War and Victory
1The Lord will have his day. And when it comes, everything that was ever taken from Jerusalem will be returned and divided among its people. 2But first, he will bring many nations to attack Jerusalem—homes will be robbed, women raped, and half of the population dragged off, though the others will be allowed to remain.
3The Lord will attack those nations like a warrior fighting in battle. 4He will take his stand on the Mount of Olives east of Jerusalem, and the mountain will split in half, forming a wide valley that runs from east to west. 5Then you people will escape from the Lord's mountain, through this valley, which reaches to Azal.#14.5 to Azal: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. The location of Azal is unknown. You will run in all directions, just as everyone did when the earthquake struck#14.5 earthquake struck: See Amos 1.1. in the time of King Uzziah of Judah. Afterwards, the Lord my God will appear with his holy angels.
6It will be a bright day that won't turn cloudy or cold.#14.6 a bright … cold: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text. 7And the Lord has decided when it will happen—this time of unending day.
8 # Ez 47.1; Jn 7.38; Rev 22.1. In both summer and winter, life-giving streams will flow from Jerusalem, half of them to the Dead Sea in the east and half to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 9Then there will be only one Lord who rules as King and whose name is worshiped everywhere on earth.
10-11 # Rev 22.3. From Geba down to Rimmon#14.10 From Geba down to Rimmon: Approximately the northern and southern borders of Judah before the exile (see 2 Kings 23.8); Geba is about 16 kilometers north of Jerusalem, and Rimmon is about 16 kilometers north of Beersheba. south of Jerusalem, the entire country will be turned into flatlands, with Jerusalem still towering above. Then the city will be full of people, from Benjamin Gate, Old Gate Place, and Hananel Tower in the northeast part of the city over to Corner Gate in the northwest and down to King's Wine Press in the south. Jerusalem will always be secure and will never again be destroyed.
12Here is what the Lord will do to those who attack Jerusalem: While they are standing there, he will make their flesh rot and their eyes fall from their sockets and their tongues drop out. 13The Lord will make them go into a frenzy and start attacking each other, 14-15until even the people of Judah turn against those in Jerusalem.#14.13-15 each other … Jerusalem: Or “each other. 14-15 But the people of Judah will fight on the side of Jerusalem.” This same terrible disaster will also strike every animal nearby, including horses, mules, camels, and donkeys. Finally, everything of value in the surrounding nations will be collected and brought to Jerusalem—gold, silver, and piles of clothing.
16 # Lv 23.39-43. Afterwards, the survivors from those nations that attacked Jerusalem will go there each year to worship the King, the Lord All-Powerful, and to celebrate the Festival of Shelters. 17No rain will fall on the land of anyone in any country who refuses to go to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord All-Powerful. 18-19This horrible disaster will strike the Egyptians and everyone else who refuses to go there for the celebration.
20-21At that time the words “Dedicated to the Lord” will be engraved on the bells worn by horses. In fact, every ordinary cooking pot in Jerusalem will be just as sacred to the Lord All-Powerful as the bowls used at the altar. Any one of them will be acceptable for boiling the meat of sacrificed animals, and there will no longer be a need to sell special pots and bowls.#14.20,21 special pots and bowls: Since all pots and bowls will be considered acceptable for use in the temple, there will be no more need for merchants to sell special ones to those people who come to offer sacrifices.