Zechariah 14:7
But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.And it shall be one day: it shall be known unto the Lord: not day, and not night; and at the eventide it shall be light - "One" special "day; one," unlike all beside; known unto God, and to Him alone. For God alone knows the day of the consummation of all things, as He saith, "Of that day and that hour knoweth no one, neither the angels in Heaven, nor the Son, (so as to reveal it) but the Father only" Mark 13:32. Neither wholly "day," because overclouded with darkness; nor wholly "night," for the streaks of light burst through the darkness chequered of both; but in "eventide," when all seems ready to sink into the thickest night, "there shall be light." Divine light always breaks in, when all seems darkness; but then the chequered condition of our mortality comes to an end, then comes the morning, which has no evening; the light which has no setting; "perpetual light, brightness infinite;" when "the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold" Isaiah 30:26; and "the glory of God doth lighten" Revelation 21:23 the eternal city, "and the Lamb is the light" thereof; and "in Thy light we shall see light" Psalm 36:9. "Christ shall be to us eternal light, a long perpetual day." 7. one day—a day altogether unique, different from all others [Maurer]. Compare "one," that is, unique (So 6:9; Jer 30:7). Not as Henderson explains, "One continuous day, without night" (Re 22:5; 21:25); the millennial period (Re 20:3-7).

known to … Lord—This truth restrains man's curiosity and teaches us to wait the Lord's own time (Mt 24:36).

not day, nor night—answering to "not … clear nor … dark" (Zec 14:6); not altogether daylight, yet not the darkness of night.

at evening … shall be light—Towards the close of this twilight-like time of calamity, "light" shall spring up (Ps 97:11; 112:4; Isa 30:26; 60:19, 20).

It shall be one day; one continued day, no setting of the sun to make it quite night; God will always act in order to the full salvation of his spiritual Jerusalem.

Known unto the Lord; the Lord knows when it shall begin, how long last, and how and when it shall (not as other days, end in a night, but) end in glorious light; till then it is enough for us that our God knows this day that is mixed of trouble and of peace.

At evening time, when other days end,

it shall be light; this shall be all light and glory, Isaiah 58:8 Psalm 97:11. But it shall be one day,.... A very singular, remarkable, and uncommon one; and it will be but one day; things will not continue long in such a position:

which shall be known to the Lord; all times and seasons are known unto the Lord, but this will come under his special notice and observation, and be under the direction of his special providence; it will only be taken notice of by him, and not by others; scarce any will observe it, or know what God is doing in it, or about to do:

not day, nor night; not clear and full day, as at noon; nor yet quite night or dark, as at midnight; See Gill on Zechariah 14:6,

but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light; after this day is over, which is neither clear nor dark, there will be an evening time; things will be worse with us than they are; the sun will be set; Christ will be withdrawn in the ministry of the word; his witnesses will be slain and silenced; great coldness and lukewarmness will seize upon professors; great darkness of error will spread itself everywhere; great sleepiness and security will fall upon all the virgins, and there will be great distress of nations; and, when it will be feared and expected that greater darkness and distress still are coming on, "light" will break forth; deliverance and salvation from Popish darkness and tyranny will be wrought; the light of the Gospel will break forth, and spread itself everywhere; the light of joy and gladness will arise to all the saints, and it will be a time of great spiritual peace, prosperity, and happiness. Vitringa on Isaiah 60:20, interprets it there shall be no vicissitude, or succession of day and night, but all day; at evening it shall be light; no calamity nor sorrow; Christ the light, and sun of righteousness, will break out in a glorious and spiritual manner.

But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, {h} not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening it shall be light.

(h) Signifying, that there would be great troubles in the Church, and that the time of it is in the Lord's hands, yet at length (which is here meant by the evening) God would send comfort.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. one day] i.e. an unique day, unlike any other: prorsus singularis. Maurer. Comp. Ezekiel 7:5, and for the idea Jeremiah 30:7.

shall be known to the Lord] Rather, is known, R. V. Comp. Mark 13:32. “Quo temporis momento ingruet soli Deo est notum.” Maurer.

not day nor night] Neither wholly day nor wholly night, but a chequered mixture of both. The new creation shall be ushered in, as the first was, by a day of lurid gloom and “darkness visible,” which shall not, however, deepen into night, but brighten at its close into the everlasting dawn. “At evening time there shall be light.”Verse 7. - One day. A unique day, unparalleled (comp. Song of Solomon 6:9; Ezekiel 7:5). Which shall be (is) known to the Lord. Its peculiar character, and the moment of its arrival, are known to God, and God only (Matthew 24:36). Not day, nor night. It cannot be called truly the one or the other, because there is darkness in the day and light at night, as the following clause says. This is symbolically explained by St. Ephraem, "It will not be altogether consolation, nor altogether affliction." It is not full daylight, for calamity presses; it is not deep night, because there is hope amid the distress. At evening time it shall be light. In the midst of trouble and danger deliverance shall come. The whole section is a figurative description of the fortunes of the Church militant, even as Christ announced to his disciples: "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33); "If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you" (John 15:20); "Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid' (John 14:27). In this and the following visions the prophet is shown the future glorification of the church of the Lord. Zechariah 3:1. "And he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of Jehovah, and Satan stood at his right hand to oppose him. Zechariah 3:2. And Jehovah said to Satan, Jehovah rebuke thee, O Satan; and Jehovah who chooseth Jerusalem rebuke thee. Is not this a brand saved out of the fire? Zechariah 3:3. And Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel. Zechariah 3:4. And he answered and spake to those who stood before him thus: Take away the filthy garments from him. And he said to him, Behold, I have taken away thy guilt from thee, and clothe thee in festal raiment. Zechariah 3:5. And I said, Let them put a clean mitre upon his head. Then they put the clean mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments. And the angel of Jehovah stood by." The subject to ויּראני is Jehovah, and not the mediating angel, for his work was to explain the visions to the prophet, and not to introduce them; nor the angel of Jehovah, because he appears in the course of the vision, although in these visions he is sometimes identified with Jehovah, and sometimes distinguished from Him. The scene is the following: Joshua stands as high priest before the angel of the Lord, and Satan stands at his (Joshua's) right hand as accuser. Satan (hassâtân) is the evil spirit so well known from the book of Job, and the constant accuser of men before God (Revelation 12:10), and not Sanballat and his comrades (Kimchi, Drus., Ewald). He comes forward here as the enemy and accuser of Joshua, to accuse him in his capacity of high priest. The scene is therefore a judicial one, and the high priest is not in the sanctuary, the building of which had commenced, or engaged in supplicating the mercy of the angel of the Lord for himself and the people, as Theodoret and Hengstenberg suppose. The expression עמד לפני furnishes no tenable proof of this, since it cannot be shown that this expression would be an inappropriate one to denote the standing of an accused person before the judge, or that the Hebrew language had any other expression for this. Satan stands on the right side of Joshua, because the accuser was accustomed to stand at the right hand of the accused (cf. Psalm 109:6). Joshua is opposed by Satan, however, not on account of any personal offences either in his private or his domestic life, but in his official capacity as high priest, and for sins which were connected with his office, or for offences which would involve the nation (Leviticus 4:3); though not as the bearer of the sins of the people before the Lord, but as laden with his own and his people's sins. The dirty clothes, which he had one, point to this (Zechariah 3:3).

But Jehovah, i.e., the angel of Jehovah, repels the accuser with the words, "Jehovah rebuke thee;... Jehovah who chooseth Jerusalem."

(Note: The application made in the Epistle of Jude (Jde 1:9) of the formula "Jehovah rebuke thee," namely, that Michael the archangel did not venture to execute upon Satan the κρίσις βλασφημίας, does not warrant the conclusion that the angel of the Lord places himself below Jehovah by these words. The words "Jehovah rebuke thee" are a standing formula for the utterance of the threat of a divine judgment, from which no conclusion can be drawn as to the relation in which the person using it stood to God. Moreover, Jude had not our vision in his mind, but another event, which has not been preserved in the canonical Scriptures.)

The words are repeated for the sake of emphasis, and with the repetition the motive which led Jehovah to reject the accuser is added. Because Jehovah has chosen Jerusalem, and maintains His choice in its integrity (this is implied in the participle bōchēr). He must rebuke Satan, who hopes that his accusation will have the effect of repealing the choice of Jerusalem, by deposing the high priest. For if any sin of the high priest, which inculpated the nation, had been sufficient to secure his removal or deposition, the office of high priest would have ceased altogether, because no man is without sin. גּער, to rebuke, does not mean merely to nonsuit, but to reprove for a thing; and when used of God, to reprove by action, signifying to sweep both him and his accusation entirely away. The motive for the repulse of the accuser is strengthened by the clause which follows: Is he (Joshua) not a brand plucked out of the fire? i.e., one who has narrowly escaped the threatening destruction (for the figure, see Amos 4:11). These words, again, we most not take as referring to the high priest as an individual; nor must we restrict their meaning to the fact that Joshua had been brought back from captivity, and reinstated in the office of high priest. Just as the accusation does not apply to the individual, but to the office which Joshua filled, so do these words also apply to the supporter of the official dignity. The fire, out of which Joshua had been rescued as a brand, was neither the evil which had come upon Joshua through neglecting the building of the temple (Koehler), nor the guilt of allowing his sons to marry foreign wives (Targ., Jerome, Rashi, Kimchi): for in the former case the accusation would have come too late, since the building of the temple had been resumed five months before (Haggai 1:15, compared with Zechariah 1:7); and in the latter it would have been much too early, since these misalliances did not take place till fifty years afterwards. And, in general, guilt which might possibly lead to ruin could not be called a fire; still less could the cessation or removal of this sin be called deliverance out of the fire. Fire is a figurative expression for punishment, not for sin. The fire out of which Joshua had been saved like a brand was the captivity, in which both Joshua and the nation had been brought to the verge of destruction. Out of this fire Joshua the high priest had been rescued. But, as Kliefoth has aptly observed, "the priesthood of Israel was concentrated in the high priest, just as the character of Israel as the holy nation was concentrated in the priesthood. The high priest represented the holiness and priestliness of Israel, and that not merely in certain official acts and functions, but so that as a particular Levite and Aaronite, and as the head for the time being of the house of Aaron, he represented in his own person that character of holiness and priestliness which had been graciously bestowed by God upon the nation of Israel." This serves to explain how the hope that God must rebuke the accuser could be made to rest upon the election of Jerusalem, i.e., upon the love of the Lord to the whole of His nation. The pardon and the promise do not apply to Joshua personally any more than the accusation; but they refer to him in his official position, and to the whole nation, and that with regard to the special attributes set forth in the high priesthood - namely, its priestliness and holiness. We cannot, therefore, find any better words with which to explain the meaning of this vision than those of Kliefoth. "The character of Israel," he says, "as the holy and priestly nation of God, was violated - violated by the general sin and guilt of the nation, which God had been obliged to punish with exile. This guilt of the nation, which neutralized the priestliness and holiness of Israel, is pleaded by Satan in the accusation which he brings before the Maleach of Jehovah against the high priest, who was its representative. A nation so guilty and so punished could no longer be the holy and priestly nation: its priests could no longer be priests; nor could its high priests be high priests any more. But the Maleach of Jehovah sweeps away the accusation with the assurance that Jehovah, from His grace, and for the sake of its election, will still give validity to Israel's priesthood, and has already practically manifested this purpose of His by bringing it out of its penal condition of exile."

After the repulse of the accuser, Joshua is cleansed from the guilt attaching to him. When he stood before the angel of the Lord he had dirty clothes on. The dirty clothes are not the costume of an accused person (Drus., Ewald); for this Roman custom was unknown to the Hebrews. Dirt is a figurative representation of sin; so that dirty clothes represent defilement with sin and guilt (cf. Isaiah 64:5; Isaiah 4:4; Proverbs 30:12; Revelation 3:4; Revelation 7:14). The Lord had indeed refined His nation in its exile, and in His grace had preserved it from destruction; but its sin was not thereby wiped away. The place of grosser idolatry had been taken by the more refined idolatry of self-righteousness, selfishness, and conformity to the world. And the representative of the nation before the Lord was affected with the dirt of these sins, which gave Satan a handle for his accusation. But the Lord would cleanse His chosen people from this, and make it a holy and glorious nation. This is symbolized by what takes place in Zechariah 3:4 and Zechariah 3:5. The angel of the Lord commands those who stand before Him, i.e., the angels who serve Him, to take off the dirty clothes from the high priest, and put on festal clothing; and then adds, by way of explanation to Joshua, Behold, I have caused thy guilt to pass away from thee, that is to say, I have forgiven thy sin, and justified thee (cf. 2 Samuel 12:13; 2 Samuel 24:10), and clothe thee with festal raiment. The inf. abs. halbēsh stands, as it frequently does, for the finite verb, and has its norm in העברתּי (see at Haggai 1:6). The last words are either spoken to the attendant angels as well, or else, what is more likely, they are simply passed over in the command given to them, and mentioned for the first time here. Machălâtsōth, costly clothes, which were only worn on festal occasions (see at Isaiah 3:22).; They are not symbols of innocence and righteousness (Chald.), which are symbolized by clean or white raiment (Revelation 3:4; Revelation 7:9); nor are they figurative representations of joy (Koehler), but are rather symbolical of glory. The high priest, and the nation in him, are not only to be cleansed from sin, and justified, but to be sanctified and glorified as well.

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