14 Then the Lord will be seen over them, And His arrow will go forth like lightning. The Lord God will blow the trumpet, And go with whirlwinds from the south. 15 The Lord of hosts will defend them; They shall devour and subdue with slingstones. They shall drink and roar as if with wine; They shall be filled with blood like basins, Like the corners of the altar. 16 The Lord their God will save them in that day, As the flock of His people. For they shall be like the jewels of a crown, Lifted like a banner over His land— 17 For how great is its goodness And how great its beauty! Grain shall make the young men thrive, And new wine the young women.
Verses 14-16 introduce the Lord’s coming to battle like a storm rising from the south.
Then the Lord will be seen over them,
The LORD will conspicuously manifest His authority over His enemies.
And His arrow will go forth like lightning.
The Messiah will overcome the enemies of Israel. He will personally fight for His people like a lightning strike.
The Lord God will blow the trumpet,
The trumpet was used to signal the beginning of an attack in war. It summoned soldiers to fight. At times, it raised the alarm to warn of danger.
And go with whirlwinds from the south.
The Messiah will go to war like a whirlwind from southern desert sands. Storms from the south were the most violent in Palestine.
The Lord of hosts will defend them;
Israel’s power is not in the nation itself but in “the Lord” at the Second Coming. There was partial fulfillment during the Maccabean period but ultimate fulfillment when the Lord returns.
They shall devour and subdue with slingstones.
“Slingstones” are made with two cords and a cloth to throw rocks at a target. It is a huge catapult that slings rocks at an opponent in war.
They shall drink and roar as if with wine;
When the Lord comes back victorious over the world, it will be a time of joy.
They shall be filled with blood like basins, Like the corners of the altar.
“Corners of the altar” refers to the sacrificial altar of the Jews. The defeat of the world’s nations will be so complete that it will be like the bowls of the altar filled with blood (Ex 29:12; Lev 4:18).
The Lord their God will save them in that day,
“That day” is a prophetic term for when the Messiah will come back in the end times. It refers to the Day of the Lord, the eschatological time whereby God will bring tribulation on the earth and establish His kingdom on earth.
As the flock of His people.
The Messiah will be viewed as a Shepherd to Israel (Isa 40:11; Ezek 34:5, 8, 12, 23; Zech 11). He will providentially care for His people Israel so that they have permanent peace.
For they shall be like the jewels of a crown,
The fulfilled promises of God’s covenant will make Israel sparkle like “jewels of a crown.”
Lifted like a banner over His land—
Israel’s victory will be depicted like a banner over the nation. The “land” itself will demonstrate blessings of plenty from God (Joel 2:21-27).
For how great is its goodness And how great its beauty!
Blessings upon Israel in the Millennial kingdom will be a beautiful sight, and it will stand in great contrast to the victories of Alexander the Great.
Grain shall make the young men thrive, And new wine the young women.
“Grain” is a sign of God’s blessing on His people (Isa 62:8-9; Jer 31:12). “New wine” is a wine that has no opportunity to ferment, which is not intoxicating. There will be no famine in the Millennium.
The Messiah will receive consummate praise by His victory in becoming Sovereign of the World.
“That day” is the Day of the Lord, which begins after the Rapture of the church from the earth. It will usher in the Tribulation and the Millennial kingdom of Christ.
Before the Messiah can bring peace to the world, He must go to war with His enemies. After His victory, He will establish worldwide peace through salvation.