The Meaning of Zechariah 14:4 Explained

Zechariah 14:4

KJV: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

YLT: And stood have His feet, in that day, On the mount of Olives, That is before Jerusalem eastward, And cleft hath been the mount of Olives at its midst, To the east, and to the west, a very great valley, And removed hath the half of the mount towards the north. And its half towards the south.

Darby: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem toward the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

ASV: And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east; and the mount of Olives shall be cleft in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

What does Zechariah 14:4 Mean?

Study Notes

and the mount of Olives
Zechariah 14:5 implies that the cleavage of the Mount of Olives is due to an earthquake, and this is confirmed by; Isaiah 29:6 ; Revelation 16:19 . In both passages the context, as in Zechariah 14:1-3 associates the earthquake with the Gentile invasion under the Beast; Daniel 7:8 ; Revelation 19:20 . Surely, in a land seamed by seismic disturbances it should not be difficult to believe that another earthquake might cleave the little hill called the Mount of Olives. Not one of the associated events of Zechariah 14 occurred at the first coming of Christ, closely associated though He then was with the Mount of Olives.

Verse Meaning

In that day Yahweh"s feet, in the person of Messiah (cf. Acts 1:9-12; Revelation 19:11-16), would stand on the Mount of Olives to the east of Jerusalem (cf. Acts 1:11). This is the only place in the Old Testament where this name for this mountain appears (cf. 2 Samuel 15:30; Ezekiel 11:23). Since people were east oriented in ancient times, Zechariah described this mountain as in front of Jerusalem. The Lord would split this mountain in two (with an earthquake, Zechariah 14:5) so half of it would fall away to the north and the other half to the south leaving a large east-west valley down the middle (cf. Revelation 16:18-19). The earthquake will accompany Antichrist"s invasion of Israel (cf. Daniel 7:8; Revelation 19:20).
"Words cannot express more plainly the personal, visible, bodily, literal return of the Lord Jesus Christ in power." [1]

Context Summary

Zechariah 14:1-21 - "at Evening Time It Shall Be Light"
We can hardly doubt that in Zechariah 14:1-21, Zechariah is anticipating the same events as Ezekiel describes in Ezekiel 38:1-23; Ezekiel 39:1-29 of his remarkable book. At first the attack of the enemies of God's people will be entirely successful, then Jesus will appear to them and for them. There will be a literal fulfillment of Acts 1:11 and Isaiah 25:9-10. It was when his brethren were in their greatest straits that Joseph made himself known to them, and when the Jews are in dire extremity, they will hear Him say, "I am Jesus your Brother." See Genesis 45:1-15. Finally the long stormy days of Israel's history will be over forever, and "at evening time it shall be light." It is clear that Paul's vision in Romans 11:1-36 is to be gloriously realized [source]

Chapter Summary: Zechariah 14

1  The destroyers of Jerusalem destroyed
3  The coming of Christ, and the graces of his kingdom
12  The plague of Jerusalem's enemies
16  The remnant shall turn to the Lord;
20  and their spoils shall be holy

What do the individual words in Zechariah 14:4 mean?

And will stand His feet in day that on the Mount of Olives which upon faces Jerusalem on the east and shall be split of Olives in two from east and to west [Making] a valley large very and shall move Half of the mountain toward the north and half of it toward the south
וְעָמְד֣וּ רַגְלָ֣יו בַּיּוֹם־ הַ֠הוּא עַל־ הַ֨ר הַזֵּתִ֜ים‪‬ אֲשֶׁ֨ר עַל־ פְּנֵ֥י יְרוּשָׁלִַם֮ מִקֶּדֶם֒ וְנִבְקַע֩ הַזֵּיתִ֤ים מֵֽחֶצְיוֹ֙ מִזְרָ֣חָה וָיָ֔מָּה גֵּ֖יא גְּדוֹלָ֣ה מְאֹ֑ד וּמָ֨שׁ חֲצִ֥י הָהָ֛ר צָפ֖וֹנָה וְחֶצְיוֹ־ נֶֽגְבָּה

וְעָמְד֣וּ  And  will  stand 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, third person common plural
Root: עָמַד  
Sense: to stand, remain, endure, take one’s stand.
רַגְלָ֣יו  His  feet 
Parse: Noun, fdc, third person masculine singular
Root: רֶגֶל  
Sense: foot.
בַּיּוֹם־  in  day 
Parse: Preposition-b, Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: יׄום 
Sense: day, time, year.
הַ֠הוּא  that 
Parse: Article, Pronoun, third person masculine singular
Root: הוּא 
Sense: he, she, it.
הַ֨ר  the  Mount 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: הַר  
Sense: hill, mountain, hill country, mount.
הַזֵּתִ֜ים‪‬  of  Olives 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: זַיִת  
Sense: olive, olive tree.
עַל־  upon 
Parse: Preposition
Root: עַל 
Sense: upon, on the ground of, according to, on account of, on behalf of, concerning, beside, in addition to, together with, beyond, above, over, by, on to, towards, to, against.
פְּנֵ֥י  faces 
Parse: Noun, common plural construct
Root: לִפְנֵי 
Sense: face.
יְרוּשָׁלִַם֮  Jerusalem 
Parse: Proper Noun, feminine singular
Root: יְרוּשָׁלַםִ  
Sense: the chief city of Palestine and capital of the united kingdom and the nation of Judah after the split.
מִקֶּדֶם֒  on  the  east 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine singular
Root: קֶדֶם 
Sense: east, antiquity, front, that which is before, aforetime.
וְנִבְקַע֩  and  shall  be  split 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Nifal, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: בָּקַע  
Sense: to split, cleave, break open, divide, break through, rip up, break up, tear.
הַזֵּיתִ֤ים  of  Olives 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine plural
Root: זַיִת  
Sense: olive, olive tree.
מֵֽחֶצְיוֹ֙  in  two 
Parse: Preposition-m, Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: חֲצִי 
Sense: half.
מִזְרָ֣חָה  from  east 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: מִזְרָח  
Sense: place of sunrise, east.
וָיָ֔מָּה  and  to  west 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: יָם  
Sense: sea.
גֵּ֖יא  [Making]  a  valley 
Parse: Noun, common singular construct
Root: גַּיְא  
Sense: valley, a steep valley, narrow gorge.
גְּדוֹלָ֣ה  large 
Parse: Adjective, feminine singular
Root: גָּבֹול 
Sense: great.
מְאֹ֑ד  very 
Parse: Adverb
Root: מְאֹד  
Sense: exceedingly, much subst.
וּמָ֨שׁ  and  shall  move 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Verb, Qal, Conjunctive perfect, third person masculine singular
Root: מוּשׁ  
Sense: to depart, remove.
חֲצִ֥י  Half 
Parse: Noun, masculine singular construct
Root: חֲצִי 
Sense: half.
הָהָ֛ר  of  the  mountain 
Parse: Article, Noun, masculine singular
Root: הַר  
Sense: hill, mountain, hill country, mount.
צָפ֖וֹנָה  toward  the  north 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: צָפֹון  
Sense: north (of direction), northward.
וְחֶצְיוֹ־  and  half  of  it 
Parse: Conjunctive waw, Noun, masculine singular construct, third person masculine singular
Root: חֲצִי 
Sense: half.
נֶֽגְבָּה  toward  the  south 
Parse: Noun, feminine singular, third person feminine singular
Root: נֶגֶב  
Sense: south-country, Nekeb, south.