Zechariah 14:1
Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Zechariah 14:1-2. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh — A day of the Lord’s great wrath and indignation will soon overtake you, O sinful, unthankful, bloody Jews! A day remarkable for the execution of divine vengeance upon you, and your city, Jerusalem. This chapter ought to have been joined to the preceding; for here the prophet continues to foretel the execution of the threatenings contained in the latter part of the former chapter; namely, how the unbelieving Jews should be destroyed by the Romans. Thy spoils shall be divided in the midst of thee — All that thou hast, O Jerusalem, shall become a prey to thine enemies, who shall be such absolute masters of thee, that, in the greatest security, they shall divide among themselves whatever spoil they take from thee, in the very place where they take it. For I will gather all nations — “The Romans, being lords of the known world, had the strength of all nations united in their forces. Thus, (Jeremiah 24:1,) Nebuchadnezzar is said to fight against Jerusalem with all the kingdoms of the earth.” — Lowth. And the city shall be taken — For God is its enemy, and who can stand before him, or before nations gathered by him? Where he gives commission, he will give success. And the houses rifled, and the women ravished — The Roman soldiers shall exercise those acts of lust and violence which are too frequent among conquerors. That all the outrages were committed, and the miseries endured, which are here predicted, when the Romans took Jerusalem, we have abundant proof from Josephus and other historians: see notes on Deuteronomy 28. And half of the city shall go into captivity — The Hebrew word rendered half, may be translated a portion. It must be observed, that the city only is here spoken of; but chap. Zechariah 13:8, where mention is made of two parts being cut off and dying, refers to the whole land. And the residue of the people shall not be cut off — “The Romans spared the young and useful part of the Jews: Josephus, Bel. Jud., 6. 9:2. However, these were either condemned to the mines in Egypt, or exposed to the sword and to wild beasts in the provincial theatres, or sold for slaves. Ibid. It must be observed, that the forty thousand who were permitted to go where they pleased, were Idumeans: Bel. Jud., 6. 8:2.” — Newcome. “But it is probable that the remnant of the Jews, who survived this almost exterminating destruction, and their descendants, who have for so many centuries been preserved a distinct people, in order to their future restoration, are intended.” — Scott.

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.Behold the Day of the Lord cometh - Literally, "a day cometh, the Lord's," in which He Himself shall be Judge, and no longer leave man to fulfill his own will, and despise God's; in which His glory and holiness and the righteousness of all His ways shall be revealed.

And thy spoil shall be in the midst of thee - Jerome: "How great will the strait be, that the spoils should be divided in the midst of her. It often happens that what, by a sudden assault, is plundered in the city, is divided in the field or in solitude, lest the enemy should come upon them. But now there will be such a heavy weight of ills, such will be the security of conquest, that the spoils shall be divided in the midst of the city."

CHAPTER 14

Zec 14:1-21. Last Struggle with the Hostile World-Powers: Messiah-Jehovah Saves Jerusalem and Destroys the Foe, of Whom the Remnant Turns to the Lord Reigning at Jerusalem.

1. day of the Lord—in which He shall vindicate His justice by punishing the wicked and then saving His elect people (Joe 2:31; 3:14; Mal 4:1, 5).

thy spoil … divided in the midst of thee—by the foe; secure of victory, they shall not divide the spoil taken from thee in their camp outside, but "in the midst" of the city itself.The destruction of Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:1,2. The coming of Christ, the graces of his kingdom, and the restoration of Jerusalem, Zechariah 14:3-11. The plague of Jerusalem’s enemies, Zechariah 14:12-15. The remnant shall turn to the Lord, Zechariah 14:16-19. The holiness of all that belongeth to them, Zechariah 14:20,21.

Behold: here are things of very great importance, and of very mysterious nature, proposed by the Lord to us, and therefore we are called upon to attend to them.

The day of the Lord, the day which the Lord hath appointed for punishing the sins of his ancient people, day of his sacrifice, Zephaniah 1:8, of vengeance, Joel 2:1,2.

Cometh; hasteth, or will soon overtake you, O sinful, unthankful, bloody Jews, who first despised and next murdered the Messiah!

Thy spoil, all thou hast, O Jerusalem, shall become a prey to thine enemy.

Shall be divided in the midst of thee: thy conquering enemies shall be such absolute masters of thee, that in greatest security they shall divide among themselves what they take from thee, in the very place where they take it: Jerusalem is their own, and all in it, and where they find their own they will take it; so they reckon.

Behold, the day of the Lord cometh,.... Or the day when the Lord will come, both in his spiritual and personal reign; for this is not to be understood of his first coming in the flesh, at which time none of the things after mentioned happened; nor of his coming to take vengeance on the Jews; but rather of his coming to convert them:

and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee; not the substance of the nations, divided by the Israelites in the midst of Jerusalem, as the Targum and Jarchi interpret it; but the spoil of Jerusalem, when taken by the enemy, as is after said, which should be divided by them with great joy and triumph, in the midst of it: this refers not to the spoil of Jerusalem by Antiochus or the Romans, but to the slaying of the witnesses, and the triumph of their enemies over them, Revelation 11:7 or else to the spoil and prey the Turks will come to Jerusalem for, when it shall begin the possession of the Jews; and who perhaps at first will have some success; see Ezekiel 38:12.

Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be {a} divided in the midst of thee.

(a) He arms the godly against the great temptations that would come, before they enjoyed this prosperous estate promised under Christ, that when these dangers came, they might know that they were warned of them before.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
1. the day of the Lord cometh] Lit. a day to (or, of) Jehovah, i.e. which is in a special manner His. The previous prophecy (Zechariah 13:7-9) is now expanded, attention being concentrated, however, on the city rather than on the land (Zechariah 13:8), and on the final act rather than on the long previous process of purifying discipline. It is impossible satisfactorily to adapt the terms of this prophecy, either to the taking of Jerusalem under the Maccabees, or to its destruction by the Romans. As Pusey well remarks, “those who explain it solely of this, are obliged to mingle explanations partly literal, as that Jerusalem should be the earthly Jerusalem which was destroyed, partly metaphorical, as to the mount of Olives, its division into two parts, &c.” It should moreover be observed that there is no word here of the city being destroyed.

in the midst of thee] So complete shall be the subjugation of the city, that the enemy shall, in perfect security, portion out her spoil amongst the victorious hosts in the very midst of her.

Chap. Zechariah 14:1-7. The final Conflict and Deliverance

All nations shall come against Jerusalem. The city shall be taken, with the attendant horrors of barbarous warfare, and half its population enslaved, Zechariah 14:1-2. Then Jehovah shall appear, as in olden time, to deliver His people, Zechariah 14:3. Beneath His feet, as He descends upon the Mount of Olives, the mountain shall cleave asunder, the two parts moving northward and southward, and being separated by a wide valley running east and west, Zechariah 14:4. By this valley (which shall reach across the ravine of Kedron up to the city wall) the people that remain shall flee from Jerusalem, as they fled from the earthquake in Uzziah’s time. Jehovah shall come with all His holy ones, Zechariah 14:5, and this “day of the Lord,” unlike all other days and known to Him alone, shall be marked by strange phenomena of mingled light and darkness, and shall have for its evening the dawn of the everlasting day, Zechariah 14:6-7.

Verses 1, 2. - § 5. The afflictions of the people and their results are set forth in figure and symbol. Jerusalem is represented as taken and plundered. Verse 1. - The day of the Lord; a day of (or, to) Jehovah cometh. The Greek and Latin Versions have the plural, "days of the Lord come." It is a time when he will specially manifest his glory and power, and be recognized as allowing the trial of his people for wise purposes. It is impossible to fix on any historical fulfilment of this prophecy. The details suit neither Maccabean nor Roman times; the attempt to define exactly the period and matter of its accomplishment has proved a failure, and has led to a mingling of events of very different dates, and to a conglomeration of senses literal, metaphorical, and anagogical, which creates confusion while assuming to explain difficulties. The literal interpretation must be resigned, and the whole prophecy must be taken to adumbrate the kingdom of God in its trial, development, and triumph. Thy spoil shall be divided. Jerusalem is addressed; and the prophet intimates that the enemy shall get possession of the capital, plunder it, and divide its spoil among themselves in its very midst with the greatest security, the inhabitants being wholly at the conquerors' mercy. Zechariah 14:1The judgment and the deliverance. - Zechariah 14:1. "Behold, a day cometh for Jehovah, and thy spoil is divided in the midst of thee. Zechariah 14:2. And I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to war, and the city will be taken, and the houses plundered, and the women ravished, and half the city will go out into captivity; but the remnant of the nation will not be cut off out of the city." A day comes to the Lord, not inasmuch as He brings it to pass, but rather because the day belongs to Him, since He will manifest His glory upon it (cf. Isaiah 2:12). This day will at first bring calamity or destruction upon Israel; but this calamity will furnish occasion to the Lord to display His divine might and glory, by destroying the enemies of Israel and saving His people. In the second hemistich of Zechariah 14:1, Jerusalem is addressed. "Thy spoil" is the booty taken by the enemy in Jerusalem. The prophet commences directly with the main fact, in a most vivid description, and only gives the explanation afterwards in Zechariah 14:2. The Vav consec. attached to ואספתּי is also a Vav explicativum. The Lord gathers all nations together to war against Jerusalem, and gives up the city into their power, that they may conquer it, and let loose all their barbarity upon it, plundering the houses and ravishing the women (cf. Isaiah 13:16, where the same thing is affirmed of Babylon). Just as in the Chaldaean conquest the people had been obliged to wander into captivity, so will it be now, though not all the people, but only the half of the city. The remaining portion will not be cut off out of the city, i.e., be transported thence, as was the case at that time, when even the remnant of the nation was carried into exile (2 Kings 25:22). It is obvious at once from this, that the words do not refer to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, as Theodoret, Jerome, and others have supposed.
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