|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
14:1-7 The Lord Jesus often stood upon the Mount of Olives when on earth. He ascended from thence to heaven, and then desolations and distresses came upon the Jewish nation. Such is the view taken of this figuratively; but many consider it as a notice of events yet unfulfilled, and that it relates to troubles of which we cannot now form a full idea. Every believer, being related to God as his God, may triumph in the expectation of Christ's coming in power, and speak of it with pleasure. During a long season, the state of the church would be deformed by sin; there would be a mixture of truth and error, of happiness and misery. Such is the experience of God's people, a mingled state of grace and corruption. But, when the season is at the worst, and most unpromising, the Lord will turn darkness into light; deliverance comes when God's people have done looking for it.
Verse 6. - The light shall not be clear, nor dark. The Greek, Syriac, and Latin Versions have, "There shall not be light, but ('and,' Septuagint) cold and ice." With the absence of light and sun shall come bitter frost, which impedes all activity, and kills life: or, taking the Septuagint rendering, there shall no longer be the interchange of seasons, but one lasting sunshine. It is plain that a time of distress and calamity is intended, and that the passage is threatening and not consolatory, at any rate, at first. There is solid ground for the rendering of the Revised Version margin, adopted by Cheyne and others, which is according to the Khetib, "There shall not be light, the bright ones shall contract themselves;" i.e. the heavenly bodies shall contract their light, or be heaped confusedly together, and cease to shine. The prediction in this case may be compared with that in Joel 3:15; Isaiah 13:10; and in Matthew 24:29; Revelation 6:12, 13. The Authorized Version is explained in the margin, i.e. "It shall not be clear in some places, and dark in other places of the world" - a gloss which is inadmissible.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And it shall come to pass in that day,.... Which shall precede the coming of Christ, both his spiritual and personal reign; for what follows will not agree with either state:
that the light shall not be clear nor dark; before the latter day glory it will be a darkish dispensation; not "clear", as in the first times of the Gospel, when the sun of righteousness appeared, and the shadows of the ceremonial law were removed, and the Gospel shone out in the ministry of Christ and his apostles; nor as at the reformation from Popery, when the morning star was given, Revelation 2:28 nor as it will be in the spiritual reign of Christ, when Zion's light will be come, and her watchmen will see eye to eye; when the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun seven fold as the light of seven days; and much less as will be in the kingdom state, when there will be no need of the sun or moon; or in the ultimate glory, when we shall see no more darkly through a glass, but face to face: and yet it will not be "dark", as it was with the Jews under the legal dispensation; and much less as with the Gentiles before the coming of Christ; or as in the dark times of Popery; it will be a sort of a twilight, both with respect to the light of doctrine, and of spiritual joy, comfort, and experience; which is much our case now. Some read the words, "there shall be no light, but cold and frost" (k); it will be a time of great coldness and lukewarmness, with regard to divine and spiritual things; iniquity will abound, and the love of many wax cold, Matthew 24:12.
(k) , , Sept.; "non erit lux, sed frigus et gelu", V. L; so Syr. Ar.; "congelatio", Tigurine version; so Ben Melech; "non erit lux; frigora potius et congelatio; vel non erit lux; frigoribus congelascent, scilicet peccatores", Hiller. de Arcano Kethib & Keri, p. 370.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6. light … not … clear … dark—Jerome, Chaldee, Syriac, and Septuagint translate, "There shall not be light, but cold and ice"; that is, a day full of horror (Am 5:18). But the Hebrew for "clear" does not mean "cold," but "precious," "splendid" (compare Job 31:26). Calvin translates, "The light shall not be clear, but dark" (literally, "condensation," that is, thick mist); like a dark day in which you can hardly distinguish between day and night. English Version accords with Zec 14:7: "There shall not be altogether light nor altogether darkness," but an intermediate condition in which sorrows shall be mingled with joys.
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