Zechariah 14: The New and Better Jerusalem


What I am about to READ

The last chapter of Zechariah describes the coming of the Lord to Jerusalem to finally destroy all the enemies of God’s people.


This chapter, among the other apocalyptic visions of the holy scripture contains figures and images which can only occur on the last day when the Lord will come and establish justice and righteousness on the earth.

Zechariah preaches that the coming of the Lord will affect even the topography of the earth. Zechariah utilizes this imagery for theological import.  He describes the new Jerusalem, one which rises from the ground and set upon a hill, while the rest of the earth is made flat (vs. 10).   The Mount of Olives will be split in two and the people will take refuge there.  Flowing, living water will flow from Jerusalem over all the earth toward the eastern and western sea, in summer and winter a sign of blessing (vs. 8).  With these images God wishes to reveal the preeminence of this new and better Jerusalem over the old one.

God himself will stand upon the Mount of Olives (vs. 4) and will destroy all of those who had oppressed God’s people.  Interestingly, God will not go out to the nations to do this, but will bring all the enemies to the city in order to execute justice (vs. 2).

“And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.” (vs. 9).  These images indicate the cosmic nature of what will happen when the Lord comes again to judge the living and the dead.  All earthly rulers will cease and the Lord himself will be king over all the earth.  Political ties will end and there will be one ruler of heaven and earth, the Lord.

The coming of the Lord will not be a pleasant day for some however, it will indeed be a day of wrath, as we sing:

Day of wrath, O day of mourning!
See fulfilled the Prophet’s warning,
Heaven and earth in ashes burning.   The Lutheran Hymnal #607:1

Those who remain the enemies of the Lord, those who do not look for his coming and do not worship in spirit and truth, will suffer from drought and plague (vs. 18), signs of God’s judgement.  But those who go up to the feast will be blessed of the Lord, and even the most common food bowl in the new and better Jerusalem will be called holy to the Lord (vs. 21).


The Lord has indeed stood upon the Mount of Olives at Holy Week and entered the holy city once and for all to destroy the enemies of God’s people, sin, death and the devil.  At the cross He has bridged the gap between God and man and there remains no hostility between them, and he is victorious for us in his resurrection from the dead.  He will come again one day to judge the living and the dead.  God grant that we wait for his coming with hope and thanksgiving, being ever in the blessed word and sacraments which he himself has given us, until we celebrate in the New Jerusalem to come.


Pr. Brandon Ross

Faith Lutheran Church

Johnstown, Colorado


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