|Book||Book of Zechariah|
|Bible part||Old Testament|
|Order in the Bible part||38|
Zechariah 14 is the fourteenth (and the last) chapter of the Book of Zechariah in the Hebrew Bible or the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. This book contains the prophecies spoken by the prophet Zechariah, and is a part of the Book of the Twelve Minor Prophets.
Some most ancient manuscripts containing this chapter in Hebrew language:
- Masoretic Text (10th century)
- Dead Sea Scrolls: (2nd century BC)
- 4Q76 (4QXIIa): extant: verses 18
Ancient translations in Koine Greek:
NKJV groups this chapter into:
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.
- "Upon the Mount of Olives... on the east": This mount lay on the east of Jerusalem, from which it was separated by the deep valley of the Kidron, rising to a height of some six hundred feet, and intercepting the view of the wilderness of Judaea and the Jordan ghor. The geographical detail is added in the text to indicate the line of escape which shall be opened for those who are to be de-livened. This is the only place in the Old Testament where the Mount of Olives is thus exactly named; but it is often alluded to; e.g. 2 Samuel 15:30; 1 Kings 11:7; 2 Kings 23:13 (where it is called "the mount of corruption"), etc.
- "The Mount of Olives" is the central eminence of a line of hills, of rather more than a mile in length, overhanging the city, from which it is separated only by the narrow bed of the valley of the brook Cedron. It rises 187 feet above Mount Zion, 295 feet above Mount Moriah, 443 feet above Gethsemane, and lies between the city and the wilderness toward the dead sea: around its northern side, wound the road to Bethany and the Jordan . There, probably, David worshiped 2 Samuel 15:32; his son, in his decay, profaned it 1 Kings 11:7; Josiah desecrated his desecrations 2 Kings 23:13; there "upon the mountain, which is on the east side of the city, the glory of the Lord stood," when it had "gone up from the midst of the city" Ezekiel 11:23; it united the greatest glory of the Lord on earth, His Ascension, with its deepest sorrow, in Gethsemane. Since the Angel said, "This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven" Acts 1:11, the old traditional opinion is not improbable, that our Lord shall come again to judge the earth, where He left the earth, near the place of His Agony and Crucifixion for us. So shall "the Feet" of God literally, "stand upon the Mount of Olives." Elsewhere it may be that "the Feet of the uncircumscribed and simple God are to be understood not materially, but that the loving and fixed assistance of His power is expressed by that name" (Dionysius).
- "Shall cleave in the midst thereof": This is thought by some to be the same with the "valley of Jehoshaphat", called the "valley of decision", into which the Heathen, being awakened and raised, will be brought and judged, Joel 3:2. The object of the cleaving of the mount in two by a fissure or valley (a prolongation of the valley of Jehoshaphat, and extending from Jerusalem on the west towards Jordan, eastward) is to open a way of escape to the besieged (compare Joel 3:12, 14). Half the divided mount is thereby forced northward, half southward; the valley running between. The place of His departure at His ascension shall be the place of His return: and the "manner" of His return also shall be similar (Acts 1:11). He shall probably "come from the east" (Matthew 24:27). He so made His triumphal entry into the city from the Mount of Olives from the east Matthew 21:1-10). This was the scene of His agony: so it shall be the scene of His glory. Compare Ezekiel 11:23, with Ezekiel 43:2, "from the way of the east."
And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains;
for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal:
yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah:
and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
- "the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah": two years before which Amos prophesied in 8th century BC, Amos 1:1 and which, according to Josephus, was at the time when King Uzziah was stricken with a leprosy for invading the priest's office; when, as he says, at a place before the city called Eroge, half part of the mountain towards the west was broken, and rolled half a mile towards the eastern part, and there stood; so that the ways were stopped up to the king's gardens.
Eighth century BC earthquake
Research by Creationist Geology Professor Steven A. Austin and colleagues published in 2000 suggested that widely separated archaeological excavations in the countries of Israel and Jordan contain late Iron Age (Iron IIb) architecture bearing damage from a great earthquake. Earthquake debris at six sites (Hazor, Deir 'Alla, Gezer, Lachish, Tell Judeideh, and 'En Haseva), is tightly confined stratigraphically to the middle of the 8th century BC, with dating errors of ~30 years. Excavations by archaeologist Yigael Yadin in Hazor's Stratum VI revealed southward tilted walls, inclined pillars, and collapsed houses, in even some of the strongest architecture, arguing that the earthquake waves were propagated from the north. The excavation in the city of Gezer revealed severe earthquake damage. The outer wall of the city shows hewn stones weighing tons that have been cracked and displaced several inches off their foundation. The lower part of the wall was displaced outward (away from the city), whereas the upper part of the wall fell inward (toward the city) still lying course-on-course, indicating the sudden collapse of the wall.
Amos of Tekoa delivered a speech at the Temple of the Golden Calf in the city of Bethel in the northern kingdom of Israel just "two years before the earthquake" (Amos 1:1), in the middle of eighth century BC when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam II was king of Israel. Amos spoke of the land being shaken (Amos 8:8), houses being smashed (Amos 6:11), altars being cracked (Amos 3:14), and even the Temple at Bethel being struck and collapsing (Amos 9:1). The Amos' Earthquake impacted Hebrew literature immensely. After the gigantic earthquake, no Hebrew prophet could predict a divine visitation in judgment without alluding to an earthquake. Just a few years after the earthquake, Isaiah wrote about the "Day of the Lord" when everything lofty and exalted will be abased at the time when the Lord "ariseth to shake terribly the earth" (Isaiah 2:19, 21). Then, Isaiah saw the Lord in a temple shaken by an earthquake (Isaiah 6:4). Joel repeats the motto of Amos: "The Lord also will roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem," and adds the seismic theophany imagery "the heavens and the earth shall shake" (Joel 3:16; compare Amos 1:2). After describing a future earthquake and panic during the "Day of the Lord" at Messiah's coming to the Mount of Olives, Zechariah says, "Yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah" (Zechariah 14:5). The panic caused by Amos' Earthquake must have been the topic of legend in Jerusalem, because Zechariah asked his readers to recall that terrifying event 230 years later.
In 2005 Nicholas Ambraseys reviews the literature on historical earthquakes in Jerusalem and specifically the 'Amos' earthquake. He states that "Modern writers date the earthquake to 759 BC and assign to it a magnitude of 8.2, with an intensity in Jerusalem between VIII and IX." He believes that such an earthquake "should have razed Jerusalem to the ground" and states that there is no physical or textual evidence for this. Discussing Zechariah's mention of an earthquake, he suggests that it was a 5th or 4th century insertion and discusses various versions of the passage which describe the event in different ways. He suggests that the differences may be due to a confused reading of the Hebrew words for "shall be stopped up" (ve-nistam), and "you shall flee" (ve-nastem)" and that "by adopting the latter reading as more plausible in relation to the natural phenomenon described, it is obvious that there is no other explanation than a large landslide, which may or may not had been triggered by this or by another earthquake." He also states that a search for changes in the ground resembling those described in Zechariah revealed "no direct or indirect evidence that Jerusalem was damaged."
Notes and references
- Collins 2014.
- Hayes 2015.
- Metzger, Bruce M., et al. The Oxford Companion to the Bible. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.
- Keck, Leander E. 1996. The New Interpreter's Bible: Volume: VII. Nashville: Abingdon.
- Dead sea scrolls - Zechariah
- Timothy A. J. Jull; Douglas J. Donahue; Magen Broshi; Emanuel Tov (1995). "Radiocarbon Dating of Scrolls and Linen Fragments from the Judean Desert". Radiocarbon. 38 (1): 14. Retrieved 26 November 2014.
- Zechariah 14:4
- Joseph S. Exell; Henry Donald Maurice Spence-Jones (Editors). The Pulpit Commentary. 23 volumes. First publication: 1890. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Barnes, Albert. Notes on the Old Testament. London, Blackie & Son, 1884. Reprint, Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 1998. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- John Gill. John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible. Exposition of the Old and New Testament. Published in 1746-1763. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Robert Jamieson, Andrew Robert Fausset; David Brown. Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's Commentary On the Whole Bible. 1871. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Zechariah 14:5
- Flavius Josephus, Antiqu. l. 9. c. 10. sect. 4.
- "Steven A. Austin, Ph.D." Creation.com. Retrieved 15 March 2017.
- Austin, S.A., G. W. Franz, and E. G. Frost. 2000. Amos's Earthquake: An extraordinary Middle East seismic event of 750 B.C. International Geology Review. 42 (7): 657-671.
- Yadin Y. 1975. Hazor, the rediscovery of a great citadel of the Bible. New York: Random House, 280 pp.
- Younker, R. 1991. A preliminary report of the 1990 season at Tel Gezer, excavations of the "Outer Wall" and the "Solomonic" Gateway (July 2 to August 10, 1990). Andrews University Seminary Studies. 29: 19-60.
- Ogden, K. 1992. The earthquake motif in the book of Amos. In Schunck, K., and M. Augustin, eds., Goldene apfel in silbernen schalen. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 69-80; Freedman, D.N., and A. Welch. 1994. Amos's earthquake and Israelite prophecy. In Coogan, M.D., J. C. Exum, and L. E. Stager, eds., Scripture and other artifacts: essays on the Bible, and archaeology in honor of Philip J. King. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox, 188-198.
- Ambraseys, N. (July 2005). "Historical earthquakes in Jerusalem – A methodological discussion". Journal of Seismology. 9 (3): 329–340. doi:10.1007/s10950-005-8183-8.