Zechariah 14:16
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Zechariah 14:16. And every one that is left of all the nations — Such as escape the fore-mentioned strokes of divine judgment, and are by mercy preserved; of all the nations which came against Jerusalem — That is, many among all these nations shall consider God’s hand, repent, and submit to his law. Such a change shall the grace of God, sanctifying his judgments, make upon them. Of Christ’s foes, as some shall be made his footstool, so others shall be made his friends; and when the principle of enmity is slain in them, their former acts of hostility are pardoned to them, and their services are accepted as though they had never fought against Jerusalem. Shall even go up to worship, and keep the feast of tabernacles — That is, they shall join in the solemn acts of Christian worship. The prophets, as we have repeatedly had occasion to observe in the course of these notes, often describe, the state of the gospel by the usages of their own times. The feast of tabernacles, being kept in remembrance of God’s conducting and preserving the Israelites forty years in the wilderness, and afterward bringing them into the promised land, was observed with extraordinary expressions of rejoicing. Here this one solemn festival is, by a figure, put for all the days consecrated to God for holy worship; and that very properly, because of those two great graces which were, in a special manner, signified and required in that feast, namely, contempt of the world and joy in God, Nehemiah 8:17. The life of a true Christian is a constant feast of tabernacles, and in all our acts of devotion we must retire from the world and rejoice in the Lord, or worship as the truly pious did in that feast.14:16-21 As it is impossible for all nations literally to come to Jerusalem once a year, to keep a feast, it is evident that a figurative meaning must here be applied. Gospel worship is represented by the keeping of the feast of tabernacles. Every day of a Christian's life is a day of the feast of tabernacles; every Lord's day especially is the great day of the feast; therefore every day let us worship the Lord of hosts, and keep every Lord's day with peculiar solemnity. It is just for God to withhold the blessings of grace from those who do not attend the means of grace. It is a sin that is its own punishment; those who forsake the duty, forfeit the privilege of communion with God. A time of complete peace and purity of the church will arrive. Men will carry on their common affairs, and their sacred services, upon the same holy principles of faith, love and obedience. Real holiness shall be more diffused, because there shall be a more plentiful pouring forth of the Spirit of holiness than ever before. There shall be holiness even in common things. Every action and every enjoyment of the believer, should be so regulated according to the will of God, that it may be directed to his glory. Our whole lives should be as one constant sacrifice, or act of devotion; no selfish motive should prevail in any of our actions. But how far is the Christian church from this state of purity! Other times, however, are at hand, and the Lord will reform and enlarge his church, as he has promised. Yet in heaven alone will perfect holiness and happiness be found.Every one that is left of the nations - God so gives the repentance, even through His visitations, that, in proportion to the largeness of the rebellion and the visitation upon it, shall be the largeness of the conversion. "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled" Luke 21:24. And Paul, "Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles shall be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved" Romans 11:25-26. Hitherto prophets had spoken of a "remnant" of Jacob, who should "return to the mighty God" Isaiah 10:21, and should be saved; now, upon this universal rebellion of the pagan. He foretells the conversion of a remnant of the pagan also.

Shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts - There is a harmony between the rebellion and the repentance. The converted shall go to worship God there, where they had striven to exterminate His worshipers. The prophet could only speak of the Gospel under the image of the law. "The Feast of Tabernacles" has its counterpart, not, like the Pascha or the Pentecost, in any single feast, but in the whole life of the Gospel. It was a thanksgiving for past deliverance; it was a picture of their pilgrim-life from the passage of the Red Sea, until the parting of the Jordan opened to them the entrance to their temporary rest in Canaan (see at greater length Hosea 12:9, vol. i. p. 122). Jerome: "In that vast, wide, terrible wilderness, where was no village, house, town, cave, it made itself tents, wherein to sojourn with wives and children, avoiding by day the burning sun, by night damp and cold and hurt from dew; and it was 'a statute forever in their generations; ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all, that are Israelites born, shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know, that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt' Leviticus 23:41-43."

Lap.: "Much more truly do Christians keep the feast of tabernacles, not once in the year only, but continually, unceasingly. This is, what Peter admonisheth, 'Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts' 1 Peter 2:11. And Paul often teacheth that we, like Abraham, are strangers on earth, but 'citizens' of heaven 'with the saints, and of the household of God' Ephesians 2:19. 'Faith,' he says, 'is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. By faith Abraham sojourned in the land of promise as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise; for he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God' Hebrews 11:1, Hebrews 11:9-10." Jerome: "As long as we are in progress, in the course and militant, we dwell in tabernacles, striving with all our mind to pass from the tabernacles to the firm and lasting dwelling-place of the house of God. Whence, also holy David said, 'I am a stranger with Thee and a sojourner, as all my fathers were' Psalm 39:12. So speaketh he, who is still in Egypt and yet placed in the world. But he who goeth forth out of Egypt, and entereth a desert from vices, holdeth his way and says in the Psalm, 'I will pass through to the place of the tabernacle of the Wonderful unto the house of God' (Psalm 41:5, Vulgate). Whence, also he says elsewhere, 'How amiable are Thy dwellings. Thou Lord of hosts; my soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord' and a little after, 'Blessed are they who dwell in thy house, they shall be alway praising Thee' Psalm 41:4. 'The voice of rejoicing and salvation is in the tabernacles of the righteous' Psalm 118:15. 'One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to enquire in His temple' Psalm 27:4.

Whoso dwelleth in such tabernacles, and hastes to go from the tabernacles to the court, and from the court to the house, and from the house to the temple of the Lord, ought to celebrate the feast of Tabernacles etc." It symbolizes how, (Dionysius), "in the New Testament, Christians, being delivered through Christ from the slavery to sin and satan, and sojourning in this vale of misery, by making progress in virtues go up to the home of the heavenly paradise, the door of glory being open by the merit of the Lord's Passion, and so the faithful of Christ celebrate the feast of tabernacles; and, after the destruction of antichrist, they will celebrate it the more devoutly, as there will then be among them a fuller fervor of faith."

16. every one … left—(Isa 66:19, 23). God will conquer all the foes of the Church. Some He will destroy; others He will bring into willing subjection.

from year to year—literally, "from the sufficiency of a year in a year."

feast of tabernacles—The other two great yearly feasts, passover and pentecost, are not specified, because, their antitypes having come, the types are done away with. But the feast of tabernacles will be commemorative of the Jews' sojourn, not merely forty years in the wilderness, but for almost two thousand years of their dispersion. So it was kept on their return from the Babylonian dispersion (Ne 8:14-17). It was the feast on which Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem (Mt 21:8); a pledge of His return to His capital to reign (compare Le 23:34, 39, 40, 42; Re 7:9; 21:3). A feast of peculiar joy (Ps 118:15; Ho 12:9). The feast on which Jesus gave the invitation to the living waters of salvation ("Hosanna," save us now, was the cry, Mt 21:9; compare Ps 118:25, 26) (Joh 7:2, 37). To the Gentiles, too, it will be significant of perfected salvation after past wanderings in a moral wilderness, as it originally commemorated the ingathering of the harvest. The seedtime of tears shall then have issued in the harvest of joy [Moore]. "All the nations" could not possibly in person go up to the feast, but they may do so by representatives.

Every one that is left; such as escape the stroke, and are by mercy reserved, very many of them, among all the nations, shall consider God’s hand, repent, and submit themselves to his law; they shall, (as many did,) on sight of God’s hand for the church, and against the church’s enemies, convert, become proselytes and Christians.

Shall even go up from year to year to worship: by a ceremonial phrase and usage, which shadowed out a better worship, the prophet foretells, the constant zeal and care the converted Gentiles should have to worship the Lord.

To keep the feast of tabernacles; one solemn festival, by a figure, put for all the days consecrated to God for holy worship, and this perhaps with an eye to Christ’s tabernacling with us, and may point to the Christian sabbath.

Every one that is left; such as escape the stroke, and are by mercy reserved, very many of them, among all the nations, shall consider God’s hand, repent, and submit themselves to his law; they shall, (as many did,) on sight of God’s hand for the church, and against the church’s enemies, convert, become proselytes and Christians.

Shall even go up from year to year to worship: by a ceremonial phrase and usage, which shadowed out a better worship, the prophet foretells, the constant zeal and care the converted Gentiles should have to worship the Lord.

To keep the feast of tabernacles; one solemn festival, by a figure, put for all the days consecrated to God for holy worship, and this perhaps with an eye to Christ’s tabernacling with us, and may point to the Christian sabbath. And it shall come to pass,.... After the plague on man and beast is over:

that everyone that is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem; these are the remnant, according to the election of grace, who will have been among the enemies of Christ and his people, but preserved when others will be destroyed; and they will not only be frightened at the general destruction, but will be truly converted, and give glory to the God of heaven, Revelation 11:13, these

shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts; the King Messiah, as Aben Ezra and Abendana on the place observe; the same with the King overall the earth, Zechariah 14:9 who is Lord of hosts, of all the armies in heaven, that will have followed him, at this time, and is to be worshipped by angels and men; he is equal with God, the Creator of both, the Redeemer of men, and King of saints; and to worship him shall the above persons preserved and called go up to Jerusalem, the church of God, year by year, that is, constantly:

and to keep the feast of tabernacles; not literally, but spiritually; for, as all the Jewish feasts have been long since abolished, having had their accomplishment in Christ, not one of them will ever be revived in the latter day. This feast was originally kept in commemoration of the Israelites dwelling in tents in the wilderness, and was typical of Christ's incarnation, who was made flesh, and tabernacled among us; so that to keep this feast is no other than to believe in Christ as come in the flesh, and in the faith of this to attend to the Gospel feast of the word and ordinances; and whereas this feast was observed by drawing water with expressions of joy, this may respect the pouring forth of the Spirit in the last day, and that spiritual joy saints will then be filled with; to which may be added, that palm tree branches used to be carried in their hands at the time of that feast; and so the keeping of it now may denote the victory that will be obtained over the beast and his image, which palm tree branches are a token of; and this will issue in the personal reign of Christ, when the tabernacle of God shall be with men.

And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
16. the feast of tabernacles] The Jews had been required to appear three times in the year before God at His sanctuary. Of the Gentile nations, distant as they are and scattered over the face of the earth, only one such appearance is required. Various reasons have been suggested why, out of the three great festivals, the feast of tabernacles is selected: because it fell in autumn when travelling is most convenient; because, as a thanksgiving festival for the fruits of the earth, it was one in which all nations might more readily take part; or (which is more probable), because it was the last and greatest festival of the Jewish year, gathering up into itself, as it were, the year’s worship, and at the same time typifying the ingathering of all nations into the Church of God. Comp. Revelation 7:9.

“From every clime they come

To see thy beauty, and to share thy joy,

O Sion! an assembly such as earth

Saw never, such as heav’n stoops down to see.”

16–19. The Homage of the Residue of the Nations

The deliverance of Israel and judgments on her enemies shall have a converting influence on the residue of the Gentiles, who shall become worshippers of Jehovah, and keep the Feast of Tabernacles every year at Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:16. From any nation that refuses so to worship rain shall be withheld as a punishment, Zechariah 14:17. Egypt, the ancient foe of Israel, shall be liable to the same punishment, Zechariah 14:18, which shall fall upon all nations that neglect the feast, Zechariah 14:19.Verses 16-19. - § 9. Warned by these manifestations of God's power, the residue of the heathen shall be converted, and shall join with the Hebrews in the regular worship of Jehovah. Verse 16. - Every one that is left. All the heathen that attacked the holy city shall not be destroyed; the remnant saved small become subjects of the Divine kingdom. Shall go up. This is the usual phrase for going to Jerusalem for the purpose of worship (comp. Isaiah 2:2, 3; Micah 4:2; Luke 2:42; John 7:8). The prophet here and in the following clause speaks as a Jew to Jews, who knew and observed only the prescribed form of worship. It is evident that the announcement could never be literally fulfilled; the Gentile world could never come yearly to pay their devotions at Jerusalem. The prediction can only signify that under Messiah's reign the Gentiles shall be converted to true religion and worship God in regular, orderly fashion, the prophet intimating this in terms derived from the old dispensation, which had the Divine sanction. The Feast of Tabernacles. The Israelites were required to appear before the Lord three times in the year (Exodus 23:17; Deuteronomy 16:16) - at the festivals of the Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. But the Gentiles are here required to present themselves only once. The Feast of Tabernacles is chosen for this occasion owing to its peculiar character and the associations connected with it. It commemorated not only the ingathering of the harvest, but also Israel's sojourn in the wilderness and tide Divine protection there accorded to them, and their entrance into tide promised land; it was therefore a fitting symbol of the rescue of the Gentiles from the devil's kingdom, and their entry into the Church of God, where they enjoyed the blessings of God's grace and protection. It was also a more catholic feast, in one sense, titan the Passover or Pentecost, not being so distinctively Jewish, but one which all nations could keep in gratitude to the Giver of material benefits. We must remember, also, that it was at this feast that our Lord cried (John 7:37), "If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink," and likewise he declared himself to be "the Light of the world" (John 8:12), wishing us, it may be, to understand that this feast was the one we should need to keep, being the one which specially sets him forth as the Sustainer and Guide through life's pilgrimage. Zechariah 4:1. "And the angel that talked with me returned and waked me, like a man who is waked out of his sleep." After the prophet has seen four visions one after another, probably with very short intervals, and has heard the marvellous interpretation of them, he is so overpowered by the impression produced by what he has seen and heard, that he falls into a state of spiritual exhaustion resembling sleep, just as Peter and his companions were unable to keep awake at the transfiguration of Christ (Luke 9:32). He has not only fallen back into the state of ordinary human consciousness, but his ordinary spiritual consciousness was so depressed that he resembled a man asleep, and had to be waked out of this sleep-like state by the mediating angel, in order to be qualified for further seeing. It is evident from the expression ויּשׁב (and he returned) that the angelus interpres had left the prophet after the termination of the previous visions, and now came back to him again. The fresh vision which presents itself to his spiritual intuition, is described according to its principal features in Zechariah 4:2 and Zechariah 4:3. Zechariah 4:2. "And he said to me, What seest thou? And I said, I see, and behold a candlestick all of gold, and its oil-vessel up above it, and its seven lamps upon it, seven pipes each for the lamps upon the top of it. Zechariah 4:3. And two olive trees (oil trees) by it, one to the right of the oil-vessel, and one to the left of it." The second ויאמר (chethib) in Zechariah 4:2 might, if necessary, be explained in the way proposed by L. de Dieu, Gusset., and Hofmann, viz., by supposing that the mediating angel had no sooner asked the prophet what he saw, than he proceeded, without waiting for his answer, to give a description himself of what was seen. But this is at variance with the analogy of all the rest of the visions, where the visions seen by the prophet are always introduced with ראיתי or ואראה followed by והנּה (cf. Zechariah 1:8; Zechariah 2:1, Zechariah 2:5; Zechariah 5:1; Zechariah 6:1), and it remains quite inflexible; so that we must accept the keri ואמר, which is adopted by the early translators, and found in many codd., as being the true reading, and pronounce ויאמר a copyist's error. On the combination מנורת זהב כּלּהּ, in which the last two words are construed as a relative clause in subordination to menōrath, see Ewald, 332, c.

The visionary candlestick, all of gold, with its seven lamps, is unquestionably a figurative representation of the seven-branched golden candlestick in the tabernacle, and differs from this only in the three following additions which are peculiar to itself: (1) That is has its gullâh (גּלּהּ for גּלּתה, with the feminine termination resolved; cf. Hosea 13:2, and Ewald, 257, d), i.e., a can or round vessel for the oil, which was omitted altogether from the candlestick of the holy place, when the lamps were filled with oil by the priests, "at the top of it" (על־ראשׁהּ); (2) That it had seven mūtsâqōth (pipes) each for the lamps, that is to say, tubes through which the oil poured from the gullâh into the lamps, or was conducted to them, whereas the candlestick of the tabernacle had no pipes, but only seven arms (qânı̄m), for the purpose of holding the lamps, which of course could not be wanting in the case of the visionary candlestick, and are merely omitted from the description as being self-evident. The number of the pipes is also a disputed point, viz., whether שׁבעה ושׁבעה means seven and seven, i.e., fourteen, or whether it is to be taken distributively, seven each for the lamps, i.e., seven for each lamp, and therefore forty-nine for the seven. The distributive view is disputed by Hitzig and Koehler as at variance with the usage of the language: the former proposing to alter the text, so as to obtain seven pipes, i.e., one for each lamp; and the latter, on the other hand, assuming that there were fourteen pipes, and inferring from the statement "seven and seven," instead of fourteen, that the second seven are to be sought in a different place from the first, that is to say, that the first seven led from the oil-vessel to the seven different lamps, whilst the second seven connected the seven lamps with one another, which would have been a very strange and perfectly useless provision. But there is no foundation whatever for the assertion that it is at variance with the usage of the language. For although a distributive relation is certainly expressed as a rule by the simple repetition of the number without any connecting Vav, such passages as 2 Samuel 21:20 and 1 Chronicles 20:6 show quite indisputably that the repetition of the same number with the Vav cop. between is also to be taken distributively. When, for example, it is stated in 2 Samuel 21:20, with regard to the hero of Gath, that the fingers of his hands and the fingers (toes) of his feet were "shēsh vâshēsh, four-and-twenty in number," it is evident that shēsh vâshēsh cannot mean "six and six," because six and six do not make twenty-four; and a division of the shēsh between the hands and feet is also untenable, because his two hands had not six fingers on them, but twelve, and so his two feet had not six toes on them, but twelve. Consequently shēsh vâshēsh must be taken distributively: the fingers of his (two) hands and the toes of his (two) feet were six each; for it is only 2 + 2(( equals 4) x 6 that can give 24. This is shown still more clearly in 1 Chronicles 20:6 : "and his fingers were shēsh vâshēsh, four-and-twenty." It is in this distributive sense, which is thus thoroughly established, so far as the usage of the language is concerned, that שׁבעה ושׁבעה מוּץ is to be taken: seven pipes each for the lamps, i.e., forty-nine for the seven lamps; inasmuch as if fourteen pipes were meant, it would be impossible to imagine any reason why "seven and seven" should be written instead of fourteen. And we cannot be shaken in this conviction, either by the objection "that if there was any proportion between the pipes and the size of the oil-vessel, such a number of pipes could not possibly (?) spring from one oil-can" (Koehler), or by the statement that "forty-nine would be quite as much at variance with the original as fourteen, since that had only one pipe for every lamp" (Hitzig). For the supposed original for the pipes had no existence, inasmuch as the Mosaic candlestick had no pipes at all; and we can form no opinion as to the possibility of forty-nine pipes issuing from one oil-vessel, because we have no information as to the size either of the oil-vessel or of the pipes. (3) The third peculiarity in the visionary candlestick consists in the olive trees on the right and left of the oil-vessel, which supplied it with oil, and whose connection with the candlestick is first described in Zechariah 4:12. These three additions which were made to the golden candlestick seen by Zechariah, as contrasted with the golden candlestick of the tabernacle, formed the apparatus through which it was supplied with the oil required to light it continually without the intervention of man.

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