“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city” Zechariah 13:8-14:2 (KJV).
The term “day of the LORD” is mentioned 31 times in the KJV and is NOT a single event. It’s first use is Joel 1:15. There, it was a day of the Lord of starvation and drought which had come Israel as a chastisement and was gone. It was a lesson to be remembered for all times.
- “All times and all days are God’s. Yet they are said to be our days, in which God leaves us to our own freedom, to do as we will,” and which we may use to repent and turn to Him. “Whence Christ saith, ‘O Jerusalem – if thou hadst known in this thy day the things which belong unto thy peace’” Lu 19:42. That time, on the contrary, is said to be God’s Day, in which He doth any new, rare, or special thing, such as is the Day of Judgment or vengeance.” All judgment in time is an image of the Judgment for eternity. “The Day of the Lord” is, then, each “day of vengeance” in which God doth to man according to His will and just judgment, inflicting the punishment which he deserves, as man did to Him in his day, manifoldly dishonoring Him, according to his own perverse will. “That Day” is at hand; suddenly to come. Speed then must be used to prevent it. Prevented it may be by speedy repentance before it comes; but when it does come, there will be no avoiding it.” (Albert J. Barnes on Joel 1:15)
Zechariah 13:8-14:2 is warning about a “Day of the Lord,” 70 A.D. – in which “all the nations” under Roman domination did come up against Israel and Jerusalem. This is not the pending seven year tribulation which is about to come, “ . . . which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” Re 3:10 (KJV). In Luke, Jesus laments over this day saying, “If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation” Lu 19:42-44 (KJV).
Yes, to our Western minds, all this is “fuzzy.” What we examined in Part 2 about the Church Age again comes into play. If you go to the calendar and jump completely over the Church Age, this is an End-Time prophecy. The Roman devastation of Israel was End-Time for the Jews of that day. Because of Israel’s disobedience, the nation was destroyed and placed in abeyance till the “time of the Gentiles would come to an end, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled” Lu 21:24 (KJV). In Jeremiah, God warns Israel, “But if ye will not hear these words, I swear by myself, saith the LORD, that this house shall become a desolation” (Jer 22:5 KJV). This culminates in Christ’s words to the nation, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate: and verily I say unto you, Ye shall not see me, until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord” Lu 13:34-35 (KJV).
- “The Roman armies were composed of all the nations of the world. In this verse there is a pitiful account given of the horrible outrages which should be committed during the siege of Jerusalem, and at its capture. The residue of the people shad not be cut off – Many were preserved [1/3 taken through the fire] for slaves, and for exhibition in the provincial theatres.” Adam Clark Commentary.
Historically, the nations which came against Israel under Roman leadership in 70 A.D. are the same peoples living in the same places today. Josephus says in The Wars of the Jews that the whole army which came against Jerusalem was 60,000 men strong. A Roman Legion consisted of 5,000 men each. Four full legions, the 5th, 10th, 12th, and the 15th along with part of the 3rd and 18th came against Jerusalem and totaled 25,000 men. The remainder, 35,000 troops, consisted of soldiers from other kingdoms: Egypt, Syria, Asia Minor, Macedonia, Mosea, Arabia, etc. History tells us that the 10th Legion is the one which occupied Jerusalem and that it consisted of Roman officers commanding conscripts from many subordinated nations—many who are ancestors of the Muslim nations surrounding Israel today.
For a detailed review of the pillaging and ravishing of Jerusalem by the Roman lead troops, go to the post on Matthew 24 Tribulation Upon Israel.
In the TaNaKh (the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament), there is no reference to the Church age, not one – regardless of what we may have been taught, the Church is NOT part of prophecy. CONTEXT – CONTEXT – CONTEXT! Scripture can and does leap across time. It leaps across the calendar for millennia, from the destruction of Jerusalem to the end-time where another coalition of nations attempt to wipe Israel from the face of the earth (Psalm 83), followed by yet again another coalition coming to take a spoil (Zechariah 38-39). True Israel in the “latter days” is the remnant (who become that fire brand – 12:6) who turned to Messiah. God’s hand of mercy and grace is turned toward His righteous sheep, “which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ” Revelation 12:17—Jewish believers, the remnant, who are brought through fiery trials in the “Last Days.”
At chapter 14:3 the story takes one great giant-steps across 2000 years – Across the Church Age – to the final Day of the Lord [Yes! There are more than one “Day of the LORD” in Scripture] — Israel’s estrangement is finally ended, they recognize Messiah (12:8-13:6), and all things are being to be set right as the transition into the Millennial reign of Christ (along with the Saints of this Age) begins. In the flow of prophecy there is no gap—there is no 2000-year Church Age. One event concerning Israel follows seamlessly into the next.
Exploring Scripture~because it matters-it really does!