conclude from this that the ninth, tenth and the
eleventh chapters were given as one prophecy, and the twelfth to the
fourteenth were perhaps given some time later.

The land of Hadrach against which the first burden in chapter ix.
commences cannot be correctly located. Its close connection with
Damascus and Hamath show that the land of Hadrach must have been a
province of the Syrian kingdom then in existence. The Phoenician
cities Tyre and Sidon are next, and then mention is made of four
Philistine cities. Against these, Syria, Phoenicia, and the cities of
the Philistines, a great calamity and overthrow is prophesied by
Zechariah. They are conquered by the hosts of an enemy, and the rich
treasuries of Tyre are heaped together in the streets--silver as the
dust and gold as the mire--the bulwarks are smitten, and she herself
consumed by fire. From there the conquest goes on rapidly to the
Philistinian cities, and the King of Gaza perishes. The question
arises, What conquest and calamity is this? Is it accomplished or is
it still future? History records one great conqueror who rapidly
overthrew the countries and cities mentioned in this burden.
Alexander the Great and his expedition so successfully carried on is
undoubtedly meant here. All students of the prophetic Scriptures know
how prominently he likewise stands out in the Book of Daniel. The
young monarch, after the battle of Issus, besieged and quickly
captured Damascus. Sidon was easily taken, but Tyre resisted him some
seven months and was burned to the ground. Gaza and the other cities
came next. Thus the burden of the Word of Jehovah as uttered here by
Zechariah was literally fulfilled in the Syrian conquest of Alexander
the Great. However, history tells us that the armies of the youthful
monarch passed by Jerusalem a number of times without doing harm to
the city. This is remarkable, and in accord with the prophecy of
Zechariah, for we read in the eighth verse, "And I will encamp
against mine house, against the army, against him that passes through
and returns, and no oppressor shall come over them any more, for now
I have seen it with mine eyes."

The Jewish historian Josephus gives a very interesting account of the
oppressor, and how Alexander the Great punished the Samaritans, and
the reason why he did not besiege and conquer Jerusalem. The account
which Josephus gives is so important that we have to quote from it.

"After the destruction of Tyre, the conqueror marched against Gaza,
which was razed to the ground. While Alexander was at the siege of
Tyre, he sent to demand the surrender of Jerusalem. The High Priest
sent an answer in which he stated that Jerusalem had entered into an
alliance with the Persian monarch. After taking Gaza, Alexander
advanced suddenly against Jerusalem. Jaddua, the High Priest, and the
entire city were much frightened. But in a vision God told the High
Priest to be of good cheer, to decorate the city and open the gates
wide, and to go forth in his priestly robes with all the priests in
his train, and the people of the city clad in white garments. Jaddua
obeyed and the doors were opened, and the astonished enemy beheld a
startling spectacle. No sooner had Alexander seen the High Priest in
his gold embroidered robes with the holy name engraved on the turban,
then he fell upon his face and worshipped. His attendants were
greatly astonished. The Syrian kings who stood around feared that
Alexander had lost his reason. One at length asked why he, whom all
the world worshipped, should do homage to the High Priest of the
Jews. Alexander replied that he did not worship the High Priest but
his God. In a vision in Macedonia that figure in that very dress
appeared to me. He exhorted me to conquer Persia. Alexander entered
with the priest into the city to offer sacrifices. The High Priest
then acquainted him with the prophecies of Daniel, showing that a
Greek was to overthrow the Persian empire." The account is without
doubt a correct one, and we relate it here because this prophecy of
the Alexandrian conquest shows the wonderful escape of Jerusalem that
the oppressor shall not come over it.

However, it is to be noticed that the eighth verse says that no
oppressor shall come over them _any more_. This puts before us again
the final deliverance of Jerusalem and Israel's land as it is seen in
the last chapter. It is said that history repeats itself, but divine
prophecy again and again announces events for the near future, and in
it is seen a foreshadowing of other events, and the original prophecy
awaits a greater and final fulfillment. The sentence quoted, that no
oppressor shall come over them any more, brings the first burden of
the word of Jehovah in connection with the coming final deliverance
of Israel when they shall be planted upon their land, and they shall
no more be plucked up. A final destructive visitation will be upon
the enemies of Israel and Jerusalem; in fact, many of the ancient
foes of Israel are seen revived in prophecy in the latter days then
to be swept away, while Jerusalem will again be miraculously saved.
In our exposition of the fourteenth chapter we hope to show the
details of this.

The second section of the ninth chapter, verses 9-11, which is so
closely connected with the burden from verses 1-8, strengthens the
above exegesis. Who would say that verses 9-11 have seen a complete
fulfillment? The greater part of it is still future, and so it is
likewise with the third section of the ninth chapter. Let us quote
first verses 9-11:

   Rejoice greatly, daughter of Zion,
   Shout aloud daughter of Jerusalem,
   Behold thy King cometh to thee,
   Just and having salvation,
   Meek and riding upon an ass,
   Even upon a colt, the she-ass's foal,
   And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim,
   And the horse from Jerusalem,
   And the battle bow shall be cut off,
   And He shall speak peace unto the nations,
   And His dominion shall be from sea to sea,
   And from the river to the ends of the earth.
   As for thee also, for the sake of thy covenant blood,
   I send forth thy prisoners from the waterless pit,
   Return to the stronghold--Prisoners of hope
   Even to-day I declare I will render double unto thee.

This stands in contrast to the Grecian conqueror, and it needs no
proofs that the coming King whom Zechariah beholds is the King
Messiah. The Jews acknowledge it as such. One of the greatest Jewish
commentators says (Rashi): It is impossible to interpret it of any
other than King Messiah. An interesting fable is based upon this
prophecy, and well known among orthodox Jews. Rabbi Eliezer says,
commenting on the words lowly and riding upon an ass, "This is the
ass, the foal of that she-ass which was created in the twilight. This
is the ass which Abraham our father saddled for the binding of Isaac
his son. This is the ass upon which Moses our teacher rode when he
came to Egypt, as it is said, And he made them ride upon the ass (Ex.
iv: 20). This is the ass upon which the Son of David shall ride."
Other interesting quotations could be given from Jewish writings, but
this is sufficient to show that the Jews believe it to be a Messianic
prophecy. And what blindness that they do not see Him who is the
Messiah; but is not the so-called "higher criticism" existing to-day
in Christendom being taught in churches and schools, that there are
no Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament, much greater blindness?
Alas! so it is, and the outcome can be nothing else in the end than
the denial of the divinity of our Lord, or Unitarianism.

Every reader of the new Testament knows that this prophecy is quoted
in the Gospels. Let us look to the Gospels and see its application.
First, in the Gospel of Matthew, chapter xxi: 5: All this was done
that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
Tell the daughter of Sion, Behold thy King cometh unto thee, meek,
and sitting upon an ass, upon a colt the foal of an ass. The context
shows a great multitude there crying, Hosanna to the Son of David:
Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the
highest. But soon the cry is changed into, This is Jesus the prophet
from Nazareth of Galilee. Notice the Holy Spirit quoting from
Zechariah leaves out the sentence, "He is just, having salvation."
This is not an error, but it is the divine right of the Spirit who
gave the prophecies in olden times to apply them correctly in the New
Testament. In the Gospel of Mark in the eleventh chapter there is
likewise the description of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, but
Zechariah is not quoted. The same is true of the account given by
Luke, chapter xix., and here He is mentioned as the King that cometh
in the name of Jehovah, peace in heaven and glory in the highest. In
the fourth Gospel, chapter xii: 15, the account of His coming to
Jerusalem is much shorter than in the other Gospels. It says there,
Fear not, daughter of Sion; behold, thy King cometh, sitting upon an
ass's colt.

We see from this that the four Gospels give each an account of the
entry of the Lord into Jerusalem; two of them quote from Zechariah
and the other two do not. The quotations themselves are differing
from the prophecy in Zechariah ix. in two respects. The first words,
Rejoice greatly, is not at all used. In Matthew it is, Tell the
daughter of Sion, and in John, Fear not daughter of Sion. The
sentence, He is just and having salvation, is left out in both.

A superficial exposition of the Word claims that Zechariah's prophecy
was fulfilled in the event recorded by the Gospels. As far as His
entry into Jerusalem is concerned, riding upon the colt the foal of
an ass (and note in Matthew it is shown that both the colt and the
ass are brought to Him. He could ride of course only upon one, but
the she-ass had to go along in fulfillment of prophecy), and the way
He came, meekly, in this respect the prophecy was fulfilled. This
entry of the Son of Man into Jerusalem was His formal presentation to
Jerusalem as its King, but, as stated above, the Messianic cry of
welcome Blessed is He, soon changes into, Jesus the prophet from
Nazareth in Galilee, and that again in the final cry of rejection,
Crucify Him, crucify Him! There was no salvation for Israel then, and
no kingdom for Him, hence no rejoicing is mentioned in the
quotations.

It is His second coming to Jerusalem as the Son of Man in His glory
which will bring the fulfillment of Zechariah ix: 9-11. True, the
colt, the she ass's foal, will not be the animal He rides, but He
will come upon a white horse followed by the armies of heaven. He
comes then truly for Jerusalem, fulfilling the prophecy, Just is He
having salvation (marginal reading, Victory). There will be again the
welcome cry of the 118th Psalm, Blessed is He that cometh in the name
of Jehovah, preceded by the plea, Hosanna, save now.

The tenth and eleventh verses show clearly that the prophecy is yet
to be fulfilled and can be only fulfilled in the coming of the Son of
Man in His glory. One of the reasons why modern Judaism rejects Jesus
of Nazareth, and does not believe Him to be the promised Redeemer, is
in this prophecy. Rabbi F. De Sola Mendes, of New York, brings in a
little book, "A Hebrew's Reply to the Missionaries," the following
argument: "We reject Jesus of Nazareth as our Messiah on account of
His deeds. He says of Himself: 'Think not that I am come to send
peace on the earth; I came not to send peace but a sword,' etc. But
we find that our prophets ascribe to the true Messiah quite different
actions." Zechariah says (ix: 10), He shall speak peace to the
nations. Jesus says He came to send the sword on the earth; whereas,
Isaiah says of the true Messianic time, "They shall beat their swords
into ploughshares, and their spears into pruninghooks; nation shall
not lift up sword against nation; neither shall they learn war any
more."

Of course the Jew is right in expecting the literal fulfillment of
this prophecy, and it will be fulfilled when He comes again and the
restoration of all things will follow, as spoken by the mouth of all
his holy prophets.

When He appears again, in like manner as He went into heaven, that is
not for His saints but with His saints, there will be peace for
Ephraim and for Jerusalem, and the kingdom is then restored to
Israel, that is, to the house of Judah and the house of Israel. The
chariot, the horse, and the battlebow will be cut off.

Not alone will He bring peace to the covenant people but to the
nations. He will speak peace. "And He shall stand, and shall feed His
flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of
Jehovah His God, and they shall abide; for now shall He be great unto
the ends of the earth. And this man shall be our peace" (Micah v: 4,
5). There will be abundance of peace (Ps. lxxii: 7). His dominion
will be from sea to sea and to the ends of the earth.

The prisoners of hope to be released, by the blood of the covenant,
from the pit wherein there is no water, is the nation whose captivity
is now ended. How strange that people should take a passage like this
and interpret it as meaning the restitution of the wicked and the
ungodly from the pit. There is nothing taught in the Word like that
which some people term a larger hope. The restitution (restoration)
of all things is not left to the fanciful interpretation of the human
mind, but is clearly defined by the Word itself, as spoken by the
prophets. In the vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel xxxvii, Israel's
complaint is, Our hope is lost. But when He is manifested, who is
indeed the Hope of Israel, the prisoners (the captives), will be
released and cleansed. Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine eyes
from tears. . . . "There is hope for thy latter end, saith the Lord,
and thy children shall come again to their own border" (Jer. xxxi:
17). The exhortation to return to the stronghold follows. Israel will
then sing, "He brought me up out of an horrible pit, out of the miry
clay, and He set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings" (Ps.
xl: 2). Double will be rendered unto them, as promised, "Speak to the
heart of Jerusalem, and cry unto her that her warfare is
accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received of
the Lord's hand double for all her sins" (Is. xl: 2). "For your shame
ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in their
portion; therefore in their land they shall possess double;
everlasting joy shall be unto them" (Is. lxi: 7).

And now we come to the third section of this chapter. The scene
changes once more. The chapter commences with scenes of war, strife,
battles and overthrow, and it ends with scenes of war and words of
cheer for Zion. In the middle stands the King and His advent, the
kingdom of peace, which He will establish.

Alexander's successor, Antiochus Epiphanes, and Zion's successful
resistance, is undoubtedly the first fulfillment of the third
section. The Prophet Daniel speaks likewise of this terrible man of
sin, Antiochus Epiphanes (chap. viii). Not like Alexander, passing by
Jerusalem, he invaded the land of Judah, and endeavored to force the
idolatry of Greece upon the Jews. Entering Jerusalem, he slew 40,000
of the inhabitants, and a larger number were sold as slaves. He then
entered the temple, seized the rich treasures stored there, and
commanded a big swine to be sacrificed upon the altar of
burnt-offering, and with the blood the sacred place was defiled. A
bitter struggle commenced, for Antiochus tried to exterminate the
Jews and their religion as well. Every observance of the Jewish
religion was forbidden, the Sabbath had to be profaned, and unclean
food had to be eaten. Idols were set up in the temple. Instead of the
Jewish feasts, the feasts of idols, with all their shocking
abominations and immoralities, were introduced, and the Jews were
forced to join in them. Thousands suffered martyrdom. But all at once
a few people stood up against the abominations, the Maccabeans, and
in a struggle lasting about twenty-five years, they fought
successfully against the enemies. Miraculous victories were achieved,
and thousands and tens of thousands of the idolators slain, and
Jerusalem and the land freed from the abomination.

This terrible visitation of the land and the wonderful victory of the
Maccabeans is foretold by the prophet in the closing verses of the
ninth chapter. We will quote the passage:

   "I bend for me Judah and fill the bow with Ephraim,
   And I will stir up thy sons, Zion, against thy sons, Greece,
   And make thee like the sword of a mighty man.
   Jehovah shall be seen over them,
   And His arrow shall go forth like lightning,
   And the Lord Jehovah shall blow the trumpet.
   He shall go with whirlwinds of the South.
   The Lord of Hosts shall cover them;
   They shall devour and tread down slingstones,
   And they drink and make a noise as from wine,
   And they shall be filled like bowls, as the corners of the altar.
   And Jehovah their God saves them in that day, as the flock of
      His people;
   For jewels of a crown shall they be, glittering over His land,
   For how great is His goodness and how great His beauty!
   Corn shall make the young men flourish, and new wine maidens."

But again we have to remark that this prophecy is only partially
fulfilled. The terrible tribulation of the land of Judah when
Antiochus Epiphanes invaded the land, is but a type of the great
tribulation, the time of Jacob's trouble. Antiochus Epiphanes, in his
awful fight against Jehovah and the Lord's people, is a type of the
final Antichrist, and the Jewish saints slain by him are types of the
Jewish saints which will be beheaded during the tribulation. Jehovah
will fight then, as it is stated here, against those nations in that
day (Zech. xiv). The remnant of Israel will then be victorious. Thus
everything is seen in this chapter in a past fulfillment, but only
partial, and in it a future fulfillment, which will be complete.

We cannot leave this chapter without calling attention to the blessed
statement:

   "For jewels of a crown they shall be, glittering over His land."

The slain who suffered martyrdom are meant, and all those who fought
for Jehovah's name and honor. May not the statement in Hebrews xi.
refer to this time? "Others had trials of mockings and scourgings,
yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment: they were stoned, they were
sawn asunder, they were tempted, they were slain with the sword they
went about in sheepskins, in goatskins: being destitute, afflicted,
evil entreated, of whom the world was not worthy, wandering in
deserts and in mountains and caves and the holes of the earth" (Heb.
xi: 36-39).

And all will find a repetition during the coming tribulation. But the
time for reward has not yet come. The throne of glory is not yet
revealed, and the jewels, the saints made up in a crown, glittering
over the land are not yet seen. But the assurance is given, "They
shall be Mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make up my
jewels" (Mal. iii: 17). "Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the
hand of Jehovah, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God" (Isa.
lxii: 3). "And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the
witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and which had not
worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his
mark upon their foreheads or in their hands, and they lived and
reigned with Christ a thousand years." Revel. xx: 6. Oh, blessed hope
of all the saints! To be with Christ in Glory, in His throne, and
sharing His rule. In that day of manifestation, when Christ our life
is manifested, and we shall be manifested with Him in glory--glory
never ceasing, but ever increasing, in the countless ages to come,
redeemed sinners will be the jewels of His crown, and He shall see
the travail of His soul and be satisfied.



CHAPTER X.

_More Blessings promised to Judah and Israel.--The Nation
Victorious.--Judah and Ephraim blessed, gathered and restored, and
their enemies overcome._

The tenth chapter continues to unfold Israel's future blessings and
restoration, and in it Ephraim, the house of Israel, is especially
mentioned. The chapter begins with a contrast. In the first verse
there is a call to prayer, and the assurance of an answer given; in
the second verse the idols are mentioned which Israel worshipped and
which give no comfort.

Ask of Jehovah rain in the time of the latter rain. The former rain
and the latter rain are often spoken of in the Word. It is of course
first to be understood of the natural rain coming from the clouds
upon the land. The rain withheld and the land becomes a desert, the
rain given and the land flows again with milk and honey. I will give
you the rain of your land in his due season, the first rain and the
latter rain, that thou mayest gather in thy corn, thy wine and thine
oil. . . . Take heed to yourselves that your heart be not deceived,
and ye turn aside, and serve other gods, and worship them; and the
Lord's wrath will be kindled against you and He shut up the heavens,
that there be no rain and that the land yield not her fruit; and lest
ye perish quickly from off the good land which the Lord giveth you.
(Deut. xi: 14-17.)

The first rain came upon the seed placed into the ground, while the
latter rain was necessary to ripen the fruit. Israel's sin, unbelief,
disobedience and apostacy have shut the heavens and keep them shut so
that there is no rain and the land is a wilderness, waste and
desolate. An abundance of rain is promised to them when Jehovah
appears again. Much of late has been said that Palestine becomes
fruitful once more. It is said that the statistics show that during
the last years the rainfall has increased by so many inches. This
statement is denied by others. Some believers make much of this
rainfall and think that it is a sign of His coming, an indication
that God's favor is being restored to the land. This is incorrect.
The abundance of rain, the latter rain, is not promised for the land
at this present time, but it will come after the great tribulation,
and is closely connected with the manifestation of the Lord from
heaven in the clouds. The fruitfulness as it is seen now in the
land--by no means general, but only in spots--is brought about mostly
by artificial means, such as irrigation. During the great tribulation
there will be no rain. (Rev. xi: 6.) Modern Zionism, in its
God-dishonoring unbelief, with its immense resources of wealth and
influence, may succeed in transforming the land of the Fathers.
Indeed this is their scheme--building railroads, channels for
irrigation, factories, mines, institutions of learning, etc. But the
great tribulation will sweep it all away once more, and disaster will
come swiftly when the plan of a Jewish Kingdom, without Him who is
the King of the Jews, seems to be realized. It is not for the
believer to look now for the promised latter rain. All this looking
for signs has a tendency to foster the idea that the church will pass
through the tribulation. If that were the case we might well look to
the signs around us and look (as some believers do) where Antichrist
is to come from.

The latter rain stands in connection with the Lord's manifestation
for Israel. Let us know, follow on to know Jehovah: like the morning
His coming is sure, and He shall come like the rain for us, like the
latter rain watering the earth. (Hosea vi: 3.) O ye children of Zion,
rejoice and be glad in Jehovah your God; He gives you the former rain
in a just measure, and sends you in showers the early and the latter
rain as in times of old. (Joel ii: 23.) It is time to seek Jehovah,
until He come to rain righteousness upon you. (Hosea x: 12.) But the
latter rain is also a type of spiritual blessings. It includes all
the blessed promises in spiritual things, and especially does it
stand for the full harvest which comes in after the heaven is opened
and that great outpouring of the Spirit takes place. (Joel ii: 28.)
It is unscriptural to expect now in this time such a latter rain,
just as it is unscriptural to expect now the rain upon the land of
Israel. How many prayers there are now in Christendom, well meant
undoubtedly; prayers for the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, prayers
for a new Pentecost, even prayers for the outward manifestations; all
these prayers have no scriptural foundation, and cannot be answered
now in the dispensation in which we live. There will be the latter
rain, the outpouring of the Spirit upon all flesh; but it stands in
connection with the day of the Lord and with God's earthly people.

Truly, as the beginning of Zechariah x. has it, in the time of the
latter rain there will be prayer for it, but the prayer does not come
from the lips of church-saints, but it comes from the lips of the
Jewish remnant. The assurance is given that Jehovah will send the
showers of rain, and before they come He will create the lightning.
The lightnings stand for His wrath and judgment, which will proceed
before the showers of blessing. In His coming He will be like the
lightning falling from the clouds.

The second verse puts before us another picture. The apostacy of the
nation and their idolatry are now brought before us. The original
word for idols is teraphim, and these were household gods, which were
consulted by them. Spiritism (or as it is also called Spiritualism),
this awful delusion so strong in the last times, is not a new thing.
We can trace it to the remotest ages, and the nations which are still
in the darkness of heathendom still practice it. It is very powerful
in India and in China, and upheld by the father of lies from where it
springs. Israel knew it likewise, and was closely connected with its
abominations. The teraphim were little figures which in some way by
movements or mysterious noises gave an answer to questions. Men did
then go about as sorcerers, and mediums had visions and dreams.
Hearken not to your prophets, nor to your diviners, nor to your
dreamers, nor to your enchanters, nor to your sorcerers, which speak
unto you, saying, Ye shall not serve the King of Babylon. They
prophesy a lie unto you. (Jer. xxvii: 9.) Let not your diviners that
are in the midst of you deceive you. . . . I have not sent them,
(Jer. xxii: 8, 9.) What an awful sin it was that Israel could thus
join themselves to idols and practice the abominable things. Soon the
punishment fell upon them and they were carried into captivity, as
the second verse states. Therefore they have wandered like a flock,
they are oppressed because there is no shepherd. Jehovah had been
rejected by them, and in this rejection is seen the rejection which
followed when they rejected the Son. Here Hosea iii: 4 is to be taken
into consideration. The children of Israel shall abide many days (the
dispersion in which they are now) without a king and without a
prince, without a sacrifice and without an image, without an ephod
and teraphim. The next verse speaks of their conversion in the latter
days. During their dispersion they will have neither the old worship
of Jehovah nor will they hold any longer to the teraphim and ask
guidance of them. How truly it has all been fulfilled, However there
is a word which the Lord spoke, which is here likewise to be
mentioned. It is one of the many misunderstood passages in the New
Testament. We find it in Matthew xii: 43-45. When the unclean spirit
is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest and
findeth none. Then he saith I will return to my house from whence I
came out; and when he has come he findeth it empty, swept and
garnished. Then he goeth and taketh with himself seven other spirits
more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there, and the
last state of that man is worse than the first. Even so shall it be
unto this wicked generation. The unclean spirit of idolatry had left
the nation after the return from the captivity, but there is in that
wicked generation at last a return of the same evil spirit with seven
others worse than the spirit of idolatry, and the last of that man
(unbelieving Israel) is worse than the first. This seems to us is the
true application of this passage. Israel is rapidly nearing the time
when unclean spirits with idols will have control over them. He who
comes in his own name, the false Messiah, the devil's masterpiece
with all his delusions and lying wonders, will be worshipped by them
and the outcast demons will enter the house again. This is clearly
seen in Zech. xiii: 2. It shall be in that day (after the nation has
looked upon the pierced one), saith Jehovah of hosts, I will cut off
the names of the idols from the land, and they shall be remembered no
more; and also the prophets and the spirits of uncleanness will I
cause to pass out of the land. A return to teraphim, sorcery,
divination, etc., is already noticeable in our day. The superstitions
of talmudical Judaism are many, and the modern revival of the ancient
teraphim, in Spiritism, through mediums, tables, etc., finds not a
few followers among the Jews. What will it be when the man of sin is
in the earth? All the world will wonder after the beast.

In verses 3-5 we see once more the events which belong to Israel's
future. Mention is made first of the House of Judah. Against the
shepherds His anger is kindled, and the he-goats will be punished
(false leaders of the people and their enemies.) Then Jehovah visits
His flock, the house of Judah, and He will make them like His goodly
horse in war. Like heroes they are treading down the foes. They fight
successfully against the enemies, for Jehovah is once more with them
and the day of vengeance has come, and the riders on horses are put
to shame by them. The parables of Balaam tell us what Israel will be
at last, and how like a young lion they will spring upon the prey.
Even now in dispersion the Jew inspires terror and is feared by the
nations. This fear, which produces anti-Semitism (so strong in our
times), has a good reason, for they will soon be the head of the
nations and no longer the tail.

The words in the fourth verse, From him (Judah) the cornerstone, from
him the nail. . . have been differently interpreted. The nail is in
the oriental house a large pin, often very beautifully ornamented,
and the most costly things are hanged thereupon. And I will fasten
him as a nail in a sure place and he shall be for a glorious throne
to his father's house. And they shall hang upon him all the glory of
his father's house. (Isaiah xxii: 23, 24.) The Shemeth rabbah, a
Jewish interpretation, says on this verse, this is King David; as it
is said, the stone which the builders rejected is become the chief
cornerstone. Some say it is spoken concerning the Lord, that He is
the cornerstone and the nail. It refers to Him no doubt, but what is
spoken of Him finds also a fulfillment in restored Israel. Thus
Israel is yet to be the cornerstone upon which everything rests in
the earth, and the nail upon which hangs the glory.

The rest of the chapter speaks of restoration of the house of Judah
and the house of Israel. The house of Judah will be strengthened, and
the house of Joseph (the ten tribes) will be saved. Ephraim, standing
likewise for the house of Israel, shall become like a hero, and their
heart shall rejoice, and their sons shall see and rejoice, their
heart shall exult in Jehovah. I will hiss to them and will gather
them, for I have redeemed them, and they shall increase as they did
increase. And I will sow them among many peoples, and in far
countries they shall remember me, and with their children they shall
live and return. (Verses 7-9.) Their bringing back will be from the
land of Egypt and from Assyria. With it is the judgment of the
nations; they will be cast down and the restored people shall walk in
His name.

The prophecy brings before us the old question concerning the ten
tribes or the house of Israel. These tribes are generally called the
"lost tribes," and as such they have been found perhaps a hundred
times by as many different persons. The North American Indians, the
Afghans, the Nestorians, tribes in the interior of Africa as well as
in China, and even the Hottentots of South Africa, have been declared
to be the lost tribes. We believe that this looking for the lost
tribes and to locate them is something against which the Holy Spirit
warns when He declares, But avoid foolish questions and genealogies
and contentions and striving about the law, for they are unprofitable
and vain. (Titus iii: 9.) Neither give heed to fables and endless
genealogies, which minister questions rather than godly edyfing which
is in faith. (1 Tim: 1-4.) We think it wrong to go into such
speculations on matters which the Lord purposely has hid in His Word.
We would have nothing else to say on this topic were it not for a
very strange teaching which has fascinated many minds and which has
become very popular both in England and in America. We have reference
to the so-called Anglo-Israel theory. According to this theory the
lost tribes have been found in the Anglo-Saxon race, and that God has
kept His promises made to the house of Israel and fulfilled them and
fulfills them now in the two nations, America and England. It is a
theory, and the Word of God is used to prove it. This may be done
with any theory, and scripture twisted out of its place can be made
to prove almost anything. Anglo-Israel is a delusion, and it is
strange that so many believers have become infatuated with it and
suffer consequently from it. The theory is based upon a very serious
mistake in the exposition of the prophetic Word. All through prophecy
we find promises which belong to the house of Israel (and to Judah
likewise), the conflicts, the victories over their enemies, temporal
blessings, etc. These promises are to be realized in the latter days.
The phrase "latter days," however, is misunderstood, and believed to
be the days in which we live; while in fact the latter days are still
future and have not yet been reached. Prophecies which are spoken
concerning the future are looked upon as already fulfilled.

In this way the ninth verse in our chapter is misunderstood, And I
will sow them among the peoples, and in far countries they shall
remember me, and with their children they shall live and return. This
passage is often quoted in Anglo-Israel literature, and is always put
down as being fulfilled in the Anglo-Saxon race. We claim that it has
not yet been fulfilled, but will be fulfilled when the house of Judah
has been restored, and they as well as the house of Israel are in the
land and form one people, God's earthly kingdom people. This is true
of all the promises which Anglo-Israelism claims to have found a
fulfillment.

It is true they are now scattered among the nations and the Lord
knows them and He knows where they are and in due time He will send
hunters to hunt them out and fishers to fish them in (Jer. xvi: 16);
and they will be brought back to the land upon horses and in
chariots, etc. (Isaiah lxvi: 20.) After that they will be sown among
the peoples. They are then in the far countries and increase as they
did before and are a blessing to the nations and not a curse. Their
seed shall be known among the Gentiles and their offspring among the
people, all that see them shall acknowledge them that they are the
seed which the Lord has blessed. (Isaiah lxi: 9.) Judah's return will
be from all directions, but according to the tenth verse Ephraim will
be brought back from Egypt and Assyria. Anglo-Israel is a very poor
Ishmael attempt to help God to keep His promises.

When all this takes place the Lord will pass through the sea and
there will be affliction. The Nile is mentioned, and in Assyria the
pride will be brought down, no sceptre any longer in Egypt. Only then
after this manifestation will they walk (Judah and Israel) in His
name, and not before.



CHAPTER XI.

_Scenes of overthrow and slaughter.--The Shepherd with the two
staves, Beauty and Bands.--He is rejected.--The thirty pieces of
silver.--The foolish shepherd and his punishment._

The eleventh chapter presents a very dark scene. So far we have seen
that the prophet saw in visions and heard from the Lord nothing but
blessings and mercies for Israel, restoration both national and
spiritual, overthrow of all their enemies, destruction of the world
powers, establishment of the theocracy and world conquest; but now
the scene changes completely. That which precedes all these blessed
events, the events for which indeed the earth and groaning creation
is waiting, is now unfolded in all the terrible details, Israel's
apostacy and dreadful punishment on account of the rejection of the
Shepherd, and instead of Him there is given a foolish shepherd.

We will briefly review the entire chapter before taking up the study
of it in details. The first three verses contain a sublime
description of the visitation which was to come upon the land of
Israel. In the fourth verse the nation is seen as a flock of
slaughter, and the buyers who slaughter them are not guilty, and
their sellers are getting rich by it. The inhabitants of the land are
not spared; all is waste and there is no deliverance. In the seventh
verse the reason of all this judgment is seen. The Prophet does a
symbolic act. As a shepherd he represents the good Shepherd of
Israel, the Messiah. He comes to save them from the terrible
calamity, but he is rejected. The shepherd has two staves, Beauty and
Bands. He breaks one first and asks his price, and they offer him the
price of a slave, thirty pieces of silver, which he at the word of
Jehovah casts from himself. The second staff is broken. Instead of
the staves the Prophet takes the instruments of a foolish shepherd,
undoubtedly weapons of destruction. They perish, they stray, they are
wounded, they suffer and are devoured. At last the foolish shepherd
is punished. This is a birdseye view of the chapter. We will consider
the details under three divisions: The judgment upon the land and the
slaughter of the flock; the cause of it. The Shepherd rejected and
set aside. And in the third place the foolish shepherd.

_I. The judgment upon the land, the temple, and the slaughter of the
flock (verses 1-6)._

   Open thy doors, Lebanon;
   Let the fire devour thy cedars.
   Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen;
   Because the lofty ones are spoiled.
   Howl, oaks of Bashan,
   For the high forest is come down.
   A voice of the howling of the shepherds:
   For their glory is spoiled.
   A voice of the roaring of young lions,
   For the pride of Jordan is spoiled.

What an awful picture these three verses present to us, and how
sublime the language! Everything is swept away by a mighty
conflagration. It starts among the lofty cedars of Lebanon; the fir
tree is its prey, and the oaks of Bashan as well as the high forest
come down, and it ends at the Jordan. In the midst of it is heard the
howling of the shepherds and the roaring of the young lions. We have
in these three verses a description of the terrible and complete
judgment which was to fall and which has fallen upon the land of
Israel on account of their disobedience and wickedness. The
destruction of the temple by fire is of course included in this scene
of burning and devastation. Jewish interpretation sees especially in
these verses the prophecy of the destruction of the temple in
Jerusalem. The following is a quotation from the Talmudical tract
Yoma. "Our Rabbis have learnt from tradition that forty years before
the destruction of the temple the lot never used to fall to the right
hand but to the left. The lamp of the evening light would not burn,
and the doors of the temple used to open of their own accord, until
Rabbi Yochanan, the son of Zakkai, rebuked them. He said to it, O
Temple, Temple, why art thou terrifying thyself? I know well that thy
end is to be destroyed, for already Zechariah, the son of Iddo, hath
prophesied, _Open thy doors, O Lebanon, and let a fire consume thy
cedars!"_ As the time of Jerusalem's overthrow and the devastation of
the land drew nearer, after the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ
and His apostles, strange signs in heaven and earth were seen in
Jerusalem and throughout the land. They were signs of warning of the
coming doom, and must have had a special significance for the remnant
of Jewish-Christians who still were in the doomed city. Josephus
mentions a series of these signs: "A comet which had the appearance
of a huge sword hang over the city for a whole year. While the people
were assembled at the feast of unleavened bread, at the sixth hour of
the night, a sudden bright light shone about the temple. On
Pentecost, when the priests entered by night into the temple they
said that they heard many voices proclaim, Let us depart hence. A
certain Jew, the son of Ananus, began suddenly to cry in the temple:
'A voice from the East and a voice from the West! A voice from the
four winds! A voice against Jerusalem and against the Temple! A voice
against the bridegrooms and the brides! A voice against the whole
people!' Day and night in the narrow streets he repeated this cry in
a loud voice. He was severely beaten. He uttered neither shriek nor
pain nor prayer for mercy, but raising his sad and broken voice he
cried at every blow of the scourge, 'Woe, woe to Jerusalem!' For four
years the son of Ananus paid no attention to anyone, and never spake
excepting the same words, Woe to Jerusalem! He neither cursed anyone
who struck him nor thanked anyone who gave him food, but continued to
cry, 'Woe, woe to the city and to the temple!'" (Milman's History of
the Jews, Vol. II.) The above event spoken of in the tract Yoma,
which the pious Rabbi Yochanan thought to be in fulfillment of
Zechariah xi:1, is also mentioned by Josephus. He says, "The eastern
gate of the inner temple, which was of brass and very heavy, and had
been with difficulty shut by twenty men, was seen to open by itself
about the sixth hour of the night."

Once more Jerusalem is to be compassed about by armies and then there
will be signs in earth and in the heavens. Earthquakes will shake the
city, mountains will sink down and valleys will be exalted, the sun
will be darkened and the moon turned into blood, fire and smoke will
arise. The climax of it all will be the manifestation of the Lord who
will overthrow Israel's enemies.

Other interpreters among the Jews declare that this prophecy speaks
of the destruction of the temple.

The correct interpretation is that it includes all the devastation of
the land, the burning of the temple, the slaughter of the flock, the
spoiling of the shepherds, the Jewish leaders and the complete
overthrow of the land and of the people. How awful the fulfillment of
the prophecy has been! The Lord's voice full of tears cried, long
after Zechariah's mournful vision, "If thou hadst known, at least in
this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace! but now they are
hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee that thine
enemies shall cast a trench about thee and compass thee round, and
keep thee in on every side. And shall lay thee even with the ground,
and thy children within thee, and they shall not leave in thee one
stone upon another." The measure was full. After terrible wars
amongst themselves, the fire advanced in the direction from Lebanon,
in the form of the Roman army full of vengeance, spreading ruin and
misery wherever they went, till after a long and dreadful siege
Jerusalem fell, the temple was burnt, and over a million human beings
were slain. Not one stone was left upon another. Up to now this
judgment has been the most appalling, the tribulation then, the
greatest; but there is another tribulation coming of which the former
destruction of Jerusalem is but a faint type, and that tribulation
which is even now so close at hand will find a climax in the day of
wrath, the day of vengeance of our God. The next three verses speak
of the flock of slaughter and the last attempt divine love made to
save the doomed nation. Zechariah is commanded to feed them.

   Thus saith Jehovah my God;
   Feed the flock of slaughter;
   Their possessors slay them and are not guilty:
   And they that sell them say,
   Blessed be Jehovah, for I am getting rich;
   Their own shepherds pity them not.
   I will no more pity the inhabitants of the land, saith Jehovah;
   I will deliver the men every one into his neighbor's hands,
   And into the hand of his king:
   And they shall smite the land,
   And out of their hand I will not deliver them.

What a dreadful condition of the sheep of His pasture, the lost sheep
of the house of Israel, God's flock! Even so it was, strangers ruled
over them, and they were their prey, getting rich on them and not
guilty. Still worse their own shepherds, the civil and ecclesiastical
rulers of the nation, spared them not. God had indeed given them up.
Well may we stop and think for a moment of the apostacy of
Christendom and its final overthrow and judgment so clearly seen in
the book of Revelation. Even now the flock of slaughter is seen and
all getting ripe for the day of wrath!

The action of Zechariah by divine command, like the crowning of the
high priest in the sixth chapter, is a typical one. Zechariah is a
type of the good Shepherd of Israel, the Messiah. The disobedient
nation, the flock of slaughter, had taken God's servants and beat one
and killed another and stoned another. When He sent servants more
than the first, they did unto them in like manner (Matt. xxi: 35).
After this came the last attempt of divine love. God sent His Son as
a Shepherd to seek and feed the lost sheep. He was not accepted, but
they rejected Him. We will consider this now in the second section.

_II. The Shepherd set aside and rejected (verses 7-14)._

"So I fed the flock of slaughter, verily the most miserable sheep.
And I took to myself two staves; the one I called Beauty, the other I
called Bands; and I fed the flock. And I cut off the three shepherds
in one month; for my soul became impatient with them, and their soul
also abhorred me. And I said, I will not feed you: the dying, let it
die; and the cut off, let it be cut off; and the left over, let them
devour each the flesh of the other. And I took my staff, Beauty, and
cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with
all the peoples. And it was broken in that day, and thus the wretched
of the flock who gave heed to me knew that this was the word of
Jehovah. And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my wages;
and if not, forbear. So they weighed as my wages thirty pieces of
silver. And Jehovah said to me, Throw it unto the potter; the goodly
price at which I am valued of them. And I took the thirty pieces of
silver, and threw them into the house of Jehovah, to the potter, Then
I broke my second staff, Bands, that I break the brotherhood between
Judah and Israel."

Much has been written on this difficult passage. The very first
sentence in the paragraph speaks of divine love. He came, the mighty
God, the everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace, in the likeness of
man, as a servant and a gentle shepherd to feed the miserable ones.
Looking at the multitudes who followed Him when He had come, He was
moved with compassion, for they were distressed and scattered as
sheep having no shepherd (Matt. ix: 36). True shepherds indeed they
had not. Prophets sent by Jehovah had long before ceased to come, and
those who ruled them were miserable leaders of the blind, concerning
whom Jehovah spoke through Ezekiel, "Woe unto the shepherds of Israel
that do feed themselves; should not the shepherds feed the sheep? You
eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool, ye kill the
fatlings, but ye feed not the sheep. The diseased have ye not
strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither
have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again
that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was
lost" (Ezekiel xxxiv: 3-5). But now Jehovah Himself has come to be
their Shepherd, "Behold, I Myself, even I, will search for My sheep
and find them out" (Ezekiel xxxiv: 11). And when He came and God was
manifested in the flesh, He turned indeed to the most miserable of
the sheep--the publicans and the outcasts, sinners and harlots,
gathered around Him. The Prophet as the type of the good Shepherd has
two staves. The one is called Beauty (marginal reading,
graciousness). The second one is Bands. The Shepherd carries a staff
to protect and guide His flock. In the second Psalm the returning
Lord is seen shepherding the nations with a rod of iron, but here the
two staves cannot mean instruments for correction, but they are the
staves of comfort and love. God's mercy and favor are clearly
indicated in these two staves. The first one, Beauty, which is cut
asunder first, and that before the wages of the Shepherd, the thirty
pieces of silver, are given, stands no doubt for the gracious offer
with which the King, preaching the kingdom, came among His people, to
His own. He proclaimed that which prophets had spoken before, God's
mercy and love, long promised, now to be carried out. He Himself had
come to redeem His people and deliver them from their mighty enemies
as well as from the false leaders. But the offer, the kingdom
preaching, is rejected, the staff, Beauty, is cut asunder, the
covenant with the peoples (Amim in Hebrew), His own, is now broken.
The kingdom is to be taken away and given to another nation. After
the breaking of the staff, Beauty, there comes the giving of the
wages, the thirty pieces of silver. The Shepherd who broke the staff
is treated like a slave.

The second staff in His hands, Bands, speaks of union, binding
together, bringing into fellowship. It typifies the priestly side of
the good Shepherd who died for the flock. This staff is broken after
the thirty pieces were given for Him, and cast into the temple. They
cried, Away with Him! we have no King save Caesar! Crucify Him! His
blood be upon us and upon our children! The cross bears the
superscription, This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews, and
from the lips of the rejected King and Shepherd there came the prayer
for His people, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
The doom came not at once upon the nation. Once more the love of the
Shepherd is preached to the miserable sheep, and the remission of
sins offered in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, but it ends in
rejection too; no bringing together into One followed. The foolish
shepherd appears next, and after him the good Shepherd will appear
again with His two staves, Beauty and Bands, kingdom and mercy,
bringing and binding together. He will then be a Priest upon His
throne. This interpretation is the most satisfactory one, and in
harmony with the entire scope of Zechariah's visions and prophecies.

Who are the three shepherds to be cut off in one month by the
Shepherd? Are they persons or not? Many answers have been given to
these questions, and many theories have been advanced to solve the
difficulty. It is not necessary to mention any of them. The three
shepherds are not persons, but they stand for the three classes of
rulers which governed Israel, and were in that sense shepherds. We
read of these shepherds in Jeremiah ii: 8, priests, rulers, and
prophets. The Lord likewise mentions them in Matthew xvi: 21, elders,
chief priests and scribes. When He came He was indeed weary with
them, and denounced their hypocrisies and wickedness. They in turn
hated and abhorred Him, and conspired to put Him to death. The Lord
Himself cut them off. He pronounced His woes and judgments upon them,
but the judgment was not at once carried out. When Jerusalem was
taken their rule came to an end and they were cut off.

But there are mentioned the wretched of the flock that gave heed unto
the Shepherd, and they knew that it was the word of Jehovah. These
wretched ones are the faithful ones who followed the Shepherd, the
small remnant. (Compare with chapter xiii: 7.) The others who
rejected the King and the Shepherd were indeed not fed, but were
dying and cut off.

The wages of the good Shepherd, thirty pieces of silver, and these
thrown into the house of Jehovah to the potter is to be considered
next. Thirty pieces of silver was the price of a slave who had been
killed. If the ox gore a manservant or a maidservant, the owner shall
give unto their master thirty shekels of silver (Exodus xxi: 32). Oh,
what unfathomable love! The Lord from heaven became like a slave. The
love He looked for He found not. It was refused to Him, and instead
He was insulted, mocked, and treated like a miserable slave. There
was one of the twelve who was called Judas Iscariot. He went to the
chief priests and said, What are you willing to give me, and I will
deliver Him unto you? And they weighed unto him thirty pieces of
silver (Matt. xxvi: 14). The money at the command of Jehovah is
thrown away by the prophet with indignation, into the house of
Jehovah, to the potter. Perhaps the prophet never knew the real
significance of his act, but we know it from the New Testament. Then
Judas which betrayed Him, when he saw that He was condemned, repented
himself and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief
priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I betrayed innocent
blood. But they said, What is this to us? See thou to it. And he cast
down the pieces of silver into the sanctuary, and departed and hanged
himself And the chief priests took the pieces of silver and said, It
is not lawful to put them into the treasury since it is the price of
blood. And they took counsel and bought with them the potters' field
to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called the field of
blood unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by
Jeremiah, the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of
silver, the price of Him that was priced, whom certain of the
children of Israel did price, and they gave them for the potters'
field, as the Lord appointed me (Matt. xxvii: 3-9). How striking the
fulfillment. However, here is a difficulty. In Matthew it is stated
that Jeremiah spoke the prophecy, and Zechariah's name is not
mentioned at all. How can this be explained?

The prophecy certainly as it was fulfilled was not given by Jeremiah
at all, but through Zechariah. There can be doubt that his name
should appear here instead of Jeremiah, but that Jeremiah's name is
quoted must have a meaning. Rotherham in his translation of the New
Testament makes a foot note in which he says, "Zech. xi: 12, 13:
Perhaps as included in a scroll headed by Jeremiah." But this is not
satisfactory. The question would be if there is anything in Jeremiah
which could have a connection with the typical action of Zechariah.
There is a similar action in Jeremiah, which, as a whole, speaks of
the same event which Zech. xi: 13 has, and which is seen in
fulfillment in Matt. xxvii. Read in Jeremiah the eighteenth and
nineteenth chapters. The word "_Topheth_" in Jeremiah means an
unclean place, a burial ground. It seems as if Jeremiah's name
appears here so as to call attention to the fact that the prophet
spoke of the event likewise, and that Zech. xi. and Jer. xviii. and
xix. must be compared and read together.

_III. The foolish shepherd (verses 15-17)._

And Jehovah said to me, Take unto thee again the instruments of a
foolish shepherd. For, behold, I raise up a shepherd in the land; the
perishing he will not visit, the scattered ones he will not seek for,
the wounded he will not heal, the strong he will not feed, but he
shall eat the flesh of the fat, and their hoofs he will break off.
Woe to the worthless shepherd that leaveth the flock! The sword upon
his arm and upon his right eye. His arm shall be utterly withered and
his right eye completely blinded.

The prophet now impersonates another shepherd, one who is foolish and
wicked, and in his hands he does no longer hold the staves of Beauty
and Bands, but the instruments of the foolish shepherd to wound and
to hurt are in his possession. This foolish shepherd is the opposite
from the good shepherd. He came to heal, to seek, to save, and to
feed, but the foolish shepherd scatters, does not heal, nor does he
feed the flock; but he eats the flesh of the fat. The description of
this false shepherd is like the description of the shepherds in Ezek.
xxxiv., as quoted before. Ezekiel's prophecy concerning the gathering
of the flock is future still, but before He gathers the lost and
scattered sheep of Israel and brings them back to their land and
gives them the one Shepherd and David His servant, there will be
false shepherds. The true One rejected, the nation becomes the prey
of the foolish shepherds. Poor, blinded Israel! How many wicked
shepherds they have had, and how often the prey of wicked leaders.
False Messiahs appeared among them again and again to find strong and
numerous following. Still the foolish shepherd, the last one, the
very embodiment of Satan himself; the accuser, has not yet come.
Forerunners there have been many. Herod was one of them, but not that
man of sin, the son of perdition who will appear and be worshiped as
God, right before the King of kings and the true Shepherd of His
flock appears to slay that wicked one with the breath of His mouth
and by the brightness of His coming (2 Thess. ii.). The Lord said, I
am come in My Father's name, and ye receive Me not; if another shall
come in his own name, him ye will receive (John v: 43). That one who
comes in his own name has not yet come, and when at last he is here,
it will be for Israel the time of greatest trouble and tribulation
for all them that inhabit the earth. The third section of our chapter
finds its complete fulfillment in the Antichrist, the false Messiah,
the beast, the little horn, the leader of the enemy, the false prince
of Israel; thus the foolish shepherd is called throughout the
prophetic word. The dreadful punishment will be executed upon the
foolish shepherd in the day of the Lord's coming with His saints for
the salvation of His people Israel.

The eleventh chapter in Zechariah is the darkest in Israel's history.
The night began with their apostasy and rejection of the Lord of
Glory, their own brother, their loving Shepherd, the Lord Jesus
Christ. It ends in darkness greater still under the regime of the
foolish shepherd. But the morning cometh after that dark night, and
Israel's sun will never set again.



CHAPTER XII.

_The second burden, from Chapter xii-xiv.--Jerusalem and the
nations.--The conflict of the end.--The chiefs of Judah and the
strength promised to the feeble.--Nations destroyed.--Outpouring of
the Spirit and looking upon Jehovah, the pierced One.--The great
national mourning._

We have before us the second burden, which begins with the eleventh
chapter and closes with the fourteenth. The events seen in the first
burden, that is in chapters ix., x. and xi., were in part fulfilled,
but in the second burden we find prophecies which have seen no
fulfillment whatever; they are all future. There is only one prophecy
which is fulfilled, the one of the smitten shepherd at the end of the
thirteenth chapter. The great future events which are recorded in the
second burden are: The victory of Jerusalem over the hostile nations,
the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, the appearing and beholding of the
pierced One, the national repentance of Israel, the cleansing of the
nation, the final conflict and the Lord coming with His saints, the
complete overthrow of the enemies and the establishment of the
kingdom in the earth, with Jerusalem as a center. These three
chapters form indeed a glorious finale to the wonderful visions and
prophecies which Jehovah gave to the prophet. The fourteenth chapter
is the summit.

Not a few interpreters have committed the serious error and have
tried to find a fulfillment of these chapters somewhere, and if no
historical events could be made to suit the occasion, a spiritual
application had to be made and a spiritual fulfillment in the
so-called "Israel of the New Testament," the church, invented, which
of course never satisfies the prayerful student of the word.

In reading the twelfth chapter carefully, it will be seen at once
that here we have prophecies which not alone refer to Jerusalem and
Judah exclusively, but which cannot yet have seen a fulfillment. The
end of the chapter shows Israel's conversion. The Spirit is poured
out. They look upon the pierced One, Jehovah; repentance and
cleansing follows throughout the land. This brings before us the hour
of Israel's salvation, the same which the Holy Spirit unfolds through
Paul, in Romans xi. It is an event which will take place after the
fullness of the Gentiles will have come in (the church removed from
the earth). And so all Israel shall be saved; even as it is written,
There shall come out of Zion a Deliverer; He shall turn away
ungodliness from Jacob: And this is my covenant unto them, when I
shall take away their sins (Rom. xi: 25-37). There is no saved
Israel now and there can be no national turning of Israel unto the
Lord at this present time, but when the Lord comes and they shall
look upon Him, that salvation will be at hand. This coming of the
Lord to Israel when they shall see His glory will be preceded by
nations rising against Jerusalem. Not one nation, but nations, will
make war once more with Jerusalem; nor will Jerusalem in that future
siege fall into the hands of the enemies, but the city and the people
will be victorious. The period of the Maccabees is not meant, nor is
there anything in the past which could even be a partial fulfillment
of Zech. xii. It is all future.

Let us look now at the details of the chapter. Thus saith the Lord,
who stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the
earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him (verse 1). The
speaker is Jehovah, the Almighty One who created the heavens and the
earth, and who formeth the spirit of man within him. Why such a
beginning of this second burden? To show that He who has given all
these promises is able to do it. Men may fail and are powerless to
give help. Indeed, Israel will be utterly helpless then when the
enemy comes in like a flood, but in that hour of extremity Jehovah
Himself, the Omnipotent One, the One through Whom and in Whom and for
Whom heaven and earth were created, will come, and in His majestic
appearing deliver Jerusalem and His people at last. But when He
appears for their salvation and they look upon Him, they see Jehovah
whom they pierced, Jehovah-Jesus, the One who was once rejected, but
who now comes in power and in glory. This first verse shows the
speaker in the entire chapter is Jehovah, and is one of the strongest
Old Testament passages which show that the Redeemer, the One who came
as an obedient servant to suffer and to die, is Jehovah.

   Behold, I make Jerusalem a cup of reeling
   To all the nations round about;
   Upon Judah also shall it be,
   In the siege against Jerusalem.
   And it shall come in that day, I make Jerusalem
   A burdensome stone for all the peoples:
   All that are burdened with it shall be wounded;
   All the nations of the earth shall gather against it.
      (Verses 2 and 3.)

This brings us back to the first and second night visions concerning
the nations that are at ease, and thus helped forward their
affliction, the four horns which scattered Judah and Israel. The
ending three chapters bring out much of the details of what we saw in
the first three chapters in an outline. What an unfolding there is
now! Jehovah remembers Jerusalem and is jealous for her, and
Jerusalem is now to become a cup of reeling (like a drunken man) unto
all the nations round about. Isaiah long before Zechariah saw the
judgment coming. The cup of fury which Jerusalem drank is now to be
emptied by the enemies, and they will have to drink the cup of
reeling. Awake, awake, stand up, O Jerusalem, which hast drunk from
the hand of the Lord the cup of His fury; thou hast drunken the bowl
of the cup of reeling and drained it. . . . Behold, I have taken out
of thine hand the cup of reeling, even the bowl of the cup of My
fury; thou shalt no more drink it again. And I will put it in the
hand of them that afflict thee, which have said to thy soul, Bow
down, that we may go over; and thou hast laid thy back as the ground,
and as the street to them that go over (Isaiah ii: 17, 22, 23). What
a wonderful harmony in the prophetic word! Jerusalem has been
drinking all along the cup of reeling, the cup of His fury, even
drained the cup; but while Jerusalem is thus drinking divine
displeasure, the nations, and with them that awful monstrosity called
Christendom, are getting ripe for the cup of wrath. A judgment is
hastening rapidly, and Jerusalem will be for the nations the cup of
reeling. We saw in the first night vision that the nations at ease
were condemned by Jehovah. He is sore displeased with them. They have
hurt His people and His inheritance. Terrible accusation against
Christendom too, which has always been and is now the great stumbling
block to the Jew, with its man-made institutions, creeds and
self-exaltation. The reader will understand we do not mean the
church, the one body; this is not applicable to true believers.
Man-made Christendom is the enemy of Jerusalem, and hates God's
loving thoughts for the peace of Jerusalem. If there is blindness in
part upon Israel, it is equally true that blindness is upon the
Gentiles. There is planning and scheming for expansion, world
reformation and possession in Christendom, which leaves out and
ignores completely God's purposes, and sets aside, as higher
criticism does, the oracles of God. No thought in Christendom that
Jehovah will ever make good His promises to the seed of Abraham,
therefore no thought of the Jew, no love for poor Israel; on the
other hand they are despised and hated. It is startling, indeed, to
see how Europe, the territory of the Roman Empire, which will form
yet the confederacy of kingdoms under one head, is at present boiling
over with antisemitism, and the heart of Europe, France, is the very
hotbed of it. There was never a time when antisemitism was so strong
and so universal as it is now at the end of the much boasted of
nineteenth century. What will it be when the salt of the earth, the
church, is removed? The restraint is then taken away and the outbreak
will come. The Jew is the thorn in the flesh of the nations; he is
hated and feared. However, the second and third verses of our chapter
do not speak of the enemies of Israel, as they are away from the land
of Israel, but the prophecies show the nations having come up against
the city of Jerusalem. Before this can be fulfilled Jerusalem must be
once more not alone inhabited by Jews, but be the city of the nation
again as it was in the past, a partial return of the Jews to
Palestine must have taken place, and great prosperity resting upon
their endeavors for a time. Mighty armies are seen then coming up
against the city and the land, and while in the land and in the city
there will be tribulation, the reign of the false Messiah, outside
the armies sent out by the confederacy of nations will be gathered.
It is of this gathering of the nations before Jerusalem in the
tribulation the great, the twelfth chapter speaks. In the exegesis of
the fourteenth chapter we will have occasion to describe this coming
siege of Jerusalem.

In speaking of these coming events it is necessary to bear in mind
that they have nothing to do with the church. Believers sometimes are
confused in this respect in not holding strictly to the coming of the
Lord for His saints, and the absence of the church in the earth
during the tribulation, and after this--His coming with His saints.
Because the Jews are not yet in possession of the land and Jerusalem
is not yet a Jewish city, some have reasoned that the coming of our
Lord must be a good ways off yet, and on account of these events not
being seen now, they say we cannot say that the Lord can come any
moment for His church. There is not one scripture which teaches that
before the Lord comes for His church the Jews must have returned or
Jerusalem be a national headquarter for Israel once more, etc. It is
true a partial restoration of the Jews in unbelief has commenced, and
there is a remarkable national awakening such as has never been
before, but the full development of this restoration will come after
the church has left the earth and has been joined to her Lord in the
air. An exodus of Jews will take place, the land will become theirs,
and the well laid plans and schemes of the present time will be all
carried out. Political combinations will be their chief hopes as well
as others for success. As Pharaoh of olden times did hasten after the
children of Israel when they had left his domain, so it seems the
nations will come after them and besiege Jerusalem. Everything is
getting ready for this. Let every believer rejoice in the blessed
hope that no saint will be in the earth when at last these sad scenes
of a passing dispensation are enacted.

   In that day, saith Jehovah,
   I will smite every horse with astonishment,
   And his rider with madness:
   I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah,
   And every horse of the peoples I will smite with blindness,
   And the chiefs of Judah shall say in their heart,
   The inhabitants of Jerusalem are my strength,
   In Jehovah of hosts their God.
   In that day I will make the chiefs of Judah
   Like a pan of fire among wood,
   And as a torch of fire among sheaves;
   And they shall devour all the peoples round about,
   On the right hand and on the left;
   And Jerusalem shall dwell in her own place, even in Jerusalem
      (verses 4-7).

These verses are descriptive of the calamity which will befall the
enemies of Israel. Jehovah will smite them. The stone falling from
heaven will smite the image at its feet and will pulverize it. The
enemies of Israel will suffer as complete a defeat and destruction as
Pharaoh and his army in the Red Sea. In pride and blindness they had
rushed on, and while pursuing Israel the face of the Lord looked out
of the cloud and confused the Egyptian hosts, and the returning
waters swept them all away, the horse and the rider and the chariots.
It is but a faint type of what it will be when Jehovah will roar out
of heaven, and His glory will appear. The slain of the Lord will then
indeed be many. Judah and the chiefs will be used in that judgment.
They shall be a devouring fire. The fourteenth chapter will lead us
into a closer investigation.

The following two verses speak of the order how the coming of Jehovah
will save His waiting people.

   Jehovah shall save the tents of Judah first,
   That the glory of the house of David
   And the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem
   May not lift itself up over Judah.
   In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem;
   And the feeble one among them in that day shall be as David;
   And the house of David shall be as God (Elohim),
   As the angel of Jehovah before them.
   And it shall come to pass in that day,
   That I will seek to destroy all the nations,
   That came against Jerusalem (verses 7-9).

Judah will inhabit the land and many will dwell in tents, while
Jerusalem will be a strong and fortified city. The danger from the
hostile armies will be the greatest with the dwellers in the tents.
Accordingly, Jehovah will save the tents of Judah first. Jerusalem
will come next. The purpose is that the house of David and the
inhabitants of Jerusalem may not lift themselves up over Judah. The
house of David is especially mentioned. We have not had David brought
before the prophet in the night visions nor in the prophecies which
followed, but here in the twelfth chapter the house of David is
mentioned not less than five times, which is very significant. We
have the glory of the house of David in verse seven, the strength of
David and the supremacy of it in verse eight. The spirit of grace and
supplication is given to the house of David, and the family of the
house of David will mourn. Jews have a tradition which states that
the last descendant of the house of David died in Spain centuries
ago. There are no genealogies at present to prove that the kingly
house of David is extinct or not, but prophecies like the one we have
in consideration, and many others which speak of the prominence of
David and the house of David in the day when Jehovah will be
manifested, make it very clear that among the wandering sons of
Israel there are yet lineal descendants of the house of David. If
they do not know it themselves, Jehovah knows it, and they will know
it through Him. The feeble ones, literally the stumblers, among His
people in that day of manifestation will be like David. What a hero
David was! A man of war and strength conquering always and never
conquered. And now the stumbler in Israel, the weakest one, will have
strength and courage like David. And David shall be as God, as the
angel of Jehovah before them. This is a startling promise. A similar
word is found in Exodus vii: 1, And the Lord said unto Moses, See, I
have made thee a god to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy
prophet. The house of David will during the millennium be supreme in
rule and in glory. A lineal descendant of David, a prince, will sit
upon the throne of his father David and rule as a vice-regent of the
Lord Jesus Christ, whose throne is then in the heavens over the
earth. Thus in the earth the house of David will be as God and as the
angel of Jehovah before them (Ezek. xxxiv: 23, 24; xlvi.).

The closing verses of the chapter claim our special attention, for in
them we have a fundamental prophetic passage. The spiritual side of
the salvation of Jerusalem is now brought out.

   And I will pour out upon the house of David,
   And upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem,
   The spirit of grace and supplication;
   And they shall look upon Me whom they pierced,
   And they shall mourn for Him as the mourning for an only son,
   And be in bitterness for Him as one in bitterness for the first-born.
   In that day there shall be a great mourning in Jerusalem,
   As the mourning of Hadad-rimmon in the valley of Megiddon.

The mourning then is described as a universal one. All the families
will mourn; family by family apart, and their wives apart. Such a
mourning and weeping has never before been seen in the earth nor will
there be one like it again.

But why mourning and weeping? Should there not rather be joy and
feasting, gladness and hallelujahs? The hallelujahs will come during
the entire millennium, but the beginning will be mourning, national,
by Israel. The mourning is on account of Him, Jehovah, who has
appeared in His glory and whom they now behold. The long expected
Messiah has at last appeared, and He is Jehovah. His coming for their
salvation is as Daniel saw Him, after the last beast, the terrible
one, the nondescript with its ten horns and the little horn between,
had risen from the sea. I saw in the night visions, and, behold,
there came with the clouds of heaven, one like unto a Son of Man, and
He came even unto the Ancient of days, and they brought Him near
before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a
kingdom, that all the people, nations, and languages should serve
Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass
away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed (Daniel vii:
13, 14). A cloud appears in the heaven over Jerusalem. It is at once
recognized as no common cloud, but as the divine glory cloud, (the
Shekinah, which had been with Israel of old and was always the sign
of Jehovah's presence with His people). We can imagine in some
measure how this sign will be welcomed by the remnant of Israel in
the hour of their extremity when there is and cannot be help from
man. The cloud speaks as of old, of divine interference. Our Lord
puts the whole scene before us when He said in His Olivet discourse,
But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be
darkened, and the moon shall not give her light (what an awful
darkness that will be! well may then the rejecters of the Gospel seek
death from the wrath which is now coming), and the stars shall fall
from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then
shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. Then shall all the
tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming
in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. And He shall
send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall
gather together His elect (not the church) from the four winds, from
one end of heaven unto the other (Matthew xxiv: 29-31). The sign of
the Son of Man which is spoken of here will undoubtedly be the cloud
of glory which will bring Him from heaven to the earth. Some
believers in the coming of the Lord have mentioned the sign of the
Son of Man to be seen in the heaven as if that sign stood in relation
to the church and would be welcomed by believers, the saved ones, as
the sign that their redemption is now at hand. We read not long ago
in a pamphlet in which certain coming signs in constellation of
stars, etc., were mentioned, as being foretold in prophecy, and
teaching the church that the coming of the Lord must be at hand. This
is a mistake. There is nowhere in prophecy a sign mentioned appearing
in the heaven to show the church that the Lord is at hand. The
church, that is the one body, does not need such a sign. When the
sign of the Son of Man appears in the heaven there will be no more
church in the earth to see it. It will be "immediately after the
tribulation of these days;" the church will not be in that
tribulation. The sign is for Israel. Ezekiel beheld that glory which
is then to be seen in the heavens. I looked, and, behold, a stormy
wind came out of the north, a great cloud with a fire infolding
itself, and a brightness round about it, and out of the midst thereof
as the color of amber out of the midst of the fire. And out of the
midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. . . . And
above the firmament that was above their heads was the likeness of a
throne, as the appearance of a sapphire stone; and upon the likeness
of the throne was a likeness as the appearance of a man upon it
above. And I saw as the color of amber, as the appearance of fire
within it round about, from the appearance of his loins and upward,
and from the appearance of his loins and downward, I saw as if it
were the appearance of fire, and there was brightness round about
him. As the appearance of the bow that is in the cloud in the day of
rain, so was the appearance of the brightness round about. This was
the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord (Ezekiel i:
5, 26, 28). This vision will actually be seen by Israel in the day of
the manifestation of the Lord. He will return in like manner upon a
cloud as the glorified Son of Man as He went up into heaven. In Acts
i: 11, where the promise of His return is given, it is likewise to be
remarked that that promise does not present the Hope of the church,
our blessed Hope, as believers. It is very often used as speaking of
that Hope which is so dear to every believer's heart. However, the
promise given by the two men in white apparel, in Acts i., is a
promise to Israel. It is the coming in like manner as He went into
heaven, that is the coming of the Lord with His saints and not for
His saints. There is still another passage which is in close
connection with the appearing of Jehovah, the pierced One, in
Zechariah xii., namely, Revelation i: 7, Behold He comes with the
clouds, and every eye shall see Him, and they which have pierced Him
and all the tribes of the land shall wail because of Him. Yea. Amen.
This passage corresponds with the one before us in Zechariah. The
tribes in Revelation are the same as mentioned in Zechariah, and the
wailing in Revelation stands for the mourning with which the twelfth
chapter in Zechariah closes. What a scene that will be when at last
Israel will look upon Him! When the signs of His coming,--the coming
of the Redeemer--Jehovah increase, and His coming for their salvation
draweth nigh, perhaps their hearts will be gladdened, and there will
be rejoicing. They see the sign in the heavens and there will be the
glad shout, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of Jehovah, this is
our God, we have waited for Him. And now they behold a person upon
that cloud. He is a Son of Man. Again they look and they see that His
hands and His feet and His side are pierced. Who can this be with
pierced hands, feet and side, who cometh thus in power and glory from
the heavens to save His people? The truth so long denied by them
flashes upon them, This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews,
the rejected One, the One who suffered that shameful death on yonder
hill, whose hands and feet were pierced, and from whose loving side
and heart the Roman spear drew forth blood and water. Jehovah-Jesus,
the pierced One, is seen again. There way up in the heavens He is
seen! Sun and moon have been darkened, as we quoted above from
Matthew xxiv., but instead of their light there flashes another light
over the heavens. The veil is lifted. God, Jehovah, has broken the
long, long silence. He speaks again. The proud nations tremble, fear
and trembling seize hold upon all the children of men. The day of
vengeance, the day of wrath, the day of burning and recompense is at
hand. All eyes are turned upward to behold that startling vision. The
cloud, and in that cloud a throne, and upon the throne the Lamb of
God, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, Jehovah, the pierced One, the
Lord Jesus Christ. Not alone are His eyes like a flaming fire, but
according to Habakkuk's vision (Habukkuk iii.), His glory covereth
the heavens, brightness is round about Him and rays (of glory) come
out of His hands and His side, and there was the hiding of His power.
Long, long ago David had by the Spirit of the Lord entered into the
sufferings of his Son, whom he called Lord, and in the Psalm which
begins with the cry of the forsaken One, My God, My God, why has Thou
forsaken Me? he speaks of His hands and His feet pierced. It is true
that the unbelieving Jews and all the enemies of a verbal inspiration
of the word of God, higher critics, etc., with them, have tried to
change the word "pierced" in the twenty-second Psalm, and make
something else out of it. But it is pierced and will be so in all
eternity. The One of whom David spoke came and was rejected,
suffered, sacrificed Himself to put away sin, was nailed on the
cross, and was pierced through. On the third day He was raised from
the dead, and for forty days He showed Himself in His glorified body
to His friends. In that body of the risen Lord the nailprints and the
pierced side were seen. Thomas, unbelieving as he was, and as such a
type of Israel abiding in unbelief still, would not believe the
testimony of his brethren, and demanded the return of the Lord and to
put his hands into His side and to see in His hands the prints of the
nails. The second time the Lord appears, and Thomas is called to His
side to touch His body, to see the nailprints. Convinced because he
sees he cries out, My Lord and my God! And when He took His own to
the mountain where He gave them His command and His blessing, when
His loving hands were spread out in blessing, they all saw the marks
of His passion in His hands and there in His side. And thus He went
into heaven, and while you read this, dear friend, He is there in the
Holy of Holiest, appearing now in the presence of God for us, the
all-sufficient One. Can then there be a doubt that when He does
appear again, the second time, to build the tabernacle of David which
is fallen down, that these marks of His suffering will not be seen?
They will be the marks for Israel. They will know Him by the
nailprints as the One so long rejected and hated without a cause.

The conversion of Saul of Tarsus is a little sample of what is yet to
be with the seed of Abraham. The light which shone around this
blinded, self-righteous Pharisee on his way to Damascus, a light
brighter than the Oriental noonday sun, will then shine out of heaven
in the Lord's own glory. The Voice which spoke to him, I am Jesus
whom thou persecutest, will speak again out of that light to the
prostrated nation. It does likewise remind us of the rejected brother
who became great and a saviour after his rejection by his own, and
who in loving words said to his brethren, so guilty and conscience
stricken, I am Joseph your brother. What a wonderful event that will
be when at last they that pierced Him shall behold Him. Suspended
somewhere in the air will be seen the vision of the Lord in His
glory, and thus every eye shall see Him. It will be the day when a
nation is born. The Spirit poured out, they will look upon Him, and
the great national mourning follows.

This great mourning will be like the mourning in Hadad-rimmon in the
valley Megiddon. To what events do these places refer? The second
book of Chronicles, chapter xxxv., verses 22-37, give us the history
of that great mourning. Nevertheless, Josiah would not turn his face
from him (the King of Egypt), but disguised himself, that he might
fight with him, and hearkened not unto the words of Neco, from the
mouth of God (these words are found in the twenty-first verse), and
came to fight in the valley of Megiddon. And the archers shot at King
Josiah; and the King said to his servants, Have me away, I am sore
wounded. So his servants took him out of the chariot and put him into
the second chariot that he had and brought him to Jerusalem; and he
died and was buried in the sepulchres of his fathers. And all Judah
and Jerusalem mourned for Josiah. And Jeremiah lamented for Josiah,
and all the singing men and singing women spake of Josiah in their
lamentations unto this day; and they made them an ordinance in
Israel, and behold they are written in the Lamentations. Likewise in
2 Kings xxiii: 29. In Josiah's days Pharaoh-Neco, King of Egypt, went
up against the King of Assyria to the river Euphrates, and King
Josiah went against him; and he slew him at Megiddon when he had seen
him. And his servants carried him in a chariot dead from Megiddon and
brought him to Jerusalem.

Hadad-rimmon was a village nearby in the valley of Megiddon. The
pious King Josiah died, pierced by an arrow on account of the evil
deeds of the nation. After his death there was a great mourning
because he had been slain, and his death was soon followed by greater
calamities, ending with the Babylonian captivity. The application to
the Lord Jesus Christ and the coming national mourning of the nation
every reader can make for himself.

It is interesting to read the Jewish interpretations of this
important chapter. We quote from the Babylonian Talmud: That
mourning, what was it about? Rabbi Yose and the Rabbis differ on the
point. The one says it is for Messiah, the Son of Joseph, when He is
killed; and the other says, It is for the _Yetzer Horo_ (evil desire,
sin), when it is killed. All is clear in the case of him that says,
It is for Messiah, the Son of Joseph, when He is killed, for then we
can understand what is written, And they shall look upon Me whom they
pierced, and they shall lament for Him (Zech. xii: 10). But in the
case of him that says it is for sin when it is killed? Would it be
mourning that is needed? Surely rejoicing would then be needed. Thus
expounded, Rabbi Jehudah, of the Western house, in the Messianic
times, the Holy One, blessed be He, is going to bring forth the evil
desire and slay him in the presence of the righteous and the wicked.
Unto the righteous the evil desire appears like a mountain, and unto
the wicked he appears like a hair. The righteous weep and the wicked
weep. The righteous say, How did we ever get the better of this high
mountain? And the wicked say, How is it that we did not get the
better of this hair? (Yalkut on Zechariah.)

The Jews have invented a double Messiah, one who is called the Son of
Joseph and the other the Son of David. The Son of Joseph is pierced,
and after He has been slain, Jehovah will send Messiah, Son of David.
It is not denied that the Son of Joseph is a Messiah, an anointed
One. This teaching is to solve the difficulties they have in
explaining the suffering Messiah and the victorious Messiah. We have
often talked with orthodox Jews for hours on the fact that there is
only one Messiah, and He whom they expect as Son of David is truly
the One who died and was pierced through for our sins. Human words
cannot describe the great mourning when at last it is known by His
appearing in the clouds, that Jesus, the Son of David, is the once
rejected stone and now become the head of the corner. The first verse
of the thirteenth chapter belongs to the twelfth. However, we will
leave it for the next chapter.



CHAPTER XIII.

_The fountain against sin and uncleanness opened--Idols and false
prophets destroyed--The smitten Shepherd and the sheep scattered--The
Remnant saved--Two-thirds cut off and a third part refined by fire._

As mentioned in the closing sentence of the exposition of the last
chapter, the first verse of the 13th chapter belongs to the 12th
chapter. The division of the Bible into chapters is very often at
fault and helps much to obscure the real meaning. "In that day there
shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the
inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for Uncleanness." That day will
be the day when they have looked upon Him, Jehovah, the pierced One,
and the fountain which is opened is the same blessed fountain of
which the saints now sing:

   "There is a fountain filled with blood
      Drawn from Emanuel's veins,
   And sinners plunged beneath that flood
      Lose all their guilty stains."

The fountain was indeed in existence throughout all the long
centuries of Israel's dispersion. But Israel in blindness did not see
it, only the remnant according to the election of grace did realize
the precious blood of the Lamb of God, which has taken away the sins
of the world. Now all is changed. Upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem
and the house of David the Spirit is poured out. They have seen Him
who is the first-born among many brethren, the second Adam, the One
who is the Head of a new creation, and the blood of Him, the Lord
Jesus Christ, is now cleansing them from all sin and uncleanness.
Their guilt is pardoned and all unrighteousness and impurity is
completely removed. This great event is everywhere spoken of in the
Old Testament. We had it under consideration in the third chapter,
containing the night vision of the cleansing of Joshua, the High
priest. In that vision the blood which cleanses was not mentioned.
Now, however, it is seen, that the cleansing is by the blood of the
Lamb. It is the same precious blood which cleansed and washed the
glorified saints. The great multitude, which no man can number, out
of every nation and of all tribes and peoples and tongues; the saints
arrayed in white robes with palms in their hands, who washed their
robes in the blood of the Lamb, and who appear with Him. And while
they sing their song of praise, Salvation unto our God which sitteth
on the throne and unto the Lamb, Israel will be washed by the same
blood and join into the song of worship heard from the glorified lips
of the saints of God. In the 103d Psalm we have a prophetic
expression of what Israel will rejoice in when that fountain is
opened. The cleansed nation will break forth and sing:

   "Bless Jehovah, oh my soul,
   And all that is within me bless His holy name;
   Bless Jehovah, oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits.
   Who forgiveth all thine iniquities,
   Who healeth all thy diseases,
   Who reedeemeth thy life from destruction,
   Who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies."

The cleansing and healing of Israel in that day will be complete and
final. No more going back to sin and apostasy after that. Now they
are indeed a holy people, a kingdom of priests. Perfect healing is
theirs, not alone in spiritual things, but also healing from their
diseases. Jehovah is their healer the moment He, as the Sun of
Righteousness with healing under His wings, has risen upon them. "And
the inhabitant shall not say I am sick; the people that dwell therein
shall be forgiven their iniquity" (Isa. xxxiii: 34). "Neither will I
hide My face any more from them; for I have poured out My Spirit upon
the house of Israel, saith the Lord God" (Ezekiel xxxix: 29). "And
the Redeemer shall come out of Zion, and unto them that turn from
transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord. And as for Me, this is My
covenant with them, saith the Lord, My Spirit that is upon thee, and
My words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy
mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy
seed's seed, saith the Lord, from henceforth and forever" (Isa. lix:
20, 21). "For behold I create Jerusalem a rejoicing and her people a
joy, and I will rejoice in Jerusalem and joy in My people, and the
voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her nor the voice of
crying" (Isa. lxv: 19).

The cleansing of His people is followed by the cutting off of the
names of the idols from the land of Israel. The false prophets who
were indwelt by the spirit of uncleanness are destroyed. It is the
consequence of the outpouring of the Spirit upon Israel. The entire
paragraph beginning the 13th chapter speaks of this:

   "And it shall be in that day, saith the Lord of Hosts,
   I will cut off the names of the idols from the land,
   And they shall no more be remembered;
   And also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirits
   To pass out of the land.
   And it shall be if a man still prophesy,
   His father and his mother who begat him shall say to him,
   Thou shalt not live,
   For thou hast spoken a lie in the name of Jehovah;
   And his father and his mother who begat him
   Shall pierce him through when he prophesieth.
   And it shall be in that day the prophets shall be ashamed
   Each of his vision when he prophesies;
   And shall no more put on a hairy mantle to lie,
   And shall say I am no prophet, I am a tiller of the ground,
   For a man has sold me from my youth.
   And one shall say to him
   What are these wounds between thine hands?
   And he shall answer, those with which I was wounded
   In the house of my lovers" (verses 2 to 6).

We have seen before in the 10th chapter that Israel will return to
idolatry in the last days. The unclean spirit of idolatry which was
cast out will at last return with seven others and will find the
house empty, swept and garnished. And the evil spirit, with the seven
others more evil than himself; will enter in and dwell there, so that
the last state of Israel becometh worse than the first. This will
happen to this evil generation. This section of the 13th chapter
makes it very clear that when the fountain is opened against sin and
uncleanness, that idols will have been in the land, and false
prophets prophesy there immediately before the manifestation of the
Lord from heaven; for how could the names of the idols be cut off
from the land if there were none there? Palestine may well be put
down now as the great centre of false worship. Greek and Latin
crosses are seen on all sides in Jerusalem and other places, while
saints, holy houses and places are worshipped and adored. On the spot
where the Lord's house stood, there stands to-day the mosque of the
false prophet. All is idolatry. Of course when the Lord returns these
false temples will be destroyed, and the Greek and Latin idolatries,
as well as Islam, will forever pass out of existence. There will be a
purging of the land from these abominations. This may be included in
the prophecy here. Still, it is the people of Israel who are
especially concerned in the prophecy before us. The land has often
been the scene of idol worship, and the people engaged in that which
Jehovah despises. It will be so again, only in a much worse form,
when false prophets who are inspired by the unclean spirit, and
demons themselves will be their guides.

We must look to Revelation for a key. It is well known to all
students of the prophetic word that all which comes after the third
chapter in the last book of the Bible is future still. We are yet in
the things which are present. When the Lord has taken the Church to
Himself then the great visions, tribulations, wrath and judgment will
be fulfilled. Aside from the scenes in heaven we learn from
Revelation the events in the earth during the great tribulation which
ends with the wrath from heaven.

Now in the 9th chapter and the 20th verse of Revelation we read, And
the rest of mankind which were not killed with these plagues repented
not of the works of their hands that they should not worship demons
and the idols of gold, and of silver, and of brass, and of stone, and
of wood; which can neither see nor hear nor walk. Scripture is to be
explained by scripture. The Holy Spirit declares through Paul the
very same when he writes in 1 Timothy iv: 1, "But the Spirit says
expressly that in the latter times some shall fall away from the
faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils
through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies branded in their own
conscience as with a hot iron." For this cause God shall send them
strong delusions that they should believe a lie, that they all might
be damned which believed not the truth, but have pleasure in
unrighteousness (2 Thess. ii: 11, 12).

These words have not yet been fulfilled, nor has the time come. Truly
there are many indications around us. Doctrines of demons are seen in
more than one respect. Mysterious influences are felt in the earth.
The hindering power, the Holy Spirit, is still present, and He is
keeping back the full manifestation of evil (2 Thess. ii: 7). But
when at last He has gone, in the removal of the body, then darkness
indeed will cover the earth. The unclean spirits, and who can count
their numbers, will be thrown out of heaven into the earth and take
possession of mankind. The voice from heaven declares, Woe for the
earth and for the sea, because the devil is gone down unto you,
having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time (Rev. xii).
When our Lord was in the earth preaching the kingdom of heaven He
found many persons in the possession of demons, evil spirits, who had
complete control of them, and He cast them out. Some cried out in
terror, demanding to know if He had come to torment them before the
time. They knew Him as the One who would at last send them to their
final doom. But when He comes again in His glory from heaven,
conditions will be a great deal worse. Satan and his hosts will be in
the earth, having deceived the inhabitants of the earth, and seducing
with lying wonders and strong delusions those who would not believe
the truth, and lead them back to idol worship and to the carnal
abominations connected with such a worship. Spiritualism, Christian
Science, Buddhism in the very midst of Christendom, as well as the
sect of devil worshipers in Paris, London, and Berlin, are but faint
samples of the gross darkness which will be when the Church has been
removed. There is no human mind which can imagine the condition of
things during that time of tribulation, nor is there a pen which
could describe the delusions and wickedness which will then flourish
for a short time in this world.

What praises, then, should be in the hearts of the Saints for having
escaped that tribulation and the wrath to come. No, the Lord will
never leave His Church in the earth when Satan and his demons have
control. The presence of the Church in the earth makes it impossible
that these days can come. But while this will be true in the earth
generally, the land of Israel will be the center of that great storm,
and there the false worship, idolatry, will be established. It is to
be remembered that a part of the nation will have been restored to
the land in unbelief, and will rebuild a temple, which is the fourth
temple. Sacrifices are brought again, but they are an abomination,
and the Lord hates them. The 66th chapter of Isaiah in its beginning
speaks of this fact. We have to turn once more to the book of
Revelation to find there a commentary. In the first quotation from
the book we learned of the conditions in the earth in a general
sense, but when we read the 13th chapter we find ourselves on Jewish
ground, in Jerusalem. In that chapter we read of the worship of one
who is termed the dragon, and this dragon gives power to a beast, who
is likewise worshiped. And there was given him a mouth speaking great
things and blasphemies; and there was given him authority to continue
forty and two months (verse 5). . . And all that dwell on the earth
shall worship him, everyone whose name hath not been written in the
book of life of the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of
the world . . . (8th verse). After this we read in the 11th verse of
a second beast. And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth;
and he had two horns like unto a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And
he exerciseth all the authority of the first beast in his sight, and
he maketh the earth and them that dwell therein to worship the first
beast, whose deadly wound was healed. And he doeth great signs, that
he should even make fire come down out of heaven upon the earth in
sight of men. An image of the beast is made. And he deceiveth them
that dwell on the earth by reason of the signs which it was given him
to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the
earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which hath the
stroke of the _sword_ and lived. And it was given unto him to give
breath to it, even to the image of the beast, that the image of the
beast should both speak, and cause that as many as should not worship
the image of the beast should be killed (14th and 15th verses). We
see here a trinity revealed. The first is the dragon, the second the
beast, and after that beast, which is called the first beast, the
other, or the second beast. The dragon is the father of lies, the
devil, the first beast is his son, the Antichrist, and the second
beast is the evil spirit, which causes the dwellers in the earth to
worship the beast. It is the trinity of evil as it is yet to be seen
in the earth, and worshipped by those who rejected the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit. This beast is the false Messiah. The one of
whom we read in 2 Thes. ii. The son of perdition, he that upholdeth
and exalteth himself against all that is called God, or that is
worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself
forth as God. Now this is the great abomination of the great
tribulation. The 13th chapter of Revelation speaks, as we have seen,
of Antichrist having received a deadly wound by a sword, but he
lived. It was a miracle that he lived. The dragon gave him power to
overcome it. But not alone does he raise up the beast again from
death, but he imparts life to the image of Antichrist, which is to be
worshipped, so that it could speak, and all who refuse to worship the
image are to be killed. Antichrist is a perfect counterfeit of the
true Christ. The devil will then place him before the world as a
substitute of Christ. The wound of the beast was made perhaps by
those who pretended to love him. With the light from Rev. xiii, Zech.
xiii becomes very plain, for the false prophets and idols mentioned
in our chapter are connected with the winding up of this
dispensation. The sixth verse does not speak of the Lord Jesus
Christ. It is generally taken to be a Messianic prophecy and often
quoted as such. The context, however, shows beyond a doubt that the
person mentioned is the false prophet. And one shall say to him--the
false prophet--What then are these wounds between thy hands? And he
shall say, Those for which I was wounded in the house of my lovers.
Nowhere is this prophecy quoted in the New Testament as being
Messianic. Surely if it had any reference to the Lord, the Holy
Spirit would have quoted it somewhere in the New Testament. We have
here the description of the false shepherd, the Antichrist, the beast
with the deadly wound. Of course there will be many false Messiahs in
that day when Antichrist reigns. False messengers, lying prophets,
with their delusions will go throughout the land and to the nations
likewise. But when He appears whose right it is, Antichrist, all
false prophets, and all the idols will be forever cut off and the
land will be thoroughly cleansed of all these abominations. If it
were possible that a man after this manifestation should still
prophesy (speaking falsely, a lie in the name of Jehovah), his own
father and mother would slay him for it. The true Shepherd is now
seen once more in the closing of this chapter, and with him mention
is made of the remnant.

   "Awake, O sword, against My shepherd,
   And against a man, My fellow, saith Jehovah of Hosts;
   Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered,
   And I will bring back My hand upon the little ones.
   And it shall be in all the land, saith Jehovah,
   Two parts therein shall be cut off and die,
   And the third shall be left therein.
   And I will bring the third part through the fire,
   And I will refine them as silver is refined,
   And will try them as gold is tried;
   He shall call upon My name and I will answer;
   I will say, It is My people,
   And he shall say, Jehovah is my God."

The question comes to every student of the word, why is here an
interruption in the events which we have followed and which are given
chronologically? Why is there no continuation bringing out other
phases of Israel's salvation and the coming of the Lord? The change
is very abrupt, and there is a going back to events which are the
events of His first coming and His rejection. The solution of the
difficulty would be almost impossible if we would interpret the sixth
verse of the wounded one as referring to the Lord, the Messiah. But
the fact that in the sixth verse we have the person of Antichrist
answers the question which we have asked. The change and the
interruption is made to show the contrast between the Good Shepherd
and the false shepherd. The devil's masterpiece had been in the
earth; perhaps he pointed to his wounds in his hands and to the fact
that he was dead and became alive again, and mockingly he spoke of
Jesus of Nazareth and His claim of having been dead and now living.
The true Shepherd has appeared. He too is pierced, but He was pierced
for their sins, and to make the whole complete a new thought is
brought out which has not been seen so far in Zechariah. It is the
same as in Isaiah liii, the suffering One, who is a man, and called
My fellow, the fellow of Jehovah of Hosts, Jehovah Himself; who
speaks here, and what does He speak? The sword is to work against His
Shepherd and against His own Fellow. The blessed mystery of the
atonement is thus brought out. Indeed it is the heart of the Gospel
here. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have life
eternal. The Lord, laid on Him the iniquity of us all. It speaks of
Him, the forsaken One, the Son of God, forsaken in the hour of His
agony, the sword upon Him and against Him. In the New Testament we
find the passage quoted in the Gospel of Matthew, 26th chapter and
13th verse: Then saith Jesus unto them, all ye shall be offended
because of Me this night; for it is written, I will smite the
Shepherd and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. In the
last verses of the 13th chapter we have once more teachings
concerning the remnant. These verses are not alone applicable to the
remnant and the sheep in the time when our Lord was in the earth and
immediately after he had suffered, they are not alone applicable to
the remnant, which was in Jerusalem when the Roman armies came for
destruction, but the application is to be made in connection with the
people living in the land when Antichrist will reign, and the
suffering of the remnant, the one-third, and the glorious privileges
of that remnant are likewise future.



CHAPTER XIV.

_The last conflict--Jerusalem surrounded by armies and besieged and
taken--Jehovah's intervention--The escape of the remnant--Living
waters flowing out of Jerusalem--The enemies punished--The remnant of
nations live as worshipers in Jerusalem--Jerusalem the holy city._

The last chapter in Zechariah is a very important one. It is a grand
summing up and description of the events which stand at the close of
the great tribulation, and as such it is one of the most striking
chapters in the Old Testament. Post-millennialism surely fails here
in trying to find some explanation for these prophecies. The chapter
is unfulfilled throughout. Anyone who does not acknowledge this has
only one other way of interpretation, and that is to spiritualize the
whole and make out of it the development of the Church, the holiness
of the Church, etc. this, of course, is a failure and cannot be done.
The only true way of interpretation is the literal one, and that will
teach us that the events seen in this chapter are future. This ought
to be seen by any reader of the Word of God at the first glance.
There is no siege and capture of Jerusalem in history which
corresponds to the siege and capture which stands in the beginning of
this chapter. The Lord never intervened in behalf of Jerusalem in the
way that it is said here in going forth and fighting against those
nations, nor did His feet stand upon the Mount of Olives for the
purpose of completely destroying the enemies of His people. The whole
chapter is of such significance that we have to take it verse by
verse and illustrate it by many scriptures taken from different parts
of the prophetic word.

   _Verse 1._ "Behold a day cometh for Jehovah when thy spoils shall
be divided in the midst of thee."

The time when this prophecy will be enacted is here given. A day is
coming for Jehovah. Now it is man's day and God keeps silence, but
His day, the day of Jehovah, is coming and will be a day of
manifestation, glory, and power. "That day is a day of wrath, a day
of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of
darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness" (Zeph.
i: 15). "Blow ye the trumpet in Zion and sound an alarm in my holy
mountain; let all the inhabitants in the land tremble, for the day of
Jehovah cometh, it is nigh at hand" (Joel ii: 1). "There shall be a
day of the Lord upon all that is proud and haughty" (Isa. ii:4). The
great tribulation is about past, and now when Jerusalem is not alone
besieged but taken, the spoil being divided by the victors in the
midst of the city, and when the enemy seems to have succeeded, then
the day for Jehovah will come and He will roar out of the heavens.

   _Verse 2._ "I will gather all nations against Jerusalem for battle,
   And the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women
      shall be ravished,
   And half of the city shall go forth into captivity,
   And the residue of the people shall not be cut off."

This puts before us the last scenes of the times of the Gentiles, the
great conflict which in Daniel and other prophecies is likewise
described. There are difficulties, especially in regard to
Antichrist. If he is then in Jerusalem, and sitting in the temple,
worshipped as God, having complete control of Jerusalem, how can he
be the leader of the hostile armies of the nations which come against
Jerusalem? It is nowhere said that Antichrist is to have this place
in the temple for any length of time. We likewise do not know the
exact time when he will thus be worshipped. He hears while away from
the land of the appearing of the two witnesses in Jerusalem, their
success in preaching, and that many Jews become believers in Him who
is the Hope of Israel. He invades the land, takes the city, and slays
the witnesses. The armies of the nations are associated with him.
Daniel gives the history of these events. (Daniel xi.)

The armies which gather against Jerusalem in that day are the armies
of the confederation of nations, sprung out of the territory of the
old Roman Empire. It was stated not long ago from post-millennial
sides that this in itself was beyond belief. How could it be possible
that the progress of civilization could be arrested to such an
extent, that the nations of Christendom would unite to march up
against the Holy City? The Gospel leaven (?) was at work as never
before, and it would be impossible that these nations who will become
more and more thus leavened could be occupied with such a campaign.
This indeed is the thought of man, but the word of God speaks in an
entirely different language. True the leaven is at work, but truth is
not leaven, but leaven is evil. We must not forget that Jehovah
Himself says, I will gather all nations against Jerusalem.

Much reminds us here in chapter xiv of Egypt, and we shall have to
refer a number of times to the story of Israel's deliverance from the
house of bondage. Pharaoh, though he had witnessed the judgments of
God upon his own land, tribulation and wrath, yet he rushed on in
blindness to his doom. So it will be once more with the antisemitic
nations. Blinded they will be, though they have also witnessed
tribulation and wrath. Perhaps special commercial and financial as
well as political interests are at stake, and will be the causes of
the campaign against the land and the city. Joel iii speaks of this
gathering of nations: "Proclaim ye this among the nations; prepare
war; stir up the mighty men; let all the men of war draw near; let
them come up. Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks
into spears; let the weak say, I am strong. Haste ye, and come all ye
nations round about, and gather yourselves together; thither cause
Thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. Let the nations bestir
themselves, and come up to the valley of Jehosaphat, for there will I
sit to judge all the nations round about. Put ye in the sickle, for
the harvest is ripe; come, tread ye; for the winepress is full, the
fats 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. The sun and the moon are darkened, and the stars
withdraw their shining. And the Lord shall roar from Zion, and utter
His voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake:
but the Lord will be a refuge unto His people, and a stronghold to
the children of Israel."

The twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew is to be considered in
connection with the last chapter in Zechariah, for it relates to the
same events. Some take Matthew xxiv as having been in part fulfilled,
others as being now fulfilled. Both are incorrect. The chapter will
be fulfilled after the church is taken from the earth to be with the
Lord in the air. "Ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that
ye be not troubled, for these things must needs come to pass; the end
is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against
kingdom; there shall be famines and earthquakes in divers places. But
all these things are the beginning of trouble. Then shall they
deliver you up unto tribulation and shall kill you, and ye shall be
hated of all nations for My name's sake." . . . All this is
predictive of the great tribulation. The twenty-fourth chapter of
Matthew makes it clear that there will be a Jewish-Christian
remnant--not church--in the land, and a testimony will be given by
them. (See verse 14 and compare with Revelation xiv: 6, 7.) Neither
Zechariah xiv nor Matthew xxiv has seen a fulfillment. Jerusalem has
never been besieged by all nations, nor was only a part of the people
destroyed in its last siege by Titus.

   _Verse 3._ "Then shall Jehovah go forth and fight against those
      nations,
   As when He fought in the day of battle."

The hour of their extremity has come and this brings the
intervention. The great tribulation in its beginning found a good
part of the Jewish people restored in unbelief in the land. Jerusalem
had become again a Jewish city, and a temple stands in the city. The
tribulation ends with Jerusalem taken, ruin once more, terrible
slaughter and suffering, and in the midst a remnant hopeful, waiting
for salvation from above. When there seems to be no escape Jehovah
will appear and fight against those nations. The heavens will be
opened and Jehovah's glory and power manifested. It will be as it was
in the day of battle.

"And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh, King of Egypt and he
pursued after the children of Israel; for the children of Israel went
out with an high hand. And the Egyptians pursued after them, all the
horses and chariots of Pharoah and his horse-men, and his army
overtook them encamping by the sea. . . And the children of Israel
cried unto the Lord . . . And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye
not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will
work for you to-day. . . The Lord shall fight for you and ye shall
hold your peace. . . And it came to pass in the morning watch that
the Lord looked forth upon the host of the Egyptians through the
pillar of fire and of cloud, and discomfited the host of the
Egyptians. . . . The Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the
sea. . . . There remained not so much as one of them." (Exodus xiv.)
"Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou
King Jehosaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Fear not ye, neither
be ye dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is
not yours, but God's. Ye shall not fight in this battle, set
yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you"
(2 Chronicles xx: 15-17). These are only two samples of what Jehovah
will do in His day and how He will save His people. In Matthew xxiv
we find the intervention in the twenty-seventh verse, "For as the
lightning cometh forth from the east and is seen even unto the west,
so shall be the coming of the Son of Man."

   _Verse 4._ "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount
      of Olives,
   Which is before Jerusalem on the east;
   And the Mount of Olives shall be parted in the middle,
   Toward the east and toward the west, a great valley,
   And half of the mountain shall be removed northward
   And the other half southward."

The east, the place where the sun rises, is made prominent in this
manifestation. From the east to the west the lightning flashes, thus
shall be the coming of the Son of Man.

   "God cometh from Teman,
   And the holy One from Paran
   His splendor covereth the heavens,
   And the earth is full of His glory" (Habbak. iii).

Teman is the country of the sons of the east, and Paran the desert
region extending from the frontiers of Judah to the borders of Sinai.
But there towards the east from Jerusalem stands a mountain. It
overlooks the whole city, and right in front, there is the valley of
Jehosaphat, the valley where the nations are assembled (Joel iii).
What a view from this mountain top! There is the city, and its
burning ruins are seen, there are the camps of the nations, with
their banners and cannons gathered now in fear and in trembling, for
the heavens declare the glory of the Lord. Immediately after the
tribulation of these days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon . .
. and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heavens.
And now He Himself has descended from the heavens. His blessed feet
stand again upon the Mount of Olives. He stands upon the mountain,
and perhaps on the very spot where He stood centuries, many
centuries, before, after His passion and His resurrection when He
blest His disciples and had been removed from them with outstretched
arms. There stood the two heavenly visitors in that day with their
message, "Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye here looking into heaven?
This Jesus which was received up from you into heaven shall so come
in like manner as ye beheld Him going into heaven." A long, long time
past. Has He forgotten His promise? No, the hour had not come. But
men disbelieved the word of promise, I will come again. "And in the
last days mockers came with mockery, walking after their own lusts,
saying, Where is the promise of His coming? for from the days that
the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the
beginning of the creation" (2 Peter ii: 3, 4). But now the Lord has
come. He, the Son of Man, in His glory, is seen plainly from the city
and from the valley, and with Him the heavenly company, His saints.
The moment His feet touch the Mount of Olives there is an earthquake
which splits the mountain into two halves, and a great valley is
formed between these two parts. "The mountains quake at Him, and the
hills melt; and the earth is upheaved at His presence, yea, the world
and all that dwell therein" (Nahum i: 5). As in the day of battle
when the Egyptian hosts were destroyed and He divided the sea, thus
will He divide the mountain and make a way for His trusting people,

   _Verse 5._ "And ye shall flee by the valley of My mountains,
   For the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal;
   Ye shall flee as you fled before the earthquake,
   In the days of Uzziah, King of Judah:
   And Jehovah my God shall come,
   And all the saints with Thee!"

The valley is the way by which the remnant will flee from the city.
The earthquake is mentioned only in another passage in the prophets.
Amos received the words of the Lord and the visions two years before
the earthquake. The details of the earthquake are not mentioned.
Perhaps the pious in the city, the Messiah-expecting Jews, hoped then
that the Promised One would appear, and they fled from the city. It
was during the reign of Uzziah (Jehovah is strength) that it
happened.

Jehovah who shall come refers us back to the fourth verse, where He
stands upon the Mount. Here He is seen not alone in His
manifestation, but His saints are with Him. It is an exclamation of
joyous surprise, All the saints with Thee! There above the Mount of
Olives a startling picture is seen. Countless human beings,
glorified, gathered out of all languages, nations, tribes and
countries, great and small, in white and shining robes, are seen
flowing down from the opened heaven. What multitudes! No man can
count them. What light and what glory! Brighter than the noonday sun.
And, oh! what hallelujahs, what wonderful singing in joy and praise
and adoration! When the shepherds were on the fields near Bethlehem
they heard the angels' song, but when He comes again there will be
singing and rejoicing, grander still. Then it will be indeed, Glory
to God in the highest, Peace on earth, good will towards men. The
singing of the redeemed will be heard. The mighty angels will not be
silent in their wake, and all the armies of heaven will escort the
King of kings and Lord of lords upon white horses. What a scene in
view of the places where He once suffered and died, and beheld by the
nations and Israel!

And every saint will share His glory then. Oh, wonderful grace for
redeemed sinners, which lifts them up to such glory, to come with the
Son of Man in His glory, and to share His throne. Why is there now so
little praise with His own, His redeemed ones? Why so often coldness?
Perhaps if we would gaze more into these visions of glory it would be
different, and there would be not only praise but in all the
wilderness experiences joy and patience, the patience of the Lord
Jesus Christ. Thus He, our Lord, the Leader and Perfecter of faith,
went through this life. "Who for the joy that was set before Him
endured the cross, despising shame, and hath sat down at the right
hand of the throne of God." And when the Lord comes with His saints
the remnant of Israel leaving the city will not be silent. Their song
will be, "Lo, He is our God; we have waited for Him; we will be glad
and rejoice in His salvation. For in this mountain shall the hand of
the Lord rest" (Isaiah xxv: 9).

   _Verses 6 and 7._ "And it shall come to pass in that day
   That the light shall not be with brightness and with gloom,
   And the day shall be One.
   It shall be known unto Jehovah.
   Not day and not night
   And at evening time there shall be light."

Many different interpretations of these two verses have been
attempted, most of them in spiritual teachings. The details of the
coming manifestation, can hardly be now all understood. This seems to
be clear in regard to the above that we have a prophetic description
of the phenomena in nature, in the heavens in that day. The
Septuagint translates, There shall not be light, but cold and ice.
This translation is incorrect. That day will be a day of darkness,
gloominess, followed by twilight and ending in the bursting forth of
a new light. "Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! Wherefore
would you have the day of the Lord? It is darkness and not light"
(Amos v: 18). "And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord
God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken
the earth in a clear day" (Amos viii: 9). "The sun shall be turned
into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and terrible
day of the Lord come" (Joel ii: 34 ). It is the same as in Matthew
xxiv, the darkening of the sun and moon, the falling of the stars. It
will be one day, a peculiar day, such as has never been before. In
the hour of His agony upon the cross there prevailed a darkness over
Jerusalem and the land; the same will be the case in His
manifestation and will inspire terror. At evening time the light will
shine, the Son of Righteousness, now fully risen, with healing under
his wings.

   _Verse 8._ "And it shall be in that day
   That living waters shall go out from Jerusalem,
   Half of them to the eastern sea
   And half of them to the western sea.
   In summer and in winter shall it be."

Living waters flowing out from Jerusalem speak of the blessings which
the Lord will give through the city and the inhabitants to the
nations of the earth. Jerusalem established will indeed be a praise
in the earth. The Holy Spirit has been poured out and living waters
flow from the place which is the center of the world. The living
waters will never stop flowing. It will be for summer and winter.
What a fruitfulness there will follow. The whole earth will be
fruitful then, not alone in nature but in spiritual things. "For as
the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the
things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will
cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the
nations. Out of Zion there shall go forth the law and the word of the
Lord from Jerusalem. The wilderness and the solitary place shall be
glad, and the desert shall rejoice and blossom as a rose. It shall
blossom abundantly and rejoice even with joy and singing; the glory
of Lebanon shall be given unto it; the excellency of Carmel and
Sharon; they shall see the glory of the Lord, the excellency of our
God" . . . (Isaiah xxxv). "And he brought me back unto the door of
the house (the millennial temple); and behold waters issued out from
under the threshold of the house eastward, for the forefront of the
house was toward the east; and the waters came down from under, from
the right side of the house, on the south of the altar. Then brought
he me out by the way of the gate northward, and led me round by the
way without unto the outer gate by the way of the gate that looketh
toward the east; and behold there ran out waters on the right side. .
. . Now when I had returned, behold upon the bank of the river were
very many trees on the one side and on the other. Then said he unto
me, These waters issue forth toward the eastern region, and shall go
down into Arabah, and they shall go toward the sea; into the sea
shall the waters go which were made to issue forth, and the waters
shall be healed" (Ezekiel xlvii). The waters flowing from the
threshold of the house empty into the sea . . . representing the
nations of the earth, and they receive healing and life.

   _Verse 9._ "And Jehovah shall be King over all the earth. In that
day shall Jehovah be one and His name one."

The true form of government is established. Jehovah is King. His
throne is then established over the earth, and from that place He
rules over all the nations in righteousness. The shepherd with the
rod of iron and the saints share this rule, while in the earth Israel
governs with a Prince of the house of David at their head. True unity
has come. The shameful divisions of Christendom, the work of the
enemy, the harvest of the flesh ended in a mock union of a Fatherhood
of God and brotherhood of man. Man attempts now to bring about a
unity of the race and unity in religions. He the glorified Head of
His body and His blessed atonement is denied. True Christendom ends
in a unity, under one head, but he is the Antichrist. In that day of
His coming again in glory there will be His name One, and He will be
known as the One God, and worshipped as such. Idolatry is abolished.
The abominations connected with it have ceased. Satan, the seducer of
the nations, is chained and seduces the nations no more. Confusion is
forever ended. "Then will I return to the nations a pure language,
that they may call upon the name of Jehovah, to serve Him with one
consent" (Zeph. iii: 9).

   _Verse 10._ "All the land shall be changed like the plain
   From Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem,
   And she shall be lifted up and dwell in her place,
   From Benjamin's gate unto the gate of the first place,
   Unto the corner gate,
   And from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's wine presses."

It is of little profit to understand the exact location of the places
mentioned in this verse; there is some difficulty in doing that. The
prophecy shows that in that day when the Lord has appeared there will
be a great change in the surface of Palestine. Everything will become
a plain. Now it is a land of mountains and hills. But then the hills
and mountains will be lowered and become a plain. Jerusalem, however,
is lifted up, and is seen shining in her earthly splendor and in it
the magnificent temple. In the midst of the millennial Jerusalem in
the earth will be another high place, still higher than the city. It
is the glorious Mount Zion. "But in the latter days it shall be that
the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of
the mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills" (Micah iv:
1). Upon this high place the glory will rest. Thus it will be seen
and cover the earth as the waters cover the deep. "And the Lord will
create over the whole habitation of Mount Zion and over her
assemblies a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of the flaming
fire by night; for over all the glory shall be spread a canopy"
(Isaiah iv: 5). From that high and glorious place in the earth the
communications and intercourse between the heavenlies and the earth
will perhaps take place, it will be the ladder upon which the angels
of God ascend and descend upon the Son of Man.

   _Verse 11._ "And they shall dwell therein,
   And there shall be no more curse,
   But Jerusalem shall dwell safely."

The happiness of the Jerusalem in the earth. The curse is entirely
removed. While now Jerusalem is one of the most miserable places in
the earth, desolate and forsaken, and during the tribulation it will
be the place of misery, sin, and curse, it will become the most
blessed place in the Millennium. The Lord will show forth there His
great lovingkindness, and all the blessings we have reviewed in the
visions of Zechariah will all be fulfilled. "There shall be no more
thence an infant of days nor an old man that hath not filled his
days; for the child shall die an hundred years old, and the sinner
being an hundred years old shall be accursed. And they shall build
houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant vineyards and eat the
fruit thereof. They shall not build and another inhabit; they shall
not plant and another eat; for as the days of a tree shall be the
days of My people and My chosen people shall long enjoy the work of
their hands. They shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth for
calamity; for they are the seed of the blessed of the Lord and their
offspring with them. And it shall come to pass that before they call
I will answer, and while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf
and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like
the ox, and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor
destroy in all My holy mountain, saith the Lord" (Isaiah lxv). But
that wonderful city in the earth, the city of Jerusalem, in all her
blessing, joy, peace, prosperity, praise, and worship, is but a faint
type of that still more glorious Jerusalem which is then above. The
new Jerusalem, our glorious home, dear reader (if you are in Christ),
is then in the air, and at the end of the thousand years it will come
down and find its eternal resting-place in the new earth.

   _Verses 12-15._ "And this shall be the plague
   With which Jehovah will smite all the nations
   That have warred against Jerusalem:
   His flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,
   And their eyes shall consume away in their sockets,
   And their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
   And it shall be in that day
   There shall be a great confusion among them from Jehovah,
   And they shall lay hold everyone on his neighbor's hand,
   And his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbor,
   And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem,
   And the wealth of all the nations round about shall be gathered,
   Gold, and silver and apparel in great abundance.
   And so shall be the plague of the horse,
   Of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass,
   And of all the beasts that shall be in those camps as this plague."

This is the description of the dreadful punishment which will befall
the enemies in that day. It is to be read in connection with the
third verse, the Lord fighting against those nations, and the
punishment will be upon them when He appears. Thus it is seen in
Revelation xix. He appears, and after His appearing there is the
scene of punishment of the enemies. "And I saw an angel standing in
the sun; and he cried with a loud voice to all the birds that fly in
mid heaven, Come and be gathered together unto the great supper of
God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains,
and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses and them that
sit thereon, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond and small
and great" (Rev. xix: 17, 18). What an awful judgment it will be! In
Ezekiel we have likewise a description of it. It is however to be
remarked that the vision of Ezekiel xxxviii and xxxix speaks of the
judgment which will fall upon the rebels of the last revolt at the
end of the thousand years. Still that second punishment is
foreshadowed in the first. "And thou, Son of man, thus saith the Lord
God, Speak unto the birds of every sort, and to every beast of the
field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves upon every
side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great
sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and
drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the
blood of the princes of the earth. . . . And ye shall be filled at my
table with horses and chariots, with mighty men and all men of war,
saith the Lord God" (Ezek. xxxix: 17-23).

"And they shall go forth, and look upon the carcasses of the men that
have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither
shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all
flesh" (Isa. lxvi: 24).

How wonderful the prophetic Word is! What a harmony! How dare men who
call themselves Christians deny its divinity and infallibility? The
wealth of the nations belongs then again to Israel. The nations
spoiled them, and now all the riches of the Gentiles become theirs.
Even so it is now during their dispersion. The nations who persecuted
and robbed the Jews during the middle ages have become the most
miserable and impoverished, while the Lord has given greater riches
to the Jews, and often drawn from the very countries who stole their
goods. From Egypt of old they came forth laden with silver and gold.
It will find a repetition, only on a grander scale, in the day of
their restoration. Now in unbelief and in dispersion they are the
richest of all nations. Oh! that the nations would now understand
it--the nations called Christendom--that "they are laboring for the
fire, and wearing themselves with vanity" (Habak. ii: 12), and that
the wealth and glory accumulated by them will fall a prey to the
Jews. "Ye shall eat the wealth of the nations, and to their glory
shall ye succeed" (Isa. lxi: 6).

   _Verse 16._ And it shall come to pass
   All that is left of the nations which came against Jerusalem
   Shall go up from year to year
   To worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts,
   And to keep the feast of Tabernacles.

Nations will be left after the tribulation and the wrath--this is
clear from many passages of the Word. In the New Testament we have
the statement made at the first council in Jerusalem. "Brethren,
hearken unto me; Simeon hath rehearsed how God at first did visit the
Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His name. And to this
agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, After these things
I will return, and I will build again the tabernacle of David, which
is fallen; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set
it up; that the residue of men may seek after the Lord, and all the
Gentiles, upon whom my name is called," etc. (Acts iv: 15-18). Number
one is the visitation of the Gentiles, a calling out of a people for
His name, and we are still living in number one. Number two is His
return, the building again and setting up of the tabernacle of David,
which can only come after the calling out of a people is accomplished
the fullness of the Gentiles come in; and number two and the events
connected with it we have learned from the studies in Zechariah. Then
follows number three, the residue of men seeking after the Lord. In
verse 16, they that are left of the nations correspond with the
residue of men in Acts iv. The temple will then stand in Jerusalem as
the house of glory and a house of prayer for all nations. There will
be a perfect worship, grand and glorious, and it will not be confined
to Israel, but the nations will join in it. We may learn perhaps from
this verse that the Lord will leave every year once His place on His
throne over the earth and come down to Jerusalem and show Himself in
His glory before the worshipping multitudes in the earth, as He is
seen in the New Jerusalem above. The occasion is the feast of
Tabernacles. It is the millennial feast. It is a feast kept in
remembrance of Israel's wanderings through the wilderness for forty
years and all their subsequent wanderings. It stands also for the
ingathering of the full harvest. A feast of joy, praise, and
thanksgiving. The Jews keep it to the present day, though few know
the full meaning of it. Every year when it comes again they read this
14th chapter of Zechariah. It is strange indeed. What a glorious
feast that will be, kept there in Jerusalem, when the fullness at
last has come! The fullness of the Gentiles has been gathered in, and
is in the New Jerusalem; the fullness of Israel has come in the
earth, and their receiving has been life from the dead, and the
Gentiles know the glory of the Lord. Some find a difficulty here in
the fact that it is stated that the nations, the residue of men, are
to come up to Jerusalem, and the difficulty is that it will be
impossible for all of them to do that. It is not at all necessary
that every individual must go up to Jerusalem once in a year. Perhaps
every nation will send representatives to the feast of Tabernacles,
and they come in the name of the different nations and bring their
presents. This seems to be indicated in the visit of the wise men
from the East, who came to Bethlehem to worship the new-born King
(Matthew ii). They brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh, In Isaiah
lx: 6 we read of the coming of the Gentiles to Jerusalem when the
Lord has come again. They shall come from Sheba; they shall bring
gold and frankincense (the myrrh is left out here, for it speaks of
suffering), and shall proclaim the praises of the Lord. As the wise
men who came to Bethlehem were representatives of nations, so during
the Millennium the nations will send delegations to the feast of
Tabernacles. What a scene that must be! How crowded Jerusalem will be
by those from Greenland and from the interior of Africa, from India
and the islands of the sea, as well as from the nations which
composed the Roman empire. The ends of the earth have seen the
salvation of God, and now their praise is heard in the city and
mingling with the psalms sung by His own redeemed people.

   _Verses 17-19._ And it shall be that whoso of all the families
      of the earth
   Shall not go up to Jerusalem
   To worship the King, Jehovah of Hosts,
   Upon them there shall be no rain.
   And if the family of Egypt go not up and come not,
   Upon them shall be none.
   There shall be the plague
   Wherewith Jehovah will smite the nations
   Which go not up to keep the feast of Tabernacles.
   This shall be the sin of Egypt,
   And the sin of all the nations
   Which go not up to keep the feast of Tabernacles.

This is the other side. All those who refuse will be punished, and
the punishment will be very swift. From this and other prophecies it
is seen that not everything will go so smoothly as it is generally
believed during the Millennium. God's messengers in that day will be
the Jews going forth to proclaim the truth of God, and what preachers
they will make! Still some will be forced to submit. The end of the
thousand years brings a revolt from the side of the nations, which is
not a small matter. "And when the thousand years are finished, Satan
shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall come forth to deceive
the nations which are in the four corners of the earth, Gog and
Magog, to gather them together to the war; the number of whom is as
the sand of the sea" (Rev. xx: 7, 8).

From this we see that many of the nations, Gog and Magog, are only
too willing to side once more with the enemy, and to shake off, if it
were possible, the yoke of the rule of Jehovah's earthly people.

The last two verses we have to consider make the whole prophecy
perfect. It is the declaration that Jerusalem will be holy.

   In that day there shall be on the bells of the horses
   Holiness to Jehovah,
   And the pots in the house of Jehovah
   Shall be as the bowls before the altar.
   Every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah
   Shall be holy unto Jehovah of Hosts.
   And all they that sacrifice shall come
   And take of them and sacrifice therein,
   And there shall be no more Canaanite
   In the house of Jehovah of Hosts in that day.

The most holy person in Israel, the high-priest, carried the
inscription, "Holiness to Jehovah" around his mitre, but now even the
little bells of the horses bear that inscription. In that temple
which stands during the Millennium sacrifices will be brought, but
there will be no difference in the vessels, which are used in
Jerusalem, the meanest and smallest will be holy. In one word all
will be holy, all will be consecrated to Jehovah. What a perfect
service that will be of the people which are then, in truth, a holy
people. Application can be made of this to believers now. Surely
everything the saint has, and his whole life, must be thus
consecrated to Jehovah, to the Lord. No Canaanite will be there,
nothing unclean. The Vulgate translates the word Canaanite with
merchant. It stands, however, with everything that is unclean and an
abomination. The city will be completely purged from it.

And of the new Jerusalem it is written, "There shall in no wise enter
into it any thing unclean, or he that maketh an abomination and a
lie; but only they that are written in the Lamb's book of life. . . .
Without are the dogs, and the sorcerers, and the fornicators, and the
murderers, and the idolaters, and every one that loveth and maketh a
lie." (Rev. xxi: 27 and xxii: 15.)

We have reached the end of the visions and burdens of Zechariah, the
son of Iddo, the prophet, who, indeed, may be termed the Prophet of
Glory. We praise our Lord for what He has taught us in these studies,
and for His Spirit, who guides His children into all truth and shows
us things to come. May he use this volume for the edification of the
saints and for a better understanding of the words of prophecy. We
are living on the very threshold of the fulfillment of all these
visions and words. Soon He will come for His saints, and even now the
Spirit groans within us. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen.





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