Bible Reading for SEP29: Zechariah 8-14

Questions about fasting arise in chapters 7 and 8.
Fasting on the Day of Atonement was the only required
fast, but the Jews fasted to remember fallen Jerusalem.
Why fast if the city will be destroyed? Zechariah uses
this to teach them the true meaning of fasting, and to
promise the restoration of the city in peace and joy.

In chapters 9–14 there are two enlightenments
given to the people. First, the prophet describes the
quest of the great general, Alexander the Great.
History tells us that he destroyed many cities, but not
Jerusalem. He threatened the city, but never carried
out any of his threats. Before Alexander arrived, the
Jewish high priest had a dream which he felt was of
God, and in the dream he was told to dress in his robes
and meet Alexander outside the city. With him went the
priests in their white robes. When Alexander saw the
scene, he was dazzled. In fact, he claimed that he,
too, had dreamed of this very scene. Alexander entered
Jerusalem peacefully and never harmed the people or the
city in any way. Perhaps Zechariah saw in Alexander’s
visit a small vision of the coming of Jesus Christ to
the Holy City, for in chapter 9:9 he predicts Christ’s
arrival in Jerusalem. This was fulfilled, of course, on
Psalm Monday when Jesus rode into the city. Alexander
came for war; Jesus came with peace. How did they treat
Christ? Even though He came in peace, He would be
rejected, and Zechariah 13:7 tells us that He would be
arrested and smitten, which is fulfilled in Matthew
26:31. He would be sold for the price of a slave
(Zechariah 11:12) and this is fulfilled in Matthew
27:3-10. The result was that He was wounded in the
house of His friends (Zechariah 13:6), and pierced on
the cross (Zechariah 12:10). What a tragedy that
Jerusalem, whose name means “the city of peace,” would
reject the Prince of Peace, and crucify Him.

Chapters 12–14 contain prophecies concerning
Israel’s future. The last three and one-half years of
the Tribulation Period will find only one-third of the
nation surviving to enter the Kingdom (chapter 13:8,9).
Note the repetition of “in that day,” referring to the
Day of the Lord. It occurs some 13 times in today’s
reading.

In chapters 12:1-8 and 14:1,2, we see all the
Gentile nations gathered together against Jerusalem.
The Antichrist has moved into Jerusalem, broken his
covenant with the Jews, and made the Temple his
headquarters for worldwide worship (see II
Thessalonians 2; Revelation 13). During the last half
of the Tribulation Period the kings of the earth will
begin to assemble for the great final battle–the
Battle of Armageddon (see Revelation 16:12-16; 19:19-
21). We might also note in Zechariah 14:1,2 that
Jerusalem does suffer terribly in this battle before
the Lord returns to deliver her. When the battle is at
its worst, Jesus will return to the Mount of Olives
(chapter 14:4). This will fulfill the promise of Acts
1:11,12. The glory had departed from Mount Olivet
(Ezekiel 11:22,23). An earthquake will change the
entire area (see Micah 1:4; Nahum 1:5 and Revelation
16:18,19). This change will undoubtedly make possible
the new landscape required in Ezekiel’s magnificent
Temple (see Ezekiel 40–48), since the present
arrangement would make so large a structure impossible.
The newly-formed valley will also make a way of escape
for the people in Jerusalem, but the final victory will
be Christ’s (Revelation 19:11,12). Finally, the nation
will look upon the pierced One (chapter 12:10; John
19:37; Revelation 1:7), and will repent of her sins and
mourn. God will cleanse them of their sins. Note the
specific groups of people who will repent (chapter
12:12-14)–David, which means royalty; Nahum, the
prophets; and Levi, the priests. The glorious Temple
will be established by Jesus Christ, and He shall reign
as King-Priest in majesty and peace. Jerusalem shall be
safely inhabited (chapter 14:11) for the first time in
history. The glorious living waters will flow out to
heal the land (chapter 14:8; Ezekiel 47:1). Gentile
nations will worship at Jerusalem (chapter 14:6), and
holiness will characterize the city that Haggai called
filthy. The cleansing mentioned in Zechariah 3 will be
a reality, and there will be peace in the world. When
Jerusalem has peace, there will be peace among all
nations.



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