Zechariah 14:15
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 these tents, as this plague.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
14:8-15 Some consider that the progress of the gospel, beginning from Jerusalem, is referred to by the living waters flowing from that city. Neither shall the gospel and means of grace, nor the graces of the Spirit wrought in the hearts of believers by those means, ever fail, by reason either of the heat of persecution, or storms of temptation, or the blasts of any other affliction. Tremendous judgments appear to be foretold, to be sent upon those who should oppose the settlement of the Jews in their own land. How far they are to be understood literally, events alone can determine. The furious rage and malice which stir up men against each other, are faint shadows of the enmity which reigns among those who have perished in their sins. Even the inferior creatures often suffer for the sin of man, and in his plagues. Thus God will show his displeasure against sin.And so shall be the plague of the Lord ... - Dionysius: "So, when God sendeth the plague, all the irrational animals of antichrist and his satellites shall perish as the aforesaid men, who used them, perished. For, for the sins of men, God, to their greater confusion, sometimes slays their beasts, sometimes also for their loving correction." "The imagery is from the Mosaic law of the ban. If a whole city became guilty of idolatry, not the inhabitants only, but the beasts were to be destroyed Deuteronomy 13:15, so that here, in miniature, should be repeated the relation of the irrational to the rational part of the creation, according to which, for the sins of men, 'the creature is,' against its will, 'made subject to vanity.' Analogous is it also, that on the offence of Achan Joshua 7:24-25, beside him and his children, his oxen, asses and sheep were (stoned and) burned with him." 15. The plague shall affect the very beasts belonging to the foe. A typical foretaste of all this befell Antiochus Epiphanes and his host at Jerusalem (1 Maccabees 13:49; 2 Maccabees 9:5). Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of against the church, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely either destroyed or made useless, neither fit to annoy the church nor to benefit their owners. As God destroyed much of the cattle of the Egyptians by hail, and murrain, &c.; so now shall it be with the cattle of these persecutors, they shall perish with their masters. The horses, as the horsemen, were drowned in the Red Sea.

Those creatures which the enemy in the wars made use of against the church, shall by the hand of God be suddenly and strangely either destroyed or made useless, neither fit to annoy the church nor to benefit their owners. As God destroyed much of the cattle of the Egyptians by hail, and murrain, &c.; so now shall it be with the cattle of these persecutors, they shall perish with their masters. The horses, as the horsemen, were drowned in the Red Sea.

And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass,.... The flesh of the horse is said to be eaten, Revelation 19:18,

and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague, their beasts shall perish in like manner as themselves.

And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the donkey, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this {p} plague.

(p) As the men would be destroyed, Zec 14:12.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. tents] camps, R.V.

as this plague] viz. that described in Zechariah 14:13. Comp. for this including the cattle in the curse, Deuteronomy 13:15; Joshua 7:24.

Verse 15. - So shall be the plague of the horse, etc. As was the plague that came on men (ver. 12), so shall be tide plague that falls on their beasts and cattle. The brute animals suffer for their owners' sin according to the ban under the old Law (Deuteronomy 13:15; comp. Numbers 16:32, 33; Joshua 7:24, 25). Tents; camps; Septuagint, παρεμβολαῖς. The verse illustrates the utter destruction which shall befall the enemies of God's Church. Zechariah 14:15Punishment of the hostile nations. - Zechariah 14:12. "And this will be the stroke wherewith Jehovah will smite all the nations which have made war upon Jerusalem: its flesh will rot while it stands upon its feet, and its eyes will rot in their sockets, and its tongue will rot in their mouth. Zechariah 14:13. And it will come to pass in that day, the confusion from Jehovah will be great among them, and they will lay hold of one another's hand, and his hand will rise up against the hand of his neighbour. Zechariah 14:14. And Judah will also fight at Jerusalem, and the riches of all nations will be gathered together round about, gold and silver and clothes in great abundance. Zechariah 14:15. And so will be the stroke of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the cattle, that shall be in the same tents, like this stroke." To the description of the salvation there is appended here as the obverse side the execution of the punishment upon the foe, which was only indicated in Zechariah 14:3. The nations which made war against Jerusalem shall be destroyed partly by the rotting away of their bodies even while they are alive (Zechariah 14:12), partly by mutual destruction(Zechariah 14:13), and partly by Judah's fighting against them (Zechariah 14:14). To express the idea of their utter destruction, all the different kinds of plagues and strokes by which nations can be destroyed are grouped together. In the first rank we have two extraordinary strokes inflicted upon them by God. Maggēphâh always denotes a plague or punishment sent by God (Exodus 9:14; Numbers 14:37; 1 Samuel 6:4). המק, the inf. abs. hiphil in the place of the finite verb: "He (Jehovah) makes its flesh rot while it stands upon its feet," i.e., He causes putrefaction to take place even while the body is alive. The singular suffixes are to be taken distributively: the flesh of every nation or every foe. To strengthen the threat there is added the rotting of the eyes which spied out the nakednesses of the city of God, and of the tongue which blasphemed God and His people (cf. Isaiah 37:6). The other kind of destruction is effected by a panic terror, through which the foes are thrown into confusion, so that they turn their weapons against one another and destroy one another, - an occurrence of which several examples are furnished by the Israelitish history (compare Judges 7:22; 1 Samuel 14:20, and especially that in 2 Chronicles 20:23, in the reign of Jehoshaphat, to which the description given by our prophet refers). The grasp of the other's hand is a hostile one in this case, the object being to seize him, and, having lifted his hand, to strike him dead. Zechariah 14:14 is translated by Luther and many others, after the Targum and Vulgate, "Judah will fight against Jerusalem," on the ground that נלחם ב generally signifies "to fight against a person." But this by no means suits the context here, since those who fight against Jerusalem are "all the heathen" (Zechariah 14:2), and nothing is said about any opposition between Jerusalem and Judah. ב is used here in a local sense, as in Exodus 17:8, with נלחם, and the thought is this: Not only will Jehovah smite the enemies miraculously with plagues and confusion, but Judah will also take part in the conflict against them, and fight against them in Jerusalem, which they have taken. Judah denotes the whole of the covenant nation, and not merely the inhabitants of the country in distinction from the inhabitants of the capital. Thus will Judah seize as booty the costly possessions of the heathen, and thereby visit the heathen with ample retribution for the plundering of Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2). And the destruction of the enemy will be so complete, that even their beasts of burden, and those used in warfare, and all their cattle, will be destroyed by the same plague as the men; just as in the case of the ban, not only the men, but also their cattle, were put to death (cf. Joshua 7:24). Moreover, there is hardly any need for the express remark, that this description is only a rhetorically individualizing amplification of the thought that the enemies of the kingdom of God are to be utterly destroyed - namely, those who do not give up their hostility and turn unto God. For the verses which follow show very clearly that it is only to these that the threat of punishment refers.
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