Zacharia

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by agedman, Mar 12, 2016.

  1. agedman

    agedman
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    Zechariah 14 is an interesting prophecy which gives some very specific earth related (speaking of the actual dirt and stone, mountains, valleys, rivers...) events that obviously haven't happened.

    Where do you place this prophecy in the history of the earth?

    Is Jerusalem a sea port?

    Will it become a sea port?

    Does the Jordon flow into the sea?

    Of course, I take the prophecy as having little allegorical meaning, but I thought that the BB folks might enjoy posting what their thoughts are about what I take is most specific and unusual prophecy of the Lord's return and the change it brings to the earth and people who survive.
     
    #1 agedman, Mar 12, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016
  2. asterisktom

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    Considering that some of the prophecies are explicitly shown to have 1st-century fulfillment why not the other ones? Referring specifically to the 19 "in that Day" passages.

    Also, on what basis do you take this book - full of spiritual ("allegorical") detail - as "having little allegorical meaning"?

    But if you are determined to be literal then you clashing verses. In Revelation we are told -literally - there will be no more sea. But the view you posit above says there will be.

    Taking both of these prophecies as spiritual allows for concord between both.

    BTW I prefer the term "spiritual" to "allegorical". Though "allegory" is used in the NT (Galatians) "spiritual" is more often referred to. I feel that - having done this very thing in the past - "allegorical" is often used for its negative connotations.
     
    #2 asterisktom, Mar 13, 2016
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2016
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  3. beameup

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    Zechariah 2:10-13
    Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
    And many nations [Gentiles] shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
    And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.
    Be silent, O all flesh, before the LORD: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation.

    Jesus (Yeshua Messiah) will "dwell in the midst of thee", ie: Central Israel, and specifically Jerusalem.

    And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one. Zech 14:9
     
    #3 beameup, Mar 14, 2016
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  4. agedman

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    I am not concerned with "the whole book." Rather, the OP is directed to one chapter.

    How do you make "allegorical" what is so specifically spoken as a changes made in the dirt surrounding Jerusalem? I don' t see the events of the mountain splitting and the great plain extending where now mountains and hills country exists. None of these have taken place in the history of humankind.

    3 Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 4 In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. 5 You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him!
    6 In that day there will be no light; the luminaries will dwindle. 7 For it will be a unique day which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but it will come about that at evening time there will be light.
    8 And in that day living waters will flow out of Jerusalem, half of them toward the eastern sea and the other half toward the western sea; it will be in summer as well as in winter.
    9 And the Lord will be king over all the earth; in that day the Lord will be the only one, and His name the only one.
    10 All the land will be changed into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem; but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. 11 People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security.​

    So, where does one place this prophecy in the history of the earth?
     
  5. asterisktom

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    I realize this. May I suggest that that is the problem? You cannot take one chapter in isolation from the rest of the book. Especially since, in this book, we have a unifying motif - "In that Day".

    That phrase, in verses 4, 6, 8, 9, 13 of your chapter 14, should not be separated from earlier occurrences of the same phrase, 2:11, 3:10, 9:16, 13:1 - 2. There are others as well. These all refer to events of the first century, none needing fulfillment after AD 70. One or two refer to a time a little earlier. 13:1 comes to mind here:

    "In that day there shall be a fountain opened for the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, to cleanse them from sin and uncleanness."

    When was this fountain opened up? It happened at the Crucifixion. This is the earliest of the "Day" events in Zechariah.

    But there is no reason to divide this day into two distinct, disjointed periods - separated by almost two thousand years!
     
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  6. asterisktom

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    Please consider the latter chapters of Isaiah as well as those of Ezekiel. Many of these prophecies are paralleled there. If needed I will give exact references.
     
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  7. asterisktom

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    Once again, I don't "make" anything allegorical. I recognize a passage as being spiritual. There is a difference.

    Where do you get literal dirt from the passage?

    "Mountains" need to be understand in a metaphorical sense, just like they are used elsewhere. For instance, in Daniel we have the Rock (metaphorically) striking a statue. And on this site of impact grows a mountain. Yes, you may say, the mountain in Zech. is even named. But even that has a metaphorical purpose. Consider the connection between "Mount of Olives" and Zechariah 4.
     
  8. Martin Marprelate

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    I can't say that I have studied Zechariah 14 very deeply- I have only ever preached on Chapter 3- but the following thoughts have come into my head.

    The expression 'That day' need not always refer to the same day. 13:1 refers back to 12:10 and 14:4, 6, 8 etc. refer back to 14:1.

    If Zech. 14 refers to AD 70, how come the Lord is fighting against the nations (v.3)? Surely He was fighting for them in AD 70, or at least, they won.

    Did half the city go into captivity (v.2)? I don't recall having read about it. Did the Mount of Olives split into two (v.4). 'Spiritual' interpretations must be grounded in the text somehow or other.

    In what way were vs.16ff fulfilled in AD 70? I am not aware that the destruction of Jerusalem had any great effect on Egypt. The Gospel seems to have reached there before AD 70 (Acts 18:24); no doubt it continued to spread there afterwards.

    Just wondering.
     
  9. agedman

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    There is little difference between allegory and metaphor, allegory is merely and extended metaphor.

    Basically, an allegory is a metaphor extended beyond a phrase into a longer section of writing.

    So, to state,"'Mountains' need to be understand in a metaphorical sense..." when earlier in the post you stated, "Once again, I don't 'make' anything allegorical..." is not quite logical. Either one takes the passage as literal, or one must take the passage as allegory (extended metaphor).

    The passage is very specific about reformations of the land. Such reformations that disposes of the dead sea, makes Jerusalem a sea port, and creates a rolling plain where mountains currently exist.

    The question of the OP was when in all history has such taken (or will take) place?
     
  10. Martin Marprelate

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    I can agree with this statement up to a point. A woodenly literal approach to prophecy and apocalyptic literature is rarely correct. But that does not mean that we can make a wax nose out of the Scriptures and shoehorn every piece of prophecy into AD 70 regardless of context in order to suit a mistaken eschatological fancy.
     
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  11. agedman

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    For the ethnic Jews, they did not, nor do, consider the suffering savior prophecies in the same manner as do believers.

    Does that make the prophetic utterances any less factual? For example, what metaphor or allegorical statement was not actually factually evident from the birth through the ascension?

    If such then was literally worked out by God through Christ, why then does not the prophetic statement of the Messiah King?

    Even the religious righteous knew that the Messiah was to be born in a certain place, yet they looked for another. John the Baptist, knowing all that the Scriptures taught was puzzled and sent to inquire is they should look for another.

    Is it correct to conclude great portions of prophecy literal in matters of the first advent and those of the second are to be assigned to "making spiritual?"
     
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  12. Martin Marprelate

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    I think that Romans 15:4 is a very important hermeneutical aid for us, as is 1 Peter 1:10-12. O.T. prophecy is for our benefit rather than the people is whose time it was written. When prophecies mention Jerusalem, we have to ask ourselves whether they are speaking of Jerusalem below or above (Galatians 4:25-26; Revelation 11:8). However, as I said, there must be a limit on our imaginations when we look at prophecy.
     
  13. agedman

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    I agree that context and application are essential, however, although the prophets (for example Daniel understood some prophecy and sought God's understanding of others) and they may not have understood all they prophesied, they did not doubt that the prophecy. They did not put the prophecies into terms in which one is allegorical. Nor did those that followed them consider the prophecies as other than literal.

    For example: Josephus records (Antiquities Xi, viii, 5) "And when he (Alexander the Great) went up into the temple, he offered sacrifice to God, according to the high priest's direction, and magnificently treated both the high priest and the priests. And when the Book of Daniel was showed him wherein Daniel declared that one of the Greeks should destroy the empire of the Persians, he supposed that himself was the person intended."

    The folks knew both of Daniel's prophecy, and the practical application, interpretation, and fulfillment.

    Over and over there is historical evidence of the factual working out of prophecy.

    Taking "imaginative" thinking into prophecy is like taking water not to be wet.

    Certainly, there are situations in which the prophets would use terms to describe, yet their descriptions were accurate. For example pre-WWII there was no stripping of the flesh blood muscle and sinew off a body in a blink of an eye. Now there is. So the prophetic statement was at times considered by some to be over exuberant or hyperbole. But, it is in fact a literal.

    The issue is reluctance to take the writing of the prophets as the ancients did - as literal. Historically, there is just so very much prophecy that has been literally fulfilled, not just those utterances concerning the Christ, that it seems disconnected to assign those yet to be fulfilled into the realm of some literary device.
     
  14. asterisktom

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    Very short answer for now, typing on my phone. Both the first and second advents had both types of prophecies: literal and spiritual.
     
  15. agedman

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    I will wait for you to demonstrate a prophecy of the first advent that was not literal.
     
  16. asterisktom

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    I never meant to imply the events were not literal. The events prophesied were literal in outcome, but the prophecies themselves were often in metaphorical terms. The Protoevangelion comes to mind:

    "And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel."

    Consider also Isaiah 11:1

    "And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots:"

    Likewise, the events of AD 70 were also literal. Jerusalem was surrounded by real armies. The practice of the Old Covenant literally came to an end when the Temple was destroyed and sacrifices were no longer able to be made.

    But beyond these literal events there were spiritual realities happening, just as there were in the time of the Gospels.
     
  17. beameup

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    Here is one from Zechariah that is pretty specific:
    Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the LORD.
    And many nations shall be joined to the LORD in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the LORD of hosts hath sent me unto thee.
    And the LORD shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again.

    Zech 2:10-12
     
  18. agedman

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    First:
    The "old covenant" comes to an end when a person becomes a believer and is no longer under the tutoring of the Mosaic. For the political / social group Israel, no such end has been achieved. They look and will one day reestablish the temple and the sacrificial system, for they remain under the law of Moses, and practice that law as ability allows in the place they reside - yet hopeful of the single temple sacrifices, again. Paul's teaching on the law and the believer is clear on this matter.

    You say, "I never meant to imply the events were not literal. The events prophesied were literal in outcome,..."

    So, you should be able to clearly agree that there will be a literal time of apostasy, tribulation, battles of Armageddon, and millennial reign following the literal physical return of Christ with the believers of all ages, in which He sits on a literal thrown in Jerusalem as the only King in the whole universe. That that millennial reign will culminate with Satan loosed from the bindings, deceiving the people once again to raise up against the Christ, surrounding the "camp of the saints" and then time is stopped, followed by the last judgement of all people before the very Father ...

    If "the events of prophecy is literal in outcome" then you must agree that Zachariah 14 will literally take place in the future - for there is no account in history nor in mapping that it has already done so.
     
  19. asterisktom

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    Two things wrong with this very first assertion.
    1. We were never under the Old Covenant. That was only for the Jews up until the 1st century. Were you ever commanded to sacrifice? Or to go up three times to Jerusalem? This is all part of the Old Covenant. One cannot divide it up into two parts, one part ongoing and the other merely ceremonial.

    2. When the Old Covenant was done away it was done away with in entirety – at the very same time. Up until that time it was still in force. All of it. See Matthew 5:17 – 18:


    "Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish but to fulfill. For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

    There is no such animal as a political/social Israel. For the religious aspect see above. The two aspects cannot Scripturally be separated.

    Yes, quite clear. Paul in Hebrws and elsewhere says that the Old Covenant has passed away. The wall of separation has come down (Eph.). The Levitical Priesthood was superseded by the Melchizedekan (Heb)

    No. All of this is from your reading the Bible from futurist presuppositions. Some of the events you mentioned did happen; none of them as you seem to imagine, however.

    "God came from Teman, and the Holy One from mount Paran." Hab. 3:3
    "He looks on the earth, and it trembles; He touches the hills, and they smoke." Psalm 104:3
    When did these events literally happen?
     
  20. agedman

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    Given your statement above, how do you reconcile Paul's statement to the Galatians (3)? Certainly, he included them when discussing the law becoming the tutor that leads men to Christ. Does he not plainly state that believers are Abraham descendants?


    Abrahamic Covenant is not the same as Mosaic "law." The Mosaic covenant dealing with the law is found in Ex. 19. There are some who would confuse the discussion by taking that which pertains to the law and mark them as having "vanished" which is correct (Galatians 3) , but then mark the unconditional covenant given to Abraham as the same.

    HOWEVER, the Covenant with Abraham was NOT according to the law, but according to the promise (again, Galatians 3). As such, that promise was only partly fulfilled at the first advent, and will be completely fulfilled at the second. Again, the believers are not stand alone, but also the seed of Abraham, so the promise given Abraham remains.


    From the time of Abraham, there was and is a politcal / social Israel. That God promises that that group WILL remain, and one day have the blinders lifted and acknowledge the redeemer is part of the prophetic statements that the typical a-mil and preterist do not accept. Paul gives the same thinking when discussing the plight of the Jews as having a temporary veiling until the time of the gentiles is fulfilled (Romans 11). One should not read Romans 11 thinking that God will not awaken ALL Israel - and don't make the mistake of thinking that that group Paul is discussing in this chapter is not the social / political group for Paul starts that part out by clearly stating the group are NOT believers at this time.

    But, I don't suppose that I will be able to convince you of the literalness of those prophetic statements.

    It is troubling, though, that when it comes to the first advent, the typical a-mil and preterist folk will point out all manner of Scriptures that were literally fulfilled, yet will place the Scriptures dealing with the second advent in a completely different time frame and regard.

    This is why you will state:
    Now, I agree, that some of the events of Matthews recording known as the "Olivet discourse" did happen, but not all, and definitely not to the extent that both Christ and Zacharia express will happen when He returns.

    The problem is not that I read the Scriptures from a "futurist presupposition," but that some would take what is obviously not been fulfilled and attempt to smush it into a time frame that must oblige a great amount of prophetic statements to be taken non-literal. (again, I point back to Zachariah 14 as one).

    Why would you question me about Habakkuk and the Psalms when you can't effectively deal with Zachariah?

    Do you think a prayer by Habakkuk or the care of God the Psalmist would sing about destroys the evidence of Zachariah?

    When the children of Israel stood before God at the mountain, did He not display himself as fiery fierce?
    When in the millennium, as Zachariah records, the people must attend to the King of Kings, do you not see that reflected in the Psalmist's words?

    Deal with Zachariah. Look at the statements and see if the land, rivers and seas have changed so that Jerusalem becomes a seaport at any time in history. Then, ask, if it hasn't happened, when will it happen?

    Such is not "futurist presuppositions" it is taking the Scriptures at face value, looking at the evidence of history, and placing the account in a time line were it actually fits.

    Some are biased against any literal rendering time line, because it would cause them to have to come to terms with their own presuppositions that must the prophets and cause them to be manipulated into non-literal interpretation to fit.
     
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