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    “See to it no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ” (Colossians 2:8).

    « A Timely Song | On Spiritual Warfare Part 1 of 2 »
    Thursday
    Oct112012

    Zechariah 14 and Matthew 27: End-Times Prophecies or Messianic?

    I’ve been reading the Old Testament minor prophets lately and when I came to Zechariah 14, I found it to be a confusing passage to say the least. It seemed to be eschatological (fancy term meaning having to do with end-times), then again it didn’t.

     

    Then I was reading Malachi 4 which also appeared eschatological until this line caught my eye,  

    “See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers;” (verses 5-6).

     

    Compare the above to the following passage, part of the prophecy concerning John the Baptist,

    "And it is he who will go as a forerunner before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children, and the disobedient to the attitude of the righteous; so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord," (Luke 1:16-17).

     

    Jesus also referred to John the Baptist as Elijah in Matthew 11:13-14,

    “For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”

     

    *For more interesting and detailed info:

    http://carm.org/bible-difficulties/matthew-mark/was-john-baptist-really-elijah

     

     

    Back to Zechariah, we read in chapter 14, verses 4-9 of an earthquake,

    “On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake[a] in the days of Uzziah king of Judah.

     

    Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

     

    On that day there will be no light, no cold or frost. 7 It will be a unique day, without daytime or nighttime—a day known to the Lord. When evening comes, there will be light.

     

    On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half to the eastern sea[b] and half to the western sea,[c] in summer and in winter. The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.” 

     

    Then compare it to Matthew 27:45-54 about Jesus death,

    “From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. 

     

    About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

     

    And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. 

     

    The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

     

    When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

     

    Unfortunately, I do not know enough about Israel’s or Jerusalem’s history to draw any real conclusions, but these are some highly interesting parallels.

     

    Two other commentaries (which take these passages as purely figurative, but still have some fascinating insights) include:

     

    http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=mhc&b=38&c=14

    http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=38&c=14

     

    Based on your own research, what can you add to all these thoughts?

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    Reader Comments (2)

    Elijah, hunted by the followers of Baal (Calls for a drought, fed by crows, water on a burning pyre, etc.) pulls a quick one by passing his mantle/cloak to Elisha, perhaps hoping the confusion of names and costume change might throw off his pursuers. Quite a guy. Also, when taunted by Hebrew children, instead of lecturing them on being nice to people, calls upon the Lord to destroy them. This is done by 20 (maybe, my memory for numbers isn't so hot) she-bears coming down from the mountains and eating those children who were disrespectful.

    December 3, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterTodd

    Hi Todd!

    Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment. I am a little confused by your comment’s meaning. The relationship between Elijah and Elisha was master/apprentice or teacher/disciple (see 1 Kings 19:19-21). They worked together for 6 years, and when Elijah was taken up into Heaven, Elisha called him “my father” and tore his clothing in a sign of deep grief (2 Kings 2:11-12).

    The account of Elisha and the bears (there were 2) is found in 2 Kings 2:23-25. Elisha found himself surrounded by a mob of at least 42 “youths” (young adults) basically telling him where to get off. It was disrespectful, but probably also intimidating. Here is one resource that goes into more detail:

    http://www.gotquestions.org/Elisha-baldhead.html

    December 4, 2012 | Registered CommenterA Christian

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