Zechariah 14 – Judah’s King Supreme & Timur the Lame

I’d rather he shot then beheaded and sliced up with a sword.  This is the last chapter of Zechariah so tomorrow we will go to the last book of the Old Testament…

Zechariah 14
Judah’s King Supreme

1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

Jerusalem, Mount of Olives, St. Stephen Greek Orthodox monastery in the Kidron River Valley.

2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

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.

5 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.

“Azal” – the name of a place east of Jerusalem, marking the eastern end of the newly formed valley.  The location is unknown.

6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:

Ancient Rimmon

7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.

9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.

“The LORD shall be king over all he earth” – Jesus Christ.

10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.

“Geba” – about six miles north-northeast of Jerusalem at the northern boundary of Judah.

“Rimmon” – also called En Rimmon, is about 35 miles south-southwest of Jerusalem, where the hill country of Judah slopes away into the Negev.

“King’s winepresses” – just south of the city.  Thus the whole city in included.

11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.

GEBA
A town on the Northeast boundary of the territory of Benjamin, given to the Levites.
It stood on the northern frontier of the kingdom of Judah, Geba and Beersheba marking respectively the northern and southern limits.
In 2 Samuel 5:25 “Geba” should be altered to “Gibeon,” which stands in the corresponding passage.
In Judges 20:10, 33 1 Samuel 13:3, 16, the Hebrew reads “Geba,” the translation “Gibeah” being due to confusion of the two names.

12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.

13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.

14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.

15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.

16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.

“Feast of tabernacles” – of the three great pilgrimage festivals perhaps tabernacles was selected as the one for representatives of the various Gentile nations because it was the last and greatest festival of the Hebrew calendar.

17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.

18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the LORD will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

Foundation of ancient temple to Baal Berith in ancient Shechem.

19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar.

21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and see the therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts.

Timur the Lame

With the collapse of the Mongol khanates in China and Persia, the peoples of Asia barely had time to breathe before they faced yet another conqueror.

Timur enjoys a rare moment of rest in the Persian city of Balkh.

The intelligent, ruthless, limping Timur the Lame (1336-1405), or Tamerlane as Europeans came to call him, was a Turkish Muslim nomad who took inspiration from Genghis Khan.

Seeing his opportunities in the power vacuum that followed the Mongol collapse, he led a growing band of nomad warriors to victory at Samarkand in 1370 and proclaimed himself the inheritor of the Chagatai khanate.

Establishing his capital there, he set out for a lifetime of further conquest, rarely stopping to rest until his death. His court, including some or all of his nine wives, traveled with him.

Timur’s armies moved through eastern Persia, the Near East, and the lands of the Golden Horde in Russia, where he occupied Moscow.

He then turned to India, crossed the Indus in 1398, and sacked Delhi in a brutal attack—-slaughtering, by some accounts, hundreds of thousands of its men, women and children.  He was preparing an invasion in 1405 when he died.

Samarkand

Like his hero Genghis, Timur had little desire to settle or administer his territories. He was interested in the treasure he could loot from wealthy conquered cities, much of which went to build his capital in Samarkand.

Here, Timur’s bloody victories eventually supported a renaissance of Islamic learning under his successors.

…the Book of Malachi.