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Old Testament Overview - Zechariah

Israel's return to God and God's return to Israel (It will take place "on that day.")

Key Events:  Introduction (1:1-6)  (1) "In the eighth month of the second year of Darius, the word of the Lord came to the prophet Zechariah son of Berekiah, the son of Iddo:" (1:1)  This is two months after God came to Haggai. See Haggai 1:1)  (God used these two prophets to encourage Israel to resume building the temple. See Ezra 4:24-5:2, 6:14)  (The purpose of the book is stated in 1:3:  "Therefore tell the people: This is what the Lord Almighty says: 'Return to me,' declares the Lord Almighty, 'and I will return to you,' says the Lord Almighty.")  (We see in this book that God will return to Israel in the future—in our future.  But God will return to Israel only after they have returned to Him.  12:10-13 predicts that Israel will return to God in genuine sorrow and repentance. See Also Mal. 3:7)  (For this to happen, they are "not to be like" their "forefathers.")  (Zechariah contains many prophecies of Jesus Christ. See 3:8, 9:9, 11:12-13, 12:10, 14:3-8)  (Zechariah predicts the day of the Lord.  "On that day" is found in 12:3-4, 6, 8-9, 11, 13:1, 4, 14:4, 6, 8-9, 13, 20-21.  See also 14:1)  ("On that day" is in the last days when the nations will gather against Jerusalem and the Lord Jesus Christ will return to His nation and rescue them.)  ("But did not my words and my decrees, which I commanded my servants the prophets, overtake your forefathers? 'Then they repented and said, “The Lord Almighty has done to us what our ways and practices deserve, just as he determined to do.”'" (1:6)  (God's promises of judgment on Israel, as the prophets predicted, have already occurred in part.)  (Zechariah contains many visions of the future.  In this way it is like the books of Daniel and Revelation.

Eight visions of the future (1:7-6:8)  (1) Vision #1: the rider of the red horse among myrtle trees 1:7-17)  (The vision explains why the Lord will bring the times of the nations to an end.)  (The vision came 3 months after God began to speak to Zechariah. Compare 1:7 and 1:1)  (The vision: a man riding a red horse in a ravine filled with myrtle trees.  Behind him were red, brown, and white horses.)  (The symbolic meaning of the vision: the rider of the horse is the angel of the Lord.  He is described as both riding the horse and standing among the myrtle trees. See 1:8, 11  The horse represents those who have gone throughout the earth and have reported to Him that the nations are at rest and at peace. 1:9-11)  (It appears that the nations that conquered Israel are safe and secure and that Israel will remain in the hands of the Gentiles. See Lk. 21:24)  ("Then the angel of the Lord said, 'Lord Almighty, how long will you withhold mercy from Jerusalem and from the towns of Judah, which you have been angry with these seventy years?'" 1:12)  (Here, God—the "angel of the Lord" who is Jesus before He became a man—is speaking to God.  God responds that He is "very jealous for Jerusalem and Zion," and that He is "very angry with the nations."  He promises he "will return to Jerusalem with mercy." 1:13-16)  (He promises that Israel will once again be prosperous. 1:17)  (2) Vision #2: the four horns and the four craftsmen (1:18-21)  (The vision explains how God will bring the times of the nations to an end.)  (The "four horns" and their symbolic meaning:  They appear to represent the four national powers that have scattered Israel—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. 1:18-19)  ("Horns" are symbolic of power and strength and they are often used to describe the rule of a Gentile king. See Dan. 7:24, 8:20; Jer. 48:25; Rev. 17:12  See also Daniel 7-8 for a description of these four national powers.)  (The "four craftsmen" represent those who destroyed the four national powers—possibly Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome who each destroyed the kingdom that was before it; and Jesus Christ who will be the destroyer of the last kingdom. See Dan. 2:34-35  Another possibility is that they are the four horsemen of Rev. 6:1-8)  (3) Vision #3:  The man with a measuring line (2) See also Ezek. 40:3-5; Rev. 11:1-2  (The symbolic meaning 2:3-13)  (In the future, Israel will prosper.  The number of their livestock will grow so much that they will have to remove their walls. 2:3-5)  (God will be a wall of fire to protect them like He protected Israel in the wilderness. See Ex. 14:24)  (Israel will return to their land.)  (God will judge the nations that have mistreated Israel, for she is "the apple of his eye." 2:7-9 See Deut. 32:10)  (God will again be in the midst of Israel and "many nations will join with the Lord in that day." 2:10-13)  (4) Vision #4:  The cleansing of Joshua the High Priest (3)  (The spiritual restoration of Israel is symbolically described.  It is a clear picture of salvation.)  (The vision. 3:1-2)  (Joshua the High Priest is standing before the angel of the Lord and Satan is standing at his right hand to accuse him. 3:1)  (Satan is standing before God accusing us right now. See Rev. 12:10; I Jn. 2:1-2)  (The angel of the Lord rebukes Satan.  "The Lord said to Satan, 'The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you! Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?'" 3:2 See Amos 4:11)  (This pictures God lovingly rescuing Israel from Egypt and the other nations that have enslaved Israel through the years.)  (The angel of the Lord has Joshua's filthy clothes removed and rich clothes put on him. 3:3-5 See Isa. 64:6)  (The filthy clothes symbolize Israel's sin; the rich garments symbolize putting on God's righteousness—on the High Priest's turban was written, "Holy to the Lord." See Exod. 28:36  See also Isa. 61:10)  (When we believed in Jesus' death for our sins, we also were clothed with His righteousness. See II Cor. 5:21; Rom. 5:19)  ("The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua: 'This is what the Lord Almighty says: “If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.”'" 3:6-7)  (The angel of the Lord predicts to Joshua of the coming Messiah. 3:8-10)  (Joshua and his fellow priests are symbolic of the future rule and ministry of the Messiah.)  (The names of the Messiah: "my servant" See Isa. 42:1,49:3, 50:10, 52:13; Ezek. 34:23-34)  (The names of the Messiah: "the Branch" See Isa. 4;2, 11:1; Jer. 23:5, 33:15; Zech. 6:12)  (The names of the Messiah: "the stone" with "seven eyes" describes His all-seeing knowledge.  A "stone" is a common symbol for the Messiah. See Gen. 49:24; Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:13-15, Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45; Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4:11; Rom. 9:31-33; Eph. 2:20; I Pet. 2:6-7)  ("I will remove the sin of this land in a single day."  These words were clearly fulfilled in the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.)  (The Messiah will introduce a time of peace where everyone will be welcome under each other's "vine and fig tree." 3:10)  (This may describe a time when everyone will have their own property.)  (5) Vision #5: the golden lamp stand and the two olive trees (4)  (Israel, the future light of the world.)  (The vision: a golden lampstand with a bowl at the top and seven lights on it and seven channels leading to the lights.  Also, there was an olive tree on the right and an olive tree on the left of the bowl.)  (This lampstand is unusual because it was designed in such a way that it would have a continual supply of oil—Israel in the future will have and the church today has a continual supply of the Spirit's strength to enable them to be lights in the world.)  (Rev. 1:12, 2:1, 5, lampstands symbolize churches as the Spirit's lights in the world.)  (The symbolic meaning 4:4-14)  (The lampstand symbolizes that God's work is not done by man's might but by God's power. 4:4-6)  (Anointing with oil is a biblical symbol for the Holy Spirit. See Lk. 4:18; Acts10:38; Heb. 1:9; I Jn. 2:20  Compare these verses to Hos. 1:7 and II Cor. 4:7)  ("So he said to me, 'This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.'" 4:6)  (God will enable Zerubbabel to complete the building of the temple. 4:7-10)  (God will enable Zerubbabel to overcome mountains of resistance.)  ("Who despises the day of small things?"  There were those who saw Zerubbabel's building of the temple as not worth the effort because the glory of this temple was "small" compared to the glory of Solomon's temple. See Haggai 2:3 and Ezra 3:12-13)  (The two olive trees symbolize two people who were continually anointed by God to serve Him.  They are probably Zerubbabel and Joshua the High Priest—both pointed to Jesus Christ who was both King and High Priest.)  (6) Vision #6: the flying scroll (5:1-4)  (The flying scroll symbolized the purging of Israel from sin.)  (The vision: a fly scroll that is 30' by 15' 5:1-2)  (The symbolic meaning:  It represents the curse on Israel. 5:3-4)  (On one side of the scroll was the curse on Israel for disobeying God's commandment that "every thief will be banished"; and on the other side was the curse on Israel for disobeying God's commandment for "swearing falsely."  The prohibition of stealing is the middle commandment in the last five commandments—the commandments that prohibit sinning against man.  "Swearing falsely" is the middle commandment in the first five commandments—the commandments that prohibit sinning against God.  Together, they describe Israel's breaking of the Ten Commandments.  Israel is, therefore, deserving of the curses that come from breaking them. See also Ezek. 2:9-10; Rev. 5:1-9, 10:2(7) Vision #7: the woman in the basket (5:5-11) (The "ephah" was a measuring basket.  It symbolizes the "iniquity of the people throughout the land." 5:6)  (The woman inside the basket and her symbolism: she represents "wickedness"—an immoral woman like a prostitute or an adulteress is used to describe mankind when we commit spiritual adultery by forsaking God and pursuing wickedness. See Prov. 2:16, 5:3-5, 6:24-29, 7:5-6; Matt. 13:33; Rev. 2:20, 17:1-6  This woman in the basket symbolizes Israel's adultery when she prefers wickedness over seeking God.)  (Two women with stork's wings fly the basket to Babylon. 5:9-11)  (Storks were designated by God as unclean birds. See Lev. 11:19)  (Babylon is symbolic of a united rebellion against God. See Gen. 11 for the rebellion's start and Rev. 17 and 18 for its end.)  (In short, the rebellion against God in Israel will in the future also become a worldwide rebellion against God.  In the meantime, God is restraining evil—symbolized by the heavy lid on the basket that prevents the woman called "wickedness" from coming out. See II Thess. 2:1-12)  (This "wickedness" will come out of the basket "when it is read."  (8) Vision #8: the four chariots (6:1-8)  (Four chariots come out from between two mountains of bronze—the first chariot had red horses, the second chariot had black horses, the third chariot white horses, and fourth chariot had dappled horses. 6:1-3)  (The symbolism of the four chariots—"four spirits of heaven going out from standing in the presence of the Lord of the whole world."  The black horses are "going toward the north country, the one with the white horses toward the west, and the one with the dappled horses toward the south."  Zechariah does not say that the red horses went to the east.  Unger believed that the red horses would not be sent out until the other horses had finished their judgments on their parts of the world.  Verse seven, then, describes all four horses going "throughout the earth.")  (The "mountains of bronze" represent God's righteous judgment.  When John saw the glorified Jesus, "his feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace," symbolizing His righteous judgment. See Rev. 1:15  See also Dan. 10:6; Ezek. 1:7  Also, the altar and the laver at the temple were bronze. See Exod. 27:1-8, 30:17-21)

The coronation of Joshua (6:9-14)  (1) God tells Zechariah to make a crown and to put it on the head of Joshua the High Priest, predicting Jesus Christ who would be both High Priest and King in the order of Melchizedek priesthood.  Melchizedek was both a priest and a king. See Gen. 14:18; Heb. 5:10, 8:1, 10:12(2) Joshua pointed to the One "whose name is the Branch."—He will "build the temple of the Lord" and will be "clothed with majesty and will sit and rule on his throne." (6:12-13)  (3) The crown is placed in the temple. (6:14)  (4) The prediction—men will come from far away to build the temple. (6:15a)  (When this happens, it will be known that these prophets are for God.)  (5) The condition that must take place for this to happen—if you Israel "diligently obey the Lord your God.") (6:15b)

Israel's false fasting (7) (This takes place about approximately two years after Zechariah began his ministry. Compare 7:1 to 1:1(1) Two men from Bethel are sent to Zechariah to ask him whether they should continue to fast on the fifth month.  (7:1-3)  (Feinberg gives this explanation of this fast.  "The fast on the tenth day of the fifth month recalled the burning of Jerusalem in 586 BC (Cp Jer. 52:12-13)  This fast is the greatest fast day (apart from that of the Day of Atonement) of the Jews.  The features of such a fast are mentioned in Joel 2:12, 13, 16.  The fasts had been instituted by the nation and had not been ordered of the Lord, but they now wished to know from the Lord whether they should continue them or abolish them." Taken from The Minor Prophets by Charles Feinberg.)  (From the end of 7:13 where it says, "as I have done so many years" it can be seen that they were weary of doing it.  It, then, was not being done from the heart, but as a tiresome requirement.  The only fast that God had required was the fast on the Day of Atonement. See Lev. 23:27  (2) God tells him to ask them if, when they fasted on the fifth and seventh month, they were fasting for God.  And when they were feasting, were they not feasting for themselves? (7:4-7) See also Isa. 58:3-8  (3) God tells Zechariah that in the past, they had been instructed to be concerned about justice, mercy, and compassion; but they refused to listen to God's words through the prophets, so He was very angry with them, and He will in the future scatter them among the nations and leave their land desolate. 7:13-14)

Israel's future fasting (8)  (1) God will dwell again in Jerusalem. 8:1-3)  (And Jerusalem will again "be called the City of Truth" and "the Holy Mountain.")     (2) It will once again be a place of joy (for young and old alike—a truly happy society. (8:4-6)  ("Long life and abundant offspring and abundant offspring are promised for obedience through the Old Testament. (note Ex. 20:2; Deut. 4:40, 5:16, 33, 6:2, 33:6, 24.)" Feinberg. The Minor Propets.(3) The Israelites will be re-gathered from the nations to again live in Israel.  (8:7-8) See Isa. 11:11-12, 43:5-6(4) Once again, there will be prosperity. (8:10-12)  (5) Israel will no longer be looked down upon by the nations. (8:13)  (6) Instead of cursing Israel because of her sins, God will seek to do good to them. (8:14-15)  (7) Therefore, speak truth, seek justice, do not plot against each other, and do not swear falsely. (8:16-17)  (8) Their fasts will become feasts. (8:18-19)  ("Jewish fasts will one day give way to Millennial Feasts." Taken from Zechariah: Prophet of Messiah's Glory by Merrill Unger.)  (9) Many nations will come to Jerusalem to seek God. (8:20-23) See Isa. 2:3, 56:6-7, 60:3, 66:23; Jer. 16:19; Mic. 4:2-3)

The coming of the Messiah (9-14)  (1) A future conqueror (9:1-8) (These verses describe the conquests by Alexander the Great that would take place in Zechariah's future.  Here, we see that these conquests were a judgment from God on the nations that are mentioned here by Zechariah.  Zechariah does not specifically say that these conquests were done by a conqueror like Alexander, but the next conquests on these nations after Zechariah's time were by Alexander.  Zechariah's message was given  about 480 B.C. and Alexander's conquests were 333-332 B.C..)  (The conquest of Syria 9:1-2a) (Hadrach, Damascus, and Hamath were cities in Syria that Alexander conquered.)  (The conquest of Phoenicia 9:2b-4) (Tyre and Sidon were cities in Phoenicia conquered by Alexander.)  ("Diodoris Siculus wrote: Tyre had the greatest confidence, owing to her insular position and fortifications, and the abundant stores she had prepared.  Though Alexander was the instrument God used for the doom of Tyre, He is declared as dispossessing her, smiting her wealth in the sea, and devouring her with fire.  Her people were to be sent into exile.  Alexander built a bridge of the ruins of the old city from the mainland to the island, then besieging the island for seven months, he captured it, slew thousands, enslaved others, crucified still others, and finally set the city on fire.  Wealth, strong fortifications, and all were cast into the sea." Feinberg, The Minor Prophets Compare Feinberg's historical account to Ezek. 26:4-12, 27:27)  (He will conquer Philistia.)  (Each of the cities in these verses were cities in Philistia conquered by Alexander.)  (Philistia became absorbed into Israel after they were conquered by Alexander. See 9:7)  (They became like the Jebusites who were absorbed into the land of Israel in the same way during David's time.  The Jebusites had been the ancient inhabitants of the city of Jerusalem until David conquered them, and they were absorbed into the land of Israel. See Josh. 9:1-2, 11:1-3, 15:63; Judges 1:21; II Sam. 5:6-12)  (But, Israel will be spared. 9:8)  (In fulfillment of the prophecy, Alexander did not attack Jerusalem.)  ("The first part to this verse had an amazing and precise fulfillment in the advance of Alexander against Palestine.  According to Josephus (Antiquities of the Jews. XI, 8:3), Alexander demanded of the Jewish high priest Jaddua the payment of a tribute which the Jews had customarily paid to the king of Persia.  The high priest refused to break his agreement of loyalty with Darius [the Persian ruler].  Alexander, in a rage threatened to inflict severe punishment on Jerusalem as soon as Tyre had fallen and he had rescued the Philistine strongholds.  Having taken Gaza, Alexander planned to go to Jerusalem.  The high priest orders the Jerusalem population to make sacrifices to God and to pray for deliverance.  God gave the high priest a dream instructing him that he should take courage and go out of the city to welcome Alexander.  When Alexander was not far from the city, the high priest led a venerable procession to meet the Macedonian.  When the conqueror saw the Jewish high priest arrayed in purple and scarlet with his mitre on his head and having a gold plate with the name of God engraved upon it, and attended by priests in white robes, he adored the name of Jehovah and saluted the high priest.  Alexander said he had seen such a person in a dream at Dios in Macedonia.  As a result of this experience, Alexander treated the Jews kindly.  The city, the Temple, and people were granted a marvelous deliverance according to this prophecy of Zechariah, as its contextual relationship to this chapter show." Unger: Prophet of Messiah's Glory)  (The last part of this verse, which predicts a lasting peace in Israel points to a still future time to us when the Messiah will protect Israel.  It leads into the description of yet another conqueror that is described in the following verses.)  (2) Another future conqueror (9:9-17)  (A sinless Savior riding on a donkey. 9:9)  (This verse describes the triumphal entry of Jesus Christ described in Matt. 21:1-11 and Jn. 12:12-16. Note especially 21:4-5 and Jn. 12:16)  ("Although the ass was a respectable beast in early Israel (Judges 5:10, 10:4; 12:14; II Sam. 17:23; 19:26), the wide introduction of horses after David's reign    (I Kings 10:25-29; II Kings 9:18-19) completely changed the situation.  Thereafter people of wealth and importance, especially kings and warriors, rode horses and the ass was considered a menial burden-bearer, utterly unsuited to the dignity of princes." Unger, Prophet of Messiah's Glory)  (Jesus was, in many ways, exactly the opposite type of conqueror that Alexander the Great was—Alexander: sinful, a destroyer, and an egotist; Jesus: sinless, Savior, and humble.)  (What this future conqueror—Jesus—will bring 9:10-17)  (He will bring peace. 9:10)  (He will bring a rule of peace for all the nations.  He will "take away the chariots" of war rather than bring them like Alexander would do.)  (He will bring liberty. 9:11-12)  (He will take people out of prisons rather than put them into prisons as conquerors like Alexander did.)  (Men will be freed because of "the blood of God's covenant. 9:11 See Exod. 24:8; Lev. 17:11; I Cor. 11:25)  (He will bring victory. 9:13-15)  (He will bring prosperity. 9:16-17)  (The future conqueror—the Messiah—will become Israel's Shepherd. 10:1-12)  (Israel has wandered like sheep into idolatry. 10:1-2)  (He will punish their false shepherds and transform Israel into a proud battle horse. 10:3)  (From Judah will come "the cornerstone." 10:4 See Gen. 49:24; Ps. 118:22; Isa. 8:13-15, Dan. 2:34-35, 44-45; Matt. 21:42; Acts 4;11; Rom. 9:31-33; Eph. 2:20; I Pet. 2:6)  (From Judah will come the "tent peg." 10:4b)  ("The nail refers to the large peg in an oriental tent on which were hung many valuables.  In the Messiah will rest the hope and the trust of his people.  He will be a worthy support of the nation, the altogether dependable One." Feinberg, The Minor Prophets)  (From Judah will come "the battle bow." 10:4c)  (This symbolizes His strength and ability to defeat wickedness. See Ps. 45:5-6)  (He will give them strength and joy, increase their numbers, and bring them back from the nations where they are dispersed. 10:6-12)  (Note: at that time Israel will "remember" God. 10:9)  (3) The future rejection of the Messiah predicted. (11:1-12)  (The judgment that will come will come because of their rejection of their Messiah. 11:1-3)  (The judgment to come will bring a thorough judgment on Israel—from the mountains to the plains.  The Romans total conquest of Israel in A.D. 70 was part of that judgment.)  (The good shepherd allows His people to go their way. 11:4-14 See Isa. 53:6)  (Zechariah—who is symbolic of the good shepherd—is to shepherd a flock that is destined to be slaughtered. 11:4-9)  (Their own leaders slaughter them for profit and then thank God for their success. 11:4-5)  (Even God allows this to happen. 11:6 See 11:8-9 for the reason.)  (He shepherded the flock marked for slaughter with a staff called "Favor" and a staff called "Union." 11:7)  ("Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me." Psalm 23:4)  (The "rod" was used as a weapon by a shepherd against any animals that were a threat to the sheep.  The "staff" was used to keep the sheep together and to keep them going in the right direction.)  ("In one month he got rid of three shepherds." 11:8a)  (Possibly, the "three shepherds" are the three types of leaders in Israel—priests, prophets, and kings.  All three ceased to exist in A.D. 70 when the Romans conquered Israel.)  (Israel detested their shepherd and, therefore, their shepherd finally grew weary of them and allowed them to slaughter each other. 11:8b-9)  ("Let those who are left eat one another's flesh."  "According to Josephus, this actually happened during the Roman siege of Jerusalem in A.D. 70." NIV Study Bible note. See also Lament. 4:10)  (The staff called "Favor" is broken by God. 11:10-11)  (The hedge of protection that surrounded them is broken. See Job 1:10; Ezek. 24:25; Hos. 2:18)  (The Shepherd of Israel loses His job. 11:12-13)  (Israel would give Him a severance pay of "thirty pieces of silver."  They saw Him as a worthless shepherd.  "Thirty pieces of silver" was the price paid to redeem a slave. See Exod. 21:32.)  (Of course, "thirty pieces of silver" is the amount of money Judas got for betraying Jesus. See Matt. 26:14-16)  ("So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the  Lord to the potter."  This prediction of Zechariah was fulfilled when Judas threw the "thirty pieces of silver" into the temple and the chief priests and elders used the money to buy the potter's field. See Matt. 27:1-10)  (The potter was one of the lowliest of the common laborers, whose products were so trifling in value that they could be replaced with little expenditure or cost.  Under this view 'to the potter' would apparently be tantamount to saying 'throw it to a poor dog.' i.e., get rid of it." Unger, Prophet of Messiah's Glory.)  (The staff called "Union" is broken. 11:14)  (The tie that held Israel together as a nation is broken.)  (Because they rejected the Good Shepherd, an evil shepherd will become their shepherd. 11:15-17)  (These verses clearly predict the coming reign of the antichrist over Israel. See John 5:43; II Thess. 2:4; Dan. 11:36-45)  (He will do the opposite of what the Good Shepherd has done—instead of caring for the sheep, he will devour them. 11:16)  (This is possibly the time when 2 of 3 will be killed in Israel. See Zech. 13:8)  (The eye and the arm that should have been used to watch over and take care of the sheep will be struck in judgment because they were to help the evil shepherd devour the sheep.)  (4) The Day of the Lord (12-14)  (The Battle of Armageddon)  (All the nations will gather against Jerusalem. 12:1-13)  (Notice the six occurrences of "on that day" in this chapter.  This chapter is obviously about something that will happen on a special day in the future—the Day of the Lord.)  (God will "make Jerusalem a cup that sends all the surrounding peoples reeling." 12:2)  (They will be like a cup of wine that causes drunkenness.  The nations will not be clear-headed enough to conquer Jerusalem.  Israel is today in the middle of an Arab world that would like to eliminate them as a nation.  Yet, these nations have been unable to conquer Israel.)  ("an immoveable rock" 11:3—defeating Israel is like trying to move a rock that is too heavy to lift or move.)  ("I will strike every horse with panic." 12:4)  ("Then the leaders of Judah will say in their hearts, 'The people of Jerusalem are strong, because the Lord Almighty is their God.'")  ("On that day I will make the leaders of Judah like a firepot in a woodpile, like a flaming torch among sheaves. They will consume right and left all the surrounding peoples, but Jerusalem will remain intact in her place." 12:6) ("On that day I will set out to destroy all the nations that attack Jerusalem."12:9 See 14:3) (At that time, Israel will recognize that they crucified their Messiah and there will be a great mourning in Israel. 12:10-14)  (God will rescue Israel when there is a national repentance—that national repentance is predicted in these verses.  God will open Israel's eyes to recognize that they crucified their Messiah. See Acts 16:14; Luke 24:31-32; Ezek. 39:29; John 19:37; Rev. 1:7)  ("On that day the weeping in Jerusalem will be great, like the weeping of Hadad Rimmon in the plain of Megiddo." 12:1)  (This was a time when Israel wept when their beloved King Josiah was killed by Pharaoh Necho of Egypt. See II Chron. 35:20-25)  (Israel will weep as they wept for Josiah when they realize that they crucified their Messiah.)  (At that time, Israel will be cleansed. 13:1-9)  (A fountain will be opened up and Israel will be cleansed of idolatry.)  (Cowper's hymn, "There is a Fountain Filled with Blood" is based on these verses.)  (Notice, that at this time, "false prophecy" will be so unpopular, that even the parents of a false prophet will seek his death.)  (Israel will be cleansed when the Good Shepherd is struck.  The crucifixion and the scattering of His followers is predicted. 13:7 See Matt. 26:31-35)  (Israel will be cleansed by the killing of 2/3 of the nation. 13:8 See also Ezek. 20:34-38)  (Finally, Israel will be cleansed still further as the remaining 1/3 are refined by God. 13:9)  (Unger believes that this 1/3 will be the 144,000 in Rev. 7:1-8, 14:1-5)  (God will rescue Israel on that day. 14:1-21)  (When the nations gather against Jerusalem, the city will be conquered, the houses ransacked, the women raped, and half the city will be taken into exile. 14:1-2 See Joel 3:1-3; Ezek. 38-39; Rev. 16:12-16, 19:11-21)  (But God will cause the Mount of Olives to split in two and the people will escape by the valley it creates. 14:3-5 See Acts 1:10-11)  ("You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him."14:5)  ("The location [of "Azel"] is unknown." NIV Study Bible note.)  (This day will be "unique." 14:6-11)  (There will be no day or night. 14:6-7 Compare to Isa. 13:9-10, 24:23; Joel 3:14-15; Rev. 6:12-14, 8:12)  (Those who were in the vicinity of Mt. St. Helens when it erupted experienced a day like no other—there was night in the middle of the day.)  (Living waters will flow from Jerusalem. 14:8)  ("Living waters" describes fresh bubbling water. See Jer. 17:13; Ezek. 47:1-12)  (God will be the only king. 14:9)  (There will be a new geography in Israel: Jerusalem will be raised up and enlarged and the land around it will be lowered and become like a plain. 14:10-11)  (God will give Israel a stunning victory. 14:12-15)  (God will strike the nations with a horrible plague.  It sounds like the result of a nuclear blast—"This is the plague with which the Lord will strike all the nations that fought against Jerusalem: Their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths." 14:12)  (There will be "great panic." 14:13)  (The result will be total victory for God and His people. 14:14-15)  (A new Israel will be born. 14:16-21)  (The Feast of Tabernacles will be celebrated by all nations. 14:16-19)  (If they refuse to celebrate this Feast, they will not have any rain or they will be struck with a plague.  All the other Festivals will have been fulfilled by this time except this Feast. See Lev. 23:33-36; Neh. 8:14-18)  (Note: there will be disobedience even in this stage, for the Messiah will rule with a rod of steel. See Ps. 2:8-12; Rev. 12:5, 19:15)  (There will be holiness in the land. 14:20-21)  (In this future day, even the most ordinary items—the "bells on horse" and "cooking pots" will be as holy as "sacred bowls before the altar" and there will no longer be any pagans—"Canaanites"—in Jerusalem.

Key Verses: 1:3, 2:13, 3:3-5, 8-10, 4:1-6, 6:11-13, 9:9, 10:4, 11:12-13, 12:1-9, 10-12, 13:1-6, 7-9, 14:1-21

Key Teachings:  Repentance and returning to God will result in God returning to us. (1:3)  God removed our sinful and filthy clothes and put His righteous and clean clothes on us. (3:3-5)  Predictions of the Messiah (3:8, 9:9-11, 10:4, 11:12-13, 12:10-12, 13:1, 7, 14:3, 17)  God's work is not done in our strength by God's Spirit. (4:6)  The Messiah will not come like Alexander—in pomp and power—but humbly. (9:9)  Judas' betrayal is predicted. (11:12-13)  The Day of the Lord is predicted. (12:1-9)  The repentance of Israel is predicted. (12:10-12, 14:1-7, 12-15)  The future cleansing of Israel is predicted. (13:1-9)  The millennial rule of Jesus Christ is predicted. (14:6-11, 16-21)

Old Testament Overview Studies

Old Testament Overview
Table of Contents
Old Testament Overview Outline
Old Testament Overview Genesis
Old Testament Overview Exodus to Deuteronomy
Old Testament Overview Furniture of the Tabernacle
Old Testament Overview Dress of Priests and High Priest
Old Testament Overview Dress of High Priest
Old Testament Overview Canaan: What Can it Teach Us?
Old Testament Overview Israel, God's Kingdom
Old Testament Overview Moses—Failure the Backdoor to Success
Old Testament Overview The Mosaic Covenant
Old Testament Overview The Ten Commandments
Old Testament Overview The Offerings
Old Testament Overview Uncleanness
Old Testament Overview The Priesthood
Old Testament Overview The Festivals
Old Testament Overview The Nazirite Vow
Old Testament Overview Joshua to Ruth
Old Testament Overview Prophecies of the Redeemer—Genesis to Ruth
Old Testament Overview I and II Samuel
Old Testament Overview Saul and David Compared
Old Testament Overview Jonathan and David Compared
Old Testament Overview The Davidic Covenant
Old Testament Overview I And II Kings
Old Testament Overview Israel's and Judah's Kings
Old Testament Overview Divided Kings who Divided
Old Testament Overview Criticisms of God's Actions in the Old Testament
Old Testament Overview Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther
Old Testament Overview Ruth and Esther Compared
Old Testament Overview Job to Song of Solomon
Old Testament Overview Proverbs: Wise Man or Fool?
Old Testament Overview Isaiah
Old Testament Overview Jeremiah
Old Testament Overview Daniel
Old Testament Overview Hosea
Old Testament Overview Joel
Old Testament Overview Amos
Old Testament Overview Obadiah
Old Testament Overview Jonah
Old Testament Overview Micah
Old Testament Overview Nahum
Old Testament Overview Habakkuk
Old Testament Overview Zephaniah
Old Testament Overview Haggai
Old Testament Overview Zechariah
Old Testament Overview Malachi