Online Bible and Study Tools
Translate || Vine / Schaff || Alts/Vars/Criticism/Aramaic

 
 


End Times Chart


Introduction and Key

BOOKS:  BIBLICAL STUDIES (1500BC-AD70) / EARLY CHRISTIAN PRETERISM (AD50-1000) / FREE ONLINE BOOKS (AD1000-2008)





Online Study Bible

Main Page 

Click For Site Updates Page

Free Online Books Page

Historical Preterism Main

Modern Preterism Main

Hyper Preterism Main

Preterist Idealism Main

Critical Article Archive Main

Church History's Preteristic Presupposition

Study Archive Main

Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main

Josephus' Wars of the Jews Main

Online Study Bible Main

Zechariah

Moellerhaus Commentary

Chapters

1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14    
 

The Mount of Olives Split!   When?
A Study in Zechariah

By Joel Miller
1996

THE DANGER OF THE FALSE DOCTRINE

Zechariah 14:4 "His (YHWH's) feet shall stand on that day on that mount of olives which faces the east of Jerusalem, and the mount of olives shall split in two from east to west, and a very great valley shall push half of the mountain toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

Some believe that this is a still to be fulfilled prediction of the Messiah physically setting foot on the Mount of Olives, establishing his throne in Jerusalem and begining a world wide temporal reign.

This entails either that the Lord Jesus' was not the Messiah or that his ministry was only partially successful, a second attempt being necessary. Such views defame Jesus and demean his completed work.

THE ABSURDITY OF THAT CONCEPT

A literal interpretation of ch.14 vv.16-21 (Feast of the Tabernacles etc.) necessitates the restoration of the temple, the re-introduction of animal sacrifices, and annual pilgrimages of people, including gentiles, from all over the world cramming into the environs of the city of Jerusalem.

Asserting that God must fully restore physical Israel in total, as a nation, for His name's sake (Ezek.20:44), presumes that He is obliged to vindicate Himself by "might" (Hebrew: warfare) and physical "power".

Through that concept the benefit of the passage is diminished.

The value and wonder underlying this prophesy should not be missed.

THE SETTING OF THE PASSAGE:-
[Note that the dates are approximate]

THE CAPTIVITIES

BC 721 Israelites are taken captive into Assyria.

BC 606/585 Judean captives are taken to Babylonia (for 70 years).

BC 585 The temple and Jerusalem are devastated and the Jews become dispersed amongst the nations.

The humiliation of God's people is complete (or so it seems).

BC 539 Cyrus the Persian captures Babylon.

THE REBUILDING OF THE TEMPLE BEGINS

BC 536/4 Consequent on a decree by Cyrus, Zerubbabel commences the rebuilding of the Temple.

15 YRS. AND ONLY UP TO FORMATION LEVEL

BC 519 Fifteen years had past and only the substructure was finished. The building was not yet above floor level. The young (under 30) prophet Zechariah proclaims the content of chapters 1 to 6, prophetic visions designed to instil confidence and enthusiasm.

THE TIME IS RIGHT,
GET ON WITH THE WORK :-

Zechariah chapter 1 verse 1-2 "In the eighth month, of the second year of Darius, the word of the LORD came to the prohpet Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo, saying, The LORD was extremely displeased with your  forefathers."

1:3 The LORD appealed for them to turn back to Him and He would turn back to them.

1:4 Their ancestors had refused to reform. They were advised not to be like them.

"Do not be like your forefathers, to whom the previous prophets proclaimed, saying, This is what the LORD of multitudes says; Turn now from your evil ways, and your evil practices: but they would not listen to nor take notice of me, declared the LORD."

1:8-11 There is a vision of horses with their scouts searching the earth.They report back that the earth is at rest. They had found no evidence of war, famine or plague. The time was right to get on with the work without fear of hindrance.

1:16-17 The temple would be completed and the cities of Palestine would become prosperous.

Note the spiritual principles evinced in these exhortations :-

2:4,5 Jerusalem would need no battlement walls. God would be its protecting wall of fire. The LORD would dwell within Jerusalem and be its glory (shekinah).The departed glory of the Lord, the shekinah, was to return to Jerusalem.

2:10 So the reinstated Hebrews had every reason to be full of confident zeal.

"Shout and be delighted, O daughter of  Zion: because look!, I am coming, and I will dwell right in your midst, declares the LORD."

The word "Zion" means barren, desolate. The Lord was going to come and dwell in the midst of that desolated place and transform it.

BUT LOOK AT THE PROBLEMS:-

The country was still in a state of desolation and after twenty years of adversity the building had not risen above floor level. There were few Jewish craftsmen and labourers in the country to progress the work. The formidable task of building the superstructure, the joinery, and the decorative fixtures and finishes, all lay before them. To what degree had the problems of those twenty years caused them to waver?

How would the seemingly insurmountable task be brought to fruition?

BY MY SPIRIT SAITH THE LORD :-
4:6 "Not by might [warfare] nor by power [physical strength] but rather by my spirit saith the LORD."

What spirit?
The answer to this, is the clue to chapter 14.

We must realise that fundamentally, the issues were spiritual. They were to trust the Lord implicitly.

4:7 The mountainous obstacle will become a plain.

4:8-9 Zerubabel had started the work 20 yrs. previously. They were still only up to floor level. Even so he would complete the whole superstructure in 4 years. Then they would know for sure that they could trust the words of the prophet of the LORD.

4:10 When serving the LORD, we are not to despise the day of small things, however formidable the task ahead might seem, even if the difficulties are mountainous.

Matthew 17:20 "Jesus said to them, ... If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, Go from here to there; and it shall go; and nothing shall be impossible to you."

THEY START ON THE SUPERSTRUCTURE :-

BC 517 Two years later work on the temple is in full swing. Craftsmen and labourers of the dispersion have returned in droves to assist in the work. Zechariah delivers the contents of chapters 7 to the end.

In chapters 7 to 10 are Zechariah's words of encouragement to them to perseve in their faithfulness. He portrays reassuring visions to instil dedication, visions promising an immediate prolonged period of glory for the whole nation. Beyond these he visualizes the even more glorious hope, the Messianic hope.

BC 515 Within 4 years the superstructure is now completed and the temple dedicated.

GOLDEN YEARS ARE PROMISED :-

8:3-5 To a nation which had endured 70 years of exile, returning to a desolated land, he promises tranquillity. They had not known what it was like for children to play free of care in their city streets and for men to grow old gracefully instead of being slain in their prime.

vv 4-5 "This is what the LORD of multitudes says; Old men and old women shall again sit in Jerusalem's streets, each one even with staff in hand becauseof age. Even the city's streets shall be full of boys and girls, playing in its streets."

That promised extended period of tranquillity was itself a prediction of an even greater Messianic glory.

9.9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: look!, your King comes to you: just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding on a donkey, even on a colt, a donkey foal." [see Matthew21:5]

The promised LOWLY MONARCH is assurance of the imminent national stability which in turn is prophetic of the one whose "dominion shall be .. To the ends of the earth" v10. This was to be accomplished by means of "THE BLOOD OF THY COVENANT" v11.

In hindsight, with prophesies like this, who can now say of the Lord Jesus "are you the coming one or may we expect another"? Matthew11:3.

THE SILENT/THE GOLDEN YEARS

Dispersed Hebrews returned to Palestine and the nation enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and absence of trouble from other nations, for over 300 years.

Without any intrusion by the Persians the Jews basked under their protection until BC 330.

When Alexander the Great conquered Persia he did not trouble the Jews bu tleft them to conduct their own affairs without interference and under his protective guardianship.

This happy state of affairs continued under Greek Ptolemaic rule until BC180

They were so cocooned from risk that they did not even have to consider having a defence force of their own. Never before had the Hebrews enjoyed such a blissful existence for such a long period of time.

Sadly with prosperity and freedom from tyranny, came corruption.

THE DECLINE :-

Chapter 11:vv.1-9 Zechariah predicts decline in spiritual leadership, terminating the Golden Years and precipitating "the day of  the LORD".

The following words are addressed to the nation's hierarchy:-

Zechariah 11:4-5 "This is what the LORD my God says; Put out to pasture the flock intended for slaughter! Those purchasing them slaughter them and are not punished. Those who sell them even say, The LORD be praised; for I am rich. Even their shepherds don't spare them."

The rich made themselves richer at the expense of the poor and the religious leaders were involved in it up to the hilt. They exploited the poor and thanked God for the riches they thus acquired.

Whilst they were still in the process of rebuilding the temple, God had warned them of the deterioration that would set in toward the end of the promised golden years.

BC 180 God withdrew his wall of protection from around them. Seleucid misrule began under Antiochus III ("the Great"). Helenisation flooded in with a vengeance. This precipitated the successful Maccabeean revolt of BC 167.In BC 161 the Maccabees established an independent state, obtaining a mutual assistance treaty from the Roman senate. Even so things were never the same as in the golden years. The era of tranquillity had gone for ever. Though they never returned to the pre-captivity type of idolatry, the priests dabbled in liberal sophistry whilst rigidly maintaining temple ritual.

In BC66 Pompey ravaged Jerusalem and desecrated the Temple. Priests persisting with their temple duties were slaughtered alongside their sacrifices.

Even so the Jewish hierarchy did not read the signs of the times. Corruptionand hypocrisy escalated giving rise to the severe rebukes meted out by theLord Jesus.

Chapters 11 to 14 predict it all culminating in a once for all horrendous Armageddon conflict, the day of the Lord, the day of the Passion, the battle of battles being engaged in Gethsemane, the crisis point of the conflict of all conflicts taking place in the olive grove. "in the throes of agony He prayed the more earnestly: and his sweat became as drops of  blood, falling down onto the soil." From Gethsemane onwards the Lord Jesus was in total control of the situation. The battle continues. The rallying point is at the cross and be assured: "The battle is the LORD'S"!

"THE DAY OF THE LORD"
[NOTE THE KEY PHRASE:- "IN THAT DAY"]

WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN
"IN THAT DAY"?

The covenant God had made with the Hebrew nation was everlasting in essence but they had violated the terms of the covenant.

11:10-11 So God was going to break His covenant with them "in that day". Note this was to be the end of the covenant with the Jewish nation. It was never to be reinstated!

This is linked directly with the Messiah's passion.
From here on all the predictions are Messianic:-

11:12-13 God is going to break the covenant with the Hebrew nation, the same"day" as when the Messiah, in whom dwelt bodily all the fulness of YHWH (Col.2:9), is valued by the religious elite, to be worth merely the cost of a slave, THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER, which in their considered opinion was a reasonable sum.

"I even told them, Pay what in your eyes is my best value, otherwise keep it. So they payed my value, thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it to the potter, the handsomeness of the value, my value that they arrived at. So I took the took the thirty pieces of silver, and I cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD."

In these chapters, all passages falsely relegated to a yet future carnal, supposedly Armageddon type warfare, are stated to be occurring "IN THAT DAY" the day of  the passion of our Lord.

12:3 "IN THAT DAY"  12:4 "IN THAT DAY"  12:6 "IN THAT DAY"  12:8 "IN THAT DAY" 12:9 "IN THAT DAY"

12:10 The same "day" as when many are smitten with affliction of the heart through looking on Him whom they had pierced.

"And I will pour on the house of  David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and supplications: and they shall look on ME whom they pierced, and they shall mourn for HIM, as mourning for an only child, grieving bitterly for him as one grieves bitterly for the firstborn son."

The "ME" is YHWH, the "HIM" is the Messiah. YHWH Himself is in the Messiah reconciling humanity to Himself. 2.Corinthians 5:19

12:11 The mourning would be as intense as when Josiah, the last king to follow the LORD with all his heart, was slain in the valley of Megiddo. This occurred three years previous to the Judean captivity. That is twenty-one years before the devastation of Jerusalem and the Temple.

"In that day shall there be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadad Rimon in the plain of Megiddo"

This is "the day" of the battle of the plain of Megiddo, the battle of  Armageddon

12:12-14 The grief over the Lord being pierced was not collective grief as a nation or as families but individual grief. This is evident from the use of the word "apart/by itself".

13:1 IN THAT DAY a fountain is opened that, as the hymn writer puts it, "those plunged beneath its flood loose all their guilty stains"

"IN THAT DAY a fountain shall be opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for impurity."

13:4-7. "In that day":- he receives wounds in his hands, in house of his friends [beloved companions]. The shepherd is smitten and the sheep are scattered.

Matt.26:31 "Then Jesus says to them, This night all of you shall be repulsed by me: for it is written, I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered."

FORETOLD 500 YEARS BEFORE IT OCCURRED.
[This document is represented in the Dead Sea Scrolls}

13:8-9 In this warfare the lost exceed the rescued and the refiner's fire refines the rescued.

"THE DAY OF THE LORD"
THE SPLITTING OF OLIVET

Zechariah 14:1. "See! THE DAY OF THE LORD comes, when your plunder shall be shared out in your presence."

One marvels at how the Jewish hierarchy inadvertently brought about the fulfilment of these prophecies, but those who implicitly trusted the LORD, understood.

[Ch.11,v.11 "And it (the covenant) was revoked IN THAT DAY: SO THE AFFLICTED OF THE FLOCK, THOSE WATCHING ME, KNEW that it was the word of the LORD."]

14:2-3 This is the decisive battle of all time, more critical and more crucial than any other conflict from the creation to the consummation of the world. It is Satan's climatic confrontation with the LORD:-

[Ge. 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall crush your head, and you shall strike his heel.]

14:4-5 "IN THAT DAY", on Olivet, in Gethsemane the tension reached and passed the crisis point, forging a decisive rift, a haven to which one can flee, available to all mankind.. [Luke 22:42-44]

"HE SHED NO TEARS FOR HIS OWN GRIEFS BUT SWEAT DROPS OF BLOOD FOR MINE".

The beauty and wonder of this most traumatic of events smites one to the heart with overpowering awe. How puerile by comparison is the doctrine that the prophesy refers to God needing to vindicate Himself in a yet future worldwide physical war. Our God is vindicated at Calvary ("glorified" John 12:27-28,31-32,13:31-32,17:1

BY MY SPIRIT
"Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit saith the LORD"

In that day; the covenant with the Jews was irrevocably broken, and a fountain was opened for sinners.

14:6-7: All happening "in that day", a "day" of satanic obscurity in the minds of the religious leaders, where there should have been light. Yet out of that darkest hour of despair, from that ghastly gibbet on Cavalry shines superlative clarity pervading down the centuries.

"ONE DAY", perpetual in its influence, all pervading down to the end of time.

14:8 "In that day" living waters sprang continuously in every direction from Jerusalem.

14:9 "In that day" YHVH became ruler over all the earth.

14:16-21 The annual observance of the feast of the tabernacles is figuratively fulfilled in spiritual Israel, v.20 "in that day" v.21 "in that day".

This is a perpetual feast of thanksgiving for spiritual harvest from out of all nations. For whom every aspect of their existence is "holiness to the LORD".

Sadly Jews are confused by prophesies such as these and will be until individually they see the Lord Jesus in the prophesies.

The Old Testament makes sense, only when seen fulfilled in the lowly Messiah, from the prediction in Genesis 3:15 "I will put enmity between .... your seed and her seed; He shall crush your head, and you shall strike his heel."to the prediction in Malachi 4:5  "See! I will send Elijah the prophet to you before the great and dreadful day of the LORD comes".

This latter was going to be God's final act of tolerance, v.6 ".... or I will come and smite the land with a curse."

"Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit saith the LORD"

BY WHAT SPIRIT IS THE CONFLICT WON ?

THE SPIRIT OF EXTREME HUMILITY OF ONE WHO WAS VALUED TO BE WORTH ONLY THE PRICE OF A SLAVE.

THE SPIRIT OF THE ONE WHO "SHED NO TEARS FOR HIS OWN GRIEFS BUT SWEAT DROPS OF BLOOD FOR MINE".

JESUS' WORK WAS NOT A PARTIAL FAILURE

IT WAS A TOTAL SUCCESS !

With a loud voice he made his triumphant cry :-

"IT IS FINISHED/ACCOMPLISHED !"

"THIS DAY" IS THE "DAY" OF THE PASSION

"You are become my salvation.
The builders, they rejected the stone.
It is become the main capstone.
The LORD caused this to happen.
Our eyes marvel at it."

"THE LORD HAS MADE THIS DAY;
Let us rejoice and let us be glad in it !"

"Blest be He who comes in the name of the LORD"

                                          Psalm 118:21b-24 & 26a

 


MATTHEW 23:39

Matthew 23:39 is erroneously used as a proof  text to teach that the whole Jewish nation will come to believe in the Lord Jesus anteceding a physical return of the Lord Jesus to the Mount of Olives from whence he will rule over all the earth.

A Greek and Hebrew scholar Fred Miller, in his commentary on the Hebrew of Zechariah*, p.222 ff. points out that the verse has no future verbs in the original. The Lord Jesus was not referring to his yet future appearing and the verse should not have been translated so as to give that impression.

Matthew 22:39 is a difficult verse to translate. There is no simple way of rendering it in English, as will be seen from the following literal word for word translation :-

Matthew 23:39 "because, I tell you, by no means {ye might perceive} me from now until {ye might say} {having been blessed} {the one} coming in {the name of the Lord}."
[Words in curly brackets represent one Greek word].

The expression "the one coming" was used by the Jews of the anticipated Messiah. [Matthew 11:3]

The Lord Jesus was telling them that in no way would they recognise the significance of his person until they could acknowledge in their hearts that he was the one who was to come in the name of  the Lord, having appreciated that everything about him had been so evidently commendable.

This is the same prerequisite for anyone becoming a Christian. There is no difference whether Jew or Gentile. The principle revealed in Matthew 23:39 applies to both. Both have to accept that the Lord Jesus is that "coming one", that is the Messiah, the Christ


See " Sensational Dispensationalism"
A comparison of J.N.Darby's seven era premillennialism with what the Bible says.

What do YOU think ?

Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
..Will Be Spam Filtered and Posted Shortly..



 

  Date: 23 May 2007
Time: 16:46:51

Comments:

The key to the whole mystery lies visible in plain view:

Mt 21:1 "And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto THE MOUNT OF OLIVES..."

Mt 21:4 "All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet (Zechariah)..."

Matthew 21:21 "Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall SAY UNTO THIS MOUNTAIN, BE THOU REMOVED, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."

Zechariah 14:4 "And his feet shall stand in that day upon THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and THE MOUNT OF OLIVES shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south."

It couldn't be more clear

Click For Index Page

Free Online Books Historical Preterism Modern Preterism Study Archive Critical Articles Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main Josephus Church History Hyper Preterism Main

Email PreteristArchive.com's Sole Developer and Curator, Todd Dennis  (todd @ preteristarchive.com) Opened in 1996
http://www.preteristarchive.com