1 Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, And your spoil will be divided in your midst. 2 For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem; The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity, But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.
Chapter 14 presents the triumphal return of Christ to earth as the King of the world. This chapter concludes the second oracle and is entirely prophetic. The picture is of catastrophic judgment on the world’s nations during the Tribulation by the Second Coming of Christ; afterward, He will establish the Millennial kingdom. This final chapter of Zechariah draws together all the motifs of the book. Few passages in Scripture deal as much with remarkable prophecy as does this chapter.
The first three verses describe the deliverance of a remnant from the aggression of the nations against Israel during the Tribulation.
Verses 1-5 give the framework for the confederation of nations who will gather against Israel. Verses 1 and 2 portray the last siege of Jerusalem.
The word “behold” calls attention to an important statement; it intensifies the immediacy of what follows.
the day of the Lord is coming,
The word “behold” calls attention to the Second Coming of Christ to earth. The phrase “day of the Lord” refers to the judgments during the Tribulation, the Second Advent, and the Millennial age (2 Pe 3:10). “Day” here is not a 24-hour day but a period; it refers to the epoch before and including the Second Advent of Christ to earth, when the Messiah will declare Himself publicly.
And your [singular referring to Jerusalem] spoil will be divided in your midst.
Gentile armies will divide the spoils of war within the city of Jerusalem. These armies seem to be oblivious to the danger they are about to face while they divide the spoil from the city. Their victory is only temporary.
For I will gather all the nations to battle against Jerusalem;
The Lord now speaks. The picture here is Jehovah assembling a confederation of countries of the world to fight against Jerusalem. Note the words “all nations” reference all the nations of the world. This “battle” is the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:14,16). His divine design is to bring Israel to her knees.
The city shall be taken, The houses rifled, And the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into captivity,
Gentile armies will have an initial but fleeting victory against Jerusalem during the Great Tribulation (the last half of the Tribulation).
But the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Although there will be an initial victory by the Gentile armies, a remnant of Jews will still occupy part of the city. This group is made up of those who survived the attack from all nations.
Then the Lord will go forth And fight against those nations, As He fights in the day of battle.
Jehovah Himself will directly fight against the nations of the world (Rev 19:11-21). That is why Zechariah uses the term “the Day of the Lord.” He will go to war against the greatest outbreak of anti-Semitism in history, when Israel will be in incredible anguish.
Today is man’s day; the future is the Lord’s Day.
Jerusalem will be in a state of crisis toward the end of the Tribulation. The Gentile armies of the world will move in a culminating batter against her. This crisis ultimately comes from God. Her enemies will plunder the city and take spoils of battle from the city. Gentiles will lead many Jews into captivity. Half of the population will remain in the city’s smoldering ruins, and soldiers will openly divide the city’s spoils. However, the scene changes from the defeat of Israel to her victory (Zech 12:8,9; 14:4).
An alliance of northern nations will assemble against Israel (Ezek 38, 39), governments in southern Europe will assemble the revived Roman Empire (Dan 2, 7; Rev 13, 17), the king of the north (Dan 11), and kings from the east will attack Israel (Rev 16). The Lord Himself will go to war against them all (Isa 64:1-2).