Continuing still with Zechariah 14, we see the consequences received by the nations participating in the attack on Jerusalem:
12 “Now this is the plague with which Adonai will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem; their flesh will rot when they are standing on their feet; their eyes will rot in their sockets; and their tongues will rot in their mouths. 13 It will happen in that day that a great panic from Adonai will be among them. Each person will seize the hand of his neighbor and they will attack each other. 14 Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. The wealth of the surrounding peoples gathered together- an abundance of gold, silver, and apparel. 15 A similar plague will strike the horse, the mule, the camel, the donkey, and all the animals in that camp.”
Some of you might remember a similar scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, in which the Ark is taken to an island where the Nazis open it and receive similar consequences. (I’ve always believed that the filmmakers were inspired by this passage’s description.)
God has regularly stated that the oppressors of Israel do so at their own risk. The prophets routinely foretell these fates for Babylon, Egypt, Moab, Assyria, Gog and Magog, etcetera. Now, here, it is the endtime army that receives the blow from God’s Hand.
The nations and peoples left after this battle will take on a new perspective. The God of Israel becomes their God. The capital of Israel becomes their capital. The festivals and calendar of Israel become their festivals and calendar. Whoever does not send delegations to Jerusalem to keep Hag Sukkot, the Feast of Booths, will receive no rain.
There has been a great deal of speculation as to the reason Sukkot is specified; I’ll add mine. Nations with kings frequently celebrate the anniversaries of the accessions of those kings to the throne. Perhaps, Yeshua will be crowned on that festival. Well, there’s my speculation.
Correspondingly, and understandably, Israel will experience a great spiritual awakening. This had been foretold in chapter 12:10f. This awakening results in a new day for Zion. The bells of the horses are inscribed with “Qodesh L’Adonai”, “Holy to the Lord”. Every pot in Jerusalem, whether part of Temple service or just for everyday cooking, will be “Holy to Adonai Tzva’ot” (Lord of Hosts). And, the Canaanite will be gone.
We say with Isaiah 62:7: “You who make mention of Adonai, take no rest for yourselves and give Him no rest, until He make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
Jeffrey A. Adler
Rabbi Jeffrey Adler is president of the Board of HaShomer and also Rabbi of Sha’arey Yeshua in Indianapolis, IN.