The book of Lamentations is read in Israel on Tisha B’Av every year. In Lamentations 5:18, it says that Mount Zion, where the first and second Temples stood, will be so desolate that “foxes will walk upon it.” The sight of these animals walking and playing on the Western Wall this week leading up to Tisha B’Av is seen as a prophetic sign.
“For Mount Zion, which has become desolate, foxes prowl over it” יח עַ֤ל הַר־צִיּוֹן֙ שֶׁשָּׁמֵ֔ם שֽׁוּעָלִ֖ים הִלְּכוּ־בֽוֹ:
Some translations say foxes, and others say jackals. Regardless, seeing these animals all over the Western Wall on this particular week, leading up to Tisha B’Av – when the Jews mourn for the destruction of both Temples that occurred on his day over 600 years apart – does give one pause for thought. All that remains since the destruction of the second Temple in 70 A.D. is the Western Wall.
On August 6th, it was reported on the Yeshiva World site that “for the past three consecutive days, dozens of foxes have been observed entering and exiting the southwestern corner of the Kosel [aka Kotel – Western Wall] from dawn until sunrise.” You can view the video at this same site by clicking on the link above.
The Jerusalem Post also reported on this. “Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, the rabbi of the Western Wall and Holy Sites, referred to photos of the foxes and commented, ‘One cannot refrain from crying at the site of the fulfillment of the prophecy of ‘foxes will walk on it.’”
Pastor Chad Thomas gave an emotional report on this occurrence. See his video response at this link.
Rabbis in Israel are saying that this prophecy fulfillment also means that Zechariah’s prophecy will soon be fulfilled regarding the rebuilding of the Temple.
I don’t know if they are speaking of the third Temple or the Millennial Temple the Messiah will build (which is the one described in Zechariah). We know that the third Temple will be desecrated by the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15), who will then go after the Jews in an attempt to destroy them (see Matthew 24:16-22).
About Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av)
In this year of 2019, Tisha B’Av begins at sunset on Saturday, August 10 and ends at sunset on Sunday, August 11. Every year on this date, rabbis read from the book of Lamentations.
From the site My Jewish Learning: The Book of Lamentations is read softly at first. The volume of the reader’s voice builds to the climax, which is sung aloud by the entire congregation: “Turn us to you, O Lord, and we will return. Renew our days as of old” (Lamentations 5:21).
Tisha B’Av is an annual Jewish fast day, named for the ninth day (Tisha) of the month of Av in the Hebrew calendar. It is the culmination of the three-week period of mourning that is associated with the breaking of a spiritual symbol of God’s favor. It is known as the saddest day of the Jewish year. Every time this anniversary has come up for thousands of years, Jews have mourned the loss of their two Temples. Many other calamities are said to have befallen the Jewish people on Tisha B’Av that have the same theme.
About the Book of Zechariah
From Jack Kelley: “End Times According to Zechariah Part 1”
“Zechariah assumed his role as a prophet in 520 BC, a few years after Israel’s return from the 70-year Babylonian captivity. The first half of his book describes eight visions that all came to him on a single night, February 15, 519 BC. Then there’s a short interlude where he relates the Lord’s answers to questions the Jews had about their current situation. Chapters 9-14 were written nearly 40 years later. 9-11 deal mostly with prophecies for the times leading up to and including the Lord’s first coming, and 12-14 focus on the End of the Age. These final three chapters are the object of our interest because they describe the End Times According to Zechariah.” A link to Part 2 is also provided at this site. – source
Zechariah concludes with Messiah’s reign; and it is He that will build the Temple. Of course, the Jews fail to see that their Messiah is Christ Jesus; but they will one day soon.
Joshua was an example of the future fulfillment by Jesus in this vision of Zechariah’s:
“Hear, O Joshua, the high priest, You and your companions who sit before you, For they are a wondrous sign; For behold, I am bringing forth My Servant the BRANCH” (Zechariah 3:8).
This vision also speaks of the Branch, the Messiah, who will build the Millennial Temple:
“And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the Lord of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord: Even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zechariah 6:12-13). Also see Jeremiah 23:5, 33:15; Isaiah 4:2, 11:1; Isaiah 53:1-2; Acts 2:29-30.
Jack Kelley did a study on The Branch, which you can read at this link. He discusses four passages all speak of the coming Messiah; and while each refers to Him as “The Branch,” they all portray Him in a different way (King, Servant, Man, Lord).
“Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt, the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9). This prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament (Matthew 21:5; John 12:15) when Jesus rode into Jerusalem riding upon a donkey.
In Zechariah 11:12-13, we see Zechariah as an example of Israel’s coming judgment for breaking God’s favor, also the 30 pieces of silver and a potter’s field that found fulfillment in Judas’ betrayal of Jesus:
When Zechariah terminated his protection of the flock: “And I (Zechariah) said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord.”
Prophecies in Zechariah That Speak of the Last Days and the Messiah’s Future Reign
Zechariah 2:10-13 describes a vision of Zechariah’s, of the Messiah dwelling on the throne of David in Jerusalem during the Millennium:
“Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and shall be my people: and I will dwell in the midst of thee, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto thee. And the Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the holy land, and shall choose Jerusalem again. Be silent, O all flesh, before the Lord: for he is raised up out of his holy habitation” (Zechariah 2:10-13).
(After the rapture of the church (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:51-53), Israel will go through “the time of Jacob’s trouble” aka Daniel’s 70th week and the Tribulation).
At the end of days, all nations that come against Israel will be destroyed at Armageddon, and Israel will recognize her true Messiah just before the end of the Tribulation:
“The burden of the word of the Lord for Israel, saith the Lord, which stretcheth forth the heavens, and layeth the foundation of the earth, and formeth the spirit of man within him. Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem. And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it…
“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn” (Zechariah 12:1-3, 8-10).
Two thirds in the land will perish who have not turned to Christ as their Savior, but one third who turned to Him during that time will survive and will go into the Millennium:
“And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the Lord, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. 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: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:8-9).
Jesus’ Millennial Reign:
“And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one” (Zechariah 14:9).
“And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16).
The Eternal Kingdom
Zechariah doesn’t prophesy about what happens after the Millennial reign of Christ; however, I’d like to include it here.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely” (Revelation 21:1-6).
Jesus is the Righteous Branch:
Jesus said, “…I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star. And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely…
He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus” (Revelation 22:16b-17, 20).