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Question and Answer

Zechariah 14:1-21

Question:

Would you kindly explain the reformed view of the interpretation of Zechariah 14:1-21? I attend a non-denominational church in my area where there are no reformed churches. Recently the pastor spoke about Zechariah 14:1-21 and stated that Christ's return would take place in Jerusalem, according to these verses.

Answer:

First, I should issue a couple caveats.

1) Generally speaking, there is no reformed view of the interpretation of any passage of Scripture. Reformed theology is a consensus regarding the system of doctrine taught in the Bible, and is expressed in the Reformed confessions (the Westminster Standards, the Canons of Dordt, the Heidelberg Catechism, the Belgic Confession, and the confessions which preceded these). Those confessions draw their statements from the whole of Scripture, and so do not take a stand on given passages. This is an important point because it means two persons, thoroughly orthodox and reformed in their doctrine, may disagree profoundly on the interpretation of a given text. This is especially the case when discussing symbolic and prophetic passages.

2) I'm not an expert on Zechariah by any stretch of the imagination.

With that in mind, Zechariah 14 bears certain similarities to Matthew 24:3-35. If one believes, as I do, that in the latter passage Jesus is describing the destruction of Jerusalem and its temple in 70 A.D., then it seems to me Zechariah 14 could be describing Christ's ascension, his confirmation as Lord of the nations at 70 A.D., and the flow of the Gentiles into the New Testament Church. Of course, I recognize someone else could have another, more persuasive exegesis of this passage. I will say, however, that when one considers the way in which prophetic and symbolic language is used throughout the Bible, there is no reason to conclude from this one passage that every eye will not see Christ's return in glory, or Christ's return will occur in Jerusalem.

I hope this answer is helpful, and I pray the Spirit will soon make it possible for you to be a member of a Church where you can have greater confidence in the preaching of the Word.


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