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Zechariah 14:9-11 meaning

Zechariah foresees a day when everyone will worship and honor the LORD as the only true God. Jerusalem will be secure, and its inhabitants will enjoy their lives freely.

In the previous section, the prophet anticipated the day that the Gentile nations would stand against Jerusalem. They would invade her and carry half of her citizens off into captivity. Afterward, the Lord would appear on the Mount of Olives with His angelic army to rescue her. He would disrupt the cosmos and alter the normal cycle of day and night. At that time, Jerusalem would become a source of life-giving waters (Zechariah 14:1-8). In the present section, Zechariah described the future conditions of the world. He began by saying, The LORD will be king over all the earth (v. 9).

The term translated as LORD is Yahweh in the Hebrew language. It is the covenant name of God, as given to Moses at the burning bush (Exodus 3:14-15). It describes God as self-existent, eternal, compassionate, and faithful (Exodus 6:2-8, 34:5-7). The phrase all the earth signifies the whole world, not just the country of Judah. Thus, God's sovereign rulership will be visible everywhere. The Jewish people always longed for that time, as indicated in the psalmist's declaration of faith: "The LORD reigns, He is clothed with majesty (Psalm 93:1, see also Psalms 97, 99).

That time of Jesus's reign will arrive soon. In that day, the LORD will be the only one (v. 9).

The Hebrew text reads, In that day, the LORD is one. It reminds the covenant people of the statement in Deuteronomy 6:4, which emphasizes the uniqueness of God. Similarly, in Zechariah, we learn that the Suzerain God of Israel would be the only one. There will be no false gods because the LORD "will cut off the names of the idols from the land, and they will no longer be remembered" (Zechariah 13:1). Thus, His name is one.

The Hebrew term for name means "reputation" or "essence." God's name reflects His character and essence. It speaks of His greatness and majesty (Exodus 3:13-17). Although some people refuse to worship the LORD today, the day will come when everybody reveres Him for who He is (Philippians 2:10). They will no longer turn to false gods. Instead, they will submit to Yahweh's authority and bow before Him in fear and adoration.

Also at this time, all the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem (v 10).

The phrase all the land here in verse 10 stands for this specific section of Judah. God will turn the entire Judean land into flatlands. The plain will extend from Geba to Rimmon, south of Jerusalem. This represents a further shift in the topography of the land surrounding Jerusalem.

Geba was about six miles north of Jerusalem, marking the original northern border of Judah (1 Samuel 13:3, 1 Kings 15:22). The site Rimmon was about 30 miles southwest of Jerusalem. Together, Geba and Rimmon describe the north-south extent of Jerusalem's peripheral regions. According to Zechariah, these areas will become a plain. Currently this area is quite hilly. But in that day it will become flatlands, plains. However, Jerusalem will continue to be on elevated hills.

But Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site to be visible to everyone. Its topography will start from Benjamin's Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate (v 10).

The Benjamin Gate is north of the Temple Mount. It exits from the area of the Bethesda Pool into the Kidron Valley (Jeremiah 37:13). The Corner Gate is on the northwest corner of Jerusalem's western expansion, in the vicinity of what is now Jaffa Gate. Together, the gates span the city from east to west. Zechariah also specified that this new Jerusalem will extend from the Tower of Hananel to the king's wine presses (v 10). Click here to see an illustration of "Ezekiel's Temple" that will be the center of worship in Jerusalem during this time.

The Tower of Hananel was on the northwest side of Jerusalem. It was near the Temple Mount. The king's winepresses were likely around the king's garden at the southern end of the city (Nehemiah 3:15). Together, they span Jerusalem from north to south. In sum, the prophet told his audience that God will elevate the whole city above the surrounding countryside from its eastern to its western border and from its northern to its southern boundaries. Also, people will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse (v 11).

The word translated as curse is "chērem" in Hebrew. It means a ban and carries the idea of a thing dedicated to destruction (Deuteronomy 7:26, Joshua 6:17). It occurs primarily in the context of war, where the LORD often asked the Israelites to destroy the enemy so that they would remain holy to Him (Deuteronomy 7:6). But during this coming era there will be no such ban to depopulate Jerusalem, for it will dwell in security (v 11). There will be perpetual peace and freedom in this restored Jerusalem. Glory to God!

This new Jerusalem with a new topography and a new ecosystem is still in the same geographic setting, with the Mediterranean Sea to the west and the Dead Sea to the east. This cannot be the same as the New Jerusalem that will be constructed in the new earth. That city is described as being on a brand new earth with no sea, and is said to be 1500 miles high (Revelation 21:1, 16).

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