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Zechariah 14:8-21

Context
14:8 Moreover, on that day living waters will flow out from Jerusalem, 1  half of them to the eastern sea 2  and half of them to the western sea; 3  it will happen both in summer and in winter.

14:9 The Lord will then be king over all the earth. In that day the Lord will be seen as one with a single name. 4  14:10 All the land will change and become like the Arabah 5  from Geba to Rimmon, 6  south of Jerusalem; and Jerusalem will be raised up and will stay in its own place from the Benjamin Gate to the site of the First Gate 7  and on to the Corner Gate, 8  and from the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses. 9  14:11 And people will settle there, and there will no longer be the threat of divine extermination – Jerusalem will dwell in security.

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 10  Jerusalem, and the wealth of all the surrounding nations will be gathered up 11  – 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. 12  14:17 But if any of the nations anywhere on earth refuse to go up to Jerusalem 13  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.

14:20 On that day the bells of the horses will bear the inscription “Holy to the Lord.” The cooking pots in the Lord’s temple 14  will be as holy as the bowls in front of the altar. 15  14:21 Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and Judah will become holy in the sight of the Lord who rules over all, so that all who offer sacrifices may come and use some of them to boil their sacrifices in them. On that day there will no longer be a Canaanite 16  in the house of the Lord who rules over all.

1 sn Living waters will flow out from Jerusalem. Ezekiel sees this same phenomenon in conjunction with the inauguration of the messianic age (Ezek 47; cf. Rev 22:1-5; also John 7:38).

2 sn The eastern sea is a reference to the Dead Sea (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

3 sn The western sea is a reference to the Mediterranean Sea (cf. NCV, TEV, CEV, NLT).

4 sn The expression the Lord will be seen as one with a single name is an unmistakable reference to the so-called Shema, the crystallized statement of faith in the Lord as the covenant God of Israel (cf. Deut 6:4-5). Zechariah, however, universalizes the extent of the Lord’s dominion – he will be “king over all the earth.”

5 tn Or “like a plain” (similar KJV, NAB, NASB, NCV, NRSV, NLT); or “like a steppe”; cf. CEV “flatlands.” The Hebrew term עֲרָבָה (’aravah) refers to an arid plain or steppe, but can be used specifically as the name of the rift valley running from the Sea of Galilee via the Jordan Valley and the Dead Sea to the Gulf of Aqaba.

6 sn The expression from Geba to Rimmon is a way of indicating the extent of all Judah from north (2 Kgs 23:8) to south (Job 15:32; 19:7). Since Geba (Heb. גֶּבַע) means “hill” and Rimmon resembles the word for height (Heb. רָמָה, ramah), this could be a play on words suggesting that all the high country will be made low, like the great Arabah valley.

7 tn Or “old gate” (NLT); or “former gate” (NRSV).

8 sn From the Benjamin Gate…on to the Corner Gate marks the northern wall of the city of Jerusalem from east to west.

9 sn From the Tower of Hananel to the royal winepresses indicates the extent of Jerusalem from north to south.

10 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).

11 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”).

12 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).

13 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.

14 tn Heb “house” (also in the following verse).

15 sn In the glory of the messianic age there will be no differences between the sacred (the bowls before the altar) and the profane (the cooking pots in the Lord’s temple) – all will be dedicated to his use.

16 tn Or “merchant”; “trader” (because Canaanites, especially Phoenicians, were merchants and traders; cf. BDB 489 s.v. I and II כְּנַעֲנִי). English versions have rendered the term as “Canaanite” (KJV, NKJV, NASB, NIV), “trader” (RSV, NEB), “traders” (NRSV, NLT), or “merchant” (NAB), although frequently a note is given explaining the other option. Cf. also John 2:16.

sn This is not to preclude the Canaanite (or anyone else) from worship; the point is that in the messianic age all such ethnic and religious distinctions will be erased and all people will be eligible to worship the Lord.



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