Furthermore, verse 3 accurately describes the military victories that Israel has had since that time. The miraculous victories Israel has experienced make a very strong argument that God has truly been fighting for them. This has been evidenced by Israel’s survival in the War of Independence and in all its wars since that time. Most remarkably, Israel unequivocally won both the Six-Day War in 1967 and the Yom Kippur War in 1973, where the odds were certainly not in their favor.
Then the Lord will go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fights on a day of battle. – Zechariah 14:3 NASB
Therefore, we should consider that these events may have already been fulfilled in modern history and that we are now living in the days between verses 3 and 4. In verses 4 and 5 we see a picture of Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives that is split in two, so we know that those events are obviously still to come.
In that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which is in front of Jerusalem on the east; and the Mount of Olives will be split in its middle from east to west by a very large valley, so that half of the mountain will move toward the north and the other half toward the south. You will flee by the valley of My mountains, for the valley of the mountains will reach to Azel; yes, you will flee just as you fled before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord, my God, will come, and all the holy ones with Him! – Zechariah 14:4–5 NASB
The phrase “in that day,” at the start of verse 4, can sound as though it is talking about the very same day as verses 2 and 3; however, the reference could easily apply to only the final battle of a series of wars, which are the subject of verse 3. In other words, if we understand that verse 3 is a long series of battles, where God delivers Israel victoriously from every one of them, then the events of verse 2 (Jerusalem being divided) don’t have to happen at the same time as verses 4 and 5. In fact, I doubt that even the future events described in the last two verses will happen at the same time (Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives, Jews fleeing into the wilderness, and Jesus returning with his holy ones to defeat the Antichrist). When you analyze it closely, there are too many disparate details to imagine that everything could happen in such rapid succession. Therefore, it is best understood as a picture of the last days, not a statement that everything will take place in twenty-four hours. Since the city really was divided in half, for the first time in Jerusalem’s four-thousand-year history, I think it is reasonable to conclude that 1948–49 already saw the fulfillment of that portion of the prophecy, and we can confidently affirm that verse 2 has been fulfilled and that verse 3 is still in progress.
ISRAEL’S NEIGHBORS AGAINST HER
Israel’s neighbors have a long history of being at odds with her; but who would have thought that 2,500 years later, the situation would be unchanged? For most of Israel’s history, the nations that have surrounded Israel have generally been her outright enemies. For short periods of time, there have periodically been peaceful relations with some of the nations; but down through the ages in the Middle East, there have perpetually been wars between Jews and Arabs. The prophet Jeremiah gave an exhaustive list of Israel’s enemies, prophesying that in the last days God was going to make the surrounding nations drink the cup of his wrath. We know from ancient history that this list includes virtually every ancient nation that surrounded Israel in the sixth century BC when Jeremiah was prophesying. But Jeremiah also says the kings of “the coastlands across the sea” will be there, the kings of the north “near and far,” and indeed “all the kingdoms on the face of the earth.”
So I took the cup from the LORD’s hand and made all the nations to whom he sent me drink it: Jerusalem and the towns of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a ruin and an object of horror and scorn and cursing, as they are today; Pharaoh king of Egypt, his attendants, his officials and all his people, and all the foreign people there; all the kings of Uz; all the kings of the Philistines (those of Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the people left at Ashdod); Edom, Moab and Ammon; all the kings of Tyre and Sidon; the kings of the coastlands across the sea; Dedan, Tema, Buz and all who are in distant places ; all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the foreign people who live in the desert; all the kings of Zimri, Elam and Media; and all the kings of the north, near and far, one after the other—all the kingdoms on the face of the earth. And after all of them, the king of Sheshach will drink it too. Then tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty, the God of Israel, says: Drink, get drunk and vomit, and fall to rise no more because of the sword I will send among you.’ But if they refuse to take the cup from your hand and drink, tell them, ‘This is what the LORD Almighty says: You must drink it! See, I am beginning to bring disaster on the city that bears my Name, and will you indeed go unpunished? You will not go unpunished, for I am calling down a sword upon all who live on the earth, declares the LORD Almighty.’” – Jeremiah 25:17-29 NIV (emphasis added)
The rebirth of Israel as a nation immediately reignited that saga, and it has been an issue ever since. Just looking at the nations in the Arab League, there are a total of sixteen Arab league members that have refused to normalize ties with Israel or even acknowledge its existence. It is expected that more Arab nations will make peace with Israel and join the Abraham Accords, but it is unlikely that they all will. Furthermore, nations Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan have similarly refused to recognize Israel and are not showing any signs that they will be ready to make a peace deal with Israel anytime soon, either. There are, however, some countries that have thankfully made peace with Israel. The first Arab nation to sign a peace treaty with Israel was Egypt in 1973. This was followed by Jordan in 1994. Both nations were bitter enemies prior to the treaties and had both participated in unprovoked attacks against Israel. Then remarkably, beginning in 2020, more nations began making peace with Israel under the Abraham Accords. The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain were the first to move forward, followed by Morocco and Sudan. And while that was an amazing step toward a new era of peace in the Middle East, the decades that followed the creation of Israel simply proved that nothing much had changed in the Middle East between Jews and Arabs—except for the nation names and the technologies available.
Then, when we look beyond the surrounding nations, we also see that most of the world has turned against Israel. From the United Nations (UN), there have been consistently more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country in the world, three times more in 2020.