Master of Arts (MA)
Primary Subject Area
Religion, Biblical Studies
Day of the Lord, Divine Warrior, Zechariah, Zion Theology
Haley, Joshua Andrew, "The Relationship of the Battles in Zechariah 12 through 14" (2011). Masters Theses. 164.
The relationship of the battle sequences in Zechariah 12-14 has divided scholars for centuries. Jerusalem, besieged by the nations, will be the location of both battles. The nations will be defeated by a divine plague in both battles. Finally, the battles will both result in the establishment of Yahweh's kingdom. There are several important differences between the battle sequences. Zechariah 14 specifically identifies the day of the conflict as the "Day of the Lord." Chapters 12-13 do not. Chapter 14 describes the judgment of Jerusalem while chapters 12-13 do not. Finally, chapter 14 presents a thorough description of the battle while narrating the events of the conflict. In contrast, chapters 12-13 use a series of similes establishing the power of Yahweh while mostly ignoring the action of the battle.
The dispensational position associated the fulfillment of these battles with Armageddon and the establishment of the Millennial Reign. Dispensational scholars like Charles Feinberg and George Klein therefore suggest that Zechariah 12-14 is describing identical battles in consecutive sequences. It is difficult, however, to find investigation of any length actually linking the battles within a dispensational framework while also explaining the differences between the sequences.
This thesis affirms the dispensational position that Zechariah 12-14 is prophesying about the same conflict in consecutive sequences after (1) a study of the historical setting and the apocalyptic genre; (2) an exegesis of chapters 12-14 and the three important motifs established through the exegesis: Zion and its related theology, the "Day of the Lord," and Yahweh as the Divine Warrior; and (3) an examination of the differing judgment focus of each conflict and its impact on understanding the differences between the battles.