Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


Zechariah 14:4

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

And his feet shall stand - He shall appear in full possession of the place, as a mighty conqueror.

And the mount of Olives shall cleave - God shall display his miraculous power as fully in the final restoration of the Jews, as he did when he divided the Red Sea that their forefathers might pass through dry-shod. Some refer this to the destruction of the city by the Romans. It was on the mount of Olives that Titus posted his army to batter Jerusalem. Here the tenth legion that came to him from Jericho was placed. Joseph. De Bello, lib. 6 c. 3. It was from this mountain that our Lord beheld Jerusalem, and predicted its future destruction, Luke 19:41, with Matthew 24:23; and it was from this mountain that he ascended to heaven, ( Acts 1:12;), utterly leaving an ungrateful and condemned city.

And half of the mountain shall remove - I really think that these words refer to the lines of circumvallation, to intrenchments, redoubts, etc., which the Romans made while carrying on the siege of this city; and particularly the lines or trenches which the army made on Mount Olivet itself.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives - “Over against Jerusalem to the east, wherein riseth the Sun of Righteousness.” The Mount of Olives is the central eminence of a line of hills, of rather more than a mile in length, overhanging the city, from which it is separated only by the narrow bed of the valley of the brook Cedron. It rises 187 feet above Mount Zion, 295 feet above Mount Moriah, 443 feet above Gethsemane, and lies between the city and the wilderness toward the dead sea: around its northern side, wound the road to Bethany and the Jordan. There, probably, David worshiped 2 Samuel 15:32; his son, in his decay, profaned it 1 Kings 11:7; Josiah desecrated his desecrations 2 Kings 23:13; there “upon the mountain, which is on the east side of the city, the glory of the Lord stood,” when it had “gone up from the midst of the city” Ezekiel 11:23; it united the greatest glory of the Lord on earth, His Ascension, with its deepest sorrow, in Gethsemane. Since the Angel said, “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven” Acts 1:11, the old traditional opinion is not improbable, that our Lord shall come again to judge the earth, where He left the earth, near the place of His Agony and Crucifixion for us. So shall “the Feet” of God literally, “stand upon the Mount of Olives.” Elsewhere it may be that “the Feet of the uncircumscribed and simple God are to be understood not materially, but that the loving and fixed assistance of His power is expressed by that name” (Dionysius).

Which is true, or whether, according to an old opinion, the last act of antichrist shall be an attempt to imitate the Ascension of Christ (as the first antichrist Simon Magus was said to have met his death in some attempt to fly) and be destroyed by His Coming there, the event must show.

And the Mount of Olives shall cleave - (be cleft) in (from) the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west that is, the cleft shall be east and west, so as to form a “very great valley” through it - from Jerusalem toward the Jordan eastward; and this shall be, in that “half of the mountain shall remove northward, and half thereof southward.” If this be literal, it is to form an actual way of escape from Jerusalem; if figurative, it symbolizes how that which would be the greatest hindrance to escape, the mountain which was higher than the city, blocking, as it were, the way, should itself afford the way of escape; as Zechariah speaks, “O great mountain, before Zerubbabel” thou shalt become a “plain” Zechariah 4:7; and Isaiah, “Every valley shall be exalted and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain” Is. Isaiah 40:4; that is, every obstacle should be removed.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The Lord Jesus often stood upon the Mount of Olives when on earth. He ascended from thence to heaven, and then desolations and distresses came upon the Jewish nation. Such is the view taken of this figuratively; but many consider it as a notice of events yet unfulfilled, and that it relates to troubles of which we cannot now form a full idea. Every believer, being related to God as his God, may triumph in the expectation of Christ's coming in power, and speak of it with pleasure. During a long season, the state of the church would be deformed by sin; there would be a mixture of truth and error, of happiness and misery. Such is the experience of God's people, a mingled state of grace and corruption. But, when the season is at the worst, and most unpromising, the Lord will turn darkness into light; deliverance comes when God's people have done looking for it.
Ellen G. White
The Desire of Ages, 830

Now with the eleven disciples Jesus made His way toward the mountain. As they passed through the gate of Jerusalem, many wondering eyes looked upon the little company, led by One whom a few weeks before the rulers had condemned and crucified. The disciples knew not that this was to be their last interview with their Master. Jesus spent the time in conversation with them, repeating His former instruction. As they approached Gethsemane, He paused, that they might call to mind the lessons He had given them on the night of His great agony. Again He looked upon the vine by which He had then represented the union of His church with Himself and His Father; again He repeated the truths He had then unfolded. All around Him were reminders of His unrequited love. Even the disciples who were so dear to His heart, had, in the hour of His humiliation, reproached and forsaken Him. DA 830.1

Christ had sojourned in the world for thirty-three years; He had endured its scorn, insult, and mockery; He had been rejected and crucified. Now, when about to ascend to His throne of glory,—as He reviews the ingratitude of the people He came to save,—will He not withdraw from them His sympathy and love? Will not His affections be centered upon that realm where He is appreciated, and where sinless angels wait to do His bidding? No; His promise to those loved ones whom He leaves on earth is, “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20. DA 830.2

Upon reaching the Mount of Olives, Jesus led the way across the summit, to the vicinity of Bethany. Here He paused, and the disciples gathered about Him. Beams of light seemed to radiate from His countenance as He looked lovingly upon them. He upbraided them not for their faults and failures; words of the deepest tenderness were the last that fell upon their ears from the lips of their Lord. With hands outstretched in blessing, and as if in assurance of His protecting care, He slowly ascended from among them, drawn heavenward by a power stronger than any earthly attraction. As He passed upward, the awe-stricken disciples looked with straining eyes for the last glimpse of their ascending Lord. A cloud of glory hid Him from their sight; and the words came back to them as the cloudy chariot of angels received Him, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” At the same time there floated down to them the sweetest and most joyous music from the angel choir. DA 830.3

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 17

At first only a few were identified with this group who were moving forward in advancing light. By the year 1846 they reckoned their numbers as about fifty. EW xvii.1

The larger group who turned from confidence in the fulfillment of prophecy in 1844 numbered approximately thirty thousand. Their leaders came together in 1845 in a conference in Albany, New York, April 29 to May 1, at which time they restudied their positions. By formal action they went on record as warning against those who claim “special illumination,” those who teach “Jewish fables,” and those who establish “new tests” (Advent Herald, May 14, 1845). Thus they closed the door to light on the Sabbath and the Spirit of Prophecy. They were confident that prophecy had not been fulfilled in 1844, and some set time for the termination of the 2300-day period in the future. Various times were set, but one after another they passed by. These people, held together by the cohesive element of the Advent hope, at first aligned themselves in several rather loosely knit groups with considerable variation in certain doctrinal positions. Some of these groups soon faded out. The group that survived became the Advent Christian Church. Such are identified in this book as the “first day Adventists” or “nominal Adventists.” EW xvii.2

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 51

I then beheld the beauty and loveliness of Jesus. His robe was whiter than the whitest white. No language can describe His glory and exalted loveliness. All, all who keep the commandments of God, will enter in through the gates into the city and have right to the tree of life and ever be in the presence of the lovely Jesus, whose countenance shines brighter than the sun at noonday. EW 51.1

I was pointed to Adam and Eve in Eden. They partook of the forbidden tree and were driven from the garden, and then the flaming sword was placed around the tree of life, lest they should partake of its fruit and be immortal sinners. The tree of life was to perpetuate immortality. I heard an angel ask, “Who of the family of Adam have passed the flaming sword and have partaken of the tree of life?” I heard another angel answer, “Not one of Adam's family has passed that flaming sword and partaken of that tree; therefore there is not an immortal sinner. The soul that sinneth it shall die an everlasting death—a death that will last forever, from which there will be no hope of a resurrection; and then the wrath of God will be appeased. EW 51.2

“The saints will rest in the Holy City and reign as kings and priests one thousand years; then Jesus will descend with the saints upon the Mount of Olives, and the mount will part asunder and become a mighty plain for the Paradise of God to rest upon. The rest of the earth will not be cleansed until the end of the one thousand years, when the wicked dead are raised, and gather up around the city. The feet of the wicked will never desecrate the earth made new. Fire will come down from God out of heaven and devour them—burn them up root and branch. Satan is the root, and his children are the branches. The same fire that will devour the wicked will purify the earth.” EW 51.3

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Ellen G. White
Early Writings, 53

While Satan was rallying his army, the saints were in the city, beholding the beauty and glory of the Paradise of God. Jesus was at their head, leading them. All at once the lovely Saviour was gone from our company; but soon we heard His lovely voice, saying, “Come, ye blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” We gathered about Jesus, and just as He closed the gates of the city, the curse was pronounced upon the wicked. The gates were shut. Then the saints used their wings and mounted to the top of the wall of the city. Jesus was also with them; His crown looked brilliant and glorious. It was a crown within a crown, seven in number. The crowns of the saints were of the most pure gold, decked with stars. Their faces shone with glory, for they were in the express image of Jesus; and as they arose and moved all together to the top of the city, I was enraptured with the sight. EW 53.1

Then the wicked saw what they had lost; and fire was breathed from God upon them and consumed them. This was the execution of the judgment. The wicked then received according as the saints, in unison with Jesus, had meted out to them during the one thousand years. The same fire from God that consumed the wicked purified the whole earth. The broken, ragged mountains melted with fervent heat, the atmosphere also, and all the stubble was consumed. Then our inheritance opened before us, glorious and beautiful, and we inherited the whole earth made new. We all shouted with a loud voice, “Glory; Alleluia!” EW 54.1


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