Replace your Feast of Fasting with Obedience, Justice and Mercy
The Prophet Zechariah’s Prophecies on the “Time of the End” for the
Redemption and Restoration of Jerusalem and Israel
Biblical Commentary by Robert D. Mock MD
Reedited and Graphics August, 2005 and May, 2008
7:1 – In the fourth year of King Darius,
The Word of the Lord came to Zechariah on the fourth day of the ninth month,
The month of Kislev
Once again the Word of the Lord came to Zechariah. How does the Word of the Lord come to anyone? If we consider this from the point of the sefirot of God in mystical Judaism, then the Word, the Torah was revealed through the Pillar of Grace at the “heart” of the of the World of the Divine. This focal center of the World of the Divine is called the Tiferet or Beauty.
Do these words sound familiar? The Word!
John 1:1-5, 14, 17-18 – “In the beginning was the Word, (called the Logos) and the “Logos” was with God (Almighty One of Israel), and the Word was God (dwelt in the World of the Divine). He (the Word called Torah) was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him (the Word or Torah) and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it…
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth…For the law (Torah) was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God (Ein Sof, the Unknowable and Unseen God of Israel) at any time. The Only Begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.
The Sefirot of God according to Rabbi Isaac Luria (Yitzhak ben Solomon Ashkenazi known as “Ari”) – 1534-1572.
Let us analyze the “Word.” In the Hebrew, the Word was none other than the Torah, the primal revelation and teachings of Hashem, given to Israel on the Mount called Sinai. There at the mount, Moses had ascended to the heights of mental and spiritual ascent and stood in the presence of the Lord Almighty. There he was revealed the nature of the World of the Divine. Here Moses visualized the focal point, the funnel or vortex, if you please, of all the Glory, the unlimited energy of the Ein Sof, the Unseen and Unfathomable God. The seven attributes given to all creation were given to Moses upon the mount, yet what he saw were the attributes at the extreme left and right poles.
What conclusion did Moses, and 1500 years later, the Apostle John come to?
· The Word, or Torah, was present in the beginning, or before the creation of this planet earth.
· The Word, or Torah, was with, or dwelt in the present of the Almighty One.
· The Word was God, because the Torah was central fulcrum of the entire unity of the World of the Divine. This Divine World in Christian theology is called the “Godhead”.
· All life or creative energy from the Almighty One came through the Word, or Torah.
· This life was to reflect the Light, the Glory of God, which was to be the “light for men”.
Here then comes the New Revelation, the Brit Hadassah (New Testament) and the reNewed Covenant. The Almighty One of Israel was now to reveal Himself in our three dimensional world. Yet this revelation was different than what Moses saw on the Mount called Sinai.
In the human person of Yehoshua (Jesus the Nazarene), the central pole of Grace was revealed. This pathway of Grace became the direct pole of communication between God and His creation, Adam, “light being” that was so exotically and specially made that God called his creation “very good”. Here was the “son of God” that was to be the ruler of this planet and he was specially made in the “Image of God”. ThIs “Image” was revealed not at the extremities of the poles in the sefirot, but as a central balance between these poles. It came straight down the middle, through the Tiferet, where Yahshua dwelt within the World of the Divine. The reason Yahshua came to this planet earth was to reveal the Plan of Salvation to this earth that the God of Israel, in all of His love for His created children, because He wanted to redeem and restore all of them to their Edenic condition in which they were originally created.
John, the Jewish apostle was a witness to this revelation. This revelation was as follows:
· The Word, or Torah, was “made flesh” or was revealed in human form.
· The Word, or Torah, came to this earth to dwell, or to tabernacle, among God’s people.
· We, three dimensional humans, were able to behold or witness this revelation of Torah that was revealed in the flesh.
· This revelation streams through and was revealed as the “Light”, the “Glory of God”, which was the same as the “only Begotten Son of the Father”.
· This Glory was filled with the Grace and the Truth about God.
· Grace and Truth was revealed in human form in the revelation of Yahshua HaMaschiach (Jesus the Messiah).
· Yahshua (Jesus) is the Only Begotten Son of the Father.
· Yahshua dwelt in the Bosom of the Father for the Tiferet or Beauty is within the Bosom or Heart of the World of the Divine.
· Yahshua was the declaration and the revelation of God.
So, when the Word of God came to the prophets of old, who was the “One” doing the revealing? This “Word” that came to the Prophet Zechariah was Yahshua Ha Maschiach (Jesus the Messiah). So what do we have?
Jesus, the ‘Word’ of the Lord of hosts, came to Zechariah
In the fourth year of King Darius ….the fourth day of the ninth month, the month of Kislev
October-November, 521 BCE - 8th month of the second year of Darius
The first vision and possibly all the prior visions were given to the Prophet Zechariah when “the Word of the Lord came to Zechariah, the son of Berechia, the son of Iddo the prophet” in “the eighth month of the Second year of Darius”. This was in the eighth month, or about October-November, in the year of 521 B.C.E.
October-November, 521 BCE - 8th month of the second year of Darius
It was now three years later. It appears that the temple of the Lord was now completed. The people in Jerusalem were asking how to conduct themselves during certain feasts that they were asked to “weep” and to “fast”. On this day, Yahshua, the Word who would later come as the “Torah in the flesh”, revealed Himself to Zechariah in vision. Let us now lock in this time sequence. December 6, 518 BCE- 4th day of the 9th month of Kislev in the 4th year of Darius
Because of the encouragement of the prophecies of Zechariah and Haggai, the Temple of Zerubabbel was completed and ready for dedication on the third day of the month of Adar in the sixth year of Darius, which was about March 15, 515 B.C., or about six weeks before Passover.
Ezra 6:14-16 - “So the elders of the Jews built, and they prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. And they built and finished it (the Temple), according to the commandment of the God of Israel, and according to the command of Cyrus, Darius, and Artaxerses king of Persia. Now the temple was finished on the twenty-third day of the month of Adar, which was in the sixth year of the reign of King Darius.
March 15, 515 BCE - 23rd day of the month of Adar in the 6th year of Darius
If the Book of Zechariah is a prophecy of the events at the time of the end, then do the explicit dates have any meaning in the Oracles of Zechariah? Are the dates of Zechariah then tied up into the culmination of the 70 years of Jeremiah’s prophecy and an explicit part of the drama of the restoration of the House of Judah? Let us look first at the final kings of Judah and the events that happened up to the destruction of the Temple of Solomon
History of the Last Kings of Judah
Josiah, the last good king, ruled for 31 years (2 Kings 22:1; 2 Chronicles 34:1) 638-608 BCE
Josiah started his rule at the tender age of eight years. (2 Kings 21:19; 2 Chronicles 33:21-35) He immediately felt the presence of the Lord and attempted but was not successful to remove idolatry from their nation. During his reign, he recovered an ancient Torah scroll and hosted the first Feast of the Passover with a resumption and restoration of the Temple service. Even so, the Sabbatical Sabbaths, in which the land was able to rest, was not resumed.
Good King Josiah was the son-in-law to the famed prophet of Israel, Jeremiah, by his marriage with Jeremiah’s daughter, Hamutal. He died in the Battle of Megiddo when they went to battle against Pharaoh Necho who was traveling along the land of Israel to fight Carchemish, the king of Assyria on the Euphrates. (2 Chronicles 35:20)
Jehoahaz (Yehoahaz) ruled for 3 months (2 Kings 23:31; 2 Chronicles 36:2) 608 BCE
Jehoahaz was the son of Josiah and Hamutal, daughter of Jeremiah of Libnah, Prophet of God. Here we see the daughter of the famed prophet of Israel, Jeremiah, marrying the King Josiah; whose son who was the prince and future king of Israel, and the grandson of the Prophet Jeremiah. On the Pharaoh’s return back from battle, the Egyptian Pharaoh, Necho, put Jeremiah’s son-in-law and King of Israel in chains and taken captive to Egypt. As a punishment, the Nation Of Judah was fined 100 talents (7500 pounds) of silver and 1 talent (seventy five pounds) of gold.
Jehoiakim (Yehoyakim or Eliakim) ruled for 11 years. (2 Kings 23:36; 2 Chronicles 36:5) 608-597 BCE
Jehoikim also was the son of King Josiah, but his mother’s name is not recorded. In his 3rd year (605 BCE), Nebuchadnezzar II, in his first year (Jeremiah 25:1) besieged Jerusalem. Jehoiakim surrendered in his 4th year and became vassal of Babylon, in 604 BCE.
This invasion and deportation occurred in the 23rd year of preaching of Jeremiah the prophet, since the 13th year of Josiah (Jeremiah 25:3) and in the 7th year of reign of Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon. The Temple vessels were taken to Babylon including a host of the children of Israel plus the king’s children and some of the princes including Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack, and Abednego.
Lachish Letter III is one of the best preserved letters… inserted within the text are the words “seer” and “prophet” that scholars feel relate to the Prophet Jeremiah. It reads thus:
Thy slave Hoshaiah writes to inform his lord Jaush. May the Lord give thee prosperous tidings! And now, I have written to the seer, referring to the letter which thou sentest to me yesterday, and have told him that my heart is sick since I had thy letter, and that I declare: "My lord, I cannot read a letter. The Lord liveth (to punish me) if anyone has tried to read me a letter. I have not read any letter which came to me, nor seen anything of it."
Jehoiachin, Jeconiah or Coniah (Yehoyakin) ruled 3 months and 10 days (2 Chronicles 26:9-10) 597 BCE
Jehoiachin started his rule when he was eighteen years old. He was the son of Jehoiakim and Nehushta, daughter of Elnathan of Jerusalem. The city was besieged again by Nebuchadnezzar II, in the 8th year of his reign. At this time the Babylonians carried off all the treasures of the House of the Lord and in the royal palace and broke up all the vessels of gold.
Once again we have a deportation as Nebuchadnezzar II carried off the people of Jerusalem, 10,000 of the officers and fighting men, 7000 men of substance and all (1000) the craftsmen. Jehoiachin was taken captive to Babylon, with his mother, courtiers, wives, eunuchs and foremost men of the land and was replaced by his uncle, Mattaniah (Zedekiah).
Jehoiachin, in the thirty-seventh year of his exile, at the age of fifty-five, on the 25th day of the 12th month, Evil-merodath, the king of Babylon restored Jehoiachin from the prisons, and he became a pensioner of the king and sat at the king’s table above the other kings in the land of Babylon. There he lived to his death. Whether he had any more heirs, we do not know.
Zedekiah or Mattaniah (Tzidqiyahu) ruled for 11 years. (2 Kings 24:8; 2 Chronicles 36:11) 597-586 BCE
Zedekiah was the full brother to Jehoahaz (608 BCE), second son of King Josiah and Hamutal. As such, Zedekiah was the grandson of Jeremiah of Libnah, prophet of God. Zedekiah was probably half-brother to King Jehoiakim (608-597 BCE), who was the father of Jehoiachin, King of Judah (597 BCE).
In the ninth year of King Zedekiah, Nebuchadnezzar II again invaded the land of Judah and laid siege to the capital city at Jerusalem. One year and six months later (18 months), on the 9th of Av, the city walls were penetrated and the city of the Jerusalem fell with the destruction of the famed Temple of the Solomon. Here we hear the fate of the king and his sons.
Jeremiah 39:4 - “So is was, when Zedekiah the king of Judah and all the men of war saw them (princes of the king of Judah), that they fled and went out of the city by night, by way of the king’s garden, by the gate between the two walls. And he went out by the way of the plain.”
The “gate between the two walls” was later discovered and the underground tunnel that Zedekiah and his guards fled heading towards the wilderness and the Plains of Jericho. This story was told in the BibleSearchers article, “The Hiding of the Ark, the Furnishings, and the High Priest Garments with the Sanctuary of the Congregation“.
As the text continues:
Jeremiah 39:5-7 – “But the Chaldean army pursued them and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho. And when they had captured him, they brought him up to Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, to Riblah in the land of Hamath, where he pronounced judgment on him. Then the king of Babylon killed the sons of Zedekiah before his eyes in Riblah; the king of Babylon also killed all the nobles of Judah. Moreover he put out Zedekiah’s eyes, and bound him with bronze fetters to carry him off to Babylon.”
What a sad story to document in his prophet writings and history by the Prophet Jeremiah. His grandson, King Zedekiah, was now blind and heading to Babylon as a prisoner of war. His great-grandsons, the princes of Judah, were killed by the king of Babylon, while their father, the king, had to watch their execution.
Yet, this interesting interlude in genealogy, we can now understand, according to the legends of the Irish kings, how the Prophet of Israel, Jeremiah, came to become the custodian of the daughter/s, the princess/s of Israel.
The Tomb of the Prophet Jeremiah (Ollamh Fodha) at Cairn T, at Loughcrew, nr. Oldcastle, Royal Meath in Ireland
The princess, Tamar Tephi, was the great granddaughter of the Prophet Jeremiah, and the daughter of King Zedekiah. She was the last heir to the throne of Judah to escape the judgments of the Lord of hosts against the rebellious House of Judah. Out of the descendents of this genetic daughter of King David would rise the House of the Royal Kings of Ireland and the future Royal Kings of Great Britain.
As we will soon see, the three feasts are associated with the final siege on Jerusalem, the penetration of the perimeter walls of the city of Jerusalem and the final destruction of the city with the total destruction of the Temple of Solomon. The first festival is a memorial when the forces of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon besieged the Jews outside the walls of Jerusalem.
10th month 10th day- Feast of the 10th month
The forces of Nebuchadnezzar set up siege outside the walls of Jerusalem
In the 11th year of Zedekiah’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar II made his last invasion to the Land of Judah and determined at this time to utterly wipe out this resistive and troublesome province. The forces of Babylon brought their watchtower to the walls of Jerusalem and laid siege to the city in the 9th year of King Zedekiah.
4th month 9th day - Feast of the 4th month
The City of Jerusalem fell to the forces of Nebuchadnezzar
The city resisted for eighteen months and in the Zedekiah’s 11th year, the city fell to the forces of Babylon. This was the 19th year of Nebuchadnezzar II. King Zedekiah fled by night with his armed escort through an underground tunnel. He left through the “Gate between the Two Walls”, near the king’s garden.
They were captured on their way to Arabah, in the lowlands near Jericho. There he was taken in bronze fetters to Nebuchadnezzar II at Riblah in the Syrian province of Hamath to plead his case, where the vengeance of Babylonian justice was given. His sons were executed in his presence and his eyes were put out. Also brought and executed in the presence of the Babylonian king in the Land of Hamath, in Syria, north of Damascus, were Seriah, the High Priest, Zephaniah, the deputy chief priest, the adjutant-general and the remaining of the palace guards.
5th month 7th day (July) – Feast of 5th month - Tisha B’Av
Destruction of the Temple of Solomon-586 BCE
Zedekiah, the king of Judah was deported, the sons, the prince-heirs to the throne had been executed and the daughters of the king were placed in the custody of their great grand-father, Prophet Jeremiah, whom King Nebuchadnezzar had tremendous respect. After the assassination of the Babylonian nominated governor, Gedeliah, the militant Egyptian wing of the Jewish Zionists abducted the Prophet Jeremiah, his scribe Baruch, and the daughters of the last King of Israel. Together they fled as exiles in the land of Egypt. Unbeknownst to the Babylonian king, according to Hebrew royal laws of succession, the children of the daughters of the kings could be heirs to the throne of David.
Nebuzaradan, the captain of the Babylonian guard came back into Jerusalem and then set the Temple of Solomon aflame, torched the King’s Palace and all the houses of Jerusalem, including the Palace of Gedeliah. The population of Jerusalem was deported to Babylon including the last 7000 warriors. Only a remnant of Jews remained in the land as vine-dressers and laborers.
Let us now pick up the seventy year prophecy of Jeremiah.
Jeremiah 25:11 – “And this whole land shall be a desolation and an astonishment, and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years. Then it will come to pass, when seventy years are completed, that I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity’, says the Lord; ‘and I will make it a perpetual desolation.’”
Jeremiah 29:10 – “For thus says the Lord: After seventy years are completed at Babylon, I will visit you and perform My good word towards you, and cause you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. …I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.”
But why was 70 years so important to the Lord of hosts, that this number must be exacted upon the exiles of Judah? One thing we must understand, God is not arbitrary, but He is exact, very exact. Over and over, scholars and historians on the Hebrews and their relationship with God try to fudge a little here and there, because it fits our rational understanding as humans, using our intellect and emotions as the guiding process.
One thing we must be clear, the redemption of the House of Israel, the redemption of the House of Judah and the redemption of all who are living by ‘faith in Christ Jesus’, is a predetermined plan, known from the beginnings of time to God the Father. He only has full knowledge of the entire Plan of Salvation. He is trying to tell us what “Is” not what we want it to be. Yet all along He leaves clues. It is these clues we are seeking.
Well, seventy years was determined by Hashem because the House of Judah failed to fulfill all the commandments of the Lord. This was not just the ten (10) commandments, but all the 613 Torah commands given by the Lord of hosts to Israel. In other words, they failed to remain followers of the Torah, the entire Torah. Like many of us today, they felt that they could pick and choose which of the Lord’s commands they felt was appropriate for them to live and worship. Jeremiah gives us a clue as to why the seventy years was so important.
2 Chronicles 36:19-21 - “Then they burned the house of God, broke down the wall of Jerusalem, burned all its palaces with fire, and destroyed all its precious possession. And those who escaped from the sword he carried away to Babylon, where they became servants to Nebuchadnezzar and his sons until the rule of the kingdom of Persia, to fulfill the word of the Lord by the mouth of Jeremiah, until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths. As long as she lay desolate she kept Sabbath, to fulfill seventy years.”
Between the years 586 to 516 BCE, the Land of Israel lay dormant for seventy years until the land had enjoyed her Sabbaths.
How interesting. I thought that the Torah, as the teachings of God was for the children of God, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Today, it is commonly accepted that the Torah has been done away with. Known as the “Law”, many proclaim, “who wants to follow a bunch of laws, even if they are God’s Laws? So we might accept that maybe the Jews should follow the Torah, but we are exempt. By faith, we can design our own relationship with God. Right? Wrong!
The Jews had become so self-possessed that they forgot that they were custodians of the Land. That’s right. The Land of Israel belongs to the Lord of hosts and at that time God was loaning it out to His people, the Israelites and eventual the remnant of all Israel called the Jews. Today, the Jewish Zionists think that they have a right to the Land of Israel. Did not Hashem promise to Abraham and to his seed that this land of Israel would be theirs forever? Even so, God does not give title of the Land away to anybody. He definitely hasn’t given it away to the descendents of Ishmael, the Arabians, or the Palestinians. Yet, to the House of Judah, it is presently under loan.
God does care for this planet earth? Yahshua once said, the weekly “Sabbath was made for man” and so in this text, the Sabbatical (every 7th year) yearly “Sabbaths” are made for the Land of Israel, even for the whole earth. While we may not accept the full premises of the New Age Gaia theory of the living earth as being the god of this planet, the Lord of hosts suggests very strongly that the Land of Israel is a critical link to the redemption of all mankind. Adam was given custody to this planet earth, so his progeny also must remain as custodians of the whole planet; the plants, the animals, and all living creatures that have been created by the Creator God.
Every seven years, was called a Sabbatical year. Since the Land of Israel was predominately an agrarian society, every seven years the land was to remain at rest, with no cultivation. That’s correct. If you were an owner of an olive grove, or a barley field, every seven years, the trees nor the ground would be harvested. The Land was given a rest.
What a powerful statement to our present age, where we slash cut the forests, push and push the production from the land with genetically enhanced seeds, use powerful insecticides that destroy the bird and insect population and cast out heavy fertilization on the soil as though the ground is the slave of mankind. Today, as the War of Terror progresses, the land of the Euphrates Valley is being contaminated with millions of pounds of uranium that come from our depleted uranium armaments. In the land of the first great civilization, where the Sumerians and the Nimrodian Empire brought law and order with vast irrigation projects, is now being inundated with a living death. The land will be contaminated for thousands of years and the produce unfit for human or animal consumption. One, two, and up to five cancers are growing on individual Iraqi people with genetic deformities in newborns skyrocketing. Many humans believe that the earth does not feel. To most of mankind today, the earth is inanimate and it is here for us to rape and pillage as we see fit.
The Lord of hosts sent the House of Israel into exile for seventy years because for seventy Sabbatical years, a total of 490 years, they failed to follow the commands of the Lord and cherish the land that was given to them and allow the land to rest.
Seventy years after the first invasion and fall of the city of Jerusalem in 604 BCE, the exiles completed their return back to the gates of the city of Jerusalem. In 604 BCE, it all began and in 534 BCE the return to the land was completed.
The first question that must be asked, I thought that the seventy years was tied into the decree by the Persian kings? This is how most theologians reckon the meaning of this prophecy. Yet, the Word of the Lord suggests that it is not the decree of a gentile king, but the decree that the Land was sacred to the Lord of hosts. According to God’s decree, the land must be allowed to rest. Coming out of our current political vernacular, “It’s the Land”.
Model for the coming Tribulation Period
604 BCE - Jehoiakim, king of Judah surrendered and became a vassal to the king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar I.
Seventy years later after this first deportation and exile, we see the first restoration back to the land of Judah. Cyrus I gave the edict as part of his Pan-Persian restoration policy, to allow the return of the Jews back to the Land of Judah and to restore the temple to their God. This edict or decree occurred in the first year after the Cyrus I captured the city of Babylon from Belteshazzar.
Seventy Year Fulfillment of the Redemption of the Land
538/7 BCE – Babylon falls to the siege of Cyrus I the Mede.
537/536 BCE – Cyrus gives the decree to allow the Jews to return to Jerusalem and to rebuild the House of the Lord.
Let us now consider come simple logistics. The temple vessels, which had been put in storage in the pagan temples of the Babylonia that were first used in a pagan feast; the last Banquet of Belteshazzar, the last king of Babylon. They had to be authenticated, redeemed from the various temples that they were sent for custody and located, inventoried and then sent to the custody of Mithredath, the treasurer of the Persian empire. They were then packed for transcontinental shipment to Jerusalem.
An edict had to be sent to Babylon and the provinces of Persia, calling all Jews for a voluntary relocation back to the land of Israel. Each family had to have time to sell their businesses, pack their belongings, and to discuss their return with their own families, Jewish neighbors as well as their Persian friends who also were participating in the funding and restoration of the House of the Lord.
Ezra 1:6 – “assisted them with gifts of every kind, silver and gold, goods and cattle and valuable gifts in abundance, in addition to any voluntary service.”
Jewish people from all over the empire would have had to come to a central meeting location and assembled in preparation for a long and arduous journey across the Fertile Crescent. These were not war-hardened military soldiers, in which a standardized chain of command was used to protect and preserve them. These people needed food provisions, security, and an organizational structure to maintain order and protection while traveling to Jerusalem. It would be reasonable to suggest that a year of preparation was done before embarking on this journey. So about 535 BCE, they probably were in route back the Land of Israel.
535 BCE – The Jewish people start on their restoration journey back to the Land of Israel.
534 BCE, in the 7th month – The people arrive and are settled within the land.
The first sacrifices began on the Temple foundation and the first fall after returning, they celebrated the first Feast of Succot (Tabernacles) in the Land. The Lord had now come to dwell back with them.
604 – 534 BCE - The 70 year prophecy was fulfilled, just as the Lord of hosts promised that it would be fulfilled.
Seventy year fulfillment on the redemption of the Temple of the Lord
As the Lord of hosts took the Jewish people away from their home in several deportations by the military forces of Babylon, so the final destruction of the Temple of Solomon sealed the final departure of the people from the land, so the final redemption was not complete until the Jewish people were restored back to their land and the Temple was restored. Let us look at these dates.
587/6 BCE, 9th day of the fifth month (Av) - Destruction of the Temple of Solomon
522/1 BCE, October-November - Date of the first vision of Zechariah -
517 BCE, December 6 - Visit by official delegation, 70 years later
515 BCE, 23rd day of the month of Adar - Dedication of the rebuilt Temple of Zerubabbel on March 15, 515 B.C.E., or about six weeks before Passover
What do we have in a time sequence?
Destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem - 9th Av (5th month) 587/6 B.C.E.
Visit by official delegation - 70 years later - December 6, 517 B.C.E.
Temple dedicated - 1½ years later - March 15, 515 B.C.E.
The Seventy Years at the Time of the End
Since the days of the expulsion of the Jews from the Land of Judah with the destruction of the Temple of Herod in 70 A.D., what geo-political event has caused the the greatest exile and extermination of the Jewish people? The Holocaust! Is it not remarkable that the beginning of the Holocaust also began on the same day that the Temple of Solomon and the Temple of Herod were destroyed; on the 9th day of Av.?
Shadow Pictures or Types and Mirrors
586 BCE, the 9th of Av - The Destruction of the First Temple of Solomon
Seventy Years Later - Restoration
516 BCE, the 9th of Av? - The Temple was completed and prepared for dedication on Passover, March 15, 515 B.C.E
70 CE, the 9th of Av - The Destruction of the Second Temple of Herod
Anti-Types or Mirror-Images
1942 CE, the 9th of Av - Holocaust begins with the deportation of the Jews from Warsaw to the Treblinka Concentration camp.
Seventy Years Later – Restoration?
2012 CE, the 9th of Av? - Will this be the long awaited redemption and restoration of the Lost House of Israel?
Will there be a literal 70 years that are a part of the prophecies at the time of the end? Are we witnessing again the drama of cycles as the Lord of hosts uses His people to be actors on the stage. This time the “Grand Finale” of the Drama of the Ages will play it final act.. What will be the “Acts” within the play?
Drama of the Ages
Act 1 – The Covenant
Act 2 – Breaking the Covenant
Act 3 – The Exile of the People of God
Act 4 – The Redemption of the People of God
Act 5 – The Restoration of the People of God to the Land
Act 6 – The Establishment of a re-Newed Covenant with the God of Israel
Let us now consider a model using this time sequence.
Model at the Time of the End
9th of Av, 1942 – The Beginning of Holocaust by the deportation of the Jews from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp
Rosh Hashanah, 1993 – The Oslo Peace Accord Begins
Rosh Hashanah, 2000 – The Seven Year Oslo Peace Accord Ends with the Beginning of the Second Palestinian Intifada
Fall, 2008 - The Sabbatean Jew, Jesuit Illuminate, and Masonic Tribulation Temple building begins.
Spring, 2009 - The Fifth Seal begins for 18 months (?)
Fall, 2010 – The Sixth Seal, the Mark of the Beast, the Seal of the Living God, the Two Witnesses, and the Great Earthquake begins for 18 months (?)
July, 2011 – The Tribulation Temple is almost completed and the official announcement (December 6, 2011) to quit observing Tisha B’Av
Passover, Spring, 3rd of Adar, 2012, the Tribulation Temple is Dedicated
70 years after the Holocaust’s beginning - Possible date of the Abomination of Desolation between 3rd Adar, March and 9th of Av, July, 2012 –
The Anti-Messiah Takes Control of the Temple
Time of God’s Wrath – The Seven Trumpet and Vial Plagues completed – 18 months (midst of the week) or 36 months from the Beginning of the Sixth Seal, depending on what kind of Tribulation Model is used
Rosh Hashanah, 2015 or Passover, 2016 - Armageddon’s siege of Jerusalem and the Return of the Messiah son of David (Maschiach ben David)
This is a prophetic model in which any part may be incomplete. Yet this is the purpose of a model, to give us a concept of progression of the prophetic future. Is this a BibleSearcher’s model? No! BibleSearchers believe the we must allow God to lead us day by day and as He led the prophets of old. God never gave the prophets the security of a final answer. Those who are looking for absolute truth will be led by their own understandings, their own delusions and not the revealed message of God. Look for the signs, pray and allow the Lord of hosts to lead us through these future perilous times.
Destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar in the fifth month, 586 B.C.
Zechariah 7:2, 3 – The people of Bethel had sent
Sherezer and Regem-Melech,
Together with their men, to entreat the Lord
By asking the priests of the house of the Lord Almighty and the prophets,
“Should I mourn and fast in the fifth month,
As I have done for so many years?”
“The people of Bethel had sent….”
The rebuilding of the Temple of the Lord was about to be completed. In fact in one translation, (KJV), in vs. 3, it states,
Zechariah 7:3 (KJV) - “And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the Lord of Hosts,”
Here it suggests that the Temple of the Lord was complete by the 9th day of Av.
The opening to verse 2, we note that the key word Bethel, (Hebrew bethe-‘el) means the ‘house of God’. Whereas the KJV states, “When they had sent unto the house of God,’ probably means, “they of Bethel, (“of the house of God”) sent…” Another literal way of interpretation is that the literal people of the city of Bethel sent a delegation. If that is the fact, then a delegation of Jews from the city of Bethel, in the area of Samaria, or Shomron today, went to talk with the priests of the temple.
In verse five (5), The Lord of Hosts responded to the entreaties. To whom did the Lord of Hosts speak with?
· NIV – “Ask all the people of the land and the priests...”
· KJV – “Say to all the people of the land, and to the priests….”
Therefore, let us assume that a delegation, representing the inhabitants of the land, who probably conducted their representative duties on the compound of the newly built temple complex, went to the priests in the House of the Lord. Can we assume that they also went to the prophets, which no doubt included Haggai and Zechariah? We then ask, who were these delegates?
Sharezer is a Babylonian name similar to the Akkadian name Shar-usur, the son of Sennacherib, who murdered his father when he returned from the ill-fated expedition to Jerusalem. Let us not forget that this return trip of Sennacherib was the result of the catastrophic destruction of the entire army of Assyria by a billion/s volt electronic bolide outside the walls of Jerusalem. (2 Kings 19:37)
Regem-melech means “friend of the King” was the second of the emissaries that was sent to Jerusalem in the days of Darius the king of Persia. The two delegates appear to be important official representatives along with their deputy assistants.
“to entreat the Lord…..”
“To entreat” or “to pray” in this verse comes from the Hebrew word chalah, or to literally ‘become weak’ or ‘to become ill’. Yet, the context meaning in this verse seems to be in the form of something good. It could mean “to soften by patting the face”, or “to put in a gentle mood”, which would suggest the meaning, “to make one pleasant”. In essence, it means “to entreat God’s favor”.
“Should I mourn and fast?…”
Mourning and fasting in other translations suggest “weeping” and “separating oneself” in the form of abstaining from pleasure and food.
The fast of the fifth month was a non-Torah commanded fast commemorating the destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar in the fifth month, 586 B.C. (2 Kings 25:8, 9; Jeremiah 52: 12-14). It is not only the day of the loss of the first Temple of Solomon, but the Temple of Herod the Great was destroyed on this same day, in A.D. 70. This day is called Tisha B’Av.
Let me refer to a letter from Marty Cohen reported on July 21, 2001, and read about the fast of the “Fifth Month”.
“Tisha B'Av is next weekend, Sunday, July 29. (2001) It is the day of mourning for the destruction of both Temples, and so much more. Tonight is Rosh Chodesh Av, the first day of the month of Av. TONIGHT begins a period known as "The Nine Days," during which time, we increase our solemn attitudes toward the Temple and its loss. During these days, we are especially careful to keep our thoughts upon the destruction of the Holy Place and of the lifestyle lost with its destruction. During these nine days, there are no celebrations, no weddings, and no haircuts! Among the Orthodox, bathing is kept to a minimum and freshly laundered clothes are not worn.
The actual intent of such practices are in preparation for coming to grips with Israel's sin which led to the loss of the Temple, not just once, but twice. When the spies returned from the land, there was weeping when there should have been rejoicing. So, throughout history, G-d has given Israel reason to mourn on this day, the ninth day of the month of Av.
Jewish year – Gregorian calendar year
2448 - 1312 BCE - 4855 - 1095 CE
First Crusade was declared by Pope Urban II. 10,000 Jews were killed in first month of Crusade. Crusaders brought death and destruction to thousands of Jews; totally obliterated many communities in Rhineland and France.
5050 - 1290 CE
The expulsion of Jews from England was accompanied by pogroms and confiscation of books and property.
5252 - 1492 CE
The Inquisition in Spain and Portugal culminated in the expulsion of the Jews from the Iberian Peninsula. Families were separated and many died by drowning plus massive loss of property.
5674 - 1914 CE
Britain and Russia declared war on Germany. First World War began. First World War issues unresolved, ultimately causing Second World War and the Holocaust. 75% of all Jews lived in war zones. Jews were in armies of all sides - 120,000 Jewish casualties in armies. Over 400 pogroms immediately following war in Hungary, Ukraine, Poland and Russia.
5702 - 1942 CE
Deportations from Warsaw Ghetto to the Treblinka concentration camp began.
5749 - 1989 CE
Iraq walked out of talks with Kuwait.
5754 - 1994 CE
The deadly bombing of the building of the AMIA, the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which killed 86 people and wounded some 300 others.
5766 – 2006 CE
A Hezbollah commando force abducted two Israeli soldiers and thus started the Lebanese – Israeli-Hezbollah War. This war was finally stopped with the Rome mediated Rome Peace Accord that peaked on the 9th of Av with the resultant signing of a peace accord.
Fast of the Seventh Month – The Murder of Gedaliah
Zechariah 7:4, 5 – Then the word of the Lord Almighty came to me:
“Ask all the people of the land and the priests,
‘When you fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh months
For the past seventy years,
Was it really for me that you fasted?”
When God finally responded through Zechariah to the entreaties, God’s response was to “all the people of the land and the priests”. The Lord of Hosts not only responded to the question on the fifth month fast but also added the fast of the seventh month. Whereas the fifth month fast commemorated the fall of Jerusalem to Nebuchadnezzar, the seventh month fast according to rabbinic tradition commemorated the murder of Gedaliah (2 Kings 25:22-26).
These fasts were not Torah observant fasts, nor were they commanded by God. They were human invented fasts, seeking to impress the Lord of Hosts of their sorrows for the fall of Jerusalem? Yet, were the Jews really sorrowful for their sins? Were not these sins the cause of the destruction of their land and their city or were they just seeking to impress the Lord?
Zechariah 7:6 – And when you were eating and drinking, were you not just feasting for yourselves?
Zechariah 7:7 - Are these not the words the Lord proclaimed
Through the earlier prophets
When Jerusalem and its surrounding towns were at rest and prosperous,
And the Negev and the western foothills were settled?
Zechariah confronts his countrymen. “God is not saying anything new. What I am telling you, God has told you before through our prophetic ancestors.” What a contrast to the former prosperity of the three parts of Judah and their lives of servitude and foreign domination now.
What made up the three sections of Judah? These three parts included, Jerusalem and the surrounding suburbia, or the mountainous regions (Judges 1:9), the Negev, or the southern deserts, and the western foothills, or the Shephelah, the plains. (Joshua 15:33)
Zechariah 7:8-10 – “And the word of the Lord came again to Zechariah:
This is what the Lord Almighty says:
‘Administer true justice, show mercy and compassion to one another.
Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor.
In your hearts do not think evil of each other.’”
Now comes the four real commands of covenant living. For Jews or Christians alike, when you are in covenant with God, and under the authority of the Almighty, this group of moral, ethical, and social commands will be a part of the entire fabric of your lives. Why? Because the Lord Almighty said so. They include:
1. Have compassion – This was to be for all people.
2. Do not oppress. (Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy. 10:18,19, Jeremiah 7:5,6, Isaiah 58:5-7). Oppression is denounced vehemently in the book of Amos (Amos 2:6-8, 4:1, 5:11-12, 21-24, 8:4-6) Who are the objects of oppression? The widows, the fatherless Administer true and proper ordering of the law in your administrative offices and courts of justice. (Zechariah 8:16, Isaiah 42:1,4, Micah 6:8)
3. Show mercy. This was be a “faithful love”. (Hosea 10:12, 12:6)
4. , the aliens and the poor. The society under the commands of God was to protect those that could not protect themselves.
The greatest indictment against any nation by Hashem is how they treat the widows, the orphans, the poor, and the strangers in the land. The Lord holds Israel especially accountable for their actions to their own people, and to those who choose to live and reside within their own dwelling or the Land of Israel.
Zechariah 7:11 – But they refused to pay attention;
stubbornly they turned their backs and stopped up their ears.
Zechariah 7:12 – They made their hearts as hard as flint
And would not listen to the law or to the words
That the Lord Almighty had sent by his Spirit
Through the earlier prophets.
So the Lord Almighty was very angry.
The flint was also called an adamant stone. This comes from the Hebrew shami which was a stone of great hardness, like an emery stone. (Ezekiel 3:9). No one, not even God can impress a heart of stone. This is a deliberate act of personal willfull rebellion.
Have you ever had the experience of having your child look at you in rebellion, resilient self-arrogance, refusing to listen, to discuss or to negotiate any ideas except that for their own self purpose. Through the Torah in the blessings and curses of Deuteronomy 28, the Lord gave Israel a blueprint of how they could preserve their ‘blueprint Image of God’ in their beings while living in a world cursed by sin and controlled by other dimensional beings in rebellion to God. Are we any different than God, when our children rise in rebellion to us. No!
Zechariah 7:13 – When I called, they did not listen;
so when they called, I would not listen, says the Lord Almighty.
When the Lord Almighty gets very angry, the infinite forces of universal energy begin to change. For the God of Israel to withdraw His hand of protection would result in the total annihilation of all life. When the “angels” that hold back the four winds of strife remove their restraining hand, God withdraws His protective energy forces and the satanic forces of evil control and domination are allowed to reassert their destructive power. Once again the Lord reverts to a period of true ‘cause and effect’. Feeling the wrath of God is caused by God withdrawing His presence from His people. When God leaves, destruction reigns over one’s life. God’s love and mercy will no longer protect us.
Zechariah 7:14 – I scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were strangers.
The land was left so desolate behind them that no one could come or go.
This is how they made the pleasant land desolate.
So the Children of Israel were scattered like a whirlwind throughout the nations. They were to be aliens in the land and at the mercy of people, who were usually also in rebellion against their God, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Here we have a problem.
The Nation of Israel was scattered across the lands of Assyria, Armenia, and Turkey. They eventually migrated to the west in the lands today held by the ancient Celtic people. The Israelites so lost their identity that they became assimilated into the native populations and were no longer recognized as “strangers”.
The Nation of Judah was not scattered among “all the nations” but were exiled to the land of Babylon and Persia. There was no scattering among the nations. They became so assimilated among the Babylonian population that a majority of them did not want to return to the land of Israel and Jerusalem. Yet, after the destruction of the Temple of Herod by the forces of Rome, the God of Israel truly “scattered them with a whirlwind among all the nations, where they were (and remained) strangers. When we relook over this magnificent prophecy, we come to the solemn conclusion, this was a rehearsal, a pantomime, or a shadow box of a future exile (by the Romans) and the prophecy remains to be concluded to this very day.
What is of interest, since the conquest of the Land of Canaan (Israel) by the children of Israel coming out of the wilderness under the banner of Joshua, the Land of Israel has never been a productive or fruitful land. Only in the presence of the people chosen by God to nurture and protect its soil has the Land of Israel prospered.
Go to Chapter Eight –
The Lord is Jealous for Zion
I will Dwell in the midst of Jerusalem
The History of God Dwelling with His People
God will Dwell in the City of Truth and on His Holy Mountain
The Remnant are made separate and distinguished
Restoration of God’s people from the Lands of the East and West
Prophecy of Restoration comes when the Foundation of the Temple is laid
The Remnant of the House of Judah and Israel will be Prosperous and a Blessing to all Nations
Fast of the Tenth Month – Siege of Jerusalem
The Fast of the Fourth Month – 17th Tammuz-Capture of Jerusalem
The Fast of the Seventh Month – Tzom Gedaliah – the Assassination of Gedeliah
Index for the Commentary on the Prophecies of Zechariah
The Redemption and Restoration of Jerusalem and Israel
Zechariah 1 - God remembers and God blesses at the Appointed Time
Zechariah 2 – God sets His sights to Rebuild Jerusalem
Zechariah 3 – The Priesthood is Re-consecrated for the Temple
Zechariah 4 – God sends Israel His Anointed Ones and His faithful Eyes
Zechariah 5 – The Flying of the Megillah and the Cleansing of the Land
The Oracles and Judgments of the God of Israel
Zechariah 9 - Part One – The Burden of the Lord on the Fertile Crescent
Zechariah 9 - Part Two – The God of Israel wants Damascus to be One of His Zions
Zechariah 9 - Part Three – The Prelude to the 2006 Israeli-Hezbollah War – Global News
Zechariah 9 - Part Four – The Israeli-Hezbollah War in the Summer 2006
– Global News
Zechariah 9 - Part Five – The Oracles of HaShem against the Palestinians
Zechariah 10 – Latter Rain - Restoration of the Houses of Judah & Joseph
Zechariah 11 – Part One – The Good Shepherd and the Oracles against Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Palestinians
Zechariah 11 – Part Two – The Good Shepherd and the Unification of the Houses of Judah and Israel
Zechariah 12:1 – The Creator and the Throne of the God of Israel
Zechariah 12:1-2 – Jerusalem, a Cup of Trembling
Zechariah 12:3-14 – Jerusalem, a Burdensome Stone
Zechariah 13 – The Gihon Fountain flows from the Temple of the Lord
Message from BibleSearchers
BibleSearchers scans the world for information that has relevance on the time of the end. It is our prayer that this will allow the believers in the Almighty One of Israel to “watch and be ready”. Our readiness has nothing to do trying to halt the progression of evil on our planet earth. In our readiness, we seek to be prepared for the coming of the Messiah of Israel so that goodness and evil will be manifested in its fullest. Our preparation is a pathway of spiritual readiness for a world of peace. Our defender is the Lord of hosts. The time of the end suggests that the Eternal One of Israel’s intent is to close out this chapter of earth’s history so that the perpetrators of evil, those that seek power, greed and control, will be eliminated from this planet earth. The wars of the heavens are being played out on this planet earth and humans will live through it to testify of the might, power, justice and the love of the God of Israel. In a world of corruption and disinformation, we cannot always know what the historical truth is and who is promoting evil or mis-information. We cannot guarantee our sources but we will always seek to portray trends that can be validated in the Torah and the testimony of the prophets of the Old and the New Testament.
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