I’ve come over the preterist position and feel
comfortable with it. There are a few questions I’ve never
seen well addressed though I’d like to ask.
What do you make of the 14th chapter of Zechariah–how should
we interpret it.
The 14th chapter of Zechariah starts with a reference to the
day of the Lord. Some marginal references list Isaiah 13:6-9.
For comments on this chapter, see the video at this site re:
2 Peter 3 and the End of the World or Destruction of Jerusalem
in A.D. 70.
The “Day of the Lord” is the term God used to speak of nations
being destroyed as divine visitations upon the people for their
sins. This is the manner in which it is used in Zechariah 14.
See especially verse 3, of the Lord going forth and fighting
against those nations in the day of battle.
The prophecy refers to Jerusalem’s fall by the Romans in 70
A.D.,(Luke 21:20-22). The language is highly figurative in
speaking of the Lord’s feet standing on the Mount of Olives.
Christ comes in connection with Jerusalem’s fall. (Matthew
The language of “not day and night” corresponds with the
usual apocalyptic language of the darkening of the sun, moon
and stars (v. 6-7). Compare the day not known with Matthew
However, in connection with the event, salvation arrives
from “living waters” that flow from Jerusalem. The living
waters are also figurative.
Jesus said that rivers of living waters would flow from the
heart of those who believe in him, (John 7:38). Yet, I’ve
neither seen nor heard of anyone who claims they have literal
rivers of water in their hearts.
This however is a great clue to the understanding of the
text and the time of the event. Jesus spoke of living water
in connection with the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The
spirit was poured out on Pentecost (Acts 2) and would
continue until the great and terrible day of the Lord as
spoken by Joel (2:28-32).
Thus, the day of the Lord, finds its culmination in the
consummation of the miraculous ministry of the Holy Spirit,
which takes one right back to Jesus’ Parousia in A.D. 70,
(1 Corinthians 1:7, 8).
According to Zechariah 14:9, it is then that the Lord would
be King over all the earth. Ezekiel’s prophecy identifies
this as the time of the New Covenant when God has called the
Gentiles, and through them Israel of the dispersion back to
him through the gospel. (Ezekiel 37:14ff).
You may note that that text likewise in the passage cited,
begins with the work of the Holy Spirit. Unless God pours out
the Holy Spirit in more than one end of the age or last days
period, it is the same time and treats of the exact same theme.
The safety and peace of Jerusalem is the New Jerusalem also
called the church in Hebrews 12:22-23.
To summarize the latter parts of the text, the “Feast of
Tabernacles”demonstrates that the “Harvest of Souls” reaped
in the end of the age (Matthew 13:39-43), has occurred and
the celebration of eternal life has begun.
The imagery is Jewish, for salvation is of the Jews, but it
is not literal. Notice that unless everyone goes to this
Jerusalem, upon them there shall be no rain.
This is the message of the redeemed and the purified
tabernacle through Christ’s blood from which the wicked,
expressed in the term “Canaanite” cannot enter. Compare with
the picture of the Holy City in Revelation 21:27; 22:15.
From a preterist position how do we explain the New Jerusalem
being laid out in measured dimensions. I understand it
represents the New Covenant, but why give physical measurements
to something that is a concept and not a physical place.
Literal measurements are used to help man get some concept of
the meaning God seeks to convey. For example, the same question
could be asked of Ephesians 3:17-19:
“That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you,
being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend
with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and
height–to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;that
you may be filled with all the fullness of God.”
On the one hand, if this text speaks of Christ’s love, how
shall one measure it? It may be possible due to the affinity
between Ephesians and Revelation, that it speaks of the very
same city as in the Apocalypse.
John is carried to see the New Jerusalem, (Revelation 21:10),
which is described as a city with foundations and walls. These
are figurative descriptions of the spiritual temple of the Lord.
Naturally, the idea of measurements convey concepts which help
us to wrap our minds around this city. Yet, it has no limiting
boundaries of which I am aware.
Every major “building of God” is described with details of
measurement. The ark a vehicle through which man was saved was
measured. God measured the tabernacle/temple which mediatorially
offered man access to Him.
It’s natural to see this spiritual place described in accomodative
terms. However, they are not literal measurements and the practice
of literalizing them creates much confusion and misunderstanding.
God also used measurements as symbols of destruction. Belshazzar’s
kingdom was measured found wanting. Leaving off a measurement
as in the the case of the court outside the city in Revelation
11:2 denoted its destruction.
And, finally how do you interpret the lion and the lamb laying
down together since there is no Millennial reign of Christ on
A pattern of using literal events, places, measurements
etc, to describe spiritual things is the best way to convey
their meaning. During the Exodus, God made himself known
not by revealing himself so that the Pharaoh and the people
saw the invisible God with their eyes, but they came to know
God through his power expressed in the events.
We don’t see electricity, but we see its effects. Yet we have
symbols and words to describe it. Isaiah chapter 11, is primarily
a chapter describing the peace of Christ’s eternal reign.
The enmity between Jew and Gentile (as expressed in Ephesians
2:14-16, is dissolved through obedience to the gospel. While
before they would not speak or eat together, in the body of
Christ, all eat together in fellowship with Him who died for all.
This is the meaning of the the wild animals lying down together.
Hopefully, no one will place their nursing child by a cobra’s hole,
nor put a toddler in the den of a viper.
The picture is the eternal kingdom, under the rule and counsel
of God’s peace for those who accept the gospel of Christ.
Finally, it is understood that many object to such interpretations
given above as “spiritualizing” prophecy. However, in view of the
imminent time and fulfillment of the return of Christ in the first
century, the passages cannot be taken in the literal sense without
grossly violating the language.