Zechariah: “The Lord Will Be King Over All The Earth”

And the Lord will be king over all the earth.  On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

Zechariah 14:9

The prophecy of Zechariah, quoted above, points to the reign of the Messiah…but when was it fulfilled?  Is it speaking of a thousand-year reign which is yet to come, as the millennialists teach?

No, because Zechariah says the Lord will be “king.”  A king requires a kingdom, and we know from elsewhere in Scripture that the Lord’s kingdom – the church (Matt. 16:18-19; Col. 1:13; 1 Thess. 2:12; Heb. 12:28; Rev. 1:4, 9) – came into being long ago, during the days of the Roman Empire (Dan. 2:1-44; cf. Lk. 3:1-17; Matt. 3:1-2; 4:17; Mk. 9:1; Acts 1:6-8; 2:1-41, 47).  Just before the church came into being, Jesus said that “all authority in heaven and on earth” had been given to Him (Matt. 28:18; cf. Dan. 7:13-14; John 3:35; 17:2), thus fulfilling Zechariah’s prophecy that He would “be king over all the earth.”  Being our King, it is certainly true that “the Lord will be one and his name one.”  We serve only one Lord and God (Matt. 6:24; 1 Cor. 8:4-6; Eph. 4:5-6).  While God consists of three individual Persons (cf. Matt. 28:19; 2 Cor. 13:14), they are still one (Deut. 6:4; John 1:1; 10:30; 17:11, 22; cf. 5:19; 14:9).  Wayne Jackson says of this passage: “Jehovah exercise regal authority over all the earth, through his Son, the Messiah (9:9-10; Mt. 28:18; Eph. 1:20-23; 1 Tim. 6:15; Rev. 17:14).  The Godhead would be operating cooperatively – as ‘one’ (v. 9).”

The prophet then gives some predictions about Jerusalem.  Speaking of the Judean hills surrounding Jerusalem (“the whole land”), he foresees them – “from Geba” (six miles north of Jerusalem – 1 Kings 15:22; Josh. 18:24; 21:17) “to Rimmon south of Jerusalem” (the southern boundary of Judah – Josh. 15:32; 19:7) – being levelled “into a plain” (14:10a).  (Instead of “a plain,” the ASV speaks of “the Arabah,” which was the Jordan Valley that extended from the north of the Dead Sea to the northeastern arm of the Red Sea.)  Think of the destruction symbolized here with the imagery of large hills being levelled into valleys and plains!  However, “Jerusalem shall remain aloft” (14:10b).  Homer Hailey comments, “From having been beaten down as in the past, Jerusalem would be lifted up, occupying her rightful position.”  Zechariah specifies that this lifting up would apply to the city “on its site,” from “the Gate of Benjamin” (likely the northern wall of the city, the exit used by those traveling to the tribe of Benjamin), “to the place of the former gate” (possibly the northeast corner of the city’s western wall), “to the Corner Gate” (possibly the northwest corner of the western wall), “from the Tower of Hananel” (possibly in the northeast part of the city’s eastern wall – Neh. 3:1; 12:39; Jer. 31:38), and “to the king’s winepresses” (possibly the southeast corner of the eastern wall).  Hailey posits, “The various locations seem to indicate the full length of the walls from east to west, and from north to south, although many of the ancient locations are no longer clearly definite.”  Zechariah then says of Jerusalem, “And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction.  Jerusalem shall dwell in security” (14:11).

There is good reason to interpret these prophecies as Jerusalem being a symbolic copy or shadow of the New Testament church (Heb. 12:22-23; cf. 8:5; 10:1a; Col. 2:17; Rom. 2:28-29; James 1:1; Gal. 3:26-29; 6:16).  Of verses 10 and 11, Jackson says, “A number of figures picture Jerusalem being exalted from its trodden-down status of the past, and this spiritual Jerusalem would dwell in safety.”  This is a sound interpretation, considering that the prophet had just prophesied of the universal reign of the Messiah, the head of the church which is His kingdom (Col. 1:18).  Outside of the church within the world, sin reigns and thus brings forth all kinds of destruction, including the ultimate destruction of hell.  However, the Lord and King of all protects those who are within the walls of the spiritual Jerusalem which is the church of Christ (Matt. 6:25-34; 1 Cor. 10:13; Phil. 4:6-7; Heb. 13:5-6; 2 Pet. 2:9; cf. Is. 2:2-4; Mic. 4:1-4).

– Jon

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s