A Question I Was Asked:

'How Could God Gather "All Nations" to Fight Against Jerusalem?'





My Reply:
You are presumably referring to Zechariah 14:2 which, of course, is a prophecy, about which more later, but firstly let us look at this "all nations" thing.

"All nations" does not have to literally include every single world nation! Scripture itself recognises that the Roman Empire was the major world empire of its time and a full embodiment of beastly power (Daniel 7:7). Therefore, an attack by the Roman Empire in the first century AD would have been tantamount to an attack by 'all nations.' In exactly the same manner, if - at some future point - a United Nations army was sent into battle against a city or country, that UN force would certainly be representative of "all nations." This does not mean that I consider that the UN is a current world empire (as some teach), but simply that a UN force could be seen as being representative of 'all nations.' Interestingly, even Derek Prince, who was totally against what he called the "spiritualizing of Scripture," agreed with this second point.

Now, with more specific regard to Zechariah, while most Old Testament prophecy is unquestionably fulfilled, including much within this particular book, much within Zechariah 14 really does appear to refer to the future. However, when dealing with Zechariah, we must note that this prophet always wrote through the worldview of his own day, probably even more than most of the prophets. God allowed the prophets to see and understand a certain amount but, we must always remember that He never allowed them to understand so much that they could no longer function as prophets standing and operating within Old Covenant Israel! Rather, it is as though God just loosened the curtain which covers the future now and then, allowing them to see glimpses, and enough to develop understanding on certain points, but never a full comprehension on every point.

The likelihood is that this particular prophecy received partial fufillment with the AD66-73 Jewish War, but will receive another fulfillment in the future. Enough seems to be said within Revelation for us to believe that - right at the end, and probably only for a short time - Christianity will be totally banned and Christians become liable for arrest (see Revelation 11:7-10). This is probably the main event which the Lord allowed Zechariah to glimpse a little of, but, looking through the 'spectacles' of his own time and place, he records this as "all nations" being gathered against Jerusalem. Of course, that literally happened in AD66-70, so the prophecy already has one fulfillment (as a manifestation of 'beastly power,' the Roman Empire plainly represented "all nations"), but putting together everything which this prophet writes in this chapter, he undoubtedly saw a little more than purely the events of AD66-73.
Robin A. Brace, May, 2008.

UK APOLOGETICS