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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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I do not believe it is possible for Zechariah 14:3-7 to be describing one 24-hour day.

This passage appears to be relating the same future event that Revelation 12 is describing.

Revelation 12 (ESV)
1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.
2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.
3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.
4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.
5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,
6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days.
7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back,
8 but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven.
9 And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.
10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.
11 And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.
12 Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!”
13 And when the dragon saw that he had been thrown down to the earth, he pursued the woman who had given birth to the male child.
14 But the woman was given the two wings of the great eagle so that she might fly from the serpent into the wilderness, to the place where she is to be nourished for a time, and times, and half a time.
15 The serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, to sweep her away with a flood.
16 But the earth came to the help of the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and swallowed the river that the dragon had poured from his mouth.
17 Then the dragon became furious with the woman and went off to make war on the rest of her offspring, on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. And he stood on the sand of the sea.

For the sake of clarity, it should be noted that NONE of the Revelation after the beginning of Chapter 4 is describing past, or historic events.

Beginning with Chapter 4, the remainder of the Revelation was ALL written as prophecy.

Revelation 4:1 (ESV).
1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place AFTER this.”

Revelation Chapter 12 is not a summary of past events. The birth of the Male Child (Revelation 12:1-6) is describing the Great Sign in the Heavens (Revelation 12:1) which will precede the return of Yeshua. It is not a historic recounting of His Earthly birth.

Mary (an Israelite) gave birth to Yeshua just over 2,000 years ago.
At that time, Yeshua came to Earth as a Suffering Servant.

The Great Heavenly Sign of Revelation 12:1-6 depicts the symbolic, heavenly birth of Yeshua as Conquering King.

The woman (who symbolizes Israel) is depicted in the Heavenly Sign as symbolically giving birth to a Male Child who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron (representing Yeshua the Conquering King).

Soon after this symbolic, heavenly birth, a great war begins in the heavens between Michael & his angels, and Satan & the fallen angels. Satan loses this battle, and is permanently exiled to the Earth.

"Woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!" (Revelation 12:12)

The war that began in the heavens has now come to Earth. There is not much time left for Satan, because he knows that Yeshua will soon return.

At this point, the woman (the faithful remnant of Israel) will flee to the wilderness, and will be protected there for 1,260 days (Revelation 12:6); or time, times, and half a time (Revelation 12:14).
Each of these times represents 3 ½ years.

Revelation 12:15-16 describes water like a river being poured out in an attempt to destroy the woman (the faithful remnant of Israel) which is fleeing. The earth will open its mouth and swallow the river, thereby saving the remnant.

A river can be literally referring to water, or it can represent a large group of people, such as an army.
In this case it appears to represent an army.

This will be similar to the Red Sea crossing, in which Israel was saved and the Egyptian army pursuing them was destroyed when the walls of water on either side of the divide crashed in on them and drowned them. (Exodus 14:21-31)

If one were to attempt to make the claim that Revelation 12:1-6 depicts the Earthly birth of Yeshua 2,000 years ago; it would be impossible to place the woman (Israel) fleeing into the wilderness for 3 ½ years into that narrative. It simply does not work.

At the end of the 3 ½ years, Yeshua will return to destroy His enemies.

The picture that is painted by Revelation Chapter 12 is that a great war comes to Earth, and a remnant of Israel is protected in the wilderness for 3 ½ years. During this 3 ½ years, the Antichrist will persecute the Saints and the (unfaithful) portion of Israel that is not being protected in the wilderness. The Antichrist will prevail against them. (Revelation 12:17 & 13:7-8)

What is depicted in Zechariah 14:1-7?

Zechariah 14:1-7 (ESV)
1 Behold, a day is coming for the LORD, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst.
2 For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle.
4 On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.
5 And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from 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 On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.
7 And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the LORD, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.

A great army will gather against Jerusalem. There will be terrible death and destruction in Jerusalem.

God will come to the defense of His people, Israel. He will rise up in great wrath and will destroy the enemies who gathered against Jerusalem.

God will cause a great earthquake to split the mount of olives in two, providing an escape route for the faithful remnant of Israel.

"On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward." (Zechariah 14:4)

Zechariah 14:4 is a metaphor. It was used to give us a visual image of God (YHWH) causing a great earthquake to split the Mount of Olives in two. It is not describing the return of Yeshua.

After the Mount of Olives is divided:

"And you shall flee to (through) the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah." (Zechariah 14:5a)

3 ½ years later:

"Then the LORD my God will come, and all the holy ones with him." (Zechariah 5b)

The Israelites in Jerusalem will not flee when Yeshua returns.
They will not flee through the Mount of Olives, and into the wilderness at that time.

  • First, the faithful remnant will flee through a divide in the Mount of Olives.

  • Then they will be protected in the wilderness for 3 ½ years.

  • At the end of 3 ½ years, Yeshua will return with His Holy Ones to destroy His enemies.

The picture painted when Revelation 12:13-16 and Zechariah 14:1-5 are taken together, is that the faithful, believing remnant of Israel will flee through a valley in the midst of the Mount of Olives. The earth will open up during a great earthquake to allow the remnant of Israel to escape into the wilderness. Then the divide will close up, crushing the portion of the antichrist’s army that is in close pursuit.

The last part of Zechariah 14:5 occurs 3 ½ years later, when Yeshua returns with His Saints.

There is a 3 ½ year time gap in Zechariah 14:5; between the time the remnant flees to the wilderness and the return of Yeshua.

So, to directly answer the question:

No, Zechariah 14:3-7 does not describe a single 24 hour day.

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