What Does the Bible Say About..? Logo

What Does the Bible Say About..Jesus Returning to Earth?

In one of your articles you said that nowhere in the Bible does it say that Christ will ever set foot on this earth again. So, please explain Zechariah 14, where it says "Then the LORD will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights in the day of battle. On that day his feet will STAND ON THE MOUNT OF OLIVES, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south." It clearly states that He will set foot on this earth again. Please let me know what you think.


The prophecy of Zechariah, like the Revelation, is not easy to understand because it is written in symbols that would be understood by the original readers but the understanding of which we may have lost. As a whole, the book is an encouragement for those who returned from Babylon to be faithful to God.

There are some passages that applied to Jesus the Messiah. One is Zechariah 9:9, which Matthew says (Matthew 21:4-5) applied to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem a week before his crucifixion. Another is Zechariah 11:12-13, which was fulfilled when Judas betrayed Jesus. In Matthew 26:31 Jesus applied Zechariah 13:7 to himself, saying that the apostles would leave him that night.

It is in that context that the passage you quoted comes. Why would it not apply to the time when Jesus came and lived on the earth, and was crucified? What in the passage indicates that it is in our future? It was fulfilled in Jesus already; why should it be fulfilled again? Continue in that same passage and it talks about living water going forth from the Mount of Olives. What did Jesus say about himself to the woman at the well?

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. (John 4:10-14)

Since quoting a part of a passage is the same as quoting the whole context, in the Jewish mind, Jesus is necessarily applying the passage you quoted to himself as well. He set foot on the earth before. Why would he come back to earth? To do so would be to make Paul a liar. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)

One of the basic principles I use in interpreting prophecy is that the simplest explanation is usually the most correct. The simplest explanation here is that Zechariah’s prophecy has been fulfilled and doesn’t need to be talking about events in our future.