From Saskatchewan: Dear Editor, I have always been confused about Zechariah 13:9. Can you give me your thoughts about the third brought through the fire, as well as how this chapter fits chapter 14.
Reply by Bob Vermaat
Zechariah’s prophecy for the last days
“When looking at chapter 13 and 14 of Zechariah it is easy to see at first glance that there could be some confusion. For it seems that the prophet is jumping back and forth thereby adding to the confusion, but if one really pays attention, both chapters fall into place in the greater scheme of God’s marvelous plan.
In the first verse of chapter 13 we get a glimpse of the Messiah, this is corroborated by Verse 10 of chapter 12. And then the prophet Zechariah goes on to explain that through the entity of Christ, David’s greater Son in the Latter Days, all false prophets and false teachers will be exposed for what they are and eradicated.
Verses 5 and 6 of chapter 13 should not be confused as pertaining to Christ, but rather an attempt by the false prophet or preacher to point their guilt away from themselves. I like the Ferrar Fenton rendition of Verse 6 for its clarity. It reads as follows, “And if he is asked, what those tattoos then upon thy hands? He will reply, I was marked with them in the house of my friend.”
This reminds me of Rev. 13:16 where we find that all who worship the Beast receive the Mark of the Beast either on their forehead or on their hand. In Zechariah 13:8 we read that two-thirds of mankind will perish. This is corroborated by Ezekiel 5:12. And it also brings to mind the 4th Seal of Rev. 6 and the 2nd, 3rd, and 6th Trumpet of Rev. 8 and 9.
The one-third that is left will be refined by fire, this is backed up by Isaiah 4:4. After this cleansing in the Latter Day His remnant shall call upon the name of the Lord their God, this also is backed up by the prophet Hosea in Chapter 2:23. Here Hosea is depicting the complete restoration of God’s people unto their God, the preparation of the Bride of the Lamb.
The Historicist view point is that most, if not all of chapter 13, was fulfilled when Titus destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD. But if we read on in chapter 14 we will get a clear indication that this prophecy pertains to the Second Coming of Christ, thus we should consider this prophecy from the Futurist viewpoint.
Chapter 14:2 reminds me of the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39 about Gog and Magog, whereas Verse 4 is mentioned in Isa. 29:6 and Rev. 16:18-19 as a Great Earthquake. And lastly in Zechariah 14:8 we read that living waters shall flow from Jerusalem. We can also read about this river in Ezek. 47:1-12, and Rev. 22:1-2, where the water flows from under the Throne of God in the New Jerusalem.
So, there can really be no doubt that these chapters in Zechariah are a prophecy for the Last Day just preceding and including Christ’s millennial reign.”