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Zechariah 14:12-19

Context

14:12 But this will be the nature of the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that have fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will decay while they stand on their feet, their eyes will rot away in their sockets, and their tongues will dissolve in their mouths. 14:13 On that day there will be great confusion from the Lord among them; they will seize each other and attack one another violently. 14:14 Moreover, Judah will fight at 1  Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered up 2  – gold, silver, and clothing in great abundance. 14:15 This is the kind of plague that will devastate horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and all the other animals in those camps.

14:16 Then all who survive from all the nations that came to attack Jerusalem will go up annually to worship the King, the Lord who rules over all, and to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. 3  14:17 But if any of the nations anywhere on earth refuse to go up to Jerusalem 4  to worship the King, the Lord who rules over all, they will get no rain. 14:18 If the Egyptians will not do so, they will get no rain – instead there will be the kind of plague which the Lord inflicts on any nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. 14:19 This will be the punishment of Egypt and of all nations that do not go up to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles.

1 tn The Hebrew phrase בִּירוּשָׁלָם (birushalam) with the verb נִלְחַם (nilkham, “make war”) would ordinarily suggest that Judah is fighting against Jerusalem (so NAB, CEV). While this could happen accidentally, the context here favors the idea that Judah is fighting alongside Jerusalem against a common enemy. The preposition בְּ (bÿ), then, should be construed as locative (“at”; cf. KJV, NASB, NIV, NRSV, NLT).

2 tn The term translated “gathered up” could also be rendered “collected” (so NIV, NCV, NRSV, although this might suggest a form of taxation) or “confiscated” (which might imply seizure of property against someone’s will). The imagery in the context, however, suggests the aftermath of a great battle, where the spoils are being picked up by the victors (cf. NLT “captured”).

3 sn Having imposed his sovereignty over the earth following the Battle of Armageddon, the Lord will receive homage and tribute from all who survive from all the nations. The Feast of Tabernacles was especially associated with covenant institution and renewal so it will be appropriate for all people to acknowledge that they are vassals to the Lord at that time (cf. Deut 31:9-13; Neh 8:12-18; 9:1-38).

4 sn The reference to any…who refuse to go up to Jerusalem makes clear the fact that the nations are by no means “converted” to the Lord but are under his compulsory domination.



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