In the previous article we examined the correlation between Zechariah 14, Joel 2-3 and the Olivet Discourse, as they all discussed the blessings to come in the last days. This is the continuation of that comparison. Be sure to read the first article in this series as well.
Zechariah 14 – Joel 2-3 — Matthew 24
If in Matthew 24 Jesus quotes Joel’s prophecy of the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord–inclusive of the “earthquake”– and applies it to the fall of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 and if Zechariah 14 speaks of the Day of the Lord, the earthquake, and the fall of Jerusalem how is it possible to delineate between the prophecies? Simply put, it is not possible. Further, the concommitant blessings to come at the Day of the Lord are the same in Zechariah 14 and Joel. Be sure to read my book, Who Is This Babylon? for a powerful demonstration of the influence of Zechariah 14 on not only Matthew 24 but on the book of Revelation as well.
Zechariah and Joel 2-3 A Comparative Examination
Zechariah said in that day a fountain for sin would be opened (14:8). Joel said in the Day of the Lord a fountain for the cleansing of Israel would be opened (Joel 3:18-21).
In Joel the coming of the Lord would result in the establishment of the kingdom of God (2:28-32). In Zechariah “the ultimate purpose (of the coming of the Lord, DKP), is to establish his kingdom upon the earth with Jerusalem as the center.”
In Zechariah the Lord’s Sovereignty would be fully restored and established in the earth at that Day (14:9). In Joel, Jehovah would rule over the earth in judgment (3:12).
In Zechariah Gentiles would come from afar to worship Jehovah (14:16f). In Joel the Gentiles would be blessed in the kingdom (2:30-32).
In Zechariah 14 the Lord would dwell in Zion after the Day of destruction (v.8f). In Joel the Almighty dwells in his holy hill Zion (3:17).
In Zechariah the enemies of the elect are judged (14:16f). In Joel the Lord curses those who have done violence to His people (3:19f).
In short, Zechariah 14 and Joel 2-3 are directly parallel. They both speak of the identical blessings to flow out of the Lord’s epiphany. Zechariah 14 specifically places its prophecy within the framework of Jerusalem’s fall. Jesus in Matthew unmistakably posits the fulfillment of Joel at Israel’s demise.
Zechariah 14 – Joel 2-3 — Acts 2
The significance of the comparisons above is magnified on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2. Peter, with the other apostles, were accused of being drunk when they spoke in tongues and prophesied. Peter’s response is clear, emphatic and undeniable: “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel…” and he quotes, verbatim, from Joel 2:28f. Peter’s affirmation that Joel was being fulfilled means nothing else but that Zechariah 14 was being fulfilled!
As just seen, Zechariah 14 and Joel 2-3 anticipated the “last days” events. These were the events to occur before the Great and Terrible Day of the Lord– as well as the events and blessings to flow from that Great Day. Peter said Joel’s prophecy was being fulfilled! Logically, this demands that the time for the fulfillment of Zechariah 14 had arrived as well. This is simply undeniable.
Notice that Peter cited the prophecy of Joel that the Spirit would be poured out in the last days before the Great Day of the Lord. Then, he warned them “save yourselves from this untoward generation!” (Acts 2:40). This is a powerful statement of the imminence of the impending crisis of the Day of the Lord– it was judgment coming on Jerusalem, just as Zechariah 14 foretold! And remember, we have already seen that Jesus applied Zechariah 14 and his coming in judgment in AD 70. These correlations and parallels cannot be ignored.
So, the comparison between Zechariah 14, Joel 2-3, and Acts 2 provides a direct, divine commentary on when Zechariah 14 was to be fulfilled. According to Peter, that time had come in the first century.
The shaking of the earth at the parousia occurred with the Jewish War of A.D. 66-70. This is corroborated by other prophecies that we will examine as we proceed in our study of the eschatology of Zechariah 14.