Devastation and Rescue of Jerusalem. 1* A day is coming for the LORD when the spoils taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2And I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem for battle: The city will be taken, houses will be plundered, women raped; half the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be removed from the city. 3Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, fighting as on a day of battle.a 4On that day God’s feet will stand* on the Mount of Olives, which is opposite Jerusalem to the east. The Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west by a very deep valley,b and half of the mountain will move to the north and half of it to the south. 5You will flee by the valley between the mountains, for the valley between the mountains will reach to Azal. Thus you will flee as you fled because of the earthquake* in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.c Then the LORD, my God, will come, and all his holy ones with him.d
Jerusalem Restored. 6On that day there will no longer be cold or frost. 7There will be one continuous day—it is known to the LORD—not day and night, for in the evening there will be light. 8On that day, fresh water will flow from Jerusalem,e half to the eastern sea, and half to the western sea. This will be so in summer and in winter. 9The LORD will be king over the whole earth;f on that day the LORD will be the only one, and the LORD’s name the only one. 10All the land will turn into a plain, from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem, which will stand exalted in its place—from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, to the Corner Gate and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11The city will be inhabited; never again will it be doomed. Jerusalem will dwell securely.g
The Fate of Jerusalem’s Foes. 12And this will be the plague with which the LORD will strike all the peoples that have fought against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they stand on their feet, and their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.h 13On that day a great panic from the LORD will be upon them.i They will seize each other’s hands, and their hands will be raised against each other. 14Even Judah will fight against Jerusalem. The riches of all the surrounding nations will be gathered together—gold, silver, and garments—in great abundance. 15Like the plague on human beings will be the plague upon the horses, mules, camels, donkeys, and upon all the beasts that are in those camps.
The Future: Jerusalem, Judah, and the Nations. 16Everyone who is left of all the nations that came against Jerusalem will go up year after year to bow down to the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the feast of Booths.* j 17Should any of the families of the earthk not go up to Jerusalem to bow down to the King, the LORD of hosts, then there will be no rain for them. 18And if the family of Egypt does not go up or enter, upon them will fall the plague,l with which the LORD strikes the nations that do not go up to celebrate the feast of Booths. 19This will be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not go up to celebrate the feast of Booths.
20On that day, “Holy to the LORD”m will be written on the horses’ bells.* The pots in the house of the LORD will be as the basins before the altar. 21Every pot* in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts. All who come to sacrifice will take them and cook in them. No longer will there be merchants in the house of the LORD of hosts on that day.
* [14:1–21] The marked eschatalogical thrust of Zec 9–14 culminates in this apocalyptic description, with its astonishing images of the day of the Lord. This last and longest chapter focuses on the restoration of Jerusalem and the return of the people of Zion so that the rest of the world will acknowledge God’s sovereignty. Four units constitute this chapter: vv. 1–5 concentrate on the destruction and rescue of Jerusalem and the escape of a remnant; vv. 6–11 describe the transformation of the climate and the topography of Jerusalem; vv. 12–15 depict the defeat of Jerusalem’s enemies; and vv. 16–21 outline a vision for the end time, in which even foreign nations will make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem to acknowledge God’s universal reign.
* [14:4] God’s feet will stand: a remarkable anthropomorphic image adds emphasis to the traditional Old Testament scene of God appearing on a mountain and causing extreme reactions such as quaking, melting, shattering (see Ex 19:18; Ps 97:5; Hb 3:6). The Mount of Olives is split, which opens a way for those fleeing from the Lord’s appearance to escape from Jerusalem.
* [14:5] Earthquake: Am 1:1 mentions an earthquake in the time of King Uzziah (cf. Is 6:4).
* [14:16] Feast of Booths: fall harvest festival, also known as the “festival of Ingathering” (Ex 23:16; 34:22) or “Booths” (Lv 23:33–36; Dt 16:13–15; 31:9–13). The singling out of this festival indicates its special status in the sacred calendar; it is frequently referred to as “the feast” (1 Kgs 8:1–2; 2 Chr 5:3; Ez 45:25).
* [14:20] Horses’ bells: even these bells, part of the trappings of animals used for war, will become holy in the end time, like the bells of the high priest’s garb (cf. Ex 28:34).
* [14:21] Every pot: vessels used for mundane food preparation will, in the end time, be as holy as Temple vessels.
d. [14:5] Dt 33:2–3; Mt 16:27; 1 Thes 3:13.
e. [14:8] Zec 13:1; Ez 47:1–8; Jl 4:18.
f. [14:9] Ps 96:7–10; 97:1; 98:4–6; Rev 11:15.
g. [14:11] Dt 33:28; Jer 31:40; Rev 22:3.
i. [14:13] 1 Sm 5:9, 11; 14:18–20; Is 22:5.
j. [14:16] Lv 23:33–36; Dt 16:13–15.
k. [14:17] Zec 8:20–23; Is 2:1–4; Mi 4:1–3.