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[Zec 14:3-7 NASB] (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.

Are verses 3-7 all speaking of the same 24 hour day?

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Zechariah 14 begins with these words:

"A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem..." (verse 1).

This is the introduction to all that follows in chapter 14. It includes judgment on Jerusalem but also on the nations, and a prophecy that God himself will bring about healing to Israel and to the whole of creation.

So we should be careful about interpreting the imagery involved here. "The day of the Lord" covers all that God will do to bring about a completely redeemed creation. It describes the transformation from brokenness to wholeness, from sin to purity, from war to peace, from death to life. This is such a profound transformation that to read "day of the Lord" as a standard 24 hour period of time misses the point. We should understand it as beyond or outside time, with a strong poetic flavour. "The day of the Lord" means "the climax of history", or "the point at which God makes all things new."

This prophetic language is standard OT prophetic imagery. For example we see it in Isaiah 2 and in Joel 2.28. The Joel reference is significant because the prophecy is said to be fulfilled in Acts 2 at the coming of the spirit. And in Acts 2 the Joel passage is quoted with a significant variation. "The day of the Lord" becomes in Acts "the last days." So the focus is not on the precise period of time but on the transforming work that God will do at an undefined point in the future.

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