On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. Embassy would be moved to the city of Jerusalem. The embassy has been in the city of Tel Aviv. But now, using a building the U.S. already owned, the new embassy was opened on May 14, the 70th anniversary of modern Israel. The reason he could do this was because of an act that was passed in 1995 called the Jerusalem Embassy Acts of 1995. The act was legislation passed in 1995 by both the Senate and the House of Representatives. It was then signed by the president—at that time President Clinton. Then he sat on it for six months. He decided to do a study for six months, defer it, and then every president since then has deferred it. But President Trump decided not to defer it. He decided he would finally recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
In response, Prime Minister Netanyahu responded by saying, “This is a historic day.” And then he proceeded to give essentially a brief history of the nation. It was a very interesting statement that he made. He gave a sweeping but terse history of Israel, talking about Jerusalem and the significance of the city.
The world responded differently. The world responded with protests. Great Britain, the Arabs and France, and on goes the list, including some Democrats in the United States disagreed. Many announced there would be doom and gloom because of what President Trump would do. In reality, they are right. The U.N. responded by convening a special emergency session to discuss the decision of the United States to move the embassy to Jerusalem, and to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. President Trump said that he was doing both.
Ironically, in 2015 the Public Broadcasting System (PBS) published a documentary titled, “Jerusalem, the Center of the World.” PBS is hardly a conservative organization. PBS is a liberal organization, but they used the right words. The title of the documentary was amazing, “Jerusalem, the Center of the World.” Jerusalem is the center of the world. Rumors exist that PBS looked at a map that was created by Heinrich Bunting in 1851, and that is actually the title of his map. He put Jerusalem in the center of the world. He had three different clover leaves on the map, and the center of the clover leaves was Jerusalem— the center of the world. It turns out that Heinrich Bunting did this when he was a pastor and a theologian. He was looking at it from a theological and Biblical perspective, when he put Jerusalem right dead center. That is exactly what PBS did. PBS saw his map and used the title for their documentary. Someone else has drawn concentric circles on a map, starting with Jerusalem, and claimed that Jerusalem is the geographic center of the world. Now this gets really interesting! Often Jerusalem is the focus of the world. It’s the center of the world and it’s the geographic center of the world. Jerusalem has gathered a lot of interest from many different organizations, but yet there are protests, also.
The protests are saying President Trump has made a mistake, but they are not right. Defenders of President Trump have said that in reality Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. That is where the Knesset meets. That is where the prime minister is. What President Trump did is recognize the fact that Israel considers Jerusalem to be the capital of the nation. But we want to talk about the validity of these claims. All we have to do for those who are not sure that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel is to wait. All that they have to do is wait, and they will see this is true.
Jerusalem Was First Called Salem
In this study we will see what the Bible says about the city of Jerusalem. We will start with Genesis chapter 14, and we are going to find that Jerusalem is mentioned in this chapter. Genesis 14 is about a war between nine kings, five against four. You will see that in verse 9,
Chedorlaomer king of Elam and Tidal king of Goiim and Amraphel king of Shinar and Arioch king of Ellasar — four kings against five. Genesis 14:9 (NASB)
The reason this happened was that a rebellion occurred in the kingdom that Chedorlaomer was controlling. We find in verses 10, 11, and 12 that an invasion occurred. Sodom and Gomorrah are invaded. We find in verse 12 that the invading armies took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions, and departed. He was living in Sodom. The armies took captives and possessions or spoils of battle. We find in verse 13 that Abraham—or Abram—went to rescue his nephew. Verse 13 says,
Then a fugitive came and told Abram the Hebrew. Now he was living by the oaks of Mamre the Amorite, brother of Eshcol and brother of Aner, and these were allies with Abram. When Abram heard that his relative had been taken captive, he led out his trained men, born in his house, three hundred and eighteen, and went in pursuit as far as Dan. He divided his forces against them by night, he and his servants, and defeated them, and pursued them as far as Hobah, which is North of Damascus. He brought back all the goods, and also brought back his relative Lot with his possessions, and also the women, and the people. Genesis 14:13-16 (NASB)
So what happened? Abram went, rescued his nephew, brought back the families, and brought back the possessions as a result of a victorious battle. Abram was successful. Verse 17:
Then after his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the valley of Shaveh (that is, the King’s Valley). Genesis 14:17 (NASB)
Now I thought this was very, very interesting. Think about how many men Abram had in his army. Abram had a lot of people, a lot of trained men apparently in his employ. Verse 18 now speaks of a city called Salem:
And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. Genesis 14:18 (NASB)
Verse 18 is a very important verse. Notice Melchizedek is king of Salem. The name Melchizedek means king of righteousness. What does the name Salem mean? Peace! It is a city called Salem and it means peace. If you were to check out Hebrews chapter 7, you would find that Melchizedek is the king of Salem. He is the king of peace. Did you know another name for Salem is Jerusalem? Check out Psalm 76:2 and the book of Zechariah, and you will discover that Salem, Zion, and Jerusalem are the same city.
The first time that Jerusalem appears in the pages of scripture is in Genesis 14:18, and there it is called Salem. What does that mean about Jerusalem? It is the city of peace. Do you know what is significant about Melchizedek? In the book of Hebrews, chapter 7, we are told that Melchizedek is a type of Christ. He is a type of the coming Messiah. Melchizedek is the king of righteousness. Who was Jesus? He was the king of righteousness. He came and made righteousness available to us. This is very significant. Here is the king of Salem. He is the king of peace, and by the way Isaiah 9:6 says He is the prince of peace. Jesus is the prince of peace. Watch this: Jesus is the prince of peace, and there is a city called Peace. If we put this all together we have Jesus, the prince of peace, who one day is going to be ruling in the city of peace.
Jerusalem Was Next Called Jebus
If we continue looking at the different books in the Old Testament—that is, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy—we find that Jerusalem is not mentioned. The reason this is true is that the Israelites were down in Egypt at that time. One would think that when the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt and moved into the Promised Land, the land of Palestine, that we might find Jerusalem mentioned in the book of Joshua. That does not occur in the book of Joshua. The next time Jerusalem appears in the Old Testament is in the book of Judges. There we find in the opening chapter of the book, Judges 1:8, that sons of Judah defeat the city of Jerusalem. In Judges 1:8 we read,
Then the sons of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire. Judges 1:8 (NASB)
The Israelites defeated the city of Jerusalem. They took possession of the city. We believe that this occurred in about 1225 B.C. Then scripture is silent for about eighteen chapters. When we get to Judges 19:10, we find another reference to Jerusalem. Here the city of Jerusalem is referred to as Jebus You may have heard someone refer to Jerusalem as Jebus (Jerusalem was also called Salem, Jebus and Zion—four different names for the same city).
Jerusalem Was Next Called Jerusalem
The next time the name of Jerusalem appears in the Old Testament is 200 years later. Two hundred years elapse until 1 Samuel 17:54. In 1 Samuel 17:54 we are told,
Then David took the Philistine’s head and brought it to Jerusalem, but he put his weapons in his tent. 1 Samuel 17:54 (NASB)
This verse is talking about David and Goliath. Do you remember Goliath taunting the Israelites? Then David said that he would go and kill him. He took some stones and a sling, and he killed the giant. That is the next time that Jerusalem appears in the Old Testament. It is the point at which David defeats Goliath. Two hundred years have gone by and it appears that at this point Jerusalem is now established as the capital of Israel. Therefore, the city was first called Salem, Jebus, and now Jerusalem. It is the capital of the nation of Israel. Who was the king of Jerusalem at this point? King Saul. The next king was King David, then King Solomon, and on goes a litany of other kings who reigned in succession; they sat in the city of Jerusalem. Thus Jerusalem is now the capital, and it continues that way through the Bible.
Jerusalem is the Capital of the World Today
I have a question: President Trump said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Was he correct? Historically he was correct. He is also correct today since Israel recognizes Jerusalem as being their capital. So it was only right for him to recognize Jerusalem as being the capital of Israel—not only from a modern perspective, but also from a historical perspective. Jerusalem has historically—at least from 1 Samuel on—been the capital of Israel, and probably even before that. All we know is that in 1 Samuel 17:54 it becomes rather clear that it is the capital of Israel.
Jerusalem Appears 811 Times in the Old Testament
The name Jerusalem appears 811 times in the Old Testament. It appears 17 times in the Psalms. In the major and minor prophets, it appears 284 times. Jerusalem is all over the Old Testament. Jerusalem is everywhere from 1 Samuel all the way to Malachi. Watch this: the Old Testament tells us in 2 Kings and in 2 Chronicles that because of sin, Jerusalem was eventually defeated by the Babylonian Army. The Babylonians took the Israelites captive, plundered the city of Jerusalem, and took the Jews to the city of Babylon. At that point, there were no kings ruling in Jerusalem, in the land of Israel. There still aren’t any kings. Instead Israel calls today’s leader the prime minister. That is probably the closest thing to a king in Israel. But no Jewish king has ruled in the city after A.D. 70. In 1948 a modern government was formed in the nation of Israel.
The question now is, has its capital been recognized yet? The answer is that it was not until December 6, 2017 when President Trump recognized it officially as the capital of Israel. But the rest of the world has not. The rest of the world has objected and complained that Trump did so. The United States has recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. It had to happen because someday the anti-Christ is going to go into that city and occupy it. President Trump did something significant. He has put one important domino into place towards the fulfillment of future prophecy. This had to happen. At some point, Jerusalem had to be recognized as the capital of Israel. What Donald Trump did was extremely important from a prophetic viewpoint.
Zechariah 1 – God is Zealous for Jerusalem
Now let’s shift and discover what God is going to do to Jerusalem from here. Let us turn to the book of Zechariah. Amazingly, just about every chapter of the book of Zechariah talks about Jerusalem. The book of Zechariah gives us a timeline of what is going to happen to Jerusalem. What follows is an overview of chapters 1 through 14. We are going to skip some of the chapters because some of them do not mention Jerusalem. The first chapter that mentions Jerusalem is 1. This is a very important chapter. Zechariah 1 describes where we are right now in the prophetic timeline. Zechariah 1:12 says,
Then the angel of the LORD said, “O LORD of hosts, how long will You have no compassion for Jerusalem . . .” Zechariah 1:12a (NASB)
Did you see that?
“. . . no compassion for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, with which You have been indignant these seventy years?” Zechariah 1:12b (NASB)
The Jews have been in captivity for seventy years. The years of captivity have ended, and the question is asked, “God, don’t you have any compassion for Jerusalem?” Now notice that the question is not “compassion for Israel,” the question is, “God, do you have compassion for Jerusalem?” Jerusalem is the focus! Look at verse 13,
The LORD answered the angel who was speaking with me with gracious words, comforting words. So the angel who was speaking with me said to me, “Proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Jerusalem and Zion.”‘” Zechariah 1:13-14 (NASB)
Wow! Think about that. God says, “I am exceedingly zealous for . . .” what? Jerusalem! Do you think that maybe there were some angels rejoicing when President Trump announced that he was recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? I cannot answer the question. But I cannot help but think that probably happened.
“But I am very angry with the nations who are at ease; for while I was only a little angry, they furthered the disaster.” Therefore thus says the LORD, “I will return to Jerusalem with compassion.” Zechariah 1:15-16a (NASB)
God is speaking and He says, “I’m going to return to Jerusalem with compassion.”
My house will be built in it . . . Zechariah 1:16b (NASB)
When He says, “My house,” God is talking about the temple. If we continue reading we are told,
. . . declares the LORD of hosts, “and a measuring line will be stretched over Jerusalem.” Again, proclaim, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “My cities will again overflow with prosperity, and the LORD will again comfort Zion and again choose Jerusalem.”’” Zechariah 1:16c-17 (NASB)
This is just terrific! God is saying, “I have zeal for Jerusalem. It is my city.” Look at Zechariah 2. Zechariah 2 is now a look into the future, so Zechariah 1 was actually Jerusalem’s current condition at the time the prophecy was written. In reality, it’s still part of their condition even today. Zechariah 2 describes God’s plan for Jerusalem for the future, and I want you to look at verse 2.
Zechariah 2 – God Will Protect Jerusalem.
Verse 2 says,
So I said, “Where are you going?” And he said to me . . . Zechariah 2:2a (NASB)
This is Zechariah talking to an angel.
. . . “To measure Jerusalem, to see how wide it is and how long it is.” And behold, the angel who was speaking with me was going out, and another angel was coming out to meet him, and said to him, “Run, speak to that young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited without walls because of the multitude of men and cattle within it. “For I,” declares the LORD, “will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.”’” Zechariah 2:2b-5 (NASB)
Now this verse is extremely interesting. What does it say? God says, “I will be a wall of fire around her, and I will be the glory in her midst.” What is that?! God says that He is going to be in the midst of Jerusalem; He is going to be a wall of fire around her to protect her. I do not think that is happening today. I do not see that fulfillment occurring today. This is talking about the future. God is talking about what He is going to do for Jerusalem. It is describing what He is going to do for Jerusalem. He is going to be dwelling in the city, and He is going to protect it. He is going to put a wall of fire around it.
Now watch verse 8,
For thus says the LORD of hosts, “After glory He has sent Me against the nations which plunder you, for he who touches you, touches the apple of His eye.” Zechariah 2:8 (NASB)
Do you know what Israel is? Israel, which includes Jerusalem, is the apple of His eye. That is really special—really special. Israel is the apple of God’s eye. Wow! Incredible!! God says, “Jerusalem is the apple of my eye.”
Zechariah 3 – God Will Cleanse Jerusalem
In chapter 3 the Lord tells us that He is going to cleanse Jerusalem. Why? Why would he cleanse Jerusalem? Because Jerusalem has been and right now is in sin. They have rejected their Messiah. In chapter 3 God says, “I’m going to cleanse their hearts, change their hearts.” Zechariah 3:2,
The LORD said to Satan, “The LORD rebuke you, Satan! Indeed, the LORD who has chosen Jerusalem . . .” Zechariah 3:2 (NASB)
Isn’t that great? God says, “I have chosen Jerusalem.” In the Psalms we see the glory of God in the temple in Jerusalem. It is His dwelling place. These are amazing statements. We see in the other parts of the Old Testament that God has a deep love for Jerusalem. It is very interesting that we are told here in chapter 3, verse 2, that God has chosen Jerusalem. He did not choose London. He did not choose Paris. He did not choose Moscow. He did not choose Washington. God chose what? Jerusalem! God did not choose any city in the United States as His city. He did not choose any city in South America or Africa or Asia to be as His city. He wants only one city called Jerusalem and it is located in the nation of Israel.
Look at verse 7.
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “If you will walk in My ways and if you will perform My service, then you will also govern My house . . .” Zechariah 3:7a (NASB)
He is actually talking to Jacob, who is a representative of the priestly line at this point.
“. . . and also have charge of My courts, and I will grant you free access among these who are standing here.” Zechariah 3:7b (NASB)
In verse 8 we are told,
“Now listen, Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who are sitting in front of you — indeed they are men who are a symbol, for behold, I am going to bring in My servant the Branch.” Zechariah 3:8 (NASB)
Who is the Branch? The answer is Jesus. The Messiah. Check it out in Isaiah 11.
“For behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes. Behold, I will engrave an inscription on it,” declares the LORD of hosts, “and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day.” Zechariah 3:9 (NASB)
Zechariah 3 – Overview of Chapters 1, 2 and 3
So the passage is talking about the fact that God is going to change Israel and cleanse Israel from their sin. We have seen that chapters 1, 2, and 3 in the book of Zechariah give us an overview of the events of today and the future. Chapter 1 is where Israel is today. Chapter 2 tells us where it is going in the future. The Messiah is coming. God is going to change their hearts. The Messiah is going to rule as king and usher in His kingdom. Chapter 3 describes some events that will occur between chapters 1 and 2. That is what Zechariah chapters 1, 2 and 3 are all about.
Zechariah 7 – God Warns Israel About Sin
Now let’s look at chapter 7. Chapter 7 is a warning to Israel. Verse 7 says,
Are not these the words which the LORD proclaimed by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and prosperous along with its cities around it, and the Negev and the foothills were inhabited? Zechariah 7:7 (NASB)
Verse 7 is talking about Jerusalem and the fact that the inhabitants were prosperous. Do you remember when we were in the study in Zechariah, that God rebuked them because they were prosperous, and they had no regard for other people? They wanted all the money for themselves. They were living in leisure and they really did not care about anyone else. God pronounced that He would judge Jerusalem. Chapter 7 is actually a warning.
Zechariah 8 – God will Dwell in Jerusalem
Zechariah 8 tells us that God is going to return. Yes, Israel is being judged now. Israel is being disciplined, but in chapter 8 God says, “I am going to return.” Look at verse 2,
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “I am exceedingly jealous for Zion, yes, with great wrath I am jealous for her.” Thus says the LORD, “I will return to Zion and will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.” Zechariah 8:2-3 (NASB)
Once again, we are told a second time that God is going to dwell where? The answer is in the city called Jerusalem. Do you know what that means? God wants to be in the city of Jerusalem. When President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as being the capital of the nation of Israel, he was recognizing God’s city. Think about the significance of what President Donald Trump did. It is God’s city. God says, “I’m going to dwell in the midst of Jerusalem, and then Jerusalem will be called the city of truth.” It’s not the city of truth today. They do not believe in the Messiah. They do not believe in the New Testament. They do not believe in Jesus Christ. When God dwells in Jerusalem, it is going to be called the City of Truth, the Mountain of the Lord, and it is going to be called the Holy Mountain. Now think about all the names for Jerusalem. It is the Holy Mountain. It is the City of Jerusalem. It is Jebus. It is Salem. It is Zion. It is Jerusalem. God says, “I am zealous for it.”
In verse 4 we read,
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Old men and old women will again sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each man with his staff in his hand because of age.” Zechariah 8:4 (NASB)
It is talking about older people.
“And the streets of the city will be filled with boys and girls playing in its streets.” Thus says the LORD of hosts, “If it is too difficult in the sight of the remnant of this people in those days, will it also be too difficult in My sight?” declares the LORD of hosts. Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, I am going to save My people from the land of the East and from the land of the West . . .” Zechariah 8:5-7 (NASB)
Now if you think about the land of the East and West and you are sitting in the city of Jerusalem, doesn’t that cover the whole world? You look to the lands of the East, and then you look to the lands of the West, and that just covers the entire world. So what God is really saying is, “Behold, I am going to save my people from the world.”
Now verse 8.
“. . . and I will bring them back and they will live in the midst of Jerusalem; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God in truth and righteousness.” Zechariah 8:8 (NASB)
God says, “They are going to live in Jerusalem. I am going to bring them back. They are going to be my people, and I will be their God.” Do you get the picture that God is interested in the city of Jerusalem? Do you get the feeling that God really loves the city of Jerusalem? God wants to be there, and He wants His people, the Jews, to be there. The answer is yes! This is a fabulous passage.
Look at verse 12,
For there will be peace for the seed: the vine will yield its fruit, the land will yield its produce and the heavens will give their dew; and I will cause the remnant of this people to inherit all these things. “It will come about that just as you were a curse among the nations, O house of Judah and house of Israel, so I will save you that you may become a blessing. Do not fear; let your hands be strong.” Zechariah 8:12-13 (NASB)
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “It will yet be that peoples will come, even the inhabitants of many cities.” Zechariah 8:20 (NASB)
This verse is talking about the Millennial Kingdom now. It is talking about the future.
The inhabitants of one will go to another, saying, “Let us go at once to entreat the favor of the LORD, and to seek the LORD of hosts; I will also go.” So many peoples and mighty nations will come to seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem and to entreat the favor of the LORD. Zechariah 8:21-22 (NASB)
Isn’t this interesting? People will go to Jerusalem, “. . . to entreat the favor of the Lord.”
Thus says the LORD of hosts, “In those days ten men from all the nations will grasp the garment of a Jew, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” Zechariah 8:23 (NASB)
Do you know what chapter 8 is about? Chapter 8 is about the future of the millennial kingdom when Jerusalem will be at peace. The children can play in the streets, older people can use canes and walkers and walk down the street and not worry about being run over or assaulted. This describes an incredible transformation. I do not think you can do that today in Jerusalem. People are going to want to be with a Jew. People are going to grab the garment of a Jew and ask to be taken to Jerusalem because they know that the Jews have this special relationship with God. Talk about an incredible change in Israel! This is not true today. Once again we find that God will be in Jerusalem.
Zechariah 9 – Christ will Bring Peace to Jerusalem
Now look at Zechariah 9. Here we are told that victory is going to be won over the nations, and the Messiah will speak to the nations. For example, look at verse 9:
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
He is just and endowed with salvation,
Humble, and mounted on a donkey,
Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
Zechariah 9:9 (NASB)
Does this sound familiar? Yes! We usually read this verse and think it is Christ’s triumphal entry. This is quoted in the gospels in relationship to Jesus riding into Jerusalem on the day of His triumphal entry just before He dies on a cross. We usually think that this is a prophecy about the triumphal entry. The reason this prophecy is quoted in the gospels is that the triumphal entry is a partial fulfillment of a future reality, of something that is going to be completely fulfilled in the future. This is talking about the fact that the king is coming. He is the King of peace. Now watch verse 10.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
And the horse from Jerusalem;
And the bow of war will be cut off.
And He will speak peace to the nations.
Zechariah 9:10 (NASB)
Here we are told that the Messiah will speak peace to the nations. The message is that there will be peace when the king is in Jerusalem.
Zechariah 12 – God Will Protect Jerusalem
Now skip chapters 10 and 11 and go to chapter 12 where we are told that God will defend Jerusalem. This looks forward to the battle at Armageddon. Therefore, let me give you a timeline—maybe the timeline is rusty in your mind. Currently, we are waiting for the rapture to come. After that the Tribulation Period of seven years will follow. At the end of the seven-year period, Jesus will come. Christ will return. We call it the Second Coming of Christ. He comes as King. Remember in Revelation 19 that we are told He will come as King of kings and Lord of lords? He will defeat the nations of the world, and then set up His kingdom. Chapter 12 explains the battle of Armageddon which occurs right at the very end of the Tribulation Period, just before the Millennial Kingdom. This is the first significant introduction to the battle of Armageddon in the book of Zechariah. In chapter 12, verse 8, we read,
And in that day, the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Zechariah 12:8a (NASB)
Notice that the Lord is not going to defend the inhabitants of London, or Washington, D.C., or Paris. He is going to defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
. . . and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the LORD before them. And in that day I will set about to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced. Zechariah 12:8b-10a (NASB)
Do you see who has been speaking? What has He been called? Throughout the book He has been called God. Now all of a sudden in this verse we find that He is called “Me.” And what else do we discover? We are told that He is One “Whom they pierced.” Christ has been speaking throughout the book. This is a great proof of Christ’s deity.
. . . and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. Zechariah 12:10b-11 (NASB)
What is being described? At the very end of the Tribulation Period, Jesus is going to come – the Second Coming of Christ. Israel is going to realize that they killed their Messiah and there is going to be great repentance. Israel’s sins will be cleansed, and they are going to be mourning, realizing what they did. This describes the Israelites turning to God. Romans 11:25-26 provides additional insight into this passage. It says that all Israel will believe at this point. Fabulous!!! God will pour out His Spirit on Jerusalem. Why? Because He said He is going to do it. Remember in chapter 1 the question was, “Don’t you have any compassion for Jerusalem?” And what did God say? “Yes, I do.” What did chapter 2 say? There is going to be a great day when the Millennial Kingdom comes. Chapter 3 said there is going to be a great transformation of the hearts of the Israelites. It is all being described right here!
Zechariah 13 – God Will Forgive Israel
In chapter 13 we are told that God will forgive the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Look at verse 1:
In that day a fountain will be opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for impurity. Zechariah 13:1 (NASB)
That is, their sins will be forgiven. They will be cleansed. This is a transformation. Chapter 12 flows into chapter 13.
Zechariah 14 – God Defeats the Nations
When we come to chapter 14, the Second Coming of Christ is described once again and the battle at Armageddon is in full swing. Verse 1 says,
Behold, a day is coming for the LORD when the spoil taken from you will be divided among you. For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city will be captured, the houses plundered, the women ravished and half of the city exiled, but the rest of the people will not be cut off from the city. Zechariah 14:1-2 (NASB)
What does God say He is going to do? God says He will bring all the nations against Jerusalem. Guess what will be happening? I cannot prove it from scripture—but I believe that Donald Trump has intensified the hatred for Jerusalem. Donald Trump put an important domino in place, the recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and it is a hook in the jaws of the nations that God will use to eventually draw them to Jerusalem for battle. Now you might say it has not happened yet. That is true, but it is an important hook and it is going to be pulled. Notice verses 3-5:
Then the LORD will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. 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. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel . . . Zechariah 14:3-5 (NASB)
And the passage goes on. Incredible! The battle of Armageddon occurs. God defends Jerusalem. Half the city, though, is destroyed. It is all part of God’s plan. Verse 9 describes the result.
And the LORD will be king over all the earth; in that day the LORD will be the only one, and His name the only one. Zechariah 14:9 (NASB)
Isn’t this incredible?! In that day the Lord will be King. Christ will be King. Where will God set up His kingdom? In Jerusalem! The capital of Christ’s kingdom will be in Jerusalem. Verse 10 explains that the topography of the world will be changed,
And all the land will be changed into a plain. Zechariah 14:10a (NASB)
And then it says,
. . . but Jerusalem will rise and remain on its site from Benjamin’s Gate as far as the place of the First Gate to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s wine presses. People will live in it, and there will no longer be a curse, for Jerusalem will dwell in security. Zechariah 14:10b (NASB)
This tells us that the earth is going to be leveled. If you are not sure that is what is being described, check out Revelation 16:17-20, and you find out that all the mountains around the world will collapse into a plain. Everything will be flat, but there will be one place that is not flat. Guess what will not be flat? Jerusalem will be a mountain. It will be the chief of the mountains. Talk about the capital of a world empire! Try the capital of God’s kingdom, sitting up on a mountain, high and exalted. That is God’s empire!
Jerusalem is not only the capital of Israel, it will be the capital of God’s kingdom and the Millennial Kingdom. It will be the chief of the mountains, and every other place will be flat. It is amazing what God says is going to happen.
Jerusalem is and will be God’s Throne
In Jeremiah 3:17 we discover that God says Jerusalem is His throne. In Isaiah 52:7 we are told that God reigns there, and in Isaiah 33:20 we are told that this is the city of feasts. In Zechariah 14:16 we read the following,
Then it will come about that any who are left of all the nations that went against Jerusalem will go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to celebrate the Feast of Booths. Zechariah 14:16 (NASB)
The Feast of Booths is an annual Jewish feast that everyone must attend, unless they want trouble, because verse 17 says,
And it will be that whichever of the families of the earth does not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, there will be no rain on them. Zechariah 14:17 (NASB)
Therefore, guess where the King dwells? He will be in Jerusalem. There will be a feast there. Jerusalem was and will continue to be the city of the feast. That is mentioned in Isaiah 33:20. So here the people of the world are supposed to go up to Jerusalem for the Feast of Booths. Next, verse 20 says,
In that day there will be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “HOLY TO THE LORD.” And the cooking pots in the LORD’S house will be like the bowls before the altar. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the LORD of hosts; and all who sacrifice will come and take of them and boil in them. And there will no longer be a Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts in that day. Zechariah 14:20-21 (NASB)
Now ask yourself what is significant about the Canaanite? It is referring to the fact that there will no longer be somebody who rejects God. Notice the description of Jerusalem. Every cooking pot in Jerusalem and in Judah will be holy to the Lord. What does that mean? In fact, even the bells of the horses are holy to the Lord. All of this means that everything in Jerusalem will be holy to the Lord. Jerusalem will be a holy city.
That was an interesting study about the city of Jerusalem. Think about this. What President Trump did was historic! He recognized what has always been true. Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and it is going to be the capital of Israel in the future too! Jerusalem is the focus of God; it is God’s city. God wants to reign there. It is going to be a holy city and He is going to reign there. He says Jerusalem is going to be His throne.
In Psalms 122:6 we are told to pray for Jerusalem. I thought the verse was very interesting. It does not ask us to pray for Israel. I think we should pray for Israel, but the Psalm says,
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May they prosper who love you.”
Psalms 122:6 (NASB)
I think what President Trump did was very wise. Whatever his reasons were, our nation will be blessed as a result. Would you like to see our nation blessed? Those who love Israel are going to do what? Prosper. I wonder if President Trump knows about this verse?
In Genesis 12:3 God says,
And I will bless those who bless you,
And the one who curses you I will curse.
Genesis 12:3 (NASB)
President Trump blessed Israel by declaring Jerusalem to be the capital of the nation of Israel. I believe that will bring blessing to our nation, and blessing to our people. Lord willing, it will bring blessing to us as Christians. Therefore, if you have an opportunity to bless Israel in some way, I encourage you to do that. I would also encourage you, if you know a Jew, to share Jesus Christ with them and motivate them towards Christ. They may not realize that Jerusalem is where God wants to dwell, and someday Christ will be the king. Jerusalem will be the capital of the Millennial Kingdom!
1. “Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital”, CNN. (www.cnn.com/2017/12/06/politics/president-donald-trump-jerusalem/index.html)
2. “This is a historic day. Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for . . .” American Evangelicals. (americanevangelicals.com/this-is-a-historic-day-jerusalem-has-been-the-capital-of-the-jewish-people-for/)
3. “Jerusalem: Center of the World.” PBS. (www.pbs.org/program/jerusalem/)
4. Bünting Clover Leaf Map. Wikipedia. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bünting_Clover_Leaf_Map)