And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in front of Jerusalem, on the east; and the mountain of the olive trees must be split at its middle, from the sunrising and to the west. There will be a very great valley; and half of the mountain will actually be moved to the north, and half of it to the south.
23. As to how the symbolic “Mount of Olives” is split at the middle, what is the prophecy given by Daniel to which we turn for an illustration?
23 Since Jerusalem is here symbolic—of the “heavenly Jerusalem”—so also must the “mountain of the olive trees” be. How, then, will what it symbolizes be “split at its middle” and become two mountains, “my mountains,” as Jehovah says? A prophet whom Zechariah may have personally known in ancient Babylon records a prophetic dream that illustrates how this will come about. About the year 605 B.C.E. the king of Babylon had his dream of a manlike image, that, by its four metals and clay, pictured the unbroken succession of world powers from Babylon down to the Anglo-American World Power of today together with all the associated political rulers of our time. Then, some distance away, a large mountain is seen. Without the human hands of any excavators a stone is cut out of this original mountain. Without its being pitched by a human hand, it takes on motion and speeds on its way. Into outer space? No, but toward that metallic image of world domination of political world powers. Without a miss it smashes against the image, striking it upon its feet that are part of iron and part of clay. Instead of splattering to pieces at its impact with those feet, why, believe it or not, it crushes them. Down comes the whole image to the ground. What next? This:
“At that time the iron, the molded clay, the copper, the silver and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that no trace at all was found of them. And as for the stone that struck the image, it became a large mountain and filled the whole earth.”—Daniel 2:1, 31-35.
24. What interpretation of the dream did Daniel give to King Nebuchadnezzar?
24 Now just two mountains remain to view—the large mountain filling the whole earth, and the original mountain quite a distance away from the earth and hence not of this earth. This outcome is what all future inhabitants of our earth face in the realization of this symbolic dream. What does it mean? Listen, as Daniel interprets the dream to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon:
“And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that will never be brought to ruin. And the kingdom itself will not be passed on to any other people. It will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, and it itself will stand to times indefinite; forasmuch as you beheld that out of the mountain a stone was cut not by hands, and that it crushed the iron, the copper, the molded clay, the silver and the gold. The grand God himself has made known to the king what is to occur after this. And the dream is reliable, and the interpretation of it is trustworthy.”—Daniel 2:36-45.
25. What does the original “mountain” picture, and what does the “mountain” that grows up out of the stone picture?
25 By this “trustworthy” inspired interpretation we know that the stone mountain that filled the whole earth pictured a permanent kingdom. Consistently, then, the mountain from which the stone was cut out “not by hands” pictured a permanent kingdom. Since it is the “God of heaven” who sets up over all the earth the “kingdom that will never be brought to ruin,” that original mountain, which fathers the “stone,” pictured God’s universal kingdom. It pictured his theocratic rule. The mountain that grew up from the stone and that becomes the only mountain on earth pictures the kingdom of God’s Son, Jesus Christ, the Messianic kingdom, which will be the only kingdom in control of the earth after the “war of the great day of God the Almighty” at Har–Magedon puts an end to the man-made, devil-controlled kingdoms of this present system of things. (Revelation 16:14-16) Thus there will be two symbolic “mountains,” two kingdoms, that of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah as the Great Theocrat and that of His Messiah, Jesus, over all the earth. In this way Jehovah, in exercising once again his universal sovereignty, will use the kingdom of his Son as his agency.
26. What does the Mount of Olives, in its undivided state, symbolize, and how does this compare with the “heavenly Jerusalem”?
26 The divine prophecy through Zechariah concerning “that day” corresponds with the prophetic dream interpreted by Daniel. So the “mountain of the olive trees” to the east of earthly Jerusalem pictures, in its undivided state, the universal kingdom of the Sovereign Lord Jehovah. Just as the highest eminence of the Mount of Olives rises to a height of 2,963 feet and thus dominates the general level of Jerusalem by more than 400 feet, so Jehovah’s universal kingdom dominates the “heavenly Jerusalem” and uses it as a theocratic agency.—Hebrews 12:22.
27. Why does the splitting of the Mount of Olives not picture Jehovah’s universal kingdom’s becoming divided against itself?
27 God’s universal kingdom never becomes divided against itself. (Matthew 12:25, 26) That is not what is pictured by the splitting of the Mount of Olives “at its middle.” Jehovah does not act against his own sovereignty by establishing the Messianic kingdom of his Son. What, then, does this division of the Mount of Olives picture, and when does its division take place?
28. Does the splitting of the mountain picture the dividing of Jehovah’s supremacy and sovereignty, and so what does the splitting of the mountain “at its middle” really picture?
28 It does not picture a dividing of Jehovah’s supremacy, nor the dividing of his universal sovereignty. He always remains the Most High God and the Sovereign Lord of the universe. In harmony with the prophetic dream as interpreted at Daniel 2:44, 45, the splitting of the mountain that is to the east of Jerusalem pictures Jehovah’s establishing of a kingdom that is subsidiary to his own universal kingdom, because it is over an area that is really a rebel territory so that Jehovah cannot deal directly with it. It is a kingdom of one who is in the line of earthly King David, and also a kingdom after the manner of that of King-Priest Melchizedek. Hence it is a government not just over King David’s earthly domain but also over the whole earth.—Psalm 110:1-4; Hebrews 5:10 to 8:1; Acts 2:34-36.
29. So this split produces what kind of a kingdom, and when did this split occur, and why?
29 This produces a kingdom of the only-begotten Son of God alongside of and subject to the kingdom of God the Father. And since this secondary kingdom has connections with the earthly kingdom of David, it must take into account the 2,520-year-long Gentile Times that were imposed upon the kingdom of David. Hence that secondary kingdom in the hands of the Messianic King, the Son of God, was first established at the end of the Gentile Times in 1914 C.E.—Luke 21:24; Daniel 4:16, 23-25; Hebrews 10:12, 13.
30. What does God speak of the two resulting mountains as being, what does each one picture, and what must be said as to opposition of the one to the other?
30 This explains why Jehovah speaks of the two mountains that result from the split of the Mount of Olives as being “my mountains.” (Zechariah 14:5) Scripturally the mountain to the north would picture Jehovah’s universal kingdom, and the mountain to the south the Messianic kingdom of his Son. (Psalm 75:6, 7) That this newly produced “mountain” kingdom is subject to and not opposed to Jehovah’s universal kingdom is stated in 1 Corinthians 15:25-28:
“For he must rule as king until God has put all enemies under his feet. As the last enemy, death is to be brought to nothing. For God ‘subjected all things under his feet.’ But when he says that ‘all things have been subjected,’ it is evident that it is with the exception of the one who subjected all things to him. But when all things will have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will also subject himself to the One who subjected all things to him, that God may be all things to everyone.”
31. (a) How does the prophecy show that both kingdoms remain subject to Jehovah? (b) His “feet” being there indicates what, and who is the Chief One with whom He comes?
31 That both kingdoms are, from the start, subject to the Sovereign Lord God is set out in the declaration: “And his feet will actually stand in that day upon the mountain of the olive trees, which is in front of Jerusalem, on the east.” And when the symbolic mountain splits, half to the north and half to the south, Jehovah’s feet remain set upon both mountains, “my mountains.” Since the Mount of Olives is hundreds of feet higher than ancient Jerusalem, from a vantage point like this the Most High God, Jehovah, could see what goes on with regard to the “heavenly Jerusalem” as respects its interests in the earth. When, symbolically speaking, Jehovah plants his feet upon the Mount of Olives, it means that he has come. Just as he prophetically said: “And Jehovah my God will certainly come, all the holy ones being with him.” The Chief One of his heavenly “holy ones” is, of course, his sinless Son, Jesus Christ, whom he makes king over the secondary “mountain” kingdom. (Zechariah 14:5) Such “holy ones” act as Jehovah’s executional forces.
32. (a) What results from the splitting of the mountain, and what advantage is taken of the resulting formation? (b) The fugitives there come under what divine provision?
32 “There will be a very great valley; and half of the mountain will actually be moved to the north, and half of it to the south. And you people will certainly flee to the valley of my mountains; because the valley of the mountains will reach all the way to Azel. And you will have to flee, just as you fled because of the earthquake in the days of Uzziah the king of Judah.” (Zechariah 14:4, 5) This flight of the repatriated remnant of Jehovah’s people is not panicky flight “in order to enter into the holes in the rocks and into the clefts of the crags” or a “saying to the mountains and to the rock-masses: ‘Fall over us and hide us from the face of the One seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb.’” (Isaiah 2:20, 21; Revelation 6:15, 16) It will be a flight to God’s protective provision, a flight to the very great valley between “my mountains,” guarded on the north and on the south by the halves of the symbolic Mount of Olives. Yes, to beneath Jehovah’s feet. That valley of divine protection extended from the Kidron Valley overlooked by the eastern wall of Jerusalem all the way eastward to Azel, with plenty of room for fugitives.