Zechariah and the Fight over Jerusalem
Will Jews Fight Against Jews?
As the upcoming 2011 United Nations General assembly draws nears and the prospects for an announcement of a Palestinian State galvanize, a study of the Prophet Zechariah brings to light a terrifying possibility. Zechariah foretells that Jews may possibly take part in a siege against the holy city Jerusalem. I say may because all prophecy can be changed with repentance. But this assault on Jerusalem is becoming more and more sure as the Palestinian Authority steels itself to push the UN to unilaterally announce a Palestinian state outside the Oslo Accords. Israel has threatened to cancel any aid to the PA if they move forward with this plan. Members of the Knesset have threatened to make the annexation of Judea and Samaria official as well. President Obama is also pressuring Israel to relinquish it’s rights in the dispute.
One can only imagine what thoughts are running through the minds of the men and women of the IDF, as the prospect of having to once again remove Jews from their homes looms only to real. In fact the secular mixed multitude government is trying to insure that those in the IDF who are sympathetic to the Jews in Judea and Samaria are re-assigned or side-lined in case they are ordered to forcibly remove Israeli citizens from their homes so that the real Philistine invaders can occupy our land.
The following potential scenario that could play out after the announcement of a PA state:
Once the official announcement is made, the PA will call for Israel to remove it’s citizens from ‘their’ land. It is highly unlikely that Israel will do so, at least not in the beginning. There will be some ongoing sword-rattling between the two and any talks may indeed break down, stalling any expulsions for weeks or even months. Eventually the UN body will pass a resolution requiring Israel to remove itself from the new Philistine state or face invasion. Prophetically this appears to be the case.
Zechariah states that HaShem will ‘gather all the nations to Jerusalem for the war,’ [Zech.14:2]. Obviously not all the nations can actually gather their armies physically in the land of Israel. But a representative collection of armies under UN control certainly fits the bill. In verse 14:14 we also find that, “…Judah will wage war against Jerusalem…” which appears to indicate that at least some of the IDF will participate in wresting control of Jerusalem from the Jewish residents and sending 1/2 of the city into exile [Zech.14:2].
While the above scenario is a tragic, Zechariah offers hope to the nation and ultimately deliverance. It is interesting how the events of Zechariah 12-14 are arranged. Chapter 12 states that HaShem is making Jerusalem a cup of poison, a burdensome stone for all the people’s, which is certainly true. The nations at large have taken up the call to make Jerusalem the capital of the new Palestinian state, even though such actions violate international law and treaties. Zechariah 12:2 also tells us that Jews will participate in the siege against Jerusalem.
Inserted between chapters 12 and 14, which speak of the war against Israel and Jerusalem, are events that demonstrate a significant change in Israeli society. Chapter 13 speaks of a time of cleansing and purification for the house of David and for the citizens of Jerusalem. It is likely that the Mashiach is revealed to the nation, who is possibly preceded by Eliyahu, who according to Malachi, is a purifying fire that helps to cleanse Israel and prepare for the End of Days. At that time the idols are removed from the land and false prophets (Christianity? Islam?) are removed as well. Verse 7 tells us that HaShem’s colleague is slain. This tells us that the Mashiach is killed during this invasion, which de-moralizes the Jewish people – “Strike the shepherd and let the flock disperse!
Though the Mashiach [Mashiach ben Yosef] is killed, chapter 14 assures us that HaShem will “…go out and wage war with those nations [the UN army], as He waged war on the day of battle.” This according to our sages is accomplished by HaShem through Messiah ben David, the King of Israel.
Two Thirds of the Jewish People Killed?
A common belief among many people, particularly Christians, is that this particular battle will result in the slaying of two thirds of the Jewish people in the land of Israel. This would be akin to another holocaust and from my point of view highly unlikely. Would the God of Israel permit such a catastrophic loss of life to His people again? Many think so.
But a careful reading of the text seems to reveal another possibility. Verse 8 states, “There will be in all the land -the word of HaShem- two portions [of the population] will be cut off and perish, the third will be left in it.” I do not believe we are looking a specific number of people but specific groups of people. The demographics in Israel today are pretty much divided into three main groups: 1) Secular Israeli’s with no desire for the Torah or God, 2) The occupying Palestinians, and 3) the Jews who honor both God and the Torah.
Instead of millions of dead Jews, the prophet could be speaking of the destruction of the godless ‘erev rav’ [mixed multitude] and the debased Philistine presence who desire to eradicate all Jews from ‘Palestine’ and steal the land given to the Israelite people by HaShem through an eternal covenant. Though it is not possible to know definitively when and how these events transpire, we are assured that HaShem himself will fight on the Jewish people’s behalf. Halleluyah!