[From S.G.A.T.]


The Minor Prophets


There are twelve books in the Bible which are usually described as ‘The Minor Prophets.’  In some ways, it seems very inapplicable that they are referred to in this way, as each one of these prophets had (as, of course, each of their books still has) an extremely important and vital message.


Sadly, these twelve books seem to be a very neglected part of the Word of God.  It would appear that the average ‘Christian’ would, if asked, have no idea what these books are about, apart, perhaps, from the story of Jonah.  In fact, many do not even know where to find these books in their Bible!


Equally sadly, many preachers who would otherwise seek to be faithful to the teaching of Holy Scripture, either ignore these books or seek to explain them away as if the plain statements made therein, although inspired, do not mean what they say.


So there is, in these days, a great ignorance of what God had to reveal throughout these twelve holy men of old who spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost to utter and record the very words of God.




The Day of the Lord Hosea - Haggai


By  W H Reeves


(This message was giv,en at a meeting of the Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony held in London on May 23rd 1975).


I want to give a key word to each of these prophets which I shall not expound but which I shall just use as an introduction.




The key word in Hosea is RETURN.  You will find it mentioned fifteen times.  Hosea prophesied to the ten tribes of Israel in the northern kingdom the great message concerning evil and steadfast love, repentance and consequent restoration.  He was bidden to marry a worthless woman, one who was in a position to receive and participate in all he possessed ‑ his home, his reputation and his religion.  And yet, being united to such a man of God, she left him and went off into infidelity and finally seems to have known the wretchedness of slavery.  Adultery, although glossed over today as extra marital relationship, is a terrible sin, made the more so because it is the breaking of a covenant and that is always a terrible transgression in the sight of our holy God.


This book unfolds the fact that as Hosea was married to Gomer the unfaithful bride, so Jehovah was married to unfaithful Israel but it also reveals the victory of love.  Gomer was unfaithful but Hosea remained faithful, and out of the depths of his love he redeemed her at a price, 30 shekels of silver, the price of a slave.  Israel’s sin was great and it was grievous.  We find as we look in chapter 4: 1 that there was no truth, no mercy, no knowledge of God in the land.  There was immorality and drunkenness (4: 11); there was cruel slaughter (5: 2); and there was oppression.  And so God threatens sternly, but He also speaks gracious words; He will not give His people up.  In chapter 6: 1, the call is to repentance.  Come, and let us return unto the LORD” and He graciously makes promises – “I will ransom” (13: 14); “I will heal their backsliding” (14: 4); and O how precious is this in chapter 14: 5: “I will be as the dew unto Israel.”


Now “the Day of the Lord” is promised very early in the book – “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not My people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.  Then shall the children of Judah and the children of Israel be gathered together, and appoint themselves one head, and they shall come up out of the land, for great shall be the day of Jezreel” (1: 10-11).  Also “that Day” is spoken of in chapter 2: 18, 20-23.  As we look in this book we see and pray for Israel’s final restoration.  Chapter 14 tells of Israel healed and loved (verse 4), refreshed and growing (verse 5), beauty, fragrance and fruitfulness (verse 6), of true revival and true fellowship (verses 7-8).


This prophecy has not yet been fulfilled for Israel.  Dr. Campbell Morgan said about this subject that long after Hosea’s time God came to Israel in the person of His Son.  They cast Him out.  Therefore discipline continues; it is discipline but not destruction.  They will yet be brought to the One Whom they rejected, and it will be a glorious thing for the world.  For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Romans 11: 15).  I thank God for words like that and thank God that in His Word we have such a book as Hosea, a strange book which deals with love to His People, and tender love to His Israel, rejecting Him and far from Him at the present time.




The key word I have for this book is REPENTANCE.  For this remarkable prophecy has for its message the value and importance of repentance, and as you well know the key phrase is ‘THE DAY OF THE LORD, which is named five times (1: 15; 2:1, 11, 3 1; 3: 14).  Those who understand this fact have an insight into the message of the book, which describes a terrible locust invasion.  It gives the first intimation of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all flesh, and yet it contains prophecies reaching from the time of Joel to that Day of the Lord right to the end of time.


The first utterance in chapter 1: 15, deals with the dire calamity “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.”  Severe drought, a terrible invasion of locusts; ruin on every hand, and it would seem that up to this point the people had not realised that God was chastising them; that God was acting in judgment.  Therefore Joel is urging the need for a fast and for a calling unto the Lord.  With spiritual insight, being taught by the Spirit of God, Joel sees this locust attack as an emblem of a more terrible attack by swarms of heathens; by the nations in that day; and not only in that day for it is typical of the invasions in the last days yet to come.


Therefore he continues in chapter 2: 1, “Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in My holy mountain: let all the inhabitants of the land tremble: for the day of the LORD cometh, for it is nigh at hand.”  And in verse 11: “The LORD shall utter His voice before His army: for His camp is very great: for He is strong that executeth His word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible: and who can abide it?”


Here we see the power of the Lord’s sudden intervention to save Israel from complete destruction.  Thus there is a call to repentance on the part of all; evil must be remedied.  We find in verse 20 the Lord will remove the army and then He says “Fear not, O land: be glad and rejoice: for the LORD will do great things.”  Then we come to the great message of Joel in chapter 2: 27-32.  Now verses 28 and 29 mainly foretell of Pentecost as in Acts 2, but can any of us say that all these verses have been completely fulfilled?  Can anybody really say that the moon has been turned into blood?  We know there were great movements in nature at that wonderful time when the Lord died, but I do not know that there were blood and fire and pillars of smoke.  There is yet a time coming when this world will see even greater things.  From verse 30 and continuing into chapter 3, God speaks of the signs indicating the great and terrible day of the Lord.  All nations shall be gathered into the valley of Jehoshaphat; the heathen will be judged and God will dwell in Zion, and in chapter 3:14Multitudes. multitudes in the valley of decision; for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.”


To quote Campbell Morgan again: “In this day Jehovah will restore Judah and Jerusalem by His people Israel, deal with the nations through the processes of war, make Zion the centre of His earthly kingdom and Israel as a complete nation, the instrument of His government.”  Thus to Joel was given the plan of the ages.  He saw the near, the imminence and the ultimate.  He saw that the day of Jehovah was present. persistent, powerful, to the complete realisation of divine purpose.  It was a great vision, and our secret of confidence is in walking in its light.  We live in the unnumbered age of the Spirit, it has lasted 1900 years and we know not when it will end, but we do know that beyond it is the great and terrible day of Jehovah.  Therefore we are sure of the ultimate realisation of all His purposes for men.  I do wish we had a leading preacher today able to preach truth like that, a real dividing of the prophetic Word of the Lord.




Now we move on to the book of Amos. to which I have given the title RESTORATION.  Amos was a working man, a herdman, a preserver of sycomore trees, who was of Judah and yet one who prophesied in and against Israel.  His burden was the punishment of Israel’s sins by national judgment, and whereas we have in Joel the form of chastisement in the plague of locusts, here we have judgment in the form of a severe earthquake, which Zechariah mentioned as a well remembered event even 300 years afterward.


In this book, Amos deals with a misconception in the minds of the people about the power of the Lord; in fact in chapter 5: 18-20, he said to them: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.  As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.  Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light?  Even very dark, and no brightness in it?”


There were three classes of people whom Amos had to denounce with a “Woe,” and we have them today.  There were those who were at ease in Zion; they put far away the evil day (chapter 6: 1-3) ‑ it will not come in our time.  I have heard people talk like that.


Others were concerned about the evils of their day and were desirous that the day of the Lord would come because they wanted better conditions.  To this end, these people clung to an outward form of religion, but their motives were wrong and their interpretation even of the day of the Lord was false.  That is sadly possible even today. You will hardly credit this, but the late Dr. Basil Atkinson at the close of a meeting in Cambridge, told me that he once met a professing Christian who told him that he was looking forward to the millennium because he would then be able to go to a theatre.  That sounds absolutely incredible to us.  We who believe would condemn such an attitude, but there is nothing new under the sun and there were people like that in the day of Amos.  No, said Amos, what is the day of the Lord to you?  Are you looking forward to it so that you can have a good time?  Just so that it will bring you national prosperity?  The day of the Lord is darkness and not light; and so the Lord tells them in chapter 5: 21, “I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.”  And in verse 22, “Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them; neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.”  For any persons to desire the day of the Lord when out of harmony with its true principles of righteousness and judgment is to be guilty of false purposes.  Amos ends his prophecy with the true meaning of the day, with the prosperity attending the return of the Lord.  We know it is going to be a day of darkness for those who are not ready to receive Christ, for the rebels, for the attacking forces, but in chapter 9: 11-15 we have the RESTORATION of Israel.




We now come to Obadiah, the shortest book in the Old Testament, and for this I have the word RETRIBUTION; for Obadiah shows in some measure an example of Anti-Semitism, a hatred of God’s chosen people and how the Lord, not man, brings retribution.  Now the Edomites were the Idumeans as you know, the descendants of Esau and God had commanded His people in Deuteronomy 23: 7, to treat them kindly.  But the Edomites were proud, they were bitter; they were resentful; and they never failed to help any enemy that attacked the Jews.  They had an apparently inaccessible and impregnable mountain fortress hewed in the rocks from which they could emerge on raiding expeditions, and those wonderful rock dwellings are still a marvel.  At the fall of Jerusalem they casually looked on, they laid their hands on the substance of the sufferers and then they cruelly stood in the crossway to cut off any of God’s ancient people trying to escape in order to hand them over to a cruel power.


Obadiah had a word for them, and he said in verses 15-16The day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.  For as ye have drunk upon My holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.”  This will be, of course, on the nations in the coming day of the Lord.  And this is a lovely text - “But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacoh shall possess their possessions.”  Some people do not believe that, but they will possess their possessions, and although today they are far away in their condition where they are not possessing their possessions, they shall do so, and then in verse 21, a Saviour “shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’s.”  It is only when the Lord has judged and dealt with the heathen foes, the enemies of His ancient people that this Scripture shall be fully realised; only then.  God has yet to appear on the behalf of His people who have suffered so much.




Now we come to the book of Jonab, and I give this the title RECOMMISSIONING.  Now the question we may well ask is, Can anyone see the day of the Lord in this remarkable book?  And if you ask concerning the actual letter, I would have to say, No!  But spiritually the day of the Lord to a truly spiritual mind can be seen in the book, for Jonah is definitely a type.  We know that Jonah was a type.  There is one thing of which you can always be sure.  When the Lord makes a type of anything in the Old Testament, you may be sure it was a type.  Jonah was a type of the Lord Jesus in His death, burial and resurrection ‑ that is quite clear from Matthew 12:40.  But Jonah is also a type of IsraelIsrael disobedient to God, Israel with the truth and not spreading it abroad; Israel swallowed by the nations of the earth and yet to emerge when Christ returns and then to be a glorious witness everywhere.




We move on to Micah with the theme RIGHTEOUSNESS.  Micah was contemporary with Isaiah and belonged to Judah, and he exalted the holiness, the righteousness and compassion of God.  He reveals how God hates injustice but loves to pardon.  He denounces, but he comforts, and speaks clearly of the day of the Lord.  We have this set out in chapter 4: 14, chapter 5: 7; and then in chapter 4: 6-8 we see that scattered Israel is to be gathered.




Now Nahum, with the title RUIN; a book which foretells the overthrow of Nineveh, a great empire.  150 years before, the people had repented at the preaching of the prophet Jonah but a dreadful apostasy had set in.  There was oppression and drunkenness as we see in chapter 1: 10, and a wicked counsellor (verse 11); the place was vile.  This is a pointer to the fact that before the day of the Lord there will be dreadful apostasy.  The Man of Sin will appear; one that imagines evil against the Lord and practises it.  Now no world empire can finally withstand God, and we may expect a greater power to arise, even Babylon, but that will be completely and utterly destroyed even as Nineveh was.  Nahum leaves us in no doubt of the being and nature of God as chapter 1: 1 -7.


Is there any ray of hope, any light for Judah?  Yes, chapter 1: 15, “Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace!  0 Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”  Again I say, the last part of that verse can only be fulfilled at the day of the Lord.


We are getting through these little books, there is a lot in them and we are just touching on them.




Habakkuk speaks of REMEMBRANCE.  This prophet was a chorister in the temple.  He has been termed the grandfather of the Reformation and a prophet of faith, and although we shall not develop this theme, his writings are in the form of a conversation between himself and his Lord.  He speaks as a puzzled man who wants the Lord to show him the answer, and, of course, He always does.  In chapter 2:  3, the Lord said to him, “The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”  That is what we have to remember regarding prophecy, and so we have to learn both to hope and quietly wait for the coming of the Lord, living by faith and looking to the future.  Here is the day of the Lord in verse 14: “For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”




Now we come to a book of REJOICING, Zephaniah; and it is believed that Zephaniah was used of God very much to bring about the time of revival at the time of king Josiah.  It is a book which begins with judgment and ends with a song of rejoicing, and again, as in Joel, the day of the Lord is the key to the study of this book.


Apart from references to that day, he uses the phrase seven times: (1) chapter 1: 7: “Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, He hath bid His guests.” (2) 1: 8:And it shall come to pass in the day of the LORD’s sacrifice, that I will punish the princes, and the king’s children, and all such as are clothed with strange apparel.” (3) 1: 14: “The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly,”  (4) 1: 14: “even the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.”  (5) 1: 18: “Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’s wrath.”  (6) 2: 1-2: “Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired: Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD’s anger come upon you.”  (7) 2: 3: “Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness; it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD’s anger.”


Finally, in chapter 3 we have what has been described as the sweetest love song in the Old Testament, “In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem, Fear thou not: and to Zion, Let not thine hands be slack.  The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; He will save, He will rejoice over thee with joy; He will rest in his love, He will joy over thee with singing ... At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you: for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the LORD” (3: 16-20).




Then we come to Haggai - REASSURED, and how much we need it.  Haggai’s work is post-exilic.  The people who had returned from captivity were disheartened and they had much to discourage them.  Discouraged about rebuilding the temple, there was political intrigue that stopped the work and so the zeal and enthusiasm of God’s ancient people had mostly died away.  So the people made time for excuses, as we see in chapter 1: 2, and the thought that we may bear in mind as we read this is, that before the day of the Lord the temple will be rebuilt.


In fact, on my holiday last year I saw a film (I do not know how authentic the interpretation of it is) which indicated that the Jews out there, in their unbelief, are asking permission to excavate on the site of the temple and what they are really doing is not just excavating but they are actually, according to the film, getting the foundations ready under the plea of doing some archaeological work; they are actually laying the foundations for the rebuilding of the temple.  I can only go on what the commentator of the film said.  But THAT TEMPLE WILL BE REBUILT.  I am getting older but I sometimes tell young people that I hope I shall live to see the temple rebuilt.


I was sitting in a train one day with a dear old Jew, and he was reading his Scriptures.  I said to the old man, Excuse me but do you believe that the temple will be rebuilt?  That dear old man looked at me and said, I pray for it every day.


We will just close with this thought of REASSURANCE.  For thus saith the LORD of hosts: Yet once, it is a little while, and I will shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land; and I will shake all nations, and the Desire of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory, saith the LORD of hosts” (2: 6-7).  I do not know how the Lord can fill the house of the Lord with glory if the building is not there.


I know you can spiritualise all these passages, but when you have done spiritualising them there is still a great deal more.  I do feel when I listen to an A-millennialist preaching on these passages, how empty the message really is.  You can get something for the soul but you cannot get much for the future.  No hope for God’s ancient people, how sad.  But we do thank God for the wonderful truth in these minor prophets, and as our chairman has reminded us, they are not so minor after all.  There is prophecy packed in small portions.  We thank God it is there and for the encouragement and the hope that this message brings to everyone who is looking forward to the coming of the day of the Lord with a true godly motive.


The Prophecies of Zechariah and Malachi are a part of that more sure word of prophecy whereunto we do well to take heed as unto a light shining in a dark place - this evil world of sin, darkness, and woe.






[Part 2 – Zechariah and Malachi]


Now to begin with, it is well to have in our minds a little outline concerning the prophets of Israel in their relation to the time of the captivity of Israel in Babylon.


Jeremiah prophesied before the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity; Ezekiel and Daniel prophesied during that period; and Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi prophesied after the return from captivity.  Ezra and Nehermah are the historical books relating to the resettlement of Israel in their own land and give descriptions of their difficulties and afflictions and rejoicings.


We learn from these historical books how that after the return of Israel to their land again, an altar was erected.  They offered unto the Lord thanksgiving and sacrifice for His mercies in bringing them back to the land of their fathers.  Also, the foundation of the Temple was then laid, but due to difficulties and persecutions from the Samaritans around, the people grew discouraged and weary and left off building the Temple of the Lord and turned to elaborate their own dwellings.


Because of this, the Prophets Haggai and Zechariah were sent to stir up the people to complete the Lord’s house, and although the Temple which they had started to build was insignificant as compared with Solomon’s Temple, Haggai and Zechariah assured the people that God would take pleasure in their labours, and they were given rich promises of restoration and of blessing if they continued faithful.


The Structure of the Prophecy of Zechariah


Regarding the structure of this book of the Prophecy of Zechariah, there are eight visions which God gave to the prophet to record, and these are found in chapters 1-6, while chapters 7-14 record more direct statements of prophecy.  We also find in the visions and the promises connected with them, that they go beyond their immediate application to Israel at that time, and thus unfold end time conditions and God’s judgments on the wicked, and His final purposes of grace to His own repentant Israel in a yet future day.  This is illustrated in Haggai’s prophecy (2: 4-9), not yet fulfilled, there the shaking of the heavens and of the earth are mentioned which is reserved for the Day of God’s judgment and wrath at the return of the Lord from heaven.  The third vision of Zechariah may also be mentioned as clearly depicting future Millennial blessing.


It is always important to remember that sometimes prophecies have a double fulfilment.  We see this in connection with the prophecy in Joel 2.  Peter referred to this on the day of Pentecost.  Truly, Pentecost was an earnest of this, but how brief!  And the final or complete fulfilment is to be in the “Day of the Lord,” when the Lord will be once again in the midst of His people Israel, and when they as God’s priests and ministers will dispense justice and truth and healing in the earth.


Its Opening Message


In the opening words of the Prophet Zechariah, before the visions are enlarged upon, we find how God, through His servant, first called the people to repentance (verse 3).  And this is exactly how both John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus began their message and ministry to the nation of Israel.  They both came saying, “Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 3: 2; Mark 1: 5).  This is the only ground upon which God can truly bless His people, and Zechariah bade them take warning.  They were not to be as their fathers who had provoked God’s displeasure and who had set at nought His prophets (1: 4).  Their fathers suffered God’s judgment by being sent into captivity (1: 5-6), and of this calamity they themselves were partakers.  God’s anger had indeed been turned away; their fathers had suffered the judgment of God.  Let not the people incur God’s anger again.


We also read in verse 1 of the actual time when the prophet received this Word of the Lord.  It was in the eighth month, in the second year of Darius the king; and it was exactly two months earlier, in the sixth month of the second year of the same king that Haggai began to prophesy.


In Zechariah 1: 3, we have the term “The LORD of Hosts,” and in passing I would just state that this majestic Name is used no fewer than eighty times by these last three Prophets - Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi.  And note also that it is “Thus saith the LORD of hosts.”  It is evidently to inspire the people with confidence that God was mightier than all their outward circumstances - however great and powerful their enemies were.


Then in verses 5 and 6 we have the questions, “Your fathers, where are they?  And the prophets, do they live for ever?”  Their lives were of short duration, but God’s words and God’s statutes, in contrast, remain.  Did they (these are God’s words) not overtake your fathers?  Yes truly, and in judgment, and they turned, but not in repentance; only to acknowledge that their afflictions were from the hand of God.  The literality of the judgment was too apparent to deny; they recognised that they had reaped what they had sown, and said, “according to our doings so hath He dealt with us.”


Now since my subject is “the Day of the Lordwhich is yet to dawn, I must pass over the visions which are described from verse 7 of chapter 1 to the end of chapter 6, and concentrate our thoughts more upon chapters 7-14 and also briefly refer to the prophet Malachi.  This, of course, is a vast subject and therefore one can only summarise some of the most important details of these latter chapters.


In chapter 7 we find that nearly two years had elapsed since that memorable night on which the series of the eight visions were shown to the Prophet ‑ in which were unfolded in a wonderful panorama the thoughts and purposes of God concerning Israel and the nations from the beginning to the very end of this age.  Then the word of Jehovah came again to Zechariah.


Again the day, the month and the year of the Divine Oracle are clearly given as being the fourth year of King Darius.  Thus it would be about two years after Haggai had stirred up the people to recommence the building of the Lord’s house, and about two years before the house was finished* (Ezra 6: 15; Haggai 1: 1 - 15).


[* The number 2 features significantly also in Hosea’s prophecy also.  When we interpret, It reveals the time which will lapse between the two advents of Messiah: “At this time, a deputation came from Bethel to the elders of Israel regarding the continuation of fast days which the nation had instituted while they were in Babylon.”]


Their enquiry was, need the people continue to keep these fasts and afflict their souls in memory of their former calamities, namely the invasion of their land and destruction of their Temple by Nebuchadnezzar?


The Cause of Israel’s Calamity and Promise of Future Blessing


The Prophet Zechariah however, who spoke to them in the Name of the Lord did not answer them directly, and the first part of the prophetic discourse as contained in chapter 7 was intended to bring home to them and the nation the cause of their former, and present sad and reduced circumstances.  The cause of their low estate was moral, the perverting of justice, oppression of the poor, and their hardness of heart.  It was because of these things that they had been scattered with a whirlwind, and their land made desolate.  The causes were divinely reiterated.  It was of their own making.  So with God’s condemnation of the nation the chapter ends, but as it is seen so often in these prophetical passages, after the condemnation of His people Israel, the Lord affirms that His love will not utterly depart from them - there will always be a remnant.


And this prophetical discourse continues in chapter 8 with gracious promises that He will yet save His people and be their God in Truth and Righteousness, resulting in world-wide blessings.


This same climax of blessing is found in earlier chapters 1. – 6., and in later chapters 9. - 10., and 12. - 14.; in other words, throughout the whole Book.  In wrath, God ever remembers mercy.


Restoration and Blessing


And so we have the closing words in chapter 8 declaring “It shall yet come to pass, that there shall come people(s), and the inhabitants of many cities ... saying, Let us go speedily to pray ... and seek the LORD of hosts in Jerusalem ... In those days ... ten men out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you” (8: 20-23).  Such words imply eagerness and assurance for the Lord will take away the reproach of His people Israel from off the whole earth.  Instead of being a byword among the nations they will be held in high esteem as Isaiah 25: 8 definitely declares.


The nations will then realise that their fathers have inherited lies and vanities, and that God’s favour rests upon Israel (Jeremiah 16: 19), and as the priests and ministers of God, Israel shall teach the people knowledge.  They will bring peace and healing to all nations.


Such will be the power of the age to come.


We pass on to chapter 9 and here it is reiterated, like each of the passages already noted, that much is beyond the then present circumstances or contemporary history, and culminates in the time when Israel shall be brought to true repentance and will return unto the Lord never more to be forsaken, neither their land again made desolate.


Although some of the expressions in this chapter, as indeed in other chapters in this book, may seem somewhat obscure, yet the general trend of events is clear, and especially as they accord with the prophetical passages in the New Testament concerning the end of this age.  Take such words as we have in verse 10, “And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem, and the battle bow shall be cut off.”  These things will not be needed by Israel, not even for their final deliverance from the hosts of Antichrist.  Their deliverance will not be by munitions of war but by the Spirit of God, and the Lord’s intervention on their behalf.


True Peace and Rest


And He shall speak peace unto the nations” (9: 10).  How parallel are such words with Isaiah 2: 1-4, “They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks ... neither shall they learn war any more.”  And Psalm 86: 9, “All nations whom Thou hast made shall come and worship (brought low) before Thee, 0 Lord; and shall glorify Thy Name.”  He shall have dominion also from sea to sea and from the river (Euphrates) unto the ends of the earth ... He ... shall save the souls of the needy.  He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence” (Psalm 72: 8-14).


And as to spiritual life, it will still be peace through the Blood of His Cross, and through Israel, God’s gospel will be declared to all nations.


Verse 14. “And the LORD shall be seen over them, and His arrow shall go forth as lightning.”  And in the Isaiah 63 context with Zechariah 14: 3 we read of how the Lord will fight for them, when He comes from heaven glorious in apparel, the day of vengeance in His heart for the year of His redeemed is come.


And the LORD God shall blow the trumpet” (9: 14).  How fitting are such words with the New Testament passages, “The trump of God” (1 Thessalonians 4: 15-18) and “the last trump” (1 Corinthians 15: 52), linked with Revelation 11: 15-18 when resurrection and reward to saints takes place and God’s wrath follows on the ungodly and “the kingdoms of this world ... become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ.”


“And shall go with whirlwinds of the south” (9: 14). The elements of nature shall be used to effect God’s judgments.  The sun darkened, the moon as blood, the heavens departing as a scroll, mountains and islands removed out of their places are accompaniments of the Lord’s second advent as confirmed by Revelation 6 and 7 and Hebrews 12.


For how great is His goodness, and how great is His beauty” (9: 17).  Such will be the words used by converted Israel in this day of the Lord’s Glory as they receive this manifestation of His grace and the fulfilment of His immutable promises as recorded in Jeremiah 31 and 32, as they behold Him in His beauty - they who once saw no beauty in Him, that they should desire Him.


True Contrition and Confidence in the Messiah


But in that Day, Israel, when they look on Him Whom their nation once pierced and despised, shall be brought to mourn and lament for Him, with deep contrition of heart as the words of chapter 12: 10-14 state.  But their mourning shall be turned to rejoicing, for the Lord shall preserve them during the brief time following His glorious coming, while the vials of wrath are poured out on the wicked.  Then He will make Himself known to His brethren in everlasting embrace, nevermore to be pulled out of their land.  And I will bring again the captivity of My people of Israel ... And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD” (Amos 9: 14-15).


Now may I just draw your attention to chapter 10: 4-7.  In verse 4 we read “Out of (literally, from) him (that is, from Judah, as the preceding verse shows) shall come forth the Corner (Stone), from him the Nail, from him the Battle Bow, from him every Oppressor (Exactor or Ruler) together.”  Here we have four Messianic Titles of dignity and judgment.

From him (Judah the royal tribe from which our Lord sprang), the One Whom God laid “in Zion for a foundation stone, a tried stone, a precious Corner Stone, a sure foundation.”  These are expressions giving varied aspects of the dignity and glory that belong to the Lord Jesus Christ (Isaiah. 28: 16).  We may also call to mind the somewhat similar figure given in Daniel 2: 44-45 ‑ the Stone cut out without hands which shall destroy and consume all the kingdoms of this world, so that His Kingdom of peace and righteousness shall stand for ever.


From him (Judah) the Nail fastened in a sure place and upon Whom shall hang all the glory of His Father’s house (Isaiah 22: 20-25).


From him (Judah) the Battle-Bow.  The Lord is a man of war.  He will not let the wicked go unpunished.  He will come in all His strength to save all the meek of the earth (Psalm 76: 7-9).  His wrath will be poured out (Isaiah 63: 1) upon the ungodly, upon Antichrist and all his evil hosts.


From him (Judah) every Exactor or Ruler together.  All ruling power and authority united in Himself - both Kingship and royal Priesthood, as Psalm 110 makes clear, and all who do not submit themselves shall perish.


And they (Israel) shall be as mighty men, treading down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle.  And they shall fight because the Lord is with them and the riders on horses shall be confounded (10: 5).  Such words again confirm how Israel will be empowered to overcome their enemies in the final conflict when they shall no more be pulled out of their land.  They shall be as mighty men confounding their enemies.  God’s promises of deliverance include all the tribes, as Judah and Joseph and Ephraim suggests, and in that Day they shall be one in heart and purpose (Ezekiel 37).


They of Ephraim, shall be like a mighty man ... yea their children shall see it, and be glad; their heart shall rejoice in the LORD” (10: 7) on account of His mercies and deliverance.


Verse 12, “I will strengthen them in the LORD.”  On this bright note the chapter ends, “And they shall walk up and down in His Name saith the LORD,” subdued and conscious of God’s mercy, and “none shall make them afraid” (Micah 4: 14).


Divine Events in that Future Day


We thus arrive at the last three chapters of this prophecy.  These chapters (12-14), link together events connected with “That Day,” the expression so often used in the prophetic Scriptures in reference to “The Day of the LORD,” which embraces the 1,000 years of sabbattic rest in contrast to “Man's day” of misrule and oppression which has now continued nearly 6,000 years.  It is the “last day” spoken of in John 6 (mentioned four times); the day of resurrection unto life when the Lord takes control, and saints enter into their rest,* and judgment follows upon the ungodly (2 Thessalonians 1).  We can only give a very brief outline of these three last chapters.


[* Heb. 4: 1, 11]


Chapter 12 sets forth God’s Sovereignty over all creation, and reminds us of the immutability of His promises to Israel.  Jerusalem is spoken of as a burdensome stone to all nations who intermeddle with her policy.  God not only gives deliverance to His people Israel from their outward enemies but also saves them from internal strife.  His Holy Spirit mightily works within them resulting in a humbled and repentant people made conscious of their nation’s sin and of their own evil heart of unbelief.


Chapter 13 reveals that in this Day of the Lord there will be a fountain opened for sin and uncleanness to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem; how idolatry and false prophets will be exposed and cast out from the land.  And we see the process of God’s saving work with His people Israel; how “that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die ... And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (13: 8, 9), solemn words of discriminative judgment.  The Lord, however, will preserve the remnant who will be brought through His refining fires, and to repentance, when they will once more become His people, and become a praise and blessing in the earth nevermore to be cast away as confirmed by Jeremiah 33; Amos 9 and Zephaniah 3.  At that time, even as the chapter ends, the Lord will say “It is My people and they (Israel) shall say, The Lord is My God” (13: 9).


And this brings us to the last chapter wherein is brought before us how all nations will be gathered against Jerusalem at this time, and how the city will be taken.  It also records how the Lord will come and deliver His people Israel from their enemies, overcoming them, and establishing His kingdom of Peace and Righteousness in the earth; how there will be geographical changes in the land and in the service and worship of the Lord; how in that Day the Lord shall descend from heaven and His feet shall stand upon the mount of Olives which shall cleave into two, one part moving toward the north and the other toward the south, causing a very great valley between its two parts.  This glorious consummation and Coming of the Lord with all His saints and mighty angels is referred to in Matthew 24: 30-31; 2 Thessalonians 17-10 and Revelation 19:11-16.  It will be the time when He shall gather His elect (the church) from the four winds; from one end of heaven to the other. It will also be the time when the last trump, the trumpet of God, shall be sounded (1 Corinthians 15:52); 1 Thessalonians 4:16; Revelation 11: 15‑18; Matthew 24: 31, when the first resurrection - the resurrection of the just,* and reward to saints takes place; with judgment to follow on the ungodly.  It shall be one day, known unto the Lord, not day nor night (reminding us of Matthew 24: 36), but at evening time it shall be light (verse 7).  And in that Day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem (verse 8; see also Psalm 46: 4; 65: 9; Ezekiel 47: 1-12), “a river making glad the City of God.”


[* See Luke 14: 14; 20: 35; Phil. 3: 11; Heb. 11: 35b; Rev- 20: 4b, 6.]


The True King


And the LORD shall be King over all the earth: in that Day shall there be One Lord, and His Name One” (verse 9).  No longer, “gods many and lords many” (1 Corinthians 8: 5).


The nations shall realise that their idols are vanity and less than vanity and that they have inherited lies.  The satanic veil of superstition and idolatry shall be taken away (Isaiah 25: 7).


The Session of the Ancient of Days will have taken place, and the Son of Man given dominion and glory and a kingdom that will not pass away, that all peoples and nations and languages shall serve Him (Daniel 7: 13-14).  Truly, then, will a King be reigning in perfect righteousness as Isaiah 32: 1 states and it shall be [literally] fulfilled, “The Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end” (Luke 1:32-33).  Verse 21: “And in that Day there shall be no more the Canaanite (or merchant) in the house of the LORD, for then will be designated everything as ‘Holiness unto the LORD,’” when Israel as a nation will be conscious of God’s grace, loving Truth and Righteousness.


My Messenger


Now, I refer to the Prophet Malachi.  The name Malachi means ‘My Messenger.’  This is the last of the Old Testament prophecies and Malachi was to Nehemiah what Haggai and Zechariah were to Zerrubbabel.


Following a period of revival after the return from captivity in Babylon, the people of Israel had become indifferent and morally lax and this is the state of things which Malachi rebuked.  The heart of hope in the prophecy is in chapter 3: 16-18, where we read, “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before Him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon His Name.  And they shall be Mine, saith the LORD of Hosts, in that Day when I make up My jewels (or, special treasure); and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.  Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not.


And chapter 4 continues, “For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burm as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble; and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.  But unto you that fear My Name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.  And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the LORD of hosts.”




As already mentioned, Israel in their previous kingdom failed, and the kingdom was taken away from them.  The Church, likewise once manifestly the body of Christ on earth, fell away and did not continue in the unity, the faith, and the discipline which God gave for its continuance.  But redeemed Israel in the age to come is to continue in faith and power, an eternal excellency, a joy of many generations, and unlike this [evil] age they shall fill the earth with fruit even as the apostle exclaims, “How much more their fullness?” (Romans 11: 12).


All these consolatory announcements given to Israel show clearly that “Jehovah is jealous for Zion with great jealousy” and will return to Jerusalem with mercies; and that not only will the people be restored and the land rebuilt, but that He Himself will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem which shall be known as “the City of Truth” and “The Holy Mountain- the centre to which the Gentile nations shall come to seek Jehovah and be taught His way.